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Fantasy Football Week 5 prep: PPR league Cheat Sheet to help you get the most out of your lineups

Written by on October 7, 2021

The Lineup Cheat Sheet combines Fantasy analysis and game-flow predictions with a confidence scale to give you a definitive answer on who to start in your leagues.

It’s pretty simple: The scale runs from 1-10. The higher the number next to a player’s name, the more confident you should be to start him. The numbers are not a projection, just a confidence score to help you pick who to start. Every relevant player for Week 2 is here, so if a player isn’t listed, don’t start him.

To find a specific player, use your search function — CTRL-F on PCs and Command-F on Macs. If neither of those are options, or if you’re on a mobile device, you can scroll by game.

If you’re still unsure, just send a note on Twitter (@daverichard) and I’ll give it a look, time permitting. 

Ready to get off on the right foot? Here’s how to approach every play for Week 5 in PPR leagues.

More Week 5 help: Trade Value ChartQB Preview | RB Preview | WR Preview | TE Preview | Cut List | QB Start/Sit | RB Start/Sit | WR Start/Sit | Starts, sits, sleepers and busts

All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

The line wants us to believe: The Seahawks are as good as they looked last week, not the two weeks before. It’s the second game in a row where the Rams aren’t as big of a favorite as the public may have expected. You know how that went for L.A. in Week 4. Going on the road on a short week is always tough, and apparently the oddsmakers are certain Russell Wilson will keep up with the Rams on the scoreboard.

RamsRTG (MAX 10)SeahawksRTG (MAX 10)
Matthew Stafford(9.0)Russell Wilson(8.5)
Darrell Henderson(8.7)Alex Collins(7.7)
Cooper Kupp(9.5)DK Metcalf(8.9)
Robert Woods(6.6)Tyler Lockett(7.9)
Van Jefferson(4.5)Freddie Swain(3.8)
Tyler Higbee(6.7)Will Dissly(3.3)
Rams DST(7.0)Seahawks DST(4.2)

The line wants us to believe: Nothing about the Jets’ win last week is real. I’m not sure this is even a small step-up in competition for Zach Wilson, who overcame another slow start to fire off 232 yards and two scores in the second half and overtime versus the Titans. The Falcons gave up 34 points to Washington last week — their defense isn’t good. No one’s allowed more passing touchdowns than the Falcons and no one’s allowed fewer than the Jets.

JetsRTG (MAX 10)FalconsRTG (MAX 10)
Zach Wilson(5.3)Matt Ryan(7.0)
Michael Carter(5.6)Mike Davis(7.6)
Corey Davis(7.4)Cordarrelle Patterson(7.5)
Jamison Crowder(6.4)Olamide Zaccheaus(5.05)
Jets DST(5.8)Kyle Pitts(6.9)
Falcons DST(6.1)

The line wants us to believe: Drew Lock can keep the Broncos close -or- Teddy Bridgewater will end up playing. A lot of sharp money came in on the Broncos when the line opened at minus-4.5, and only now has it evened out. The Steelers are the way to go here — for as ugly as they are offensively, their defense should be in good enough shape to force Lock (3-6 as a road starter) into some turnovers.

BroncosRTG (MAX 10)SteelersRTG (MAX 10)
Drew Lock(1.7)Ben Roethlisberger(4.9)
Melvin Gordon(6.4)Najee Harris(9.4)
Javonte Williams(6.3)Diontae Johnson(9.0)
Courtland Sutton(5.0)JuJu Smith-Schuster(5.7)
Tim Patrick(4.8)Steelers DST(8.3)
Noah Fant(7.2)
Broncos DST(8.4)

The line wants us to believe: The Vikings aren’t good enough to put the Lions away. I’ll admit the Vikings defense is getting a little too much credit here, but we’ve already seen the Packers and Bears bounce back from bad offensive showings against the Lions. Detroit ranks in the bottom-5 in pass rush pressures and quarterback passer rating allowed. Expect a good game from Kirk Cousins and a Vikings blowout.

LionsRTG (MAX 10)VikingsRTG (MAX 10)
Jared Goff(5.9)Kirk Cousins(7.8)
D’Andre Swift(8.8)Dalvin Cook(9.2)
Jamaal Williams(5.9)Justin Jefferson(9.9)
Kalif Raymond(4.2)Adam Thielen(8.3)
Amon-Ra St. Brown(4.0)K.J. Osborn(3.5)
Quintez Cephus(3.0)Tyler Conklin(5.1)
T.J. Hockenson(7.5)Vikings DST(7.3)
Lions DST(3.8)

The line wants us to believe: Cincinnati just isn’t quite good enough to be a home favorite. Apparently not enough of the betting public is buying the Bengals after their stunning late win. They deserve credit with big wins over the Vikings, Steelers (in Pittsburgh!) and Jags. The Packers have beaten up on bad teams since Week 1 — this isn’t exactly a bad team. If Green Bay is without Jaire Alexander then their secondary could get seriously exposed. I think the home dog is worth going with.

PackersRTG (MAX 10)BengalsRTG (MAX 10)
Aaron Rodgers(8.3)Joe Burrow(7.7)
Aaron Jones(9.1)Samaje Perine(6.6)
A.J. Dillon(5.3)Ja’Marr Chase(7.8)
Davante Adams(9.8)Tyler Boyd(7.7)
Randall Cobb(4.1)C.J. Uzomah(5.5)
Robert Tonyan(4.6)Bengals DST(4.6)
Packers DST(5.4)

The line wants us to believe: A 14-point spread was too much. I can’t help but wonder if Brian Flores, a Bill Belichick disciple, will employ a similar defensive strategy to keep the Bucs from scoring a ton. If it were that easy, then why did the Dolphins let up 27-plus points to the Colts, Raiders and Bills? Clearly, the oddsmakers are again asking you to put your hard-earned green on the Bucs and ignore that Brady’s bunch has been held to 24 points or fewer against well-schemed defenses in L.A. and New England. The Dolphins have lost by 11-plus points just twice in their past 20 games.

DolphinsRTG (MAX 10)BuccaneersRTG (MAX 10)
Jacoby Brissett(2.9)Tom Brady(8.9)
Myles Gaskin(4.1)Leonard Fournette(8.1)
Jaylen Waddle(6.0)Ronald Jones(4.2)
DeVante Parker(5.2)Mike Evans(8.6)
Mike Gesicki(7.6)Chris Godwin(8.5)
Dolphins DST(2.0)Antonio Brown(7.2)
Cameron Brate(6.3)
Buccaneers DST(9.0)

The line wants us to believe: The Patriots can score more than 20 points. They haven’t been able to do that in three of four games this season, but their implied team total is 24.25 points. New England found 25 points against the Jets thanks to four interceptions. Houston’s squad was squashed last week but it’s played relatively tough otherwise and might find ways to stay close. The Patriots have won by 10-plus points in just five of their last 20 games including that Jets game. 

PatriotsRTG (MAX 10)TexansRTG (MAX 10)
Mac Jones(5.0)Davis Mills(1.0)
Damien Harris(6.9)David Johnson(3.0)
Jakobi Meyers(5.9)Brandin Cooks(7.0)
Nelson Agholor(3.3)Texans DST(4.4)
Hunter Henry(5.3)
Jonnu Smith(4.3)
Patriots DST(8.9)

The line wants us to believe: Philadelphia’s better than their track record suggests. The Eagles have lost three straight by at least six points and have given up at least 41 points in consecutive games. Sure feels like the oddsmakers are inviting us to take the Panthers. Philadelphia had touchdowns called back on two of its six red-zone drives last week, missing out on eight points in the process. The offense is showing signs of life and Carolina’s defense has regressed after a hot start against limp offenses. The Eagles will keep this one close. 

EaglesRTG (MAX 10)PanthersRTG (MAX 10)
Jalen Hurts(8.6)Sam Darnold(8.2)
Miles Sanders(6.1)Chuba Hubbard(6.7)
Kenneth Gainwell(5.8)D.J. Moore(9.6)
DeVonta Smith(7.6)Robby Anderson(4.9)
Jalen Reagor(3.2)Terrace Marshall Jr.(3.1)
Dallas Goedert(7.0)Panthers DST(6.5)
Zach Ertz(6.5)
Eagles DST(2.5)

The line wants us to believe: Everything that happened in Week 4 was a lie. Washington’s defense is still a colossal mess and New Orleans’ defense isn’t quite as bad despite getting depantsed by the Giants last week. That combined with Washington’s depleted O-line makes me want to lean with the Saints, even if their offense looks completely foreign to me compared to past years.

SaintsRTG (MAX 10)WashingtonRTG (MAX 10)
Jameis Winston(6.0)Taylor Heinicke(6.9)
Taysom Hill(1.3)Antonio Gibson(8.2)
Alvin Kamara(8.9)J.D. McKissic(6.0)
Marquez Callaway(4.3)Terry McLaurin(9.1)
Saints DST(6.6)Curtis Samuel(3.9)
Washington DST(5.2)

The line wants us to believe: Everything that happened in Week 4 was a lie. Washington’s defense is still a colossal mess and New Orleans’ defense isn’t quite as bad despite getting depantsed by the Giants last week. That combined with Washington’s depleted O-line makes me want to lean with the Saints, even if their offense looks completely foreign to me compared to past years.

TitansRTG (MAX 10)JaguarsRTG (MAX 10)
Ryan Tannehill(6.7)Trevor Lawrence(6.6)
Derrick Henry(10.0)James Robinson(9.3)
Jeremy McNichols(3.1)Laviska Shenault Jr.(6.6)
Anthony Firkser(4.8)Marvin Jones(6.9)
Titans DST(3.3)Jaguars DST(4.0)

The line wants us to believe: Week 4 was an aberration for the Raiders. It was an ugly first loss for Las Vegas, but it’s had a consistent formula of struggling defensively and finding ways to win late. On Monday it caught up with Jon Gruden’s crew. The Bears pass rush is starting to improve (14 sacks tied for league lead) and the Raiders O-line has a target on it. Tack on a beleaguered Raiders secondary and there’s no way they should be giving so many points to the Bears. Las Vegas has won by six-plus points in six of its last 20 games.

BearsRTG (MAX 10)RaidersRTG (MAX 10)
Justin Fields(5.4)Derek Carr(7.5)
Damien Williams(7.9)Josh Jacobs(6.8)
Darnell Mooney(6.2)Hunter Renfrow(5.6)
Allen Robinson(5.8)Henry Ruggs III(5.3)
Bears DST(5.0)Darren Waller(8.9)
Raiders DST(6.8)

The line wants us to believe: The Chargers don’t deserve any credit for their past two wins. This feels like yet another line where the oddsmakers want us to take the Chargers, perhaps because this will be Justin Herbert’s toughest matchup so far this season. While it might be true, he’s been playing great while Baker Mayfield owns a 25% bad-throw rate and L.A.’s defense is sneaky good. I’ll fall for the bait and go with the Bolts.

BrownsRTG (MAX 10)ChargersRTG (MAX 10)
Baker Mayfield(5.5)Justin Herbert(8.7)
Kareem Hunt(8.6)Austin Ekeler(9.8)
Nick Chubb(8.3)Mike Williams(8.8)
Odell Beckham(6.5)Keenan Allen(8.7)
Browns DST(5.6)Jared Cook(6.4)
Chargers DST(7.1)

The line wants us to believe: New York isn’t as competitive as its past three games say it is. The Giants looked great last week on offense and did a good enough job on defense to pull out a victory. Naturally, the Cowboys offense has looked smashing nearly every week and should do its part to keep the Giants from winning. Keeping it close is the issue, and that figures to be something New York can keep doing. Besides, the G-men have just seven losses under Joe Judge (out of 13) by seven or more points.

GiantsRTG (MAX 10)CowboysRTG (MAX 10)
Daniel Jones(7.3)Dak Prescott(8.8)
Saquon Barkley(9.3)Ezekiel Elliott(9.7)
Kenny Golladay(6.7)Tony Pollard(5.4)
Kadarius Toney(5.5)CeeDee Lamb(8.0)
John Ross(3.7)Amari Cooper(7.1)
Evan Engram(5.9)Dalton Schultz(7.8)
Giants DST(4.3)Cowboys DST(6.7)

The line wants us to believe: Even without Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers will keep it close. On what planet can a Niners team with rookie Trey Lance making his first start compete with the undefeated Cardinals? This reeks of a fishy line that’s meant for you to go with the Cardinals. And I’ll admit, it’s tough to confidently take the Niners to cover when the Cards have won by at least eight points in three of four games. I can’t fight it, I think Arizona wins by a touchdown.

49ersRTG (MAX 10)CardinalsRTG (MAX 10)
Trey Lance(7.4)Kyler Murray(9.5)
Trey Sermon(5.5)Chase Edmonds(8.4)
Deebo Samuel(8.4)James Conner(6.5)
Brandon Aiyuk(4.6)DeAndre Hopkins(8.2)
George Kittle(7.7)A.J. Green(5.4)
49ers DST(2.8)Christian Kirk(5.1)
Rondale Moore(4.4)
Maxx Williams(6.2)
Cardinals DST(7.4)

The line wants us to believe: The Bills aren’t quite good enough to get a win over the Chiefs. Buffalo knows it’ll never get the respect it wants until it beats Kansas City. Sean McDermott’s squad has a menacing pass rush and an offense that’s kicked into overdrive in its past eight quarters. Meanwhile, Kansas City’s defensive unit gave up 30 points to the Eagles last week (should have been 38) and has allowed at least 29 points per game. No doubt this figures to be a shoot-out, but getting a couple of points with Buffalo and the better defense in the game feels like the right play.

BillsRTG (MAX 10)ChiefsRTG (MAX 10)
Josh Allen(9.3)Patrick Mahomes(9.2)
Zack Moss(7.8)Clyde Edwards-Helaire(8.0)
Devin Singletary(6.2)Darrel Williams(3.5)
Stefon Diggs(9.7)Tyreek Hill(9.4)
Emmanuel Sanders(6.8)Mecole Hardman(3.4)
Cole Beasley(6.3)Travis Kelce(9.7)
Dawson Knox(6.6)Chiefs DST(3.7)
Bills DST(6.2)

The line wants us to believe: After one week, the Ravens are the Ravens again. It’s been a roller-coaster ride for Lamar Jackson & Co., but nothing can cure ills like beating up on a backup quarterback. Meanwhile, it took four games and a matchup against a struggling Dolphins team for the Colts to finally win and exceed 24 points. They really don’t deserve much credit, and they’re on the road for the third straight week. I do worry that the line is a tad overweight for the Ravens, but I can’t trust the Colts to keep things

ColtsRTG (MAX 10)RavensRTG (MAX 10)
Carson Wentz(3.1)Lamar Jackson(8.1)
Jonathan Taylor(8.5)Latavius Murray(7.2)
Nyheim Hines(5.7)Marquise Brown(8.1)
Michael Pittman(6.1)Sammy Watkins(4.7)
Zach Pascal(3.6)Mark Andrews(7.9)
Mo Alie-Cox(4.5)Ravens DST(8.0)
Colts DST(6.0)

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