by Thomas Russo and Jason Li
Fantasy Football Week 5
Start ’em, Sit ’em
Top 3 Starts at QB
Andrew Luck Vs. Bears: New week, same old Bears’ secondary. Perhaps the most injury-riddled unit in the league will have a very tough time against a Colt-receiving corps led by T.Y. Hilton. That means big points for them, and, therefore, big points for Luck. A date with the Bears is just what the doctor prescribed Luck to get his season back on track after three straight less-than-spectacular performances.
Tom Brady Vs. Browns: He’s baaaack! That’s right folks everyone’s favorite, or least favorite depending on whose side you’re on, quarterback is back. Suddenly, the worries about the Patriot’s offense can be put to rest, and there may be no better team to get started against than the Browns. Cleveland has allowed no fewer than 25 points to opponents so far this season. Start Brady with confidence.
Carson Wentz Vs. Lions: Somewhere, the GMs of the LA Rams and the Cleveland Browns are crying. It’s not every year a rookie comes in and plays so flawlessly, his team is 3-0 and he has thrown exactly 0 interceptions through the first 3 games of the season, including a game against a solid Steelers defense. Now the Eagles enter a game which could very well turn into a shootout, and Wentz will likely put up a big stat line again.
Top 3 Sits at QB
Matt Ryan Vs. Broncos: Okay. So Matt Ryan is the highest scoring QB in Fantasy. And he could very well be on his way to a Fantasy MVP. This is the week that we will once and for all see the truth. If Ryan can continue his torrent pace against (arguably) the best defense in football, he will never be a “Sit ‘em” again, but against a team that is allowing an average of 13.14 points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and held the likes of Cam Newton and Andrew Luck in check–we’re very afraid.
Jameis Winston Vs. Panthers: While the Panthers may have been absolutely torched last week by Ryan and the Falcons, this is still a defense that can be dangerous and force turnovers. That spells trouble for Winston, who has already thrown a dismal 8 interceptions this season. There are undoubtedly better options available for this week.
Brock Osweiler Vs. Vikings: The Vikings defense appears to have finally entered the realm of the elite defenses. This team absolutely silenced three of the league’s best QBs in Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, and Eli Manning. All three of them are better than Brock Osweiler. An inconsistent QB against a defense giving up less than 14 Fantasy points per game to QBs? No, thank you.
Top 3 Starts at RB
Melvin Gordon Vs. Raiders: Melvin Gordon is the entirety of the Charger offense, especially in the red zone. Melvin Gordon gets on average 1.5 TDs, making him a very realistic end zone threat and a high scorer for fantasy football. He’s also consistent in getting targets each week, which makes him great for PPR. He averages 75 yards (receiving and rushing combined) and is one of the most sought-after RBs in any league.
Frank Gore Vs. Bears: Frank Gore has been a key offensive player since the Colts lost WR Moncrief. Frank Gore on average scores 1 TD per game. Gore is also playing against the Chicago Bears, who have been unable to stop the running game of most teams. The Bears’ defense is allowing on average 21 points, and we guarantee 6 of those points will be given to the veteran RB, Gore.
Le’Veon Bell Vs. Jets: Bell is a beast RB. He is fast and shifty, and breaks tackles like a madman! In his first week back from his suspension, he got 170 yards on the decent defense of Kansas City Chiefs. The Jets’ secondary is also not very strong at the moment. Even with veterans like Revis, they have been unable to stop the passing game of any team thus far. So we think the Jets will have to run a two-safety, high secondary opening up the rushing game for perhaps the best RB in the league.
Top 3 sits at RB
Devonta Freeman Vs. Broncos: Although Devonta Freeman is a great RB, he is going up against the best defense last year. Even though it is still early, we can confidently say that the Broncos will have great defense this year too. He also shares half his snaps with the second string RB, Coleman. I don’t expect him to get more than 60 yards this game, and the Broncos have been able to keep most games to low scoring and are currently undefeated.
Lamar Miller Vs. Vikings: The Viking defense has not allowed more than 20 points in their first 4 games. The defense has been spectacular at locking up good offenses. We wouldn’t play Lamar Miller this week even though he has been consistently getting 100 yards, combined receiving and rushing. We do not think he will perform as well as he usually does. We think the Texans will use mostly the passing game against the Vikings, which limits Miller’s snaps.
Matt Forte Vs. Steelers: He had a great first two weeks but it has been all downhill since. I think the Steelers will destroy Matt Forte’s chances at getting snaps. He already only gets 60 or so yards against poor defenses. We do not think he will step up against the adversity of the Steelers’ defense. We will be pleasantly surprised if Forte gets more than 60 yards. Also, Fitzpatrick has been turning over the ball really fast. He seems to enjoy throwing to the defense rather than the offense. These short Jet drives will affect Forte’s effectiveness.
Top 3 Starts at WR
T.Y. Hilton Vs. Bears: For the same reasons you need to start Luck this week, you need to start Hilton. With the Bears’ top corner sidelined, this defense has been unable to contain many of the league’s best, and in a game that could well emerge as this week’s shootout, Hilton is a must-start who could turn in a monster outing.
Kelvin Benjamin Vs. Buccaneers: It’s time to put Benjamin’s recent struggles behind him. The Buccaneers have had their hands full with opposing wide receivers this season, currently dead last, giving up the most fantasy points to the position. This could very well be Benjamin’s best opportunity yet to put up points and get his team, and your fantasy team, back on track.
Julian Edelman Vs. Browns: Okay. So maybe last week was the Edelman-reckoning we had been hoping for, but that’s because he didn’t get to play QB. This week, things are much better, as he gets his Hall of Fame QB back, and goes up against a Browns defense ranked in the bottom third of the league against wide receivers. It’s time for Edelman to get back to being Tinytron, and it starts this week.
Top 3 Sits at WR
Terrelle Pryor Sr. Vs. Patriots: While it has been great to see the one-time Raiders QB get his second wind at WR in Cleveland, it’s tough to imagine him continuing this streak against the Pats. He’ll likely spend much of the game dealing with Malcom Butler, the All-Pro Corner who has kept the likes of Odell Beckham in check. While he’ll find points on gadget plays, he’s tough to trust this week.
Steve Smith Sr. Vs. Redskins: It’s also been spectacular watching Steve Smith revive his career and play like an ageless wonder the last couple of weeks, but things will likely cool down this week against the Redskins. With Josh Norman suddenly shadowing No. 1 wide receivers after the injury to Bashaud Breeland, he’ll likely be tasked with covering Smith for much of the afternoon, which is not good news for any receiver’s statistics.
Brian Quick Vs. Bills: Yeah, it was great to see Brian Quick go off for two TDs last week, making him one of the top waiver adds this week. But it won’t happen again, or at least not this week. The Bills’ secondary may not be what it was last year, but this is still a good unit. Quick will be held in check. For your own sake, just stay away from Quick.
Top TE to Start this Week
Delanie Walker Vs. Dolphins: Delanie Walker has spent his career as the most unjustly, underrated player in the NFL. Walker has been the picture of consistency, garnering the majority of the targets in the Titans’ passing attack. When healthy, he’s one of the safest plays in the game. Start him with confidence as he returns this week.
Top TE to Sit this Week
Jacob Tamme Vs. Broncos: Jacob Tamme may have come storming out of the gate, but this week he will return to Earth against the stout Bronco defensive unit. Like his QB, a storybook start to the season must come to an end, and there is no better time for it to happen than against the defending champs.