Get ready for a wild week in fantasy football this week with four teams on a bye and rosters starting to be stretched thin. The Vikings and Steelers are on their bye weeks after a London matchup last week and they are joined by the Bucs and Washington on the sidelines. Make sure to get your best lineup on the field this week even with those options off the table, and to help you out here’s our WR rankings for week 5
In this post, you can find the top 20 for week 5 based on the composite rankings of myself and Leo Howell who also covers fantasy football for Fansided. These would be the WR1 and WR2 in ten-team leagues which means these players would be in the starting lineup in most leagues.
If you have a question or comment on the rankings or want to know who I’d start on your team, send it to me on twitter @ZT_Sports or write it in the comments at the bottom of the post. I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can.
Here’s our top 20 wide receivers for week 5:
1. Calvin Johnson-Detroit Lions
Johnson is the fifth best WR in fantasy football so far this year and faces the Packers this week who allow the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing WR. They were lit up by Pierre Garcon, and Anquan Boldin. Megatron is getting even more looks with Nate Burleson sidelined, so expect a big game this week. He does have a knee issue, but he’s expected to play Sunday.
2. Victor Cruz-New York Giants
The top receiver in non-PPR leagues is Cruz who has had three monster 115+ yard games this season. He also has four TDs and is the seventh-most targeted receiver in the league. Cruz is in a great matchup too since he faces the Eagles who allow more points to opposing WR than any team in the NFL.
3. Demaryius Thomas-Denver Broncos
Thomas is part of a three-way tie for third as the Broncos juggernaut rolls into big D to face the Cowboys. He’s definitely a WR1 that you can play with confidence since he comes in as the #2 receiver in Standard leagues.
3. Julio Jones-Atlanta Falcons
The only WRs who had 100 yards in each of the last two games were Jones and Nate Washington. He has more yards on the season than any other receiver and is targeted all the time by Matt Ryan especially with Roddy White still limited. Jones is a great play Monday Night agains the Jets who haven’t been able to lockdown receivers after the departure of Darrelle Revis.
3. A.J. Green-Cincinnati Benglas
Green faces the same secondary that allowed 100 yards to Jones last week as the Bengals host the Patriots in a nice AFC matchup. Green hasn’t been great since week one with around 50 yards a week since opening with 162 and a pair of scores against the Bears. New England’s defense is solid, but Green has too much talent and rapport with Andy Dalton to make him any less than a WR1 this week.
6. Wes Welker-Denver Broncos
Our second Broncos WR in the top six, Welker has more TDs than any other WR and has found the end zone every week this season. He hasn’t broken 100 yards yet this season but continues to be a PPR monster and a WR1 out of the slot for Peyton and the point-piling Broncos.
7. Brandon Marshall-Chicago Bears
Marshall had seven catches for 79 yards against the Lions as Alshon Jeffery had a huge game on the other side. He’s had at least five catches every week, but hasn’t scored or broken 100 yards the last two weeks. The Saints have been great against opposing WR and he’s dealing with a foot injury which is why he’s this low on the list, but he’s still a WR1 this week in what could be a high-scoring game at Soldier Field
8. Randall Cobb-Green Bay Packers
Cobb and the Pack are back from their bye, so get him back in as your WR1. He’s been targeted ten or more times in all three of the Packers games this season and has 290 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Lions gave up 200 yards and a pair of TDs to the Bears WR last week, so look for Aaron Rodgers to get all his receivers going this week.
9. DeSean Jackson-Philadelphia Eagles
Jackson had a huge first two weeks but has struggled the last two as defenses keyed in on him. D-Jax has a history agains the Giants who have struggled in the secondary so expect him to bounce back from a couple of tough weeks with a good performance this week. He’s a low-end WR1 since he’s struggled lately.
10. Dez Bryant-Denver Broncos
Bryant had a pair of scores last week against San Diego giving him his second 20-point week in ESPN Standard scoring. The Cowboys will be trying to keep up with Denver, but the Broncos defense has shut down opposing receivers pretty effectively. I would definitely start Dez as a WR1, but don’t expect a monster game.
11. Anquan Boldin-San Francisco 49ers
Boldin had his best game since week one against the Rams on Thursday night and has had extra time to get ready for the Texans. Houston allows the sixth-fewest points to opposing WR, but he’s a high-end WR2 since he’s Colin Kaepernick’s best (and almost only) WR weapon as the Niners host Houston.
12. Josh Gordon-Cleveland Browns
Another high-end WR2 is Josh Gordon who is in a much better matchup against the Bills who allow the second most points to opposing WR. He’d probably crack the top ten if not for the lack of production on Thursday Night Football in the past. For a full TNF preview check our fantasy football page right here.
13. Jordy Nelson-Green Bay Packers
Nelson is the second Packer on the list coming off the bye week for what should be a high-scoring game at Lambeau against Detroit.
14. Eric Decker-Denver Broncos
Is the Broncos offense good enough to give them three WR in the top 20? Definitely! and might as well throw in a high-ranking TE too. Peyton Manning has spread the ball around and made fantasy winners of anyone who owns the Broncos. Decker is the third option on his own team but is a solid WR2 for fantasy teams since there is so much wealth to go around.
15. Andre Johnson-Houston Texans
Johnson and the Texans are out West to face San Francisco. He shook off a shin injury to haul in nine passes for 110 yards against Seattle last week, and gets tons of targets and catches making him a must-start in almost all formats even in a tough matchup against the SF secondary.
16. Marques Colston-New Orleans Saints
Colston faces a Bears secondary that has allowed the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing WR. He’s coming off his best game of the young season as he finished with a season-high 96 yards against Miami while being targeted eight times. He could have a breakout game against Chicago if Brees throws the ball his way Sunday.
17. Torrey Smith-Baltimore Ravens
Smith finally found the end zone and went over 100 yards with a monster game Sunday against the Bills catching just five passes but finishing with 166 yards. He’s a little boom-or-bust since he catches so few passes but showed his huge upside last week. He and Baltimore face Miami on a short week this Sunday.
18. Denarius Moore-Oakland Raiders
Moore and the Raiders play the extra late game against the visiting Chargers since they have to share the stadium with the Oakland A’s who play their playoff game earlier in the game. Even though he starts at 11:35 EST, don’t overlook him since he’s coming off a pair of solid games and he should bet Terrelle Pryor under center making him a WR2 this week.
19. Julian Edelman-New England Patriots
Edelman’s role seems to be in jeopardy each week with Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski’s returns seemingly constantly impending. They still haven’t come back, and Edelman has seized his chance to catch seven passes or more every single game and collect his first 100-yard game of the season last week in Atlanta. With Aaron Dobson also joining the injured Patriots, Edelman should get plenty of looks against the Bengals this week.
20. Dwayne Bowe-Kansas City Chiefs, Larry Fitzgerald-Arizona Cardinals
The last spot is a tie between Bowe and Fitzgerald both of whom are having tough seasons. Bowe has been mediocre since Alex Smith doesn’t throw to his WR very much while Fitz has been hampered by injury. Fitzgerald and the Cardinals face the rested Panthers this week while Bowe and the Chiefs take on the Titans.
Honorable Mention: Kenbrell Thompkins-New England Patriots, James Jones-Green Bay Packers, Steve Smith-Carolina Panthers