Fantasy Football Week 5: Top Plays at Every Position

This is a favorable week for fans of streaming defenses. While some of the elite fantasy defenses play some tough matchups—namely the Bears facing Drew Brees, the 49ers and Texans facing each other, and the Patriots facing the Bengals—there are ample fringe fantasy units facing suspect quarterbacks.

The Rams, Falcons, Panthers, Chargers and Eagles are solid one-week plays. You won’t even miss the bye teams of the Vikings, Steelers, Redskins and Buccaneers—not that you should own those suspect teams in fantasy anyway.

Take advantage of the Giants

Eli Manning has been turnover prone and a sack machine, so you might consider a bad Eagles defense interesting because of the matchup.

The Giants need to get their running game going to take the pressure off, but with pass-happy Kevin Gilbride—an architect of the long-lost run-and-shoot—that is no sure thing. If the Giants stay one-dimensional, they are going to remain no-win-sional. The Eagles defense is a top-12 unit in this rare week.

Chief concern? Meh, keep them active

The Titans have not turned the ball over this season, which certainly has contributed to their surprising start. It has also made them the toughest opponent for defenses to date. The Chiefs have been the best fantasy unit so far, so something has to give.

We figure it will be the Titans, who are stuck relying on Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback now. He should be good for a few turnovers and sacks, maybe even a pick-six.

Week 5 sleepers

The Chargers defense was great in fantasy last year and has been mediocre to date this season, but this is a week to expect a resurgence. The Raiders offense might be without Darren McFadden (hamstring), or a Run DMC who will be playing with a sore hammy and sans practice.

The Chargers have an elite run defense and are a top-five unit in fantasy against running backs. Consider the Chargers if you did not get your hands on St. Louis, Atlanta or Carolina.

Here are the units we like more than the masses this week:

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. Denver Broncos
  3. Chicago Bears
  4. San Diego Chargers
  5. Philadelphia Eagles

Week 5 duds

While the Patriots vs. Bengals game is going to be interesting with AFC playoff implications down the road, it shouldn’t be one you are looking forward to if you own either defense.

In smaller leagues, you are justified cutting either defense for one of the streaming options above. Both offenses are secure with the ball and can put up points against each other.

They are among the defenses we like less than the consensus:

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Baltimore Ravens
  3. Cleveland Browns (D’oh! played well Thursday night)
  4. Cincinnati Bengals
  5. New England Patriots 
Week 5 Defenses and Special Teams Rankings – Eric Mack
1 Seattle Seahawks Sea at Ind 2 +1
2 St. Louis Rams StL vs. Jac 1 -1
3 Atlanta Falcons Atl vs. NYJ 3 0
4 San Francisco 49ers SF vs. Hou 6 +2
5 Carolina Panthers Car at Ari 4 -1
6 Denver Broncos Den at Dal 12 +6
7 Kansas City Chiefs KC at Ten 5 -2
8 Chicago Bears Chi vs. NO 11 +3
9 San Diego Chargers SD at Oak 16 +7
10 Houston Texans Hou at SF 10 0
11 Philadelphia Eagles Phi at NYG 17 +6
12 Baltimore Ravens Bal at Mia 8 -4
13 New Orleans Saints NO at Chi 20 +7
14 Cleveland Browns Cle vs. Buf 7 -7
15 Green Bay Packers GB vs. Det 24 +9
16 Cincinnati Bengals Cin vs. NE 14 -2
17 New England Patriots NE at Cin 9 -8
18 Miami Dolphins Mia vs. Bal 15 -3
19 Arizona Cardinals Ari vs. Car 19 0
20 Tennessee Titans Ten vs. KC 21 +1
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