Each week of the NFL campaign, we will sift through the deeper options at each position with an eye on identifying streaming fantasy commodities with valuable matchups to consider.
Do you need replacement options for this first heavy bye week in fantasy football competition? We have some choice names to consider for those seeking widely available options at each position.
Over the past three weeks, only Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan have scored more fantasy points at the quarterback position than Hoyer, who demonstrated on Sunday that he has no problem distributing the ball to all of his receivers, as four different pass catchers were targeted at least six times. The result was Hoyer's third straight game with two touchdowns, and he exceeded 300 passing yards in each contest. This week, he'll face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have allowed 17 or more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in three of their four games, so his good run is likely to continue. - K.D
The Raiders have been a sweet matchup for opposing signal-callers so far, as they have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game in the league and the most in the AFC this year. The generous rates continue when we look a bit deeper, as the Raiders have ceded 8.85 yards per attempt -- second most in the league -- and the sixth-highest scoring rate, allowing a touchdown on 6.3 percent of opposing attempts. Smith averaged 42 rushing yards and produced four passing scores against the Raiders in two meetings last year, so the precedent for success is present. Owned in just a little more than 23 percent of leagues as of Tuesday, Smith is an ideal streaming option for Week 6. - J.M.
If you are really deep into the waiver wire (ownership percentage of 20 percent or less) at running back, there isn't much from which to choose. Rainey is available in 96 percent of ESPN.com leagues, and as the receiving back for the Giants, his role warrants increased ownership. This week, Rainey will face off against the Baltimore Ravens, who just allowed Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson to gain 33 yards on four receptions. Plugging Rainey in if you are desperate will likely result in a similar total, which while not great, is certainly better than posting a goose egg. - K.D
White led the Patriots' backfield in snaps in Week 5 and revived his efficient receiving chemistry with Tom Brady, as he tallied 89 yards from scrimmage, thanks in large part to 63 yards as a receiver. Second behind only Charles Sims last year in fantasy points per route run in PPR formats and with a valuable share of the Patriots' offense as long as Dion Lewis is sidelined, White could thrive against a Bengals defense allowing the 11th-most receiving yards to tailbacks on the season. - J.M
Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears
With Kevin White relegated to injured reserve, Meredith stepped into the Bears' starting lineup opposite Alshon Jeffery. Meredith led the Bears on Sunday with 12 targets, which he converted into nine receptions for 130 yards and a score. As mentioned before, Hoyer is very effective spreading his throws out to multiple receivers, so expecting another double-digit target performance is too aggressive, but even with just seven targets, you should find yourself with 60 yards, based on his historical catch rate and average yards per catch. - K.D
The Packers' offense doesn't air the ball out very often, but there is still some value to Adams averaging the most air yards per target on the team. Adams' average target travels 12.4 yards downfield, which has fittingly led to him pacing the team with 14.1 yards per reception. With 17.9 percent of the team's targets on the season and such a valuable share of them proving of the vertical variety, it's telling to consider Adams has scored in three of four games this season. Can he be the team's James Jones this season and sustain value as a touchdown asset? Available in more than 90 percent of leagues, it takes only a few clicks to find out if he can continue his aerial success with Aaron Rodgers against Dallas this Sunday. - J.M
Tyler Eifert had to see a back specialist last Wednesday, so it's fair to speculate that he's not quite ready to return. If that turns out to be the case in Week 6, Uzomah would start again at tight end for the Bengals. Over the past three games, Uzomah has been serviceable, posting an average of nearly 40 receiving yards per game, which would project to 640 yards for a full season. Last year -- a big year for tight ends -- only 10 tight ends hit that level of production. Uzomah is available in almost 90 percent of ESPN.com leagues. He shouldn't be available in yours for as long as Eifert remains inactive. - K.D
Throughout the fantasy football season, we hear the idiom, "Don't chase last week's points." In this case, we're actually advising you to chase last week's points, because deploying "The Outlaw" is hunting for touchdown production. It's fine to knowingly chase touchdowns past the handful of trusted tight ends. In this case, it's nice to know James has a worthy share of a potent passing game with a quarterback who likes to look at tight ends in the red zone. The Dolphins have allowed the seventh-most yards to tight ends this season, so there might even be a bit of yardage cushion if James fails to enter the end zone this Sunday. - J.M
Through five games, the Titans have allowed just six touchdowns to opposing offenses, which is the lowest per-game rate in the league. The Titans have blitzed on more than 20 percent of their defensive plays. That's relevant because Browns quarterback Cody Kessler has not performed well when under pressure, completing just 44 percent of his throws in those situations, compared to 73 percent when there's no pressure. Look for the Titans to bring consistent pressure and continue their streak of games forcing multiple interceptions. - K.D
I'm endorsing the Lions, mostly based on the favorable matchup metrics we find from the visiting Rams, as opposing defenses have averaged 11 fantasy points in standard leagues against Los Angeles, the most in the league. It's also an endorsement that could provide a high floor, if we see Ezekiel Ansah return, as he's an elite pass rusher and the Lions have respectably produced multiple sacks in each outing this season. With a lackluster Los Angeles offense coming to town in a game with a modest implied point total per the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the Lions are a widely available streaming option to consider. - J.M
Individual Defensive Players
Tahir Whitehead, Detroit Lions
Sticking in the Motor City, the Lions' Whitehead has played on 98.8 percent of the team's defensive snaps as the every-down interior linebacker. Given such a steady snap rate, Whitehead has tallied at least 10 tackles in four of five games and is a top-20 producer in most scoring formats. This middle linebacker could be busy corralling Todd Gurley this Sunday. Available in nearly 90 percent of ESPN leagues, Whitehead is a high-floor LB2 to acquire before the market wakes up. - J.M
An expensive import this offseason in free agency, McLeod is living up to his price tag with a presence on 97 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps while rating seventh in coverage grade and 13th against the run among safeties, according to Pro Football Focus. Given he doesn't leave the field very often, we can appreciate McLeod's steady tackle rate, while any big plays are merely gravy. - J.M
Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
We find a pair of unheralded fantasy assets from defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's aggressive scheme. Graham started the season with a sack in three straight games and then flashed some capable rush defense with six tackles in Week 5. As the key edge menace on a defense predicated on getting honest pressure from the front four, Graham should continue to shine with a healthy snap rate in Washington this weekend. - J.M