Week five is upon us, and while we only have two teams on Bye, we have Anthony Richardson, De’Von Achane, and Justin Jefferson all on four-week Bye. So, there are a lot of teams with a lot of holes to fill out there! Never fear, as every week I take a look at the top available streaming options to start for just one week. Sometimes I miss wildly, but sometimes, like last week, I get a Jordan Mason. I will just always remind people that in a game with Christian McCaffrey and Tony Pollard, I told you to start the 1% rostered guy who led the game in rushing. Without further ado, let’s take a look at two players at each position available in at least 50% of leagues and one player at each position available in at least 90% of leagues.
Baker Mayfield versus Detroit (27% rostered)
Baker Mayfield has been low-key decent for fantasy football leagues, and a Godsend for 2QB leagues, where he went from desperation QB3 to rock-solid QB2 most weeks, finishing inside the top-18 in three out of his four games so far. He has multiple touchdowns or at least 300 yards passing in every game this season except week three against the Eagles, and the last time we saw him, he put up 23.94 points against the Saints, who allow the seventh-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. This week, he gets a Lions team that has a strong run defense and who has allowed at least 19 fantasy points to three out of the four quarterbacks to go up against them this season, including Bryce Young’s first top-ten QB week of his career.
Bryce Young at Miami (11% rostered)
Speaking of which… Bryce Young took on the Detroit Lions last week, and he walked away with the first top-ten fantasy finish of his career, turning 251 total yards and three touchdowns into the QB9 finish on the week. Young looked legitimately good at times, reminding folks that he went first overall for a reason (the reason is David Tepper didn’t want C.J. Stroud). The Dolphins will likely cruise all over the Panthers, meaning that they will throw a ton to catch up (especially since there will be no Miles Sanders in this one). Because of this extremely predictable formula, the Dolphins allow the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Gardner Minshew at Jacksonville (7% rostered)
Since Anthony Richardson decided he wasn’t going to heed Trevor Lawrence’s advice, it’s Minshew Time in Indianapolis. We already got a preview of the Gardner Min-Show in week three. Minshew threw 44 times against the Ravens, which resulted in only 227 passing yards and a touchdown. But, the Ravens boast the second-stingiest defense against opposing quarterbacks, allowing the second-fewest fantasy points per game to the position (Minshew’s 13.08 points are the second-most allowed in this young season). This week, Minshew & Company get the Jaguars, who have given up at least 20 fantasy points to four of the five quarterbacks they’ve played this year, with only Desmond Ridder failing to top at least 250 total yards and multiple touchdowns against them.
Tyler Boyd versus Seattle (48% rostered)
Boyd is the clear third fiddle in the Cincinnati Bengals’ passing game, but Tee Higgins is a game-time decision with a rib injury. That tells me that even if he plays, he’s unlikely to be 100%. So, I am going to lean into Boyd in this one. While Boyd has just one top-36 PPR week on the season, he has at least 7 targets in each of the last four games and has given himself a nice PPR floor both with and without Higgins. However, the Bengals have a particularly juicy matchup this week: Seattle’s league-worst pass defense. The ‘Hawks allow the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and have given up multiple double-digit PPR games to receivers in every game this year except against the woeful New York Giants.
Josh Downs at Jacksonville (31% rostered)
Downs is rounding into shape as a nice little fantasy football asset as we get into the bye weeks. He caught all six of his targets last week, for 96 yards, and this marks the fourth time in five games this season that he’s had at least 5 targets. These targets resulted in double-digit fantasy days in two of the last three weeks. With Minshew at the helm and a woefully thin wide receiver corps around him, Downs has a chance to stack 8 targets while getting just 20% of the targets this week. The Jags are in the middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers but allowed two different receivers to get over 100 yards and a touchdown against them last week. This should be a nice PPR floor game for Josh Downs.
Brandon Powell at Chicago (2% rostered)
With Justin Jefferson on IR, everyone in Minnesota moves up a step, and Powell steps up into the role that K.J. Osborn vacated when he stepped up to be Jordan Addison? Anyway, Osborn had at least six targets in three of five games this year, and given that the Vikings throw the most times per game in the league, that’s likely to continue this week. Powell gets the Bears, who have already allowed 9 receivers to score at least 8 PPR points (and have allowed six to score double-digit days against them) against them this season.
Chuba Hubbard at Miami (46% rostered)
I’m not exactly sure how a starting running back this week is just chilling on the waiver wire, but here we are. The Panthers downgraded Miles Sanders to Out for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, which leaves Chuba Hubbard as the de facto RB1 in Carolina, at least for one weekend. The Panthers love to feed their RB1 this season, as Sanders has 17.25 touches per game, a volume load that we rarely see anymore. While Miami grades out as a neutral matchup for Hubbard, every back except Eric Gray with double-digit touches has at least 8.5 PPR points. If Hubbard gets the Sanders workload, you should be more than happy to pick up and plug in Chuba Hubbard this weekend.
Salvon Ahmed versus Carolina (16% rostered)
The Miami Dolphins put De’Von Achane on IR and declared Jeff Wilson Jr. doubtful for this weekend against the Panthers. That leaves the one-two punch at Raheem Mostert & Salvon Ahmed. Ahmed suffered an injury in the second game of the season, so he currently only has 9 touches on the year. However, he’s sitting at 5.8 yards per touch on those touches. The Panthers are a truly godawful run defense, and we’ve seen how the Dolphins love to stress test exactly how terrible run defenses can be. The Panthers allow the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs, second only to the Denver Broncos, who rank first because the Dolphins snapped the Broncos’ run defense in half.
Ronnie Rivers versus Arizona (2% rostered)
Rivers represents a true Hail Mary play, as he had double-digit touches two weeks ago, which had everyone rushing to their waiver wires to add him. He followed that up with one touch last week. So, given the Rams’ touch-split inconsistency, this could end up being a massive dud for you this week. However, Rivers takes on the Arizona Cardinals this week, a team that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this year. Through five games, six running backs have turned in double-digit PPR games against the Cardinals, and it’s a consistent pattern. Should Rivers get double-digit touches, he should turn in double-digit fantasy points.
Gerald Everett versus Dallas (24% rostered)
Everett faces three things that make me believe that he will have a great game this weekend. First, in the first “normal” game since the Chargers lost Mike Williams in week three. They played a Raiders team with Aiden O’Connell and only threw 24 times in week four, and then had a bye last week. So, we can see what the Chargers will get up to without Williams in earnest this week. I believe that includes Gerald Everett, as on the year, he runs a route on only 42% of dropbacks, a number that jumped up to 58% in week four. Second, the Cowboys’ tight-end defense is atrocious. Last week, the 49ers gave George Kittle four targets. He caught three of them, for three touchdowns (and 67 yards). They couldn’t stop Kittle, one of the league’s pre-eminent yards-after-catch tight ends. Everett is another YAC machine, ranking eighth in YAC per reception on the year. Third is a bit squishier: Mike McCarthy fired Kellen Moore so McCarthy could vomit his low-grade BS offense all over the field. Moore is going to make him pay for that, and Everett will be a major part of it.
Chigoziem Okonkwo versus Baltimore in London (34% rostered)
Okonkwo has been largely uninvolved in the Titans’ passing offense this season, posting only one game over four targets on the year. That game came last week, when he had nine targets against the Colts, as the Titans were without Treylon Burks’ services. Burks did not make the trip to London with the Titans, and that means that Okonkwo is in for another big target game this week. The Ravens are not a great matchup on paper, allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends on the season. While statistics don’t like it, they can fudge the truth, as they played one vaguely fantasy-relevant tight end (David Njoku) and he scored double-digit fantasy points.
Tyler Conklin versus Philadelphia (9% rostered)
Zach Wilson has started four games this season for the Jets, and Tyler Conklin has 6, 5, 6, and 5 targets in those four games, en route to averaging 4 catches for 50 yards over that span. If you follow Football Absurdity, you know that we target tight ends who are going off for about 4 catches for 40 yards per game, and getting above that gets you into the Dallas Goedert Zone. Conklin is firmly in that zone, and the Jets get an Eagles team that is just outside the top ten in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends. He’s a good bet to get you 8 PPR points this weekend without a touchdown.