Week Five Wide Receiver and Running Back Sleepers


You already know the story. Another week another injury. This week’s victim was Nick Chubb who was put on Injury Reserve with a knee injury. This gave rise to a surprise performance from the University of South Florida alumni, D’Ernest Johnson. Now he and Kareem Hunt will split time against the Colts on Sunday. This week-to-week trend of major stars getting injured and their replacements being able to fill in and have successful performances is what gives the Fantasy community more sleepers.

Entering Week Five, we’ll see our first non-Covid related bye weeks. The teams on their bye weeks are Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. Adjust your rosters to accommodate for the losses of Aaron Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, and others.

Without further ado I give you my Week Five Wide Receiver and Running Back Sleepers.

Wide Receivers

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Back-to-back 100-yard games and now a great matchup against an injured Seattle secondary. It is possible that Jefferson makes it three games in a row. In order for the Vikings to be able to stay in the game, they’ll have to throw and that only benefits the rookie. His last two games have been phenomenal. He has amassed 278 yards on 11 catches and reaching the endzone once. Be aware, that his average yards per reception are 25.4 during that span. That shows he is the deep threat receiver for Minnesota, that Stefon Diggs was. Jefferson is a sure fire top 30 wideout, but with top 12 upside.

Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers

This might be a deep sleeper for the week. Hidden behind both Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, leaves Samuel with a favorable matchup. In these first four weeks, he has averages almost four catches and about three rushing attempts, too, for a total of about seven touches a game. Carolina is facing off against the Falcons and that instantly boosts his ceiling. Atlanta has allowed 1,415 and 13 touchdowns in four games. Samuel has a strong chance of finally reaching the endzone.

Darius Slayton, New York Giants

I mean how can you not start Slayton this week? Dallas’ defense can’t stop anyone this year and it shows every week, especially in the passing game. On the season, Dallas has allowed four receivers to surpass 100 yards and three of those four players have reached the endzone. Dallas has also given up 12 passing touchdowns to their opponents. Slayton will be in for a long Sunday as a top 25 floor receiver.

Running Backs

D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns

As I said above, Nick Chubb will be up several weeks due to a knee injury. After his injury on Sunday, Johnson showed off with 95 rushing yards on 13 carries. A fun fact is that Johnson actually had more carries then Hunt, 13/11. This is great news because D’Ernest will most likely take over the Chubb role. He will see the brunt of the carries and Hunt will continue with his change of pace and dual threat attack. Johnson is a strong Flex option or a low-end RB2.

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals

Teammate Kenyan Drake has been a big disappointment so far and Edmonds has outplayed him multiple times this season. That is why he is a Week Five Running Back Sleeper. Against the Jets, Arizona is going to be able to get their offense back on track. Edmonds has scored twice on the season so far and that is shockingly more than Drake. Chase will see more work than normal against the Jets in both the passing and ground game. You should feel comfortable putting him in as a Flex play this week.

Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers

Similar to D’Ernest Johnson, Kelley is taking over for the Chargers starting back, Austin Ekeler. With the rookie now the lead back, it boosts his Fantasy value immensely. He needs to be in every lineup in Week Five and beyond. I don’t see backup, Justin Jackson, being a threat to take carries away from Kelley as well. So far, he has 52 carries as a backup, and his carries will certainly increase to roughly 18 per game for as long as Ekeler is sidelined.




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