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.


Drop

Nyheim Hines

NFL Week 5 NFL: 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.


Swap

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.


Shop

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.

File:Justin Herbert (51459803577) (cropped).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

It's another eventful week in the NFL.

Four teams -- the Jets, Falcons, Saints, and 49ers -- are the first teams to get a bye week. After Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly escaped Thursday Night Football with a 28-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champs are the first team with five wins in the league. Who will join them on Sunday? We know that we'll get at least a second five-win team since the 4-1 Ravens are hosting the 4-1 Chargers. That is going to be an epic battle, so let's start with that clash of AFC contenders. Welcome to our Week 6 NFL Best Bets.

Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) at Baltimore Ravens

Playing on the road is a difficult task for any team, but if any team can escape with a victory, it's Justin Herbert and the Chargers. This isn't the Chargers of the last decade. This team is winning the close battles. Herbert is playing at an MVP level this season and already has led this team to big-time wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns -- two of the top teams in the AFC. This L.A. team is deep at the skill positions, can rush the passer, has an improved offensive line and a great young coach. What's not to like?

All that said, Lamar Jackson seems to be playing as he did during his 2019 MVP campaign. Not to mention, Marquise "Hollywood" Brown is actually catching passes. He eclipsed 100 yards last week and scored two touchdowns (including the game-winning catch in overtime). Simply put, this is a tough team to bet against. It did take last-second heroics for the Ravens to beat the winless Lions and a pretty pedestrian Colts team. Overall, Baltimore hasn't faced a test like this yet this season. Take the points and the better overall squad. Chargers may win this game, but if they don't, they are not going to lose by more than a field goal.

PICK: Chargers +3.5

Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington Football Team

It's been a tough start to the season for the Chiefs. They had great odds to return to the Super Bowl and are now last in the AFC West heading into Week 16 with a 2-3 record. They desperately need this game. This is a great opportunity for the Chiefs to prove they are still elite by defeating a team that made the postseason last year on the road. The Chiefs are going to turn it around against a Washington defense that is allowing the sixth-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns this season. Patrick Mahomes is going to blow up. Tyreek Hill is going to dominate. Travis Kelce is going to continue to provide a steady source of receptions down the middle of the field. As long as the Chiefs' offensive line holds against Chase Young, it's going to be a long day for Washington's defense. Betting on Mahomes to right the ship isn't a really difficult choice.

PICK: Chiefs -6.5

Houston Texans (+9) at Indianapolis Colts

Yes, the Texans are one of the worst teams in the league. Betting on them on the road against a divisional rival might seem crazy at first. However, the Texans are 7-3 against the spread as underdogs in their last 10 games. Plus, the Colts are emotional after completely giving away the game against the Ravens in which they blew a 22-3 lead late in the game. This is going to cause a bit of a hangover in that locker room. When New England suffered a terrible loss against Tom Brady and the Bucs, the Texans managed to cover the spread the following week. Look for history to repeat itself. Texans coach David Culley has Houston playing hard in spite of its lack of talent and quarterback Davis Mills appeared to take a step forward last week against the Pats. Houston has played pretty good pass defense, too. The Texans have allowed only seven passing TDs this season.

PICK: Texans +9

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5)

Sunday night will be an interesting matchup to watch as Geno Smith will make his first start in four years as the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. I hate betting on Ben Roethlisberger, but it's hard to envision the Seahawks covering the spread without the services of Russell Wilson. And as much as I think Big Ben should hang up his cleats, you have to give him credit for the way he dominated a solid Broncos defense last week. Roethlisberger looked better than he did earlier in the season and was able to get the ball to his playmakers -- Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and running back Najee Harris. Seattle's defense is one of the worst in the league and their secondary is even worse than their front seven. Look for the Steelers to light up Seattle in the passing game.

PICK: Steelers -5

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns OVER 49.5

Both of these offenses can put up a lot of points, though they go about it very differently. The Browns are a run-heavy team, and even though they will be without the services of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt is more than capable of getting the job done. Meanwhile, Arizona's offense runs through electric quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray is able to move the chains with his legs but he isn't afraid to toss the ball either. He loves getting his guys involved and his weapons are elite in DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and Christian Kirk.

The Browns are coming off an 89-point slugest with the Chargers and hit the OVER in their other game against a high-end offense in a 33-29 loss to the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have scored 30-plus points in four of five games this year. Smash the OVER.

PICK: OVER 49.5

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers
Getty Images

Week 2 of the NFL was full of breakout performances, thrilling finishes and potentially the start of the Justin Fields era in the NFC North as the Bears' win over the Bengals finds them in first place in the division.

We cap off the week with a Monday Night Football showdown between the Packers and the Lions with the winner finding themselves tied for first in the North. The Packers put up an absolute dud of a performance last week against the Saints in Week 1 while the Lions looked surprisingly effective while playing catch-up against the West-leading 49ers. The expectations for these two teams couldn't have been further apart coming into the season but with matching 0-1 starts on the books, I think there are a couple of interesting props and roster construction angles to exploit.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks

*Prices are from DraftKings

Captain: TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions ($9,600) ($14,400)

I'm normally not a fan of playing a tight end in the captain spot, but T.J. Hockenson is not your average tight end. He finished 2020 with an elite 18% target share in the Lions' offense and picked up right where he left off in Week 1, finishing with an 18.2% share on 50 routes run last week. Hockenson has always carried premium TD upside as a red-zone target but what was most encouraging about last week was that he ran nearly 55% of his routes out of the slot, leaving him a matchup against Chandon Sullivan, who's allowing a 67% catch rate in his coverage. In a game where the Lions are projected to be down early, expect Hockenson to get fed once again. His red-zone utilization gives him enough juice to take the captain's chair in my builds.

Core Consideration: QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions ($10,000)

Two principles I take into Showdown slates apply to this play. Generally speaking, if I have a pass-catcher as my captain, I'm finding a way to get their QB into a flex spot. The second is that your build needs to tell a story. Mine is that the Packers come out with something to prove after getting embarrassed in Week 1 and that we'll likely see upwards of 50 pass attempts from Jared Goff as he attempts to mount a comeback. Goff is a surprisingly effective passer when getting good protection and this unit gave him a clean pocket on 86.7% of snaps last week. Expect that to continue tonight as Goff will continue to feast in garbage time.

Contrarian Play: WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers ($2,000)

I still chuckle at the thought of the return of Randall Cobb being on the short-list of demands from Aaron Rodgers in the midst of his holdout. I do, however, think there is something to be said about the importance of chemistry between a quarterback and his receiver and I expect that in a typical game (which Week 1 was not), Aaron Rodgers is going to find his spots to get Cobb involved. In a game script that figures to have the Packers up by a healthy margin, not many are going to look at the tertiary passing options for Green Bay and I think a $2,000 Randall Cobb could sneak in a handful of receptions at single-digit ownership..

Salary Relief: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions ($2,400)

This one fits perfectly into my narrative for the game as well. In a game where the Lions are likely to flirt with 50+ pass attempts and coming off a week where St. Brown ran routes on 75% of the team's passing plays, I will be overweight on Amon-Ra tonight. Lining up in the slot on 74.5% of plays means St. Brown will primarily see coverage from Chandon Sullivan, the most favorable of the options GB lines up in their defensive secondary. Expect St. Brown to see his target volume increase tonight. If Detroit can be more effective in getting to the red zone, he carries decent scoring upside with the way he's utilized in this offense. Plus, who doesn't love the extra motivation of playing against their big bro?

Monday Night Football Best Bets

Taking a look at the wagering side of this game; before we determine anything else we must ask ourselves what we think of these Green Bay Packers. I tend to look at last week's performance as the exception and not the rule. With that being the case, I am laying the 11.5 points and taking GB tonight. Over the past six seasons, oddsmakers have been fairly sharp when it comes to these larger spreads and NFL teams cover double-digit spreads more than 55% of the time. The total for tonight is sitting at 48.5 and given the somewhat surprising ability of the Lions to make up ground last week, I am confidently on the "over" side of that line.

Picks: Packers -11.5, OVER 48.5 points

Taking a look at the prop market, I am again mainly investing in the "GB Blowout" narrative:

D'Andre Swift: OVER 28.5 Receiving Yard

Coming off a 65-yard performance in a very similar game script, this one feels like a no-brainer. Swift averages nearly 8 yards per reception so this really boils down to whether you think he catches more than 3 passes. I certainly do and I'm confidently on the OVER for this prop. FanDuel is currently carrying the best odds at -110.

T.J. Hockenson: Anytime TD

I'm not the biggest fan of these "to score" props, but I'll break from the norm with this one. I am projecting the Lions to at least have a go at it in this game and there simply isn't a scenario where that doesn't involve a score for Hockenson. +220 odds at FanDuel sort of feels like stealing given that I see this game going over the 48.5 total.

AJ Dillon | UNDER 8.5 Rushing Attempts

I know that the betting public is forecasting a fairly comfortable win for the Packers, but let's not get carried away. AJ Dillon would have to nearly double his career average for carries to get to this number. Plus, it's a bit unlikely that this game gets so far out of reach that Green Bay brings in their backups. Even last week when they did bring in the second-stringers, Dillon only saw 4 carries. I'm expecting Aaron Jones to have a monster day on the ground, as evidenced by my Saturday article.

File:Derrick Henry 2019 12-08.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Week 1 is in the books and it's time to move on to the best bets in Week 2.

If you listened to my article earlier this week, you would have started 1-0 for taking the Giants with the points against Washington in that thriller of a matchup Thursday night. Now, let's dive into Week 2's best NFL bets.

Best Bets

Tennessee Titans/Seattle Seahawks Over 54

The Seahawks' offense was high-flying in the first half last week. Because the Colts never really threatened the outcome of the game, the Seahawks were able to take the air out of the ball and finish the game with an easy win while only scoring seven in the second half. While both the Titans' defense and offense looked atrocious, expect Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry to have big bounce-back weeks and make this an epic high-scoring game. This has all the makings for a shootout in which both teams put up 30-plus points.

Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 @ Chicago Bears

Until that Monday night game, the Bengals had the honor of winning the craziest Week 1 game over the Vikings in overtime. The Bears' defense, which is supposed to be their strength, looked awful against the Rams, including one of the most blown coverages you'll ever see on Cooper Kupp's long touchdown. It was simply an awful week for the Bears. I don't think it gets any better until they remove Dalton and promote Justin Fields. If they don't do that prior to game time, the Bengals will run away with this one.

Los Angeles Rams -3.5 @ Indianapolis Colts

Coming out of Week 1 the Rams looked great on both sides of the ball. Matthew Stafford had a great first game, going 20 for 26 with three touchdowns. The Colts... They didn't look that great on either side of the ball. While Carson Wentz's overall numbers didn't look bad, most of the yardage and one of his two TDs came in the fourth quarter as they were chasing from two or more scores back, never actually threatening to win the game. I'm leaning towards the Rams winning this in a blowout and would consider alternate spreads.

Arizona Cardinals -3.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings

Kyler Murray appears to be a man on a mission to avenge last season's bitter ending after absolutely torching the Tennesee Titans in Nashville. The Vikings' defense, who hasn't been as formidable as years past, is going to have their hands full with Kyler. Last week they allowed Joe Burrow to complete nearly 80% of his passes, and Burrow isn't a threat to run nor has a receiver as talented as DeAndre Hopkins. If the Vikings offense doesn't step up and make this a shootout, things could get ugly in Phoenix.

Dallas Cowboys + 3.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers

Dak Prescott looked great in Week 1 and if there were any issues with his shoulder after throwing 58 times, he had 10 days to get healed up again and ready for the Chargers. I can almost guarantee, whenever the Cowboys go to play either Los Angeles team in their stadium, that there will be more Cowboys fans than LA fans. So while they aren't playing in Jerry World, they'll have more fan support. My concern for Justin Herbert and the Chargers is their efficiency in the red zone. His most potent weapons in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler become less effective as they get closer to the goal line. That leaves Jared Cook and Mike Williams as your bigger bodies in the red zone, which isn't ideal. The Cowboys have a decent chance to win this one outright, but you can take the points for some cushion.

Long-Shot Parlay

  • Cowboys ML (+160)
  • Titans +6.5 (-105)
  • Steelers ML (-225)
  • Rams -3.5 (-110)

Five Props To Consider

  • Calvin Ridley OVER 6.5 receptions (+115)
  • Tyrod Taylor OVER 34.5 Pass Attempts (-105)
  • Aaron Jones OVER 88.5 combined yards (-115)
  • Nick Chubb OVER 17.5 carries (-120)
  • James Robinson OVER 9.5 carries (-125)

All five of these props have an excellent chance at hitting. I like the idea of wagering a three-leg prop parlay with the last three props listed (Jones, Chubb and J-Rob). Thanks me on Monday.

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