Fantasy Football: QB matchups, streamer of the week, Week 5 rankings and more

2RXGWD9 From the left, Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line Brandon Scherff (68), Luke Fortner (79) and Ben Bartch (78) ready for the snap to quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Texans defeated the Jaguars 37-17. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

QB Trevor Lawrence (84.1 PFF passing grade), Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills: Lawrence can pick apart Buffalo’s damaged secondary.

• QB Daniel Jones (51.9 PFF passing grade), New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins: Pass-rush pressure presents a problem for Jones. 

• Dominate your fantasy league in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool!

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

NFL Week 5 action is here. For fantasy football managers who passed on the elite quarterback tier, start-and-sit decisions must now be made. Below are two quarterbacks with advantageous matchups to target, two quarterbacks with difficult matchups to avoid and one streaming option possessing a top-12 finish in his range of outcomes. 

WR:CB Matchup Chart

QB Matchups to Target

QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills

Week 5 provides Lawrence (84.1 PFF passing grade) the opportunity to produce a season-high fantasy sum against Buffalo’s blunted secondary — 2021 first-team All-Pro free safety Jordan Poyer (58.7 PFF coverage grade, knee injury) sat out Week 4 after failing to practice all week and 2019 first-team All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davoius White (79.0 PFF coverage grade) suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture against the Miami Dolphins less than two years after suffering a complete ACL tear. 

The game opened with FanDuel’s fourth-highest over/under, 48.0 points.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Jacksonville a 13.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, tied for No. 8 on the week.

Buffalo’s current starting cornerbacks Christian Benford (57.4 PFF coverage grade, 1.15 yards allowed per coverage snap and 4.5% explosive pass plays allowed rate), Taron Johnson (70.2 PFF coverage grade, 100.0% catch rate allowed) and Dane Jackson (65.6 PFF coverage grade, 1.36 yards allowed per coverage snap and 5.1% explosive pass plays allowed rate) possess glaring, exploitable weaknesses. 

Buffalo’s defense ranks bottom six in both tight end catch rate allowed (82.3%) and tight end explosive pass plays allowed rate (17.6%) among NFL teams, clearing the runway for Jacksonville tight end Evan Engram (72.0 PFF receiving grade). 

Buffalo’s exceptional pass rush (67.2 PFF pass-rush grade, 35.9% quarterback pressure rate (No. 6 among NFL teams) and 31.7 pass-rush productivity (No. 2)) faces a stiff test against Jacksonville’s (61.3 PFF pass-blocking grade) unyielding offensive line. The unit’s No. 9-ranked 23.4% quarterback pressure rate allowed and 85.9 pass-block win rate, tied for No. 13 among NFL offensive lines, can give Lawrence (2.45-second average time to throw, No. 6 among 36 NFL quarterbacks with at least 25 dropbacks) ample time to pick on his preferred coverage defender. Jacksonville left tackle Cam Robinson (74.8 PFF 2022 pass-blocking grade) is eligible to return from a performance-enhancing-drug-related four-game suspension this week. Should he be activated, stud pass blocker Walker Little (76.5 PFF pass-blocking grade) is expected to slide from Robinson’s left tackle spot inside to left guard.

Lawrence’s No. 3-ranked 8.0% big-time-throw rate on the move (among 30 NFL quarterbacks with at least 15 such dropbacks) signals big-play potential in the event a Buffalo pass rusher makes it past Jacksonville’s offensive line. Lawrence’s 92.3 PFF passing grade on throw outside the pocket ranks No. 1. 

Lawrence is a mid-to-high QB1 against Buffalo.

QB Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers @ Las Vegas Raiders

Love (67.2 PFF offense grade) continues his upstart season against a Las Vegas defense whose top defenders edge rusher Maxx Crosby (90.9 PFF pass-rush grade) and slot cornerback Nate Hobbs (69.6 PFF slot-coverage grade) are nursing injuries. Crosby is playing through his knee issue, but Hobbs failed to suit up in Week 4 after spraining his ankle during Friday’s practice. He is more likely to miss Week 5 than Crosby. Love remains a mid-tier QB1

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Green Bay a 24.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, No. 4 on the week. Second-year left tackle Rasheed Walker’s (76.4 PFF pass-blocking grade) breakout campaign eases touch-and-go tackle David Bakhtiari’s (89.9 PFF pass-blocking grade) likely season-ending knee surgery. 

Green Bay's No. 1 wide receiver Christian Watson (60.5 PFF receiving grade) made it through the team’s Thursday Night Football game without suffering a re-injury (hamstring strain), priming him for a full-time Week 5 role. No. 2 wide receiver Romeo Doubs (75.8 PFF receiving grade) boasts a top-12 target rate (26.5%) and is tied at No. 16 with seven explosive pass plays among 71 NFL wide receivers with at least 100 receiving snaps. Rookie wide receiver Jayden Reed’s (73.1 PFF green zone receiving grade) crisp route running yields a No. 1-ranked 71.4% green zone target rate among 61 NFL wide receivers with at least six green zone receiving snaps

Love’s arm blends strength with boldness, producing a No. 4-ranked 48.5% past-the-sticks throwing rate with a No.-12-ranked 4.2% big-time-throw rate, a problematic combination for a Las Vegas secondary tied for No. 26 in yards allowed per coverage snap (5.01) and ranking No. 20 in explosive pass plays allowed rate (10.9%).

The 6-foot-4, 219-pound Love (72.9 PFF rushing grade) shrugs off would-be tacklers at 0.27 (missed tackles forced) per rushing attempt rate, the third-highest among 19 NFL quarterbacks with at least 12 rushing attempts. His 4.9 yards after contact per rushing attempt rank No. 1.  Las Vegas’ defensive front (59.6 PFF run-defense grade) ranks bottom three in average depth of tackle (3.74 yards) and bottom 10 in run-defense missed tackles (12) among NFL teams

QB Matchups to Avoid

QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins

New York left tackle Andrew Thomas (70.1 PFF pass-blocking grade, hamstring strain) suffered a Week 4 setback, failing to practice on both Friday and Saturday ahead of the team’s Monday Night Football game. The occurrence jeopardizes his Week 5 availability, priming Miami edge rushers Bradley Chubb (62.0 PFF pass-rush grade) and Andrew Van Ginkel (81.3 PFF pass-rush grade) for a fruitful outing. New York’s pressure-sensitive quarterback Daniel Jones (51.9 PFF passing grade) cannot be started in 12-team formats.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives New York a -29.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, the fifth-worst on the week.

New York’s interior offensive linemen rank bottom five with a 29.4 PFF pass-blocking grade, 87.7 pass-block efficiency and 20.6% quarterback pressure rate. Miami interior defender Christian Wilkins (70.5 PFF pass-rush grade) and rotational interior defender Da’Shawn Hand (70.0 PFF pass-rush grade) will win one-on-one matchups. Among 26 interior defenders with at least 100 pass-rushing snaps, Wilkins’ 9.8 pass-rush win rate, 8.9% quarterback pressure rate and 4.9 pass-rush productivity rank top 15.

Among 33 NFL quarterbacks with at least 25 pressured dropbacks, Jones’ 29.5 PFF pressured-passing grade and 4.0 yards per pressured passing attempt rank No. 32 or worse. His 5.8% turnover-worthy play rate ranks No. 24.

Jones is a fragile Week 5 QB2 who should not be started in 12-team leagues. 

QB Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions

Carolina’s quarterback Bryce Young (47.0 PFF passing grade, ankle sprain) will face Detroit’s efficient pass rush playing through a sprained ankle. His No. 1 target, slot receiver Adam Thielen (75.4 PFF slot receiving grade) is doing the same, though Detroit’s breakout rookie slot cornerback Brian Branch’s (75.4 PFF slot-coverage grade, likely high-ankle sprain) status is undetermined. Young is a capped-ceiling QB2

FanDuel implies Carolina to score just 18.25 points. 

Safety/part-time slot coverage defender Kerby Joseph (67.3 PFF slot-coverage grade) has limited opposing slot receivers to just a 33.3% catch rate, though Branch’s direct backup Will Harris (60.2 PFF 2022 slot coverage grade, 70.2% slot-target catch rate allowed in 2022) is a liability. 

Detroit’s perimeter cornerbacks Cameron Sutton  (69.5 PFF perimeter-coverage grade, 0.89 yards allowed per perimeter-coverage snap) and Jerry Jacobs (51.1 PFF perimeter-coverage grade, 1.16  yards allowed per perimeter-coverage snap) lack elite talent but both rank inside the top 32 in yards allowed per perimeter-coverage snap among 60 NFL perimeter cornerbacks with at least 75 perimeter coverage snaps

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Carolina a -15.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, tied for seventh-worst on the week. Detroit’s defensive line (70.5 PFF pass-rush grade) boasts top-seven-ranked 44.9% pass-rush win- and 34.8% quarterback-pressure rates, led by edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson (89.8 PFF pass-rush grade) among NFL teams.

Young’s dink-and-dunk-style passing result in a 33.0% past-the-sticks throwing rate, 4.9 yards per passing attempt and just a 0.9% big-time-throw rate; all rank outside the top 32 among 36 NFL quarterbacks with at least 25 dropbacks

Young should not be started in 12-team leagues.

Streamer of the Week

QB Joshua Dobbs, Arizona Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Arizona journeyman quarterback Joshua Dobbs (68.4 PFF offense grade) is carving up defenses with quick passes and shifty feet; his 21.9 fantasy points per game in Weeks 2-4 rank No. 8 among NFL quarterbacks. He is a high-end QB2 with top-12 potential in Week 5.

The game opened with a mid-tier 44.5-point FanDuel over/under.

Cincinnati’s defense mixes a middling pass rush with player-specific coverage holes and a run-defense unit entirely dependent on safeties Nick Scott (57.4 PFF run-defense grade) and Dax Hill (60.1 PFF run-defense grade), the team’s primary tight end-coverage defender. 

Cincinnati’s defensive line (72.7 PFF pass-rush grade) is generating a No. 19-ranked 38.4% pass-rush win rate. Perimeter cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (64.3 PFF coverage grade) is being torched for 1.59 yards allowed per coverage snap and slot defensive back Mike Hilton (51.4 PFF coverage grade) drags uninspiringly close behind at 1.27. 

Cincinnati’s defensive front (58.7 PFF run-defense grade) is allowing a 3.59-yard average depth of tackle, the fourth-softest among NFL teams, and their 13 missed tackles tie for the fourth-highest. 

Among 47 safeties with at least 75 run-defense snaps, Hill’s five stops and three tackles for loss or no gain both rank top five. Scott is close behind with four and two, respectively. Hill goes to battle against Arizona’s No. 9-graded play-action pass-blocking tight end Geoff Swaim (75.5 PFF play-action pass-blocking grade), ranked among 32 NFL tight ends with at least 25 play-action snaps. Swaim is side-kicked by ascending Arizona X-wide receiver Michael Wilson (68.1 PFF play-action pass-blocking grade) who likewise grades out No. 4 among 53 NFL wide receivers with at least 25 play-action snaps

Dobbs’ 80.5 PFF play-action scrambling grade, five play-action scramble attempts and 10.0 yards per play-action scramble attempt rank top three among 13 NFL quarterbacks with at least three play-action scramble attempts

Among 36 NFL quarterbacks with at least 25 dropbacks, Dobbs’ 43.9% past-the-sticks throwing rate and 2.58-second average time to throw both rank top ten and his 75.8% adjusted completion rate ranks No. 16. 

Among 17 NFL quarterbacks with at least 10 rushing attempts in Weeks 2-4, Dobbs’ 90.3 PFF rushing grade ranks No. 2 and his 6.9 rushing yards per attempt rank No. 4. 


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