Outliers, Week 5

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

This article will take a weekly look at players who are either undervalued or overvalued in a given week. The outlier value players offer is calculated by a comparison between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly Footballguys rankings. Both sources are from the Footballguys.com subscriber 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 look at this week's outlier players. 


Jacoby Brissett


  • Top 200 ranking: 34
  • Weekly ranking: 10
  • Difference: +24


Brissett has played better than expected since the trade from New England.  This week, the Colts host the winless 49ers.  Still just 23 years of age, Brissett still has plenty of upside. His running ability ensures a higher floor than most fantasy quarterbacks any given week.  Given that San Francisco has only scored a touchdown in one contest this season, Indianapolis has a good chance at coming out of the home contest with a victory. 

Carson Palmer


  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 9
  • Difference: +13


Palmer and the Cardinals are coming off a hard-fought victory over the 49ers last week.  The late touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald sealed the win.  The game in Philadelphia against the Eagles will pose another opportunity for a quality fantasy outing.  Philadelphia has yielded the sixth-most points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks so far this season.  In a game that we expect the Eagles to dominate, Palmer may get ample garbage-time statistics.

Matthew Stafford

  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 13
  • Difference: -4

Stafford and company host the Carolina Panthers this week.  The Panthers defense has been inconsistent but should be on point against the Lions.  Even after Brady’s big game a week ago, the Panthers are the ninth-worst matchup for opposing quarterbacks.  Stafford will be under pressure often in this contest. 

Andy Dalton

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 21
  • Difference: -5

In a week with four quality quarterbacks on bye, any passer overvalued by five spots should send a distress signal.  Dalton and the Bengals host the Buffalo Bills.  Surprisingly, the Bills are 3-1 on the year and win low-scoring games.  Further, Buffalo is the third-best defense at suppressing quarterback fantasy points, yielding less than half of the fantasy points per contest than the worst defenses against passers (New England, Tennessee, and Tampa Bay).  The game should be lower scoring, making both quarterbacks poor fantasy options.

Running Back

Jordan Howard


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


Howard should benefit from the change of quarterback.  The switch should allow the Bears to be competitive against their division-rival, the Minnesota Vikings.  With a few extra days to rest his sore shoulder, we like Howard to resume his normal workload.  Reputation aside, this Minnesota rush defense is the same one that gave up big numbers to Ameer Abdullah and the Lions last Sunday. 

Andre Ellington

  • Top 200 ranking: 44
  • Weekly ranking: 13
  • Difference: +31

Ellington has ascended to the top of the Cardinals depth chart, at least for fantasy purposes.  Neither Chris Johnson nor Kerwynn Williams has flashed any upside or reliability since David Johnson went down to the wrist injury.  Ellington’s passing-game role should help him have a solid fantasy floor this week in a game which may be one-sided for the Eagles. 

Doug Martin

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 34
  • Difference: -18

Coming back from suspension, Martin appears to have an awesome matchup against the second-worst defense versus opposing running backs, the New England Patriots.  But, we expect that it will take Martin a week or two to get in shape and productive for fantasy owners.  This is a situation we encourage fantasy owners to watch and wait a week.

Jay Ajayi


  • Top 200 ranking: 13
  • Weekly ranking: 18
  • Difference: -5


Even with the juicy matchup against the Titans this week, we cannot recommend Ajayi.  He looked slow and hindered by his nagging knee injury.  With quarterback Jay Cutler playing poorly, too, Ajayi is a player to avoid until healthy if possible. 

Wide Receiver

Larry Fitzgerald


  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +14


Fitzgerald gets a sublime matchup against Philadelphia this week.  The Eagles are the third-worst defense at containing fantasy receivers.  Philadelphia is yielding over 42 PPR (Points Per Reception) points per game.  With the veteran getting plenty of targets each week, we like his chances of having a big fantasy outing. 

Pierre Garcon


  • Top 200 ranking: 28
  • Weekly ranking: 22
  • Difference: +6


Garcon is the 49ers top receiver.  The game against the Colts should allow him to find the end zone.  San Francisco is looking for win number one and has a solid shot this week.  For those who believe in players facing their former team, Indianapolis is the team that drafted Garcon and allowed him to leave in free agency. 

Michael Crabtree


  • Top 200 ranking: 23
  • Weekly ranking: 40
  • Difference: -17


Crabtree is likely still gimpy as the Raiders host the Ravens this week.  We do not recommend starting Crabtree with the injury to Derek Carr resulting in EJ Manuel taking the helm.  Baltimore is the fourth-best defense in holding opposing wide receivers under wraps.  The injury, terrible matchup, plus quarterback change leaves us in a position to avoid the veteran pass catcher this week. 

Brandin Cooks


  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 25
  • Difference: -13


Cooks is still getting acclimated in the Patriots offense.  It took Chris Hogan a year and will take Cooks a few more weeks to reach his potential.  The game in Tampa Bay will be a tough matchup for the deep passing game of New England.  He is still a low-end fantasy WR2 option and will need a big play to impact lineups. 

Tight End

Jared Cook


  • Top 200 ranking: 15
  • Weekly ranking: 6
  • Difference: +9


Cook has played well for the Raiders.  He has shown the athleticism we saw in previous stops in St. Louis, Tennessee, and Green Bay, but seemed to cure the drops issue prevalent in those stops.  The game against the Ravens is a great one this week.  Baltimore is the same defense that allowed monster outings by the likes of Marcedes Lewis and the Browns’ Seth DeValve and David Njoku (combining for 5 receptions, 88 yards, and 1 touchdown).  If these tight ends can post elite numbers, so can Cook. 

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

  • Top 200 ranking: 19
  • Weekly ranking: 15
  • Difference: +4

We expect the big tight end to steadily rise up the Top 200 over the next few weeks.  After serving a suspension to begin the season, Seferian-Jenkins has asserted himself as a cog in the Jets passing offense.  This week’s matchup, against the Browns, is a tasty one.  Cleveland is yielding over 20 PPR points to opposing tight ends each game. 

Jack Doyle

  • Top 200 ranking: 4
  • Weekly ranking: 9
  • Difference: -5

Doyle left last week’s loss to Seattle with a concussion.  The insertion of Jacoby Brissett at quarterback has not helped Doyle’s fantasy output.  Surprisingly, the Colts opponent this week, the 49ers, is the league leader in suppressing the fantasy output of opposing tight ends.  Tight ends facing San Francisco have only scored 17.70 PPR points for through the first four games of the season.  Even if Doyle returns from the concussion to play in the contest, there are better options this week.

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