Week 5 Rankings (2019): Top 50 Wide Receivers: Identifying The “Risks” Worth Taking, Top Receivers Worth Avoiding & More

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We have some injuries to contend with this week, so consider these rankings very much in flux and monitor the news accordingly. Who plays and who doesn’t could cause some significant shifts, but how do things stand based on what we know today? Let’s take a look:

  1. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – at Houston
  2. DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans – vs. Atlanta
  3. Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Tampa Bay
  4. Keenan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Denver
  5. Odell Beckham Jr. – Cleveland Browns – at San Francisco
  6. Amari Cooper – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Green Bay
  7. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New Orleans
  8. Tyler Lockett – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Los Angeles Rams
  9. Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New Orleans
  10. Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams – at Seattle
  11. JuJu Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
  12. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts – at Kansas City
  13. Sammy Watkins – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Indianapolis
  14. Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Arizona
  15. Julian Edelman – New England Patriots – at Washington
  16. Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings – at New York Giants
  17. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – at Cincinnati
  18. Sterling Shepard – New York Giants – vs. Minnesota
  19. Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams – at Seattle
  20. Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears – at Oakland
  21. Alshon Jeffrey – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Jets
  22. Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons – at Houston
  23. DJ Moore – Carolina Panthers – vs. Jacksonville
  24. Brandin Cooks – Los Angeles Rams – at Seattle
  25. Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens – at Pittsburgh
  26. Christian Kirk – Arizona Cardinals – at Cincinnati
  27. Courtland Sutton – Denver Broncos – at Los Angeles Chargers
  28. Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings – at New York Giants
  29. DJ Chark – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Carolina
  30. Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Green Bay Packers – at Dallas
  31. Josh Gordon – New England Patriots – at Washington
  32. Jarvis Landry – Cleveland Browns – at San Francisco
  33. Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos – at Los Angeles Chargers
  34. Diontae Johnson – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
  35. Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers – vs. Jacksonville
  36. Mecole Hardman – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Indianapolis
  37. Tyrell Williams – Oakland Raiders – vs. Chicago
  38. Will Fuller – Houston Texans – vs. Atlanta
  39. Jamison Crowder – New York Jets – at Philadelphia
  40. Demarcus Robinson – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Indianapolis
  41. Auden Tate 7– Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Arizona
  42. John Brown – Buffalo Bills – at Tennessee
  43. Nelson Agholor – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Jets
  44. DK Metcalf – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Los Angeles Rams
  45. Phillip Dorsett – New England Patriots – at Washington
  46. Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans – vs. Buffalo
  47. Dontrelle Inman – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Denver
  48. Chester Rogers – Indianapolis Colts – at Kansas City
  49. Robby Anderson – New York Jets – at Philadelphia
  50. Dede Westbrook – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Carolina

Thoughts:

  • Keenan Allen is coming off his worst game of the season (5 receptions for 48 yards) against the Miami Dolphins and now draws a difficult Broncos defense.  Denver is allowing the third fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, having not given up more than 154 yards to a receiving corps yet this season.  The combination isn’t overly appealing, but it’s not enough to drag him down the rankings.  He’s not one of the elite, though there aren’t many truly elite options.
  • Davante Adams is battling turf toe, and even with the long week there’s a good chance he sits this week out.  Plus, if he does play just how effective will he be in an already difficult matchup?  He’d be usable, but it would depend on the narrative.  For now we’re leaving him off the rankings with the expectation being he ultimately misses the contest.
  • While both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are usable options, especially in a matchup with a Saints defense that’s allowed the sixth most points per week to opposing wide receivers.  However which one would you prefer?  Godwin has TD in three of the four games this season, while eclipsing 120 yards twice.  Evans, meanwhile, has three games of 89 yards or fewer and 3 of his 4 TD came in one game.  At the same time he has posted back-to-back big games (279 yards and 4 TD).  We’d put Evans slightly ahead, but both players are WR1 options.
  • We always question the Rams’ wide receivers, as there was concern as to if an of their options would be consistently targeted.  Cooper Kupp has seemingly emerged though, with at least 9 targets in each game as well as three straight with at least 101 yards (plus 3 TD over the past two games).  It’s a tough matchup against the Seahawks, but he’s still a borderline WR1 and a good play in all formats.
  • After Adam Thielen voiced his concerns about the passing game after Week 4, a game that he caught 2 passes for 6 yards, would it be surprising to see the team try to get him the ball?  The matchup is there to justify a more pass heavy approach and it’s easy to envision him finally getting his “blowup” game.  In a run-first offense it’s impossible to ignore the risk, but as a WR2 he’s worth rolling the dice.
  • It will be interesting to see how Allen Robinson fares with a change at quarterback, assuming Mitchell Trubisky isn’t able to go in Week 5.  That said he’s been targeted at least 7 times each week and draws an Oakland that’s allowed the ninth most points per week to opposing wide receivers.  Feel comfortable running him out there as a WR2, though one with a little bit of risk.
  • How much of Marquise Brown’s big Week 1 (147 yards and 2 TD) was due to the matchup?  He hasn’t scored a TD since and has watched his yardage shrink from 86 to 49 to 22.  He’s more WR3 than WR2, given the risk and boom/bust nature of his game.
  • Diontae Johnson has found the end zone in back-to-back games, and in Week 4 he converted all 6 of his targets into 77 yards.  He’s not a high level option, but as a WR3 there’s enough to consider him.  That’s not to say that they aren’t alternatives, but most of them carry boom or bust risk.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

18 COMMENTS

  1. I’m curious why you have Josh Gordon so low? Consensus has him closer to the mid/high teens. I’m ultimately trying to decide between him and Tyler Boyd (quarter-point PPR).

    • He’s a boom or bust option that isn’t guaranteed to get looks. Just consider that he’s been over all of these numbers just once:

      3 receptions
      7 targets

      Plus, he hasn’t scored since Week 1

      • Slightly related follow-up question, I traded away Josh Gordon in exchange for Darren Waller (leaving me with Allen, Evans, Boyd, & MVS at WR). I’ve been streaming TE’s, though I did pick up Hunter Henry off waivers to hold until healthy. My question is, how would you rate the trade?

        • I’m not a big Gordon believer, so I like it. I wouldn’t call it can’t miss, but Gordon is going to continue to be boom or bust, and isn’t a player I want to be trusting each week.

  2. Do I start Sterling Shepard, John Brown, or get Auden Tate off waivers (drop TJ Hockenson or Chris Herndon, streaming Eifert this week) in 1/4-pt PPR?

      • Does John Brown move ahead of Shepard now that Josh Allen is (probably) going to play this week? Or do I still stick with Shepard?

        • I’m sticking with Shepard. Tennessee has been tough on opposing wide receivers this season, even though the perception is Minnesota is the tougher matchup. Shepard has flourished the past two weeks, and the return of Golden Tate shouldn’t change that (especially with Saquan Barkley out)

  3. .5 PPR
    Need 1 to Start Week 5 and of the 4 WR’s Listed I need to Drop 1 ( have Allen & OBJ):
    RB Peterson Was
    RB Hines Ind
    RB Mostert SF
    WR D.J. Moore
    WR Gallup Dal
    WR Robinson KC
    WR M Williams Lac

    1 pt PPR
    Need 1
    WR JuJU Pit
    RB Michel NE
    RB Burkhead NE
    RB Breida SF

    Standard Need 1 Flex
    WR Robinson KC
    WR M Williams Lac
    RB Samuels Pit

    QB Monday Night Mayfield or Garoppolo?
    DST Jaguars or Bills?

    • Long-term I’d lean towards dropping Robinson, with Hill nearing a return, but none of them are ideal drops. There’s no one else you can cut (like Mostert, who will soon lose most of his value)?

      Smith-Schuster (I want to say Michel, but he’s too risky)

      Demarcus Robinson

      Mayfield
      Bills

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