Fantasy Football: The ideal lineup for Week 5, when the season r - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fantasy Football: The ideal lineup for Week 5, when the season really begins

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's around Week 5 of the fantasy football season when you can start to be honest about your roster.

It's after those four weeks that you begin to discern the realities of your fantasy season.

That fifth-round running back you were so sure about? Yeah, he's a bust (Alfred Morris).

How about that risky seventh-round tight end you took with a long injury history? You bet, he's already been hurt (Jordan Cameron).

With few exceptions, your roster as you prepare for Week 5 of the fantasy football season is no mirage. This is the hand you've been dealt (or that you dealt yourself).

And it only gets tougher from here, as four-team bye weeks begin this weekend. On Sunday, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota and the New York Jets all have a week of rest. Man, that one team in your league that has Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, Brandon Marshall and the Dolphins defense is in serious trouble.

So, as the season really gets started this week, here's my ideal fantasy lineup:

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan is seventh among quarterbacks in fantasy points this season. Though he's yet to have a game with more than two touchdowns, that could be largely due to the eight touchdowns from his running backs. What Ryan has been, more than anything, is consistent. He has at least 256 yards in every game, and hasn't had an interception since Week 2. The reason he's in my ideal lineup this week is also because of a favorable matchup against Washington. The Redskins' defense gave up 26 fantasy points to Sam Bradford last week, who only once had double-digit points this year prior. Ryan is a great bet in Week 5.

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Just as Bell came back from a two-game suspension, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger when down with a mild knee injury. Bell picked up right where he left off last season, and he has to shoulder a large load with Michael Vick handing him the ball. That's evidenced in 41 carries for 191 yards and two touchdowns in his only two games this year. He also has 14 receptions for 91 yards. He gets more touches than anyone in the NFL, and that's bound to continue against a San Diego rush defense ranked second-last in the league this year. The Chargers just surrendered 30 points to the Browns' running backs, who are average at best. Bell is the best running back available this weekend.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Johnson fell a bit on draft boards this year, and he has flown a little under the radar this season as a result. But despite just one touchdown in four games, he has 27 receptions, showing he's still sure to get plenty of chances. This past Monday, Johnson fumbled what would have likely been the game-winning touchdown at the goal line in the Lions' eventual loss to Seattle. Detroit is going to keep throwing the ball, and I see Johnson having a big day Sunday at home against Arizona with a chip on his shoulder from that costly fumble.

Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

This is Gates' first week back from a four-game PED suspension. He's always been quarterback Philip Rivers' favorite target, and that will continue, especially in the red zone. And Gates comes back to a good matchup against Pittsburgh, who has given up at least five catches to tight ends in three of four games this year. Gates is a great play this week and going forward, and he may not even be owned in some leagues. Go get him.


Impressive Rookie

Amari Cooper is playing exactly like the top rookie wide receiver he was projected to be in this year's NFL Draft. And he's started fast, with 24 catches and two touchdowns through four games. He's also had at least nine targets in every game from quickly-improving quarterback Derek Carr. He has a tough matchup this week against Denver (one touchdown surrendered to wide receivers this year), but he's likely to surpass his draft day value for fantasy owners.

Bye Week FLEX Play

With four teams on bye this week, you may need some help in the FLEX spot. A great plug is Danny Woodhead, who has far exceeded his expectations this season. He is technically the No. 2 running back in San Diego, but he's had double-digit fantasy points in three of four games this year. Part of that production is in passing downs, where he has 17 receptions. He's versatile and should be starting in just about every league right now.

This Week on WDRB

Sunday at 1 p.m. - Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals

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