Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings: Lineup Advice for Every Position

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans is introduced to the crowd at NRG Stadium against the Tennessee Titans  on October 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

And so the bye weeks begin. The bye weeks are when the experts are separated from the plebeian; when a team's depth can give it a significant advantage; when your moves on the waiver wire take on significant importance.

With four teams on bye in Week 5—Atlanta, Washington, New Orleans and Denver—you may need to get creative in Week 5. Let's break down the top options at each position to help you do just that.

       

Quarterbacks

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 28:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 28, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

3. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

6. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions

9. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

10. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Always start Roethlisberger at home. Always. Since the start of last season, he's averaging 23.5 fantasy points at home. Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been good against opposing quarterbacks. But trust the trends here and get Roethlisberger in those lineups.

With a number of solid options on bye, you may have to get creative at quarterback. Don't be afraid to roll with players like Wentz or Watson. The former is averaging 17.9 points per week and plays a Cardinals defense that both Stafford and Prescott had major success against. The latter has at least 17 fantasy points in every start and 53.7 total points over the past two.

Even against a solid Kansas City defense, Watson is a viable option.

           

Running Backs

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 01: Running back Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Image
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

1. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

3. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

4. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

5. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

6. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

7. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers

8. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

9. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

10. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans

While there is some parity at quarterback, you'll almost never be sitting your running backs, so the top of the rankings will always have a pretty familiar theme. This week shouldn't be much different. 

Howard might have the toughest matchup of the bunch against a tough Minnesota front seven. Fear not. He has three weeks of 12 or more points in standard leagues, while the Vikings just gave up 94 yards and a touchdown to Ameer Abdullah.

In Mitchell Trubisky's debut, expect the Bears to lean heavily on Howard.

                     

Wide Receivers

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 01: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants

3. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

4. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

6. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

7. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

8. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings

9. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

10. Chris Hogan, New England Patriots

Hogan's been a hero this season, but is it sustainable?

That's tough to say. Yes, he has four touchdowns this season, but it's probably a stretch to assume he'll continue to average a touchdown a game. But he has become a big part of New England's offense, with 26 targets on the season. 

Against the Panthers, Hogan had 68 snaps, to 64 for Brandin Cooks and 36 for Danny Amendola. He's worth paying serious attention to, especially against a Tampa Bay defense that has been shredded by opposing wideouts this season.

Beyond that, trust your studs. 

                   

Tight Ends

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 01:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots reacts after a play during the first half against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

2. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

3. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills

4. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

5. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

6. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

8. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans

9. Evan Engram, New York Giants

10. Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders

Tight end has been a tough position to get consistent value from this season, making Gronkowski extraordinarily valuable. It means you need to trust that players like Graham will start producing, while you may need to take a chance on players like Walker and Cook who may be without Marcus Mariota (Walker) and will be without Derek Carr (Cook). 

If you are streaming tight end options this week, well, bless you if you manage to get five points out of whomever you choose. But nab Engram in your league if he's available—he's having a promising rookie year and should only get better as he adjusts to New York's offense.

              

Defenses

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 1: Case Keenum #7 of the Minnesota Vikings is hit while throwing the ball by defender Anthony Zettel #69 of the Detroit Lions in the first quarter of the game on October 1, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Ph
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

1. Detroit Lions

2. Buffalo Bills

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. Philadelphia Eagles

6. Baltimore Ravens

7. Cincinnati Bengals

8. Jacksonville Jaguars

9. Oakland Raiders

10. Minnesota Vikings

Baltimore has been all-or-nothing this season, rewarding owners who started them in Weeks 1 and 2 and crushing owners who trusted them in Weeks 3 and 4. Against a Raiders team rolling out EJ Manuel as the starter, though, it's time to trust them again.

And against a Baltimore offense that has been dreadful the past two weeks, it's safe to trust Oakland's defense, too.

           

Kickers

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Greg Zuerlein #4 of the Los Angeles Rams reacts with Johnny Hekker #6 during the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

1. Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams

2. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots

3. Matt Prater, Detroit Lions

4. Stephen Hauschka, Buffalo Bills

5. Ka'imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans

6. Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers

7. Jason Myers, Jacksonville Jaguars

8. Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers

9. Chandler Catanzaro, New York Jets

10. Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans

Find a kicker who consistently produces and trust him no matter the matchup. Rinse and repeat.