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Fantasy Football Week 5 position rankings: Injuries, bye weeks making life tricky at wide receiver

BOSTON -- Week 5 is an important week in the world of fantasy football because owners have to start making some important decisions. Bye weeks have arrived, with four teams sitting at home this weekend.

While some positions remain unaffected by those dormant squads, others will be hit pretty hard. In this week's case, wide receiver could cause a bit of an issue for some fantasy owners.

So if you need a little push in the right direction, we're here to help. We once again turn to CBS Sports fantasy football expert Chris Towers and his rankings at each position, which provide us with the top plays at each spot -- plus a few outside the box options for those who need to fill a roster spot or two.


No surprises in Towers' Top 5 at quarterback heading into Week 5:

  1. Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes @ Minnesota
  2. Buffalo's Josh Allen vs. Jacksonville
  3. Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts @ Los Angeles Rams
  4. Baltimore's Lamar Jackson @ Pittsburgh Steelers
  5. Miami's Tua Tagovailoa vs. New York Giants

One name nowhere near the top five is Cincinnati's Joe Burrow, who Towers has ranked as 20th-ranked quarterback this week.

"Burrow enters Week 5 as the No. 31 QB in six-point-per-pass-TD leagues, with just 35.4 points total through four games; to put that into context, Burrow had more points in two separate games last season," writes Towers. "Burrow has been terrible, and with just 4.7 points last week, things aren't getting better." 

As for Sunday's Patriots-Saints matchup, neither quarterback cracks the top 20. Mac Jones checks in at No. 21 on Towers' list, and while that isn't great, it's better than Derek Carr, who sits at No. 23 in Week 5.

Check out Chris Towers' full list of top quarterback plays for Week 5

Running back

It's been a tough season for running backs, and that's before bye weeks arrived. Unless you have one of the top guys out of the backfield, you're likely stressing about the position each and every week.

"Because as things stand heading into Week 5, there is not a lot to like about the running back position these days," writes Towers.

Here are his top five plays at the position in Week 5:

  1. San Francisco's Christian McCaffrey vs. Dallas
  2. Atlanta's Bijan Robinson vs. Houston
  3. Dallas' Tony Pollard @ San Francisco
  4. Las Vegas' Josh Jacobs vs. Green Bay
  5. Tennessee's Derrick Henry @ Indianapolis

So if you've got those guys, you're probably happy. Anyone else and you're gonna be sweating it out a bit. 

New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara is Towers' No. 6 running back heading into his matchup with a suddenly decimated Patriots defense. On the other side, Pats running back Rhamondre Stevenson is the 19th-ranked running back while Ezekiel Elliott sits at No. 36.

Check out Chris Towers' full list of top running backs for Week 5

Wide receiver

Injuries and bye weeks may force you to get a bit creative at receiver. But it's the usual suspects atop Towers' wide receiver rankings for Week 5:

  1. Minnesota's Justin Jefferson vs. Kansas City
  2. Miami's Tyreek Hill vs. New York Giants
  3. Buffalo's Stefon Diggs vs. Jacksonville
  4. Detroit's' Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. Carolina
  5. Dallas' CeeDee Lamb @ San Francisco

If you don't "employ" any of them on your roster though, be prepared to go digging.

"[Minnesota's] Jordan Addison is still a top-36 wide receiver. So [are] both [Denver's] Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. [Houston's] Robert Woods might be one too. Again, not because I necessarily think any of them are incredibly valuable Fantasy players, but because someone's gotta be ranked there," writes Towers. "This week, more than maybe any other this season, you might be choosing from some less-than-ideal options to fill out your WR spots."

As for the Patriots-Saints matchup in Foxboro, New Orleans' Chris Olave sits at No. 10 while Michael Thomas is No. 24 and Rashid Shaheed is at No. 53. You have to go all the way to No. 37 to find the first Patriots wide out on the list in Kendrick Bourne. DeVante Parker is the next New England pass-catcher at No. 55 and JuJu Smith-Schuster checks in at No. 57.

Check out Chris Towers' full list of top wide receivers for Week 5

Tight End

  1. Kansas City's Travis Kelce @ Minnesota
  2. Minnesota's T.J. Hockenson vs. Kansas City
  3. Baltimore's Mark Andrews @ Pittsburgh
  4. Detroit's Sam LaPorta vs. Carolina
  5. San Francisco's George Kittle vs. Dallas

There aren't as many bye weeks hitting the top tight ends this week, but Towers recommends flyers on Chicago's Cole Kmet (vs. Denver), Dallas' Jake Ferguson (@ San Francisco), or L.A. Rams' Tyler Higbee (vs. Philadelphia) if you're in a pinch. 

"To be sure, that's more about that lack of viable options than it is confidence in any of them. But they are all important parts of their offense who could be good for a six-catch game in any given week; the downside, of course, is that they might all catch one pass next week," writes Towers.

New England's Hunter Henry is the No. 9 tight end for Week 5, while New Orleans' Juwan Johnson doesn't crack Towers' top 24 at tight end.

Check out Chris Towers' full list of top tight ends for Week 5

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