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Week 5 QB Rankings

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Deciding between two quarterbacks? Need a streamer? Jacob Adler dives into his thoughts on this week's matchups.

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Cam Newton, Ryan Tannehill, Teddy Bridgewater, and Ryan Fitzpatrick are the quarterbacks on bye. Newton was the only surefire fantasy starter of the group, but all four are generally in play depending on matchup. There are plenty of decent options this week, as there are a few plus streaming matchups in addition to many of the top quarterbacks seeing easy defenses.

Here is how last week’s spotlighted streamers worked out. Be warned, the numbers are not pretty.

Joe Flacco vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 4 Finish: 29

Losing Steve Smith didn’t make matters any better, but this was certainly an underwhelming performance. 189 yards, a touchdown, and an interception on 33 attempts was a dagger for some fantasy owners last week.

Derek Carr vs. Chicago Bears

Week 4 Finish: 26

A pretty chalky DFS play, Carr did not surpass 200 yards passing, although he threw for two touchdowns. He’ll continue to carry surprisingly decent upside, although it is worth acknowledging the Ravens have a worse defense than we thought at the time of their matchup.

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Miami Dolphins

Week 4 Finish: 20

Fitzpatrick’s stats are weaker than they probably should be, as at times he dominated the Miami defense. However, he wasn’t exceptional, and the Jets’ dedication to running the ball with Chris Ivory prevented the accumulation of a juicier statline for the Harvard grad.

Brandon Weeden vs. New Orleans Saints

Week 4 Finish: 22

This was definitely in the anticipated range of outcomes, as Weeden could not take advantage of an easy matchup against the Saints. With 246 yards and a touchdown, he didn’t kill you if you started him.

Sam Bradford vs. Washington Redskins

Week 4 Finish: 2

The box score is misleading, as Bradford turned in a bad first half and a strong but perhaps fluky second half. He bailed out his fantasy owners with 270 yards and three scores, but is still a player to watch as there is the potential for a turnaround from a slow start.

Now let’s move on to this week’s streamers.

Week 5 Streamers

Joe Flacco vs. Cleveland Browns

I’m going back to the well with Flacco, who floundered in last week’s Thursday night game. A poor performance here would lead me to doubt Flacco’s credentials as a streamer, especially if he cannot adjust to the absence of Steve Smith.

Alex Smith vs. Chicago Bears

If Smith was able to throw just one passing touchdown, he would have finished among the top quarterbacks. Alas, that was not the case, but it also means there will be slightly less hype. Despite Derek Carr’s struggles last week, one should still target the Bears defense. He’s an interesting target in DFS who don’t want to pay up for passers.

Josh McCown vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens pass defense hasn’t been very good, and I don’t expect that to change going forward because of injuries, ineffectiveness, and other reasons. Meanwhile, McCown surprised many with a strong performance against the Chargers and can easily see the same thing happen again this week.

Blake Bortles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Yuck. Bortles did finish as a top-10 quarterback last week, so I can’t say he lacks that type of upside. But this could be an ugly game, and one I wish to avoid. Play Bortles at your own risk.

Kirk Cousins vs. Atlanta Falcons

I have Colin Kaepernick ranked higher by a spot, but I think Cousins has a higher probability of reaching an acceptable performance. It will be interesting to see if Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, will provide the defense with inside knowledge of how to beat Cousins. But that’s just a narrative. If Captain Kirk keeps bad decisions to a minimum, he should be fine.

Below are my ranks for all 28 quarterbacks starting this weekend. Best of luck!

Rank Player Team Opponent
1 Tom Brady New England Patriots Dallas Cowboys
2 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers St. Louis Rams
3 Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers Pittsburgh Steelers
4 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons Washington Redskins
5 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Oakland Raiders
6 Carson Palmer Arizona Cardinals Detroit Lions
7 Eli Manning New York Giants San Francisco 49ers
8 Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens Cleveland Browns
9 Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs Chicago Bears
10 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints Philadephia Eagles
11 Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills Tennessee Titans
12 Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks Cincinnati Bengals
13 Sam Bradford Philadelphia Eagles New Orleans Saints
14 Josh McCown Cleveland Browns Baltimore Ravens
15 Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers New York Giants
16 Blake Bortles Jacksonville Jaguars Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17 Kirk Cousins Washington Redskins Atlanta Falcons
18 Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans Buffalo Bills
19 Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals Seattle Seahawks
20 Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jacksonville Jaguars
21 Nick Foles St. Louis Rams Green Bay Packers
22 Jay Cutler Chicago Bears Kansas City Chiefs
23 Michael Vick Pittsburgh Steelers San Diego Chargers
24 Brandon Weeden Dallas Cowboys New England Patriots
25 Matt Stafford Detroit Lions Arizona Cardinals
26 Matt Hasselbeck Indianapolis Colts Houston Texans
27 Derek Carr Oakland Raiders Denver Broncos
28 Ryan Mallett Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts