This is the first week with four teams on bye, and more injury news later in the week could make more players unavailable. The Bills, Bears, Colts and Raiders are off. Some players that are normally on the bench might be in the starting lineup in Week 6. Here are some sneaky starts.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Minshew keeps producing and is still available in many leagues as a streamer or bye week fill-in. He has been consistent for fantasy, with multiple touchdowns in four of five games. In his toughest matchup last week against the Panthers, Minshew passed for 374 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 42 yards. The Saints have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, but they have been much better the last two weeks against the Cowboys and Buccaneers.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
The way to beat the Eagles' defense is through the air. They have been excellent against the run. The Vikings are a run-oriented team and will continue to feed Dalvin Cook, but this will be a game where Cousins will have to pass more than usual. The Eagles' weakness is the secondary. The Eagles have allowed multiple touchdown passes to three of five quarterbacks, and one who didn't was Jets third-string quarterback Luke Falk, who had 120 passing yards and two interceptions. Cousins had a good matchup against the Giants last week and passed for 306 yards with two touchdowns.
Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers
After looking sharp in his first start in place of Cam Newton, Allen has struggled. He has fumbled six times, losing five. He passed for 261 yards with four touchdowns against the Cardinals in Week 3, but has one touchdown in the last two games. Part of the reason is the heavy reliance on Christian McCaffrey, who has 62 touches the last two games. The Buccaneers have been one of the best teams against the run. In Week 2 against the Panthers, Tampa Bay held McCaffrey to 37 yards on 16 carries. Newton passed for 333 yards on a bad foot and missed several open receivers. If there is a week for Allen to bounce back, this is it.
Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins
It might be the lone time Peterson makes the list this season. How bad are the Dolphins? The 0-5 Redskins, fresh off a coaching change, are 3.5-point favorites on the road. It's expected that coach Bill Callahan will run the football more and it should work this week. The Dolphins have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs, including five rushing touchdowns and four receiving touchdowns. Peterson has scored once this season and has been quiet, but the Redskins have constantly played from behind. Chris Thompson is in play, too.
Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans
The Chiefs have been shredded by the run. They have allowed three consecutive running backs to rush for 100 yards, and in Week 2 Josh Jacobs had 99 rushing yards on 12 carries. Hyde has been mediocre, especially since he's barely involved in the passing game. He has scored in two of the last three games and has 33 carries over the last two games. In the highest projected scoring game of the week, Hyde has a good shot to score a touchdown.
Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins
There hasn't been a week where a Dolphins running back was a consideration. If there's a week to play Drake, this is it. The Redskins have allowed six total touchdowns to running backs and it's possible the Dolphins don't get blown out, allowing Drake to get more touches than normal. Drake has seen double-digit carries in one game this season and has at least three receptions in three straight games.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens
The Bengals have been so bad against the run that many weeks two running backs from the same team have been fantasy relevant. The Bengals have allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position and allowed nine touchdowns. The Ravens focus on the run and this should be a week where Edwards gets double-digit touches.
Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons
Smith continues to be on the field more than expected and is almost in a time-share with Devonta Freeman. Last week Freeman played 54% of the snaps, while Smith played 47%. Smith had double-digit touches last week with five carries for 19 yards and six receptions for 45 yards. It's the second straight week Smith reached double-digit points in PPR formats. Playing against the high-paced Cardinals leads to more plays for opponents, and with the Falcons' defense not stopping anymore, Smith should see touches again.
Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are passing a lot and it's helped Sanu be a consistent start. Matt Ryan is on pace for more than 700 pass attempts since the defense isn't stopping anyone. It's an even better spot this week since the Cardinals play high-paced on offense. Sanu has double-digit points in PPR formats in four of five games. Sanu is averaging 7.2 targets per game.
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars
DJ Chark is getting all the attention, as he should, but Westbrook has been productive and gets the better matchup this week as he should see P.J. Williams in the slot often. Westbrook had 11 targets last week and caught seven passes for 82 yards. He has at least six targets in four of five games.
Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins
One of the few bright spots for the Dolphins has been the play of Williams. The rookie is getting 22% of the target share. The Dolphins said Josh Rosen will be the quarterback the rest of the season, and that's good for Williams since he has 19 targets in the last two games with Rosen starting. Williams has reached double-digit points in PPR formats in three of four games and gets a good matchup against Washington.
Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals
Tate barely came through last week, catching a touchdown in the second half. He had three catches for 29 yards with the score on six targets, and dropped a touchdown, too. Tate is on the field almost every play and the Ravens' defense isn't as good as recent seasons.
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots
This one has some risk and is for deep leagues with bye week issues. Phillip Dorsett has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury and Meyers will play in three-wide sets. Meyers played 46% of the snaps last week when Dorsett left early. The Giants have allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers and Meyers played well in the preseason.
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos
Fant hasn't done much and hasn't been targeted more than four times in any game. He has one game of double-digit points in PPR formats. With four teams on bye, several injuries and a thin position, there aren't many sneaky starts. Fant has a good matchup against the Titans, who have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in every game except one, and in that game, Austin Hooper had nine catches for 130 yards.
Ricky Seals-Jones, Cleveland Browns
The Seahawks' defense isn't as dominant as recent seasons and they have been struggling to defend tight ends. The Seahawks have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position, and that includes two games where they allowed one reception to a tight end. Seals-Jones didn't have a catch last game when the Browns scored three points, but he had three catches for 82 yards with a touchdown the week before.
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