Fantasy Football: Week 5 starts, sits
|10.05.12 at 12:32 pm ET|
Welcome to Week 5. I’ve compiled some solid starts for your consideration and I’ve also highlighted some players that are poor options for one reason or another. As always, if you need further assistance, please feel free to join us at Rotobahn.com where you can consult our full lineup rankings. Good luck to all in Week 5!
Joe Flacco, Ravens at Chiefs
The Chiefs should go down pretty easily, and we think Flacco will do very well. The risk is that they simply don’t need to throw at some point. That could make having a big game tough to pull off, but we like Flacco to produce solid numbers worthy of starting for you in all formats.
Jay Cutler, Bears at Jaguars
Cutler’s Jekyll & Hyde routine continued in Week 4 as he and Brandon Marshall had a good time dealing with the Cowboys defense. The ‘Boys have a stud pass-rusher, so it’s a good sign for the Bears and Cutler, because pass protection is their Achilles’ heel. Cutler should fare well against Jacksonville in Week 5 and he can be a bye week solution for you in any league.
Andrew Luck, Colts vs. Packers
The game looks good in terms of its dynamics. Luck may have his ups and downs, but we know that the Colts will have to open it up if they want to compete with Green Bay. You won’t be seeing Donald Brown and a cloud of dust all day long. Not by a long shot. Luck is a solid play if you need bye week help.
Christian Ponder, Vikings vs. Titans
Check his health just to be sure. If Ponder is limited in Friday’s practice, then there could be some reason for concern, but he’s been very good so far and we think Tennessee is ripe for the taking as far as matchups go. The Vikings are healthy and fully loaded on offense as long as Ponder is ready to roll. He’s a strong play.
Matt Cassel, Chiefs vs. Ravens
There are more than a few people calling for Cassel’s head. Frankly, it’s nice finally to have some company. The ex-Patriot has been holding the KC offense back for years. The fear this week is not just that Cassel has a bad matchup, but that he might get the hook before he puts up his usual garbage points in the fourth quarter. Starting Cassel is tough enough, but watching Brady Quinn getting your garbage time stats would add insult to injury. This is a player to avoid in Week 5.
We do not like the way he matches up with San Francisco’s defense, especially on the road. If Fitzpatrick does well, it will be as a game manager and not making plays downfield.
Ryan Mathews, Chargers at Saints
He seems like a strange player to have in this space, but those who own him know why he’s here. I can’t promise sanity from the Chargers coaches, but this is a very good matchup for all the skill players involved and we suspect that HC Norv Turner will not try to get cute and send any messages against a potentially tough opponent. Mathews will lose some touches to Jackie Battle, and maybe even goal-line touches, but we think he wins the war. Play him this week as an RB2 with nice upside.
Cedric Benson, Packers at Colts
Benson’s good play has been largely obscured due to the Pack’s struggles, but we think he’s a very solid play in Week 5. We expect him to gash the Colts at times and to post numbers worthy of an RB2 start in all leagues.
Kendall Hunter, 49ers vs. Bills
This one is more for big leagues. You never really want to start a backup like Hunter, but we smell a blowout this week and we think Hunter can do even more than he did against the Jets in Week 4. We like Kendall as a flex in deep leagues. The Bills are giving it up, folks. Get while the getting is good.
Fred Jackson, Bills at 49ers
He’s a guy with excellent vision, but will that help him if there are no holes to see? It didn’t last week, and running on Frisco is even more thankless that trying to run on New England. Jackson can always find a way, but unless you really need him, we’d look elsewhere in Week 5.
Shonn Greene, Jets vs. Texans
It’s not easy being Greene. He’s a decent big back playing for a team that couldn’t open a hole big enough for Barry Sanders. The Jets are very likely to end up playing from behind on Monday Night Football, and Greene is not a big part of the offense in that scenario as the Jets will go to third-down back Bilal Powell. If we had to start a Jet this week, it probably would be Powell.
Ben Tate, Texans at Jets
There are several problems with Tate in Week 5 and I am pointing it out because I am sure there are owners out there just salivating at what Tate might do in a blowout against the Jets. I get that and I would usually agree, but Tate is questionable with a toe injury and the Texans want to have their star backup tailback for the full season. We’d avoid him this week, but if you do want to try to cash in on the Jets matchup, you must make sure you have a backup plan in case Tate is not active on Monday. Options to consider would be Bilal Powell of the Jets and perhaps Justin Forsett of the Texans, who likely would end up closing out the Jets once the game is out of hand. But again, we’d avoid the situation if possible.
Malcom Floyd, Chargers at Saints
Floyd is the best downfield threat in San Diego and he’s gained a bigger share of the offense with Vincent Jackson‘s departure. We like him a lot in this matchup as we expect lots and lots of offense on Sunday Night Football. Floyd makes for a fine WR3 in any format.
Pierre Garcon, Redskins vs. Falcons
Too obvious? Maybe, but after a fluky score and not much else in Week 4, we thought some folks might be doubting Garcon. We’re not, as he has been practicing fully this week after making it through his first game back unscathed. This game will feature plenty of passing, and Garcon easily is Robert Griffin‘s top target. He should be active everywhere. His upside more than merits the risk.
James Jones, Packers at Colts
With Greg Jennings out, this is a relative no-brainer. Jones has raised his game in recent weeks after struggling early in the season. He’s back to being a favorite of Aaron Rodgers and we expect WR3 numbers in Week 5.
Hixon will draw the start with Hakeem Nicks sitting out again. With stud CB Joe Haden still out for Cleveland, we expect things to be good for the Giants receivers. Hixon is a good WR3 play.
Randall Cobb, Packers at Colts
He’s been a little hit and miss, but we expect more hits on the aggregate. This week should be a good time to have Cobb active, since Greg Jennings will be sitting out. He’s a viable WR3 play.
Justin Blackmon, Jaguars vs. Bears
This is a very risky play and one we’d avoid as the Bears could make things very hard on Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert. Blackmon has looked better lately, but we’d look for better options this week.
Kenny Britt, Titans at Vikings
Just make sure you check his status and lower expectations if you must play him due to bye issues or what have you. Britt has yet to hit his stride and we think he’s a risky play this week if he does manage to suit up. He may get up to speed eventually, and he has a huge ceiling if that happens. We do not see it happening this week.
Brandon LaFell, Panthers vs. Seahawks
We really like LaFell, but after two very rough weeks, we’d look to make him prove himself before going back to him in a matchup this tough. If you have other good options, we’d use them this week. I am actually starting LaFell in one of my leagues, but I have Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Dez Bryant, Mike Williams and Titus Young on the bye. It took that much. Keep LaFell rostered in medium to large leagues, but he’s a bit too risky to start right now.
Greg Olsen, Panthers vs. Seahawks
He is rolling and he will be a valuable outlet in this game. Seattle is really coming after quarterbacks and we expect Cam Newton‘s mobility to help him find Olsen frequently. He’s a good play as a tight end in Week 5.
Scott Chandler, Bills at 49ers
We see bad things for Buffalo this week. Very bad things. However, the Niners play a very traditional and conservative defense. You really want to attack them with the tight end between the safeties and in the seam if you can. Chandler’s size could be a big plus and he should continue to be a factor in Week 5.
Heath Miller, Steelers vs. Eagles
Miller has been outstanding, and we think new OC Todd Haley finally has made Miller a staple vs. a satellite option. The Eagles will be paying large amounts of attention to Mike Wallace as they should, and that will open things up for Miller. He’s a good play in all leagues.
Coby Fleener, Colts vs. Packers
He’s been inconsistent so far and he’s been nursing a head injury. We like his potential and he could end up being a weekly starter as soon as this year, but we’d avoid him this week.
Dustin Keller, Jets vs. Texans
He’d be a decent play if we trusted his hamstring, but we do not. Neither should you. HC Rex Ryan offered up no optimism on Keller, though he did not rule him out. He might end up playing, but you simply can’t risk it with the Jets playing on Monday. If you do opt to risk it with Keller and he is deactivated, the best option for an emergency tight end would be James Casey of Houston. He’s likely to be available. But again, it’s better to just avoid this situation.
Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars vs. Bears
He is going to block more often than normal here and we do not expect the Jags to be using their red zone offense very much this Sunday. While we like Lewis’ game, we’d avoid him this week.