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Published: Oct. 1, 2014 at 06:41 p.m.
Updated: Oct. 1, 2014 at 11:38 p.m.

Top 25 fantasy ranked players

In need of some quick fantasy advice? Look no further! Below are the top 25 ranked fantasy players per our esteemed panel of experts. The higher the player, the safer the start according to our experts. Few of these names will surprise you, but you can get a quick sense of how well our experts collectively think each player will perform. Which, for Week 5, doesn't seem to favor wide receivers. View the full rankings HERE to help get your starting lineup set in stone prior to the kickoff of the Thursday night game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.

24 Photos Total

  • Graham was the only unanimously voted top player at a position this week by our experts, which is why he clocks in at No. 1 on this list. While Graham is currently second in fantasy points among tight ends (Martellus Bennett is first), there's no doubt that on any given Sunday Graham has the ability/potential to put up ridiculous numbers. 24

    Crystal LoGiudice/USA Today Sports

    Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints

    Graham was the only unanimously voted top player at a position this week by our experts, which is why he clocks in at No. 1 on this list. While Graham is currently second in fantasy points among tight ends (Martellus Bennett is first), there's no doubt that on any given Sunday Graham has the ability/potential to put up ridiculous numbers.

  • Brown continues to be all but uncoverable on the football field, leading all wide receivers in fantasy points through the first four weeks. A juicy matchup against the Jaguars has our experts all in on Brown for Week 5 as the top-ranked wideout. 23

    Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

    Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Brown continues to be all but uncoverable on the football field, leading all wide receivers in fantasy points through the first four weeks. A juicy matchup against the Jaguars has our experts all in on Brown for Week 5 as the top-ranked wideout.

  • Brees at home is different than Brees on the road. The numbers have proven this for years. This week, Brees returns to the comfy confines of the Superdome to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This has the potential for an anger-fueled blowout by the Saints, leading our experts to make Brees the top signal-caller of the week. 22

    Tim Sharp/Associated Press

    Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

    Brees at home is different than Brees on the road. The numbers have proven this for years. This week, Brees returns to the comfy confines of the Superdome to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This has the potential for an anger-fueled blowout by the Saints, leading our experts to make Brees the top signal-caller of the week.

  • Bell has been one of the surprises of the fantasy season, and his favorable matchup against the overmatched Jacksonville defense has our experts forecasting another big game for the Michigan State product. 21

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Bell has been one of the surprises of the fantasy season, and his favorable matchup against the overmatched Jacksonville defense has our experts forecasting another big game for the Michigan State product.

  • Forte had been quiet since Week 1, but came back to the top of the fantasy heap in a big way on Sunday, notching 171 total yards against the Packers. While he has yet to find the end zone, he will soon enough, and our experts love his matchup against the surprisingly porous Panthers defense. 20

    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

    Forte had been quiet since Week 1, but came back to the top of the fantasy heap in a big way on Sunday, notching 171 total yards against the Packers. While he has yet to find the end zone, he will soon enough, and our experts love his matchup against the surprisingly porous Panthers defense.

  • Despite playing in one less game than most tight ends, Thomas remains as the fourth-highest scorer in fantasy thanks to his five receiving touchdowns. The Cardinals have been beaten by tight ends before, making this an excellent matchup for Thomas coming out of his bye week. 19

    Eric Lars Bakke/Associated Press

    Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos

    Despite playing in one less game than most tight ends, Thomas remains as the fourth-highest scorer in fantasy thanks to his five receiving touchdowns. The Cardinals have been beaten by tight ends before, making this an excellent matchup for Thomas coming out of his bye week.

  • Also coming off a bye, Lynch is poised to punish the Washington defense on Sunday with fresh legs and motivation to keep the Seahawks from falling to .500. On paper the matchup seems bad (Washington allows the third-fewest points to rushers so far in 2014), but Lynch might be able to reverse that trend. 18

    John Froschauer/Associated Press

    Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

    Also coming off a bye, Lynch is poised to punish the Washington defense on Sunday with fresh legs and motivation to keep the Seahawks from falling to .500. On paper the matchup seems bad (Washington allows the third-fewest points to rushers so far in 2014), but Lynch might be able to reverse that trend.

  • Rodgers has had two monstrous performances so far this season, as well as two mediocre outings. Fortunately for him and his fantasy owners, some of his toughest defensive matchups are already out of the way. Mike Zimmer has slowed Rodgers down in the past, but he'll be hard pressed to stop Rodgers in Lambeau Field on a short week. 17

    David Stluka/Associated Press

    Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

    Rodgers has had two monstrous performances so far this season, as well as two mediocre outings. Fortunately for him and his fantasy owners, some of his toughest defensive matchups are already out of the way. Mike Zimmer has slowed Rodgers down in the past, but he'll be hard pressed to stop Rodgers in Lambeau Field on a short week.

  • Megatron disappointed fantasy owners last week with just two catches for 12 yards as he played a limited role while nursing an ankle injury. He is hoping to be in a better state this Sunday, and if he is, our experts have him slotted in as the second-best receiver in their rankings. 16

    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

    Megatron disappointed fantasy owners last week with just two catches for 12 yards as he played a limited role while nursing an ankle injury. He is hoping to be in a better state this Sunday, and if he is, our experts have him slotted in as the second-best receiver in their rankings.

  • Nelson has been on a tear this season, leading the NFL in receiving yards and adding three touchdown catches to boot. He's Aaron Rodgers' favorite target (he also leads the NFL with 49 targets) and is a lock to produce solid numbers week in and week out. That's why he's the third-ranked pass-catcher for Week 5. 15

    Mike Dinovo/USA Today Sports

    Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

    Nelson has been on a tear this season, leading the NFL in receiving yards and adding three touchdown catches to boot. He's Aaron Rodgers' favorite target (he also leads the NFL with 49 targets) and is a lock to produce solid numbers week in and week out. That's why he's the third-ranked pass-catcher for Week 5.

  • Manning is coming off a bye, which was preceded by an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks. You think he'll be motivated to light up the scoreboard against the 3-0 Arizona Carindals? Yeah, so do we. This could be a big game for Manning even though he's facing a tough defense. 14

    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

    Manning is coming off a bye, which was preceded by an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks. You think he'll be motivated to light up the scoreboard against the 3-0 Arizona Carindals? Yeah, so do we. This could be a big game for Manning even though he's facing a tough defense.

  • You could easily make the argument that no quarterback has played better through the first four weeks than Rivers, even though he's only third in fantasy scoring at his position (but I was taking about real football ... oh nevermind). After carving up the Jaguars, Rivers now gets to face the Jets and their work-in-progress secondary. 13

    Paul Jasienski/Associated Press

    Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

    You could easily make the argument that no quarterback has played better through the first four weeks than Rivers, even though he's only third in fantasy scoring at his position (but I was taking about real football ... oh nevermind). After carving up the Jaguars, Rivers now gets to face the Jets and their work-in-progress secondary.

  • Also among the top of the "fantasy surprises" list is Murray, who leads all running backs in rushing yards, touchdowns and fantasy points. The Cowboys have finally realized where their offensive bread is buttered so to speak, and won't likely be turning away from Murray any time soon. 12

    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    Also among the top of the "fantasy surprises" list is Murray, who leads all running backs in rushing yards, touchdowns and fantasy points. The Cowboys have finally realized where their offensive bread is buttered so to speak, and won't likely be turning away from Murray any time soon.

  • The glass half-empty outlook with Gronk is that he's yet to top 10.5 fantasy points in a single week, while the glass half full view is that he's caught a touchdown pass in three of his four games. Working in Gronk's favor is that he's getting healthier. Hopefully once he returns to form the rest of the Patriots offense will follow suit. 11

    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

    The glass half-empty outlook with Gronk is that he's yet to top 10.5 fantasy points in a single week, while the glass half full view is that he's caught a touchdown pass in three of his four games. Working in Gronk's favor is that he's getting healthier. Hopefully once he returns to form the rest of the Patriots offense will follow suit.

  • Bernard has been off to a great start to the 2014 season, averaging over 17 fantasy points per game in his first three contests. He next faces a Patriots defense that was just gashed on national television by Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis. Bernard should come back hot out of his bye. 10

    David Kohl/Associated Press

    Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

    Bernard has been off to a great start to the 2014 season, averaging over 17 fantasy points per game in his first three contests. He next faces a Patriots defense that was just gashed on national television by Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis. Bernard should come back hot out of his bye.

  • Jennings has proven to be quite the fantasy bargain this year, posting the fifth-most fantasy points among running backs, despite not being drafted until the fourth or fifth round in most leagues. His cushy matchup against the Falcons could be the perfect opportunity for him to climb even higher up the scoring ranks. 9

    Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

    Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants

    Jennings has proven to be quite the fantasy bargain this year, posting the fifth-most fantasy points among running backs, despite not being drafted until the fourth or fifth round in most leagues. His cushy matchup against the Falcons could be the perfect opportunity for him to climb even higher up the scoring ranks.

  • Davis hasn't caught a touchdown since Week 1, but that's due in part to the injuries he's suffered since. After recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of Week 3, Davis suffered a back injury in Week 4. It's not deemed serious, so if he's starting on Sunday he should be starting in fantasy as well. 8

    Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

    Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers

    Davis hasn't caught a touchdown since Week 1, but that's due in part to the injuries he's suffered since. After recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of Week 3, Davis suffered a back injury in Week 4. It's not deemed serious, so if he's starting on Sunday he should be starting in fantasy as well.

  • Bennett is known in fantasy circles as "Mr. September," as he traditionally puts forth his best games in the month of September. That is still the case this year, but it appears our experts believe he could carry his production deeper into the season in 2014, as he's the fifth-ranked tight end. 7

    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

    Bennett is known in fantasy circles as "Mr. September," as he traditionally puts forth his best games in the month of September. That is still the case this year, but it appears our experts believe he could carry his production deeper into the season in 2014, as he's the fifth-ranked tight end.

  • Wilson has proven this year that he is ready for the big leagues -- fantasy football-wise -- as he has averaged just shy of 20 fantasy points per game so far. He has a chance to push that average over 20 with a matchup against the Washington secondary that was just torn apart by Eli Manning and the Giants. 6

    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

    Wilson has proven this year that he is ready for the big leagues -- fantasy football-wise -- as he has averaged just shy of 20 fantasy points per game so far. He has a chance to push that average over 20 with a matchup against the Washington secondary that was just torn apart by Eli Manning and the Giants.

  • If you'd had told me in the preseason that after four weeks Walker would be second in the NFL in receiving yards among tight ends, I'd have laughed at you. Yet, here we are, and Walker is indeed behind only Jimmy Graham in receiving yards. He's a favorite target of the signal-callers in Tennessee, and one of their most consistent (and dynamic) options in the passing attack. 5

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

    If you'd had told me in the preseason that after four weeks Walker would be second in the NFL in receiving yards among tight ends, I'd have laughed at you. Yet, here we are, and Walker is indeed behind only Jimmy Graham in receiving yards. He's a favorite target of the signal-callers in Tennessee, and one of their most consistent (and dynamic) options in the passing attack.

  • Big Ben has rebounded nicely since his single-digit performance in Week 2. He next gets to face the Jaguars, which is why he, Brown and Bell all make the list as top-25 overall options in fantasy this week. 4

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Big Ben has rebounded nicely since his single-digit performance in Week 2. He next gets to face the Jaguars, which is why he, Brown and Bell all make the list as top-25 overall options in fantasy this week.

  • Charles returned to game action last week in a big way, scoring three touchdowns and looking like the Charles of old. It's not too crazy to expect him to jump back up to the top of this list next week if he delivers in his mathcup against the 49ers on Sunday. 3

    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

    Charles returned to game action last week in a big way, scoring three touchdowns and looking like the Charles of old. It's not too crazy to expect him to jump back up to the top of this list next week if he delivers in his mathcup against the 49ers on Sunday.

  • Marshall has been hampered by a nagging ankel injury the last few weeks, and as a result our experts don't exactly know how to rank him. He's No. 4 in Marcas Grant's list, but No. 19 in Michael Fabiano's. Still, his ability is enough to help him crack the top 25 despite his injury concerns. 2

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears

    Marshall has been hampered by a nagging ankel injury the last few weeks, and as a result our experts don't exactly know how to rank him. He's No. 4 in Marcas Grant's list, but No. 19 in Michael Fabiano's. Still, his ability is enough to help him crack the top 25 despite his injury concerns.

  • Thomas has had a surprisingly quiet start to the season, and his fantasy owners are hoping he is coming out of the bye ready to rock. Our experts were rather split on where to rank him as well, but they thought highly enough of Thomas for him to crack the top 25 as well. 1

    David Drapkin/Associated Press

    Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

    Thomas has had a surprisingly quiet start to the season, and his fantasy owners are hoping he is coming out of the bye ready to rock. Our experts were rather split on where to rank him as well, but they thought highly enough of Thomas for him to crack the top 25 as well.