Week 5 QB Rankings, Projections and Analysis
Week 5 Quarterback Sleepers
Week 5 Start N' Sit
Week 6 Waiver Wire Tips

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Saints QB Drew Brees
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.
This is how we rank the QBs for Week 5 of the fantasy season. Our rankings aren't just based on name value or past performance - each week we take a comprehensive look at the match-ups and each QBs past performance and factor that into our projections. Just click on the links to read our rationale behind the ranking. The ratings are based on a standard league where 25 passing yards equal 1 point, passing and rushing TDs equal 6 pts. and INTs or fumbles deduct 2 points.

QB Rankings
  1. Drew Brees
  2. Philip Rivers
  3. Ben Roethlisberger
  4. Aaron Rodgers
  5. Cam Newton
  6. Russell Wilson
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Jay Cutler
  9. Eli Manning
  10. Nick Foles
  11. Peyton Manning
  12. Matt Stafford
  13. Andrew Luck
  14. Carson Palmer
  15. Tom Brady
  16. Matt Ryan
  17. Joe Flacco
  18. Teddy Bridgewater
  19. Tony Romo
  20. Kirk Cousins
  21. Shaun Hill
  22. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  23. Mike Glennon
  24. Alex Smith
  25. Brian Hoyer
  26. Jake Locker
  27. Blake Bortles
  28. Kyle Orton
  29. Geno Smith
  30. Andy Dalton
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.
Paying attention to the match-ups each week can help you identify less heralded players with the upside to surprise and help you avoid some potential land mines. This is our list of players we expect to surpass expectations, along with a few stud QBs who may fail to deliver:

Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger has a road game against everyone's favorite patsy. The Jaguars lead the league by a wide margin in fantasy points allowed to QBs, averaging a whopping 24.2 a game. The Steelers are sure to be fired up for this game after last Sunday's disappointing last-second loss to a winless Buccaneers squad that were heavy underdogs. You know the old saying: "Fool me once - shame on you, fool me twice - shame on me". I don't see Pittsburgh taking their next opponent lightly and falling into a early hole like they did against Tampa Bay. Look for Big Ben to have one of his best games of the season and the Steelers to get untracked in a big way.

Nick Foles
Eagles QB Nick Foles
Foles hasn't been the same quarterback we saw last year. He's been up-and-down so far and is coming off a wretched performance where he threw for just 195 yards and tossed 2 INTs and no TDs. I think he gets better this week in a home game versus a St. Louis pass defense that's giving up just over 16 points a game to opposing QBs. The Rams are expected to start Shaun Hill and I don't see that going well. He's likely to be rusty and was unimpressive earlier this year. Look for the Eagles to control this game and Foles to rebound in a big way.

Andy Dalton
Bengals QB Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton's been looking like he's worth every penny of the new contract he signed in the off-season and the Bengals are looking like the class of the NFL. Meanwhile, this Patriots have been struggling and look like a shadow of the team that's dominated the AFC East for a decade. I think things revert to the norm in this one and expect the Bengals' offense to struggle and Tom Brady and Company to get things going. There are several reasons I'm not high on Andy Dalton this week. First off, the Patriots have owned the Bengals in recent years, losing only once to them. The last time the two teams met Dalton threw for just 212 yards with no TDs and an INT in a game that was a defensive chess match in very poor conditions. Secondly, the Patriots pass defense is pretty darn good. They're allowing just 11.6 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs, second-lowest in the league, and an NFL-low 185.5 yards (in spite of Alex Smith's performance last week). I look for the Patriots to get back on track this week and the Bengals offense to finally run into a defense that's capable of stopping them.

Alex Smith
Chiefs QB Alex Smith
Smith will be a trendy pick-up this week based on his performance at home against a tough Patriots pass defense. Don't make the mistake of assuming history will repeat itself. He won't be in the comfort of Arrowhead stadium, one of the hostile venues to opposing teams, and will be up against another tough defense and plenty of boo birds. San Francisco's allowed just 14.5 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks so far and are even tougher against the run. If Jamaal Charles gets stuffed on Sunday, you can look forward to seeing more of Smith's hurried throws and ill-advised passes get picked off. He may be psyched to face his old team but the 49er defense probably feels the same way so sit his motivated butt on your bench this week!

Carson Palmer
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer
Photo of Carson Palmer © Greg Buch
Legal Disclaimer
Palmer is a forgotten man in fantasy leagues due to the shoulder injury that's sidelined him the last two games. He played well in Week 1 with 333 total yards and 2 TDs and no INTs against his native San Diego Chargers. This week he has an attractive match-up against a Broncos defense that's been allowing plenty of points to opposing QBs at a clip of over 21 per game. Keep an eye on his injury status though, since despite him being named the starter for the Sunday afternoon game, his shoulder is reportedly healing slowly. If he suffers a setback, Drew Stanton would be a viable Flex option.

Kirk Cousins
Redskins QB Kirk Cousins
A lot of owners are going to be gun-shy about starting Cousins after his miserable turnover-filled game last week. Personally, I wouldn't start him against the Legion of Boom, as I think he'll toss a couple more INTs and don't see him throwing for more than around 226 yards. But it's worth mentioning that the Seahawks have surprisingly allowed 18.2 fantasy points a game to QBs, which is ninth-most in the league, and will be making a cross-country road trip. This looks like a bounce-back game for Cousins on paper but forgive me if I'm not a huge believer.

Eli Manning
Giants QB Eli Manning
We named Eli as a sleeper last week and he turned in a great performance on the road in Washington, leading all fantasy quarterbacks with 300 yards and 5 total TDs. He's got another nice match-up against a Falcons team that's allowing 16.2 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs and was torched for 317 passing yards by rookie Teddy Bridgewater. Just saying...

Rams QB Austin Davis
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.
Don't get too discouraged if your draft didn't work out as you planned. Fantasy success isn't the exclusive result of a solid draft - often it's the in-season waiver wire moves that determines who makes it to the post-season. We've got some hot tips for you that should help you improve your roster and catch up to those lucky sons-of-guns who always seem to draft the right players:

Must Adds

Austin Davis
Davis is learning on the job and is a work-in-progress but you can't ignore his 375 yard, 3 TD performance, even if it was against an Eagles pass defense that's about as solid as a fortress made out of balsa wood and recycled Pepsi bottles. He has a tough match-up this week against a 49ers defense that's allowed 14.3 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks and things don't get easier anytime soon, with games against the Legion of Boom and a solid Chiefs pass defense on the horizon. He's worth stashing now and plugging in when the match-up is favorable.

Brian Hoyer
You've got to give Hoyer credit. Everyone kind of assumed he was just keeping the seat warm until Johnny Football was ready to take over as Cleveland's starting quarterback but he's exceeded expectations and shown with his play he's a starting-caliber QB. And he's done this with a cast of receivers that would have a hard time making a lot of teams' practice squads. Last week he led an amazing comeback against the Titans, coming back from a 25 point deficit and throwing for 292 yards with 3 TDs and only 1 INT. Unfortunately, like Davis, he doesn't have the most favorable schedule the next 3 weeks, playing the Steelers (14.2 points a game allowed to QBs) this week and the Raiders in Week 8 (14.8 points a game allowed to QBs), but he does have a road game against the lowly Jaguars in Week 7. Pick him up and stash him now, then dust him off and plug him in your line-up when the match-up is favorable.

Watch List

Kyle Orton
I don't usually recommend re-treads, as they tend to burst under pressure, but Orton bears watching after his 308 yard performance against the league's stingiest pass defense. He's got two tough match-ups on the docket against the Patriots and Vikings but gets the Jets woeful pass defense in Week 8. If he plays decently in the next two games, he's worth picking up and starting against New York.

Stand By Your Man

Kirk Cousins
If you're tired of Cousins' inconsistency, and thinking about dropping this dog, you might loosen his leash this Sunday and let him play. He's got a compelling match-up against an Arizona team that's been allowing the 5th-most points to fantasy quarterbacks and may be forced to start green-behind-the-ears rookie Logan Thomas. Thomas has all the physical gifts you could ask for in a mobile QB but is about as raw as freshly-caught sushi. If last week's performance (throwing for 283 yards with 2 TDs and no INTs) is enough to convince you to let Cousins out of your doghouse, he might just romp in this match-up!

Wild Hair

Jake Locker/ Charlie Whitehurst
While I'm not enamored with either of these QBs, whoever starts this Sunday has a dream match-up against a sorry, pathetic, wretched Jaguars defense that's been allowing 21.9 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks (did I mention that they're really, really bad?) So if you've got a wild hair up your $#% and your QB1 has a difficult match-up, you might consider picking up either of these guys. It looks like the X-rays came back negative on Locker's bruised thumb, so I'd be surprised if he doesn't suit up, but do keep an eye on his status.


Alex Smith
Amazingly enough, Smith is now owned in a whopping 76% of NFL.com leagues. However, he's on bye this week, has a very tough match-up against a stingy Chargers defense in Week 7, and showed this week he is who we thought he is, throwing for just 175 yards against the Niners. The Chiefs are first and foremost a running team, so I'm convinced Smith's performances the first few weeks of the season were just a statistical outlier with about the same chance of re-occuring this year as an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, a meteorite levelling the Superdome, or a major hurricane devastating Tokyo (oh wait, scratch that last one!)

Trade Bait
shark eating bait fish
Tom Brady
The Patriots offense finally broke out of its slump against a Bengals defense that had allowed an NFL-low 11 points a game. Brady was able to find some massive holes in Cincinnati's 2-deep zone defense and had his best game of the year, throwing for 292 yards and 2 scores. There are sure to be more than a few owners in your league who look at this production against a tough opponent and conclude the Patriots' well-oiled offensive machine is back and Brady is going to play like an elite quarterback going forward. I'm not so sure: the Pats were utterly humiliated in Kansas City, so a bounce-back game was in order, and the Bengals have a long history during the Marvin Lewis era of playing like the Bad News Bears of football whenever they appear on prime-time television. The Patriots still have some issues to sort out on the O-line and the receiving cast outside of Edelman is young and inexperienced. This may be your last chance to get decent value for Brady in a trade.