Week 5 Fantasy Blog

Fantasy Tips, Inside the Game, Playbook War Room

The guys here at Playbook have once again put together a compiled ranking of our top fantasy performers this week. We have continued to base our rankings on a PPR league, but there is not much disparity for those of you in standard leagues. Most importantly, we are continuing to utilize our film study to give you a slightly different collection of rankings. Best of luck everyone.

Quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers (AP)

1.  Aaron Rodgers @ IND:  It was nice for us to see the Packers offense back in sync last week. Sure playing New Orleans D helped, but athe addition of Cedric Benson will give them balance and keep the passing game potent without Greg Jennings in the lineup.
2.  Eli Manning vs CLE
3.  Drew Brees vs SD
4.  Matt Ryan @ WAS
5.  Tom Brady vs DEN
6.  Joe Flacco @ KC
7.  Andy Dalton vs MIA:  The stoutness of the Dolphins run defense is going to put a lot of this game on Dalton’s shoulders. However, his grasp of the offense has really expanded this year. The Dolphins secondary is the weakness of their D and we expect the Bengals to be able to exploit it.
8.  Matt Schaub @ NYJ
9.  Peyton Manning @ NE
10.  Ben Roethlisberger vs PHI
11.  Jay Cutler @ JAC:  The lack of a Jaguars pass rush should be important for Cutler this week. Cutler looked like he did midway through last season, utilizing subtle pocket movement and rollouts to extend plays and open up more space down the field.
12.  Philip Rivers @ NO
13.  Cam Newton vs SEA
14.  Andrew Luck vs GB:  The Colts are going to have to throw to stay in this game, plain and simple. However, with a bye week to study these coverages, Luck is not a bad starter this week.
15.  Robert Griffin III vs ATL

Running Backs

Frank Gore (AP)

1.  Arian Foster vs NYJ
2.  Adrian Peterson vs TEN
3.  Frank Gore vs BUF:  The Bills simply regressed too much in their run defense to not have Gore ranked high. The variety of ways that the 49ers run the ball is going to be too much for Buffalo.
4.  Marshawn Lynch @ CAR
5.  Ray Rice @ KC:  The Chiefs have made some changes to their DL, particularly at NT, which has helped their run D. Rice’s involvement with the passing game should be on full display this week, however a slower day on the ground drops his ranking a bit.
6.  Matt Forte @ JAC
7.  Cedric Benson @ IND
8.  Jamaal Charles vs BAL
9.  Reggie Bush @ CIN:  The Bengals front 7 has struggled in the run game this year especially at the linebacker level. Poor instincts hurt any defense, but especially when you’re going up against a zone-run team like the Dolphins. Bush’s knee looks to be fine since he is active and we expect him to put up good numbers this week.
10.  LeSean McCoy @ PIT
11.  Alfred Morris vs ATL:  The Redskins have a very sound running scheme that should be able to take advantage of a lighter defensive line. Morris is a very disciplined runner in this scheme and should be able to continue his productive rookie season.
12.  Darren Sproles vs SD
13.  Trent Richardson @ NYG
14.  Michael Turner @ WAS
15.  Stevan Ridley vs DEN

Maurice Jones-Drew (AP)

16.  Maurice Jones-Drew vs CHI:  While the Bears DL is at its best rushing the passer, they are still an extremely physical group that will be able to control the line of scrimmage. Understanding that Gabbert cannot beat them, this veteran unit will be able to really slow down MJD.
17.  Willis McGahee @ NE
18.  DeAngelo Williams vs SEA
19.  Jackie Battle @ NO:  Battle has been listed as the team’s starter and we can understand why. Right now, this offense needs a reliable, hard-nosed running back and Battle is just that. He is not overly explosive, but he should be able to exploit the Saints’ front 7 on the ground and have a good day.
20.  Chris Johnson @ MIN
21.  Ahmad Bradshaw vs CLE
22.  Andre Brown vs CLE
23.  C.J. Spiller @ SF:  The Bills are still trying to sort out how they are going to utilize both Spiller and Jackson. Going up against such a strong D up front, we think the speed of Spiller could be the best way to counter. However, this is still the number #1 D, so do not expect much.
24.  Ben Tate @ NYJ
25.  Michael Bush @ JAC

Wide Receivers

Brandon Marshall (AP)

1.  Brandon Marshall @ JAC:  We really liked what the Bears did with Marshall last week. They started to move him around the field, which made him harder for the Cowboys to double team. Marshall and Cutler should really be able to exploit the Jags’ zone coverage this week.
2.  A.J. Green vs MIA
3.  Andre Johnson @ NYJ
4.  Percy Harvin vs TEN
5.  Victor Cruz vs CLE
6.  Roddy White @ WAS
7.  Julio Jones @ WAS:  Both Julio and Roddy are simply such a mystery. Last week Julio was getting open, Ryan simply exploited White’s effectiveness against the cover 3 scheme of the Panthers. If trends are anything, this week is Julio’s turn to have a big game, but we would still be slightly nervous.
8.  Wes Welker vs DEN
9.  Steve Smith vs SEA:  Smith is going up against a secondary that has a huge size and strength advantage over him. With Brandon LaFell showing less effectiveness the past few weeks, all of the attention will be on Smith. This same size that Seattle’s secondary holds makes them arrogant and Steve Smith may capitalize against one on one coverage.
10.  Demaryius Thomas @ NE
11.  Jordy Nelson @ IND
12.  Torrey Smith @ KC
13.  Antonio Brown vs PHI:  The Eagles have big, athletic corners who are going to be able to run with Wallace down the field better than they will with Brown. Brown’s route running ability has been top notch this year and we think he is a real handful for the Eagles secondary this week.
14.  Mike Wallace vs PHI

Eric Decker (AP)

15.  Dwayne Bowe vs BAL
16.  Reggie Wayne vs GB
17.  Eric Decker @ NE:  Manning has been developing more and more trust in Decker as the season has progressed. When things start to come apart, Decker is the guy Manning has been looking to. In what we think will be a high scoring game, Decker should continue his productiveness in the intermediate passing game and red zone.
18.  Marques Colston vs SD
19.  Brandon Lloyd vs DEN
20.  DeSean Jackson @ PIT
21.  Malcom Floyd @ NO:  The Saints will have trouble with the big bodied WRs of the Chargers. Their secondary is not big enough to play man coverage the entire game, and the Chargers are so effective against soft zone coverage. Look for Floyd to receive a lot of Philip Rivers’ targets this week.
22.  Steve Johnson @ SF
23.  Pierre Garcon vs ATL
24.  James Jones @ IND:  With Greg Jennings out, Jones becomes a focal point of this offense. From what we have seen, he has a similar skill set to the other Packer WRs and has continued to develop the trust of Rodgers. Both of these things make him a good play until Jennings is back.
25.  Lance Moore vs SD

Tight Ends

Vernon Davis (AP)

1.  Rob Gronkowski vs DEN
2.  Tony Gonzalez @ WAS
3.  Jimmy Graham vs SD
4.  Vernon Davis vs BUF:  The only thing we think could affect this ranking is how well the 49ers run the ball. If they have the same success as last week, Davis could be in line for fewer targets. However, we think the Bills will bring extra defenders in the box to slow down the run, that could free up Davis in the play action passing game.
5.  Antonio Gates @ NO
6.  Jermichael Finley @ IND
7.  Dennis Pitta @ KC:  The Chiefs have struggled this season against athletic TEs. If they choose to play straight man coverage against the Ravens and Pitta, we think he could be in line for a big game.
8.  Kyle Rudolph vs TEN
9.  Owen Daniels @ NYJ
10.  Heath Miller vs PHI:  Miller’s success in the red zone should continue against Philadelphia’s safeties. This group is not overly physical and has below average instincts in coverage, both of which favor Miller this week.
11.  Brent Celek @ PIT
12.  Martellus Bennett vs CLE:  With Nicks out this week, and Barden questionable, we think Bennett has the potential to finish a little higher than this ranking. However, we have him ranked here for now because the Browns have shown they can cover TEs. They have an athletic group of LBs that are not afraid to get aggressive with opposing TEs. But Bennett gets targeted frequently in the red zone this season.
13.  Fred Davis vs ATL
14.  Greg Olsen vs SEA
15.  Scott Chandler vs SF

Defense/Special Teams

1.  San Francisco vs BUF

Bears Defense (AP)

2.  Chicago @ JAC:  These top three defenses are all playing at an extremely high level. Each of them has great matchups and should have big days.
3.  Houston @ NYJ
4.  New York Giants @ CLE:  The Giants front 4 should be able to really take advantage of a Browns OL that is not overly athletic. With a few players playing out of position, the Browns have struggled with pressure off the edge; look out for the Giants DL this week to pressure the QB and force arrant throws.
5.  Baltimore @ KC
6.  Seattle @ CAR
7.  Green Bay @ IND
8.  Pittsburgh vs PHI:  The Cardinals were extremely effective shutting down the Eagles offense. Former Steeler assistant coach Ray Horton has the same enigmatic defensive concept in Arizona that Dick LeBeau has in Pittsburgh; which to us equals a lot of sacks and turnovers. Michael Vick could once again struggle to stay upright in this one.
9.  Minnesota vs TEN
10.  Atlanta @ WAS

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