Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings: Each Position's Flex and PPR Projections

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 6, 2018

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson (33) scores a touchdown as Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55) defends in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Week 5 of the NFL season kicked off with yet another high-scoring game as the New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 38-24.

If you had Pats quarterback Tom Brady, Pats running back James White or Colts tight end Eric Ebron in your lineups, you're off to a good start.

Brady threw for 341 yards and three scores (and two interceptions), while White caught 10 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. Ebron dominated with nine receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

Moving ahead, here's a look at some fantasy projections for the running back, wide receiver and tight end positions in Week 5. Scoring is based on point-per-reception leagues.


Running Back

1. New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara (vs. Washington Redskins): 30 points

2. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (at Seattle Seahawks): 30 points

3. Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (vs. Oakland Raiders): 26 points

4. Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (at Houston Texans): 26 points

5. Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (vs. New York Giants): 25 points

6. New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (at Carolina Panthers): 23 points

7. Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (at San Francisco 49ers): 22 points

8. Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (vs. Atlanta Falcons): 20 points

9. Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (vs. Green Bay Packers): 13 points

10. Washington Redskins RB Chris Thompson (at New Orleans Saints)13 points

11. Atlanta Falcons RB Tevin Coleman (at Pittsburgh Steelers)13 points

12. Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (at Pittsburgh Steelers)13 points

13. Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller (vs. Dallas Cowboys)12 points

14. Tennessee Titans RB Dion Lewis (at Buffalo Bills)12 points

15. Baltimore Ravens RB Buck Allen (at Cleveland Browns): 10 points


Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson is one of the NFL's most efficient rushers thanks to his 5.7 yards per carry. However, he is in a platoon with LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick, which makes him difficult to trust on a weekly basis.

If the rookie starts seeing 15-20 touches regularly, then he's a clear top running back option. Perhaps it starts this week with a home game against the Green Bay Packers, who are in the bottom third of the league in yards per carry allowed (4.5).

A potential positive game script is also in Johnson's favor: Per OddsShark, the Lions vs. Packers game has an over/under total of 51 points, with Green Bay favored by 1.5 points. We could see a lot of scoring in this one, perhaps leading to more opportunities for Johnson.


Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has developed into a workhorse in his second year, with touch totals of 16, 22 and 30 through three weeks. He's on pace to crush his touch total from his rookie season, but the ex-Stanford star's yards per touch has increased from 5.5 to 6.3.

McCaffrey has done damage on the ground (5.9 yards per carry) and through the air (22 receptions on 26 targets). He now faces a New York Giants team that allowed 181 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns to another versatile running back (the New Orleans Saints' Alvin Kamara) on Sunday.

McCaffrey has a shot at being the top fantasy runner of Week 5.


Wide Receiver

1. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown (vs. Atlanta Falcons): 28 points

2. New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas (vs. Washington Redskins): 28 points

3. Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (at Pittsburgh Steelers): 28 points

4. Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (vs. Dallas Cowboys): 25 points 

5. Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen (vs. Oakland Raiders): 22 points

6. Minnesota Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (at Philadelphia Eagles): 22 points

7. Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (vs. Miami Dolphins): 22 points

8. Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams (at Detroit Lions): 22 points

9. Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (at Philadelphia Eagles): 22 points

10. Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks (at Seattle Seahawks): 20 points

11. Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (at Seattle Seahawks): 19 points

12. Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods (at Seattle Seahawks)19 points

13. Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate (vs. Green Bay Packers): 18 points

14. New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (at Carolina Panthers): 18 points

15. Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars): 18 points

16. Detroit Lions WR Kenny Golladay (vs. Green Bay Packers): 17 points

17. Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry (vs. Baltimore Ravens): 17 points

18. Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (at Pittsburgh Steelers): 16 points

19. Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (at New York Jets): 16 points

20. Jacksonville Jaguars WR Keelan Cole (at Kansas City Chiefs): 14 points

21. Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook (at Kansas City Chiefs): 14 points

22. New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (at Carolina Panthers): 14 points

23. Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (vs. Miami Dolphins): 12 points

24. Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (vs. Oakland Raiders): 11 points

25. Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper (at Los Angeles Chargers): 11 points


Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry has a tough matchup with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, but he can still be a solid fantasy option because of his target volume.

Through four weeks, Landry has 47 targets, or nearly 12 per game. His catch rate is just 51.1 percent right now, but expect that figure to rise as he and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield develop more on-field chemistry.

The Browns are three-point underdogs against the Ravens, per OddsShark. If the Browns find themselves behind, expect a busy day for Landry as Cleveland goes to the pass more to get back in the game.


Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is off to a slow start by his standards (of note: a career-low 9.4 yards per reception), but expect that trend to end when he faces the Atlanta Falcons at home Sunday.

The Falcons have allowed 80 points in their last two games, and they'll be without four Week 1 defensive starters in safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal, linebacker Deion Jones and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.

It's hard seeing them stopping the Steelers offense, which has a 30.5-point implied team total, per OddsShark.

If the Steelers exceed the four-touchdown figure, then expect Brown to be heavily involved with a monster performance.


Tight End

1. Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (vs. Minnesota Vikings): 20 points

2. Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars): 17 points

3. Oakland Raiders TE Jared Cook (at Los Angeles Chargers): 16 points

4. Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (at New Orleans Saints): 16 points

5. Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (at Detroit Lions): 16 points

6. San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (vs. Arizona Cardinals: 12 points

7. Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (at Philadelphia Eagles): 9 points

8. Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (vs. Atlanta Falcons): 9 points

9. Jacksonville Jaguars TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (at Kansas City Chiefs): 8 points

10. Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (vs. Baltimore Ravens): 7 points


Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham

The Green Bay Packers' pass-catching core is banged up. Wideout Randall Cobb is out Sunday, and wide receivers Geronimo Allison and Davante Adams are questionable. Those three comprise the top trio on the Packers depth chart.

If one (or both) of the latter duo can't go, then tight end Jimmy Graham may assume a large target volume at the Detroit Lions. The Packers have three rookie wide receivers behind Adams, Allison and Cobb, so quarterback Aaron Rodgers may lean more on Graham and the Green Bay running backs (Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery) if the team is shorthanded.

Graham has got off to a slower start (16 catches, 169 yards, one touchdown), but that could all change this Sunday.


Oakland Raiders TE Jared Cook

Oakland Raiders tight end Jared Cook may be the best player at his position through four weeks thanks to 26 catches for 370 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He's also first on the team in targets with 35 times through four games.

Cook now faces a Los Angeles Chargers pass defense that has taken a step back from last year. The Bolts are without star edge-rusher Joey Bosa (23 sacks in two years) due to a foot injury, and they have allowed 7.8 net yards per pass attempt, which is the fourth-worst mark in the league.

The Chargers just allowed six catches for 125 yards and a touchdown to 49ers tight end George Kittle on Sunday. Cook has the potential to post a similar stat line.


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