Against all odds, the 2020 NFL season is on. Which means so is your fantasy season. You already got our “Kill, Marry, Chill” draft advice, but now you need to know whom to play each week. Well, we also have you covered there. You already have your top guys you’re always starting, but it’s those borderline calls you need to get right to win. So, each week, we’ll go through some guys that we want to “kill” (not looking to start), “marry” (locking into our lineups), and “chill” (considering as sleeper options) to help you fill out your lineup and lead you the promised land of a fantasy championship. Here’s what you need to know for Fantasy Football Week 5.
With so many of this week’s games up in the air due to numerous teams reporting positive COVID tests, I’ll be looking at only six guys instead of the usual nine, but with some more in-depth analysis to help make your decision-making easier.
Quarterback – Kirk Cousins (@ SEA)
Cousins normally isn’t high up on any weekly QB fantasy rankings, but this week, FantasyPros has him as QB 12 based on the consensus of 47 experts thanks to an ideal matchup against Seattle.
Russell Wilson has been on an ungodly tear this season, throwing a touchdown on 11.7% of his passes. Opposing offenses need to air the ball out to keep pace with Seattle’s scoring, and as a result, Seattle has allowed the second-most fantasy points to QBs after four weeks, with opposing passers averaging 26.8 points per contest.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve professed my faith in Kirk Cousins in the past, but he’s QB 25 in fantasy this season. For the 16% of you who have Cousins on your roster or those who want to take him in DFS though, don’t fall for the matchup. The Vikings are dead last in passing attempts and they have the fifth-fewest passing yards. Even if Pete Carroll lets Russ cook and he tortures this shitty Minnesota pass defense, Vikings Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak isn’t going to abandon the run game completely to let Cousins throw the ball 50 times.
The bigger problem is his trouble keeping the offense on the field. The nine-year vet has thrown six interceptions for a league-high interception rate of 6%. And for all their struggles at stopping offenses from moving the ball through the air, Seattle’s defense has been very opportunistic. Their six interceptions this season are the second-most in the league. On top of that, they’ve given up just six passing touchdowns, which is a top-ten mark. Sure, Captain Kirk may be able to move the ball better than he has in the first four games, but that QB 12 ranking is bananas. He’ll be well into QB2 territory in Fantasy Football Week 5.
Pass Catcher – Michael Gallup (vs. NYG)
It only stood to reason that the Cowboys drafting CeeDee Lamb would mean a smaller share of the offense for Gallup, but damn did he get relegated to the backseat. In 14 games last season, Gallup averaged 8.1 targets, 4.7 receptions, and 79.1 yards per game. In 2020, those numbers are down to 6.0/3.3/68.8.
A lot of that has to do with his new role. Gallup is now the vertical threat in this offense, with his average targeted air yards of 17.4 the second-highest mark in the league, according to NFL Next Gen stats. For fantasy purposes, I’ve never been a fan of guys who only get deep balls. They tend to be way too streaky, and Gallup’s no exception. Outside of shredding Seattle in Week 3, Gallup hasn’t had more than three catches or 58 yards in any game.
While he gets to go up against the Giants this week, who are an absolute dumpster fire, Big Blue’s struggles actually haven’t had too much to do with the defense, which has given up the fifth-fewest yards and 12th-fewest points this season. Of course, this is their first time facing the Cowboys’ prolific offense, but that just means this could turn into an early blowout. Dak Prescott won’t be chucking the ball downfield at that point. Gallup’s a flex play for deeper standard leagues and on your bench in PPR for Fantasy Football Week 5.
Running back – Antonio Gibson (vs. LAR)
Gibson played mostly as a wide receiver in college before switching over to running back full-time for the NFL, so only having six catches for 16 receiving yards in Washington’s first three games wasn’t going to cut it. Nice of Dwayne Haskins to finally get Gibson going in Week 4, with the rookie racking up four catches and 82 receiving yards against a tough Baltimore defense.
Things also get easier for Gibson this week against a Rams defense that isn’t doing too well at containing running backs. They aren’t giving up too many fantasy points to the position, but backs are netting a healthy 4.84 yards per carry and 9.81 yards per catch against L.A.’s NFC team. He should also get the volume he needs to put up points.
The top three receivers for the Washington “Ask Us Again in a Few Months” sat out of Wednesday’s practice and are listed as questionable for Week 5’s game. All three could end up playing, but a healthy Gibson should still get a lot of looks, especially now that Kyle Allen will be throwing the passes. In Allen’s 12 starts for the Panthers last season, Christian McCaffery saw 8.3 targets per game in his historic 1000 rushing yards-1000 receiving yards season. Unless Allen miraculously became some elite QB over the offseason, the dink-and-dunk game should be a big part of his arsenal on Sunday.
Gibson’s a flex in standard and an RB2 in PPR. You have to have some crazy depth to keep him on your bench in Fantasy Football Week 5.
Pass Catcher – JuJu Smith-Schuster (vs. PHI)
JuJu is second on the Steelers in targets and comfortably behind Dionte Johnson in that category. And even though he leads the team in receiving yards, Ben Roethlisberger is having a lot of success spreading the ball around, with five Steelers getting at least 30.7 receiving yards per game, but no one topping 53.3 yards per game.
This is still JuJu though, and he’s still a top wideout. Your NFC East-leading 1-2-1 Philadelphia Eagles haven’t been giving up too many points to wide receivers, but JuJu has himself a great matchup in the slot, where he’s lining up on 74% of his snaps this season. I thought the Eagles got a steal when they signed Nickell Robey-Coleman for just $1 million this offseason, but turns out I was wrong on that one, too. According to Pro-Football-Reference, quarterbacks are putting up a not-too-far-from-perfect passer rating of 139.1 when Robey-Coleman has been the closest defender in coverage. PFR also pegs Coleman as giving up a sizable 7.3 yards after the catch per completion allowed. JuJu, who ranks fifth this season in yards after the catch per reception according to NFL Next Gen stats, will get to eat up a lot of yards when he turns upfield.
This isn’t 2018 JuJu, who looked like he was going to be a superstar for the next decade, but a guy with 20 touchdowns in 45 career games, including three scores in three games this season, is always going to be fantasy relevant. Those 5.7 receptions per game he’s also getting make him a solid WR2 in full and half-PPR and a flex in standard.
Quarterback – Daniel Jones (@ DAL)
Jones was one of Matthew Berry’s big swings and misses from his draft season “Love/Hate” column. Look, we all have our duds, but when you say something as stupid as “Welcome to Danny Dimes SZN” and he winds up QB 30 after Week 4, that’s a big-time L.
Now then. With Fantasy Football Week 5 of the season upon us, I’d like to welcome all of you to Danny Dimes SZN!
Jones has done absolutely nothing right this season when throwing the ball: two touchdowns, five interceptions, and six yards per attempt for a passer rating of 68.3. It’s really ugly. I’m not ready to write him off though. When this guy was on last season, he absolutely brutalized defenses. He’s just the third quarterback since 1950 to get four touchdowns and no interceptions three times in a rookie season. And if you’re having trouble throwing touchdowns and avoiding interceptions, Dallas is the defense you want. They’ve allowed 12 passing touchdowns and recorded just one pick, the second-worst TD-to-interception ratio in the league.
There should also be a solid chunk of points coming on the ground. Jones is far-and-away the Giants’ leading rusher this season (take a moment to really let that sink in) and also fourth in rushing yards among QBs this year. QBs have only run the ball 17 times against the Cowboys this season, but in general, they’ve had a tough time stopping the ground game. On 140 attempts, teams have tallied 690 rushing yards against Dallas, the second-most in the NFL. Adding in 40 or 50 yards on the ground, possibly with a rushing touchdown, makes Jones all the more attractive for fantasy. This is the matchup for him to get his season back on track. I see Danny as a top-15 QB this week.
Running Back – Justin Jackson (@ NOR)
Jackson was one of my recommended pick-ups on this week’s waiver wire article, so naturally, I’m counting on him to make me look good. The third-year pro is going to be the second-string back for the next few weeks while the Chargers’ leading rusher Austin Ekeler recovers from a hamstring injury, and that means he’ll see a sizable role in the offense.
The Chargers have leaned heavily on their running backs this season, with Ekeler and Joshua Kelley both averaging more than 15 touches per game over the first three weeks of the season. I have to imagine that type of workload will shrink while they’re down one of the league’s best running backs, but Jackson’s should still get plenty of chances to make an impact for a Chargers that wants to be competitive in 2020.
Head Coach Anthony Lynn has this team running the ball more than 30 times per game, and even if that number dips without Ekeler, it doesn’t look like it’ll be that drastic. After he went down in the first quarter of Week 4’s game against Tampa Bay, Jackson got eight touches for while Kelley saw 11. Over the course of a full game, Jackson could very well be looking at around a solid 12 touches.
I’m a little less confident on this one, and he’s strictly a flex play for deep leagues, but he’s been good when he actually gets reps! There is upside here and I’m looking forward to seeing what Jackson can do in an expanded role.