I’m taking another celebrity shot with this week’s edition of Stancil’s sleepers, filling-in for the man himself – Evan Stancil. My Week 5 list features under-the-radar players that are not being started in a majority of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. With that in mind, here are our top fantasy football sleepers for Week 5.
For the second consecutive week, I’m letting Carson Palmer bat leadoff for the sleeper picks. After I included the Cardinals veteran quarterback in last week’s column, Palmer delivered a solid performance, throwing for 357 yards and a touchdown on a ridiculous 51 passing attempts. While he’ll vacate the desert in Glendale and hit up the bird’s nest in Philadelphia for this week’s clash with the Eagles, there’s still reason to believe in Palmer as a streaming option for Week 5. With the Eagles top corner Ronald Darby set to miss another week, the banged-up Eagles secondary should continue their patchwork job of covering up their wounds. They currently sport the 3rd worst pass-defense in the NFL, allowing 285 yards a game through the air. While Arizona’s receivers had been hobbled recently, they managed to avoid setbacks in the Week 4 win over the 49ers, which will bode well for Palmer’s chances of replicating success in Week 5 against a beatable Philly secondary. With what has been a non-existent Cardinals running game, I fully expect Palmer to sling it 40 + times on Sunday. He’ll be a sneaky option at the quarterback position for fantasy owners once again this week.
Philip Rivers and Eli Manning will be forever linked in connection to the 2004 NFL Draft, but neither quarterback would have expected to share the common trait of being winless after the first four weeks of this season. There’s no denying how ugly it has been thus far for the Giants, but I believe this is the week they finally course-correct and pickup a victory. That said, it’s going to fall squarely on Eli Manning’s shoulders to get it done. While the Chargers are only allowing 192 passing yards a game, look for the Giants passing game to ramp it up this week at home. In desperate need of a win, Manning will be the beneficiary of facing a Chargers secondary that continues to be without the services of top corner Jason Verrett. The G-Men have made it a precedent each of the last two weeks to get Brandon Marshall more involved in the offense, as the receiver has hauled in 14 of his 21 targets over that span. With Odell Beckham Jr. expected to play despite nursing a finger injury and Evan Engram continuing an impressive stretch of play, look for Eli and the Giants passing game to take some shots down the field in a game where they’ll be pulling out all the stops in hopes of a win.
Jacoby Brissett has done an admirable job filling in for the injured Andrew Luck, as its come with such little time to learn the offense. That said, he has been far from fantasy relevant through the first four weeks. Brissett should be on the sleeper radar this week, especially in DFS and deeper leagues. On paper, this week’s matchup is similar to Week 3’s situation against the Browns, when Brissett threw for 259 yards and a TD, while adding two more on the ground. The Colts will host a defunct San Francisco defense in what bodes incredibly well for Brissett and the Indianapolis offense. The second-year signal caller could very well surprise fantasy owners this week and should possess a floor of about a dozen fantasy points.
One of our recommended waiver wire pickups for this week, Alex Collins has the makings for a solid afternoon against the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday. In Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, the second-year back turned in a rushing line identical to the previous week’s, chewing up 82 yards on nine carries. While he lost another fumble, his second in three games, Head Coach John Harbaugh seems to acknowledge Collins is the team’s best bet to open up the running game. Collins should be utilized as the primary two-down back this weekend, with Buck Allen spelling him in passing situations. The Raiders run-defense is suspect at best, as they’ve allowed 120 rushing yards a game through the first four contests. The only caveat being the fact Collins could be on a short leash if he puts the ball on the ground again. Assuming he doesn’t, he could see a season-high in carries and will be a solid bet for a touchdown in a game that projects to be close, with E.J. Manuel drawing the start for the Raiders.
After playing three years at Clemson, it’s safe to say Giants Rookie Running Back Wayne Gallman is used to winning. Despite the Giants rough start to the season, all is not lost for the fourth-round pick, as Gallman turned in a solid performance in last week’s loss to the Buccaneers. The rookie tallied 42 yards on 11 carries and recorded his first NFL touchdown. It’s clear that Head Coach Ben McAdoo is set on giving Gallman the opportunity to be the team’s featured back moving forward. This week, the Giants welcome in a Chargers defense that is allowing a ridiculous 163.5 rushing yards a game, which ranks second to last in the league. With Orleans Darkwa and Paul Perkins both displaying a combination of injuries and ineffectiveness in their brief cameos this season, Gallman has a solid chance to improve on his 11 fantasy points from a week ago.
Alright I get it, Jarvis Landry is far from a prototypical sleeper, but its been a different story so far in 2017. Landry has failed to eclipse the 80 yards receiving mark in any game this season and he’s yet to find the end zone. With Jay Cutler and the Dolphins offense stuck in reverse, it’s fair to speculate how valuable Miami’s skill players will be for the rest of the year. That said, I still think fantasy owners should give Miami the benefit of the doubt this week. The Dolphins welcome the Titans to town, who are fresh off allowing 57 points to a rookie quarterback. Given the dire need for a win, I think Head Coach Adam Gase will ensure Landry is installed as the focal point of the offense this week. I fully expect Gase to get creative in calling a number of intermediate crossing patterns and pick-plays, in order to get Landry the ball in space. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ripped off 100 + receiving yards and a touch in a tasty Week 5 matchup.
As Week 5 ushers in the beginning of bye weeks to impede on idealistic fantasy lineups, owners should be cognizant of the deep sleepers such as this one. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is owned across approximately 12% of leagues, but has garnered the trust of Josh McCown over the past two weeks. ASJ has hauled in nine receptions for 77 yards across his previous two contests and has an opportunity to strengthen those numbers in this week’s matchup against one of the worst defenses in football. The Browns have allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends this season and with a struggling Jets offense, we’ll likely see a ton of underneath passes in the short to intermediate range, which favors Seferian-Jenkins’ outlook. He could very well end up being a top 10 play this week @ Cleveland.
Despite the Dolphins offering little to no fantasy value during the early going, they could be in one of the most advantageous situations of any team in Week 5. Directly contingent with their Week 5 outlook is the health of Marcus Mariota. After being limited in practice on Wednesday, Mariota projects to be highly questionable to suit-up for the Titans in Miami on Sunday. With veteran Matt Cassel looking the part of a washed-up backup in relief of Mariota last week, the ‘Fins defense should be licking their chops at a potential date with Cassel.