October 4, 2023, 11:09 pm
In fantasy football, there are oftentimes players that go overlooked heading into a week of games. Sleepers are left on benches every single week, but sometimes that “big game from out of nowhere” could have been easily predicted and utilized in starting lineups. In this piece, I’ll be tiering and listing some of the sleepers I’ve identified ahead of Week 5 of the 2023 fantasy football season. If they’re on your bench, feel comfortable playing them over a starter with a worse outlook for Week 5. There’s also a chance they could be on the waiver wire, so snatch them up if you’re in need of their services.
I’ll be looking at players rostered in at least 50% of ESPN leagues and tier them in descending order of their percentage started on fantasy teams. In other words: the further down the list, the deeper the sleeper for Week 5’s matchups. If you’re looking for this week’s top waiver wire adds, check out this essential piece from Shane by clicking the link below!
Tier One: Started in 20-50% of fantasy leagues
RB Breece Hall – New York Jets (92.4% rostered / 45.5% started)
There are a lot of reasons to be excited for Breece Hall in Week 5 even though he’s struggled to produce for fantasy purposes for most of this season. While on a snap count for the first four weeks of the season, Hall averaged a monstrous 6.6 yards per carry on his 32 rush attempts. Now, the Jets are removing the snap count limitation for Breece Hall ahead of Week 5, giving him his first full workload of the season. Hall had already outperformed veteran RB Dalvin Cook so far this year, so Hall should see a significant uptick in touches going forward. On top of that, the Jets play the Broncos this week, who allow the most fantasy points to opposing RBs through the first month of the season. The Jets and QB Zach Wilson looked much more competent on Sunday Night Football in Week 4, and hopefully, Hall can build on that momentum.
WR Zay Flowers – Baltimore Ravens (86.5% rostered / 35.7% started)
Zay Flowers has had a decently high floor through the first month of his NFL career. Flowers has already cemented himself as the top wideout in the offense, even before Rashod Bateman and Odell Beckham Jr. started dealing with their respective injuries. While playing the worst possible matchup in the Cleveland Browns in Week 4, Flowers returned his worst performance of his young career but still managed to produce eight PPR points. Flowers has a good chance to bounce back in Week 5, drawing a matchup with the Steelers, who are giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Even if Bateman and OBJ both return this week, Flowers should still return a sizeable stat sheet after this week’s game is over.
WR Christian Watson – Green Bay Packers (91.6% rostered / 33.4% started)
Watson was on a snap count in his 2023 debut on Thursday Night Football vs. the Lions in Week 4. Still, he managed to score a touchdown while also catching 2-of-4 targets for 25 yards along the way. Since they played on TNF last week, Watson had an extended rest period before this week’s matchup with the Raiders on Monday Night Football. If Watson can shed the snap count ahead of Week 5, he’ll be a smash play vs. Las Vegas. The Raiders have surrendered the 13th-most fantasy points to opposing WRs this season. He was one of my favorite draft picks coming into this season, and it was awesome to see him secure a touchdown in his debut.
QB C.J. Stroud – Houston Texans (52.3% rostered / 23.2% started)
C.J. Stroud has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 fantasy football season. The second overall pick of the 2023 NFL draft has lit it up since entering the league. Through the first four games of his career, Stroud has thrown for 1,212 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s the fantasy QB10 on the season, and should absolutely be rostered in way more leagues, and can even be started this week as he looks to continue his heater. The Texans get a matchup with the average passing defense of the Atlanta Falcons, so Stroud should be in line for another big week. The Texans could also see the return of starting OT Tytus Howard in Week 5, further protecting Stroud and allowing him to dish it out.
Tier Two: Started in 10-20% of fantasy leagues
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