The Predictalator has run every Week 5 2014 NFL game 50,000 times. Below we present the up-to-date top three at each fantasy position for the week, a sleeper likely to have a breakout game (generally chosen as the best $/FP value on daily fantasy sites), a player to avoid (the worst $/FP value) and some injury situations to monitor heading into the week.
1. Andrew Luck 26.7 Ps (IND vs. BAL) - Luck leads the NFL in touchdown passes and fantasy points this season and is projected to finish #1 among all players in fantasy points at the end of the season. The Ravens rank seventh worst in the NFL, giving up 7.8 yards-per-pass and are third worst with a sack on just 3% of opponent drop backs.
2. Drew Brees 26.2 FPs (NO vs. TB) - Tampa Bay may have pulled an upset last week, but the defense is still one of the weakest in the league. The Buccaneers are giving up 76% completions and 8.3 yards-per-pass to opposing quarterbacks. While those numbers are historically bad, with over 70% completions and 300+ yards-per-game in his career, Brees has been historically great at home.
3. Peyton Manning 25.4 FPs (DEN vs. ARI) - Manning faces a top five pass defense and still ranks in the top three quarterbacks for the week. Just wait until he gets to play competitive games against teams with below average defenses. While he should remain a strong start each week, Manning does have a tough path for the next several weeks with the Cardinals, Jets, 49ers and Patriots four of the next five weeks.
Breakout Candidate: Blake Bortles 21.9 FPs (JAC vs. PIT) - Bortles is not a great quarterback and may never be, but he can be a fantasy asset in the right situation. He is averaging 7.8 yards-per-pass on 71% completions thus far and gets to take on a depleted Steelers defense at home in what looks like a shootout. Walking the walk, I am starting Bortles in two leagues this week and he is a great value in daily fantasy.
Must Avoid: Tom Brady 14.3 FPs (NE vs. CIN) - The poorest value at QB yet again, Brady ranks 26th of 30 quarterbacks in our fantasy projections for the week. Cincinnati is coming off a bye and has a top three defense. Meanwhile, Brady is suffering from a porous offensive line and a lack of consistent weapons through the air.
1. DeMarco Murray 19.3 FPs (DAL vs. HOU) - Ride him as long as he plays. Murray's history suggests that an injury, likely a multiple week issue, is almost inevitable, but he remains a must start until then.
2. Le'Veon Bell 15.8 FPs (PIT @ JAC) - Bell has accounted for 67% of his team's carries and 16% of his team's passing targets this season. That's the sixth highest rush percentage and fourth highest target percentage among running backs. He's a strong all-around player with a great Week 5 matchup in Jacksonville.
3. Rashad Jennings 15.3 FPs (NYG vs. ATL) - Jennings has the support of his team and coaches as the team's true feature back. Atlanta is allowing over 4.5 yards-per-carry overall and more than six yards-per-carry on runs between the tackles.
Breakout Candidate: Khiry Robinson 14.1 FPs (NO vs. TB) - Robinson and his former teammate Chris Ivory are the top two daily fantasy values for the week at running back. Filling in for the injured Mark Ingram, Robinson has averaged 5.4 yards-per-carry this season. Unlikely to fall behind early like last week, New Orleans should count on Robinson and a strong run attack to win over Tampa Bay.
Must Avoid: Cleveland RBs (CLE @ TEN) - With Ben Tate returning to health after the bye week and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan suggesting that the team does not have a true starting running back (he will play the "hot hand"), we do not know enough about the Browns to trust any of their running backs. In our rankings, Tate is #33, Terrance West #49 and Isaiah Crowell #51 for the week at the position.
1. Antonio Brown 15.6 FPs (PIT @ JAC) - Brown ranks in the top ten in the NFL in team target percentage, yards-per-target, touchdowns-per-reception and touchdowns-per-target. He is Ben Roethlisberger's favorite receiving threat (by far) and a consistent play maker.
2. Julio Jones 15.5 FPs (ATL @ NYG) - Not only is Jones on pace for 116 catches and 1,788 receiving yards (he is our #3 WR for the rest of the season in fantasy), but he should receive even more attention from Matt Ryan this week with Harry Douglas, Devin Hester and Roddy White all missing practice time.
3. Jeremy Maclin 13.6 FPs (PHI vs. STL) - Another hot receiver coming off of an injury, Maclin is second only to Jordy Nelson in total passing targets. The Rams have allowed the third highest yards-per-pass on the season.
Breakout Candidate: Allen Robinson 8.7 FPs (JAC vs. PIT) - With Bortles a strong value and Cecil Shorts and Marqise Lee currently ailing, Robinson looks like a decent bet to break out this week. In Bortles two games, Robinson has been targeted 17 times.
Must Avoid: Eric Decker 6.5 FPs (NYJ @ SD) - The Jets need Decker, but he is not healthy. Even if Decker suits up against the Chargers (David Nelson is also out, leaving the Jets with only Greg Salas and Jeremy Kerley as healthy receivers), he will likely do so more as a decoy than a player expected to make explosive plays. Hamstring injuries can crush a receiver's ability to separate.
1. Jimmy Graham 14.7 FPs (NO vs. TB)
2. Larry Donnell 12.1 FPs (NYG vs. ATL)
3. Julius Thomas 10.5 FPs (DEN vs. ARI)
Breakout Candidate: Travis Kelce 8.0 FPs (KC @ SF)
Must Avoid: Jason Witten 5.8 FPs (DAL vs. HOU)
1. Shaun Suisham 11.5 FPs (PIT @ JAC)
2. Justin Tucker 10.2 FPs (BAL @ IND)
3. Cody Parkey 9.8 FPs (PHI vs. STL)
Breakout Candidate: Randy Bullock 9.7 FPs (HOU @ DAL)
Must Avoid: Kai Forbath 5.3 FPs (WAS vs. SEA)
1. Denver Broncos 10.6 FPs (DEN vs. ARI)
2. Seattle Seahawks 10.1 FPs (SEA @ WAS)
3. San Francisco 49ers 10.0 FPS (SF vs. KC)
Breakout Candidate: San Diego Chargers 8.3 FPs (SD vs. NYJ)
Must Avoid: New England Patriots 2.6 FPs (NE vs. CIN)
Injuries to Watch
1. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans - After 59 touches in his first two games, Foster will be looking at a third straight legitimate "game-time" decision on Sunday at Dallas. Foster only ran the ball eight times (for six net yards) last week against Buffalo. If he is healthy enough to play, he is still only about 50/50 likely to be fantasy relevant. The matchup is great against a weak Dallas defense, but Foster's health is a major concern. If Foster misses time, Alfred Blue could be in for a big game, the best of his short career to-date.
2. Skill Positions, Detroit Lions - Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Joique Bell and Joseph Fauria have all missed practice time this week. While Johnson and Tate are still expected to play, that many players at less than 100% hurts Matthew Stafford's overall value. He ranks just 15th among quarterbacks in our projections (we only have Fauria out in our numbers). Bell has yet to be cleared from a concussion. His absence could mean 20+ touches for Reggie Bush and a Theo Riddick sighting, but an overall downgrade for everyone else.
3. Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals - After breaking his foot over the summer, Jones was supposed to be healthy enough to play in Week 5 at New England. Having been drafted in more than half of fantasy leagues before the season, patient owners were about to find out what they have in Jones. On Wednesday though, Jones rolled his ankle and is questionable to play on Sunday night. While that is great news for owners of A.J. Green, Gio Bernard and, especially, Mohamed Sanu, Jones owners should probably let the injury-prone and inconsistent player hit the waiver wire.