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Fantasy Football: Week 5 starts, sits

10.04.13 at 9:13 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 5 starts and sits. As usual, I have tried to avoid the obvious choices. These are players that I like for the this week plus a few that I’d rather leave on the pine. If you are looking for more rankings or if you have questions about players not listed here, go to Rotobahn.com for our full weekly lineup rankings, which I update every Saturday. You can also stop by our Sunday morning chat right here at WEEI when I’ll be answering all of your lineup questions. Later today, Jim Hackett and I will doing our weekly podcast sponsored by Mohegan Sun.  You’ll be able to find that in our audio on demand section.

QUARTERBACKS

STARTS

Philip Rivers, Chargers at Raiders

He’s been very good so far, with only Tennessee slowing him down at all. It’s hard to imagine the Raiders holding Rivers down. He makes a solid QB1 in any format in Week 5.

Jay Cutler, Bears vs. Saints

He may have been off in Week 4, but the fantasy numbers were still there. He should be better this week against the Saints. The Bears have enough diversity on offense to cope with New Orleans’ attacking defense.

Terrelle Pryor, Raiders vs. Chargers

His concussion symptoms have subsided and he’ll be let loose in this game as Oakland tries to keep up with the Chargers. Who wins?  Who knows, but there should be plenty of offense, and Pryor obviously scores points with his feet and his arm.

Sam Bradford, Rams vs. Jaguars

Things have been ugly for Bradford the last few weeks, but this looks like a get-well game to me. Expect better results from Bradford. He’s worth a start in most formats if you need him.

SITS

Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Patriots

The Patriots have enough talent to make Dalton work for his numbers. While Dalton is playable this week, I see more risk than usual. There are 17 better quarterbacks in the Rotobahn Week 5 rankings, so you may have a better option.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. Panthers

The Panthers are a formidable defense, but the real problem is the inconsistencies with the Arizona offense, and Palmer is at the heart of those inconsistencies. Other issues include a struggling offensive line and ground game. Finally, don’t forget that Larry Fitzgerald is still nursing a tender hamstring and is less than full strength, though he will play. Palmer is a QB3 in my Week 5 rankings.

RUNNING BACKS

STARTS

David Wilson, Giants vs. Eagles

Give me credit for guts on this one. No player has given me more personal pain in 2013 than Mr. Wilson. That being said, the Giants may finally have realized that they need Wilson regardless of the risks. Moreover, they have turned the ball over plenty with him on the sidelines. This week, the Giants released Da’Rel Scott, who had been playing about half the snaps since Wilson’s Week 1 debacle. That should give Wilson more touches and a greater share of third down work. Wilson should be a solid RB2 option this week in a plus matchup with some upside on top of it.

Eddie Lacy, Packers vs. Lions

I read somewhere Thursday about what a disappointment Eddie Lacy has been so far. Nonsense. Lacy hasn’t done anything wrong save for taking a terrible concussion-inducing hit early in Week 2 that finished him for the day. The hit knocked him out of Week 3 as well, and Green Bay had a bye last week. So, when you boil it down, Lacy’s really played a single game. It was a tough matchup in Week 1 with the 49ers, and he scored. Lacy is a very good back and he should own the larger share of the job in Green Bay. Barring injury, you should expect good things starting this week. Get him active in all formats.

Danny Woodhead, Chargers at Raiders

He’s really clicking with Philip Rivers right now and he’s an excellent PR play on most weeks. This week, at Oakland, I am liking Woodhead as an RB2 in all 12-team formats. Ride him while he’s hot.

Bilal Powell, Jets at Falcons

Speaking of hot backs, Powell is riding the best hot streak of his NFL life. While I doubt this run of production lasts the full year, I do see more production this week as the Jets begin to work in Mike Goodson and perhaps even Chris Ivory. Powell is a week-to-week option and I like his chances of producing on Monday Night Football.

SITS

Rashard Mendenhall, Cardinals vs. Panthers

It’s been ugly. There’s no way around it. Mendenhall has been mediocre and he’s been unable to practice regularly for the last two months due to knee, toe and hamstring woes. It’s his job for now and he’ll be highly motivated to perform, but this is not a good matchup for the former Steeler.

Jason Snelling, Falcons vs. Jets

I like Snelling, as I’ve been saying the last few weeks, and Steven Jackson will not play against New York. That said, the Falcons may continue to use Jacquizz Rodgers a bit more than Snelling, especially against the Jets, who do well against power backs. He’s a light flex option in 12-team formats.

WIDE RECEIVERS

STARTS

James Jones, Packers vs. Lions

He got off to a slow start this year, but I like what we’ve seen since Week 1 and Jones is healthy coming off a week of rest. He makes a very nice WR3 play in 12-team leagues. Keep him active.

Alshon Jeffery, Bears vs. Saints

He is starting to look like the player we predicted he would be in 2012. Jeffery is feasting on number two cornerbacks and single coverage as teams try to deal with Brandon Marshall on the other side. Alshon is a good bet for WR3 production in Week 5 vs. the Saints.

Julian Edelman, Patriots at Bengals

I’m not sure how much longer folks like myself can ride the Edelman bus, but your transfer should be good for at least another week — even if Danny Amendola returns. Things could get dicier in Week 6, but we’ll worry about that then. For now, start Edelman and expect WR3 production and perhaps a bit more in PPR formats.

Justin Blackmon, Jaguars at Rams

We expect him to make an impact right away for a team that needs him desperately. Blackmon is a major talent and he should be good for a few plays. He’s also a good red zone option. I’d rank him higher than a WR3, but Blaine Gabbert needs to show that he’s fully healthy and functional before we can go there.

SITS

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans at 49ers 

He was shut out last week by Seattle, and this matchup is equally nasty. There are better days ahead for Hopkins, but he’s a risky proposition this week. Call him a flex in 12-team leagues.

Eddie Royal, Chargers at Raiders

He is a playable option, but he’s a fading commodity if you are judging him against his own past success. I don’t see many multiple touchdown games in the immediate future.

TIGHT ENDS

STARTS

Martellus Bennett, Bears vs. Saints

He’s playing the best ball of his career and that should continue against the Saints in Week 5. Bennett has the ability to make big plays in coach Marc Trestman’s offense. He’s a TE1 this week in all formats.

Greg Olsen, Panthers at Cardinals

The Panthers need to use the tight end this week as the Cardinals do a good job of limiting things on the outside. Olsen is always involved, and I expect Cam Newton to target him often this week.

Brandon Pettigrew, Lions at Packers

Pettigrew came alive in Week 4 and I like him to be active against Green Bay this weekend. He’s a guy you can grab off of some waiver wires if you need some help.

Charles Clay, Dolphins vs. Ravens

Clay has been a consistent threat ever since Miami lost Dustin Keller to a knee injury. He can help in this week in 12-team leagues as a plug-and-play option.

SITS

Coby Fleener, Colts vs. Seahawks

I like Fleener for as an option for the rest of this year. He’ll post solid numbers if he can stay healthy. That being said, I am not loving him this week against a rather nasty Seahawks defense. Look elsewhere if you can.

Tyler Eifert, Bengals vs. Patriots

This is a very good young player, but he’s not yet ready for prime time in fantasy football. I also don’t like Andy Dalton’s floor against a Bill Belichick defense. There’s too much risk here.

Read More: Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer, Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers
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