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Freedman’s Favorites: Week 5 (2022 Fantasy Football)

I remember the first time I saw Sex and the City.

Weird opening, right?

Anyway, just go with it.

Actually … let’s save that story — the full story — for another time. And if that time never materializes, so be it.

Suffice it to say, when I was a junior in college I once saw about 30 seconds of Sex and the City, and what I saw convinced me that I’d probably be fine going the rest of my life without seeing more of it.

Jump ahead a few years — maybe half a decade — and my girlfriend asks me if I’ve ever seen Sex and the City. I say something like, “I think I’ve seen part of one episode.”

And then she asks, “Do you want to watch it with dinner?”

Long story short, she and I watched the entire series at dinnertime for maybe the next 2-3 months.

Look, that’s just what you had to do in the 2000s if you wanted to show your girlfriend that you were laid back. It was a rite of passage.

Check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football advice >>

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Assistant

No More Fantasy Romance

I swear I have a point to this story.

There’s a scene in one episode where Carrie and Big are having an affair.

And I promise you that I fully hate myself for typing that last sentence. Ugh.

In this scene, you see the full trajectory of their affair. The first time they meet up for their rendezvous, they’re in a fancy hotel, they have champagne and strawberries, and they’re very flirty and romantic with each other. The next time, the hotel isn’t quite as nice, and they’re a little more businesslike with the matter at hand.

And for the final time they’re in a seedy establishment drinking small liquor bottles and just trying to get through it as quickly as possible so they can get on with the rest of their day.

That’s where we are in the season.

I don’t have time to write a real introduction … although I’m looking at all the words I’ve typed so far, and that kind of looks like an intro — but I don’t have time to write a real introduction, and you don’t have time to read one.

No romance. We’ve got other things to do.

We know why we’re both here.

Let’s get to it.

Freedman’s Favorites

The guys in this piece are my favorites for Week 5.

Generally speaking, these are guys who (in some combination) …

These are the guys I want to write about.

Something I should mention: This week I’m experimenting with format to make the piece faster to write and to read. Fewer sentences, more bullet points.

  • Speed, baby.
  • Speed.

I’ll update this piece by Saturday night with notes based on the week’s injury reports and news items. Before then, follow our NFL news desk for information on any breaking news. After the update, any changing opinions I have will be reflected in my personal Week 5 rankings, not this article.

Here are my Week 5 favorites.

Note: All fantasy points are half-PPR scoring unless otherwise stated. Players are ordered within position roughly (but probably not precisely) according to my rankings. Abbreviations: Fantasy points per game (FPPG), against the spread (ATS), over/under (O/U), adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A), expected points added (EPA), success rate (SR), completion percentage over expectation (CPOE), defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) 

Odds from our BettingPros matchups page, where you can see the percentage distributions of spread, over/under and moneyline bets tracked in the BettingPros App.

UPDATE NOTE (Sat. 10/8, 3:00 pm ET): This piece has been updated.

FantasyPros Accuracy Contest

  • 2022: No. 12 (YTD)
  • 2021: No. 14 (Weeks 1-17)

Freedman’s Favorite Week 5 Quarterbacks

Jalen Hurts (PHI) at ARI: Eagles -5.5 | 49.5 O/U

Last year, Hurts was a fantasy QB1 in 67% of his games and averaged 23.2 FPPG for the season (per RotoViz).

In 2022, he has been even better, progressing as a passer (66.7% completion rate, 1,120 yards) and maintaining his incredibly high Konami Code floor as a runner (205 yards, four touchdowns). Perhaps most notable about Hurts is that he is now aggressively attacking defenses down the field: He’s No. 1 in the league with eight attempts of 30-plus yards and five attempts of 40-plus yards (per our Advanced QB Stats Report). He’s No. 2 in the league with a 9.0 AY/A and No. 3 with +550 MVP odds (per our BettingPros odds page), behind only QBs Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. The Cardinals are No. 31 in with a 52.6% dropback SR (per RBs Don’t Matter). He’s a real quarterback with a really good matchup.

Hurts Update (Sat. 10/8): LT Jordan Mailata (shoulder) is doubtful. For the Cardinals, DT Rashard Lawrence (hand) and LB Nick Vigil (hamstring) are out and CB Trayvon Mullen (hamstring, questionable) seems likely to sit after practicing limitedly on Thursday and then not at all on Friday. Hurts is still a top-three fantasy quarterback this week.

Patrick Mahomes (KC) vs. LV: Chiefs -7 | 51 O/U

Last week, Mahomes was 23-of-37 for 249-3-1 passing and 4-34-0 rushing against the Buccaneers, who have one of the league’s top defenses. He’s still Mahomes. Through four games, he has 1,106 yards and 11 touchdowns passing to two interceptions with an 8.5 AY/A (No. 3). Since his 5,000-yard, 50-touchdown MVP 2018 campaign, Mahomes is the No. 1 quarterback with a 0.177 composite EPA + CPOE, and for the year he’s No. 1 with an 82.3 QBR (per ESPN). In our FantasyPros unit power rankings, we still have Mahomes as the No. 1 quarterback in reality, and he has a marked advantage over the Raiders.

Rank Quarterback Offense Opp Defense Defense Rank Secondary Rank QB-Def Edge QB-Sec Edge
1 Patrick Mahomes II KC LV 26 27 25 26

As in reality, so in fantasy. The Raiders might be without Nos. 1-2 CBs Rock Ya-Sin (knee) and Anthony Averett (thumb, IR) and coverage LB Denzel Perryman (concussion), and they’re No. 4 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (24.2 FPPG, per our Fantasy Points Allowed Report).

Freedman’s Favorite Quarterbacks: Best of the Rest

Tom Brady (TB) vs. ATL: Buccaneers -8.5 | 48.5 O/U

  • With the return of WRs Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones and LT Donovan Smith, Brady had the best performance of his season last week with 385 yards and three touchdowns passing.
  • The Falcons defense is No. 29 in dropback SR (51.5%).

Brady Update (Sat. 10/8): TE Cameron Brate (concussion) is out, but WRs Julio Jones (knee) and Breshad Perriman (knee, hamstring) seem likely to play through their questionable tags after practicing (albeit limitedly) every day this week. Brady’s a top-eight fantasy option.

Russell Wilson (DEN) vs. IND: Broncos -3.5 | 43.5 O/U

  • Wilson has been better than people think this year with his 7.7 AY/A (No. 11), tied with Josh Allen (7.7) and just ahead of Trevor Lawrence (7.6).
  • The Colts defense has a quarterback-friendly funnel defense that ranks No. 3 in rush DVOA (-28.6%) but N0. 28 in pass DVOA (23.7%, per Football Outsiders).
  • The Colts could be without All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard (concussion) and EDGE Tyquan Lewis (concussion) and maybe S Julian Blackmon (ankle), given the short turnaround to Thursday Night Football.

Wilson Update (Sat. 10/8): I was wrong. Whoops.

Dak Prescott (DAL) at LAR: Cowboys +4.5 | 49.5 O/U

  • Prescott (thumb) is pushing to return for Week 5, and the Cowboys now have their full complement of pass catchers with the Week 4 return of WR Michael Gallup and TE Dalton Schultz.
  • The Rams have a funnel defense that ranks No. 1 in rush EPA per play (-0.251) but N0. 25 in pass EPA per play (0.176).
  • The Rams are without No. 2 CB Troy Hill (groin, IR), and Nos. 3-4 CBs David Long (groin) and Cobie Durant (hamstring) are uncertain after both missing Weeks 3-4.
  • If Prescott is out, I expect I’ll be high-ish on backup Cooper Rush, who has a solid 8.0 AY/A (No. 8).

Prescott Update (Sat. 10/8): Prescott it out after not practicing all week. Even with the reputationally hard matchup, I think Rush is viable in 2QB and superflex leagues. For the Rams, Long and S Taylor Rapp (ribs) will likely play through their questionable tags, but Durant and S Jordan Fuller (hamstring) are out.

Andy Dalton (NO) vs. SEA: Saints -5.5 | O/U 45.5

  • Dalton looked good in London last week with a 71.4% completion rate and 9.1 AY/A.
  • The Seahawks defense is dead last in dropback EPA per play (0.366) and pass DVOA (38.6%).
  • If starter Jameis Winston (back) returns to the lineup, I’ll probably be high on him.

Dalton Update (Sat. 10/8): Winston is officially doubtful, so Dalton will start this week. No. 1 WR Michael Thomas (toe) is out, and slot WR Jarvis Landry (ankle, questionable) seems unlikely to play after missing practice on Friday, but at least LG Andrus Peat (concussion) and RB Alvin Kamara (rib) should play despite their questionable designations. With the matchup, Dalton is a streamable QB2.

Teddy Bridgewater (MIA) at NYJ: Dolphins -3 | O/U 44.5

  • Last year, Bridgewater was No. 7 in composite EPA + CPOE (0.128), and last week he was serviceable with 191 yards and one touchdown passing as the in-game fill-in for injured starter Tua Tagovailoa (concussion, out).
  •  The Jets defense is No. 29 in dropback EPA per play (0.215): Bridgewater has literally a five-star matchup.

Bridgewater Update (Sat. 10/8): LT Terron Armstead (toe) is questionable after not practicing all week — but that was the case last week and he played, so I expect him to suit up for Sunday. WRs Tyreek Hill (quad) and Jaylen Waddle (groin) are both questionable but likely to play after practicing on Thursday and Friday. I don’t think the dropoff from Tagovailoa to Bridgewater will be significant. He’s a QB2.

Freedman’s Favorite Week 5 Running Backs

Saquon Barkley (NYG) at GB (in London): Giants +8 | 41.5 O/U

With +150 odds, Barkley is the frontrunner to win Comeback Player of the Year, and deservedly so: He’s No. 1 in basically every stat there is.

Our Fantasy Football Stats Report is basically a paean to Saquon. He doesn’t just lead the league in rushing. He also leads the Giants in receptions (15). With QBs Daniel Jones (ankle) and Tyrod Taylor (concussion) both uncertain to play, the Giants could have a very run-heavy attack against the packers, who are No. 31 rush SR (52.0%). By the way, Barkley at +1600 was my offseason Comeback Player of the Year pick. No biggie. Enjoy that free money. Barkley’s my No. 1 back this week.

Barkley Update (Sat. 10/8): Jones will start but could be limited with his injury. WRs Kadarius Toney (hamstrings), Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) and Kenny Golladay (knee) are all out, so Barkley could have a massive workload. He’s easily still my RB1.

Nick Chubb (CLE) vs. LAC: Browns +3 | 47.5 O/U

With QB Jacoby Brissett starting, the Browns offense has ranked No. 4 in rush rate (53.0%) and No. 1 in rush EPA per play (0.179): They’re running frequently and efficiently. So I expect them to rely on the running game in an attempt to control the ball as home underdogs (per DraftKings). Chubb has averaged 105.2 yards on 17.4 carries and 2.3 targets per game since his first start in Week 7 of 2018, and this year he’s the No. 1 fantasy back with 20.7 FPPG (per our Fantasy Football Leaders Report). It seems that all Chubb does is make defenders look foolish …

… and that bodes poorly for the Chargers defense, which is No. 3 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing backfields (26.5 FPPG).

Freedman’s Favorite Running Backs: Best of the Rest

Austin Ekeler (LAC) at CLE: Chargers -3 | 47.5 O/U

  • Ekeler underwhelmed in Weeks 1-3, but he went off in Week 4 and for the year he has 328 yards and three touchdowns from scrimmage on a livable 45 carries and position-high 29 targets.
  • The Browns defense is No. 30 in both rush EPA per play (0.126) and rush DVOA (13.4%).
  • The Browns are significantly injured in their front seven: EDGEs Myles Garrett (shoulder, biceps) and Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) and DT Taven Bryan (hamstring) missed Week 4, and EDGEs Chase Winovich (hamstring) and Stephen Weatherly (knee) and LB Anthony Walker (leg) are all on IR.

Ekeler Update (Sat. 10/8): Garrett will play, and I expect Bryan (questionable) to play, but Clowney (questionable) could sit one more week after not practicing on Wednesday and Thursday and getting just a limited session on Friday. WR Keenan Allen (hamstring) is out, so Ekeler could see extra usage. He’s a top-six fantasy back.

Joe Mixon (CIN) at BAL: Bengals +3 | 48.5 O/U

  • Mixon played through an ankle injury last week and should be healthier this week with three extra days to rest off Thursday Night Football.
  • Mixon leads the league with 106 opportunities (carries and targets) and has 19-plus opportunities in every game.
  • The Ravens defense is without run-stuffing DT Michael Pierce (biceps, IR).

Mixon Update (Sat. 10/8): Ravens EDGE Justin Houston (groin) is out. Mixon is a solid RB1.

Jamaal Williams (DET) at NE: Lions +3 | 45.5 O/U

  • No. 1 RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder, ankle) missed Week 4, and he seems likely to miss Week 5. In his absence, Williams last week had 109 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and three targets.

  • Williams has a league-high nine carries inside the five-yard line (per our Red Zone Stats Report).
  • The Patriots defense is No. 29 in rush EPA per play (0.119), No. 31 in rush DVOA (13.5%) and No. 32 in rush SR (52.0%).

Williams Update (Sat. 10/8): Swift is out, as are WRs D.J. Chark (ankle) and Quintez Cephus (foot). On top of that, WRs Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle) and Josh Reynolds (ankle) are questionable and uncertain to play. Williams could enjoy extra usage as the team’s top offensive option, and he could have improved blocking, as LG Jonah Jackson (finger) could return to action after practicing limitedly all week. The Patriots will be without DT Lawrence Guy (shoulder). As long as Swift is out, Williams is a low-end RB1.

James Robinson (JAX) vs. HOU: Texans +7 | 44.5 O/U

  • Robinson had just 8-29-0 rushing (with a fumble) on a 47% snap rate, but he still has 59-259-3 rushing and 6-33-1 receiving on seven targets.
  • The Texans are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to running backs (29.9 FPPG).

Robinson Update (Sat. 10/8): The Texans will be without LB Blake Cashman (concussion). Robinson is a low-end RB1.

Josh Jacobs (LV) at KC: Raiders +7 | 51 O/U

  • After mediocre performances in Weeks 1-2 (154 yards, zero touchdowns), Jacobs had great production and usage in Weeks 3-4 (272 yards, two touchdowns on 41 carries, 11 targets).
  • Jacobs is No. 2 with 230 yards after contact (per our Advanced RB Stats Report).
  • I was wrong about Jacobs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) vs. LV: Chiefs -7 | 51 O/U

  • A guy doesn’t need to be good to have 325 yards and five touchdowns if he’s on an offense that’s No. 1 in total EPA per play (0.211).
  • Edwards-Helaire could benefit from a run-heavy game script as a heavy home favorite (at FanDuel).

Jeff Wilson (SF) at CAR: 49ers -6.5 | 39.5 O/U

  • No. 1 RB Elijah Mitchell (knee, IR) is out, and Mitchell is 48-233-1 rushing and 5-50-0 receiving on five targets over the past three weeks starting in his place.
  • In his 13 career games with 15-plus opportunities, Wilson has averaged 16.4 FPPG (per FTN).

Wilson Update (Sat. 10/8): As expected, starting LT Trent Williams (ankle) and backup LT Colton McKivitz (knee) are both out. With Wilson, it’s about the volume. He’s an opportunity-driven RB2.

Damien Harris (NE) vs. DET: Patriots -3 | 45.5 O/U

  • Especially with either backup Brian Hoyer (concussion) or third-string rookie Bailey Zappe at quarterback, the Patriots are likely to run heavily as home favorites (per BetMGM).
  • Harris has a respectable 275 yards and three touchdowns and an elevated floor with 12-plus opportunities in each game.
  • The Lions defense is No. 32 in both rush EPA (0.163) and rush DVOA (18.5%) and is at a significant matchup advantage in our unit power rankings.
Rank RBs Opp Defense DL Rank LBs Rank RB-DL Edge RB-LB Edge
10 NE DET 28 31 18 21

Harris Update (Sat. 10/8): Starting QB Mac Jones (ankle) is doubtful and Hoyer (IR) is out, so Zappe will start. TE Jonnu Smith (ankle) is doubtful, and I doubt that WR Jakobi Meyers (knee, questionable) will play: He has practiced limitedly this week — but he also practiced last week and then was out. With these absences, the Patriots could have a run-heavy attack. I expect RT Isaiah Wynn (hip, questionable) to play, and the Lions will be without EDGE Charles Harris (groin) and DT John Cominsky (wrist). Harris is a solid RB2.

Alvin Kamara (NO) vs. SEA: Saints -5.5 | 46 O/U

  • Kamara (ribs) was a surprise late inactive last week, which makes me optimistic that he’ll play this week.
  • In Week 1, Kamara suffered an injury, and he missed Weeks 2 & 4 because of the injury — but in Week 3 he had 15 carries and seven targets.
  • The Seahawks defense is No. 4 in most fantasy points allowed to running backs (26.0 FPPG).

Kamara Update (Sat. 10/8): Kamara practiced every day this week on a limited basis, so he seems likely to play despite his questionable designation. QB Jameis Winston (back) is officially doubtful, so backup Andy Dalton will start this week, which could result in more checkdown targets for Kamara. Additionally, he could see extra usage anyway, as No. 1 WR Michael Thomas (toe) is out, and slot WR Jarvis Landry (ankle, questionable) seems unlikely to play after missing practice on Friday. Kamara is a fantasy RB1.

Rhamondre Stevenson (NE) vs. DET: Patriots -3 | 45.5 O/U

  • Although teammate Damien Harris has been productive, Stevenson has actually been the lead back over the past three games with 35 carries and 12 targets.
  • The Lions defense is No. 28 in rush SR (50.5%).

Stevenson Update (Sat. 10/8): Starting QB Mac Jones (ankle) is doubtful and backup QB Brian Hoyer (concussion, IR) is out, so third-string rookie QB Bailey Zappe will start. TE Jonnu Smith (ankle) is doubtful, and I doubt that WR Jakobi Meyers (knee, questionable) will play: He has practiced limitedly this week — but he also practiced last week and then was out. With these absences, the Patriots could have a run-heavy attack. I expect RT Isaiah Wynn (hip, questionable) to play, and the Lions will be without EDGE Charles Harris (groin) and DT John Cominsky (wrist). Stevenson is a low-end RB2.

Khalil Herbert (CHI) at MIN: Bears +7 | 44 O/U

  • No. 1 RB David Montgomery (knee) is uncertain to play after missing last week, when Herbert had 101 yards on 19 carries and a target.
  • In his six games as an injury fill-in for Montgomery, Herbert has 117-578-3 rushing and 12-80-0 receiving on 13 targets.
  • The Vikings defense is No. 29 in rush RR (50.9%).

Herbert Update (Sat. 10/8): Montgomery is technically questionable, but he seems likely to play after practicing limitedly on both Thursday and Friday. As a result, Herbert is no longer a favorite. I’m tentatively ranking both Montgomery and Herbert as fantasy RB3s.

Kareem Hunt (CLE) vs. LAC: Browns +3 | 47.5 O/U

  • Even with No. 1 RB Nick Chubb dominating opponents, Hunt in every game has managed to earn 10-plus carries and 2-4 targets, which he has leveraged into 273 yards and two touchdowns.
  • The Chargers defense is No. 3 in rush EPA per play (0.078) and No. 31 in pass DVOA against running backs (50.8%).

Brian Robinson (WAS) vs. TEN: Commanders +2.5 | 42.5 O/U

  • Robinson (leg, NFI) will likely be activated for Week 5, and he could force an immediate committee with No. 1 RB Antonio Gibson, given that Robinson played ahead of Gibson in the preseason.
  • Robinson played behind Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris in his earlier years at Alabama, but as a redshirt senior, he flashed a strong three-down skill set (271-1,343-14 rushing, 35-296-2 receiving in 14 games).

Robinson Update (Sat. 10/8): Robinson practiced fully this week and has been activated for Week 5. I’m going to curb my enthusiasm for him in this game and temporarily temper my expectations until we see how he’s used — so he’s no longer a favorite — but I still expect to be higher on him than the consensus is.

Check out my Week 5 early betting breakdown on Commanders vs. Titans.

Freedman’s Favorite Week 5 Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp (LAR) vs. DAL: Rams -4.5 | 43.5 O/U

Last year Kupp had a position-high 56% boom rate with his Triple Crown 145-1,947-16 receiving performance (per our Boom/Bust Report), and he has continued to dominate in 2022, ranking No. 1 in the league with 54 targets and a 36.2% target share (per our Weekly Target Report and Advanced WR Stats Report). With 42-402-3 receiving and 1-20-1 rushing …

… Kupp is inevitable. The Cowboys might be without slot CB Jourdan Lewis (groin), who missed Week 4 with an injury he suffered in pre-game warmups, and if Lewis out then Kupp will likely match up most with fifth-round rookie CB DaRon Bland. The fantasy gods grant that young man mercy.

Kupp Update (Sat. 10/8): The Rams will be without starting C Brian Allen (knee) and backup C Coleman Shelton (ankle). And the Cowboys will likely have Lewis (questionable) in the slot. Doesn’t matter. Kupp is a strong overall WR1.

I’m betting over 18.0 points for Kupp in the Week 5 No House Advantage Over/Under Challenge.

Stefon Diggs (BUF) vs. PIT: Bills -14 | 47 O/U

Diggs is the only NFL player with 160-plus targets in each of the past two years, and he has dominated this season with 31-406-4 receiving on 41 targets.

Diggs has a highly advantageous matchup against a banged-up Steelers secondary: No. 2 CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) missed Week 4 and didn’t practice at all last week, SS Terrell Edmunds (concussion) exited Week 4 early and No. 1 CB Cameron Sutton (hamstring) and FS Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) are also dealing injuries. On top of that, the Steelers are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (33.9). Smash city.

Diggs Update (Sat. 10/8): WRs Jamison Crowder (ankle, IR) and Jake Kumerow (ankle) are out, as is TE Dawson Knox (foot, hamstring). Slot WR Isaiah McKenzie (concussion) is questionable. Sutton, Edmunds and Fitzpatrick all seem likely to play, but Witherspoon is out. Diggs could have extra targets and is locked in as my WR2.

Freedman’s Favorite Wide Receivers: Best of the Rest

Ja’Marr Chase (CIN) at BAL: Bengals +3 | 48.5 O/U

  • Chase has just 166 yards and a touchdown in the three games since his epic 10-129-1 receiving manifesto in Week 1 — but he still has 41 targets and three carries on the year and is No. 2 at the position with 286 snaps (per our Snap Count Leaderboard).
  • In two games against the Ravens last year, Chase went off with 15-326-1 receiving on 20 targets.

Chase Update (Sat. 10/8): Ravens CB Marcus Peters (quad, questionable) is unlikely to play after practicing fully on Wednesday, limitedly on Thursday and then not at all on Friday. WR Tee Higgins (ankle) is likely to play through his limited tag, but TE Hayden Hurst (groin) isn’t after sitting out on Friday. Chase’s matchup has improved, and he might get more targets without Hurst. He’s a top-four fantasy receiver.

Tyreek Hill (MIA) at NYJ: Dolphins -3 | O/U 44.5

  • Hill is No. 1 in the league with 477 yards receiving and a 23% target rate on snaps played (per our Snap Count Analysis Report).
  • The Jets defense is No. 29 in pass DVOA (26.4%).
  • I probably don’t need to write a third bullet about Hill.

Hill Update (Sat. 10/8): Hill (quad) is questionable but likely to play after practicing on Thursday and Friday. He’s a top-six fantasy WR.

Davante Adams (LV) at KC: Raiders +7 | 51 O/U

  • Adams frustrated in Weeks 2-3 with just 48 yards on seven receptions, but for the year he’s No. 2 with 47 targets, and he has either 100 yards or a touchdown in every game.
  • The Chiefs defense is No. 29 in pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (41.4%).

A.J. Brown (PHI) at ARI: Eagles -5.5 | 49.5 O/U

  • Brown has a smoking 10.6 yards per target — which is in line with his career mark of 10.2 — and he has a very nice floor with 69-plus yards in every week so far.
  • Brown is on pace for a career-high 162 targets; his current high mark is 106.
  • The Cardinals defense is No. 31 in dropback SR (52.6%).

Brown Update (Sat. 10/8): Cardinals CB Trayvon Mullen (hamstring, questionable) seems likely to sit after practicing limitedly on Thursday and then not at all on Friday. Brown gets a slight upgrade in my rankings.

Tee Higgins (CIN) at BAL: Bengals +3 | 48.5 O/U

  • Higgins is hardly a No. 2 pass catcher for the Bengals: In their 21 full games together, No. 1 WR Ja’Marr Chase and Higgins have respectively averaged 8.1 and 7.9 targets.
  • The Ravens are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (41.2 FPPG).

Higgins Update (Sat. 10/8): Ravens CB Marcus Peters (quad, questionable) is unlikely to play after practicing fully on Wednesday, limitedly on Thursday and then not at all on Friday. Higgins (ankle) is technically questionable but likely to play after practicing limitedly all week. TE Hayden Hurst (groin, questionable) seems unlikely after sitting out on Friday. Higgins’ matchup has improved, and he might get more targets without Hurst. He’s a low-end WR1.

CeeDee Lamb (DAL) at LAR: Cowboys +4.5 | 43.5 O/U

  • Lamb started the season slowly with 104 scoreless yards on nine receptions and one carry in Weeks 1-2, but he’s 14-184-2 receiving in two games since then, and for the year he has a dominant 42 targets.
  • The Rams do have No. 1 CB Jalen Ramsey … but they’re still No. 30 in pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (42.8%).

Lamb Update (Sat. 10/8): QB Dak Prescott (thumb) is out, but I still like Lamb with backup Cooper Rush. For the Rams, CB David Long (groin) and S Taylor Rapp (ribs) will likely play through their questionable tags, but CB Cobie Durant (hamstring) and S Jordan Fuller (hamstring) are out.

Courtland Sutton (DEN) vs. IND: Broncos -3.5 | 43.5 O/U

  • With 24-343-1 receiving, Sutton has a rejuvenated 9.8 yards per target and at least 70 yards or a touchdown in every game.
  • The Colts defense is No. 30 in dropback SR (51.7%).

Sutton Update (Sat. 10/8): At least Sutton got 11 targets on Thursday Night Football …

Christian Kirk (JAX) vs. HOU: Texans +7 | 44.5 O/U

  • In his seven games last year without WR DeAndre Hopkins, Kirk managed just 64.9 yards and 0.14 touchdowns on 7.3 targets per game — hardly the stuff of a No. 1 receiver — but with the Jaguars he has 20-327-3 receiving on 36 targets.
  • Kirk has a great matchup against slot CB Desmond King, who has allowed a 68.9% catch rate, 1.32 yards per coverage snap and 8.2 yards per target since joining the Texans last year (per PFF).

Diontae Johnson (PIT) at BUF: Steelers -14 | 47 O/U

  • Johnson had just 22 yards on four targets and two carries last week — but he had a (possible?) touchdown that wasn’t called, and he has 37 targets this year and exactly 10 targets per game since 2020.
  • The Steelers could be more explosive with rookie QB Kenny Pickett starting, and they will likely have a pass-heavy game script as big road underdogs (per Caesars).

Johnson Update (Sat. 10/8): Bills CB Christian Benford (hand) and S Jordan Poyer (ribs) are out. Johnson is a volume-based high-end WR3.

Chris Godwin (TB) vs. ATL: Buccaneers -8.5 | 48.5 O/U

  • Godwin had 10 targets last week in his return to action, and since last year he has averaged 9.3 targets across the 15 games he didn’t leave early because if injury.
  • He has a great matchup in the slot against CFL transfer Dee Alford, who has allowed 1.75 yards per coverage snap and 10.1 yards per target this year.

Godwin Update (Sat. 10/8): TE Cameron Brate (concussion) is out, but WRs Julio Jones (knee) and Breshad Perriman (knee, hamstring) seem likely to play through their questionable tags after practicing (albeit limitedly) every day this week. Godwin’s ranking already takes these players into account, so no change. He’s still an upside WR2.

Terry McLaurin (WAS) vs. TEN: Commanders +2.5 | 42.5 O/U

  • WR Jahan Dotson (hamstring) is likely out, so McLaurin could get more action than he has seen to this point in the season.
  • Although he’s still an alpha at heart with 9.3 yards per target, McLaurin’s usage (27 targets) technically makes him the No. 2 option behind Curtis Samuel (37 targets, eight carries) — but at least the Titans defense is No. 32 in pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (59.5%).

McLaurin Update (Sat. 10/8): Dotson is out, and I doubt that TE Logan Thomas (calf, questionable) will play after popping up on the injury report on Friday and sitting out practice. Titans S Amani Hooker (concussion) is out, and I expect CB Caleb Farley (knee, questionable) also to sit after practicing fully on Wednesday, limitedly on Thursday and not at all on Friday. McLaurin gets a boost in my rankings and is an upside WR3.

Chris Olave (NO) vs. SEA: Saints -5.5 | 46 O/U

  • No. 1 WR Michael Thomas (foot) sat out last game after not practicing all week, so I’m skeptical he’ll play on Sunday, and in his absence Olave led the Saints with seven targets and 4-67-1 receiving.
  • The Seahawks defense is No. 28 in pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (35.4%).
  • With his 36 targets and high 18.7-yard average depth of target, Olave has an elite ceiling.

Olave Update (Sat. 10/8): No. 1 WR Michael Thomas (toe) is out, and slot WR Jarvis Landry (ankle, questionable) seems unlikely to play after missing practice on Friday. Olave gets an upgrade in my rankings and is a WR2.

Gabe Davis (BUF) vs. PIT: Bills -14 | 47 O/U

  • Davis (ankle) has just 4-50-0 receiving on nine targets over the past two weeks while playing through an injury — but he still has a playmaking 9.9 yards per target this year and 9.3 for his career.
  • Davis could get a lot of targets this week because No. 3 WR Isaiah McKenzie (concussion) exited Week 4 early, No. 4 WR Jamison Crowder (ankle, IR) is out for the year and No. 5 WR Jake Kumerow missed Week 4 after not practicing at all last week.

Davis Update (Sat. 10/8): Davis practiced fully this week and was left off the final injury report. He finally seems to be healthy. Kumerow is out, as is TE Dawson Knox (foot, hamstring), and McKenzie is questionable. Steelers CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) is out. Davis is an upside WR3.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (KC) vs. LV: Chiefs -7 | 51 O/U

  • What Clyde Edwards-Helaire is to running backs, Smith-Schuster sort of is to wide receivers: He’s underwhelming (19-224-0 receiving on 27 targets) — but he’s the No. 1 option at his position on the best offense in the league, and he has eight targets in three of four games.
  • Without Nos. 1-2 CBs Rock Ya-Sin (knee) and Anthony Averett (thumb, IR) last week, the Raiders used SS Johnathan Abram heavily in the slot, and he could struggle this week if he’s forced to play there again: He has allowed a 75.2% catch rate for his career.

Curtis Samuel (WAS) vs. TEN: Commanders +2.5 | 42.5 O/U

  • Samuel has led the Commanders in targets each week with 11, 9, 10 and 7, with which (accompanied by eight carries) he has put up 270 yards and two touchdowns.
  • The Titans are No. 4 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (36.0 FPPG).

Samuel Update (Sat. 10/8): WR Jahan Dotson (hamstring) is out, and I doubt that TE Logan Thomas (calf, questionable) will play after popping up on the injury report on Friday and sitting out practice. Titans S Amani Hooker (concussion) is out, and I expect CB Caleb Farley (knee, questionable) also to sit after practicing fully on Wednesday, limitedly on Thursday and not at all on Friday. Samuel is a high-floor WR3.

Michael Gallup (DAL) at LAR: Cowboys +4.5 | 43.5 O/U

  • In his Week 4 return from last year’s season-ending knee injury, Gallup looked better than his bottom-line numbers (2-24-1 receiving, three targets), as he also drew 38-yard and 27-yard pass interference penalties.
  • The Rams are No. 3 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (39.4 FPPG).

Gallup Update (Sat. 10/8): QB Dak Prescott (thumb) is out, but I still like Gallup with backup Cooper Rush. For the Rams, CB David Long (groin) and S Taylor Rapp (ribs) will likely play through their questionable tags, but CB Cobie Durant (hamstring) and S Jordan Fuller (hamstring) are out.

Joshua Palmer (LAC) at CLE: Chargers -3 | 47.5 O/U

  • I doubt No. 1 WR Keenan Allen (hamstring) plays this week: He hasn’t played since Week 1, and he seemed to suffer a soft-tissue setback last week after practicing limitedly on Wednesday and Thursday but sitting out on Friday.
  • In his five full games without either Allen or WR Mike Williams, Palmer has served as the No. 2 option with an average of 6.6 targets, which he has converted into 11.0 FPPG
  • The Browns defense is No. 29 in pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (46.8%).

Palmer Update (Sat. 10/8): Allen is out. Palmer (ankle) himself is technically questionable, but he practiced fully on Friday and is highly likely to play. He gets an upgrade in my rankings and is a WR4/flex option.

Corey Davis (NYJ) vs. MIA: Jets +3 | O/U 44.5

  • The heart wants what it wants: In QB Zach Wilson’s 2022 debut last week, Davis led the Jets with seven targets and 5-74-1 receiving.
  • The Dolphins defense is No. 31 in dropback EPA per play (0.239) and pass DVOA (33.6%) and No. 32 in dropback SR (52.8%).

Jakobi Meyers (NE) vs. DET: Patriots -3 | 45.5 O/U

  • Meyers (knee) hasn’t played since Week 2, but he did get in a limited practice every day last week, so I’m optimistic that he’ll suit up on Sunday.
  • For the season, he has 157 yards on 19 targets and one carry.
  • The Lions defense is No. 28 in dropback SR (51.5%) and No. 30 in dropback EPA per play (0.234).

Meyers Update (Sat. 10/8): Starting QB Mac Jones (ankle) is doubtful and backup QB Brian Hoyer (concussion, IR) is out, so third-string rookie QB Bailey Zappe will start. On top of that, I’ve become a little more skeptical about Meyers (questionable) playing this week, given that he’s yet to have a full practice. I have downgraded him in my rankings, and he’s no longer a favorite.

Kyle Philips (TEN) at WAS: Titans -2.5 | 42.5 O/U

  • Philips (shoulder) played sparingly last week (two snaps) as he dealt with an injury, but he could see more action this week given that No. 2 WR Treylon Burks (toe) is highly likely to be out.
  • Although he’s just a rookie, Philips has done a phenomenal job of turning his limited routes (32) into targets (11, 34.4% target rate).
  • The Commanders are No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (40.2 FPPG).

Philips Update (Sat. 10/8): Burks is out. Philips is a viable desperation flex play.

George Pickens (PIT) at BUF: Steelers -14 | 47 O/U

  • In rookie QB Kenny Pickett’s first game, Pickens broke out last week with 6-102-0 receiving on eight targets.
  • He can do this.

Pickens Update (Sat. 10/8): Bills CB Christian Benford (hand) and S Jordan Poyer (ribs) are out. Pickens is a shoot-the-moon WR4/flex.

Mecole Hardman (KC) vs. LV: Chiefs -7 | 51 O/U

  • Betting the under on Hardman’s reception total has been like printing money this year (he has no more than three catches in a game) — but he’s still No. 4 on the team with 91 routes, and he has the playmaking ability to turn any target into a touchdown.
  • The Raiders defense is No. 30 in pass DVOA against supplementary wide receivers (47.8%).
  • It’s gross, I know.

Freedman’s Favorite Week 5 Tight Ends

Travis Kelce (KC) vs. LV: Chiefs -7 | 51 O/U

With a rebuilt wide receiver unit, Kelce has predictably been the top pass catcher for the Chiefs this year, ranking No. 1 on the team with 34 targets and 26-322-3 receiving and No. 1 at the position with 16.3 FPPG. As for his matchup, sometimes a tweet says it all.

The Raiders this week might without top coverage Denzel Perryman (concussion). Where Kelce’s yardage prop opens, I’ll probably take the over.

Dallas Goedert (PHI) at ARI: Eagles -5.5 | 49.5 O/U

In his 15 games since TE Zach Ertz left the Eagles last year (including playoffs), Goedert has 63-946-3 receiving (and a two-point conversion) on 89 targets with an explosive 10.6 yards per target and strong 70.1% catch rate. The guy is a baller.

It’s hard to say that the Eagles need to throw him the ball more when they also have WRs A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith — but they need to give Goedert more opportunities, and maybe they will this week: The Cardinals are No. 29 in pass DVOA against tight ends (39.8%).

Goedert Update (Sat. 10/8): Cardinals LB Nick Vigil (hamstring) is out. Goedert is a top-six fantasy tight end.

Freedman’s Favorite Tight Ends: Best of the Rest

Kyle Pitts (ATL) at TB: Falcons +8.5 | 48.5 O/U

  • Keep the faith: Pitts has just a scoreless 150 yards on the season, but he’s No. 2 on the Falcons with 87 routes and 22 targets — and last year he had 1,026 yards receiving as just a rookie.
  • Perhaps because star safety Antoine Winfield has shifted to playing primarily slot corner this year, the Buccaneers defense is No. 4 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends (15.2 FPPG).

Pitts Update (Sat. 10/8): Injury to insult — Pitts (hamstring) is out.

Zach Ertz (ARI) vs. PHI: Cardinals +5.5 | 49.5 O/U

  • “How all occasions do inform against me and spur my dull revenge.  What is a man, if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more. … Oh, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth!”
  • Ertz is No. 2 on the Cardinals with 31 targets and 22 receptions.

Tyler Higbee (LAR) vs. DAL: Rams -4.5 | 43.5 O/U

  • Higbee is easily No. 2 on the team and No. 1 at the position with 38 targets and 26 receptions.
  • For those who invested in WR Allen Robinson or even TE Kyle Pitts … pain.

Pat Freiermuth (PIT) at BUF: Steelers -14 | 47 O/U

  • Despite playing with WRs Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and George Pickens, the second-year Freiermuth is No. 2 on the Steelers with 21 targets and 18 receptions — and No. 1 with 223 yards receiving.
  • He’s No. 3 at the position with 80.3 AirYAC per game and No. 4 with a 23.8% target share (per our Advanced TE Stats Report).
  • The Bills are without S Micah Hyde (neck, IR).

Freiermuth Update (Sat. 10/8): Bills S Jordan Poyer (ribs) is out. Freiermuth is a solid TE1.

AirYAC is a leading indicator of fantasy output in that it measures both a pass catcher’s opportunity (air yards) and his playmaking ability (yards after catch).

Tyler Conklin (NYJ) vs. MIA: Jets +3 | O/U 44.5

  • Conklin is No. 2 on the team with 163 routes, 29 targets and 21 receptions, which he has leveraged into a serviceable 192 yards and a touchdown.
  • The Dolphins are No. 31 in pass DVOA against tight ends (41.4%).

Juwan Johnson (NO) vs. SEA: Saints -5.5 | 46 O/U

  • It’s gross, but at least Johnson has four-plus targets and 30-plus yards in three of four games.
  • The Seahawks defense is No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends (18.0 FPPG).

Johnson Update (Sat. 10/8): No. 1 WR Michael Thomas (toe) is out, and slot WR Jarvis Landry (ankle, questionable) seems unlikely to play after missing practice on Friday. Johnson gets an upgrade in my rankings, which I’m sure I’ll regret.

Freedman’s Former Favorites

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