It’s about time. The NFL was near perfect through the abbreviated training camp and first three weeks of the season but finally, COVID-19 came crashing down upon us. Thankfully, early word appears impacted players and coaches appear to be recovering well. After Tennessee reported infections for quite a few players and coaches, the NFL swiftly adjusted its upcoming game against Pittsburgh to a Week 4 bye with both teams now scheduled to meet in Week 7. Then, New England’s game against Kansas City was postponed one day after Cam Newton was announced as infected. Despite the pandemic’s effect, Week 4 was still packed in plenty of action and superb performances from Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Joe Mixon, George Kittle, Odell Beckham Jr. and Aaron Rodgers.
Let’s take a dive into Week 5 and discuss several players as well as a defense that may be a difference maker for your team. Byes have “officially” begun as Green Bay and Detroit will have the week off. There are a few more developing stories around additional COVID cases, so monitor your players’ statuses extra cautiously. Lastly, weather looks good this weekend except for rain expected in Tennessee and Washington.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Carolina
The Carolina offense was not firing on all cylinders to start the season even with a healthy Christian McCaffrey. However, the team is beginning to build momentum with wins in the last two games. Teddy Bridgewater enjoyed his best game thus far with 276 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, 36 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown. Expect a near encore performance when Carolina travels south to visit struggling Atlanta, who has allowed the most points to opposing quarterbacks this season. With neither teams’ defenses especially strong, this should be a shootout which can benefit those with Bridgewater on their teams.
Week 5 projection: 250 passing yards, 2 TD, 25 rushing yards
D’Ernest Johnson, RB, Cleveland
Cleveland’s offense seems to be clicking and remains run-heavy even with the improved pass play last week. With starting running back Nick Chubb sidelined on Injured Reserve, expect a shared workload between Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson. Sure, Hunt will likely see more touches and has ability to produce RB1 stat lines, but Johnson will also serve as a key offensive component as he was a pleasant surprise with 13 carries for 95 yards in relief last game. The matchup against a solid Indianapolis defense is not overly favorable, but still expect a solid outing and hopeful score. Consider Johnson an RB3 or Flex this weekend.
Week 5 projection: 80 total yards, TD
DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle
With injuries to many top wide receivers (Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay) early in the season and inconsistency among several other big names, wide receiver may not be as deep as originally anticipated. Thankfully, the Seattle offense has been prolific and second-year wideout DK Metcalf has been a standout of consistency with exactly four catches and at least 92 receiving yards per game. He’s also scored three times. Start Metcalf as a high-end WR2 this Sunday night when Seattle welcomes Minnesota, who has given up the fourth most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Expect a shootout between these teams given their offensive weapons and lackluster defenses.
Week 5 projection: 100 receiving yards, TD
Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
The New York Giants have now replaced the neighboring New York Jets as the lowest scoring offense in the league, and it’s not very close! Injuries have hampered the Giants, but the offense has appeared out of sorts since the season began. Thankfully, they will be visiting Dallas, who has allowed the most total points this season as well as the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends. The matchup could not be any better for Evan Engram who has been consistently seeing targets from Daniel Jones, but yet averaging only 33 receiving yards per game thus far. Give Engram one last shot before you bench or cut bait!
Week 5 projection: 60 receiving yards, TD
Tampa Bay D/ST
After a disappointing first week, the Tampa Bay defense has been solid over the last three games. It has forced eight turnovers and earned 13 sacks during this period as well. With a Thursday night road matchup against Chicago, expect another solid outing. Nick Foles did not impress during his first start of the season last week. Chicago may be 3-1 but its offense still has not hit its stride so start the Tampa Bay defense on Thursday night!