Week 5: Start 'Em/Sit 'Em

By Jonathon Strickler
Oct. 04, 2018

We're back again for Week 5 and we are feeling great about our predictions for another weekend of NFL action. As always please tweet us any lineup questions you may have!

QUARTERBACK - START 'EM:

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Home vs New York Giants)

We haven't featured Cam Newton in our Start 'Em/Sit 'Em yet this season, but the Panthers have a prime matchup at home against a Giants team that ranks 28th in defense DVOA. The Giants have also allowed the most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks so far, setting up Newton with an ideal matchup.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Home vs Atlanta Falcons)

The Steelers haven't had the best start to 2018, but Roethlisberger has still been able to put up Top-10 fantasy numbers. We think Big Ben is set for a monster game as the injury riddled Falcons come to Pittsburgh. Atlanta ranks 30th in defense DVOA and are without both starting safeties, expect a nice fantast output from Roethlisberger here.

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (Home vs Oakland Raiders)

We've featured Philip Rivers in 3 of our first 4 Start columns, but we simply can't get enough of the veteran signal-caller's early season matchups. Rivers has scored over 20 points in the three games we picked him and the Chargers have another quarterback friendly matchup this week as the lowly Raiders defense comes to town.

*Week 5 QB Sleepers*

Alex Smith, Washington Redskins (Away at New Orleans Saints): Smith hasn't been tremendous this season barely scoring more points than rookie Josh Allen, but the Redskins are taking on a New Orleans defense ranked 29th DVOA. Coming off a bye with extra time to prepare we're confident in Alex Smith this week.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (Away at Kansas City Chiefs): We aren't huge fans of Blake Bortles as we've featured him in our Sit sections multiple times this year, but he keeps proving us wrong. We still don't trust him enough to put him as a Start, but it's hard to ignore anyone that's playing the miserable Chiefs defense.

QUARTERBACK - SIT 'EM:

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Away at Houston Texans)

Prescott and the Cowboys have a great matchup on paper against a middle of the road Texans defense that's been very giving through the air. We just find it extremely hard to trust Prescott who's had limited fantasy production so far this season. Start Dak if he's you're only option, but we're not thrilled about him this week.

Eli Manning, New York Giants (Away at Carolina Panthers)

A lot of people had Eli Manning as a sleeper at home against a bad New Orleans defense, but Manning failed to capitalize. Things won't get any easier this week as the Giants travel to Carolina to take on a Panthers team fresh off a bye-week. We don't expect much at all from Eli.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Home vs Los Angeles Rams)

Russell Wilson has been a fantasy disappointment through four weeks as the Seahawks' shaky offensive line and lack of skill-position players has limited him to 29th in quarterback fantasy points. A tough Rams defense comes to town this week so we'd keep Wilson on the bench.

RUNNING BACK - START 'EM:

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (Away at Detroit Lions)

Aaron Jones was able to find the end-zone in his second game back from suspension and more importantly doubled his touches from Week 3. Detroit has allowed the third-most fantasy points-per-game to opposing running backs in PPR formats so if Jones is still available in your fantasy league, pick him up immediately!

T.J Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (Away at Kansas City Chiefs)

Yeldon has received at least 12 touches in every game so far this season and has taken advantage scoring the 10th most fantasy points of any running back this year. He's a top-tier starter this week if Fournette is out once again, and we'd even consider him as a flex option if Fournette is able to play against a miserable Chiefs defense. Amazingly, Yeldon is still available in over 50% of leagues!

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers (New York Giants)

We're really picking on the Giants this week, but that's what happens when you take a bottom-20 offense and defense on the road against a Panthers team fresh off a bye-week. In Week 3 McCaffrey racked up 28 carries against the Bengals and after a week off we're expecting another big workload from the Panthers diminutive back.

*Week 5 RB Sleepers*

Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans (Away at Buffalo Bills): Dion Lewis could be set for a big day on the road versus Buffalo. Derrick Henry hasn't been very effective so we're thinking Lewis will go for 100 yards combined rushing and receiving a score.

Matt Breida, San Fransisco 49ers (Home vs Arizona Cardinals): Breida didn't have a stellar Week 4 turning 9 carries into just 39 yards, but we're expecting him to bounce back this week at home against one of the leagues worst rush defenses. Breida could rip off a long run and be set for a huge fantasy day.

RUNNING BACK - SIT 'EM:

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (Away at Philadelphia Eagles)

Avoid playing Dalvin Cook until he's proven that he's 100% healthy and off a "pitch count" as the Vikings are still playing him a limited amount. Making matters worse Minnesota travels to Phiily to take on an Eagles defense that's allowed the least amount of total rushing yards in 2018.

LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (Home vs Tennessee Titans)

LeSean McCoy has failed to rush for more than 39 yards in any of the three games he's played this season with his highest scoring game being a measly 10.8 PPR points. We'd avoid Shady this week against a Titans defense that's allowed only 16.7 PPR points per game to opposing running backs.

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (Home vs Los Angeles Rams)

Chris Carson was favored by a lot of fantasy players during draft season, but he has yet to really produce. Carson is slated to return after missing last week with a hip injury, but the Seahawks are facing a tough Rams team at home this week. Coach Pete Carroll has also said that Mike Davis will work more into the backfield rotation, so we're definitely taking a wait and see approach with Carson going forward.

WIDE RECEIVERS - START 'EM:

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (Home vs Oakland Raiders)

We like Mike Williams to bounce back in a huge way this week after a very disappointing Week 4 outing where the second-year receiver hauled in only one catch for fifteen yards. Oakland's secondary has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to receivers this season so start Mike Williams if you have him!

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (Home vs Miami Dolphins)

We like Tyler Boyd again this week as Tyler Eifert is out and as A.J. Green will be seeing a lot of Xavier Howard. Boyd has put up over 20 points in the last three games and we're expecting another very solid game from him again this week.

Kenny Golloday, Detroit Lions (Home vs Green Bay Packers)

Golloday has been a pleasant surprise for the Lions and fantasy owners this year, the second-year wideout has really come on strong averaging 18.5 yards per reception this year. Detroit will likely be trying to keep pace with the Green Bay all game so expect a ton of passing which makes Golloday a great play.

*Week 5 WR Sleepers*

Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons (Away at Pittsburgh Steelers): Calvin Ridley development as a down-field scoring threat has actually helped Sanu's production this year. The veteran receiver just had his highest scoring two game fantasy stretch since 2015 and that might continue again this week against a Steelers defense that ranks 27th in passing yards allowed in 2018. Sanu could be a sneaky flex play in Pittsburgh.

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars (Away at Kansas City Chiefs): Westbrook is most definitely a boom-or-bust option, but these's no better chance for a boom week than against the worst defense in the league. If Westbrook can grab a long touchdown he'll be worth a flex play, feel like gambling?

WIDE RECEIVERS - SIT 'EM:

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (Home versus Los Angeles Rams)

Baldwin is one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL when he's healthy, but that's been his major problem this season. We simply can't justify starting Baldwin until he's proven that he can play a full game, there's nothing worse than starting a player who doesn't play or can't finish a game. Players can't score you points if they're off the field!

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (Away at New York Jets)

Demaryius Thomas just hasn't been much of scoring threat this year with Case Keenum under center. Suprisngly the Jets actually have the 5th best defense DVOA so far in 2018. We have Thomas as a hard sit this week and don't see much hope in the future as long as Keenum remains the quarterback. Is it time to unleash Chad Kelly? We think so!

Geronimo Allison/Sammy Watkins

Both of these guys might be considered as flex options this week unless they don't play which is still up in the air. Like we said with Doug Baldwin, your players can't get you points if they're not on the field so use extreme caution when starting Allison or Watkins.

TIGHT ENDS - START 'EM:

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (New Orleans Saints)

It's been a fantasy nightmare for mid to low-end tight end's this season. We never usually grab a top-tier tight end and that's come back to bite us this season as tight end depth is low. With that being said there aren't many good options to chose from for this section, Reed might have a huge week coming off a bye vs a very giving New Orleans defense.

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers (Home vs Atlanta Falcons)

We like Vance McDonald to grab a score this week in a high-scoring game against the Falcons. He's gotten more snaps and looks than Jesse James over the past two week so we feel great slotting him here.

*Week 5 TE Sleeper*


Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals (Away at San Fransisco 49ers): Seals-Jones isn't putting up big fantasy numbers, but he does rank 11th in targets among tight ends and faces a San Francisco's defense that's surrendered a total of four touchdowns and an average of almost 16 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends in 2018.

TIGHT ENDS - SIT 'EM:

Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (Home vs Washington Redskins)

Watson is coming off a miserable game against the Giants and the matchup doesn't get much better this week against a Redskins' defense that's given up the least amount of passing yards in the league through four weeks. Keep Watson on the bench this week!

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (Home vs Baltimore Ravens)

Njoku posted a decent stat line in last week's loss to Oakland, but the Ravens defense has allowed just one score and an average of 10 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends so far this season. You might not have a better option, but we're not high on Njoku this week.

D/ST - START 'EM:

Tennessee Titans (Away at Buffalo Bills): The Titans defense has quietly been one of the best and most underrated defenses in fantasy football after four weeks, ranking fifth in points at the position. We like them a lot this week against a rookie quarterback.

Denver Broncos (Away at New York Jets): Denver's defense hasn't done great this season, but an upcoming game against rookie quarterback Sam Darnold could be just what they need. Opposing defenses have scored a combined 22 fantasy points in the last two games vs the Jets.

D/ST - SIT 'EM:

Seattle Seahawks (Home vs Los Angeles Rams): We wouldn't suggest playing any defense against this Rams offense that's on a pace to be one of the most prolific in NFL history. Sit the Seahawks!

Pittsburgh Steelers (Home vs Atlanta Falcons): This is going to be a high scoring matchup involving two high scoring offenses. On top of that the Steelers have given up the 27th most passing yards this season.

KICKER - START 'EM:

Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers (Away at Detroit Lions): Crosby has been very solid through four weeks, scoring 14 or more points twice while also ranking second among fantasy kickers. The Lions have given up 10 field goals and the third-most fantasy points to kickers this season so Crosby should be in your starting lineup for sure.

Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons (Away at Pittsburgh Steelers): Bryant had 14 points in a shoot-out against the Bengals last week and we're expecting much of the same this week against the Steelers. Bryant should have plenty of opportunities to produce this week.

KICKER - SIT 'EM:

Ka"imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans (Home vs Dallas Cowboys): Fairbairn has opened the season on fire, scoring 38 fantasy points over his first four games. This Cowboys defense has allowed an average of fewer than six fantasy points per game to opposing kickers this season so Fairbairn might come crashing back to Earth.

Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers (Home vs Atlanta Falcons): Of course we drafted Boswell in a couple leagues and he's been a nightmare this season. I wouldn't start Boswell unless you absolutely have to, he's impossible to trust.

Thanks for reading another edition of our weekly Start 'Em/Sit 'Em! Please check out our Twitter page to tweet us any lineup questions you may have!