We are getting into the thick of the fantasy season now. We should all have a really good understanding of our team by now. If you are stuck on two-to-three players that you are unsure about starting this week, make sure you read every word in this article. This is the time of the season where the good teams separate themselves from the bottom half of the league. Good luck, and happy FANTASYING.
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings (vs DET) Cousins was held in check last week against a solid Cleveland Browns defense. Before then, he posted three straight 22-plus point performances. He’s currently the QB12, and he takes on a Lions defense that had a hard time slowing the Chicago Bears down last week. Expect Minnesota to throw a ton in this game with Dalvin Cook nursing an ankle injury.
- Matthew Stafford – Los Angeles Rams (at SEA) Stafford has been a consistent fantasy QB option through the first four weeks of this season. He’s averaging about 22.6 fantasy points per game, and his matchup this week is very enticing. The Seahawks have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to QBs in 2021. They’re also coming off a game where they allowed 28.98 points combined to Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance a week ago.
Other Notables: Tom Brady (vs MIA), Joe Burrow (vs GB), Ryan Tannehill (at JAX)
- Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns (at LAC) Let’s face it; Mayfield is fantasy relevant in good matchups only, but he struggles against teams above .500. The Chargers held Derek Carr to only 14.4 fantasy points last week, and they’re allowing the fourth-fewest points to QBs this year. Expect Cleveland to emphasize the running game a ton against Los Angeles this week. It’s hard to trust a player who has yet to surpass the 20-point mark in a game through four weeks.
- Taylor Heinicke – Washington Football Team (vs NO) The Washington signal-caller has been surprisingly great for fantasy the past three weeks (20-plus points in three straight games). New Orleans should bounce back from their poor performance against the Giants, and they are allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to Heinicke’s position this season. I’m sensing a low-scoring game between these two teams, which shouldn’t benefit Heinicke’s fantasy stock in Week 5.
Other Notables: Trey Lance (at ARI), Jared Goff (at MIN), Ben Roethlisberger (vs DEN)
- Damien Williams – Chicago Bears (at LV) David Montgomery is expected to miss four to five weeks with a knee injury. This makes Williams one of the top RBs added entering this Week 5, and he draws an exceptional matchup against Las Vegas. The Raiders are allowing an average of 25.2 fantasy points to RBs per game. With Williams set to take on a huge workload this week, he should be an easy start for your fantasy team(s).
- Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers (vs PHI) Last week’s top added player disappointed in Week 4. Hubbard only produced 9.1 PPR points against an improved Dallas Cowboys defense. This week should be a lot different. Philadelphia has been getting torched by fantasy RBs this season, and they are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. Expect a decent workload on the ground for the rookie RB, and we could see many targets thrown his way against the Eagles as well.
Other Notables: Cordarrelle Patterson (vs NYJ), Chase Edmonds (vs SF), Josh Jacobs (vs CHI)
- Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins (at TB) What a turn of events for the “gas man” this fantasy season. Through four weeks, he’s produced just 31.9 PPR points (0.3 last week). His fantasy production shouldn’t improve much this week, as he takes on the top run defense in the league. Tampa Bay held New England to negative one yards last Sunday night. It also doesn’t help that Malcolm Brown out-carried Gaskin eight to two last week.
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks (vs LAR) Carson missed yesterday’s practice with a neck injury, and his status for tonight’s game is in question. Even if he were to play, Alex Collins is expected to receive a decent share of the carries against the Rams. With Aaron Donald anchoring one of the best defensive lines in football, stay away from both Seahawks RBs in this matchup.
Other Notables: Mark Ingram (vs NE), Melvin Gordon (at PIT), Trey Sermon (at ARI)
- Leviska Shenault Jr. – Jacksonville Jaguars (vs TEN) You should be willing to start Shenault Jr. in your flex spot this week against one of the worst defenses in football. The Jets’ receivers had their way last week against the Titans (Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder combined for 40.2 PPR points). Even if Marvin Jones Jr. shines as the team’s WR1, the absence of D.J. Chark Jr. should open up plenty of opportunities for the second-year pro WR. He’s coming off a terrific Week 4 performance where he turned seven targets into six receptions for 99 yards and 17 PPR points.
- Corey Davis – New York Jets (at ATL) As mentioned above, Davis is coming off a great performance last week (21.1 PPR points). He’s surpassed 21 points twice in four games, and he has an opportunity to climb over that mark again this week. Atlanta is allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to WRs in 2021. Even though Crowder is back and healthy, Zach Wilson will still use Davis as his top pass-catching option.
Other Notables: Hunter Renfrow (vs CHI), Darnell Mooney (at LV), Antonio Brown (vs MIA)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers (vs DEN) Smith-Schuster and the Steelers’ offense has underperformed all season. Outside of Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris, there aren’t any Pittsburgh players I’m willing to start this week. Denver’s defense has quietly been one of the top defenses against the pass during the first four weeks of this season. Don’t be surprised if we see Smith-Schuster fall short of double-digit points for the fourth time in five games. He’s also dealing with a rib injury that limited his participation in yesterday’s practice.
- DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins (at TB) Will Fuller has landed on the IR (shocker), but Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki have been the top pass-catchers for Miami so far this year. Tampa Bay’s secondary has allowed a ton of points to WRs through four weeks, but you can expect Richard Sherman and company to hold Parker in check this week. Like Smith-Schuster above, Parker is dealing with an injury of his own (shoulder), and he is questionable to play on Sunday.
Other Notables: Rondale Moore (vs SF), Brandon Aiyuk (at ARI), Henry Ruggs III (vs CHI)
- Dawson Knox – Buffalo Bills (at KC) Although I don’t buy into the idea of Knox being a top-10 TE every week, you can’t deny his presence inside the red zone as of late. In the past three weeks combined, Josh Allen has connected with his TE for four receiving touchdowns (two last week). This Bills, Chiefs matchup should turn into a high-scoring affair, and Knox should see plenty of targets. It also helps that Kansas City is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to his position through four weeks.
- Dalton Schultz – Dallas Cowboys (vs NYG) Like Knox, Schultz has been on an ABSOLUTE TEAR! He’s combined for 12 receptions for 138 yards, three touchdowns, and 43.8 PPR points during the last two weeks alone. During that span, he’s serving as the TE1, with Knox right behind him as the TE2. The loss of Michael Gallup in Week 1 has opened up a lot more opportunities for the young TE, and he’s turned into one of Dak Prescott’s top pass-catchers in Dallas’ offense. With another good matchup against the Giants this week, he’s a no-brainer “start ’em” player.
Other Notables: Dallas Goedert (at CAR), Mike Gesicki (at TB), Hunter Henry (at HOU)
- Maxx Williams – Arizona Cardinals (vs SF) Sure, Williams has topped 16 PPR points twice in four games, but he has yet to put together back-to-back solid outings. If you look at the pattern, Williams should have an off week against San Francisco after posting 17.6 PPR points last week. Until he can prove to be more consistent, there’s no way I’m willing to start him at my TE spot just yet.
- Tyler Conklin – Minnesota Vikings (vs DET) Conklin is another TE who can’t seem to produce consistent fantasy numbers. After producing 20 points in Week 3, he fell short of six PPR points in Week 4. Although his matchup against Detroit is enticing, it’s hard to believe in him with Cousins slinging the rock to Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, and Dalvin Cook regularly.
Other Notables: Robert Tonyan (at CIN), Jared Cook (vs CLE), C.J. Uzomah (vs GB)
- New England Patriots (at HOU) Houston posted a giant “goose egg” last week against Buffalo, losing 0-40. Rookie Davis Mills threw four interceptions, and we all know how Bill Belichick is against rookie QBs. The last time we saw New England’s defense line up against a rookie QB (Wilson in Week 2), they hauled in four interceptions of their own. Do I hear five this week?
- Baltimore Ravens (vs IND) Baltimore’s defense is coming off their best performance of the season last week against the Denver Broncos (11 fantasy points). They have another good matchup this week against a less than impressive Colts offense. With Carson Wentz playing the way he is this season, you should feel more than confident sliding Baltimore into your starting D/ST spot for Week 5.
Other Notables: Vikings (vs DET), Cowboys (vs NYG), Steelers (vs DEN)
- Buffalo Bills (at KC) Like I always say, I don’t care if you are the ‘85 Bears, I’m not starting your defense against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo has been solid on the defensive side of the ball this year, but the last time these two teams matched up in the regular season, the Bills gave up 27 points. That won’t cut it in fantasy football. The goal is to get at least eight fantasy points from your D/ST position. STAY AWAY!
- San Francisco 49ers (at ARI) Arizona is the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. Their offense is on pace to break many records through four weeks. In my opinion, they are a top-two offense in the league next to Kansas City. For that reason alone, I can’t trust any defense lining up opposite from Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and company.
Other Notables: Dolphins (at TB), Bengals (vs GB), Browns (at LAC)
Did you enjoy this article and want more fantasy content? Make sure to check out my recent posts, and stay tuned for other positional rankings in the future. You can also follow me on Twitter @dirrim23, where I love talking about all things fantasy football!