SSSQ is a weekly look at under-the-radar fantasy players you should consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
For the rest of your lineup decisions, consult our Week 5 rankings.
You can also listen to the Week 5 preview episode of “theScore Fantasy Football Podcast.”
Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
Cousins is the QB6 in fantasy after four games with the Vikings, thanks to one of the league’s most reliable pass-catching corps that features Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph. He’s thrown multiple touchdowns in three of four outings and will have a good chance to do the same against an Eagles defense that’s strong against the run but vulnerable in the passing game. Dating back to his time with the Redskins, Cousins has thrown 10 touchdown passes combined in his last four meetings with Philly.
Boone’s projection: 309 passing yards, 2 TDs
Other QBs to start
- Philip Rivers vs. Raiders
- Andy Dalton vs. Dolphins
- Blake Bortles at Chiefs
Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
The Packers are dealing with a slew of injuries to their receiving corps along with a hobbled Aaron Rodgers, so they’ll need to lean on Jones and the rushing game. That strategy makes even more sense against the Lions’ brutal run D, which has already given up three 100-yard rushing games in four weeks and just allowed 240 yards from scrimmage to Ezekiel Elliott. Jones is technically part of a three-man committee so his workload isn’t secure, but he’s quietly been the RB25 in fantasy despite limited touches since returning from suspension. His talent is undeniable.
Boone’s projection: 84 rushing yards, 12 receiving yards, 1 TD
Other RBs to start
- Derrick Henry at Bills
- Matt Breida vs. Cardinals
- Chris Thompson at Saints
Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers
Funchess has come on over Carolina’s last two games with Greg Olsen sidelined. He had seven catches for 77 yards in Week 2 and then 67 yards and a score in Week 3. Olsen won’t play this week, and it’s fair to question how effective he’ll be when he does return from a fractured foot. Funchess is the clear No. 1 receiver for Cam Newton and a solid WR2 in fantasy this week and beyond.
Boone’s projection: 81 receiving yards, TD
Other WRs to start
- Marvin Jones vs. Packers
- Tyler Boyd vs. Dolphins
- Keelan Cole at Chiefs
Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers
McDonald is finally healthy and emerging as the receiving tight end the Steelers hoped he could become. Over the last two games, he’s caught nine of his 10 targets for 174 yards and a touchdown. Expect another big outing from McDonald in a likely shootout with the Falcons, who allowed 71 yards to Ben Watson in Week 3 and gave up 38 yards and a score in a little more than a half to Tyler Eifert last week before he went down with an injury.
Boone’s projection: 73 receiving yards, TD
Other TEs to start
- Austin Hooper at Steelers
- Ben Watson vs. Redskins
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahakws
Wilson has been in this space far too often this season. It’s simply hard to trust him given his declining passing yardage totals of 298 in Week 1, 226 in Week 2, 192 in Week 3, and 172 in Week 4. He’s also not making up for it on the ground, as he’s on pace for just 168 rushing yards. For context, Wilson has run for more than 480 yards in five of his six NFL seasons. Even with Doug Baldwin back in the lineup, there are simply better streaming options out there at quarterback.
Boone’s projection: 214 passing yards, TD, INT, 21 rushing yards
Other QBs to sit
- Marcus Mariota at Bills
- Baker Mayfield vs. Ravens
Alex Collins, RB, Ravens
Unlike most of the players in the “sit” category, Collins has a nice matchup with a Browns defense that’s allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs. Instead, concerns about Collins stem from his usage and ball-security issues. He’s lost two fumbles already this year, prompting head coach John Harbaugh to bench him for part of last week’s game. The fumbling issue will keep Javorius Allen heavily involved as a pass-catcher and goal-line back, lowering Collins’ ceiling. Hopefully, you have a better option this week.
Boone’s projection: 48 rushing yards, 9 receiving yards
Other RBs to sit
- Lamar Miller vs. Cowboys
- Kenyan Drake at Bengals
- LeSean McCoy vs. Titans
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
The Jets have given up some big fantasy days to receivers this year, with four wideouts topping 100 yards against them. However, there’s no evidence to suggest Thomas will be the next man on that list. The 30-year-old is averaging 42 yards per game and hasn’t found the end zone since the opener. Rookie Courtland Sutton is eating into his production, rendering Thomas a borderline WR3 for fantasy owners – and one with an extremely low floor.
Boone’s projection: 58 receiving yards
Other WRs to sit
- Larry Fitzgerald at 49ers
- Quincy Enunwa vs. Broncos
- Sammy Watkins vs. Jaguars
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
Even with the tight end position in shambles after an unprecedented wave of injuries, Gates isn’t someone you should be rostering. The 38-year-old is merely a touchdown-or-bust fantasy play, though the odds of him scoring are much lower than in the past. We all love Gates, but I’d rather roll the dice with players like Nick Vannett or C.J. Uzomah.
Boone’s projection: 36 receiving yards
Other TEs to sit
- Charles Clay vs. Titans
- Dallas Goedert vs. Vikings
- Rhett Ellison at Panthers
D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texans
Foreman, who’s owned in just 6 percent of leagues, is expected to be activated off the PUP list in Week 7. The Texans’ lead back, Lamar Miller, saw over 70 percent of the running back touches in the first three games, but that number dipped to just over 50 percent in Week 4. That’s because Miller is struggling to generate yards and his lone touchdown was a garbage-time reception. Foreman was on the verge of usurping Miller last season before tearing his Achilles, and while there are no guarantees about regaining his pre-injury form, he’ll get a shot given the state of Houston’s backfield.
Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys
The Cowboys’ wide receiver-by-committee experiment isn’t working and Gallup will take on a bigger role as the season progresses. The rookie has seen his targets increase each week, and had his best performance in Week 4 with a pair of catches for 45 yards. Gallup also saw a red-zone target in that game, and his name would have been on every waiver-wire article had he caught it. For now, there’s still time to stash him considering he’s owned in just 8 percent of leagues.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers
Aside from being a handcuff in case injuries leave him as the last man standing in Green Bay’s backfield, there isn’t much reason to roster Williams at this point. Whether you’re watching the games or poring over the analytics, it’s clear to everyone that Jones is far more talented. Williams is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry and was held under 30 rushing yards in both games since Jones returned. Use his roster spot on someone with more upside.
Chris Hogan, Patriots
Hogan played Thursday night, so we’ve seen five games from him this season and the results aren’t good. He enjoyed a lot of success in the first half of the 2017 campaign before going down with an injury. Unfortunately, that production hasn’t translated to 2018, even though Julian Edelman missed the first four games due to suspension. Hogan has failed to top 42 yards in any outing this season and hasn’t seen more than five targets in a single contest. With Edelman back and Josh Gordon likely to take on a bigger role as the season progresses, you can move on from Hogan.