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Fantasy football sleepers for Week 5

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Week 5 of the 2021 NFL football season is just about to start, and it’s time to fine-tune your fantasy lineups. This includes hunting for solid flex players and sleepers that can pop off and help you win the game.

Each week during the NFL season, this article will highlight some deep sleepers for you to consider when setting lineups. You’ll never see Tier 1 players mentioned in this article, as I’ll look to unearth legitimate deep sleepers — players either low-owned or rarely started.

Here are some of the deep sleepers you should keep an eye on for Week 5.

 

 

Week 5 QB sleepers

Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

A rookie QB in his first NFL start? Fire him up with confidence. For starters, Trey Lance has incredible fantasy upside as a dual-threat QB. He played a half last week and threw for 157 yards and 2 TDs while adding 41 yards rushing. And the game environment is great: The 49ers square off against the high-flying Cardinals offense in a game with a 50-point over/under, and the 49ers are underdogs (the ball in Lance’s hands more).

Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team

Taylor Heinicke has been solid over the last three games, throwing for multiple TDs in each contest and 300-plus yards in two of three. He’s added 64 rushing yards and a rushing score over the last two weeks as well. His Week 5 opponent, the Saints, don’t have a pushover defense, but they have allowed the eighth-most passing yards this year (295 per game).

Week 5 RB sleepers

Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons

Much is being made of Cordarrelle Patterson’s hot start to the season, but at least for now, Mike Davis remains the primary RB in Atlanta. Though Patterson put up the big numbers, Davis still out-touched him 15-to-11 last week. And the matchup is as good as it gets for Davis. The Jets have allowed the most fantasy points to enemy RBs on the year. If there’s one week where Davis should get it done in the flex, it’s Week 5.

Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens

Latavius Murray may be hitting his stride with the Ravens. Ty’Son Willians was inactive for Week 4, paving the way for Murray to notch 18 rush attempts and a TD. The general consensus is that the Ravens backfield is a “stay away,” but the truth is that it’s pretty easy to figure out right now. The Ravens are a run-obsessed team, and Murray is their lead back. He’s a solid flex play, though less so in PPR leagues.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

The touches have not been there for Miles Sanders. In fact, he only has 15 touches over the last two weeks combined. But you can still stand strong on Sanders. His offensive snap share has not changed all year, landing between 60% and 67% each of the first four weeks. And in Weeks 1-2, in more competitive games, he logged 19 touches and 14 touches, respectively. The Eagles are underdogs (+3.5) against the Panthers, but that’s much closer than the 20-point and 12-point losses they suffered over the last two games. Sanders should be more involved.

 

 

Week 5 WR sleepers

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

Darnell Mooney clicked with Justin Fields last week, posting a 7-5-125-0 line and adding 10 rushing yards as well. Mooney was the recipient of 41% of Fields’ targets last week. That type of target market share is not sustainable — especially if/when Allen Robinson comes alive again — but the Mooney-Fields connection showed sparks. In a game where the Bears may have to pass more than 20 times to keep up with the Raiders, any loss of market share for Mooney may be made up for by raw volume.

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals offense is dripping with playmakers, so Christian Kirk is not going to be a weekly producer. Over the last two weeks, we saw him go 8-7-104-0 followed by 1-1-5-0. In Week 1, he posted a 5-5-70-2 line. The ups and downs are going to be a way of life for Kirk this year. But nailing an “up” game would be huge for your fantasy squad. You only one to start one boom/bust player like Kirk each week, but this is a good week to take the swing. Kirk has the best individual WR-CB matchup of Arizona’s wideouts, primarily lining up against Dontae Johnson, who has allowed a 75% catch rate on the year.

Henry Ruggs, Las Vegas Raiders

Don’t look now, but Henry Ruggs ranks eighth among WRs in Air Yards so far this year despite seeing only 16.5% of the team’s targets. (Emmanuel Sanders is the only other WR in the top 20 to have a team target market share under 20%.) He’s connected at least once in every game with Derek Carr this year, posting a huge 21.2 yards per reception and at least a 20-yard reception in every game. Ruggs used to be a huge boom-bust player akin to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but it appears his floor is higher this year.

Week 5 TE sleepers

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Robert Tonyan has unequivocally been one of the worst fantasy TEs this year, pulling down just 8 catches for 74 yards and a TD through four games. But there were signs of life last week, as he saw a season-high 7 targets. With Marquez Valdes-Scantling out again (he’s on IR), Tonyan should see a bigger role again in Week 5. He also played fewer than 50% of the snaps in Weeks 1 and 2 before being a jump to about 75% in Weeks 3 and 4. 

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Zach Ertz plays only 50% to 65% of Philadelphia’s offensive snaps, running clear second fiddle to Dallas Goedert, but he’s still seeing good usage for a punt TE option off waivers. Ertz has 15 targets over the last two weeks, including a TD. The Panthers were dashed by Dallas TEs last week, giving up TDs to both Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin

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