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2023 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidates: Week 5

Joe Burrow Carson Palmer

Week 5 Breakout
Joe Burrow highlights our Week 5 fantasy football breakout candidate list. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK)

2023 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidates: Week 5

We are officially one-quarter of the way through the 2023 NFL season. Each week, we discuss potential fantasy football breakout candidates that either are stashed on your benches–depending on how deep your league is–or on the waiver wire. Even with the bye weeks having arrived, there are still plenty of viable breakout options available! Now let’s hop into our Week 5 breakout list, but first, let’s see how we did in Week 4!

Hard to get worse than that. The only way to move is up! Now let’s jump into Week 5!

Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals

There’s no sugarcoating it: Burrow has had a disastrous start to the 2023 NFL Season. He clearly isn’t fully healthy with his calf injury and it’s affected his play. This could be a get-right game for Burrow against Arizona. The Cardinals rank in the bottom-five leaguewide in both pressure rate and blitz rate and in the bottom-six in EPA/dropback. He should have enough time to throw and be comfortable enough in the pocket. Burrow has yet to finish better than a QB26 this season, and there’s no quarterback more due for a breakout. This is an opportune time for one.

George Pickens, WR, Steelers

With both Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth both injured, Pickens–who’s received 23.4 percent of the target share through four weeks–could receive an even bigger share this week. Pickens did finish as WR11 Week 2 against Cleveland, but has not cracked the top 37 since and could be due for a big week against a compromised Ravens secondary. I’m expecting Pittsburgh to get Pickens more involved in Week 5 after he finished with just three catches for 25 yards (seven targets) in Week 4’s embarrassment against the Houston Texans.

Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Lions

Gibbs has yet to be fully unleashed, which might remain the same until the end of the season if he’s not getting the bulk of red-zone touches like David Montgomery has been. Gibbs had just 12 touches last week for 51 yards against Green Bay after recording 18 touches for 82 yards four days prior against Atlanta. With 10 days off, against a porous Carolina Panthers front seven, Gibbs is prime to have his first 100-yard game from scrimmage this season. Gibbs has only finished as a top-20 back once this season.

AJ Dillon, RB, Packers

Neither Dillon nor Aaron Jones, who returned from a hamstring injury last week, were particularly effective in the run game, averaging three yards per carry on ten carries. They will face the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night; Vegas possesses a below-average run defense. Jones might receive a higher usage this week than he did last, but I anticipate Matt LaFleur puts more emphasis on getting the ground game churning to ease some pressure off Jordan Love‘s shoulders.

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