Another week of football, another week of injuries. Many of the fantasy players that end up in this column are a result of a starter being injured. Running backs are the most susceptible to getting injured and having a backup take their place. Fantasy managers should absolutely make sure they own their starter’s handcuff and this is becoming more and more important each week.
Chuba Hubbard could get another start, although Christian McCaffrey has already pronounced himself ready to return. Damien Williams will fill in for David Montgomery. Joe Mixon and Dalvin Cook are injured and are truly questionable for Week 5. Keep an eye on their status and know who to put in your lineup.
Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status, and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders
Fields has officially (finally?) been named the Bears' starting quarterback. They face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5, who just allowed Justin Herbert to throw for three touchdowns in Week 4. They allowed a rushing touchdown to Jacoby Brissett in Week 3. If Fields can start utilizing some designed runs, he will definitely exceed his No. 21 ranking. He looked better last week and he will just continue to improve.
Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers
Mixon sprained his ankle in Week 4, and all signs point to him sitting this week against the Green Bay Packers. With Mixon out, Perine would be the next man up. Chris Evans also will be involved, but Perine should see the early-down work with Evans coming in on third down. However, it should be Perine at the goal line. Assuming he gets enough opportunities, he should exceed his No. 28 ranking, especially in standard-scoring leagues.
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions
Cook keeps playing, but he’s not healthy. He injured his ankle at the end of Week 2 and sat out Week 3. He returned for Week 4 but only managed 34 rushing yards on nine carries. He has missed two days of practice so far this week, and he may try to suit up for Week 5. When Cook was completely ruled out in Week 3, Mattison had 112 rushing yards and six receptions for 59 yards. With Cook attempting to play in Week 4, Mattison only had 20 rushing yards and no receptions. Expect Mattison to be more involved in Week 5.
Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Cardinals face the 49ers this week, and their defense can be beaten through the air. In each week this season, an opposing wide receiver has had either a touchdown or a 100-yard game (sometimes both). Moore is ranked No. 35 and while it certainly could be DeAndre Hopkins that has a big game, the fact that the 49ers are giving up touchdowns to wide receivers bodes well for Moore.
Jared Cook, TE, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns
Cook is ranked No. 15 for Week 5, and after what he did in Week 4, he should exceed that. He had seven targets and caught six of them for 70 yards and a touchdown. It was his best game of the season, but Herbert has consistently looked for him in the red zone. Cook had 56 yards in Week 1 and under 30 yards in the other two weeks. The Chargers face the Cleveland Browns, who allowed two touchdowns to Travis Kelce in Week 1.
Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Chicago Bears
Carr has been a great quarterback option so far this season, but he has a tough matchup in Week 5 with the Bears. Besides Week 1 when they faced Matthew Stafford out in Los Angeles, the Bears have not allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for 300 yards or more than two touchdowns. Carr has thrown two touchdowns in each game so far this season, but his yards were much lower in Week 4. He should return to normal numbers this week and not exceed his No. 13 ranking.
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers
Fantasy managers who drafted Sanders as a No. 1 running back are likely disappointed with his performance so far this season. In four games, he has a total of 169 rushing yards. He has 11 receptions for 105 yards and no touchdowns of any kind. When it comes to receiving, Kenneth Gainwell has 13 receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns. It seems more and more like Gainwell is the preferred back in Philadelphia. Sanders may not reach his No. 27 ranking this week.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Chicago Bears
Jacobs was able to practice in full this week, but ranking him No. 21 seems a bit high. He’s coming off an ankle injury, and he likely is not at 100 percent. He hasn’t looked great yet this season, notching only 34 yards in Week 1 and 40 yards in Week 2. He did have two touchdowns in Week 1, which saved his fantasy day. If he can find the end zone, this prediction will be incorrect, but based on his inability to rack up yards or big plays and Chicago’s defense, Jacobs is on the down list.
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Jets (London)
This is a tough one. As a wide receiver, Patterson likely will not finish at his ranking of No. 26. As a running back, however, he is ranked higher. Patterson has been great, and it depends on how you can use him in your league. Wide receiver is much deeper than running back, so you likely can find players that will perform better than him at that position. Keep in mind that Calvin Ridley is out (and so is Russell Gage), so the Falcons' offense may look a bit different this week.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
The 49ers face the Cardinals in Week 5, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends so far. No tight ends have scored a touchdown and only one has more than 30 yards. This may be the caliber of tight end, but it also may be the defense. Kittle, who is ranked No. 7, is a matchup nightmare when healthy but he's not right now.
Even if he's somehow able to play on Sunday, this is not shaping up to be a good week to have Kittle in your lineup.
Full Disclosure from Week 4
5 Up (3/5 correct)
- Jameis Winston, QB, New Orleans Saints (Ranked: 24, Actual: 26)
- AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers (Ranked: 43, Actual: 30)
- D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions (Ranked: 14, Actual: 37)
- Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team (Ranked: 21, Actual: 4)
- Will Dissly, TE, Seattle Seahawks (Not Ranked, Actual: 40)
5 Down (3/4 correct)
- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans (Ranked: 11, Actual: 17)
- Trey Sermon, RB, San Francisco 49ers (Ranked: 21, Actual: 37)
- Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ranked: 39, Actual: 41)
- Julio Jones, WR, Tennessee Titans (Ranked: 19, Actual: DNP)
- Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (Ranked: 10, Actual: 8)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.