Despite a brutal Week 4 performance, Andy Dalton should bounce back in Week 5
Some fantasy football teams are 0-4. Some are 4-0. Others are in the middle. Regardless of your record, you still want to win. You want to put your best lineup out there and hope for the best. Often, fantasy owners get stuck in a mindset where they have an attachment to players that they drafted in the early rounds of the draft.
If you got Todd Gurley, for example, in the second round, it may be difficult to accept that he's not the RB1 that you were hoping for. Look at Gurley for what he is: an RB2 that will have some good games (like Thursday night when he scored twice) and some stinkers. Look at your team as objectively as you can, and look at the matchup when trying to decide who to start each week.
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.
Teams on bye: Detroit, Miami
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton played poorly, to say the least, in Week 4, but prime time is not his strong suit. Dalton is back to playing on Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have given up 10 total touchdowns to opposing quarterback this season. Dalton is ranked No. 15, but he's in a prime position to exceed that ranking. It may be tough without John Ross, but he’ll use Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, and his running backs and tight ends to get the job done.
Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
In Week 3, Samuels gave fantasy owners a zero. In Week 4, he had a rushing touchdown and eight receptions for 57 yards. The Steelers have figured out that Mason Rudolph excels when throwing short passes to his running backs, and that's where Samuels' value comes in. James Conner is still the No. 1 running back, but he's dealing with an ankle injury (this seems to be different than the knee injury he's already had this year). If Conner is out for some reason, Samuels vaults to RB1 status. Assuming Conner is in, he still should exceed his No. 33 ranking.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers
The Packers face a Dallas defense that has been pretty tough against wide receivers, but if Davante Adams misses Week 5 with turf toe, Allison will be the next man up. Aaron Rodgers has already been looking for him (after the Week 1 goose egg) and he has two touchdowns so far this season. Allison is a WR4 if Adams is active. However, if Adams is out, he should exceed his No. 33 ranking.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
Sutton scored two touchdowns in Week 4, his first of the season. Even with Joe Flacco at quarterback, Sutton has managed to put together a decent season so far. He has at least seven targets in all four games and at least four receptions in each. He had 120 yards in Week 1, and has been a target for Flacco all season. Often if Emmanuel Sanders is getting double-teamed, Sutton is open. He's ranked No. 36 against a Chargers defense that has allowed four touchdowns to wide receivers this season.
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
In Week 4, Doyle is more likely to be remembered as the guy that took the huge hit from Vontaze Burfict. However, he's not in the concussion protocol and should be good to go against Kansas City on Sunday night. He did score a touchdown in Week 4, and the matchup against the Chiefs is a good one. It's not clear if T.Y. Hilton (quad) will be able to play, but if he's inactive, Doyle is a solid tight end option again this week. He's ranked No. 17 but should be able to exceed that.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers has what might be a tough matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. However, it's hard to tell whether the Cowboys defense is good or if they've had the luxury of some easy matchups this season. Rodgers has struggled a bit this year. Week 4 was the first time all season with more than 240 yards. He hasn't had more than two touchdowns in a game this season. Possibly without his No. 1 receiver, Davante Adams, Rodgers will have a hard time reaching his No. 7 ranking.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Even though McCoy has been battling an ankle injury, the biggest concern for him is the possible return of Damien Williams. While Williams has been out, McCoy has taken over as the lead back, with Darrel Williams also getting some work. With all three healthy and active, they will eat into each other's workload. McCoy is ranked No. 17, but may drop if he has to share carries with either Williams. The Chiefs face the Colts, and while they could get ahead early and then rely on the running game, it's hard to count on McCoy as anything more than an RB3.
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants
Gallman filled in nicely for fantasy owners in Week 4 with Saquon Barkley out. However, while there is an outside shot Barkley returns, it doesn't seem likely. The bigger concern for Gallman is the matchup. The Giants face the Vikings in Week 5, and Minnesota has only given up one rushing touchdown to a running back this year (Aaron Jones, Week 2). They have given up two receiving touchdowns to running backs, and Gallman had a TD catch in Week 4. But with Golden Tate back from suspension, Gallman may see fewer receptions and should struggle to reach his No. 24 ranking.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders
Williams has been banged up, but he has still managed to score a touchdown in every game so far this season. However, since Week 1, he hasn't had more than five receptions or 46 yards. He's battled a hip injury and he's on the injury report this week with a foot injury. It seems that he'll play on Sunday, but against a tough Bears defense, in London, Williams is not the low WR2 that he's ranked as. He's ranked No. 24, but he is a low WR3.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
The Buffalo Bills give up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and that's Walker's Week 5 opponent. Walker had a rough outing in Week 4, where he was only targeted twice. He caught one ball for four yards. He had two touchdowns in Week 1, but hasn't found the end zone since. The Bills defense has really only faced one team with a solid tight end (Evan Engram), so this should be a test for them. Walker is ranked No. 10, but he may not finish as a TE1 this week.
Full Disclosure from Week 4
5 Up (3/5 correct)
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions (Ranked: 16, actual: 4)
James Conner, RB, Steelers (Ranked: 11, actual: 8)
Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers (Ranked: 32, actual: not in top 50)
Devin Smith, WR, Cowboys (Ranked: 51, actual: not in top 50)
Will Dissly, TE, Seahawks (Ranked: 9, actual: 4)
5 Down (2/4 correct, 1 push)
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots (Ranked: 6, actual: 27)
Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks (Ranked: 12, actual: 12)
Duke Johnson, RB, Texans (Ranked: 39, actual: 29)
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers (Ranked: 11, actual: 10)
O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers (Ranked: 7, actual: 25)
— Rankings 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.