Saturday October 10th, 2015

We’ve yet to see a week dominated by the elite running back class. Jamaal Charles, Le’Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson have all had top-five weeks this year (Charles has two), but they haven’t all registered as top-five backs in the same week. Eddie Lacy hasn’t had a top-five week, and Matt Forte hasn’t been back in that stratosphere since Week 1. Meanwhile, Devonta Freeman has been the top-scoring runner each of the last two weeks, Chris Ivory (who has become a rock-solid RB1) has a pair of top-three weeks, and Dion Lewis, Matt Jones, Joseph Randle, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Johnson, Doug Martin and Bishop Sankey all have as many top-five performances as Bell and Peterson.

The meek may inherit the earth, but the strong will dominate at the running back position in Week 5.

Bell, Charles and Forte lead running backs in snap rate, checking in at 97%, 81% and 80%, respectively. They are the premier all-around backs in the league (no offense to Peterson, who is on a bye this week, but he’s not the receiving threat these three are), and, for all intents and purposes, never leave the field. None of the three needs a plus matchup to take over a game, but they’ll all get one this week. Charles and Forte will meet on the same field in Kansas City, while Bell will do his work under the lights in San Diego on Monday Night Football. All three will be top-five backs this week. Lacy squares off with a Rams defense that has an elite pass rush, but has struggled against the run this year. They’ve surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points per game to running backs, getting burned by Matt Jones back in Week 2, and letting Chris Johnson scamper for 83 yards on 16 carries last week. If and when the Packers build a two- or three-score lead, Lacy will pound away.

In previous weeks, we’ve seen the names Freeman, Jones and Randle atop the running back leaderboards. Expect the blue bloods to rise back to where they belong in Week 5.

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With that, let’s get to the Week 5 Cheat Sheet.

Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs

       Team

     vs. QB

     vs. RB

    vs. WR

     vs. TE

      Bears 

     23rd

     10th

    25th

      8th

      Chiefs

     32nd

     13th

    32nd

     11th

Vegas lines

Chiefs -9

Over/under 45.5

Bears o/u 18.5

Chiefs o/u 27.5

The game total here, as well as the fact that the individual totals add up to an over, hint at a potentially high-scoring game. That’s not a huge surprise when you have two of the three best all-around running backs in the league. This is also a good matchup for both Jay Cutler and Alex Smith. Expect some fireworks at Arrowhead.

Player who could surprise: Jay Cutler

Cutler’s not Aaron Rodgers. He’s not Peyton Manning. He’s not even 2015 Andy Dalton. No one is saying that. But those three quarterbacks have carved up the Chiefs over the last three weeks, and Cutler can do the same. He threw for 281 yards and a pair of scores against the Raiders, and was off to a hot start against the Cardinals before getting hurt. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance he’s without Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal, both of whom have hamstring injuries.

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​ Player who could disappoint: Chiefs defense

It’s hard to see any of the individual offensive players disappointing in this game. The Chiefs defense still has a relatively high ownership rate, despite getting torched by three great offenses. Cutler is an easy foil, but the Bears are vastly improved in the coaching department, and that group keeps Cutler in better spots.

Matchup to watch: Bears offensive line vs. Chiefs front seven

If Cutler is going to take advantage of a good matchup, the five guys up front are going to have to keep the likes of Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali off him. That could be even more of a challenge with rookie Hroniss Grasu making his first start at center.

Injury report

Alshon Jeffery (hamstring): Questionable

Eddie Royal (hamstring): Questionable

Jay Cutler (hamstring): Questionable

Pernell McPhee (shoulder): Questionable

Kyle Long (back): Questionable

Jermon Bushrod (concussion): Out

Travis Kelce (groin): Probable

Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons

      Team

     vs. QB

     vs. RB

     vs. WR

     vs. TE

   Redskins

     12th

       1st

      24th

     15th

   Falcons

    14th

      32nd

      13th

     19th

Vegas lines

Falcons -7.5

Over/under 48

Redskins o/u 20.5

Falcons o/u 28

Neither the line nor the total are a huge surprise here, but with the way Washington’s defense has played, don’t be too surprised if we see Atlanta struggle a bit to develop a rhythm. Matt Ryan could be very active, given the way Washington has shut down the run this season.

Player who could surprise: Alfred Morris

There’s no doubt this is a good matchup for the Washington run game. The Falcons have allowed the most points to running backs, and the game plan for D.C. has to be based around the run. Having said that, it’s nearly impossible to predict who, between Morris and Matt Jones, will get the majority of the touches. The bet here, obviously, is on Morris.

Player who could disappoint: Devonta Freeman

Those of you who have adopted Freeman as your savior might be in for a rude awakening this week. Washington has been excellent against the run, allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs and holding all rushers to 53 yards or fewer this season. This sets up like a game in which the Falcons will lean heavily on Matt Ryan and the passing attack. His one saving grace could be a big Falcons lead they protect by running the ball in the second half. On top of that, all signs point to Tevin Coleman returning from his rib injury.

Daniel Shirey/Getty

Matchup to watch: Atlanta offensive line vs. Washington run defense

Atlanta’s offensive line has been the best run-blocking group in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Washington’s run defense has been one of the stingiest all season. Both groups face their toughest test to date on Sunday.

Injury report

Julio Jones (toe): Questionable

Tevin Coleman (ribs): Probable

Leonard Hankerson (thumb): Probable

DeSean Jackson (hamstring): Out

Jordan Reed (concussion): Out

DeAngelo Hall (toe): Out

Chris Culliver (knee): Out

Pierre Garcon (knee): Probable

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

     Team

     vs. QB

     vs. RB

     vs. WR

     vs. TE

    Browns

     28th

      29th

     22nd

     25th

    Ravens

     25th

      6th

     31st

     1st

Vegas lines

Ravens -6.5

Over/under 43.5

Browns o/u 18.5

Ravens o/u 25

It’s hard to see this game getting into the 40s, though both of these defenses have been mild disappointments this year. Given the state of both of these passing games, expect to see a whole lot of handoffs in this one. Justin Forsett is a top-five running back this week.

Player who could surprise: Kamar Aiken

Steve Smith is out this week with his back injury, and that means Aiken will be atop the Ravens receiver depth chart for the week. He played well a week ago, catching five of his seven targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens will ride Forsett this week, but they still need someone to step up and make plays in the passing game. Aiken is the most likely candidate.

Player who could disappoint: Isaiah Crowell

Crowell had his best game of the season last week, racking up 125 total yards on 15 touches. Duke Johnson, however, was also impressive against the Chargers, catching nine of his 10 targets for 85 yards and a touchdown, and getting eight carries. Just as importantly, he was in on a crucial late-game, goal-line series. It looks as though the rookie is in line for more work.

Matchup to watch: Travis Benjamin vs. Jimmy Smith

Benjamin has been a real weapon for the Browns this year, catching 16 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He has played 69% of the team’s snaps on the season, but has been near 80% each of the last two weeks. It’ll be up to Smith to slow him down.

Injury report

Steve Smith (back): Doubtful

Crockett Gillmore (calf): Out

Breshad Perriman (knee): Out

Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot): Probable

Joe Haden (finger): Questionable

Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals

     Team

     vs. QB

     vs. RB

    vs. WR

     vs. TE

   Seahawks

      2nd

       2nd

      3rd

       21st

   Bengals

     17th

      14th

      19th

       9th

Vegas lines

Bengals -3

Over/under 43.5

Seahawks o/u 20.5

Bengals o/u 23.5

This is the best game of the weekend from a real-life perspective, though it lost a whole lot of luster when the Seahawks ruled Marshawn Lynch out with his hamstring injury. It should also provide plenty of fantasy intrigue, with the Bengals offense getting the litmus test it needs. You’ll want this one queued up during the early games on Sunday.

Player who could surprise: Andy Dalton

It seems like everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop on Dalton, but this is a different quarterback than the one who, for the record, has been in the playoffs every year of his career, as well as a top-15 fantasy QB in every season that his entire receiving corps didn’t succumb to injury. Don’t be afraid to use him because of the Seattle matchup. Dalton has become matchup-proof.

Player who could disappoint: Giovani Bernard

As well as Bernard has played this year, and he has unquestionably been Cincinnati’s running back, it’s hard to envisage two backs reaching fantasy-starter levels of production against the Seahawks. Thanks to Hill’s dominance at the goal line, he’s the better bet between the Bengals’ running backs.

Matchup to watch: A.J. Green vs. Richard Sherman

Once upon a time, Sherman believed Green was “one of the most overrated receivers out there.” Green’s exploits over the last four years have changed the corner’s mind. Green is one of the most stoic receivers in the league, but he probably didn’t forget about those comments.

Rob Carr/Getty

Matchup to watch, part two: Geno Atkins vs. Seahawks offensive line

Atkins is back to his dominant, pre-injury form. The Seahawks offensive line has been terrible this year, and there’s no turnaround in sight. This could get ugly.

Injury report

Marshawn Lynch (hamstring): Out

Jeremy Hill (knee): Probable

St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers

     Team

     vs. QB

      vs. RB

     vs. WR

     vs. TE

     Rams

       3rd

      27th

       5th

       12th

    Packers

      11th

      12th

       4th

       16th

Vegas lines

Packers -9

Over/under 46.5

Rams o/u 19

Packers o/u 28

The Packers at home is basically the safest bet in football. Even against a strong Rams defense, you’ll want all those obviously relevant Packers in your lineups this week. The other side is all about Todd Gurley, but will he be phased out if the Packers build a big lead?

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​ Player who could surprise: Tavon Austin

Austin could be the one Ram who really takes advantage of his team’s likely predicament in Green Bay. Put simply, they’re going to have trouble sticking with the Packers, and that could mean 40-plus dropbacks for Nick Foles. Austin is coming off one of his best games as a pro and has played nearly 90% of the team’s snaps over the last two weeks. Volume could be his best friend on Sunday.

Player who could disappoint: Todd Gurley

If the game flow does end up favoring Austin, it will almost certainly hamper Gurley. Everyone is expecting huge things from the rookie after he ran for 146 yards last week, but if the Packers go up by two or three scores, the Rams will have no choice but to turn to the air. That would mean more Benny Cunningham than anyone, other than people playing against Gurley this week, wants to see.

Matchup to watch: Aaron Rodgers vs. Rams pass rush

Anytime we talk about a pass rush on one side, we typically talk about the offensive line on the other. It’s Rodgers, however, who directs all the protections for the Packers, so he will be the one to put his linemen in the right spots to keep him upright. The Rams may have the strongest pass rush in the league, but Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league for many reasons. This one of them.

Injury report

Randall Cobb (shoulder): Probable

James Jones (hamstring): Probable

Davante Adams (ankle): Questionable

Morgan Burnett (calf): Questionable

Bryan Bulaga (knee): Questionable

Alec Ogletree (ankle): Out

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

     Team

      vs. QB

     vs. RB

    vs. WR

     vs. TE

     Saints

       31st

      16th

       9th

      30th

    Eagles

       21st

       5th

      29th

       4th

Vegas lines

Eagles -5

Over/under 49

Saints o/u 22

Eagles o/u 27

These offenses have struggled in 2015, but that’s not stopping Vegas from putting a total of 49 on the board. They both looked good last week, with Drew Brees and Sam Bradford enjoying their best games of the season. Both should keep it rolling in great matchups on Sunday.

Player who could surprise: DeMarco Murray

It’s coming, you guys. I hate to rely on the gambler’s fallacy, but Murray isn’t going to turn in a full season’s worth of terrible fantasy performances. He’s going to rip off a big game sooner or later, and this matchup plays right into what Philadelphia wants to do offensively. Chip Kelly said Murray will get more touches as the team runs more plays. The Saints have run the sixth-most plays per game in the league this season. This could also be a game in which the Eagles finally have a fourth-quarter lead to protect. If you’ve stuck with Murray, your payoff arrives this week.

Evan Habeeb/Getty

Player who could disappoint: Brandin Cooks

I’m going to keep on putting Cooks here so long as a large swath of the fantasy community believes his breakout game is in the offing. Cooks doesn’t make big plays down the field and he isn’t a significant red-zone threat. Drew Brees has been an equal-opportunity passer his entire career. Only Charlie Brown fell for the Lucy’s pull-the-ball-away routine more frequently than Cooks owners.

Matchup to watch: Nelson Agholor vs. Riley Cooper and Miles Austin

Agholor is the 1a “player who could surprise” in this game. He’s playing more snaps than Jordan Matthews, but that isn’t yet translating into huge fantasy production. Last week, Cooper and Austin each stole away a touchdown. Keep an eye on who among the three gets those targets on Sunday. If it’s Agholor, his first career touchdown will likely result.

Injury report

Brandin Cooks (ankle): Probable

Jahri Evans (knee): Questionable

Jason Peters (quad): Questionable

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

       Team

     vs. QB

     vs. RB

     vs. WR

     vs. TE

     Jaguars

      22nd

       17th

       17th

       27th

  Buccaneers

      13th

       25th

       20th

       5th

Vegas lines

Buccaneers -3

Over/under 42

Jaguars o/u 19.5

Buccaneers 22.5

This isn’t a very attractive game on its face, but between T.J. Yeldon, Mike Evans and Doug Martin, there’s a decent amount of fantasy star power. Those guys, however, are dependent on Blake Bortles and Jameis Winston. That’s why we’re looking at an over/under of just 42. We could also see Julius Thomas’ debut for the Jaguars in this game, though it appears he might need one more week before returning from a hand injury.

Player who could surprise: T.J. Yeldon

Anyone who owns Yeldon is starting him, so it’s not like he’s coming out of nowhere, but he could very well be the best fantasy running back this week. Yeldon’s playing 78% of the Jaguars’ snaps, the fourth-highest rate among running backs, and is already up to 70 carries. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. This is an ideal setup for the rookie out of Alabama.

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​ Player who could disappoint: Vincent Jackson

The Jaguars haven’t actually been decent against receivers. The only players at the position who have surpassed 100 yards against them were Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews, and they both did most of their damage with the Dolphins furiously trying to mount a comeback. If one Tampa Bay receiver disappoints, it will be Jackson, not Evans.

Matchup to watch: Allen Robinson vs. Alterraun Verner

Robinson has been relatively hit-or-miss this season, posting one monster game, two duds, and a decent 80-yard performance against the Colts last week. He draws another tough matchup across from Verner on Sunday.

Injury report

Allen Hurns (ankle): Probable

Julius Thomas (hand): Questionable

Marqise Lee (hamstring): Out

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder): Doubtful

Gerald McCoy (shoulder): Questionable

Logan Mankins (groin): Questionable

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans

      Team

      vs. QB

      vs. RB

     vs. WR

      vs. TE

      Bills

       29th

       7th

      30th

        23rd

    Titans

      10th

      11th

      16th

        28th

Vegas lines

Bills -2.5

Over/under 42

Bills o/u 22.5

Titans o/u 20

It’s a little surprising to see the Bills laying 2.5 points on the road against a decent Titans team, no matter how well they have played this season. If there’s a home underdog that can make some noise, this is it.

Player who could surprise: Marcus Mariota

All four quarterbacks who have faced the Bills this season have thrown at least two touchdowns. There have been some garbage-time shenanigans (hello, Ryan Tannehill), but the Bills have earned every bit of their No. 29-ranking against quarterbacks. Given how well they play against the run, we could be looking at the Mariota show on Sunday.

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​ Player who could disappoint: Tyrod Taylor

In some ways, this game seems to lean in Taylor’s favor. The Bills won’t have LeSean McCoy (hamstring) or Karlos Williams (concussion), so they’ll likely have to lean on the pass, as well as Taylor’s legs. On the other hand, Sammy Watkins (calf) is going to be out, as well, and the Titans have been quietly effective against the pass. This could very well be Taylor’s second straight poor fantasy showing.

Matchup to watch: Kendall Wright vs. Nickell Robey

The key to stopping Tennessee’s passing game is slowing down Wright, and that responsibility falls to Robey, the slot corner, this week. Wright has at least 95 yards and a touchdown in two of his three games this season. Unsurprisingly, those were the two games in which they scored at least 30 points.

Injury report

LeSean McCoy (hamstring): Out

Karlos Williams (concussion): Out

Sammy Watkins (calf): Questionable

Charles Clay (calf): Probable

Percy Harvin (hip): Probable

Chance Warmack (knee): Questionable

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions

       Team

     vs. QB

      vs. RB

     vs. WR

      vs. TE

    Cardinals

       5th

       8th

       10th

        2nd

    Lions

      26th

      18th

       21st

       26th

Vegas lines

Cardinals -3

Over/under 44.5

Cardinals o/u 23.5

Lions o/u 20.5

The over/under on this game is 44.5, but the combined total for the two teams is 44. There should be some defense played in this game, though this remains a great matchup for Carson Palmer and the Cardinals. Calvin Johnson, on the other hand, just can’t catch a break with another strong secondary on tap.

Player who could surprise: Chris Johnson

Andre Ellington is set to return from a knee injury this week, and that has cast some doubt on Johnson’s role in the offense. It shouldn’t. Bruce Arians said Johnson would remain a 15-to-20-carry back, and even if that was a bit of coach speak, the fact remains that Johnson should be the team’s primary runner. The Lions haven’t been terrible against the run, but Johnson has had two efficient games in a row.

Player who could disappoint: Calvin Johnson

Yet again, Johnson winds up in this space. It’s going to turn around for him eventually, but he has another brutal matchup this week. Between Patrick Peterson, Deone Bucannon, Tyrann Mathieu and Jerraud Powers, the Cardinals could give the Broncos a run for their money as the league’s best secondary. The buy-low window on Johnson, which is already open, will be even more inviting after this game.

Matchup to watch: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Darius Slay

The Detroit secondary had a great performance against Seattle last week, but they didn’t see anyone like Fitzgerald in that game. Slay is going to have to be at his best if they’re going to keep Fitzgerald in check. The Palmer-Fitzgerald combo is one of my favorites for Week 5.

Injury report

Andre Ellington (knee): Probable

Eric Ebron (knee): Out

Joique Bell (ankle): Out

James Ihedigbo (quad): Questionable

Larry Warford (ankle): Questionable

New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys

       Team

      vs. QB

      vs. RB

     vs. WR

       vs. TE

     Patriots

      30th

        9th

      28th

        22nd

    Cowboys

      9th

       30th

      11th

        6th

Vegas lines

Patriots -9.5

Over/under 50

Patriots o/u 30

Cowboys o/u 20.5

Get used to seeing an over/under of 50 and team total of 30 for the Patriots. With Brandon Weeden under center, this has the look of another game in which the Patriots threaten the 40-point mark and win going away.

Player who could surprise: LeGarrette Blount

Two weeks ago in the Patriots 51-17 win over Jacksonville, Blount took advantage of a big-second half workload to run for 78 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. This game could follow a similar script. Dion Lewis’ role in the offense is unassailable, but Blount might be in for a busy second half.

Player who could disappoint: Joseph Randle

Randle figures to get more touches with Lance Dunbar out for the season, and that should start this week. The problem for this week, however, is that if the Patriots run away and hide with a huge lead, the Cowboys will be forced to throw the ball a lot. Randle also landed in the doghouse last week after fumbling once and exposing the ball at the goal line on another carry.

Matchup to watch: Rob Gronkowski vs. Sean Lee

Lee will play after suffering a concussion last week, and that sets up arguably the best tight end-linebacker matchup we’ll see all season. Lee is a premier coverage linebacker, and one of the few who stands a chance of covering Gronk. You can bet the Patriots will test him early and often.

Injury report

Dez Bryant (foot): Out

Brice Butler (hamstring): Out

Randy Gregory (ankle): Out

Sean Lee (concussion): Probable

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

       Team

       vs. QB

      vs. RB

      vs. WR

       vs. TE

     Broncos

        1st

       21st

        1st

        10th

     Raiders

       27th

       15th

       15th

       32nd

Vegas lines

Broncos -5

Over/under 44

Broncos o/u 24.5

Raiders o/u 19.5

Even though this game is in Oakland, and even though the Raiders have played better than expected this season, the line feels small at Broncos -5. Peyton Manning and company seem to have gotten things figured out, while the defense may actually be the team’s best unit.

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​ Player who could surprise: Owen Daniels

The Raiders could very well set futility records with respect to covering tight ends. They’ve allowed tight ends to score an average of 18.7 fantasy points per game in standard-scoring leagues. Martellus Bennett had the worst game all the starting tight ends they’ve faced, and he caught 11 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Get Daniels in your lineups.

Player who could disappoint: Derek Carr and Amari Cooper

The Broncos have allowed the fewest points to quarterbacks and receivers this season. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris comprise the best corner duo in the league. T.J. Ward is coming into his own as one of the truly standout safeties. Von Miller and Demarcus Ware still get after the quarterback, while Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall can’t get any recognition, even though they could be the two best players on a lot of other defenses. This is a horrible matchup for Carr and Cooper.

Matchup to watch: Amari Cooper vs. Aqib Talib

We seem to get at least one of these appointment viewing receiver-corner matchups per week. Talib has been involved in a few of them, and will give Cooper the best test yet of his young career.

Injury report

Demaryius Thomas (neck): Probable

Michael Crabtree (ankle): Probable

Latavius Murray (shoulder): Probable

San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants

      Team

      vs. QB

      vs. RB

      vs. WR

       vs. TE

     49ers

       16th

      26th

       26th

        17th

    Giants

       19th

      22nd

       6th

        31st

Vegas lines

Giants -7

Over/under 43

49ers o/u 18

Giants o/u 25

The last thing the 49ers need right now is a road game in prime time, but that’s exactly what they’ll get when they visit the Giants on Sunday Night Football. The Giants, who could easily be 4-0, should be licking their chops in advance of this game.

Player who could surprise: Rashad Jennings

The 49ers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to running backs, and that’s after they held Adrian Peterson to 31 yards on 10 carries in Week 1. Since then, they’ve allowed DeAngelo Williams, Chris Johnson and Eddie Lacy to combine for 277 yards and five touchdowns on 60 carries. Jennings can exploit this defense, and the game flow very well could work in his favor. If the Giants build a big lead, they’ll turn to Jennings frequently in the second half.

Player who could disappoint: Carlos Hyde

It has been tough sledding for Hyde after his banner Week 1 against the Vikings. Since running for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in that game, he has a total of 114 yards and zero scores on 36 totes. It hasn’t necessarily been his fault, but the fact that the line hasn’t done a thing for him won’t exactly soothe his owners. No running back can do it on his own, and the Giants have allowed the sixth-fewest points to running backs this year.

Matchup to watch: Odell Beckham vs. 49ers secondary

Beckham has basically seen an all-hands-on-deck approach in coverage against him this year. That will be the case on Sunday night, especially since the 49ers don’t have one standout corner who could hope to keep up with him.

Injury report

Vernon Davis (knee): Out

Victor Cruz (calf): Out

Pittsburgh Steelers at San Diego Chargers

       Team

     vs. QB

      vs. RB

       vs. WR

       vs. TE

     Steelers

      16th

       4th

       18th

      29th

    Chargers

      8th

      31st

       2nd

      24th

Vegas lines

Chargers -3.5

Over/under 45.5

Steelers o/u 21

Chargers o/u 24.5

Like every Steelers game, this would be a lot more interesting if Ben Roethlisberger were healthy, but Michael Vick could do some damage in this game. The Chargers’ defense doesn’t exactly strike fear in anyone’s heart (just ask Josh McCown), and Vick will have had 11 days off before taking the field on Monday night. Even so, and as if this needs to be said, Le’Veon Bell is my No. 1 running back for the week.

Player who could surprise: Danny Woodhead

Woodhead has outsnapped Melvin Gordon in every game this season, and the rookie failed to take advantage of a great matchup with the Browns last week. He did get his first goal-line carry of the season, but he did not convert it. Meanwhile, Woodhead could be a real matchup problem for the Steelers. They’ve faced just one back, Dion Lewis, who is a real threat as a receiver. Lewis had four catches for 51 yards in that game. You can bet the Chargers will get Woodhead significantly involved.

Fantasy
Most intriguing players of Week 5: Gates back in action vs. Steelers

​ Player who could disappoint: Martavis Bryant

Bryant undoubtedly brings a welcome element to the Pittsburgh offense, and that’s the ability to stretch the field. If Roethlisberger were under center, Bryant would rate as a WR2 this week. Unfortunately, Vick doesn’t throw nearly as accurate a deep ball as the usual Pittsburgh starter. Bryant will have his day in the fantasy sun this season. It just won’t come this week.

Matchup to watch: Le’Veon Bell vs. the entire city of San Diego

The Chargers have allowed the fourth-most rushing yards and fifth-most receiving yards to backs this season. It might take the entire city to slow Bell down on Monday night.

Injury report

The official injury report for Monday Night Football isn’t released until Sunday, but the two fantasy-relevant players to keep an eye on are Malcom Floyd (concussion) and Stevie Johnson (hamstring). Floyd was a full participant in Friday’s practice, so expect him to be out there on Monday. Johnson, meanwhile, missed Friday’s practice. Fantasy owners should not count on him this week.

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