What follows are my Week 5 QB rankings. Note that these are not season-long lists or projections; I’m purely ranking based on who I believe will score more fantasy points this week with a focus on 1) What the QB has achieved in recent weeks, 2) Injuries or workload changes that could impact their production, and 3) This week’s matchup. Note that the salary included in “DFS Note” sections refers to their Sunday main slate price at DraftKings.
1. BALTIMORE RAVENS QB LAMAR JACKSON VS. CINCINNATI BENGALS (BAL -13.5, 52)
Jackson has regressed as a passer in 2020, but not nearly as much as you’d expect:
- PFF passing grade 2019: 85.3. 2020: 80.2
- Yards per attempt 2019: 7.7. 2020: 7.7
- Adjusted completion percentage 2019: 75.4%. 2020: 79.4%
- Passing TD rate 2019: 8.5%. 2020: 6.9%
A bit better accuracy on deep balls to Marquise Brown would be nice; just five of Browns’ league-high 12 targets thrown at least 20 yards downfield have been deemed catchable this season. The larger concern is Jackson “only” averaging 58.8 rushing yards per game with a single score on the ground through four weeks.
Of course, the trip to the end zone was spectacular and a reminder of just how ridiculous of a threat Jackson is on the ground.
Lamar Jackson: still a real-life cheat codepic.twitter.com/Y7magx3Muq
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 4, 2020
Jackson’s somewhat slow start has still yielded fantasy QB1 results. Concern about dropping Jackson from the overall QB1 spot will have to wait for another week in a tougher matchup. The Bengals failed to hold Jackson under 30 fantasy points in either of their 2019 meetings, and only the Raiders, Bears as well as the Titans have allowed a higher explosive run-play rate through four weeks.
DFS Note: Jackson ($7,900) is the highest-priced signal-caller again, although it’s a tick down from what we’ve seen to start the season. The likes of Dak Prescott ($7,400) and Kyler Murray ($7,200) present similar upside at a reduced overall cost; just realize stacking Jackson with Marquise Brown ($6,300) and Mark Andrews ($6,200) provides similar overall salary relief thanks to their condensed target share and relatively meager price tags. This stack is an every-week high-end cash and tournament option alike
2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB PATRICK MAHOMES VS. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (KC -11.5, 56)
Mahomes has posted a 11:1 TD:INT ratio in four career matchups against the Raiders. The likes of Drew Brees (312 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), Josh Allen (288, 2, 0), Teddy Bridgewater (288, 2, 0) and Cam Newton (162, 1, 1) didn’t consistently ball out against this defense, but injuries to corners Damon Arnette (thumb, IR) and Nevin Lawson (foot) should help matters for the league’s most-explosive passing game.
Mahomes is an auto-start in any form of fantasy football; only pristine matchups for him or his fellow high-end fantasy QB1s move him up or down the upper half of the weekly ranks. Still, Mahomes’ demonstrated absurd ceiling as a passer, combined with great health that has enabled a somewhat newfound rushing floor, could lead to matchup-proof overall QB1 status before too long.
DFS Note: Mahomes ($7,700) doesn’t figure to be ignored in this potential smash spot. I’ll likely be looking toward the slightly cheaper QB1s thanks to their more-competitive matchups, although Mahomes and company are always capable of putting up week-winning numbers.