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McFarland: Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings & Tiers

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It's time to set our Week 5 fantasy football lineups and identify our favorite DFS plays and fades.

Below you'll find tiers and rankings for every position, including analysis, implied point totals, betting spreads and more.

For adjustments after the timestamp below, check out PFF's weekly rankings and projections.

Last updated: 12:45 p.m. EST, Oct. 10

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KEY:

  • SOS: PFF's Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.
  • OL Pass-Block Advantage (OL PBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (pass blocking advantage — the higher the number, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • OL Run-Block Advantage (OL RBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (run blocking advantage – the higher the number, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • WR/CB Matchup Advantage (WR/CB MU): wide receiver versus cornerback matchup; derived from the WR/CB Matchup tool (matchup advantage grade – the higher the grade, the better the matchup for the receiver, and vice versa).
  • TE Matchup Advantage (TE MU): tight end versus linebackers and safeties; derived from the TE Matchup tool (matchup advantage — the higher the number, the better the matchup for the tight end, and vice versa.
  • Projections: from PFF projections tool.
  • Injuries: Q = Questionable; D = Doubtful (typically removed from ranks on Saturday); GTD = game time decision

JUMP TO A POSITION RANKING:

QB | RB | WR | TE

QUARTERBACKS

Tier Rank Player Opponent Total Spread Implied Points QB SOS OL PBA PPR Injury Status
1 QB1 Josh Allen @KC 56.5 2.5 27.00 4.5 -14 21.9
1 QB2 Patrick Mahomes BUF 56.5 -2.5 29.50 2.1 -11 22.5
1 QB3 Lamar Jackson IND 46.0 -7.0 26.50 3.4 5 25.0
1 QB4 Kyler Murray SF 48.5 -5.0 26.75 2.3 10 22.1
2 QB5 Tom Brady MIA 48.0 -10.0 29.00 3.8 11 22.3
2 QB6 Jalen Hurts @CAR 45.5 3.0 21.25 3.4 -18 17.4
2 QB7 Dak Prescott NYG 52.5 -7.0 29.75 4.9 1 21.2
2 QB8 Matthew Stafford @SEA 53.5 -2.5 28.00 3.9 22 17.8
3 QB9 Russell Wilson LA 53.5 2.5 25.50 0.7 -45 19.2
3 QB10 Aaron Rodgers @CIN 50.5 -3.0 26.75 2.7 6 20.8
3 QB11 Justin Herbert CLV 47.0 -2.5 24.75 0.0 -18 19.8
3 QB12 Sam Darnold PHI 45.5 -3.0 24.25 4.0 -6 17.5
4 QB13 Kirk Cousins DET 49.5 -10.0 29.75 10.0 -5 21.4
4 QB14 Derek Carr CHI 45.0 -5.5 25.25 4.8 -31 19.4
4 QB15 Ryan Tannehill @JAX 48.5 -4.5 26.50 7.0 -10 19.5
4 QB16 Daniel Jones @DAL 52.5 7.0 22.75 2.7 -32 19.2
4 QB17 Joe Burrow GB 50.5 3.0 23.75 1.8 -4 19.0
4 QB18 Trey Lance @ARZ 48.5 5.0 21.75 2.0 -37 15.9
4 QB19 Justin Fields @LV 45.0 5.5 19.75 3.6 -37 16.6
4 QB20 Matt Ryan NYJ 45.0 -2.5 23.75 7.1 -20 18.8
5 QB21 Mac Jones @HST 39.5 -8.0 23.75 4.4 4 18.0
5 QB22 Baker Mayfield @LAC 47.0 2.5 22.25 5.1 2 18.4
5 QB23 Trevor Lawrence TEN 48.5 4.5 22.00 4.8 11 16.3
5 QB24 Zach Wilson @ATL 45.0 2.5 21.25 4.3 -1 15.3
5 QB25 Taylor Heinicke NO 43.5 2.5 20.50 1.0 19 15.4
5 QB26 Jared Goff @MIN 49.5 10.0 19.75 1.8 -29 16.4
6 QB27 Jacoby Brissett @TB 48.0 10.0 19.00 1.3 -34 14.9
6 QB28 Ben Roethlisberger DEN 39.5 1.5 19.00 1.0 -17 14.2
6 QB29 Carson Wentz @BLT 46.0 7.0 19.50 3.4 -21 14.0
6 QB30 Jameis Winston @WAS 43.5 -2.5 23.00 4.5 -41 14.3
6 QB31 Teddy Bridgewater @PIT 0.0 0.0 0.00 3.2 -44 15.4 Q
6 QB32 Davis Mills NE 39.5 8.0 15.75 5.2 19 13.2
7 QB33 Taysom Hill @WAS 43.5 -2.5 23.00 4.5 -41 3.2

Week 5 is an interesting one for quarterbacks. Many of the superstars are playing in healthy game environments, but the matchups are a bit tougher. Some of the better matchups belong to game-script-dependent options who could hold blow-out leads by the second half.

Tier 1 – Josh Allen pulls the 10th-best QB SOS, the highest game total and the sixth-highest implied points in a shootout matchup against the Chiefs. His 14% designed-rush rate ranks fifth, and his 6% scramble rate is in the top 10.

Tier 1 – Patrick Mahomes lands in a matchup with the highest game total and the highest implied points on the slate. The matchup is the seventh-worst, but this game is too juicy to pass up.

Tier 1 – The Ravens have dropped back to pass on 59% or more of their plays three times this season, which ties their mark from 2020. They won't be confused as a pass-heavy team (28th), but they are throwing more than any other time in Lamar Jackson‘s career. 

In addition, Jackson is the No. 1 quarterback in the league when it comes to involvement in the ground game, with 24% of the team's designed-rush attempts and the No. 3 scramble rate. From a utilization perspective, there has never been a better time to be a Jackson fantasy manager.

The Ravens carry the seventh-highest implied point total and are seven-point favorites.

Tier 2 – Tom Brady and the Buccaneers carry the second-highest implied points on the slate. They are heavy favorites at home against the Dolphins, but you can still expect plenty of points through the air. No other team in the NFL is more pass-heavy across all game situations.

Pass v Run Splits Pass by Game Script
Pass % Rank Run % Rank Trail Pass % Rank Close Pass % Rank Lead Pass % Rank
2 31 1 4 1

Tier 2 – Jalen Hurts draws the sixth-worst implied points and a below-average QB SOS, but his legs and the Eagles' pass-happy ways insulate him from almost any game script. He ranks second in designed rush attempts (21%) and second in scrambles per dropback (11%). In addition, the Eagles rank third in trailing-script pass-rate (down by four or more) and second in close-script pass-rate (within three). Hurts is also no stranger to racking up garbage time points, with 13% of his yards and 28% of his touchdowns coming in such situations.

Tier 2 – The Cowboys aren't as pass-happy as we thought, showing a willingness to run the ball as much as needed to grind out victories. However, Dak Prescott lands the best-implied points, the third-best game and the sixth-best QB SOS on the slate.

Tier 2 – Matthew Stafford and the Rams will duel with the Seahawks in the second-highest game total on the slate. Los Angeles owns the second-highest implied total and a below-average QB SOS matchup. Again, there aren't a ton of great matchups for our top-level quarterbacks on this slate, so we are leaning more into the game environment.

Tier 3 – Russell Wilson, like Stafford, lands in a great points environment, but he lands one tier lower due to the anemic Seahawks play volume.

Tier 3 – Justin Herbert faces the toughest QB SOS on the Week 5 slate, but the Chargers' offense is becoming one of the best in the NFL, and they love to throw the ball in all situations (only 7% of plays in a trailing script).

Pass v Run Splits Pass by Game Script
Pass % Rank Run % Rank Trail Pass % Rank Close Pass % Rank Lead Pass % Rank
12 21 25 3 7

Herbert's DFS rostership currently projects under 6% at DraftKings, and if it doesn't steam, he makes a great tournament option despite the matchup challenges.

Tier 4 – Kirk Cousins faces off against the Lions in the top-rated QB SOS with a good game total, and the fourth-highest implied odds. However, Cousins is a game-script-dependent quarterback who could need to thread the needle via efficiency. The Vikings shift from a pass-balanced team to a run-heavy team when playing a leading script.

Unless the Lions make the game closer than anticipated, Cousin's could see limited pass attempts, making this a risky play. If you are going down this street in DFS, be sure to have a Lions' bring-back player in the lineup.

Tier 4 – With the seventh-highest implied points and the third-best QB SOS, Ryan Tannehill will move up the board if we get one or both of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones back.

Tier 4 – Trey Lance and Justin Fields provide boom-bust options in tough matchups thanks to their legs.

Tier 4 – The Falcons' offense looked more like the Arthur Smith attack we grew used to in Tennessee, utilizing more vertical passes in Week 4. Matt Ryan draws an average implied points in the second-best QB SOS matchup of the week. However, the Falcons' situational splits tell us they are a running team at heart, so we could see a reduction in passing attempts against the Jets.

Pass v Run Splits Run by Game Script
Pass % Rank Run % Rank Trail Run % Rank Close Run % Rank Lead Run % Rank
11 22 18 13 3

Tier 5 – Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson all draw favorable matchups this week and could make tournament dart plays.

RUNNING BACKS

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