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Week 5 Flex Rankings for Fantasy Football

The Week 5 NFL slate starts with a clash between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos on Thursday. Both teams will have to navigate the short week without the top running back in their respective stables. Jonathan Taylor will miss this game due to an ankle injury suffered last week. There is a possibility he can return next week, but the good news is that he avoided a major injury. The same cannot be said for Broncos running back Javonte Williams. Denver’s second-year back suffered a torn ACL and LCL and will miss the remainder of the season. These injuries will have an impact on fantasy managers in both the near and long term. Find out how I think things will shake out on Thursday night concerning my Week 5 Flex rankings.

Running Back Notes

If you have Jonathan Taylor on your roster, you have no choice but to bench him this week. I believe this will be a bit of a messy situation until Taylor returns. Despite head coach Frank Reich declaring in the offseason that he would want Nyheim Hines on his fantasy team, we have not exactly seen that trust play out on the field. Hines does have 17 receptions through four games but has only carried the ball eight times. And those carries have netted just 11 total rushing yards. I think he will get some run on the ground, but I still expect most of his fantasy value to come in the receiving game. The likely increase in volume should result in Hines posting Flex value on Thursday. But I do not expect him to touch the ball 20 times or end the week as an RB1.

I think it is likely that Indianapolis employs a committee on early downs involving Phillip Lindsay and Deon Jackson. Given that Taylor should be back in a relatively short timeframe, I would not rush to acquire or start either back. I prefer Lindsay over Jackson if given the option. Perhaps the former Bronco will be extra motivated to stick it to his former team. But neither Lindsay nor Jackson are among my top 100 Week 5 Flex options.

On the other side of the field will be the Denver Broncos sans Javonte Williams. Like Hines, Melvin Gordon is rostered in every league. The difference is that Denver is much more willing to use Gordon in a lead-back-type role. Gordon is an impending free agent, so Denver may just run him into the ground. At the same time, he is 29 years old. I do not think Gordon automatically becomes a 20-touch guy every week. I think it is more likely that Mike Boone and the newly-signed Latavius Murray spell Gordon. Fantasy managers should fire up Gordon as an RB2 this week. He will have fresh legs and nearly two weeks to recover before Denver’s Week 6 contest. I would not start Boone or Murray this week, but Boone would be my preference if I had to go with one.

The Atlanta Falcons placed offensive weapon, Cordarrelle Patterson, on injured reserve this week. Patterson is dealing with a knee injury, and will now be out for about a month. Atlanta ran the ball 35 times last week, while quarterback Marcus Mariota attempted just 19 passes. The trick is trying to determine which Falcons back will benefit most from Patterson’s injury. Both Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley carried the ball 10 times last week, and both were quite effective. Allgeier amassed 82 yards, while Huntley accounted for 56 yards and a touchdown. This week’s matchup versus Tampa Bay figures to be one to avoid, however. I am not starting either one in Week 5 if I can help it, though I give a slight nod toward Allgeier.

Not all the running back news is bad, particularly near the Beltway and the surrounding area. The Washington Commanders officially designated rookie running back Brian Robinson to return to practice. Robinson was a buzz-worthy name throughout the preseason, and many wondered if he would supplant Antonio Gibson as Washington’s primary rushing threat. Robinson is still available in nearly 20 percent of Fantrax leagues. If he is on your wire, you should grab him immediately. I would not expect workhorse usage out of the gate, and I do not consider him Flex-worthy in Week 5. But he could be a big factor in fantasy leagues as the season continues, especially with bye weeks about to come into play.

The Baltimore Ravens also designated Gus Edwards to return to practice this week. Edwards is only rostered in about half of all Fantrax leagues. While I do think Robinson has higher immediate upside, I do not think fantasy managers should ignore Edwards. We know how much Baltimore likes to run the football, and Edwards acquitted himself quite nicely when given the opportunity. Edwards has averaged over five yards per carry in each season from 2018 through 2020. J.K. Dobbins is still the running back you want to have in Baltimore, especially after his 17-touch, two-touchdown performance a week ago. Still, Dobbins hasn’t exactly been the most durable back in his brief NFL career. I would not start Edwards anytime soon unless the situation changes, but he is a solid stash.

Wide Receiver Notes

Local authorities have put out an APB for Allen Robinson, and sources say he is at practice this week. I was high on Robinson coming into the season, but it has been an absolute trainwreck so far. How bad has it been? Here are a few stat lines for Rams wide receivers:

Receiver A: 12 catches, 140 yards, 16 targets
Receiver B: 9 catches, 95 yards, 18 targets
Receiver C: 14 catches, 122 yards, 19 targets

Receiver B is Allen Robinson. He has the fewest yards and targets among the Rams’ top three wide receivers so far this season. Yes, fewer than Receiver A, Ben Skowronek. Receiver C is Cooper Kupp’s Week 4 numbers alone. Again, yes, Kupp had more catches, yards, and targets in Week 4 than Robinson has produced through four games. I cannot in good conscience start Robinson until the Rams start featuring him in their offense. Part of me wanted to rank Skowronek ahead of Robinson this week. I’m not quite there yet, but that should indicate how disappointing Robinson has been thus far.

As was the case with Brian Robinson, there was plenty of buzz around another rookie during the preseason. I am talking about Steelers wide receiver George Pickens. Pickens got off to a slow start, but he is starting to make some waves. He had an incredible catch in Week 3 and posted his first 100-plus yard game last week against the New York Jets. Pittsburgh has decided to end the Mitch Trubisky experiment and give rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett the job moving forward. This move should continue to benefit Pickens, as was evidenced on Sunday. Pickett is much more willing to challenge defenses down the field, which increases the chances of Pickens making big plays. I ranked Pickens just below the area where I am comfortable starting him as a Week 5 Flex, but the arrow is certainly trending upward.

Fellow rookie Romeo Doubs may be in a similar boat. Doubs has caught a touchdown in each of his last two games and has been targeted eight times on both occasions. Those are signs that he may have joined Allen Lazard in Aaron Rodgers’ circle of trust among Packers wide receivers. However, it remains to be seen if Doubs can stay there. The rookie has a pair of fumbles already on the young season, including a lost fumble in last week’s overtime victory. That will not endear him to Rodgers or the coaching staff. I am inclined to give Doubs the benefit of the doubt, and I ranked him as a Week 5 Flex play. A lot will depend on how Green Bay utilizes him this week. Keep in mind that the Packers play at an early start time on Sunday morning.

Rondale Moore returned last week following a hamstring injury that cost him the first three games of the season. Moore did not produce much, but his involvement should spell the end of fantasy relevance for September standout Greg Dortch. Dortch was targeted just once on Sunday after totaling 20 catches during Moore’s three-game absence. Arizona is also getting back DeAndre Hopkins in a couple of weeks, so there will be fewer targets to go around for ancillary receiving weapons. Hopkins and Marquise Brown figure to be Arizona’s top two targets beginning in Week 7. As for this week, Brown is the only Cardinals wideout I would start. I want to see more out of Moore before I start him.

Tight End Notes

I say all the time that there aren’t a ton of tight end notes included in my weekly Flex rankings because you probably aren’t starting a tight end in your Flex spot. But I figured I would offer my obligatory statement on Kyle Pitts. I dropped Pitts down to my overall TE7 spot this week. That means that I would still start him in nearly all situations. The tight ends I ranked above him were all consensus top eight or nine fantasy tight ends heading into the year. So I really don’t see a situation where you are benching Pitts. Several tight ends have produced at a much higher rate than most expected coming into the season. Names on this list would include David Njoku, Gerald Everett, and Tyler Conklin. I still have Pitts ranked ahead of all those players for Week 5.

I understand the temptation to start one of those guys ahead of Pitts given the production through four games. Or lack thereof in Pitts’ case. At the same time, this should be a good matchup for Pitts. As much as the Falcons love to run the ball, that is probably not going to work against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and have yet to allow a rush of more than 20 yards. Atlanta will have to throw to keep up with the Bucs. Linebacker Devin White has also struggled in coverage to this point in the year. His 35.9 coverage grade is the worst among those primarily tasked with covering tight ends, per Pro Football Focus. If there is ever a time for Pitts to get off the schneid, it is this week.

Week 5 Flex Rankings for Fantasy Football

More Week 5 Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | Flex Rankings

1Cooper KuppWR1LARDAL
2Derrick HenryRB1TEN@WAS
3Austin EkelerRB2LAC@CLE
4Saquon BarkleyRB3NYG@GB
5Christian McCaffreyRB4CARSF
6Davante AdamsWR2LV@KC
7Justin JeffersonWR3MINCHI
8Joe MixonRB5CIN@BAL
9Stefon DiggsWR4BUFPIT
10Nick ChubbRB6CLELAC
11Leonard FournetteRB7TBATL
12Tyreek HillWR5MIA@NYJ
13Deebo SamuelWR6SF@CAR
14Travis KelceTE1KCLV
15Dalvin CookRB8MINCHI
16Mark AndrewsTE2BALCIN
17Josh JacobsRB9LV@KC
18Aaron JonesRB10GBNYG
19Ja’Marr ChaseWR7CIN@BAL
20A.J. BrownWR8PHI@ARI
21Mike EvansWR9TBATL
22Jaylen WaddleWR10MIA@NYJ
23Alvin KamaraRB11NOSEA
24Miles SandersRB12PHI@ARI
25Damien HarrisRB13NEDET
26Clyde Edwards-HelaireRB14KCLV
27Tee HigginsWR11CIN@BAL
28CeeDee LambWR12DAL@LAR
29Jeffery Wilson Jr.RB15SF@CAR
30James RobinsonRB16JACHOU
31Dameon PierceRB17HOU@JAC
32Melvin Gordon IIIRB18DENIND
33Christian KirkWR13JACHOU
34Chris GodwinWR14TBATL
35A.J. DillonRB19GBNYG
36James ConnerRB20ARIPHI
37Courtland SuttonWR15DENIND
38Breece HallRB21NYJMIA
39Marquise BrownWR16ARIPHI
40DK MetcalfWR17SEA@NO
41Tyler LockettWR18SEA@NO
42Jamaal WilliamsRB22DET@NE
43Chris OlaveWR19NOSEA
44Rhamondre StevensonRB23NEDET
45Devin SingletaryRB24BUFPIT
46Najee HarrisRB25PIT@BUF
47Gabe DavisWR20BUFPIT
48Mike WilliamsWR21LAC@CLE
49Michael PittmanWR22IND@DEN
50Drake LondonWR23ATL@TB
51Brandin CooksWR24HOU@JAC
52Raheem MostertRB26MIA@NYJ
53J.K. DobbinsRB27BALCIN
54Rashaad PennyRB28SEA@NO
55Nyheim HinesRB29IND@DEN
56Ezekiel ElliottRB30DAL@LAR
57DeVonta SmithWR25PHI@ARI
58Amon-Ra St. BrownWR26DET@NE
59D’Andre SwiftRB31DET@NE
60Diontae JohnsonWR27PIT@BUF
61Amari CooperWR28CLELAC
62Khalil HerbertRB32CHI@MIN
63Antonio GibsonRB33WASTEN
64Kareem HuntRB34CLELAC
65Adam ThielenWR29MINCHI
66JuJu Smith-SchusterWR30KCLV
67Travis EtienneRB35JACHOU
68Cam AkersRB36LARDAL
69Terry McLaurinWR31WASTEN
70Jerry JeudyWR32DENIND
71Curtis SamuelWR33WASTEN
72Robert WoodsWR34TEN@WAS
73D.J. MooreWR35CARSF
74Dallas GoedertTE3PHI@ARI
75Darren WallerTE4LV@KC
76Allen LazardWR36GBNYG
77T.J. HockensonTE5DET@NE
78Brandon AiyukWR37SF@CAR
79Tony PollardRB37DAL@LAR
80David MontgomeryRB38CHI@MIN
81Marquez Valdes-ScantlingWR38KCLV
82Garrett WilsonWR39NYJMIA
83Romeo DoubsWR40GBNYG
84Rashod BatemanWR41BALCIN
85Zay JonesWR42JACHOU
86George KittleTE6SF@CAR
87Michael CarterRB39NYJMIA
88Jakobi MeyersWR43NEDET
89Tyler AllgeierRB40ATL@TB
90Kyle PittsTE7ATL@TB
91Tyler HigbeeTE8LARDAL
92Elijah MooreWR44NYJMIA
93David NjokuTE9CLELAC
94Zach ErtzTE10ARIPHI
95Josh ReynoldsWR45DET@NE
96Corey DavisWR46NYJMIA
97Michael GallupWR47DAL@LAR
98Gerald EverettTE11LAC@CLE
99Mack HollinsWR48LV@KC
100Jarvis LandryWR49NOSEA
101DeVante ParkerWR50NEDET
102Keenan AllenWR51LAC@CLE
103J.D. McKissicRB41WASTEN
104Allen Robinson IIWR52LARDAL
105Pat FreiermuthTE12PIT@BUF
106Marvin JonesWR53JACHOU
107Tyler BoydWR54CIN@BAL
108Darnell MooneyWR55CHI@MIN
109Darrell HendersonRB42LARDAL
110Nico CollinsWR56HOU@JAC
111Chase EdmondsRB43MIA@NYJ
112Hunter RenfrowWR57LV@KC
113Rondale MooreWR58ARIPHI
114Mark IngramRB44NOSEA
115Dalton SchultzTE13DAL@LAR
116Donovan Peoples-JonesWR59CLELAC
117Josh PalmerWR60LAC@CLE
118Isaiah McKenzieWR61BUFPIT
119Nelson AgholorWR62NEDET
120Dawson KnoxTE14BUFPIT
121George PickensWR63PIT@BUF
122Russell GageWR64TBATL
123Tyler ConklinTE15NYJMIA
124Devin DuvernayWR65BALCIN
125Caleb HuntleyRB45ATL@TB
126Robby AndersonWR66CARSF
127Julio JonesWR67TBATL
128K.J. OsbornWR68MINCHI
129Rex BurkheadRB46HOU@JAC
130Michael ThomasWR69NOSEA
131Rachaad WhiteRB47TBATL
132Chase ClaypoolWR70PIT@BUF
133Irv Smith Jr.TE16MINCHI
134Mecole HardmanWR71KCLV
135D.J. CharkWR72DET@NE
136Alexander MattisonRB48MINCHI
137Robert Tonyan Jr.TE17GBNYG
138Jahan DotsonWR73WASTEN
139DeAndre CarterWR74LAC@CLE
140Evan EngramTE18JACHOU
141Richie JamesWR75NYG@GB
142Phillip LindsayRB49IND@DEN
143Kenneth Walker IIIRB50SEA@NO
144Logan ThomasTE19WASTEN
145Alec PierceWR76IND@DEN
146Noah BrownWR77DAL@LAR
147Randall CobbWR78GBNYG
148Olamide ZaccheausWR79ATL@TB
149Dontrell HilliardRB51TEN@WAS
150Cole KmetTE20CHI@MIN
151Hayden HurstTE21CIN@BAL
152Kadarius ToneyWR80NYG@GB
153Jerick McKinnonRB52KCLV
154Ben SkowronekWR81LARDAL
155Mike BooneRB53DENIND
156Cameron BrateTE22TBATL
157Justice HillRB54BALCIN
158A.J. GreenWR82ARIPHI
159Kendrick BourneWR83NEDET
160Noah FantTE23SEA@NO
161Brevin JordanTE24HOU@JAC
162Mo Alie-CoxTE25IND@DEN
163Nick WestbrookWR84TEN@WAS
164Kyle PhilipsWR85TEN@WAS
165Kenneth GainwellRB55PHI@ARI
166Shi SmithWR86CARSF
167Mike GesickiTE26MIA@NYJ
168Breshad PerrimanWR87TBATL
169Hunter HenryTE27NEDET
170Eno BenjaminRB56ARIPHI
171Isiah PachecoRB57KCLV
172Equanimeous St. BrownWR88CHI@MIN
173Will DisslyTE28SEA@NO
174Chris MooreWR89HOU@JAC
175Parris CampbellWR90IND@DEN
176Latavius MurrayRB58DENIND
177Wan’Dale RobinsonWR91NYG@GB
178Sony MichelRB59LAC@CLE
179Austin HooperTE29TEN@WAS
180Juwan JohnsonTE30NOSEA
181Jauan JenningsWR92SF@CAR
182Deon JacksonRB60IND@DEN
183Harrison BryantTE31CLELAC
184Zack MossRB61BUFPIT
185Adam TrautmanTE32NOSEA
186Quez WatkinsWR93PHI@ARI
187Brian RobinsonRB62WASTEN
188Christian WatsonWR94GBNYG
189Samaje PerineRB63CIN@BAL
190Daniel BellingerTE33NYG@GB
191Greg DortchWR95ARIPHI
192James CookRB64BUFPIT
193Demarcus RobinsonWR96BALCIN
194Taysom HillTE34NOSEA
195Dante PettisWR97CHI@MIN
196Geoff SwaimTE35TEN@WAS
197David Sills VWR98NYG@GB
198Jonnu SmithTE36NEDET
199Keelan ColeWR99LV@KC
200Foster MoreauTE37LV@KC
201Darrel WilliamsRB65ARIPHI
202Isaiah LikelyTE38BALCIN
203C.J. UzomahTE39NYJMIA
204Marquise GoodwinWR100SEA@NO
205Cam SimsWR101WASTEN
206Kylen GransonTE40IND@DEN
207Marquez CallawayWR102NOSEA
208Kendall HintonWR103DENIND
209O.J. HowardTE41HOU@JAC
210Albert OkwuegbunamTE42DENIND
211Tony Jones Jr.RB66NOSEA
212Chigoziem OkonkwoTE43TEN@WAS
213Brandon BoldenRB67LV@KC
214Ian ThomasTE44CARSF
215Tre’Quan SmithWR104NOSEA
216Khalil ShakirWR105BUFPIT
217Jamal AgnewWR106JACHOU
218Jaylen WarrenRB68PIT@BUF
219John BatesTE45WASTEN
220Joshua KelleyRB69LAC@CLE
221Cedrick WilsonWR107MIA@NYJ
222Braxton BerriosWR108NYJMIA
223Dyami BrownWR109WASTEN
224Eric SaubertTE46DENIND
225Durham SmytheTE47MIA@NYJ
226Tyrion Davis-PriceRB70SF@CAR
227Bryan EdwardsWR110ATL@TB
228Justin WatsonWR111KCLV
229Tommy TrembleTE48CARSF
230Pharaoh BrownTE49CLELAC
231Brock WrightTE50DET@NE
232K.J. HamlerWR112DENIND
233Kyle JuszczykRB71SF@CAR
234Zach PascalWR113PHI@ARI
235David BellWR114CLELAC
236Jake KumerowWR115BUFPIT
237Jordan MasonRB72SF@CAR
238Colby ParkinsonTE51SEA@NO
239Phillip DorsettWR116HOU@JAC
240Trent SherfieldWR117MIA@NYJ
241Craig ReynoldsRB73DET@NE
242Cade OttonTE52TBATL
243Noah GrayTE53KCLV
244Quintez CephusWR118DET@NE
245D’Wayne EskridgeWR119SEA@NO
246Lil’Jordan HumphreyWR120NEDET
247Skyy MooreWR121KCLV
248Kalif RaymondWR122DET@NE
249Parker HesseTE54ATL@TB
250Ross DwelleyTE55SF@CAR
251Gus EdwardsRB74BALCIN
252Laviska ShenaultWR123CARSF
253Reggie GilliamRB75BUFPIT
254Joe FortsonTE56KCLV
255Ray-Ray McCloudWR124SF@CAR
256Brandon PowellWR125LARDAL
257Trestan EbnerRB76CHI@MIN
258Kenyan DrakeRB77BALCIN
259Johnny MundtTE57MINCHI
260KhaDarel HodgeWR126ATL@TB
261Donald ParhamTE58LAC@CLE
262Jelani WoodsTE59IND@DEN
263Velus Jones Jr.WR127CHI@MIN
264Patrick RicardRB78BALCIN
265Chuba HubbardRB79CARSF
266Matt BreidaRB80NYG@GB
267Ashton DulinWR128IND@DEN
268Tanner HudsonTE60NYG@GB
269Boston ScottRB81PHI@ARI
270Justin JacksonRB82DET@NE
271Demetric FeltonWR129CLELAC
272Alec IngoldRB83MIA@NYJ
273Jonathan WilliamsRB84WASTEN
274Chris MyarickTE61NYG@GB
275Myles GaskinRB85MIA@NYJ
276Andrew BeckTE62DENIND
277D’Onta ForemanRB86CARSF
278Darius SlaytonWR130NYG@GB
279Mike DavisRB87BALCIN
280Ty JohnsonRB88NYJMIA
281Anthony FirkserTE63ATL@TB
282Tre’ McKittyTE64LAC@CLE
283Trey McBrideTE65ARIPHI
284D'Ernest JohnsonRB89CLELAC
285Dan ArnoldTE66JACHOU
286Deonte HartyWR131NOSEA
287Cody HollisterWR132TEN@WAS
288Jalen ReagorWR133MINCHI
289Scotty MillerWR134TBATL
290DeeJay DallasRB90SEA@NO
291Maxx WilliamsTE67ARIPHI
292Ameer AbdullahRB91LV@KC
293Devin AsiasiTE68CIN@BAL
294Quintin MorrisTE69BUFPIT
295Tutu AtwellWR135LARDAL
296Treylon BurksWR136TEN@WAS
297Hassan HaskinsRB92TEN@WAS
298Zach GentryTE70PIT@BUF
299Ryan GriffinTE71CHI@MIN
300Mitchell WilcoxTE72CIN@BAL
301Blake BellTE73KCLV
302Ko KieftTE74TBATL
303Trey SermonRB93PHI@ARI
304Zander HorvathRB94LAC@CLE
305Montrell WashingtonWR137DENIND
307Damiere ByrdWR138ATL@TB
308Josh OliverTE75BALCIN
309Brittain BrownRB96LV@KC
310Zamir WhiteRB97LV@KC
311River CracraftWR139MIA@NYJ
312Benny SnellRB98PIT@BUF
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