Through 5 weeks of the NFL Season, we are left with 4 undefeated teams and 3 teams looking to get their first win. This week, we’re set for our fair share of evenly faced matchups with battles such as the Chiefs Vs. Bills, Green Bay vs. Tampa Bay, Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh and several others. With this being the case, we are in store for potential breakout performances from fantasy stars in big-time matchups this week. In this article, we’ll break down players who have potential to break out for a big game and notable players who would be better left on your bench. We intentionally exclude players such as Deandre Hopkins and Tyreek Hill who should be in your starting lineup every week if they are playing.
Wide Receivers to Start:
Jamison Crowder – Even with Joe Flacco under center, Crowder has quietly been an absolute rockstar this season. In all 3 games he’s appeared in, Crowder has managed over 104 yards in each of those games. Crowder was able to do that with snagging ⅔ of the passes thrown his way and is one of the most underrated players in the entire league. Crowder faces the division rival in the Dolphins this week which is always a tough matchup. With Le’Veon Bell out of the picture and signing with the Chiefs, the Jets are going to rely more heavily on their passing game which sets up Crowder for a significant amount of targets. Crowder is a must start in your fantasy lineup this week.
Kenny Golladay – Golladay is still not playing at 100% health, but in the last 2 weeks since he’s been back, he’s had 10 receptions for 119 yards with a pair of touchdowns. This has been solid for fantasy owners and with Golladay slowly getting back to himself after a career season last year, we expect Golladay to have potential to breakout any week now. With a matchup against the 1-4 Jacksonville Jaguars, this is the matchup for Stafford and Golladay to rekindle their connection and both have strong performances. If you’re lucky enough to have both Stafford and Golladay, we’d recommend starting both in your league.
A.J. Brown – Another player in this column who has been overlooked due to injuries this season is A.J. Brown. Brown returned in week 5 against the Bills who have one of the top defenses in the NFL and Brown still managed 82 yards and a touchdown in his return from injury. The 2nd year receiver is a favorite target of veteran Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill has been able to succeed in Tennessee with an actually strong offensive line, a Pro Bowl running back in Derrick Henry and young weapons who are consistent such as A.J. Brown. With Brown being back in the starting lineup, Tannehill will look to get him as many targets as he can and Brown should be a strong candidate for your flex position almost every week.
Wide Receivers to Sit:
Jarvis Landry – The Browns are a run-heavy team this season with their dynamic trio of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson. With Chubb out of the picture, we expected Cleveland to rely more on their receiving weapons in last week’s matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, but that was not necessarily the case as the Browns managed 124 rushing yards against a top-tier defense. Landry was the leader in reception yards against the Colts but only was able to haul in 4 receptions with his 9 targets. Landry was a benefactor of a couple big plays on open looks which inflated his bottom line numbers last week. With facing the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers this week, Landry and Odell will be heavily guarded but Odell has proven himself to clutch up during these tough matchups and we expect Odell to see more targets and more opportunities for success this game.
T.Y. Hilton – Hilton’s age has shown this season and he’s taken significant steps back this season with his declining performance. Hilton had a season high 69 yards against the Browns last week which for Hilton a couple years ago would have been one of the lowest weeks of the season for him. Hilton hasn’t been able to produce at the level we once saw from him with Andrew Luck. Without Luck, Hilton hasn’t been a top-tier receiver and the Colts have relied more on their rushing attack since last season. With Taylor and Hines, the Colts will rely more on them this week to get the job done against the Cincinnati Bengals.
D.J. Moore – Moore finally managed his first touchdown of the season in Week 5 that we’ve all been waiting for. In last week’s article, we predicted Moore would finally see his breakout performance of the season along with strong performances from Teddy Bridgewater and Mike Davis as well. Moore was the wide receiver #1 entering this season for the Panthers, but Robby Anderson has overtaken that role for the Panthers offense. Anderson has been the favorite target for Bridgewater with Anderson seeing 46 targets compared to Moore’s 37 targets. This has allowed for Anderson to have over 100 more receiving yards than Moore this season. Moore did face a weak Atlanta Falcons secondary last week which set him up for success but with a tough matchup against the Bears, we only expect Robby Anderson to be worth starting in fantasy lineups this week and even with that as a WR2 option for your team. Moore is a flex in deeper leagues, but we’d recommend looking elsewhere for this week.