Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings: Position Tier Rankings to Help You Win

JT TurbaContributor IOctober 7, 2010

Peyton Manning
Peyton ManningMarc Serota/Getty Images

Quarterback Rankings

Tier 1

1. Peyton Manning Home KC

2. Aaron Rodgers Away WAS

3. Drew Brees Away ARI

4. Philip Rivers Away OAK

Peyton Manning: gets the nod as top fantasy football QB this week. I would not want to be the KC defense facing Manning following a loss.  

Aaron Rodgers: Consider Peyton and Aaron 1a and 1b in this week's rankings. Washington’s dreadful secondary is consistently getting shredded, but Aaron gets the No. 2 nod based on his below average offensive line facing a tough Washington defensive line. Washington is stout up front, especially if Albert Haynesworth comes to play, and could disrupt Rodgers' timing.

Tier 2

5. Eli Manning Away HOU

6. Matt Ryan Away CLE

7. Tony Romo Home TEN

8. Carson Palmer Home TAM

Eli Manning: on the road versus a stout run D and a wretched secondary. Look for Hakeem Nicks to have a big day and for Eli to right the ship. If you have a marginal play due to a bad matchup, take Eli this week.

Carson Palmer: Despite the Bengals' run-oriented identity last season, Palmer is fifth amongst QBs in pass attempts. While he’s clearly diminished and is not nearly the NFL quarterback he once was, his host of offensive weapons coupled with Cincinnati’s willingness to open up the playbook has led to big fantasy numbers for Carson. Start with confidence.

Tier 3

9. Matt Schaub Home NYG

10. Brett Favre Away NYJ

Matt Schaub: continue to monitor Andre Johnson and Jacoby Jones’ status. Owen Daniels just hasn’t recovered to form. In a week filled with tough matchups, Schaub gets a tier 3 nod, but not by much. If Andre Johnson is limited and if Jones doesn’t play, I’d downgrade Schaub to a tier 4 QB.

Brett Favre: Ahh. Brett Favre against the vaunted Jets secondary. A must sit, right? I say no. With Darrelle Revis still gimpy with a hamstring injury and apparently only going to play one side of the field as opposed to shadowing Randy Moss, I still like Favre to have a solid week coming off his bye.

Although Antonio Cromartie played well against Moss in week 2, Favre will take chances and let Moss make plays. The Moss-Favre union is truly a match made in fantasy heaven.

Tier 4

11. Donovan McNabb Home GB

12. Joe Flacco Home DEN

13. Kyle Orton Away BAL

14. Kevin Kolb Away SF

Donovan McNabb: The only team with more safety woes than Indianapolis is Green Bay. The pack lost SS Morgan Burnett for the season. I like McNabb to get things going with Ryan Torain leading the way at RB for Mike Shanahan.

Joe Flacco: Yikes. Flacco has looked downright awful at times this season. That being said, connecting with T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the game-winning touchdown against the Steelers, combined with his growing rapport with Anquan Boldin, has the arrow pointing up. Flacco is a potential sleeper for the rest of the way. For now, he’s a decent situational matchup play, even against the likes of Champ Bailey and co.

Tier 5

15. Mark Sanchez Home MIN

16. Shaun Hill Home STL

17. Sam Bradford Away DET

18. Vince Young Away DAL

19. Matt Cassel Away IND

20. David Garrard Away BUF

21. Alex Smith Home PHI

Matt Cassel: The Colts don’t have either starting safety after losing both Bob Sanders (Week 10-14 return) and now Melvin Bullitt (injured reserve). He’s a risky play because he’s Matt Cassel, but in a bind (if you traded your only other option in order to start Michael Vick?), he’s worth a shot this week.

Use at your own risk

22. Bruce Gradkowski Home SD

23. Josh Freeman Away CIN

24. Max Hall Home NO

25. Jimmy Clausen Home CHI

26. Jake Delhomme Home ATL

27. Ryan Fitzpatrick Home JAX

28. Todd Collins Away CAR *Jay Cutler ruled out*

Ryan Fitzpatrick: He’s really capable of having a big game occasionally; it just has to be against the worst defenses in the NFL. One of those big games happened to be at Jacksonville last year, where he threw for 297 yards and only one TD. He’s a good matchup play this week in a two-QB league or in an 18-team league. The Bills should lock up the No. 1 overall draft pick next April.

Last hurrah

Shaun Hill: Hill has been much better than he has in previous years with regards to his fantasy production, but he’s still a dreadful QB.

If you legitimately have no other option, then roll with him, but Hill has put up big numbers throwing because of playing against vastly superior opponents (Philly, Minny, Green Bay). Hill was able to rack up yards through the air playing from behind, but this week, look for Jahvid Best to get the ball early and often. Matt Stafford looks to return soon.

Back to the Bench

Charlie Batch: If Ben Roethlisberger is somehow available (and in that case, I’m assuming you’re in a six-team league), add him. Big Ben will be a strong play next week when he returns. 

Seneca Wallace: He's still sharing reps with Delhomme, but for now, it's back to the bench.

Derek Anderson: Man, was he awful. Larry Fitzgerald owners all over, rejoice! Make sure you monitor Max Hall this week. Two-QB league owners, or flex QB league owners, Hall should be owned. If you have QB issues and you have the roster room, he’s worth a flier as a free agent now as opposed to wasting a waiver claim if he has a huge day Sunday. 

Chad Henne: Maybe Tyler Thigpen will actually throw to Brandon Marshall. Thiggy should be owned in all two-QB or QB flex leagues, and he’s a potential (albeit risky) matchup play as long as Brandon Marshall is healthy. Hopefully Davone Bess gets a boost in PPR leagues as a result of Thigpen taking over for the Fins. 

Running Back Rankings

Tier 1

1. Maurice Jones-Drew Away BUF

2. Frank Gore Home PHI

3. Jahvid Best Home STL

4. Arian Foster Home NYG

5. Steven Jackson Away DET

6. Cedric Benson Home TB

The common theme amongst the Tier 1 backs is that they tend to dominate carries and really don’t have much of a timeshare. Arian Foster made a huge statement last week in response to Gary Kubiak’s attempt to put him in his place after some missed meetings. Benson may lose some change of pace carries to Bernard Scott, but Benson should get the lion's share of carries.

Tier 2

7. Jamaal Charles Away IND

8. Chris Johnson Away TEN

9. Ray Rice Home DEN

10. Peyton Hillis Home ATL

11. Ryan Torain Home WAS

12. Ryan Mathews Away OAK

13. Michael Turner Away CLE

14. Adrian Peterson Away NYJ

15. Beanie Wells Home ARI

Tier 2 is large, namely because it features a few juicy matchups, but CJ2K, APede, and Ray Rice are every week plays regardless of matchups. Turner lands a little lower, but only because Cleveland has shown some consistency in stopping the run, allowing 3.8 ypc and 109 yards against.

Peyton Hillis: He looks like a bell cow in every sense of the phrase. He’s running hard and busting through tackles. Cleveland’s line has looked strong in opening up holes for Hillis to bust through, and he looks to be a solid every week play.

Ryan Torain: Green Bay is allowing a whopping 5.2 yards per carry, and Torain is getting the bulk of the carries. Simply put, Shanahan has loved Torain in his system dating back to his days as head coach of the Broncos.

Similar to this year, Torain worked his way up the depth chart by virtue of Denver injuries and scored a touchdown in his first and last quarter as Denver's No. 1 running back before he tore his knee to shreds. Now he's reemerged as Shanahan's go-to guy. Look for him to be a top 20 back the rest of the way. 

Ryan Mathews: This is the week he validates his first-round draft status. Oakland has the most porous run defense in the league, allowing a whopping 5.2 yards per rush and giving up 162 yards per game to opposing offenses. Start Mathews with confidence. 

Beanie Wells: It’s breakout time for Beanie. Look for Wells to take out his frustration with being underutilized on the defending Super Bowl champs’ defense, which is allowing more rushing yards per game than the Lions defense. Ouch.

Tier 3

16. Joseph Addai Home KC

17. DeAngelo Williams Home CHI

18. Matt Forte Away CAR

* *19. Pierre Thomas Away ARI ** Update- Friday 10/8 - Pierre Thomas is officially out for week 5 - bump up Chris Ivory accordingly

20. Fred Jackson Home JAC

21. Mike Tolbert Away OAK

Matt Forte: With Todd Collins at the helm in Cutler’s stead, look for Forte to dominate the ball in both the running and short passing game.

Pierre Thomas: He has a juicy matchup, but man, is Sean Payton unpredictable.

Fred Jackson: Should have a big week. He’s a solid Flex play or a RB2 in a deeper leagues.

Mike Tolbert: Look for the Chargers to run all over Oakland. Tolbert is a solid flex play.

Tier 4

22. Michael Bush Home SD

23. Thomas Jones Away IND

24. Jonathan Stewart Away CHI

25. Tim Hightower Home NO

26. Ahmad Bradshaw Away HOU

27. LaDainian Tomlinson Home MIN

Ahmad Bradshaw: Monitor his progress; if he sits, upgrade Brandon Jacobs.

The Rest

28. Bernard Scott Home TAM

29.  Felix Jones Home TEN

30. LeGarrette Blount Away CIN (increased early down workload and getting goal line work)

31. Marion Barber Home TEN

32. LeSean McCoy (Monitor Closely) Away SF

33. Shonn Greene Home MIN

34. Cadillac Williams Away CIN

35. Mike Bell Away SF (Monitor LeSean McCoy's status)

36. Brandon Jacobs Away HOU (Monitor Bradshaw closely)

37. C.J. Spiller Home JAC

38. Willis McGahee Home DEN

39. Brandon Jackson Away WAS

40. Chester Taylor Away CAR

41. Chris Ivory Away ARI

42. Jason Snelling Away CLE

43. Mike Hart (Monitor Addai's status) Home KC

44. Laurence Maroney Away BAL

45. Knowshon Moreno (All but ruled out) Away BAL

46. John Kuhn Away GB

47. Brian Westbrook Home SF

48. Tashard Choice Home DAL

49. Jerome Harrison Home ATL

50. Mike Goodson Home CHI

51. Keiland Williams Home GB

52. Derrick Ward Home NYG

53. Keith Toston Away DET


It's about time the Bills finally dealt a running back. They have a poor offensive line, no quarterback, and few receiving options. Congratulations if you stashed Marshawn Lynch.


Green Bay has all but abandoned the run. Josh McDaniels all but indicated that Knowshon Moreno will not play, and that until they find the running game, he's okay chucking the ball around. Green Bay and Denver running back situations are ones to avoid this week.

Wide Receiver Rankings

*Note: Downgrade all Bears receivers due to Todd Collins starting for CHI.

Tier 1

1. Roddy White

2. Reggie Wayne

3. Andre Johnson (game-time decision: monitor his status)

4. Hakeem Nicks

5. Calvin Johnson

Roddy White: Anyone who watched Terrell Owens obliterate the Cleveland defense should've taken notes. Cleveland spent most of the day double-teaming Chad Ochocinco, but with Tony Gonzalez on the field, I don't think Roddy is going to see as many of those double team looks as Ochocinco.

Calvin Johnson: Shaun Hill's favorite play is throwing the ball up to Calvin Johnson. I like his chances for another big day playing the Rams.

Tier 2

6. Miles Austin

7. Randy Moss

8. Greg Jennings

9. Larry Fitzgerald

10. Marques Colston

11. DeSean Jackson

12. Steve Smith (NYG)

Randy Moss: This is going to be a fun Monday night game. I think Favre is going to chuck a few up to Moss and let him make plays like he did with Sidney Rice.

Larry Fitzgerald: Max Hall cannot possibly be worse than Derek Anderson. He's part of the reason Ken Whisenhunt let Matt Leinart have has walking papers.

Tier 3

13. Dwayne Bowe

14. Mark Clayton

15. Donald Driver

16. Dez Bryant

17. Jeremy Maclin

18. Kevin Walter

19. Austin Collie

20. Terrell Owens

21. Anquan Boldin

22. Chad Ochocinco

This is a large tier, but I do believe that's because there isn't really a clear-cut option here. If you have any of these players, as a WR2, you're looking pretty good this week. 

Dwayne Bowe: I like Bowe to have his first big game of the '10 season. Hopefully Charlie Weis put the bye week to good use.

Anquan Boldin: Downgrade him a bunch for a tough matchup with Champ Bailey. He's still a must start, especially in a PPR format, but temper expectations.

Austin Collie: Pierre Garcon's return could cut into his numbers a bit, but he's been a legitimate WR 2 and borderline WR1. Continue to start with confidence.

Kevin Walter: Could be due for a bunch of targets if Jones and/or Johnson sit out.

Batman and Robin: Whichever receiver—Owens or Ocho—draws Aqib Talib in coverage, look for the other to flourish.

Tier 4

23. Santonio Holmes

24. Mike Sims-Walker

25. Santana Moss

26. Braylon Edwards

27. Kenny Britt

28. Michael Crabtree

29. Malcom Floyd

Santonio Holmes: Santonio makes his regular season debut for the Jets, and it couldn't have come at a better time. He should open things up for Mark Sanchez, but there's a lot of guys to target now.

Tier 5

30. Brandon Lloyd

31. Louis Murphy

32. Lee Evans

33. Percy Harvin

34. Mario Manningham

35. Legedu Naanee

36. Eddie Royal

37. Derrick Mason

The Rest

38. Robert Meachem

39. Mike Williams

40. Roy Williams

39. Danny Amendola

40. Lance Moore

41. James Jones

42. Brandon LaFell

43. Pierre Garcon

44. Devin Hester

45. Stephen Williams

46. Mike Thomas

47. Nate Washington

48. Demaryius Thomas

49. Josh Cribbs

50. Johnny Knox

Tight End Rankings

Tier 1

1. Antonio Gates

2. Jermichael Finley

3. Dallas Clark 

Antonio Gates: He's basically a WR1—a good one at that.

All three of these guys are unbelievably solid.

Tier 2

4. Zach Miller

5. Brent Celek

6. Dustin Keller

7. Vernon Davis

Zach Miller: Bruce Gradkowski loves this guy. I did too. I started him last week ahead of Vernon Davis in a 12-team league, and he did not disappoint. Start him again with confidence. 

Brent Celek: Guess who's back at the helm for the Eagles? Guess what happened to Celek's production last week as a result... Kolb loves Celek, and at the expense of DeSean Jackson's value, Celek racks up big numbers whenever Kolb starts.

Vernon Davis: Alex Smith is killing Davis' (and Michael Crabtree's) value. He's still a solid TE option every week.

Tier 3

8. Tony Gonzalez

9. Chris Cooley

10. Jason Witten

11. Tony Moeaki

Tony Moeaki: He could keep climbing. He's a great matchup this week against a Colts team without its starting safeties. 

Tier 4

12. Kellen Winslow Jr.

13. Marcedes Lewis

14. Ben Watson

15. Brandon Pettigrew

16. Greg Olsen (downgrade due to Todd Collins starting)

Kellen Winslow: K2 could have a great week against a Bengals secondary that struggles in covering tight ends who can stretch the field. Ben Watson looked good at times against Cincy, and Dustin Keller did them in last season in the playoffs. Kellen Jr. is a TE 2 in most leagues, but is a solid play if you traded your TE 1 and have Aaron Hernandez on bye. 

Tier 5

17. Visanthe Shiancoe

18. Jermaine Gresham

19. Todd Heap

20. Jeremy Shockey

The rest

21. Owen Daniels

22. Tony Scheffler

23. Dante Rosario

24. Kevin Boss

25. Daniel Fells

Defense/ST Rankings

1.  Philadelphia

2.  San Diego

3.  Dallas

4.  Cincinnati

5.  Minnesota

6.  Green Bay

7.  NY Jets

8.  Baltimore

9.  Carolina

10.  New Orleans

11.  Denver

12.  Chicago

13.  Atlanta

14.  San Francisco

15.  Jacksonville

16.  Houston

17.  NY Giants

18.  Washington

19.  St. Louis

20.  Tennessee

21.  Detroit

22.  Cleveland

23.  Buffalo

24.  Indianapolis

25.  Tampa Bay

26.  Kansas City

27.  Arizona

28.  Oakland


1.  Mike Nugent

2.  Sebastian Janikowski

3.  Mason Crosby

4.  Neil Rackers

5.  Matt Bryant

6.  Matt Prater

7.  David Akers

8. John Carney

9. Nick Folk

10. Ryan Longwell

11.  Graham Gano

12.  Josh Scobee

13.  Nate Kaeding

14.  Josh Brown

15.  Jason Hanson

16.  Phil Dawson

17.  Robbie Gould

18.  Lawrence Tynes

19.  Rob Bironas

20.  Rian Lindell


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