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Value Plays: Week 5

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could have unexpected big fantasy weeks.

Value Players


This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both of these are from the Insider content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's take a look at this week's value players.


Joe Flacco

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +13

Flacco and the Baltimore offense host Washington in what appears to be a stellar matchup.  The Ravens passing game played well last week, it was the defense that allowed the Raiders to pull the upset last Sunday.   With several solid receivers, tight end Dennis Pitta, and a capable stable of running backs, we expect the Baltimore passer to have a big game.   

Philip Rivers

  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +7

San Diego travels to Oakland this week in an intra-division game.  Both offenses will put up big numbers and the Chargers will be able to score at will, just like every other Raiders opponent.  Only the Falcons and Lions yield more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. We can only imagine the stat line if Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead were healthy.   

Running Back

Jordan Howard

  • Top 200 ranking: 23
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +12

The Bears travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts who are traveling back from London without a week off to recover from the long commute.  The Indianapolis defense is soft and should allow plenty of holes for Howard to run the ball.  The Colts are in the bottom five in allowing fantasy points to opposing running backs.  The rookie looked great against Detroit last week and could have another quality outing. 

Devonta Freeman

  • Top 200 ranking: 19
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +12

Freeman and his Falcons teammates travel westward to face the Broncos at Mile High.  We expect Atlanta to try to run the ball on early downs to stay out of third-and-long situations that serve the Broncos secondary well.  In addition, this game will be a return visit for Falcons Offensive Coordinator, Kyle Shanahan.  Even if Denver does grab a lead, Freeman – and not Tevin Coleman – will see the majority of snaps due to his superior receiving ability.

Theo Riddick

  • Top 200 ranking: 15
  • Weekly ranking:  5
  • Difference: +10

The injury to Dwayne Washington should translate to an even bigger workload for Riddick this week against Philadelphia.  While the Eagles do have a strong defense, we expect Riddick to get enough receiving targets to have a strong fantasy game.  His numbers are much better at home than on the road so the location of this game in Detroit only adds to Riddick’s appeal.

Wide Receiver

Julian Edelman

  • Top 200 ranking: 19
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +8

Few are happier than the veteran slot receiver to have Tom Brady back under center for the Patriots.  With New England still stinging from the shutout by Buffalo in Week 4, the game against Cleveland is a great one for the Patriots offense.  In particular, Edelman should have a nice game.  The Browns struggle against slot receivers and Edelman will be highly targeted with Gronkowski still limited by the hamstring injury.

Terrelle Pryor

  • Top 200 ranking: 28
  • Weekly ranking: 17
  • Difference: +11

Pryor is the last remaining receiver for the Browns with Corey Coleman sidelined by injury and Josh Gordon in rehab.  We expect Cleveland to be behind early to New England in the contest and needing to throw the ball often.  The Patriots will give Pryor plenty of attention but we are expecting ample targets to be a fantasy WR2. 

Demaryius Thomas

  • Top 200 ranking: 15
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +7

Thomas has struggled to find consistent targets in the conservative Broncos offense.  But, the high-flying Falcons come to town this week and the game could be high scoring.  Atlanta has a woeful secondary and will give up big plays to opposing wideouts.  We like the fantasy appeal of both Denver receivers this week, with Thomas having the more upside.

Tight End

Hunter Henry

  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +11

Last week, Henry stepped into the vacancy created by the Antonio Gates injury.  The rookie tight end played very well.  Henry looks like a future star and will get ample opportunity to showcase his skills against the Raiders this week.  Oakland is not strong defending tight ends and could yield another strong fantasy performance for the rookie.  So, this high ranking represents both opportunity with Gates out and an inferior opposing defense.

Zach Ertz

  • Top 200 ranking: 11
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +7

Ertz is coming back to the field after missing action with a rib injury.  He and the Eagles offense get the luxury of facing one of the worst pass defenses in the league, the Detroit Lions.  The Lions have allowed opposing tight ends to score almost 22 PPR fantasy points each week, which leads the league.  Each week, you want your tight end to play the Lions.

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