Week 5 of the NFL season promises to bring some major changes, which should affect your fantasy leagues as well. Players getting hurt, others returning from injury and suspension and the prospect of a Le’veon Bell returning sooner rather than later all combine for some interesting storylines. This would be a perfect time to take advantage of some under the radar players, as bye weeks have begun and people are going to be looking for stop gap solutions. The key is to turn that stop gap into a core member of your team, so let’s take a look at some guys who have to potential to do so.
Finders Sleepers-Week 5
QB Joe Flacco- Ravens
Joe Flacco is the ultimate option that no one really wants on their team but seems to produce anyway. Flacco has quietly put up a solid four games to start the season, and is a Top 12 QB option so far. Baltimore upgraded his weapons this offseason, and it is paying dividends. John Brown, Michael Crabtree and the stable of tight ends and running backs have given the normally lethargic Ravens offense a boost, and Flacco is taking advantage. If you have a starter not producing or on bye week, pick up Flacco and take advantage of his hot start to the season.
RB Dion Lewis-Titans
The Titans offense exploded in their week four matchup with the Eagles. Lewis joined in on the fun, gaining 66 yards on 9 catches, making for a great fantasy day in PPR leagues. Derrick Henry has not been very impressive so far this year, and that opens the door for Lewis to have more of an impact in the Titans offense going forward. If Marcus Mariota can continue to build on his game in Philly, the sky’s the limit, and Lewis could reach RB2 heights going forward.
RB Kerryon Johnson-Lions
People are understandably leery when it comes to the Lions backfield, as a committee has seemed to develop. Johnson is sharing the backfield with Theo Riddick and Legarrette Blount, putting a cap on his productivity. That doesn’t seem to have stopped him, however, as he has put up a few quality weeks in a row. In week four, Johnson had nine carries for 55 yards and one touchdown. He is averaging more than double the yards per carry of Blount. It is only a matter of time before his talent wins out and he takes control of the backfield. Snag him now while he’s relatively cheap.
WR Josh Gordon-Patriots
Gordon had a rather quiet debut for the Patriots, totaling 32 yards on 2 passes. Julian Edelman is set to return to New England this week after his four game suspension has concluded. That makes for a puzzling situation in New England, as we are yet unsure of how the targets will be distributed. A positive development is that Gordon is playing with the best QB of his career, and the presence of All World TE Rob Gronkowski should give him some favorable matchups on the outside. Bet on talent, and give Gordon a shot.
WR DeDe Westbrook-Jaguars
Jacksonville was known last year as a smash mouth team. Run the ball with Leonard Fournette, take some passes when they are there, and move the ball down the field. They had an elite defense to back up that offense, and it worked all the way up to the AFC title game. This year, the Jaguars have opened up the offense some more with Fournette being hurt and Westbrook has been the benefactor in that change of offensive philosophy. In his week 4 contest, DeDe caught nine of 13 targets for 130 yards, signaling he is ready to take over a somewhat lacking WR corps for Jacksonville. Take advantage of this and add or trade him to your squad.
WR KeKe Coutee- Texans
Speaking of AFC South wide receivers, let’s look at one that had a monstrous debut. Taking advantage of an injury to Will Fuller, Coutee exploded onto the scene with a 11 of 15 targets for 109 yards stat line. Fuller still is limited in practice so that bodes well for Coutee’s prospects this week. Even when fuller gets back to full health, the Texans passing game rarely uses their running backs and tight ends. A quick shifty slot receiver would make a welcome addition to the offense as Deshaun Watson’s security blanket. Pick him up on his PPR beast potential alone.