Week 5 has arrived and the first quarter of the season is over for everyone but the Buccaneers and Dolphins. The biggest surprises would have to be the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams leading their divisions, and in Fantasy Football running backs are once again clearly on top, with few receivers having met expectations. In my picks for Week 5, I’m banking on some teams getting back to what they’ve done best in the past, and for some newcomers to continue to rise. So three rookies have made the list, and a possible comeback player of the year candidate, though his campaign would really just be starting here. Below are my picks for Week 5’s Start ‘Em!
Jarvis Landry – Dolphins vs Titans (Draft Kings – $5,800 / Fan Duel – $6,600) – The Dolphins haven’t scored a touchdown in two weeks and Landry is averaging just over 55 yards receiving per game, but in PPR leagues his catches still make a difference. The Titans gave up 57 points to the Texans last week and may be without Marcus Mariota in Week 5. I look for the Dolphins to somewhat get back on track on the offensive side of the ball this week, and Landry’s floor of 10 points is a nice starting spot.
Jaron Brown – Cardinals @ Eagles (Draft Kings – $4,500 / Fan Duel – $4,500) – The other Brown, Jaron Brown, has 23 targets over the last three weeks for Arizona, including one touchdown. That is one more target than Larry Fitzgerald who is still the focal point of the passing defense. The Eagles secondary is a weak spot for the team, and Jaron Brown’s hot streak should continue. At $4,500 in DFS he is great bargain option.
Chris Hogan – Patriots @ Buccaneers (Draft Kings – $6,100 / Fan Duel – $7,000) – Hogan has 14 receptions and 4 TD’s over the last three weeks. I like Rob Gronkowski against the beat up linebacker and safety group for Tampa more, but Hogan is a near second. Corner, Brent Grimes is also coming off of a shoulder injury for Tampa, but did play last week against the Giants, however the Giants were able to move the ball against them. The Patriots should have even more success and this could be a high scoring affair on Thursday night.
Randall Cobb – Packers @ Cowboys (Draft Kings – $6,700 / Fan Duel – $6,600) – The Cowboys haven’t been able to stop anyone through the air over the last three weeks. This is bad news against Green Bay. The Packers will target Randall Cobb often this week, as other teams have found success with their slot receivers against Dallas i.e. Larry Fitzgerald and Cooper Kupp over the last two weeks.
Trent Taylor – 49’ers @ Colts (Draft Kings – $3,400 / Fan Duel – $4,500) – Rookie Trent Taylor is coming off of a ten target game, though lead receiver Pierre Garcon was tied up with corner Patrick Peterson. Garcon will have more success against the Colts and Vontae Davis, but Davis is good enough to force looks to other receivers and Trent Taylor has been the second best receiver option. He is a very small slot receiver, but gets open with his quickness, and if not for a bad call and an overrun route against the Rams, he may not still be on your waiver wire. In DFS, with DK this week he is an absolute steal against the Colts this week, and will have a similar floor to Jarvis Landry who is priced $2,400 higher.
Leonard Fournette – Jaguars @ Steelers (Draft Kings – $7,000 / Fan Duel – $7,600) – Fournette has been solid all season with a touchdown in each game, and even more so in PPR formats with 12 receptions. He has done all this averaging less than 4 ypc, but has faced some tough defenses against the run. This week he gets Pittsburgh who has struggled to stop the run, so his usual solid performance should be kicked up a notch.
Joe Mixon – Bengals vs Bills (Draft Kings – $5,500 / Fan Duel – $5,900) – If Joe Mixon is to have a breakout game then this might be the week for it. The Bills gave up 137 yards to the Falcons running backs last week, though they did hold Freeman to 3.2 ypc. The Bengals showed they are willing to stick with Mixon with 17 carries for only 29 yards against the strong rushing defense of the Browns. This week if he receives another 17 carries or more, he should finally have a worthy fantasy performance against this Buffalo defense.
Carlos Hyde – 49’ers @ Colts (Draft Kings – $6,900 / Fan Duel – $7,200) – Hyde is a must start against the Colts who have started the year out strong against the run. The Colts in Week 4 finally did show some cracks in the armor giving up 194 yards on the ground to Seattle. San Francisco is still looking for their first win, though they have had some close games, and the Colts don’t have the firepower to put them away early, so this game should once again come down to the fourth quarter. This is good news for Carlos Hyde owners, because Hyde should be involved for the entirety of the game once again, and his combined yardage on the ground and through the air should put him near the top of the running back ranks in Week 5.
Eddie Lacy / Thomas Rawls – Seahawks @ Rams (Draft Kings – $3,400, $3,700 / Fan Duel – $4,600, $4,800) – Lacy is coming off of his first decent game for the Seahawks with 52 yards on 11 carries, though this is due to the injury to starting running back Chris Carson. Regardless of how he got here, if he performs as well going forward he will get carries. Coach Pete Carroll has said that both Lacy and Thomas Rawls will get the bulk of the workload going forward, but it is telling that Eddie Lacy was the active running back that was thrust into the lead role last week after Carson’s injury. I would expect Lacy to continue with the lead back role, but Rawls to cut into his time based on how well Lacy is performing. He is risky start indeed, but the Rams are a nice match-up for any running back, and you may not want to take the wait and see option as the bye weeks start. Also of note is Lacy’s price in DFS!
Running Back Tandem
Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen – Bears vs Vikings
The Vikings have surprisingly been not very good against the run this year. Ameer Abdullah had his best rushing performance as a pro against them in Week 4, in Week 3 they got a break when Tampa didn’t even attempt to run the ball after falling behind early during Case Keenum’s career best performance at Quarterback which was similar to Week 1 when the Saints didn’t try to establish a running game against them, and finally in Week 2 they gave up 87 yards to a rusty Le’Veon Bell. We don’t know if Sam Bradford will return this week, but we do know the Bears are starting their first found pick, Mitch Trubisky, at Quarterback, and this should give the team a spark. He looked good in pre-season, well who doesn’t (hmm..Mike Glennon?), and is much more mobile than the benched Mike Glennon. The Bears should not make the same mistake as they did last week against Green Bay, and this time get it right and establish the running game early. Both Howard and Cohen should be in for a lot of work, and Trubisky’s athletic ability should keep drives alive and not allow the defense to solely key on stopping the run.