Rank's 11 Week 5 fantasy sleepers: Believe in Howard


I really should know better than this. Last week I made the mistake of going with Andy Dalton in a prime-time game. Spoiler alert, it didn't work. This week, I'm thinking of going with Jameis Winston following back-to-back great outings. That's like going to a 99-cent all-you-can eat, buffet, being sent to the hospital to get your stomach pumped and then returning the next week to do it all over again. Especially when you have Jacoby Brissett sitting right there. Like the old, reliable burger joint just beckoning you to try to old faithful. But damn it, you just love to live dangerously.

Here's my thing, though. And you can feel free to disagree if you want. Brissett is a great option. Don't let me move you off that choice. But listen, the Saints have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Even though they basically shutdown Dak Prescott last week. But that's kind of why I like going against the Saints this week. The Saints have played admirably one the road in Seattle and at home against the Cowboys. Two big wins in the wake of Drew Brees' thumb injury. That scares me. You don't want to be reactionary and play guys who had a great matchup the previous week (just wait for that in a moment). But sometimes, you need to bank on the unpredictability of the NFL. Because anytime it seems like an NFL team has all the answers, the bottom falls out. Kind of like the way the Packers walked into a buzz saw last week.

And if I'm keeping it 100 (I won't ever write that again), maybe Bruce Arians has reached Winston and helped him tap his potential. I don't care, I'm going for it.

Let's get to the rest of Rank's 11.

Jordan Howard, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

I know you love it when I put in reactionary picks to guys you either benched last week, or worse, rage-dropped at some point this season. And that's fair. Because I just talked about it. But it is worth pointing out that the Jets have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. And I know we're all dreading a Miles Sanders breakout this week, but both players can actually be useful to you. I have Howard as an RB2 and Sanders as a flex option. And be sure to see if Sanders was dropped in your leagues. He should not be available to you.

Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Rank has lost his lid because: a) I'm referring to myself in the third person; and b) most of you really drafted him early in your fantasy drafts. But let's be honest. He's been lousy. Like not great. And here's my deal. If you can swing a deal for him this week, you should do it. The Houston Texans have allowed the most-fantasy points to running backs this year. If not this week, it's never going to happen.

Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts

He's had four targets per game this season, the most amongst Colts running backs. That's relevant because the Colts play the Chiefs this week. And if the Colts find themselves in a deficit, they will be throwing the ball more which means more opportunities for Hines. It's risky to try to predict game script, but that's kind of my job.

Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins

The Bills were dumping the ball off a lot to T.J. Yeldon (T.J. YELDON!) who caught all four of his targets for 68 yards. And in a game where you figure Washington is going to trail by a lot of points, this could end up being a perfect opportunity for him.

Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens

The tape was a lot kinder to Brown than the stat line which was less than seven points in PPR leagues. But I expect the Ravens to take some chances downfield against the Steelers' defense, which has improved over the last couple of weeks. However, the Steelers have still allowed the most fantasy points per game to slot receivers this season.

Auden Tate, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Oh man, my dude John Ross is injured. Which is a major bummer, so we're looking at the next person up for the Bengals. Obviously, they did not play well under the lights which came as a total shock. However, this game against the Cardinals will not be in prime time so we should be good.

Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans

I mean, I don't want to simply point to the fact that the Titans, led by Marcus Mariota, crushed the Falcons by going to A.J. Brown, but it seems pertinent at this point. See if somebody in your league rage-dropped Will Fuller and add him to your lineup immediately. Seriously, why are you still reading this and not making that move right now?

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons

And if this game gets into a shootout, I like Sanu a bit more than Calvin Ridley this week. Sanu had nine receptions on 12 targets last week. He has the opportunity to hit bit in PPR leagues this week.

Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

It was pretty awesome watching Johnson score his second touchdown in as many games while JuJu Smith-Schuster couldn't even get 20 yards. Yes, I am being facetious. It was terrible. But let's not dismiss Johnson because he led the team in targets with six. He's had 12 targets in his last two games (JuJu had 11). He also led the Steelers in routes run against the Bengals.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers

Graham was targeted nine times in the Thursday night game that Aaron Rodgers threw the game-crippling interception in. Do you remember that game? Rodgers forced the ball in the closing moments to lose the game? It was incredible. In any event, the tight end position is so thin, that you should take a run at Graham this week because there are 15 targets to replace. That means both MVS and Geronimo Allison are also viable sleepers.

Tennessee Titans D/ST

The Bills have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing D/STs this year. A little misleading because the Patriots did so well. But absolutely add the Titans this week if Josh Allen is unable to go and they have to start Matt Barkley. No disrespect to Barkley. Well, maybe a little.

You want one more? Fine, here's one more.

Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

A tight end is playing against the Cardinals. Fin.