The NFL season hits its first four-team bye week this week meaning fantasy rosters are getting stretched thin. If you’re feeling the squeeze at the quarterback position for week 5, there are some options that aren’t usually starters that make nice sleeper picks based on their matchup and opportunity this week. Whether you’re looking for a weekly league bargain of a bye-week fill-in, there are some players ready to step up and contribute this week.
Here are the top 5 sleeper options in the order I would start them for week 5:
1. Terrelle Pryor-Oakland Raiders
I’ve been driving the Pryor bandwagon all week. He was my top pickup overall and my number one available QB. If he’s still available in your league or you need a cheaper QB alternative in your salary cap league, make sure to get him on your roster. The hardest thing about starting Pryor may be staying awake for his matchup since the Raiders aren’t kicking off until 11:30 Eastern time. Pryor’s game should be worth the wait, though, as he faces the Chargers who have given up more fantasy points to opposing QB’s than any other team in the league. Pryor didn’t play last week due to a concussion, but he’s expected to return Sunday Night. He may get even more of the workload of the offense since the Raider running game may be with out Darren McFadden. Pryor should be in for a huge Sunday Night game, so if you need a QB starter, he’s the best sleeper option.
2. Eli Manning-New York Giants
Eli’s been brutal the last two games throwing for 119 and 217 yards agasint the Panthers and Chiefs. His offensive line has been porous and he’s struggled to get any kind of rhythm in the passing game. However, don’t give up on Eli just yet. He started the year with a huge game against Dallas throwing for 450 yards and four touchdowns, and he followed that up with 362 yards and a score at home against Denver. At least part of Manning’s struggles come from playing two good defenses on the road. He’ll be back home this week against the Eagles who allow the second most fantasy points to QB’s. Manning, as usual, is a high-risk option since he’s such a roller coaster in general, but the Eagles secondary is bad enough that I think this will be a high-scoring shooting that Manning finishes with good numbers in.
3. Sam Bradford- St. Louis Rams
Bradford has gotten off to a solid start to the season and will be coming off extra rest after his toughest game of the year last Thursday night against a good San Francisco D. This week he faces what should be a much easier task as the Rams host the Jaguars who allow the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing QB’s. Bradford had a pair of nice games to open the season, and I think he’ll redisover that form this week in a good matchup. He’s not someone to start over an established option, but he’s one of the better non-top 10 picks of the week.
4. Joe Flacco-Baltimore Ravens
Flacco put up good numbers against the Bills except for his very ugly five interceptions. The Ravens inexplicably forgot to run the ball in the second half which led to Flacco attempting 50 passes and finishing with two scores and 347 yards to go with his five turnovers. This week, the Ravens head to Miami to take on the Dolphins defense that was torched on Monday Night by Drew Brees. There is some upside here since the Dolphins are on a short week and the Ravens offense clearly goes through Flacco for now until Ray Rice is ready to shoulder the load. Flacco will probably end up in the upper-half of QB scoring, which at this point of the list isn’t bad.
5. Ryan Tannehill-Miami Dolphins
Across the field from Flacco is another option if you need an emergency QB for the week, Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill struggled Monday Night with four turnovers of his own to go with 249 yards and a touchdown. So far this season, Tannehill has the same amount of fantasy points (ESPN Standard scoring) as Eli Manning and one more than Joe Flacco. The Ravens defense isn’t as dominant as it has been in the past, and since he’s at home, I think Tannehill should finish with a much better stat line than last week in the hostile environment of the Superdome.
If you have any questions of who I’d start/sit for week 5, you can find me on twitter @ZT_Sports or drop the question in the comments at the bottom of the page. For information on other positions, starter rankings, and plenty of fantasy football goodness, check out our Fansided fantasy football page where there’s a treasure trove of information that can help you get the win this weekend.