Punch Drunk Wonderland

Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 5

Here’s a look at some potential fantasy sleepers going into Week 5 courtesy of our friends at numberFire.

Michael Vick, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Michael Vick and the Steelers head across the country to face the San Diego Chargers in Week 5. The Bolts are three-point favorites, and that’s not generally the right recipe for finding fantasy quarterback success. However, Vick’s situation might be a bit different.

The Chargers rank 15th in the league in our Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play metric, which compares a team’s pass defense to expectation-level. They’re 24th in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play, so there’s a good chance the Steelers won’t be stymied by San Diego.

Vick still has Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell at his disposal, and he’ll be getting Martavis Bryant for the first time.

There’s enough firepower to pick up production, and even in a horrible Week 4 outing, Vick posted 33 rushing yards. Our algorithms project him for 40 yards on the ground in Week 5 and to finish as the 15th-best fantasy quarterback on the weekend.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins

Kirk Cousins has a lot stacked against him heading into Week 5, but he can still put up fantasy numbers. Cousins has hit the 290-yard plateau in back-to-back weeks, but of course, there’s more to the logic.

Atlanta ranks 21st in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play, so they’re a beatable defense — though not as generous as last season.

Unfortunately, Jordan Reed will have to clear concussion protocol to play in Week 5, and that dude’s been eating. Reed has 34 targets through four games and a 22.2% market share of the team’s targets, fifth-highest among all tight ends.

Keep an eye out for Reed’s status — and Pierre Garcon‘s, who is dealing with a knee sprain — but Cousins could be a source of salary relief in your daily games or a plug-and-play in season-long formats if the quarterback options are thin.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

LeGarrette Blount spurned many Dion Lewis fans back in Week 3, and there’s reason he might do it again in Week 5. The Patriots are nine-point favorites over the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas. That suggests a positive game script for the Patriots. Or in other words: “A LeGarrette Blount Week.”

Dallas ranks 22nd in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play, so they’re beatable on the ground, but the bigger thing to keep in mind is that the Patriots are coming off of a bye week.

To spell that out, Bill Belichick and company have had an extra week to figure out how to stop Brandon Weeden. This game could be out of hand early, and that means that Blount should be seeing touches down the stretch and near the goal line (the Patriots have the highest team total on the weekend at 29.75 points).

Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos

Another year, another Broncos running back to key in on in fantasy football. This isn’t just a reaction to Ronnie Hillman‘s performance in Week 4 (11 carries, 103 yards, and 1 touchdown) but rather a culmination of various factors.

C.J. Anderson hasn’t been performing like he did last year when he was a top-six back in the league in terms of Rushing NEP, and Hillman is the next man in line. Head coach Gary Kubiak said that Anderson is still the starter but that Hillman has earned more carries.

Denver is a 4.5-point road favorite against the Raiders this week, a team that ranks a respectable 14th in our per-play rushing metrics. The key stat — if we read it this way — is that Oakland ranks 30th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. The Broncos shouldn’t have an issue getting a lead with their stifling defense (they’re tops in the NFL per our metrics). Hillman could see extra volume for that reason as well.

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)


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