WhatIfSports NFL Week 5 predictions: Bengals prevail on the road

BY foxsports • October 4, 2016

Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's NFL simulation engine generates predictions and box scores for every NFL game for the coming week. Our highly sophisticated algorithms simulate every play of every game to produce each team's likelihood to win. Each matchup is simulated 501 times.

To account for injuries and roster moves announced late in the week, we will be re-simulating games on Thursdays through the season.

Note: Our predictions use the latest available team and player information, while NFL SimMatchup includes all players that were or will be available at any point during the 2016 season so that theoretical and "what if" scenarios can be simulated.

Week 4 in Review

For the first time this season, our NFL simulation engine posted a winning record both picking games straight up and against the spread. The engine was 8-7 in games straight up, but a strong 6-2 against the spread in eligible games. Our Game to Watch, Lock Pick and Upset Pick were all correct as well. 

Nailed It: Texans 27 - Titans 20. The engine nearly predicted both the game winner and final score exactly right for the second straight week. We predicted the Texans to win 65.9 percent of the time, by an average score of 25-20.

Wide Right: Bills 16 - Patriots 0. The Bills pitching a shutout against a Patriots offense that just lit up the Texans was a little tough to see coming for everyone, apparently. We predicted the Patriots to win that game 75.4 percent of the time, by an average score of 25-16.

Track our 2016 performance or view our accuracy last season.

Week 5 Game to Watch

Bengals at Cowboys: The Bengals face a tough road test as they head to Dallas to take on Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys. Tyler Eifert is expected back for the Bengals, while it's unclear if Dez Bryant will suit up for the Cowboys. Our engine has the Bengals pulling off the win in this one 59.5 percent of the time, by an average score of 23-20. 

Week 5 Against the Spread Pick

Eagles (-3.0) cover against Lions: For the second straight week, our engine doesn't like any of underdogs to pull off the win. Instead, we'll pick a team that we expect to cover the spread. Our choice this week is the Eagles (-3.0) covering against the Lions. Our predictions have the Eagles winning 79.5 percent of the time, and covering 71.1 percent of the time.

Fantasy Radar

Fantasy Start -- Quincy Enunwa, NYJ: In a potential shootout with the Steelers, our projections like both Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa to have big fantasy days. With Eric Decker out once again, one of the biggest breakout players of the year is listed as the 11th highest scoring WR for Week 5.

Fantasy Sit -- Golden Tate, DET: With his snap count decreasing drastically and other options in Detroit's passing game stepping up, Tate could be nothing more than waiver wire fodder the rest of the year. We have him scoring just 5.1 points this week, leaving him off the fantasy radar. 

Fantasy Add -- Terrance West, BAL: With the Ravens releasing former starting RB Justin Forsett, it certainly appears that Terrance West will continue to hog the majority of carries in this backfield. After rattling off 100+ yards last week, our projections have West as the 18th highest scoring running back in Week 5.

For more fantasy football tips, view our Week 5 player projections.

NFL Week 5 Predictions
Matchup Win % Avg. Score
New York Jets 23.8 22 Box Score
@ Pittsburgh Steelers 76.2 31 Simulate Game
Washington Redskins 33.1 18 Box Score
@ Baltimore Ravens 66.9 25 Simulate Game
New York Giants 38.3 21 Box Score
@ Green Bay Packers 61.7 27 Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills 38.7 18 Box Score
@ Los Angeles Rams 61.3 21 Simulate Game
Atlanta Falcons 38.8 18 Box Score
@ Denver Broncos 61.2 22 Simulate Game
Chicago Bears 42.8 23 Box Score
@ Indianapolis Colts 57.2 25 Simulate Game
Houston Texans 43.0 18 Box Score
@ Minnesota Vikings 57.0 21 Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers 43.8 23 Box Score
@ Oakland Raiders 56.2 24 Simulate Game
Tennessee Titans 44.5 22 Box Score
@ Miami Dolphins 55.5 24 Simulate Game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 46.6 23 Box Score
@ Carolina Panthers 53.4 24 Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals 59.5 23 Box Score
@ Dallas Cowboys 40.5 20 Simulate Game
Arizona Cardinals 64.9 29 Box Score
@ San Francisco 49ers 35.1 24 Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles 79.5 26 Box Score
@ Detroit Lions 20.5 15 Simulate Game
New England Patriots 90.4 33 Box Score
@ Cleveland Browns 9.6 15 Simulate Game

For additional content, view our Week 5 NFL Power RankingsNFL archive or sortable weekly NFL predictions.

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