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Fantasy Football Week 5 quarterback rankings: Where do Justin Fields, Trey Lance stack up?

Written by on October 7, 2021

With the Bears turning to Justin Fields as their starter moving forward and Jimmy Garoppolo dealing with a calf injury, Week 5 could be the first time all five first-round pick quarterbacks will start at the same time. This actually hasn’t been a great start for this heralded rookie class, and if Lance does make the start Sunday against the Cardinals, he would be the highest ranked of them for me this week.

That’s mostly due to his rushing ability, to be clear. Lance didn’t throw the ball especially well in relief of Garoppolo last week, but he did end up with 20 Fantasy points in just a half of football, and the 41 rushing yards and two-point conversion he picked up with his legs played a big part. Playing in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Lance should have plenty of easy throws and lots of opportunities to run the ball, and it’s the latter that really separates him from Fields, who just hasn’t been used as a runner much by the Bears so far with only two designed rush attempts in two starts. 

My full rankings for the QB position updated in time for Thursday’s game for Week 5 are below, including thoughts on some of the most interesting players for this week. To see the rankings of Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, and Heath Cummings, make sure you head here. We’ll be updating this throughout the week with new notes and as we get news and the rankings get tweaked, so make sure you bookmark the page.

Week 5 QB Rankings

1. Josh Allen @KC — Allen faced the Chiefs twice last season, and while he didn’t throw the ball well, he did have 49.4 points across the two games. This one should have plenty of points, and Allen obviously remains a must-start option.

2. Patrick Mahomes vs. BUF

3. Lamar Jackson vs. IND — If you’ve been a bit underwhelmed by Lamar Jackson’s production so far, keep this in mind: He has just a 3.2% touchdown rate as a passer, the lowest of his career. Between 2019 and 2020 he threw a touchdown on 8% of his pass plays, and while it might not be reason to expect that, it does portend good things to come.

4. Kyler Murray vs. SF

5. Jalen Hurts @CAR — Hurts is a top-five QB so far this season, and his worst game for Fantasy so far still amounted to 21.8 points in Week 2. The Panthers defense has been pretty good, but matchups just don’t seem to matter much for Hurts, given his rushing abilities. He’s a must-start option.

6. Tom Brady vs. MIA

7. Justin Herbert vs. CLE — Week 4 was a letdown for Herbert, and Week 5 features a tough matchup against the Browns. I still expect him to be an elite Fantasy QB however, and it’s worth noting that he was hurt by drops Monday and had opportunities for big plays that he just missed. He’s fine.

8. Dak Prescott vs. NYG — Prescott has thrown 27, 26, and 22 passes over the past three games, all Cowboys wins. Now they are seven-point favorites against a pretty lousy Giants team. So … we should probably expect them to continue to lean on the run, right? This year’s approach has been so much different from what we saw in 2019 and 2020, but maybe that’s just because they weren’t in control of games very often. I’m a little bit worried about Prescott’s chances of remaining an elite Fantasy QB right now.

9. Matthew Stafford @SEA

10. Aaron Rodgers @CIN — Rodgers has multiple touchdowns in three straight, but he still hasn’t been quite as good as he was in 2020. His completion percentage, yards per target, and touchdown rate have all moved in the wrong direction. Given the relatively low pass volume, he’s not playing like a must-start Fantasy option right now. He’s more like a fringe No. 1 QB.

11. Russell Wilson vs. LAR — The Rams made things really tough on Wilson in 2020, limiting him to three passing touchdowns in three games, while averaging 6.7 yards per attempt and a 55% completion percentage. Wilson isn’t the kind of player you have to sit because of a bad matchup, but it’s worth noting what the Rams did against him last season.

12. Derek Carr vs. CHI — The aggressive Carr we saw down the stretch of 2020 carried over to the first three games, and he actually had at least 300 yards in each of his past seven full games — he left one game with an injury — before a lesser performance (21-34, 196 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) Monday night.

13. Kirk Cousins vs. DET — Cousins is averaging nearly 40 passes per game, well up from last year’s 32.3 mark. We know based on their game plans over the past few seasons that the Vikings would prefer if they didn’t have to pass that much, and against the Lions, they may not have to. Cousins should be pretty good in this one, but he’s definitely not a must-start QB.

14. Daniel Jones @DAL — Skepticism is not unwarranted, but we have to acknowledge how well Jones is playing right now. He’s averaging nearly 300 yards per game and only has one interception on 144 attempts — and that came on a Hail Mary as time expired in the first half Sunday. He’ll probably have to throw the ball a decent amount against the Cowboys, and he’s always a threat to add a few points with his legs. Jones probably belongs in that 15-ish range among quarterbacks right now.

15. Trey Lance @ARI — The 49ers haven’t confirmed that Lance will start, and it’s always possible Garoppolo can play through his calf injury, so that’ll be something to watch. But I’ll be very excited to watch Lance if he does make his first start — and potentially very excited to start him. He looked very much like a work in progress in filling in for Garoppolo on Sunday, and there will be some growing pains in that part of the game. However, his rushing ability makes him a potential must-start Fantasy QB if he can avoid being a disaster in the passing game. He rushed for 41 yards in one half of football Sunday. The upside is clear.

16. Sam Darnold vs. PHI — I’m not buying Darnold’s red-zone dominance as a rusher, but that might just mean he’s likely to have more passing touchdowns moving forward. There are still mistakes and missed throws for Darnold, but you can’t just ignore what he’s doing at this point. I don’t expect him to sustain this kind of pace forever, but he’s going to be squarely in the streaming range of the rankings for me until he proves he doesn’t belong.

17. Joe Burrow vs. GB

18. Matt Ryan vs. NYJ — Ryan entered Week 4 having attempted just two passes more than 20 yards down the field, but he attempted six such passes in that one. He only completed two of them, but was close on a couple more. If they can get that aspect of their game going, Ryan could have better days moving forward. He’s a streaming option for this week.

19. Justin Fields @LV

20. Taylor Heinicke vs. NO

21. Jared Goff @MIN

22. Zach Wilson @ATL — Wilson had by far the best game of his career in beating the Titans in Week 4, and now he gets another great matchup against the Falcons indoors. I’m not saying you should start Wilson in your 12-team leagues, but maybe as a cheap pivot in a DFS tournament, he might be worth considering?

23. Ryan Tannehill @JAX — It wasn’t surprising that Tannehill struggled in Week 4 even against a great matchup. And, if A.J. Brown and Julio Jones remain sidelined, I’m not expecting a whole lot more in Week 5 against the Jaguars — another great matchup.

24. Mac Jones @HOU

25. Trevor Lawrence vs. TEN

26. Baker Mayfield @LAC — Mayfield straight up did not play well in Week 4, and we might have gotten an explanation for that Thursday morning when we learned that he is dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder that he will try to play through. Given how rarely Mayfield throws the ball most weeks, he needs to play extremely well to have much value. He’ll find the end zone more often moving forward, but we’re seeing why he’s not a particularly good Fantasy option this season.

27. Jacoby Brissett @TB

28. Ben Roethlisberger vs. DEN

29. Drew Lock @PIT — It’s always tough to come in during the middle of the game like Lock was forced to in Week 4, but he still looked like the same guy as always — aggressive and willing to take chances, yes, but able to hit on too few of them to make it matter much. My expectations are low against a defense that takes advantage of mistakes.

30. Carson Wentz @BAL

31. Jameis Winston @WAS — The Saints are averaging just 22.5 pass attempts and 156.3 passing yards per game so far this season, which are just shockingly low numbers. Washington’s defense has been torched through the air, but we have no real reason to expect the Saints to test them. And, with Taysom Hill coming in near the goal line regularly, Winston has just three touchdowns since his big Week 1. He’s a fade.

32. Davis Mills vs. NE

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So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 5 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that has out-performed experts big-time.


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