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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 5

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Joe Flacco vs. KC

Flacco has been excellent in the new up-tempo Ravens offense, as he has topped 300 yards the last two games and is averaging more than 317 yards per game this season. Flacco should continue to be fantasy gold as he has perhaps the best matchup of any non-elite fantasy quarterback this week in the Chiefs. The Chiefs have given up the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks and have given up a league-leading 10 touchdown passes. While the Chiefs only allow 216 yards a game in the air (12th best), they give up 7.9 yards per attempt (28th best). Look for Flacco to have multiple touchdowns and throw for enough yards to be a solid fantasy starter this week.

Ryan Mathews vs. NO

Mathews' owners have been waiting for the big breakout since he came back in Week 3, but with only 24 carries in his two games, Mathews has yet to have the opportunity to break loose. As long as he holds onto the football, this should be the week that Mathews begins to rewards his owners. The Saints have surrendered the most fantasy points to running backs this season, and every lead back this season has scored double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues against New Orleans. With Mathews expected to get an increased workload, and the Saints giving up 4.9 yards per rushing attempt (28th in the league), look a big Week 5.

Ryan Williams vs. STL

While Williams disappointed last week, gaining just 26 yards in 13 carries, as he struggled against the top rushing defense in the NFL in terms of yards per attempt (2.4) in the Dolphins. This week, the task should be much easier in the Thursday night contest against the Rams. The Rams have given up rushing touchdowns in all but one game this season, and in Week 2 against the Redskins they allowed nearly 5.5 yards per rush to running backs. Williams should produce enough points to be a solid RB2 and a nice bye-week starter.

Kyle Rudolph vs. TEN

Owners who started Rudolph last week were rewarded with a whopping eight yards on two catches. The good news is he was the second-most targeted receiver, and the Titans are by far the worst defense in the NFL when it comes to tight ends. The Titans have given up 19 fantasy points a game in standard scoring leagues to tight ends. The next highest total is 10.3! Seven touchdowns by tight ends have already been scored in four games, and Rudolph is by far the No. 1 red-zone target for the Vikings. Look for Rudolph top get back in the good graces of his owners this week with an excellent performance.

Jacob Tamme vs. NE

Tamme has yet to produce much from a fantasy standpoint this season, but Peyton Manning does appear to be looking for him much more frequently as he has been targeted 16 times in the last two weeks. Tamme has his best matchup of the season against the Patriots on Sunday. The Patriots have struggled the last two weeks, surrendering three touchdowns to tight ends, and on the season have given up the second most fantasy points to the position (10.3) in standard leagues. Look for Tamme, especially in PPR leagues, to be a nice start for owners whose starter is on a bye this week.


Matt Schaub vs. NYJ

Schaub has been extremely efficient this season and is one of the few starting quarterbacks in the pass-happy NFL that has yet to attempt more than 35 passes in a game. With the exception of a four-touchdown outburst against the Broncos, Schaub has just three touchdown passes in three games. Schaub benefits from a great running game and elite defense, and both should be in play in this week's matchup against the Jets. The Jets rank 24th in fantasy run defense and have given up multiple touchdowns each of the last two weeks. Furthermore, since Week 1, the Jets have scored just 30 points and have lost their best offensive weapon for perhaps the season. Look for Schaub to continue to be solid, but not put up the big numbers fantasy owners need.

Chris Johnson vs. MIN

Johnson broke out of his nine-game funk with a great 141-yard effort against the Texans last week. However, Johnson totaled most of his yards in the second half when the game was in little doubt as Tennessee kept the ball on the ground. This week, in what should be a more competitive matchup, Johnson faces the Vikings. The Vikings rank second in fantasy points allowed to the running back position and haven't allowed a rushing touchdown in their last six games. With four teams on byes, Johnson will be in lineups, but he will be hard pressed to come close to his Week 4 performance.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. MIA

Green-Ellis is the poster boy for this article as he is rarely a must start or sit. For the season he has at least 90 total yards or a touchdown in every game, so production-wise he has been pretty good. This week will test his production when he faces the Dolphins, who boast the league's the best run defense at 2.4 yards allowed per attempt and 56.8 yards allowed per game. Like Johnson, bye weeks make Green-Ellis a likely starter in most lineups, but this has the opportunity to be his least productive week of the season.

C.J. Spiller vs. SF

Spiller (shoulder) expects to be fine for his Week 5 matchup against the 49ers. He may want to reconsider after reading these numbers. The 49ers again are the toughest fantasy run defense, allowing just 6.5 fantasy points per game in standard leagues, and have given up just two rushing touchdowns in their last 20 games. With Fred Jackson (right knee) taking carries away as well, Spiller is nothing more than a flex option at best in this very difficult matchup.

Greg Olsen vs. SEA

Olsen has been great the last two weeks, garnering 21 targets and 13 receptions for nearly 200 yards and a touchdown. This week, Olsen faces his toughest statistical matchup of the season against the Seahawks. Seattle is the fourth toughest defense against tight ends this season, allowing just 4.5 points per game in standard leagues, and has given up just one touchdown pass to a tight end in its last nine games. Olsen will have many weeks of fantasy relevance this season, but this week's matchup suggests this won't be one of them.

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