Week 5 predictions to count on

Our analysts reveal the fantasy football takes they have the most conviction for heading into Week 5 to help you feel better about the lineup decisions ahead. For more sit-start advice, check out our rankings hub.

Breece Hall ready to run wild

OK, so perhaps the year-to-date volume from Hall has not been everything that you (or he) was looking for. Let’s just please recognize that the efficiency has been there (6.6), he’s delivered plenty of explosive plays and he’s been a yards-after-contact monster (6.2 YCO/A). This week, even modest volume would go a long way, but it seems like Hall’s workload should trend up as the Jets face a hilariously dysfunctional Denver defense; the Broncos have already allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing running backs and they’ve given up 5.6 YPC. There’s just no way Hall fails to make noise in this spot. He’s about to give us a top-10 (5?) positional finish. — Andy Behrens

Brian Robinson is a top-five RB against Bears

You know what can cure any bad day? A fantasy matchup against the Chicago Bears’ putrid defense. Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson will get just that in Week 5 — the perfect lead-up for a top-five fantasy week. Through four weeks, the Bears are allowing the second-most fantasy points in the league to the running back position. A running back has scored 15 or more points each week against this Bears defense, including an outing in Week 3 where the Chiefs RB room combined for a whopping 43.3 points. Robinson surprisingly sits as the RB9 on the season as one of the best values in fantasy, so this is barely a lukewarm hot take, but fire him up as a top-five back heading into Thursday night. — Kate Magdziuk

Terry McLaurin gets first 100-yard game

Last season, McLaurin put up four 100-yard receiving games on his way to a Pro Bowl season with a career-high 1,191 yards on 77 receptions. He’s failed to hit 100 yards this season, his high being 86 yards on eight receptions last week. He’s about to zoom past that mark. McLaurin’s routes run have crept up of late, his highest being the 41 he ran against the Eagles. That should put aside concerns about any lingering effects of his preseason toe injury. His Thursday night matchup against the Bears defense is a smash spot. The Bears have allowed the second most touchdown passes in the NFL with 10, and are averaging 272 passing yards allowed per game. That’s seventh in the league. McLaurin will get 100 yards and a touchdown on top of it. Play him with confidence. — Jorge Martin

D’Andre Swift is a top-10 RB rest of season

In Week 4, Swift was given the workhorse RB role. He played 64% of the snaps and earned 75% of the RB opportunities. Kenneth Gainwell saw just four carries on a season-low 37% of the snaps.

Swift earned 79 yards on 18 touches and found the end zone. He’s now earned the sixth-most RB fantasy points the past three weeks. He’s benefitting from running behind the No. 1 run-blocking unit in the NFL. This is allowing him to remain efficient. This season he’s averaging 5.9 yards per touch and 6.3 yards per carry. Both metrics would lead the NFL in 2022.

Swift is quietly putting together the ultimate cheat code role. He ranks sixth in red-zone touches this season and has earned nine targets the past three games. This week, Swift is a 4.5-point favorite against the Rams 25th ranked tackling unit. Expect him to finish as a top-10 RB this week and for the rest of the season. — Sal Vetri

David Montgomery has another top-five performance

Montgomery saw a whopping 32 carries last week despite recently coming off a serious looking injury. He gets 10 days to rest up and a home matchup against a Panthers defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs. Carolina has suffered numerous defensive injuries and is also ceding the most EPA/rush in the league by a wide margin.

Detroit has been extremely run-heavy this season, and Montgomery is the team’s lead back, whether us Jahmyr Gibbs backers want to accept it or not. Montgomery had more red-zone carries last week than Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry and Joe Mixon have all season. He had more (or as many) carries inside the five-yard line last week than every player in the league other than Kenneth Walker III this season. The Lions are 10-point home favorites Sunday, so game-script should once again be favorable. Montgomery turns in another top-five RB performance, especially with Amon-Ra St. Brown a big question mark due to an abdomen injury. — Dalton Del Don

Michael Pittman is a top-10 WR vs. Titans

It’s been a solid if unspectacular start for Pittman, the WR24 through the opening month. He ranks eighth in targets and basically runs a route every time the Colts call a pass play. Opportunity is generally your friend with Pittman, though he had a washout game last week. Perhaps the market has overcorrected to that.

This week the matchup sings, as the Titans are a funnel defense — Tennessee shuts down the run, and begs you to throw over and around them (last season, their pass defense was the worst in the NFL; it’s marginally improved this season). Pittman is slotted in the high-teens in industry consensus rank, but given the shape of the Titans defense, I see a player who’s ready to bust through with a top-10 performance. I will strongly consider Pittman as a prop player and DFS option ($22 salary) in Week 5. — Scott Pianowski

Cavin Rildey finds way into top-10 WRs

There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth over Ridley’s box score performance over the last three weeks. Don’t be so narrow-minded, please. Ridley had the most difficult matchup last week with the Falcons using top corner A.J. Terrell to track him across the field in tight press coverage throughout the contest. And yet, Ridley still came away with a score. So, please don’t be so greedy; you got what you needed last week even in a non-ideal spot where Trevor Lawrence (wisely) took the better matchup most of the day. Ridley’s air yards shares by week are 49%, 28%, 39% and 23%. There’s going to be some volatility in his production as the team’s vertical isolated X-receiver but he’s played well in that spot so far. This is one of the weeks to chase the ceiling in a likely high scoring game against a Bills defense that’s quite good but just lost their top corner (Tre’Davious White) for the season. — Matt Harmon