Week 4 is in the books and on we go to Week 5. There have been some surprises and disappointments thus far in the season, but that does not mean we give up our teams. We continue to hope and pray they win as they march (hopefully) towards the playoffs. With the first round of byes we are all scouring the wire for replacements we may need and seeking advice. No fear, I have some hopeful answers here in my weekly advice.
Bills D/ST (@ CIN) FD $4600, DK $2,600: The Bills defensive front seven is very solid, and their secondary is very underrated, as evidenced by last week’s defeat of the Atlanta Falcons. This week, versus an offense that seeks to find an identity, they should be able to take advantage of a weak offensive line, and get after Andy Dalton. If the Bengals cannot establish any run game early, the Bills will key in on A.J. Green, as they did Julio Jones last week and make the other Bengals receivers beat them. They are a solid play this week in all formats.
Vikings D/ST (@CHI) FD $5,000, DK $3,800: Though they lack any run defense, the Vikings defense could be in for a decent day versus the Bears, who are starting rookie Mitchell Trubisky at QB. Trubisky does a good job of diagnosing the safeties’ intentions at the snap, but without a true WR1, could struggle to find chemistry on offense. the Vikings will be aggressive and seek to make him make uncomfortable throws, which he will under pressure, with a tendency to float passes.
Rams D/ST (vs. SEA) FD $4800, DK $2,800: I am gambling here. The Seahawks are struggling to define a run game, but the Rams have given up 27+ points in three straight games. The Seahawks offensive line is absolutely awful, so look for the defensive line to take advantage of that and get after Wilson. Will the defense hold up, or will this be a shootout? We’re soon to find out.
Tre’Davious White ( CB/BUF)- White is quietly making a name for himself in fantasy circles, and if he is not owned in your league, go ahead and snag him. He appears to be a ballhawk in the making who is always around the ball and should see some nice opportunities versus the Bengals this week.With plus coverage skills, he should be able to keep A.J. Green in check and break up a pass or two.
Lorenzo Alexander (LB/BUF)- The Bills will continue to move Alexander around after a breakout 2016, and they will do so in their sub packages. A pass rush specialist, Alexander should get his looks at Andy Dalton on Sunday and be a lock for at least a sack versus an offense-deficient Bengals squad.
Vontaze Burfict (LB/CIN)- Burfict is back from suspension and should immediately regain his role as enforcer on the Bengals defense. A tackle machine, Burfict brings leader qualities to a Bengals defense that needs one. He plays with purpose, and this week versus the Bills, look for him to record around nine or ten tackles and play with an edge following his second week back from suspension.
Anthony Barr (LB/MIN)- Barr figures to see a heavy dose of playing time going forward, into a favorable matchup versus the Bears who are starting rookie Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. Barr should be in for his first sack of the season and a handful of tackles this Sunday and is a decent LB3 option.
Danielle Hunter (DE/MIN)- Hunter, a sack machine has been off to a slow start, but looks to get back on track versus the Bears this week. The Bears will throw every blocking combination possible at him, but look for Hunter to build off Week 4’s solid game (2 sacks) with another sack. He could be in the backfield all day.
Michael Brockers (DT/LAR)- Brockers is a run stopping lineman who should see his opportunities versus a weak Seattle offensive line. While he may never be a major sack threat, he will be in for a nice game versus the Seahawks.
Nickell Robey-Coleman (CB/LAR)- A slot corner, R-C should be in line for solid snaps versus the Seahawks. He provides solid coverage and is not easily fooled on routes. While he may be the slot corner, he offers plenty of upside this week and is a decent CB2 start.
Earl Thomas (S/SEA)- Thomas helps the Seahawks defense go, and they will need him this week to get back on track versus the suddenly dangerous L.A. Rams. Even versus a seemingly run first offense, Thomas should be a good bet to defense a pass and rack up the tackles in a divisional matchup and is a nice S2 stash in Week 5.
I would be nervous about the Detroit Lions D/ST (FD $4,700, DK $3,200) versus the Panthers this week as the Panthers seem to have found their groove on offense after last week’s defeat of the Patriots, and Cam Newton seems to have been turning a corner (though, not with his mouth). Yes, with three passing TDs last week, Newton will seek to continue a hot hand into this week’s clash with the Lions. While the Lions secondary is solid, it remains to be seen if they can hold up in the front seven. If they can, they should be the victors, if not, the panthers will have their way with the Lions defense.