Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet Week 5: Lions starting to roar, Steelers in flux, starts and sits

So much changes from week to week around the NFL, and we're here to make sure you're on top of it all heading into Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season.

The weekly fantasy football cheat sheet provides a rundown of the best tips from all the fantasy football content that ESPN has posted over the past seven days. You'll find answers to the biggest start/sit questions of the week and other pertinent matchup advice from our team, including Field Yates, Mike Clay, Eric Karabell, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Matt Bowen, Seth Walder, Al Zeidenfeld, Eric Moody, Liz Loza, Daniel Dopp, DJ Gallo and ESPN Insiders Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, plus all of NFL Nation. It's all the best advice in one handy article.

Here's what our experts are saying about Week 5 in the NFL:

Situations in need of some clarity

You might think that after four weeks of play most NFL teams have started to get into a bit of a rhythm and begun to figure out exactly who their go-to guys are for 2022. However, that's not necessarily the case, especially in situations where injuries at one position have had an impact on how teams are choosing to utilize everyone else left standing in the huddle. This week, our NFL Nation team turned its focus toward a few of these situations that have yet to find clarity.

  • Is Raheem Mostert "the guy" in the Miami backfield? Mike McDaniel said he has seen some "real cool things" from Mostert over recent weeks and his play has energized Miami's run game. At the same time, McDaniel committed to using both Mostert and Chase Edmonds interchangeably moving forward, citing their versatility. The Dolphins' offense takes a hit from Tua Tagovailoa to Teddy Bridgewater but if anything, it could increase their running backs' value if Bridgewater checks down instead of pushing the ball downfield. Both backs should be considered flex options, particularly in PPR formats. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

  • Is it safe to consider J.K. Dobbins the lead back in the Baltimore offense and thus a weekly fantasy starter? Dobbins should still be considered a risky play because he hasn't fully recovered from last season's devastating knee injury. He doesn't have the same burst and is averaging 3.2 yards per carry, which is nearly half of his output in his rookie season. Dobbins, though, will get the majority of the touches in Baltimore's backfield, especially after explosive backup Justice Hill injured his hamstring. Mike Davis and Kenyan Drake won't cut into Dobbins' workload, but Dobbins will provide inconsistent production because he has yet to show he can break long runs -- Jamison Hensley

  • Will Gerald Everett continue to get close to his recent usage (22 targets over the past three weeks) when Keenan Allen returns to the Chargers? No. Quarterback Justin Herbert has been forced to improvise and utilize multiple playmakers in the absence of Allen, the Chargers' receptions leader since 2017. When Allen returns, expect that he will again be Herbert's go-to target, which naturally means fewer passes to other players. -- Lindsey Thiry

  • What role awaits D'Andre Swift when he returns? I don't think anything changes for Swift. If you go back to last season, it was the same situation where Jamaal Williams led the team in total rushing attempts, but Swift led the squad in total rushing yards. The Lions still have faith in Swift's playmaking ability as a back who can break free for a deep run at any time, but Williams is the top option for short, tough yardage because of his consistency and durability. They'll continue to use both guys in the backfield. Yes, Williams has six rushing touchdowns to Swift's one, but it has taken him 62 attempts to get a team-high 276 yards in four games, while Swift is averaging a career-best 8.6 yards per carry with 27 attempts for 231 yards in three games. -- Eric Woodyard

Looking for the latest injury news leading up to kickoff? Check out all of the Week 5 inactives here.

Can the Lions' offense continue to surprise?

Sticking with the Detroit Lions, despite the 1-3 record, no team in the NFL has put as many points (140) on the scoreboard through the first four weeks. And the team is doing this not only without Swift, but with a fairly depleted WR room as well. What do our fantasy experts say about the Lions' chances at continuing to find the end zone, both in Week 5 and for the rest of the season?

  • Matt Bowen says that QB Jared Goff should be rostered "as a matchup-dependent starter given the high-throwing volume of the Lions' offense. Goff has now attempted at least 34 passes in each game this season, and he has 11 touchdown passes after four weeks. Detroit gets the New England defense this Sunday. You can play Goff as fringe QB1 here."

  • Count Field Yates among those who are singing the Lions quarterback's praises: "The offense Goff plays in has a ton of talent when fully healthy -- that's not the case at the moment -- and has shown that even depth-level players can really step up. ... Shootouts and/or garbage-time points are almost a given for Goff weekly. Despite adding nothing with his legs (a total of 1.6 points this season), Goff's average of 37.6 passing attempts per game and useful group of offensive talent are reasons to buy in on his production. The depth of quarterback this season has proved to be far weaker than anticipated coming into the season, so I've got Goff just outside my top 10 for Week 5 against a Patriots defense that presents a stiffer test than the past three weeks." -- Yates

  • Mike Clay also has confidence in Goff as a Week 5 streaming option, but also likes one of his WR options to have value: "With DJ Chark and Amon-Ra St. Brown out last week, Josh Reynolds handled eight targets for the second week in a row and delivered a 7-81-1 receiving line. Reynolds has now had a score and/or 80 yards in three straight games and will be a WR3/flex if he plays a top-two role again this week."

  • So, to sum it up, let's turn to the wit of DJ Gallo: "My best picks were drafting Goff (QB5) in the 12th round of a super-flex league and St. Brown (24.4 FPPG) with the 48th pick in a guillotine league. I guess the lesson is: always load up on Detroit Lions? Sure. That's Modern Fantasy 101."

Turning the page in Pittsburgh

We all knew that Mitch Trubisky was just a stopgap for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it's looking like Mike Tomlin is indeed ready to hand the keys to Big Ben's castle over rookie Kenny Pickett and just see what happens next. So, with the changing of the guard seemingly official, what should fantasy managers do with their Steelers?

  • George Pickens' talent is unquestioned -- he is a walking SportsCenter Top 10 play -- but his opportunity and quarterback play have been ... questionable. After just five total targets in Weeks 1 and 2, Pickens had 15 over the past two weeks and had a career-high six catches for 102 yards in Week 4. With Pickett taking over the offense, I expect improved overall output (it can't get much worse, to be fair) and Pickens is the exact type of bench stash you love to have right now. -- Yates

  • I love that we're finally seeing Pickett, but I do have gripes. Not to be the downer, but the kid's first two starts are going to be against brutal defenses and it honestly doesn't get much easier the rest of the way. Pickett will certainly increase both the floor and ceiling of his teammates but not enough to move the needle for me. Honestly, I'm terrified in the leagues where I have Najee Harris ... I don't think it's going to get a lot better. Hopefully I'm wrong. -- Dopp

  • Excellent point about Najee, Daniel. Those Roethlisbergian check-downs ain't happening this go-around. Harris went from averaging 4.4 catches per contest (RB1) in 2021 to 2.5 receptions per game (RB20) in 2022. For context, over the first four weeks of his rookie effort he recorded 26 (!!!) catches. Right now he has a grand total of 10. -- Loza

  • I roster Harris in my big home league, RB1 in my lineup on draft day. However, Harris has yet to post a game this season with more than 14 PPR points. The pass-game usage is down and Harris has logged just one rushing touchdown on the season. Remember, Harris is a volume grinder. That's what I see on the tape. He's not an explosive runner who can consistently attack the perimeter. And without the scoring opportunities, or the receiving upside, he's going to slide down the ranks this week into the midtier RB2 range. I'm hoping the shift to Pickett creates more juice in this Pittsburgh offense. But it's hard to bet on that this week with a matchup versus the Bills defense. That's a nasty unit. -- Bowen

  • Pickett's installation at quarterback might indeed ignite a spark on the Steelers' offense. Pickett should take more chances and therefore enhance the touchdown-scoring potential of players like Pat Freiermuth. Still, growing pains are to be expected and this is a brutal matchup for a rookie trying to gain experience. The Bills have been by far the toughest defense against quarterbacks and tight ends thus far, most notably holding Mark Andrews to 3.5 PPR fantasy points in Week 4. Freiermuth is a touchdown-dependent, borderline TE1/2.-- Cockcroft

  • Only three tight ends have multiple games with seven targets and 75 yards: Kelce, Andrews -- and Freiermuth. The Steelers are massive underdogs this week, which can be an encouraging thing. The NFL average pass rate while trailing this season is 67.7%, as opposed to 54.2% when playing with a lead. -- Zeidenfeld

Can the Eagles remain undefeated?

Moving to the other side of the Keystone State, it has been a perfect start record-wise for the Philadelphia Eagles. While everything is currently sunny headed into Week 5, a matchup against the 2-2 Arizona Cardinals looms. Is there anything we should be worried about? Is it time visit Charlie's conspiracy wall?

  • Arizona made a change at cornerback in Week 4, leaving slot man Jace Whittaker on the practice squad and promoting offseason addition Trayvon Mullen to nickel duties. Byron Murphy Jr., who has been solid, and Marco Wilson, who continues to struggle, are the boundary corners in base, with Murphy now kicking to the slot in nickel and Mullen replacing him outside. Moving Murphy inside will help Arizona's slot defense, but that was already a strength (fourth fewest fantasy points allowed) and it weakens a perimeter defense that has struggled (seventh most points allowed). Enter A.J. Brown (76% perimeter) and DeVonta Smith (75%), who will face off with Wilson and Mullen often this weekend. They can be upgraded. -- Clay

  • Arizona will double its sack total on the season and take down Jalen Hurts four times. The Cards are dead last in the league with four sacks entering Week 5. They're catching the Eagles' normally dominant offense at the right time, with left tackle Jordan Mailata (shoulder) and right guard Isaac Seumalo (ankle) dealing with injuries. Jack Driscoll, who hasn't started a game at left tackle since college, has been getting the work on Hurts' blind side this week. While he acquitted himself generally well in a tough spot when Mailata went down against the Jaguars on Sunday, Arizona should have some opportunities to affect the passer. -- Tim McManus, NFL Nation

  • Dallas Goedert is riding a streak of three straight games with at least 11.6 PPR fantasy points and the Cardinals have allowed the fifth-most 2.17 PPR fantasy points per target to tight ends. -- Cockcroft

Quick hits, starts and sits

  • You're either in a pretty deep league or you're in quite a bit of trouble if you're starting Devin Duvernay right now, even with a nice beginning to his season. He has caught all but one target thrown his way this year which hardly seems sustainable -- and he's not getting that many targets to begin with. But! There's one part of his game that absolutely has caught my eye and that is his route profile. He's running more deep crosses and digs, traded go routes for deep fades and is running slightly more posts than last year. And the result is that he actually has one of the most favorable route profiles in the league. Is it enough to justify him as a fantasy option? He's an upside stash in a deeper league if I've got the roster spot. But whether he's on my team or not I'm keeping an eye out here. -- Walder

  • Jameis Winston very well could miss a second straight week due to the four fractures in his back. After attempting to play through the injury in Weeks 2 and 3, Winston is focused on getting fully healthy, which could take more time. The Saints aren't putting a firm timetable on Winston's absence, taking his recovery week-to-week, but he needs time to heal. Winston's ability to move to his normal standard has been affected. -- Fowler

  • I'm predicting a monster week for Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson against a Lions defense that's allowing the second-most points per game to fantasy running backs. I'd pick the Patriots quarterback to have a good week here too, except I think there's a strong chance that's Bailey Zappe. But while they work through their quarterback injuries, the Pats have something going in the run game and should continue to lean on it against a defense that can't stop anybody right now. -- Graziano

  • The talented Terry McLaurin, a fourth-round selection in ESPN ADP, remains an obvious vertical threat, but his quarterback is having trouble connecting with him. Curtis Samuel leads Washington in targets (by 10 over McLaurin) and catches (running back J.D. McKissic is second). Nobody should be dropping McLaurin or Gibson in fantasy, but their roles are threatened, and they might be better served as flex options or on fantasy benches for now. -- Karabell

  • A string of tough matchups have capped McLaurin's production, but his fantasy rank doesn't accurately reflect his play on the field. McLaurin is running over 42 routes per game with a total of 171 on the season (WR3). He's also the only player with three or more deep targets in every game. That number figures to go up with fellow deep threat Jahan Dotson sidelined this Sunday. I like him to go over 58.5 receiving yards (-139). -- Loza

  • Take the Minnesota Vikings' defense, given the pass rush this unit can create versus the Bears. This Chicago offense is allowing a sack rate of 16.0% per dropback -- the highest in the league. Some of that is on the quarterback, some is on the offensive line, and some is on the wide receivers' inability to shake coverage. The Vikings have logged nine sacks this season, and you can expect that number to jump in Week 4 thanks to schemed pass-rush matchups with split-safety coverage. Heat up QB Justin Fields with the front -- and play top-down on the ball in the secondary. -- Bowen

  • Kyle Pitts will miss a game for the first time in his career as he deals with a hamstring injury. When you rely on explosiveness like Pitts, soft tissue injuries can be tricky. Through four weeks of the 2021 season, Pitts has accumulated only 10 catches for 150 yards, with a single game accounting for five of those catches and 87 yards. It would be wise for his fantasy managers to stream the position for now, with Logan Thomas, Will Dissly and Tyler Conklin all options to consider. -- Moody