Fantasy Football: Projecting Top Performers at Each Position in Week 5

by Jake Ellenbogen
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Today is Sunday, September 29th and that means we are very close to kicking off the rest of week four. I’ve compiled a list of players who I believe will be the top performers for the week at each position. Last week wasn’t good at all for me (see below) but this week will be a bounce-back.


Deshaun Watson vs. Atlanta Falcons

A top-10 fantasy quarterback this season is coming off a tough loss and is now going up against the 23rd fantasy passing defense? Sign me up. Deshaun Watson is going to eat today and if you are playing daily fantasy football, you will need to make sure you add Watson in cash head-to-head games. Watson is averaging just over 20 points a game but this one is going to be fun for Watson.

With Atlanta coming off the last two weeks of making Jacoby Brissett and Marcus Mariota look unstoppable, it’s only going to get worse when they play a quarterback like Watson that can kill you with his legs and isn’t afraid to throw deep downfield.

Projected Game: 29/37, 384 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 10 car, 91 yards, TD

Running back

Christian McCaffrey vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville’s defense has turned the corner and Gardner Minshew II and Leonard Fournette just led the team to an impressive win in Denver. It seems like the perfect time to get caught off guard right? Second-year QB Kyle Allen is someone that is coming off a win in which he turned the ball over multiple times. In that same game, Allen dumped 10 passes off to Christian McCaffrey and let him do the rest.

McCaffrey has a bad matchup versus the Jaguars but there isn’t a more dangerous back in the league right now. McCaffrey’s touches are as followed: 29, 18, 27, 37 and likely going up this week. The Panthers do not have an easy matchup against the recently revitalized Jaguars. Expect the Panthers to lean on their best player, elite running backs aren’t supposed to be affected by a good defense. Run CMC will be no different.

Projected Game: 25 car, 118 yards, 3 TDs, 12 rec, 101 yards

Wide receiver

DeAndre Hopkins vs. Atlanta Falcons

As mentioned before about the daily fantasy…This is a perfect stack opportunity, DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson. Hopkins to this point has been a fantasy “disappointment” based on the fact he was a first-round pick and he is 23rd overall for receivers so far. This game will be his breakout game and it should be common knowledge at this point. The Falcons just allowed a monster game from A.J. Brown the rookie in Tennessee. Hopkins is one of the best in the game and he’s about to prove just that this Sunday.

Is a single-game record in trouble? Maybe. I’m that confident whatever Hopkins ends up doing will be huge.

Projected Game: 14 rec, 222 yards, TD

Tight end

George Kittle vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

This position many will go with Tyler Eifert, Travis Kelce and even Evan Engram. However, I’m rolling with George Kittle again. His issue is the lack of the targets and that’s not anything that can’t change. The 14th ranked fantasy tight end is going up against the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football. The Browns held the Jets to zero catches for their tight ends but starter Chris Herndon IV is suspended and they held the Rams tight ends but the Rams didn’t target their tight ends anywhere near enough for it to matter. However, Delanie Walker caught two touchdowns for Tennessee to kick off the year and Mark Andrews had himself a game as well last week for Baltimore.

It’s a much more favorable matchup than the stats of the Jets and Rams games lead you to believe. The Browns are the 20th defense fantasy-wise versus tight ends. Expect Kittle to eat on Monday Night Football in hopes to lead the 49ers to 4-0.

Projected Game: 8 rec, 106 yards, 2 TDs


Titans vs. Buffalo Bills

The Titans are coming off a great win versus the Falcons and now will face the Bills back at home. The Bills are coming off a tough loss to the Patriots in which they gave away four turnovers to New England. Josh Allen has cleared the concussion protocol and is expected to play in Tennessee. That shouldn’t worry you if you own the Titans defense in fantasy. Allen has thrown three touchdown passes to his six interceptions and has run for three touchdowns while also fumbling three times.

The Titans have forced one fumble and have accumulated four interceptions this year. The key for the Titans is Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler, Kevin Byard, and Adoree’ Jackson. Their secondary is very good at breaking the game open and making a big play. Allen routinely throws the ball deep and carelessly, there will be at least two turnovers forced by the Titans defense. Leading pass rushers Harold Landry III and Cameron Wake will be sure to give Allen plenty of pressure and force him into bad decisions.

Projected Game: 6 PA, 2 INTs, 6 Sacks, FF, TD


Chase McLaughlin vs. Denver Broncos

It seems weird to choose Chase McLaughlin as the projected leading scorer for fantasy kickers especially with Zuerlein posting 11 points on Thursday night. However, he’s got a great first matchup against the Denver Broncos. The Chargers are at home and are going to be going up against a team that is second-most favorable versus kickers in fantasy. Denver has allowed three straight double-digit games. They just allowed four field goals and two extra points last week and are allowing 4.7 more points than the league average against kickers.

The Chargers offense is good enough to get into field goal range but they aren’t dominant enough to avoid the field goal and plow into the end zone at will. So, that’s a perfect team for a fantasy kicker, expect McLaughlin to put himself on the map today.

Projected Game: 4 FGs (4 -39 yard & 50+ yard) 3 XP

Last week…Week four


Russell Wilson vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Seahawks are a surprising 2-1 heading into week four against the Arizona Cardinals. The reason it is surprising is that they just lost at home to the Drew Bress-less Saints that were already written off by their fans and half of the nation. The Saints blew the Seahawks out of the water to start but Russell Wilson finished the game as the highest-scorer of the week three fantasy football realm. Whether it was due to garbage time touchdowns or not doesn’t matter in fantasy, they all count the same. Wilson finished last week throwing over 400 yards, two passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns.

Well, this week he goes against the defense giving up the third-most points to quarterbacks and that is the Cardinals as mentioned earlier. Wilson is already a top-five fantasy quarterback on the season. Arizona has allowed nine touchdown passes through three weeks and I expect Wilson to add at least three more to that total. It’s hard to say anyone is going to outscore Patrick Mahomes but this week Mahomes does play in Detroit, I have Wilson going off and leading the Seahawks to 3-1 behind his arm, DK Metcalf, Will Dissly and Tyler Lockett.

Projected Game: 31/37, 280 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 5 car, 50 rushing yards, TD

Points Scored: 14 PTS

Running back

Joe Mixon vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have given up the third-most fantasy points to running backs. The Bengals and Steelers are both 3-0 and are playing on Monday Night Football. Here’s the deal, the Bengals are going to have to pound the rock on the road and they are going to do so with Joe Mixon who looks to have gained some confidence after his solid performance in Buffalo. Mixon before last week had 5.5 fantasy points. Last week he had 94 total yards and found the end zone. Mixon plays pretty well against the Steelers normally but this team is all sorts of messed up this season. The Steelers made the 49ers look unstoppable last week on the ground.

In this game, it’s going to be up to the Bengals to attack Pittsburgh early and establish the running game. After that, Mixon has proven he can win as a pass-catcher as well. You saw him last week and this week expect Mixon to have a career breakout type of game in front of the national audience.

Projected Game: 26 car, 158 yards, TD, 5 rec, 65 yards, TD

Points Scored: 10 PTS

Wide receiver

Sterling Shepard vs. Washington Redskins

This is the hardest one to predict and if you just go with the top receivers you may come close but I want accuracy with my predictions. Davante Adams looked incredible on Thursday Night Football, but he will not end up as the leading receiver this week. Hear me out, Sterling Shepard came back last week from injury to Daniel Jones, a quarterback who he had never truly played within an NFL game. Well, those two found some chemistry right off the cuff as Shepard went for 100 yards on seven grabs, it was the first time since week 15 of last year in which he broke the century mark. Shepard was trending towards becoming a star early in his career but injuries and inconsistent quarterback play hurt him. Now, with Daniel Jones, I’m very high on Shepard and he’s about to blow up the Washington Redskins secondary like Taylor Gabriel did on Monday Night Football.

I expect Shepard to break out as he’s going up against a secondary that has given up 163 fantasy points to receivers entering week four. The Redskins needed that win on Monday Night Football and this week they were expected to be favorited heading into the season. Now, Danny Dimes has changed everything and the Redskins are looking like a rebuilding team that may want the draft to get here sooner than later.

Projected Game: 9 rec, 188 yards, TD

Points Scored: 17 PTS

Tight end

Will Dissly vs. Arizona Cardinals

Yes, I know I mentioned Russell Wilson will be the highest-scoring quarterback and now I’m mentioning that Dissly will be the highest-scoring tight end this week. The light bulb should go off in your head immediately right now. If you play Daily Fantasy Football you need to make sure you stack Wilson with Dissly in every league. Dissly already has looked impressive and he did early last year before suffering a season-ending injury. The Cardinals are the worst defense in the league at stopping tight ends. They have given up more points than any team. Dissly also has three touchdowns on the season and finds himself in the top ten of fantasy tight ends.

This week, Dissly is going to go off. Keep in mind, the Seahawks just dealt their backup tight end who was the starter, Nick Vannett to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The targets should be of plenty for Dissly who was once dubbed as just a blocking tight end coming out of Washington.

Projected Game: 8 rec, 88 yards, 2 TDs

Points Scored: 19 PTS


Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Remember when the Buccaneers gave up two pick-sixes versus the 49ers to kick off the season? Yeah, I do too. The Los Angeles Rams defense is one of the best in football. If you follow Downtown Rams, you will know I’ve been saying this team will finish number one in the league in 2019. They are off to a great start as they have made Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, and Baker Mayfield look uncomfortable through three games. This week Jameis Winston comes to Los Angeles. The Rams are allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and while they are the 25th defense versus running backs, this is not a good Los Angeles will have to worry about on the ground. Ronald Jones is back at the Coliseum but that likely won’t matter as the Buccaneers continue to rely on Peyton Barber who is nothing special.

The interesting thing about the Rams defense is how they have had an interception in every game and have yet to have a multi-interception game. This game will change all of that. I do expect Winston to throw multiple picks and for the Rams to maybe force a fumble. The Rams defense plays a lot of bend-don’t-break and in that regard, they can keep the scoreboard low. Aaron Donald has been waiting to break out, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib are longing for that big-play and Dante Fowler Jr. is leading the team in pressures on the quarterback. Something has got to give, the Rams defense already looks great but this could be a huge explosion for the defense.

Projected Game: 10 PA, 2 INTs, 5 Sacks, FF, FR, TD

Points Scored: 0 PTS


Austin Seibert vs. Baltimore Ravens

When looking for a top-performing kicker you want to find someone with consistency, a good matchup and an offense that is good enough to get into field goal range and get past midfield consistently but still one that stalls out there as well. The Cleveland Browns have that offense. Freddie Kitchens play-calling has been questioned to this point and the Browns like to air it out often even when they do not need to. I think Seibert for that reason will be in a position to have plenty of opportunities for field goals versus the Ravens.

Seibert is a rookie and he’s having a great year to this point while the Ravens are giving up the sixth-most points to kickers this season in fantasy. It’s a credit to their defense for locking down offenses near the end zone but it also means they consistently allow teams to march down the field and take three points.

Projected Game: 5 FGs (4 -39 yard & 50+ yard) 1 XP

Points Scored: 11 PTS

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