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Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings: Projections to Love and Matchups to Exploit

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    As the NFL season continues, it’s important to keep an eye on trends that will help you in fantasy football. Because if you are able to identify those, it can help make lineup decisions much easier.

    Which teams can’t stop the pass? Who can’t limit opposing offenses on the ground? And, of course, how are teams most likely to operate their offense? By considering these things, you will find matchups you can exploit by starting the right players in your lineup.

    Heading into Week 5, here are positional rankings, along with some of the matchups to keep an eye on.  

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    1. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes vs. BUF

    2. Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen at KC

    3. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray vs. SF

    4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady vs. MIA

    5. Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson vs. IND

    6. Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins vs. DET

    7. Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott vs. NYG

    8. Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold vs. PHI

    9. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers at CIN

    10. New York Giants QB Daniel Jones at DAL


    Matchup to Watch: Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins vs. DET

    Kirk Cousins is poised for a bounce-back performance after his toughest showing of the season to this point against the Cleveland Browns (203 yards, one touchdown and one interception—his first of the year). But he had been airing it out over the first three gameweeks and racking up a ton of fantasy points.

    On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings are hosting the Detroit Lions in an NFC North matchup that they should win considering Detroit has lost each of its first four games. Minnesota needs a victory after a 1-3 start, and Cousins should have no trouble getting back on track.

    Projection: 306 yards and three touchdowns.

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    1. Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry at JAX

    2. Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott vs. NYG

    3. Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones at CIN

    4. Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook vs. DET

    5. New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara at WAS

    6. Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb at LAC

    7. New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley at DAL

    8. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor at BAL

    9. Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler vs. CLE

    10. Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift at MIN


    Matchup to Watch: Atlanta Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson vs. NYJ

    The Atlanta Falcons are going to be without one of their top offensive playmakers in London on Sunday, as the team announced wide receiver Calvin Ridley will miss the game because of a personal matter. That means there should be plenty of opportunities for Cordarrelle Patterson, who is coming off a huge three-touchdown performance against Washington.

    Patterson may not put up huge numbers every week, but his versatility in Atlanta’s offense means he should get consistent touches. That should be the case against a struggling New York Jets defense, meaning Patterson will again be worthy of starting in fantasy lineups for the second consecutive week.

    Projection: 122 total yards and a touchdown.

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    1. Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams at CIN

    2. Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill vs. BUF

    3. Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs at KC

    4. Carolina Panthers WR DJ Moore vs. PHI

    5. Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson vs. DET

    6. Washington Football Team WR Terry McLaurin vs. NO

    7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin vs. MIA

    8. Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb vs. NYG

    9. Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen vs. CLE

    10. San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel at ARI


    Matchup to Watch: San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel at ARI

    Although the Arizona Cardinals are 4-0, they are not a perfect team. And one of their weaknesses has been stopping opposing wide receivers, as they are giving up 44.3 fantasy points to the position, which is fifth-most in the league, per NFL.com.

    Deebo Samuel is off to a strong start, ranking second in the NFL with 490 receiving yards through four weeks. He’s coming off a huge performance against the Seattle Seahawks (eight catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns), and he has a good chance of following that up with another big day.

    Projection: 117 yards and a touchdown.

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    1. Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce vs. BUF

    2. Detroit Lions TE T.J. Hockenson at MIN

    3. Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller vs. CHI

    4. Atlanta Falcons TE Kyle Pitts vs. NYJ

    5. Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews vs. IND

    6. San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle at ARI

    7. Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki at TB

    8. Buffalo Bills TE Dawson Knox at KC

    9. Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz vs. NYG

    10. Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert at CAR


    Matchup to Watch: Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki at TB

    While the Miami Dolphins offense isn’t putting up huge numbers this season, Mike Gesicki has had a solid start to the year. He has 15 catches for 143 yards over the past two weeks, and he scored his first touchdown of the season in Miami’s Week 4 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

    Gesicki should be targeted a lot moving forward, which should bode well for him in Week 5 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are giving up an NFL-high 327.5 passing yards per game. And with the Dolphins likely to be passing a lot to try to keep up, expect Gesicki to have another strong showing.

    Projection: 71 yards and a touchdown.

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