Monday - Mar 8, 2021

Home / Commentary / RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 5


Welcome to the Week 5 edition of “Red Light, Green Light,” a matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests (and Monday night).

In each NFL Week 5 game profile below, I will choose a total of three players to highlight as green, yellow or red light options.

green-light Green Light: Players who have a great matchup. These guys are usually flying under the radar and can be counted on as a strong source of fantasy production.
yellow-light Yellow Light: Players with just an OK matchup and/or usage concerns. These guys are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire.
red-light Red Light: Players with serious matchup/usage concerns, thus requiring lowered expectations lowered for the week, and/or should just be avoided altogether if possible.

Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not carry your team to victory.

As always, the information conveyed below is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, but can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default points per reception (PPR) scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Bye Week: Green Bay, Detroit

Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Rams Football Team
Quarterback 18th 10th
Running Back 16th 24th
Wide Receiver 25th 29th
Tight End 12th 5th
Defense/Special Teams 20th 5th
Vegas Line: Rams -8
Vegas Over/Under: 44

Green Light – Rams D/ST

Washington is currently tied for allowing the fourth-most quarterback sacks (13), tied for the second-most giveaways (eight), and has an implied team total of just 19 points this week. This is a great spot for the Rams defense.

Yellow Light – Tyler Higbee (TE, Los Angeles Rams)

Outside of his three-touchdown outburst in Week 2, Higbee has carried none of the momentum from his white hot 2019 regular season finish over into 2020. Alas, Washington has allowed five tight end touchdowns through four games, so even if the yards aren’t there for Higbee (as they haven’t been every week), he’s the best bet of the Rams’ pass catchers to find paydirt.

Red Light – Terry McLaurin (WR, Washington)

In spite of the poor surrounding cast, McLaurin continues to put up stellar fantasy stats with 10 catches for 118 yards on 14 last Sunday. Expect the part to come to a screeching halt in Week 5, as Rams shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey is allowing just 40 receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts he covers (there’s little doubt as to who Ramsey will be glued to in this matchup). Compounding matters will be Washington’s quarterback switch, though its well within the realm of possibilities that Kyle Allen is a lateral move from Dwayne Haskins.

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Eagles Steelers
Quarterback 21st 20th
Running Back 21st 30th
Wide Receiver 14th 6th
Tight End 3rd 22nd
Defense/Special Teams 4th 23rd
Vegas Line: Steelers -8
Vegas Over/Under: 43.5

Green Light – Eric Ebron (TE, Pittsburgh)

Ebron was starting to heat up prior to the Steelers’ impromptu bye. While Ebron still has to contend with the numerous Pittsburgh wideouts for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s attention, Philadelphia funnels targets over the middle of the field.

Yellow Light – DeSean Jackson (WR, Philadelphia)

It feels gross going back to Jackson (hamstring) after a string of mediocre performances prior to getting injured in Week 3. However, speedy wideouts have been kryptonite against this otherwise stout Pittsburgh defense, and the Eagles’ wideout corps is laughably thin at the moment. If healthy, Jackson is going to be peppered with targets.

Update: Whelp, so much for that. Jackson (hamstring) is out for Week 5. Expect Greg Ward to lead the beleaguered Eagles wideout corps in targets.

Red Light – Miles Sanders (RB, Philadelphia)

Pittsburgh has eaten opposing running backs for dinner this season, allowing just 40.3 rushing yards per game to the position. Sanders won’t find much room to operate.

Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Cardinals Jets
Quarterback 16th 24th
Running Back 8th 7th
Wide Receiver 28th 21st
Tight End 16th 14th
Defense/Special Teams 16th 2nd
Vegas Line: Cardinals -5.5
Vegas Over/Under: 46

Green Light – Kenyan Drake (RB, Arizona)

Outside of throwing the ball to DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray’s electrifying quarterback scrambles, there hasn’t been much else praise-worthy from Arizona’s offense this season, which includes Drake’s disappointing rushing performances. While it takes some stones to put your full trust in Drake after last week’s turd burger (13 rushes, 35 yards, zero pass targets), the Jets are in theory another cupcake matchup.

Yellow Light – Jamison Crowder (WR, New York Jets)

Crowder has played just two games in 2020, and gone over 100 yards receiving in each of them. Arizona has been stingy to opposing wideouts, though Crowder is a lock for double-digit targets as the Jets’ lone established receiving threat.

Red Light – Le’Veon Bell (RB, New York Jets)

Bell (hamstring) is eligible to return from Injured Reserve this week, and would likely end up being eased back into the fold if that happens. Jets head coach Adam Gase has already made it clear that he wants to keep Frank Gore and rookie Lamical Perine involved as well.

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Raiders Chiefs
Quarterback 22nd 28th
Running Back 1st 15th
Wide Receiver 20th 32nd
Tight End 30th 20th
Defense/Special Teams 21st 31st
Vegas Line: Chiefs -13.5
Vegas Over/Under: 54.5

Green Light – Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB, Kansas City)

Edwards-Helaire has put up just 166 rushing yards in three game since going for 138 in the Chiefs’ season opener, though he’s buoyed the dip in rushing with contributions as a receiver. The Raiders are within the Top 8 defenses in terms of most rushing and receiving yards allowed to opposing backfields.

Yellow Light – Josh Jacobs (RB, Las Vegas)

Like Edwards-Helaire, Jacobs has hit a lull since his Week 1 eruption. However, Kansas City poses a much easier matchup than any of the last three defenses Jacobs has faced, though the concern here is game script, as the Raiders may be forced to abandon the run early.

Red Light – Hunter Renfrow (WR, Las Vegas)

While Renfrow did lead all Las Vegas wideouts in Week 4 with five catches and 57 yards on eight targets, he was third in snap share (68 percent), which was well behind Zay Jones (91 percent) and Nelson Agholor (89 percent). The looming return of Henry Ruggs III (hamstring) only complicates matters further.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.