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Fantasy football preview: Week 5

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Evan Birchfield is here to prepare you for your fantasy matchups!

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Greetings, Falcoholics! As many of you know, the Atlanta Falcons fell to the Tennessee Titans this past week in a devastating home loss. Hopefully though, your fantasy team(s) did well – and if they didn’t, there is always this week!

Before we move on to this upcoming week, let’s review last week.

A player I was high on last week was Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Diontae Johnson. At the time, he was only rostered in 5% of fantasy leagues, but he’s now rostered in roughly 32%. In week 4 he put on another positive performance finishing the day with 17.7 fantasy points. If he’s still available, I highly recommend rostering him, as his targets have gone up each week and he’s easily a flex option right now.

Let’s turn our attention to the Falcons, as they go on the road to take on the Houston Texans this week. The Texans actually have a fantasy friendly defense, as they currently are allowing the 8th most fantasy points to opposing running backs and the 7th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

A player who has been frustrating lately is former first-round pick Calvin Ridley. Ridley started out the season hot, having a touchdown reception in consecutive weeks. However, he has flamed out the past two weeks and his usage has been a big question. Ridley went from having 10 targets in week 10 to only 1 target in week 3. There have been rumors that he’s a little banged up, which would explain the rapid decline in usage, but a favorable matchup against the Houston Texans may be too good to pas up. Ridley should be viewed as a low-end WR3 to flex option in PPR leagues.

Falcons’ running back Devonta Freeman actually had his best fantasy day against the Titans, even though he only had 28 rushing yards. His production came from the 8 receptions he had, as the Falcons were playing from behind the entire game. I have a feeling Freeman is going to score this weekend, but at the bare minimum, it’s nice to know he has use in the passing game.

The Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins are on a bye this week, so if you’re looking for potential replacements, I’ll give you a few who are rostered in less than 50% of fantasy leagues. Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is out for a while with a shoulder injury, so in steps veteran Chase Daniel. If you’re in a bind, and desperate at quarterback, Daniel may be a sneaky option. In relief of Trubisky against the Minnesota Vikings, Daniel stepped in and finished the game with 16.15 fantasy points. This week he’ll face the Oakland Raiders who are giving up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

If you’re in a PPR league and need a wide receiver other than Diontae Johnson, I’d look at Cole Beasley of the Buffalo Bills. Over the last two weeks Beasley has had 23 targets, and produced 9 or more fantasy points in each game this season.

Well that does it, folks. I wish everyone who took the time to read this the best of luck in their Week 5 fantasy matchups. If you have any fantasy questions for me, you can ask in the comments below or find me on Twitter at @EvanBirchfield. Remember, when it comes to fantasy football – always go with your gut!