Entering week 5, the NFC North is starting to take shape. The Green Bay Packers sit atop the division with a 4-1 record. The Detroit Lions are next up with a 2-1-1 record followed by the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings at 3-2.
Thru 5 weeks the NFC North is the only division in football in which all teams have a record above .500.
Philadelphia v Minnesota
The Vikings are back home in week five after picking up their first road win of the season 28-10 the New York Giants.
Minnesota is hosting Philadelphia for the first time since 2013 after playing road games in Philadelphia in the 2016 and 2018 regular seasons as well as the NFC Championship that followed 2017. Both teams enter Sunday’s game with a 3-2 record.
The Eagles opened the season with a 32-27 home win over Washington, then dropped games at Atlanta (24-20) and against Detroit (27-24). Philadelphia followed with an impressive 34-27 win at Green Bay and dominated the Jets 31-6 in Week 5.
Dalvin Cook ranks second in the NFL with 542 rushing yards and with 742 yards from scrimmage. Over the past four weeks, Cook has played 69% of the Vikings snaps and has averaged 18 carries a game. In addition he is averaging 5.5 targets a game. Cook enters this week as RB3 and the 7th highest overall scorer in PPR scoring formats averaging 24.6 points per game.
Kirk Cousins got the passing game going last week, after a week of complaining from his top two pass catchers. Kirk rewarded one and not so much the other.
Thielen scored twice in week 4 and hauled in 7 of his 8 targets for 130 yards. His totals on the season are 20 receptions on 30 targets for 309 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Stefon Diggs who skipped practice on Wednesday last week finished week four with 3 catches on 4 targets for 44 yards. After week four, Diggs has a total of 16 receptions on 23 targets for 253 yards and 1 touchdown.
Thielen sits at WR12 and Diggs sits at WR57. After 4 weeks in 2018 they sat at WR1, and WR7 respectfully.
Philadelphia’s run defense is the stingiest in the NFL, having allowed a paltry 63.0 rushing yards per game. Minnesota will be forced to throw the ball more than they would like in this one. I am still starting Dalvin Cook, and Adam Thielen. If you are stuck in a buy week situation or saddled with injuries, Stefon Diggs can be started as a flex play.
Minnesota’s defense entered Week 6 ranked fourth in yards allowed per game (292.4) and fifth in points allowed per game (14.6). The Vikings are tied for second in the NFL with 31 tackles for loss.
On the Eagles side of the ball, I am sitting the running game and starting Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, and Alshon Jeffery.
I will take the Vikings at home 27-20.
Detroit v. Green Bay
The Detroit Lions face the Green Bay Packers for the first time in 2019, and the Packers will be a significantly changed team from the one Detroit ran over to finish the 2018 season and has beaten in four straight games dating back to 2017.
The Lions had the bye week to prepare after their week 3 loss to Kansas City. A positive for Detroit was Kerryon Johnson having a breakout performance, nearly doubling his yardage total on the season after rushing for a season-best 125 on a career-high 26 carries. Johnson had totaled just 126 yards on 48 carries in the first three contests. Kerryon enters this favorable match-up as RB26 with one less game played than the majority of the leagues running backs.
Matthew Stafford has been effective in 2019 and enters week 6 as QB18 but his 20.07 points per game average ranks 8th.
Kenny Golladay is WR26 and ranks 14th in average points per game; Marvin Jones comes in at WR44 and 37th in in average points per game.
Start Johnson and Golladay here, Stafford in 2 QB or Super-flex leagues and in need be Jones can slide into a flex spot. Rookie TE T.J Hockenson (TE14) has yet to be cleared to play and is doubtful. If he is active I would leave him on my bench if possible.
There are many things Aaron Rodgers has faced over the course of his career, but a new challenge awaits him in this week 6 match-up, ending a losing streak to the Detroit Lions.
Rodgers has dominated the Lions over his career, going 13-5 with 4,526 yards and 37 touchdown passes with just six interceptions. HE is 6-2 record in games decided by seven or fewer points, and has eight games of 300 or more yards.
One of the few things Detroit did right in Matt Patricia’s first season was doing enough to beat Green Bay. Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-23 loss to the Lions in their first encounter last season.
In last season’s finale at Lambeau Field, Rodgers left the game in the second quarter due to a concussion when he was sacked and lost his helmet. He played the remainder of the first quarter before coming out, and the Lions coasted to a 31-0 victory. It was the second straight year Detroit swept Green Bay.
It appears to be a different story this season as the Packers have opened up with a 4-1 record that could easily have been 5-0 had they not self-destructed at the goal line vs. the Philadelphia Eagles in week 4.
Green bay is likely without top wide receiver Devante Adams for the second straight week. Look for the Packers to lean on Aaron Jones and the run game once again.
I am starting Aaron Rodgers (QB19), Jones (RB4), along with Marquez Valdez Scantling (WR51) and TE Jimmy Graham (TE16). Geronimo Allison (WR71), is a boom or bust flex option for you this week.
I will take the Packers 24-17 here.
After a surprising loss to Oakland in England last week, the Chicago Bears are on their bye week. They look to bounce back in week 7 when they host the New Orleans Saints.