All right, you can start to panic.
Depending on your league’s playoff format, you could be more than a quarter of the way through your fantasy football season. If you’re on the losing end of the spectrum, you need to turn it around, and fast. Luckily for you, Week 5 offers a great opportunity to start the comeback trail.
The two teams with byes Sunday — the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins — feature very little fantasy firepower, so Week 5 is the perfect time to get your team back on track or build on your impressive start, as nearly all of the studs will be ready to go.
Of course, all the talent in the world won’t help if you don’t play the matchups right. The matchups are certainly there, as a 15-game slate is chock full of juicy opportunities to take advantage of.
What are those juicy opportunities, you ask? Let’s find out.
Donald Brown, Running Back, San Diego Chargers: Brown’s only competition is undrafted rookie Branden Oliver, and he can’t even beat him out. Brown averaged just 1.9 yards per carry against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, and now the Chargers face one of the best run defenses in the NFL in the New York Jets. Sorry Donald, you had your shot.
DeSean Jackson, Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins: Jackson is pretty much boom or bust at this point, which doesn’t bode well against the Legion of Boom. The Redskins are at home, but the Seattle Seahawks likely will feast on Kirk Cousins after his awful performance last week. Look elsewhere for receiver production.
Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England Patriots: Fantasy football isn’t real football, and Brady just isn’t a starting fantasy quarterback right now. He looked awful against Kansas City on Monday night, and the Cincinnati Bengals are a considerable upgrade from the Chiefs. Even if the matchup was good, we’d be wary of starting Brady at this point.
Fred Jackson, Running Back, Buffalo Bills: Buffalo’s offense just isn’t clicking right now, and we’re not sure Kyle Orton is the answer. The Bills are on the road against a Detroit Lions team that’s been very stout against the run, and it’s always tough to tell whether Jackson or C.J. Spiller will hit paydirt. In this case, it might be neither.
Arizona Cardinals defense: The Cardinals’ defense is almost always a sure bet, but you might want to find a replacement this week. They’re on the road against a Denver Broncos team coming off a bye, and if that’s not a recipe for disaster, we don’t know what is.
Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers: If there’s one constant in the fantasy world, it’s that the Jacksonville Jaguars will give up tons of points to opposing quarterbacks. Of course, we definitely just jinxed it, but if you’re not the superstitious type, toss Big Ben in as your starting QB and watch the points roll in.
Rashad Jennings, Running Back, New York Giants: Pop quiz: How many rushing touchdowns have the Atlanta Falcons allowed this year? Answer: Nine. NINE! The next-closest teams have allowed five. After a down week on Thursday Night Football, Jennings should have no trouble finding the endzone at home against the Falcons’ porous run D.
Kelvin Benjamin, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers: Benjamin has been a one-man wrecking crew in a struggling Panthers offense, consistently leading the team in targets despite only being a rookie. Expect his production to continue against a Chicago Bears defense that allowed four receiving touchdowns last week.
Reggie Bush, Running Back, Detroit Lions: Bush has been underwhelming so far, but with Joique Bell looking doubtful for Sunday’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills, it could finally be Reggie’s time to shine. While the Bills are stout against the run, they’re pretty awful against the pass, and we all know Bush is far from one-dimensional.
Larry Donnell, Tight End, Giants: Don’t make the same mistake that Donnell did last week. His “breakout” performance against the Redskins a week ago was no fluke, as he’s been among the team leaders in targets every week. Eli Manning obviously trusts Donnell near the goal line, and there should be plenty of points scored in this one.
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