9 Sleeper Starts & Duds: Week 5 (Fantasy Football)

Oct 5, 2018

Corey Davis could be in store for a tough Week 5

As we head into the weekend, owners of Jordan Howard, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and other fantasy-relevant players from the Bears and Bucs are going to need some replacements to fill the bye week holes. Replacing starters with waiver wire fillers isn’t optimal, but it’s certainly not impossible considering Jackson himself was available earlier in the year. The point is, every week there are surprises like Eric Ebron’s 9 receptions, 105 yards, and two touchdown night on Thursday.

Now the question is, who is going to surprise owners both positively and negatively this Sunday/Monday night? To answer that question, we asked our featured experts below to dive into all the matchups and identify sleeper starts and duds for Week 5.

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Q1. Who is a player outside of our top 100 flex rankings that is a deep sleeper start and why do you think he has upside this week?

Paul Richardson (WR – WAS): at NO
“While still technically listed as the Redskins WR3, Richardson leads the team’s wide receivers in targets with 14. We don’t think of Alex Smith as a deep chucker, but P-Rich’s aDOT this year of 13.9 makes me believe he can get deep in the secondary against the Saints, and they have been getting torched thru 4 games to opposing WR2s. New Orleans has said N-O to covering the position, giving up averages of 6.5 targets, 6.25 receptions, 112.5 yards, and 1.75 TDs. They have also given up passes of 58, 47, 75, and 23. I’ll take P-Rich coming back from the bye.”
– Andy Singleton (Razzball)

“Washington faces the New Orleans Saints in Week 5, whose defense has allowed a league-worst 989 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns to wide receivers this week, which averages out to about 57.9 fantasy points to the position per game. Paul Richardson, who leads the team WRs in targets, will likely be the best WR option for QB Alex Smith this week because Josh Doctson remains in a walking boot with a heel injury and may not play. The Washington game plans have not featured many deep pass attempts, but they’d be foolish not to try at least a few against the Saints. Their secondary has been burned often through four games and sorely misses their top cornerback, Patrick Robinson, who is currently on injured reserve.”
– Tim McCullough (FantasyPros)

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN): at NYJ
“Sutton posted a season-high three catches for 51 yards in a tough Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Case Keenum looked Sutton’s way more (six targets), particularly on deep passes, as the often clumsily-handed Demaryius Thomas continued to disappoint. It may not be long before the talented rookie supplants the veteran, and he’ll have another fine opportunity to show he deserves more targets as he confronts a middling-at-best New York Jets pass defense. You can do worse than to plug in Sutton as a WR3 or flex. ”
– Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)

Duke Johnson (RB – CLE): vs. BAL
“It’s been a disappointing season for Johnson, that’s for sure, though there may be reason for hope. In his first start with Baker Mayfield, Johnson saw a season-high six targets and caught four passes for 45 yards, which were also season-highs. The Ravens have been a brick wall against opposing run-games, as they’ve allowed just 3.64 yards per carry and one rushing touchdown all season. Knowing that Antonio Callaway can’t seem to catch the ball right now and that the Ravens have legit shutdown cornerbacks, we should see Johnson more involved this week.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Rashard Higgins (WR – CLE): vs. BAL
“Higgins has deep sleeper appeal. Over the last three weeks, Higgins has been on the field for a very nice 69-percent of the offensive snaps. At 4.8 targets per game, Higgins has some upside but what could help his progress most are the drops by Antonio Callaway. Callaway already has 3 drops on the season and a catch rate of 41.7-percent. It is possible Higgins usurps him for the number two role this week.”
– Andrew Ferris (Fantasy Hot Read)

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – GB): at DET
“This is a deep sleeper play with both Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (concussion) looking unable to play this Sunday. Cobb reportedly ‘was not close’ to playing last Sunday after suffering a hamstring setback late last week, while Allison is week-to-week with a concussion. So it’s likely that Aaron Rodgers is developing his rapport with Valdes-Scantling with no other options to throw to other than Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham. Adams could draw coverage from shutdown CB Darius Slay, while the 6-foot-4 Valdes-Scantling will get the opportunity to body the Lions’ smaller interior cornerbacks.”
– Staff Rankings (ScoutFantasySports)

Q2. On the flip side, what player inside the top 40 flex rankings is likely to disappoint fantasy owners this week?

Corey Davis (WR – TEN): at BUF
“While he had a breakout performance last week in a good matchup, Corey Davis is set-up for a letdown in Week 5 against the Bills. They have used Tre’Davious White in shadow coverage and he’s limited Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams to just 12 catches for 98 yards and no touchdowns combined. Marcus Mariota looked much better last week, but let’s not forget about why everyone was benching Davis in the first place. ”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Corey Davis broke out last week, so you may not be expecting to see him as a possible bust. The problem is, Tre White will likely see a lot of Davis because only 12.4-percent of Davis’ routes come from the slot. Last week, White held up well in his time against Davante Adams and I’d expect the same this week. Game flow could also be a problem for Davis if the Titans get out to a big lead.”
– Andrew Ferris (Fantasy Hot Read)

Carlos Hyde (RB – CLE): vs. BAL
“Hyde worries me a little bit this week. The Baltimore Ravens have not been accommodating to the running back position so far, yielding just 88 total yards per game and one total touchdown through four weeks. Not only is the matchup difficult, but Week 5 may see Nick Chubb begin to steal a few more touches away from Hyde after his breakout Week 4 outing. Don’t necessarily bench Hyde, but temper expectations. ”
– Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)

“In Week 5, the Browns face a Baltimore Ravens rush defense that’s allowed the fewest rushing yards on a per game basis in the NFL dating back to Week 8 of last season. The Ravens aren’t quite as dominant this season, but they’ve allowed just 271 rushing yards through four games so far (fourth-fewest in the NFL). Carlos Hyde is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry so far, and after rookie RB Nick Chubb’s dynamic performance last week against the Raiders (3 carries for 105 yards and 2 TDs), Hyde is at risk of being supplanted as the Browns’ RB1. The Ravens have allowed an average of just 14.6 fantasy points per game so far, a number bested only by the Bears’ defense, making Hyde a potential bust this week.”
– Tim McCullough (FantasyPros)

T.J. Yeldon (RB – JAC): at KC
“So what Leonard Fournette is out this week. What appears to be a good situation for TJ Yeldon, is fools gold to me. Simply put, he has not been a plug and play guy for the Jags when given the volume, and the Chiefs have faced, and shut down, much better RBs already thru 4 games. I also expect the Jags to have to keep pace with Showt… Patrick Mahomes, which won’t come by way of the run. 26th overall is a little too steep for me.”
– Andy Singleton (Razzball)

Mark Ingram (RB – NO): vs. WAS
“Ingram is not going to perform as well as most expect in his season debut. Expect Sean Payton to ease Ingram back into the offense against the Washington Redskins, especially with how well Alvin Kamara has performed through the first four weeks. Kamara is the No. 1 RB in Fantasy Football so Ingram’s role could be a bit more limited this season. After rushing for a season-high 134 yards on 19 rushes for 3 touchdowns against the Giants last week, Kamara will probably on cede 10 touches to Ingram in Week 5.”
– Staff Rankings (ScoutFantasySports)


Thank you to the experts for giving their sleeper starts and duds for Week 5. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.


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