Setting lineups ahead of Week 5 is that much more difficult with the introduction of the first bye week of the season for NFL teams. The Week 5 byes are the first of eight this season. As they start to rear their ugly head, injuries continue to pile up, as well. The game continues to change on a dime. Identifying risers and fallers to help guide difficult lineup decisions can help keep our teams on the right path toward the playoffs. As always, I’ll also name one player on the hot seat. If they don’t turn things around soon, we may be sending them to free agency.
Week 5 Risers, Fallers, and Who is on The Hot Seat
Romeo Doubs, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers
As many continue to wait for Christian Watson to emerge as the lead receiver on the Green Bay Packers, Romeo Doubs is somewhat quietly in the process of doing so. Doubs has 18.3 PPR points or more in three out of four games this season. He’s also inside the top 15 most-targeted wide receivers with 33 total targets.
That includes 12 and 13 in the last two games respectively. Now, this could change as we haven’t seen the Packers’ offense at complete full strength yet. It’s hard to imagine Doubs fading into nothingness when they are, though. He is a clear fantasy riser based on his connection with quarterback, Jordan Love. If Doubs, a fifth-round pick last year, were selected where Christian Watson was, in the second, the narrative would be much more overwhelmingly positive for him.
Jake Ferguson, Tight End, Dallas Cowboys
Once again, the tight end position is a complete disaster from a fantasy football perspective. There’s still plenty of time for it to take shape. Ahead of Week 5, though, there’s an opportunity for everyone to pick up fantasy riser, Jake Ferguson, if he’s still out there.
Unless you have Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, or T.J. Hockenson in your lineup. you don’t have much to lose by making room for Ferguson on your roster. Ferguson is on pace for over 100 targets as he’s drawn 25 through the first four weeks. The volume also equates to production. From Weeks 2 through 4, Ferguson is averaging 11.5 PPR points per game. Before Week 5, double-check to make sure Jake Ferguson isn’t sitting in your league’s free agency pool waiting to be picked up.
Justin Fields, Quarterback, Chicago Bears
After finding himself on my Week 3 hot seat, I’m confidently including Fields in the riser column ahead of Week 5. His Week 4 matchup with the Denver Broncos is arguably the best game of his career, despite the loss. Fields posted career-high numbers in both passing yards (335) and passing touchdowns (4) last Sunday.
It was the first time he topped 300 passing yards in 31 career games and 29 starts. Fields is a riser because of his next four-game stretch. His next four opponents all rank inside the top 10 in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. The matchups improve as each week goes by, too. Fields has an obvious rapport with D.J. Moore, Darnell Mooney, and Cole Kmet while still presenting a threat with his rushing ability. He’s going to be alright.
Jahmyr Gibbs, Running Back, Detroit Lions
I’ll be the first to admit I heavily bought into the Jahmyr Gibbs hype for the 2023 fantasy football season. He’s the 12th overall pick and a tremendous talent on a successful Lions team that did a complete overhaul of their backfield. He’s on the list of Week 5 fallers because I’m coming to terms with that.
For now, he’s not the RB1 I thought he would be. His role is definitively smaller than David Montgomery’s. At this point in the season, Montgomery is a set-and-forget RB1 with varying upside depending on the matchup. Gibbs figures to be a high-end flex in PPR leagues that will benefit from negative game scripts.
Raheem Mostert, Running Back, Miami Dolphins
Rookie running back, De’Von Achane, followed up his 51.3 points in Week 3 with 27.0 points in Week 4 on just 11 touches. Meanwhile, Raheem Mostert followed up his 45.2 points in Week 3 with a season-low 5.5 points on 10 touches, one of which he fumbled. Mostert isn’t going anywhere, but he’s an obvious faller in rankings after posting overall RB1 numbers after the first three weeks.
The Dolphins got smacked around by the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. They’ll have a much easier time in Week 5 at home against the New York Giants and then again in Week 6 versus the Carolina Panthers. Mostert still deserves consideration in most starting lineups, I’m just tempering expectations as Achane gets more comfortable and even Jeff Wilson Jr. looks to return from Injured Reserve.
DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans
I don’t want to buy into the narrative that former stud veteran wide receivers go to Tennessee to see their careers fizzle out. However, the trend is becoming glaringly obvious in consideration of DeAndre Hopkins.
After drawing 13 targets in Week 1, Hopkins has 18 in his last three games. The volume puts him on pace for a bit over 125 targets. That would be the lowest of any full season played in his career. What’s more concerning is the production. Hopkins is a fantasy faller after hauling in just 18 of his 31 targets for 216 total yards. That doesn’t even put him on pace for a 1,000-yard season. He has yet to find the end zone yet, as well.
Hopkins’ Week 5 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts needs to be a “get right” game. This matchup could be a sneaky shootout through the air between Ryan Tannehill and rookie Anthony Richardson. Both defensive units rank inside the top seven in receptions and yards allowed to opposing wide receivers. They’ve both allowed five receiver touchdowns to the position, as well. Both teams have a strong run game defense teams have to respect, so picking them apart through the air seems likely.
The Week 5 Hot Seat
Joe Burrow, Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals
At this point in the season, I thought Joe Burrow would be firmly in the top five at his position. Instead, he’s on my Week 5 hot seat. Joe Burrow’s highest score of the season is 16.38 points in Week 2. He has 17.04 points combined in his other three games. Plain and simple, if you’ve started Joe Burrow in each of the last four weeks, you’re lucky to have even one win.
It’s obvious the calf injury Joe Burrow suffered in training camp is hindering his performance. Unfortunately, the Bengals need him out there to improve upon their 1-3 record. It’s an ugly situation that hopefully improves with a Week 5 matchup with the 1-3 Arizona Cardinals. Luckily for Burrow, the Cardinals defense is allowing the seventh-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Then, in Week 6, before their bye week, the Bengals return home to host the Seattle Seahawks whose defense is allowing the 11th-most points to quarterbacks.
After the first three games of the 2021 season, in Burrow’s return from a season-ending ACL injury, he sat at QB20 averaging 16.8 points per game. He then went on to rip off five straight games of 20.3 or more fantasy points. I’m holding onto hope Burrow can get healthy and improve upon this season, as well. For now, though, there’s a longer list of quarterbacks I would start over Joe Burrow than I would have expected there to be in Week 5.