by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Many teams have already completed the first 25% of their season, so we are really starting to get an idea of who is in line to have a big season and who could disappoint. That has led to some names falling outside our Top 12 who no one would’ve expected entering the season. Who are they? Who should we trust this week? Let’s take a look:
- Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos – vs. Arizona
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Tampa Bay
- Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – vs. New York Jets
- Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Baltimore
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Buffalo
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at Washington
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Jacksonville
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at New York Giants
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. Atlanta
- Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Kansas City
- Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – at Carolina
- Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Houston
- Mike Glennon – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New Orleans
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at Indianapolis
- Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. St. Louis
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at New England
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Chicago
- Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – at Denver
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Cincinnati
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Pittsburgh
- Kirk Cousins – Washington Reskins – vs. Seattle
- Jake Locker – Tennessee Titans – vs. Cleveland
- Brian Hoyer – Cleveland Browns – at Tennessee
- Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – at San Francisco
- How can we not love Andrew Luck at this point? While the Ravens have allowed just 3 passing TD, they are allowing 260.2 yards per game and Luck just torched what had been an impressive Tennessee defense for 393 yards and 4 TD. He’s now thrown for 370+ yards in three of his four games this season, has 4 TD in back-to-back games and at least 2 in each game. Clearly he’s one of the elite in the game right now.
- The New York Jets aren’t allowing a lot of yards through the air, but they’ve allowed 9 passing TD. Philip Rivers is coming off a game where he torched the Jacksonville Jaguars (377 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT), and with Donald Brown headlining the running game would it be a surprise if they took a similar approach? Look for Rivers to post another big week.
- We don’t want to downgrade Matt Ryan too far, given his matchup with the New York Giants, but we also can’t simply put him near the top of the rankings and forget him either. Obviously Ryan is significantly better than both Ryan Fitzpatrick & Kirk Cousins, but the team still has 7 INT over the past two weeks while Ryan does have 5 INT on the season. He’s still a Top 10 option, he’s simply not a Top 5.
- Speaking of the Giants, after Teddy Bridgewater torched the Falcons for 317 yards how are we not supposed to be excited about the upside of Eli Manning for this week? He clearly has found his footing in the new offense and has looked nothing short of tremendous recently. No one would’ve predicted it, but he’s actually a viable QB1.
- The Carolina Panthers have shocking allowed 5 passing TD over the past two weeks. At this point how can we flee from picking a QB playing against them? We all know Cutler’s upside and, while there’s still some risk, he’s not a player to completely avoid either.
- Will Carson Palmer be ready to return? It appears to be heading in that direction and against the Broncos he could be in store for a shootout. A healthy Palmer is going to be a high-end QB2, with QB1 upside.
- Why did the Buccaneers not only sign, but start Josh McCown? Mike Glennon, in his first start of 2014, shook off some rust to finish 21-42 for 302 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT, including a game-winning TD with under 10 second to go. The Saints have been prone against the pass and don’t be surprised if Glennon posts another big day.
- It’s a tough matchup for Nick Foles and he’s coming off a subpar performance (195 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT), keeping him outside of the Top 12. That doesn’t mean he’s still not a player to consider depending on your alternatives.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings: