Every week, our Yahoo fantasy football crew will reveal their boldest predictions for the action ahead. It’s time to get bold for Week 5!
Rookie WR Higgins is a top-20 option
Matt Harmon: Forget the “scary” matchup, Tee Higgins will be a top-20 WR this week. Higgins has clearly been promoted to at least split time in the old A.J. Green role. Higgins has run the most routes on the team (35.5) over the last two weeks and is seeing high leverage looks. Not only does he average 17.3 air yards per target but he’s tied for the team lead in red-zone targets with three. Couple that with the Bengals likely being in a negative game script against the Ravens and being the most pass-heavy team when the game is within three points (66 percent) as it is, there should be plenty of volume for Higgins to produce.
Lastly, the Ravens have given up more production to receivers despite being a strong stop unit. Baltimore has allowed the third-most catches to receivers lined up wide on the year.
Ebron finds end zone in friendly matchup
Andy Behrens: Yup, it’s me, the fantasy supergenius who told you Kenyan Drake would blow up in Week 4* and that Carson Wentz would shine in Week 3**. I’m back with another deadly accurate bold prediction!
This week, I like Eric Ebron to deliver a top-5 positional finish. He’s facing Philadelphia, a defense that’s allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Eagles allowed Tyler Higbee to reach the end zone three times and they were just steamrolled by George Kittle (15-183-1). Ebron produced a useful fantasy line in Week 3 before his unplanned bye, and he was brought to Pittsburgh to function as a key red-zone weapon. He’s a great bet to spike at least once in Week 5.
(*He did not.)
(**He also did not.)
Beckham’s breakout proves short-lived
Scott Pianowski: It’s great that Odell Beckham Jr. just had his three-touchdown, WR1 performance. But let’s not forget the WR77, WR19, WR47 start to the year. There’s a Wheel of Beckham, and sometimes you go bankrupt. Remember Baker Mayfield was involved in just one of Beckham’s three touchdowns last week, and the Browns are essentially hiding Mayfield in this offense. Gadgety touchdowns are lovely when they come (love the hose, Jarvis Landry), but not a sustainable model. Beckham’s on pace for a piddly 120 targets.
So this week, I worry Beckham could come crashing down, up against the nasty Colts defense (first in DVOA, and No. 2 against the pass). And it’s not just the Colts defense that holds you down; the Indianapolis offense plays at a turtle-slow pace, a residual of Philip Rivers. The time to deal Beckham is now. For the sake of Bold Predictions, I’ll call for a points total outside the Top 40 on this week’s receiver board. And I might do it again in Week 6, when the Steelers come calling.
Justin Jackson keeps Bolts backfield charged
Liz Loza: Some folks learn from their mistakes. Others double-down. After an RB2 failed to ROI last week, I’m going to keep the faith that a different backup can produce in Week 5.
Justin Jackson is rarely healthy, but when he gets on the field he’s #good. In 2019 the Northwestern product was hyper-efficient, averaging a true carry rate of 6.2 (6.9 YPC). He also hasn’t recorded a single fumble since entering the league. That’s more than Joshua Kelley — who’s fumbled in back-to-back efforts — can say. With Austin Ekeler out, Kelley and Jackson figure to split the work 60-40, with the majority leaning in the rookie’s favor. However, this offense has proven it can support two fantasy relevant running backs. I like Jackson’s chances of producing versus a Saints defense that let both Adrian Peterson and D’Andre Swift into the end zone a week ago.
Pascal emerges as Colts’ most-trusted WR
Dalton Del Don: With Michael Pittman and Parris Campbell out and T.Y. Hilton possibly washed up (No. 65 in yards per route run), Zach Pascal has emerged as the Colts’ No. 1 wide receiver right now, as his 28.6% target share ranked top-10 last week. This year he’s lined up 58% of the time in the slot, where the Browns have been gashed for the most fantasy points this season. Trey Burton is a deep sleeper at tight end for Indy as well, but if you’re looking for DFS wideout help at a bargain salary ($14) , I’m predicting Pascal finishes as a top-25 fantasy WR in Week 5.