Peyton Manning – Manning and Brady will meet for the first time in a Broncos vs Patriots game this week. The Patriots defense has improved from last season, but they are still struggling in the secondary. The Patriots just don’t have the same personnel that they had in the days where Manning just couldn’t get it done against Belichick. With a strong core of offensive weapons at his disposal in Denver, look for Manning to have a strong fantasy day against the Pats this week.
Eli Manning – The other Manning, Eli, has a strong matchup against the Browns who will be without Joe Haden, their top corner, again this week. They have not fared well with him, and even though Eli will be without Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, he should be in line for a solid day focusing on getting the ball to Cruz, Bennett, and Hixon.
Under the radar
Andrew Luck – The Colts will return from their BYE week to face the Packers, and against a Green Bay offense, they could be easily playing from behind early on. The Colts has not shied away from letting Luck air the ball out and OC Bruce Arians appears to have complete faith in his rookie QB. If you’re in a BYE week pinch he could post solid numbers this week.
Others to consider: Andy Dalton – Dalton is putting up solid numbers in fantasy where is currently ranked 6th in many formats. With budding star AJ Green and an emerging supporting cast you can continue to run Dalton with ease. Philip Rivers – The way the Saints are playing on defense right now you would probably want to start just about any QB against them. Rivers is a strong option this week, especially if you’re feeling the sting of the BYE week.
Alfred Morris – Morris is probably one of the biggest surprises of the first quarter of the season. He not only has secured the starting running back job under the notorious switcheroo carousel that is the Mike Shanahan RB position, but he has been extremely effective in doing so. Against the Falcons D that NFL.com has allowing 146.2 YPG so far this season versus the run, he should continue to be a solid play this season.
Trent Richardson – He has been up and down over the first 4 games of the season, but Richardson has been a solid contributor in every game in both the pass and run game. He is one of the few every down backs in the league and is the focal point of the Browns offense. He is a solid play this week.
Under the radar
Cedric Benson – The Colts have not been particularly strong against the run and the Packers have continued to show more and more faint in Benson as their workhorse and are even involving him in the pass game, though it may due more to necessity than preference, either ways fantasy owners will take it.
Others to consider: Reggie Bush – He played a limited role last week and had 17 carries. Reports have him past him recent injuries and he has a solid matchup against a bottom 10 ranked Bengals run D. Matt Forte – Jacksonville is awful against the run, and Forte seems to have had no setbacks after his Week 4 return. The Bears were reminded just what Forte brings to the offense and though he may lose his goal line duties to Michael Bush, he should be a safe in all line ups going forward.
Julio Jones – After seeing the shear panic from owners last week, wanting to bail on Julio, I think it’s important to note that the Panthers rolled coverage Jone’s way all game long. The laceration to his hand was also a factor, as fantasy sites have pointed out that he ran less slant and screen routes, possibly to avoid aggravating his hand and making him more of a decoy. The Redskins have given up a league high 11 passing TDs, and though White and Gonzalez will get their share, there is no reason to bail on Jones. Run him.
Demaryius Thomas – The game could go vertical early on as Brandy and Manning duel it out, and Thomas could be in for a big day. Be aware that Belichik does like to phase out what he considers the best player on the opposing team’s offense, but Thomas gets enough quick passes to balance that out. Besides, if you have Thomas there should be no reason to bench him right now.
Under the radar
Dominik Hixon – With Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden out, Hixon steps in as the Giants WR2. Against a team that will do everything it can to stop Victor Cruz, Hixon should get his fair share of looks. After posting 6 receptions for 114 yards, Hixon could have another solid return in value this week.
Others to consider: Brian Hartline – If you’re expecting a repeat from last week, it’s not going to happen, but you expect Tannehill to continue to target Hartline the 9.6 times he averaged over the first 3 weeks he should be a solid play against the Bengals. DeSean Jackson – Jackson has surprisingly been the most consistent producing WR for the Eagles, though it helps that Maclin has been fighting injuries. Against the Steelers, Jackson could continue to produce as Maclin has still not yet completely recovered from injury.
Vernon Davis – With game mostly in hand last week the 49ers turned to the run game to kill the clock and Davis was a non-factor. Against a less helpless offense this week San Fran will need their *cough* WR1*cough, err TE1 this week against a terrible Bills defense. Davis is Top 3 TE in fantasy.
Dennis Pitta – The good news if you’re a Dennis Pitta owner is he can’t do much worse that last week, and he won’t. Pitta is still the tight end to own in Baltimore, and Flacco will continue to look his way. He should have a solid bounce back day against the Chiefs.
Under the radar
Jared Cook – He has continued to practice this week and looks like a full go to play in Week 5. Cook should benefit from the presence of veteran Matt Hasselbeck’s experience and presence of mind to not hold onto the ball as long as Jake Locker did. He continues to be a high upside player who has shown flashes. If you’re in need of a TE to fill in for Witten or Pettigrew he is worth a look.
Others to consider: Martellus Bennett – He has been on a tear to open the season, and last week’s game should not detour owners. With Nicks and Barden out, Manning will find his 6’7” TE. Kyle Rudolph – Another player who’s back week last week should not continue this week. Rudolph is a solid red zone threat and the Titan’s D has struggled against the pass allow the 2nd most passing TDs in the league so far.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.