Four weeks are in the books and new faces continue to emerge to help NFL fantasy football teams rise to the top of their leagues.
The Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are the only undefeated teams but a quick glance at social media channels will find boasts of fantasy teams sitting pretty at 4-0 as they avoided having star players land on injured reserve.
Four teams are on byes this week so that could change the pecking order in some leagues, especially those relying on Seattle running back Kenneth Walker III or Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert and receiver Keenan Allen.
Once again, there is a morning kickoff on Sunday with Jacksonville and Buffalo playing at 9:30 a.m. ET in London while the winless Chicago Bears travel to meet the Washington Commanders in the Thursday night affair. The Las NFL Vegas odds list Washington and Buffalo as the favorites in those matchups.
Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams (hip), Detroit receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (abdominal) and San Francisco WR Deebo Samuel (knee/ribs) are all popping up on limited participant or did not practice lists. It is the normal wait-and-see approach with running back Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants.
Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers had four touchdowns as he soared to the top of the points scored list in most fantasy football scoring formats heading into the high-profile Week 5 showdown with Dallas.
When it comes to the NFL odds, San Francisco (+550) moves to the lead ahead of defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City (+600) in the odds to win the Super Bowl. Philadelphia (+750), Buffalo (+750) and Dallas (+900) aren’t far behind.
Here is some information that might prove helpful when setting Fantasy Football lineups for Week 5.
Big Names Could Return In Week 5
Those who stopped the fall of Indianapolis Colts running back and Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp on draft day are about to be rewarded.
Taylor is back with the Colts despite his unhappiness with his contract and Colts’ owner Jim Irsay while Kupp has a 21-day window to be activated off injured reserve.
Expect to see Taylor suit up on Sunday against Tennessee while there are reports that Kupp is pushing for a Week 5 return as well.
Will there be some risk involved with playing them? Sure. But these are two of the best players in the NFL and the types of performances who can win a fantasy football title. Barring some incredibly stacked fantasy rosters, get them in the Week 5 lineups as long as they are active.
Their returns might not be the best news for the owners of Zack Moss and Puka Nacua.
Despite not playing in Week 1, Moss is in the top 20 among running backs in points per reception league.
Rookie Puka Nacua has the fourth-most points among receivers in PPR leagues so it Bears watching to see how his target share is impacted when Kupp returns to the field.
Working the Waiver Wire
With the injury suffered by Javonte Williams and the fact that Jaleel McLaughlin ran for more than 100 yards and a touchdown in place of the injured Williams, he will be a popular target on the waiver wire.
Following the trade of Cam Akers, it might be worth taking a chance on Los Angeles Rams receiver Ronnie Rivers while rookie Keaton Mitchell could be added to the active roster at any point as he joins a crowded backfield in Baltimore.
As for the receivers, Michael Wilson had seven catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers last week so the Arizona rookie receiver is a popular pick-up.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine of the Tennessee Titans is worth a what-the-heck claim after catching five of his targets for 51 yards and a touchdown against Cincinnati.
The Bye Season Is Upon Us
Welcome to the time of the year when depth is invaluable thanks to the NFL’s bye weeks.
The Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all off this week.
That could help Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson and Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans heal up.
As for seeing fantasy lineups, there are some holes to fill.
Keenan Allen of the Chargers and Evans rank second and ninth in PPR leagues in points at the receiver position. Seattle’s DK Metcalf and Amari Cooper of the Cleveland Browns are other WRs who won’t be playing in Week 5.
The tight end position is not impacted nearly as much with Cleveland’s David Njoku, Donald Parham of the Chargers, and Tampa Bay’s Cade Otton likely backup options on most weeks.
Herbert, the No. 2 point producer in fantasy football, is the top quarterback on the bye week.
When it comes to running backs, Seattle’s Kenneth Walker III, Cleveland’s Jerome Ford, and Tampa Bay’s Rachaad White are among the top 20 scorers in the PPR leagues at that position.
Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland all rank among the top-10 scoring fantasy football defenses while Cleveland’s Myles Garrett (fourth with 5½ sacks), Seattle’s Bobby Wagner (third in the NFL with 50 tackles), and Jordyn Brooks and Tampa Bay’s Antoine Winfield (two sacks, two fumble recoveries) are among the individual defensive players who will be missed.
What About the Rookies?
De’Von Achane didn’t have another four-touchdown effort, but there is nothing wrong with 101 rushing yards and two touchdowns to go along with 19 yards on three catches.
Nacua had another huge week thanks to his touchdown catch in overtime.
Anthony Richardson of the Indianapolis Colts returned in a big way as he was in the top five in points from the quarterback position while waiver wire targets Mclaughlin and Wilson broke out as well.
Green Bay receiver Jayden Reed, Atlanta running back Bijanm Robinson and Detroit tight end Sam LaPorta are among the other top scorers from the rookie class.
Houston receiver Tank Dell and Detroit running back Jahmyr Gibbs are among the rookies who underwhelmed in Week 4. There is nothing underwhelming among Detroit rookie defensive back Brian Branch as he is tied with Kei’Trel Clark of the Arizona Cardinals for the most solo tackles among the rookie class.