Fantasy Football: Five Week 5 matchups to exploit

By Jeff Hicks, 4for4

Special to Yahoo Sports

Schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA, is 4for4’s answer to biased statistics. By removing bias, we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. As the season moves along, the data will change. Regardless, aFPA is arguably the best tool available to gain an edge when using waivers and building lineups.

Another point to make: I could offer players such as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes pretty much every week, especially when they face awful units according to aFPA. That does everyone a disservice, so I will do my best to avoid players rostered in the majority of fantasy leagues.

Here are the best plays for Week 5.

Zach Wilson vs. Miami Dolphins

Wilson was a different quarterback in the second half of the Jets’ Week 4 win in Pittsburgh and appears to have enough protection from a battered offensive line to target his cornucopia of pass catchers. The Jets welcome Miami to New Jersey in Week 5. The Dolphins have allowed the seventh-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to signal callers through one month of play. The Dolphins' defense is also struggling to get to the QB. Their 4.35% sack rate is sixth-lowest in the league.

Despite a transition from Tua Tagovailoa (concussion, lack of care by team management) to Teddy Bridgewater, the Dolphins' offense continues to click well enough to be expected to score after a longer week to prepare. As of this writing, the over/under for Dolphins-Jets is 44.5 points, a number that could be steamed up regardless of the Dolphins' QB situation.

James Robinson vs. Houston Texans

Game script removed Robinson from winning lineups in season-long and DFS in Week 4, but a visit from the Texans will help the Comeback Player of the Year candidate in Week 5. Robinson will go from facing the fourth-best defense in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the 32nd. Houston is allowing 141 rushing yards and 1.25 rushing touchdowns per game and has allowed two 150-yard rushing performances. Robinson could be the third back to eclipse 100 yards on the ground in Week 5 and be in a situation where Travis Etienne gets his touches without it changing Robinson’s outlook.

Jaguars RB James Robinson is due for a bounce-back week in fantasy football.
Jaguars running back James Robinson is due for a bounce-back week in fantasy football. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Robert Woods @ Washington Commanders

Derrick Henry could be in for a rough day this Sunday. The Commanders are establishing themselves as a pass-funnel defense, ranking top 10 in rushing aFPA but bottom 10 in QB aFPA and bottom two in WR aFPA. Treylon Burks is expected to miss some time, making Woods the clear alpha in Tennessee’s passing game. Despite what appears to be a negative situation for Ryan Tannehill and company heading into Week 5, the Titans are three-point road favorites and are facing a defense that has allowed at least 22 points in each game this season.

Oh, and Carson Wentz is hard-boiled. The Titans have a chance to pad stats on both sides of the ball.

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Logan Thomas vs. Tennessee Titans

On the other side of the ball, Thomas has come back from a torn ACL and been really good and one of Wentz’s most trusted targets. Thomas is averaging five targets per game and is facing the 29th-ranked defense in TE aFPA. After blanking the Giants' tight ends in Week 1, the Titans have allowed 7.33 catches and 97.67 yards per game to the tight end position, including 11 catches for 180 yards and two scores in Week 4 to the Colts' tight end trio. Jahan Dotson is expected to miss a couple of games for Washington, presenting an opportunity for Thomas to continue to see at least a handful of targets. We have yet to see Thomas' fantasy floor with Wentz having issues at QB, but it is safe to say Week 5 is a situation to target and not avoid.

Dallas Cowboys Defense @ Los Angeles Rams

Despite the road game, the Cowboys' defense is in an excellent position to accumulate fantasy points in Week 5 against the 31st-rated offense in defensive aFPA. Left tackle Joe Noteboom is a turnstile, the Rams' running game is shaky, and the pass-catching production is spotty beyond Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee. There has been a marked improvement at every level of the Cowboys' defense, especially in the secondary, with Trevon Diggs doing more than intercepting the ball and safety Malik Hooker playing at a dominant level. Add in a nasty pass rush led by Micah Parsons, and the Rams' offensive line will be in trouble once again, especially on a short week.

Honorable Mention

Geno Smith @ Saints

Jameis Winston/Andy Dalton vs. Seahawks

Derek Carr @ Chiefs

Rhamondre Stevenson/Damien Harris vs. Lions

Miles Sanders @ Cardinals

Alexander Mattison (if Dalvin Cook is out) vs. Bears

J.K. Dobbins vs. Bengals

Michael Gallup @ Rams

Browns Receivers vs. Chargers

Taysom Hill vs. Seahawks

Adam Trautman (if Dalton starts) vs. Seahawks

T.J. Hockenson @ Patriots

Cameron Brate (if active) vs. Falcons

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Jeff has played fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered fantasy and traditional sports at the pro, semi-pro, and amateur level for the better part of a decade. Born in Illinois and currently living where James Robinson made a name for himself in college, Jeff enjoys running (establish it), followed by doing absolutely nothing.

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