There are only two teams on byes this week (Vikings and Buccaneers), and they hardly have an impact on the rankings. Instead the bigger issues are top performers facing difficult matchups (like Matt Ryan traveling to Seattle), those expected to produce who are consistently struggling (like Eli Manning) or injuries (like Cam Newton and Carson Palmer). Trying to keep those things in mind, let’s take a look at the rankings for the coming week:
Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Cincinnati
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Miami
Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Atlanta
Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. Dallas
Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – vs. New York Jets
Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – vs. Cleveland
Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at New England
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at Seattle
Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Chicago
Brian Hoyer – Chicago Bears – vs. Jacksonville
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – at Green Bay
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Washington
Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Los Angeles
Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at New York Giants
Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – vs. Denver
Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – vs. Philadelphia
Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. Baltimore
Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – vs. San Francisco
Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – vs. Pittsburgh
Brock Osweiler – Houston Texans – vs. Indianapolis
Ben Roethlisberger leads the NFL with 15 TD passes, with 3+ TD throws in four of the five games the Steelers have played. The Dolphins don’t have a particularly strong secondary, including 8 TD vs. 1 INT, so there’s a good chance that he lights it up once again.
It had been a slow start for Russell Wilson, but he’s coming off a big game against the Jets (309 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) and will have had a bye week to get fully healthy. Considering his matchup against the Falcons, who are allowing the most points per week to opposing quarterbacks, he’s an easy Top 5 option and could easily be the #1 producer in Week 6.
The numbers for the Houston Texans may look pretty good overall, but they just allowed Sam Bradford to throw for 271 yards and 2 TD. Andrew Luck has already thrown for 320+ yards three times this season, could he make this #4?
It’s been a slow start for Carson Palmer, but he’s expected to be healthy and faces what has been an abysmal Jets’ secondary (12 TD vs. 2 INT). Call him a “sleeper” if you want, but he’s going to be impossible not to trust.
Matt Ryan has been among the best quarterbacks in the league through five weeks (1,740 yards, 12 TD, 2 INT), but he draws the top rated Seahawks defense. While it’s impossible to call Ryan a sit, it also is impossible to call him a must start. Consider him a borderline QB1, but much better suited to be utilized as a QB2.