At the quarter point of the fantasy football season, owners have an idea of what their team is capable of as we enter Week 5. Staring down a 2-2 record or so, owners know that they will need to make some good decisions from here out if they want to make the playoffs. After four weeks, enough time has passed to separate the good teams from the average teams. The average teams need to look at the rankings and hope for the best.
The five up/five down column 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. Five up/five down is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide. With four teams on a bye this week, making lineup decisions may be trickier.
Teams on bye: Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, Seattle
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
In three games, Wentz has three wins, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He's played against some weak defenses, but he also outplayed Ben Roethlisberger when the Eagles beat the Steelers in Week 3. Coming off a bye, the Eagles travel to Detroit to face a team that just allowed Brian Hoyer to throw for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions have allowed multiple touchdowns in all four games this year, and Wentz should continue his solid play. He's the eighth-ranked quarterback this week, but has potential to finish in the top five.
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts
When a running back is ranked in the top 10 (Howard is 8th), it's a gamble to say he's going to finish higher than that. However, Howard is poised to have a great game against the Colts. In Week 1, three different Detroit running backs scored a total of four touchdowns against Indianapolis. While no running back has gone for more than 100 rushing yards, those that also are adept as receivers have fared well against the Colts. Four different running backs have at least four receptions and 40 receiving yards against the Colts. Howard should succeed on the ground and provide value in PPR leagues.
James White, RB, New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns
Starting White this week is a gamble, however, it's a risk/reward play that should pay off in PPR leagues. In looking at his stats so far this season, he has not been used that much. However, he has much more value with Tom Brady (as do just about all of the Patriots offensive players) back at quarterback. Brady loves to throw short passes to move the chains, and the beneficiary of this is White. Reports are that Julian Edelman is banged up, and if he were to miss the game, White has even more value. The Browns are in the top 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs, and White should finish higher than his No. 27 ranking in PPR leagues.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After looking like a WR1 for the first two weeks of the season, Benjamin was shut out in Week 3 and last week’s outing was saved by a late touchdown. It has been tough, but Benjamin has had some tough matchups. The Buccaneers give up the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. In Week 4, they allowed both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to finish with at nearly 90 receiving yards and a touchdown. Benjamin, the 21st-ranked wide receiver for Week 5, should bounce back and finish in the top 20.
Zach Miller, TE, Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts
In the past two games with Brian Hoyer as his quarterback, Miller has posted 11 receptions for 109 yards and three touchdowns. He's clearly a favorite target for Hoyer, and now with Kevin White out and Eddie Royal banged up, Miller is in for a huge game. The Colts have allowed plenty of fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and Miller should finish higher than his No. 7 ranking.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos
Coming off a 503-yard, four-touchdown game, it's odd to have Ryan as a "five down," but he heads to Denver, who has been shutting down quarterbacks all season. The most passing yards Denver has allowed is 206 (Andy Dalton, Week 3). The Broncos have surrendered just two TD passes all season compared to five interceptions. Ryan, the 15th-ranked quarterback for Week 5, is a QB2.
Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have not allowed a running back to rush for more than 65 yards this season. Riddick isn't known for his rushing, but the Lions don't have a lot of other options with Dwayne Washington injured. Riddick is more of a pass-catching back, but unless he gets the receptions to save his PPR fantasy day, it's going to be a struggle in Week 5 for him. The Eagles haven't allowed more than four receptions to a running back. Riddick is ranked No. 18, but he may finish well outside of the top 20.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings
Hopkins started the season with touchdowns in the first two weeks. His Week 2 stat line (7-113-1) was on track with what fantasy owners were expecting. However, in the following two weeks, he has five receptions for 60 yards. Fantasy owners have been frustrated with the lack of production, and this week shouldn't be any easier. Hopkins is ranked No. 7, but the Minnesota Vikings excel at shutting down No. 1 receivers (see: Kelvin Benjamin in Week 3, Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 4). Hopkins is their next target and fantasy owners should just hope better days/weeks are ahead.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings vs. Houston Texans
The Texans’ defense has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Houston hasn’t given up more than six receptions to opposing wide receivers, and the defense has allowed just one touchdown to the position thus far. Diggs started the season with back-to-back 100-yard games, but has faltered in the past two weeks. He has nine receptions for 87 yards and no touchdowns in his last two games. He's missed practice time with a groin injury, so it appears he’s not 100 percent healthy right now. He is on track to play this week, but could end up finishing lower than his No. 17 ranking.
Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Witten is getting a ton of targets from Dak Prescott, but he's been inconsistent. He started the season with 14 targets, then saw four and two and then had nine last week. He's only topped 50 yards twice and has yet to find the end zone. In PPR leagues, fantasy owners can hope for a few receptions because even if the yardage totals are low, they'll still get points. However, in standard leagues, Witten is likely to finish below his No. 11 ranking.
Full Disclosure (Week 4)
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens, Ranked: 12, Finished: 7
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns, Ranked: 24, Finished: 2
Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans Ranked: 26, Finished: 4
Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers, Ranked: 18, Finished: 78
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings, Ranked: 10, Finished: 6
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints, Ranked: 6, Finished: 20
Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets, Ranked: 19, Finished: 49
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons, Ranked: 14, Finished: 16
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos, Ranked: 17, Finished: 15
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots, Ranked: 2, Finished: 37
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.