6 Players With Tough Week 5 Matchups
We all have those superstars on our rosters who should be automatic starters week after week, right? Not so fast. I don’t believe in the old adage “always start your studs”, as it’s sort of lazy and not entirely accurate if you want the most out of your fantasy squad.
In this new column at 4for4, each week I take a look at individual matchups and point out the players who I think could struggle, even if they’re elite. I’m not saying to sit them without question, but as the title goes, these are players with tough matchups, meaning you'll have tough lineup decisions to make.
Week 4 Wrap-Up
Last week was not so hot for me here, as both Jameis Winston and Nick Chubb posted the highest fantasy points at their respective positions. Aaron Jones had a decent day as the RB15, while Allen Robinson turned in an okay performance as the WR19 in PPR formats. On to this week’s lot of players with difficult opponents or not-so-great situations.
Week 5 Risky Plays
Terry McLaurin (Redskins) vs. Patriots
Despite missing last week with a tweaked hamstring, McLaurin sits as the WR5 in PPR points per game with 19.9. Those who were lucky enough to snag him off the waiver wire after a breakout in Week 1 have reaped the benefits thus far. However, in Week 5 he’ll most likely go toe to toe with Stephon Gilmore and the rest of the stout New England secondary, who are ranked eighth in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA).
Plus, there’s the matter of who will be tossing McLaurin the rock this week. We’re looking at an uninspiring trio of options in Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins or Colt McCoy. I’d think about sitting the rookie in favor of a wideout with more scoring potential in Week 5.
Baker Mayfield (Browns) @ 49ers
Mayfield has been fairly inconsistent in both fantasy and real-life football so far in 2019. This week could be a down one for the second-year quarterback, as he heads west to face a solid 49ers pass defense. As a unit, San Francisco ranks eighth in aFPA to opposing signal-callers, allowing just 13.7 fantasy points to the position weekly this season.
For this contest, Mayfield is ranked as the QB19 in 4for4’s projections, so you may want to find another quarterback to plug in for the week. If you do roll with Mayfield, just don’t expect Star Wars numbers or anywhere even close.
Josh Jacobs (Raiders) vs. Bears
With the running back landscape as wonky as it is, you’re most likely not in the position to sit Jacobs this week. However, you may want to at least mull it over. He gets a buzz saw of an opponent, one that held Dalvin Cook to season lows in almost every stat category across the board last week.
The Bears are fourth in rushing aFPA, yielding just 16.9 PPR points per tilt to opposing backfields every week. The rookie could find himself struggling to find any lanes or holes, and his fantasy output could subsequently suffer.
Dak Prescott (Cowboys) vs. Packers
Like the rest of these risky plays, you’re probably not going to sit Prescott, but it should be something to at least consider this week. Green Bay’s secondary is no joke and Amari Cooper will probably be tangled up with Jaire Alexander for most of the contest.
This game script could end up being extremely Ezekiel Elliott-heavy, which does not bode well for Prescott’s potential to rack up fantasy points. He’ll score some points and may end up being okay, but if you’re deciding between Prescott and another signal-caller, you may want to start your other option in Week 5.
Austin Hooper (Falcons) @ Texans
Tight end is a wasteland again this season and Hooper has been an unsexy bright spot. However, this week may not pan out so well for the 24-year-old tight end. The Texans defense has been playing the tight end very well this season, allowing the second-fewest PPR points per game to the position through four weeks.
Atlanta has struggled on offense behind an offensive line riddled with injuries, and the majority of Hooper’s Week 4 output occurred in garbage time. This week could see a similar narrative, so start him with caution.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers) vs. Ravens
What a kick in the groin Smith-Schuster has been for those who drafted the supposed No. 1 wideout in Pittsburgh. You all can’t be pleased with his WR38 performance thus far, as he’s only averaging 12.2 PPR points per contest. This week may be another let down as Mason Rudolph may not be able to attack the Ravens' defense vertically, impacting the passing game again. JuJu has only five catches for 20 yards with Rudolph under center and his floor is now super low in this dink-and-dunk offense.
As painful as it may be, you might want to look elsewhere for your wideout points this week, or be mentally prepared for a low-end WR2/WR3 output from the talented receiver.