Week 5 Start'em Sit'em Decisions
Must Plays: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Michael Vick
Philip Rivers (SD) @OAK--Rivers is one solid performance away from being labeled a "must-play, and that could be the case following this weeks game. The Raiders have given up just under 20 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, while having yet to record an interception. Currently, Rivers is the third highest scoring player in standard leagues, and considering the Chargers upcoming schedule, I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Eli Manning (NYG) vs. PHI--The 2013 season has been one to forget thus far for Manning, but this week's matchup with the Eagles may be one to help him turn his season around. The Eagles have given up the second most fantasy production to opposing quarterbacks, including allowing 19 or more fantasy points in three of four games. There may not be many times where Manning is worth starting, but if you are a Robert Griffin or Ben Roethlisberger owner, he is a solid fill-in for this week.
Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs. HOU--Over the last two weeks, the Texans have held their opponents to zero touchdowns through the air, totaling 15 points allowed to opposing quarterbacks in standard leagues, and that was against two above-average offenses. Kaepernick is coming off of a two-touchdown performance against the lowly Rams, but prior to that game had scored only nine fantasy points following Week 1. The Niners will have to run the ball if they want to win this game, which is going to put a damper on Kaeperninck's final stat line Sunday night.
Andy Dalton (CIN) vs. NE--Dalton may have entered the season as an undervalued fantasy quarterback, but through the first four weeks of the season, he has disappointed his fantasy owners. Through Week 4, Dalton has more interceptions than touchdowns and has yet to show any consistency in the Bengals passing game. To add insult to injury, his top target A.J. Green with be blanketed by Aqib Talib, who is tied for first in the league with four interceptions.
Must Plays: Adrian Peterson (Bye), Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, Alfred Morris (Bye), Marshawn Lynch, Matt Forte, Trent Richardson, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, Doug Martin (Bye)
Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) @ STL--The Jaguars are coming off of another embarrassing loss in Week 4, but have a solid matchup against an underperforming Rams team this Sunday. The Rams defense has allowed the most fantasy production to opposing running backs, having allowed 193 yards and 208 yards on the ground over the last two weeks. While I don't think Jones-Drew will match that mark, he should put up his best performance of the year in this very favorable matchup.
Frank Gore (SF) vs. HOU--The Texans defense has been one of the better groups in all of football this season, but they have had a problem stopping the run thus far. Through Week 4, the Texans have now allowed two 100-yard rushers, while allowed rushing touchdowns in back-to-back games. As mentioned earlier in the column, the Niners will have to run the ball if they want to win this game, so expect Gore to get his fair share of touches in this contest.
David Wilson (NYG) vs. PHI--I know what you are thinking. How could I trust Wilson after what he has shown so far this season? Well, he is now the only option outside of Brandon Jacobs, after the Giants decided to part ways with Da'Rel Scott earlier in the week. Not to mention the Eagles have allowed over 100 yards on the ground the last three weeks and have given up touchdowns to opposing running backs in three of four games. With all that said, expect Wilson to turn things around this Sunday.
Chris Johnson (TEN) vs. KC--Those of you anxiously awaiting a breakout game from Johnson will likely have to wait another week, considering the Chiefs are coming to down. Not only has the Chiefs offense been clicking, but their defense is one of the best in the league, and has allowed only one touchdown to opposing running backs through Week 4. I think Johnson will turn things around sooner or later, but this is not the game.
Rashard Mendenhall (ARI) vs. CAR--Coming off of a bye week, the Panthers will be hungry and will be looking to feast on the Cardinals weak offensive line, which is terrible news for Mendenhall and the team's running game. The Panthers have allowed only one team to rush for over 100 yards against them through three games, holding two opponents to 60 yards or less. Mendenhall has yet to reach 20 carries in a game this season and this doesn't seem like the game he will get to that total.
Fred Jackson (BUF) @ CLE--It has been Jackson, not C.J. Spiller, who has been the most productive running back for the Bills so far this season, but facing the Browns will be no walk in the park for him this week. The Browns defense has yet to give up 100 yards to any of their first four opponents, that that includes Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice. Jackson will also be playing with a knee brace on this this matchup, which will slow him down a bit, so as long as you have a safer option, I would go that route.
Must Plays: Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson, Randall Cobb, Victor Cruz, Reggie Wayne, DeSean Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald
Alshon Jeffery (CHI) vs. NO--Coming off of the best game of his young career, Jeffery will be looking to duplicate last week's production when he led the team in receiving yards. The Saints defense is much improved from a year ago, but still has it's holes in the secondary. The Bears will have to throw the ball early and often in this matchup to keep up with Drew Brees, so another day of double-digit targets will likely be in store for Jeffery on Sunday.
Hakeem Nicks (NYG) vs. PHI--By now you can see my trend. I think the Giants offense is going to turn things around Sunday when they take on the Eagles in the Meadowlands. Nicks is due for a breakout game, and there should be plenty of scoring going on in this one, considering both defensive groups are ranked near the bottom of every category. There may not be many other opportunities to use him in the near future, but on paper, this looks like a dream come true for the Giants passing game.
Denarius Moore (OAK) vs. SD--The Raiders will have Terrelle Pryor back under center on Sunday, which should work out well for Moore and the Raiders passing game. The Chargers defense has allowed the fifth most fantasy production to opposing wide receivers, and considering the likely pace of this one, Moore should be targeted often. Obviously Moore should not be started in place of any of the studs, but if you are looking for a WR3 or FLEX play, he is your guy.
Stevie Johnson (BUF) @ CLE--There really isn't much analysis needed here. Johnson is banged up and will be blanketed by Joe Haden throughout the night, which has not been good for opposing wide receivers through the first four weeks. Not to mention, the Browns front line should be able to pressure EJ Manuel into making bad decisions, so a rough day is likely in store for the Bills offense.
Nate Washington (TEN) vs. KC--Washington has been a pleasant surprise through the early weeks of the season, solidifying himself as the team's top wide receiver, but that was before Jake Locker went down with a hip injury. It is unclear how well Ryan Fitzpatrick will be able to run the Titans offense, so give it a week or two before reinserting Washington back into starting lineups.
Justin Blackmon (JAC) @ STL--The Jaguars will be welcoming back they first-round pick from 2012, but that doesn't mean he should be automatically inserted into starting lineups. The Jaguars passing game has looked terrible in the early on, so he should be a help there, although it is unknown just how much playing time is in store for him this week. I really think Blackmon will do his best in repeating last years' rookie season, but give it a week or two before using him.
Must Plays: Jason Witten, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski (If Active), Vernon Davis, Greg Olsen, Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates
Martellus Bennett (CHI) vs. NO--Despite the Saints defense being one of the best groups against opposing tight ends, Sunday's game should be another good one for Bennett. The Saints have only allowed 11 receptions to opposing tight ends so far this season, but I really liked what I saw from Charles Clay in Week 4, and think the Bears will try to take advantage of the Saints weaknesses the same way the Dolphins did. If you own him there is no way you could take him out of your lineup considering how well he as been playing thus far.
Coby Fleener (IND) vs. SEA--The Seahawks defense is among the top groups against most positions, but they have been vulnerable against opposing tight ends. In last week's win over the Texans, the Seahawks allowed 11 receptions and a touchdown to the opposing tight ends, and with Fleener starting to turn it on, we could see a solid game from him for the second week in a row.
Owen Daniels (HOU) @ SF--After recording 18 fantasy points in standard leagues in Week 1, Daniels has yet to put up numbers on the same level, producing only 17 points over the last three weeks. Garrett Graham has started to take targets away from Daniels, especially in the red zone, which lowers his fantasy value significantly. At this point he is a risky start, as it appears Graham may end up being the tight end to own from the Texans.
Brandon Myers (NYG) vs. PHI--Despite the Eagles secondary underperforming through the first four weeks, there is no way I am starting Myers this week. The Giants offensive line is banged up, which means Myers is being asked to block more than being utilized in the passing game. Not to mention the Eagles have yet to allow a touchdown to opposing tight ends.
Must Plays: Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs
St. Louis Rams Defense/Special Teams vs. JAC--I am going to continue my trend of recommending the defense matched up against the Jaguars for at least one more week, this time going with the Rams. Although they have yet to live up to their full potential, this is a week to get back on track after scoring only 10 points in standard leagues through the first four weeks. Lets face it. The Jaguars are the worst team in football so we might as well continue stacking up against them until they prove us otherwise.
Tennessee Titans Defense/Special Teams vs. KC--With the Chiefs coming to town, there is really nothing to look forward to from the Titans on Sunday. They will be starting a backup quarterback, which will likely lead to a lot of three-and-outs against one of the best defenses in all of football, leading to the Titans defense being on the field more than they have grown accustomed to. With many other favorable matchups throughout the league, there should be another group (St. Louis Rams) to pickup off the waiver wire.
Be sure to join our team of experts live in Rotoinfo.com's new chat room before setting your lineup every Sunday as I answer all your last minute start/sit decisions. This week you can join me from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday morning for some early advice.
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Matthew Beck is a Fantasy Sports Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow him on Twitter @MatthewRBeck for up-to-date Q&A and fantasy information. And, to make setting your Fantasy Football lineup easy, be sure to utilize RotoInfo.com’s new NFL Lineup Grids.
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- Marshawn Lynch will be ready to play Sunday
- Jordan Cameron returned to practice Friday
- Jonas Gray (unknown) is not practicing on Friday
- Braves are very much shopping Justin Upton
- Julio Jones (illness) has returned to practice
- T-Rich expecting to add third-down duties
- Bills-Jets game will be played Mon in Det
- Luol Deng (wrist) will play Thursday
- Dwyane Wade will not play on Thursday
- HC John Fox is optimistic on Sanders for Sunday
@waldemarjr15 thanks a lot man! Now off to Hawaii!
@Bighomie586 i would go with wayne now that it looks like aj green is going to play
@Sky_Razzball yea its goong to go right down to the end...best of luck the rest of the way