Here’s Who to Drop, Swap, and Shop for Week 5

Robert Tonyan roars after five touchdowns in three weeks.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In a world where defenses no longer seem to matter, a new crop of receivers and tight ends are on the come up every week.

If you were one of the smart ones who predicted the Steelers and Buccaneers would have the best defenses, congratulations. The rest of us are stuck with unpredictable streaming options because no free agency D/ST is worth a long-term investment at the moment.

That being said, we turn our attention this week to the guys who are earning points: wide receivers, tight ends, and a few running backs who are stepping up, largely due to the myriad injuries plaguing NFL rosters. This also means some guys should be stepping off your roster, as they haven't been producing as they should, or they're likely to peak this week.

Here are the drops, swaps and shops to make in Week 5.


Nyheim Hines

NFL Week 5NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his breakout Week 1 performance, Nyheim Hines isn't the pass-catching back he's perhaps capable of becoming. Fellow Indy running back Jordan Wilkins matched his nine carries, and while neither amounted to much on Sunday (Hines averaged 2.7 YPC), Hines is more likely to still be rostered after three deflating weeks. Although the Colts are successful at 3-1, as long as there aren't pass-catching opportunities for Hines, he shouldn't start for your team.

Larry Fitzgerald

NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

If you drafted Fitzgerald for sentimental reasons and with the hope that Murray and Hopkins would improve the Cardinals passing offense, you were right about one thing—but unfortunately, that "thing" wasn't Fitz's production.

Fitzgerald is a definite Hall of Famer who has made it work with over 20 different quarterbacks, but in his 17th season, he just isn't getting that elite attention on the field. Despite a decent showing against Washington, he's had only three catches for four yards in the two weeks since. Arizona is likely to have a field day against the 0-4 Jets, but besides that, Fitz likely won't show up this season fantasy-wise.

A.J. Green

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Another player still resting on the fantasy laurels of years past, A.J. Green is rostered in 93.6 percent of fantasy leagues… despite averaging 4.7 fantasy points so far this season.

Another troubling stat is his 41.2 percent catch rate this season. Meanwhile, fellow Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd is averaging 11.4 yards per reception, ranking him 17th amongst fantasy wide receivers. Clearly, Burrow and Boyd are not the problem, which means it's time to part ways with Green.


Flex For Flex

Zach Ertz

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy benches are full of players that are still too good to drop, and this former fantasy TE stunner is one of them. Over a few years and many, many different Eagles receivers, Ertz has been a constant in an offense that has remained competitive in their division until now. Everything seems to be going wrong with the Eagles offense this year, and unfortunately, that has soured Ertz' fantasy value—he's scored under 10 points in three games.

Although it hurts to consider, if you can find a way to get something for Ertz, now is the time. He's still riding off his name and you may be able to get a surer thing than continuing to take a gamble on this Eagles casualty.

Package Deal

David Johnson & Brandin Cooks

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Long before head coach/GM/hopeful playcaller Bill O'Brien was fired this week after his fourth straight loss this season, Johnson and Cooks have been disappointing fantasy managers with their lackluster production.

Johnson and Cooks can play—Johnson's 2016 was unforgettable, and Cooks boasts four 1,000+ seasons on three different teams—but the question has been whether they will play for the Texans. Johnson has been decent so far and managed to score at least 10 points in three games, but Cooks has been abysmal besides a singular 12 point game.

Whether you have both or just one, these two will likely be a risk with new management, but things could improve with former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel as the head coach. If you can sell Crennel and his crew to a buyer, it could be a boom if you're in the market for someone else.

Blockbuster Trade

Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

This may sound insane, but Beckham's Week 4 fantasy miracle follows a week where he couldn't muster eight fantasy points. Don't get me wrong, the guy can obviously catch, but he hasn't quite been the same OBJ when sharing the field with college friend and fellow talent Jarvis Landry. OBJ is no longer carrying the Giants offense, and the Browns have options—his 5 targets for 81 yards is the most he's had in a game all season, and without his touchdowns, he'd only have 13 points in PPR leagues. Beckham will still have big games, but you may not know when those games will happen—but you can likely get an RB1 or RB2 for Beckham now if you need one.


Robert Tonyan

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

He was only rostered in 13.1 percent of ESPN Fantasy leagues, but Robert Tonyan was worth stashing on your bench after solid Week 2 and 3 performances. Then the Green Bay TE went and caught all six targets for 98 yards and three touchdowns, getting fantasy managers around 30 points depending on scoring. He's going to be the hottest pickup this week, so let's hope you're first in line or have money to blow in waivers this week.

Scotty Miller

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If Scotty Miller looks kind of familiar, it's because he fulfills a favored Brady profile: he's short, he's white, and he's a slot guy who can make the catch. Miller runs in Julian Edelman/Wes Welker territory, and as Tom Brady stabilizes in a Bucs offense that's on a three-game winning streak, Miller stands to benefit in the weeks to come. With Godwin sidelined, Miller could be a good pickup that stands to produce decently if you need a flex.

Cole Beasley

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

I've had Beasley on and off since he was on the Cowboys, then left to join them in Buffalo—but on Josh Allen's rejuvenated offense, he's worth picking up for a guaranteed 10 points every week. While he garnered at least six targets in the first three games, his four-target game Sunday was complemented by his first touchdown of the year. As his chemistry with Josh Allen grows, Beasley stands to gain a steady stream of looks and is worth stashing on your bench for future flex play.

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