What’s going on everyone, and welcome to another entry in my “Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em” series! Last week, I had the pleasure of watching the Bears come out and put up 45 quick ones against the Bucs, as I hoped they’d do, so let’s keep the good fortune going!

We’ve got some very interesting games to talk about this week, so without further ado…

Let’s get to it!

*Note* – My Week 5 Rankings can be found here, and be sure to check out Rudy’s projections for this week here!

*Note* – I won’t be including the “studs” in any of my “Start” columns. You should always start Patrick Mahomes, Alvin Kamara, or Odell Beckham Jr.!

Quarterbacks

Start ‘Em

Matt Ryan (@ PIT)

After a poor Week 1 showing against the Eagles, Ryan has been nothing short of fantastic over the past few weeks, averaging close to 30 fantasy points per game. He’ll get another great matchup against the Steelers tomorrow. Pittsburgh’s secondary sure has been rough, as the unit gives up close to 31 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s. Both Julio and Calvin Ridley (more on him later) draw great individual matchups, and Ryan should have another strong showing.

Philip Rivers (vs. OAK)

The 14-year veteran has had another solid start to a season, and draws a good matchup at home against the familiar Raiders. Through 4 weeks, Rivers has already passed 1,000 passing yards, with 11 TD’s and only 2 turnovers. He’ll draw a Raiders secondary that ranks 24th in pass defense DVOA and have given up close to 23 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s. Rivers knows how to attack this secondary, and should be in line for a great game.

Blake Bortles (@ KC)

If you need a quality streaming option this week, look no further than our man Blake Bortles. While it’s always frustrating starting the Jaguars QB, as he tends to let his defense and running back do the talking, it’s as good of a matchup as any, as the Chiefs defense ranks 30th in pass defense DVOA, giving up close to 28 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s. If you need a one-week fix, I’d suggest Bortles.

Sit ‘Em

Aaron Rodgers (@ DET)

While Rodgers himself got off the injury report, which is a great sign, it’s the rest of the report that’s a bit troubling. Both Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison have landed on the report with Adams suffering from a calf injury and Allison suffering from a concussion, Rodgers might have a very weak receiving corps with Randall Cobb already being ruled out. Shockingly, the Lions defense has only allowed about 18 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s, and with the injuries, Rodgers has some serious downside. If you’ve got better options, I’d look elsewhere.

Baker Mayfield (vs. BAL)

With Jimmy Smith returning this week, this Ravens secondary will only get tougher. Through the first four weeks, Baltimore has ranked 5th and 4th in run and pass defense DVOA, and has only allowed about 17 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s. It’s a very tough matchup for Baker Mayfield, so I wouldn’t force him into any of our lineups this week.

Running Backs

Start ‘Em

T.J. Yeldon (@ KC)

You know the drill. When Fournette is out, Yeldon becomes an immediate lock in our lineups, and we can feel even better about the scenario if he’s got a good matchup. Well ladies and gents, we’ve got both. Fournette has already been ruled out this week, so not only will Yeldon be locked into a nice workload, he’s also got a fantastic matchup against the Chiefs. While he is on the road, Kansas City ranks 32nd in rush defense DVOA, and has allowed close to 32 fantasy points per game to opposing RB’s (and 8 catches per game). Yeldon has tremendous upside this week.

Chris Thompson (@ NO)

At first glance, Thompson seems to be drawing a horrible matchup against the Saints defense. New Orleans currently ranks 1st in rush defense DVOA, and through 4 weeks, has only given up 3.0 yards per carry to opposing RB’s. However, that’s exactly the reason why I like Thompson so much. While I do respect the #RevengeGame for AP (more on him below), I think he’s going to struggle in this spot. However, the rest of the Saints defense struggles against the pass, which is where Thompson operates. He’s got some very nice appeal in PPR leagues where he should be active as the check-down option for Alex Smith tomorrow. It’s going to be a Chris Thompson day for Washington.

Mark Ingram (vs. WAS)

He’s back, folks! After serving a 4-game suspension for PED’s, Mark Ingram will officially return to NFL action on Monday Night. While Alvin Kamara has been absolutely tearing it up lately, the Sean Payton and this staff has said multiple times that they will run the ball similarly to last season with both runners. Ingram will get his, and immediately returns to the fold as an RB2/flex play ROS. This week, however, is even better, as Washington funnels production to the run, ranking 3rd in pass defense DVOA, but 31st in run defense DVOA. Ingram will get his, and should be a staple of most lineups.

Sit ‘Em

Adrian Peterson (@ NO)

Like I mentioned earlier, this Monday Night showdown between Washington and New Orleans is shaping up to benefit Thompson, and not AP. This Saints defense is very stout on the ground, and I think that should hurt Peterson, who should mostly operate between the tackles.

Lamar Miller (vs. DAL)

Not only is it very problematic that Miller is a game-time decision on Sunday night, but it’s not good that he only got 14 touches and 0 targets out of the backfield last week against Indy. I can’t trust Miller in my lineups with this combination, and I would advise looking elsewhere for an RB2/flex play.

Kenyan Drake (@ CIN)

Hey Razzball reader! Do you know what happened to Kenyan Drake! If so, you should hit me up in the comment section or on Twitter! On a serious note, we can’t be trusting a running back that only plays 40% of the snaps last week and racks in 4 total touches. Until the coaching staff starts using their best runner, we can’t be putting him in our lineups.

Wide Receivers

Start ‘Em

Calvin Ridley (@ PIT)

Like I mentioned earlier, it is a fantastic matchup for Calvin Ridley and the rest of this Falcons passing attack. Pittsburgh will likely roll out Joe Haden against Ridley, which is a 14% advantage for Ridley, according to Pro Football Focus. He’s a great flex/WR2 option as I would expect for Atlanta to come out strong tomorrow.

Brandin Cooks (@ SEA)

A few years ago, I would have been totally off of Cooks on the road in Seattle. However, this is a great matchup for the young receiver who has been on a tear as of late. According to Pro Football Focus, Cooks should draw Tre Flowers, which is a 47% advantage for Cooks. He should be locked into lineups as the Rams offense continues to roll.

Dede Westbrook (@ KC)

With the injury to Fournette, Westbrook could likely see an increased workload as Bortles will look to increase his own volume against a very weak Kansas City secondary that has allowed close to 15 catches a game to oppsing WR’s, ranking 30th in pass defense DVOA in the process. Westbrook is a great fill-in WR for Mike Evans owners, or anyone else who needs a WR/flex play.

Sit ‘Em

Amari Cooper (@ LAC)

Okay, I was really wrong about Cooper last week, and he did quite well for himself. However, I am doubling down this week. Not only is his inconsistency a big negative for his likelihood to be in starting lineups, but I really don’t like his matchup this week against shutdown corner Casey Heyward. I’m not the best with predicting Cooper’s fantasy production, but I don’t like his chances this week.

Marquise Goodwin (vs. ARI)

If Goodwin goes Sunday, he’s going to see a lot of personal time with Patrick Peterson (which should be a great name for a talk show). I don’t think he should be a staple of lineups.

Alshon Jeffery (vs. MIN)

While he did look good last week in his first game back, I’m really lowering my expectations this week as he’ll likely get a good dose of Xavier Rhodes. While if he’s your best option, I see that you can’t bench him, but like I say a lot, if you’ve got better options, I’d look elsewhere.

Tight Ends

Start ‘Em

Jimmy Graham (vs. DET)

Like I mentioned above, it’s a messy situation in Green Bay with the injuries to the wideouts. However, if/when these guys are ruled out on Sunday, that’ll signal the increased usage of Jimmy Graham. He played well last week, and I would expect the same with his usage rate likely going up.

Vance McDonald (vs. ATL)

While I’m not a big McDonald fan, I understand streaming him if you need help at the position, or if you’re an owner of Trey Burton. It’s a good matchup against the Falcons, who struggle greatly against the TE position (and was giving up a lot of production to Tyler Eifert before he got hurt).

Sit ‘Em

Jared Cook (@ LAC)

It’s a tough matchup against the Chargers on the road, and while Cook has been playing well, I can’t trust him fully this week.

Kickers and D/ST

Start ‘Em

Caleb Sturgis (vs. OAK)

The Chargers offense should roll, which should benefit Sturgis, who has already been playing well as of late.

Tennessee Titans (@ BUF)

It’s a great matchup against a struggling Bills offense. I think their performance against Minnesota might actually be an outlier after all. Let’s hope I’m right!

Sit ‘Em

Sebastian Janikowski (vs. LAR)

Not only as Janikowski been struggling, I don’t expect this Seattle offense to truly get going in a very tough matchup against the Rams.

Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)

The Packers defense hasn’t been scoring enough in fantasy, so they’re the furthest thing from a must-start in fantasy.

Alright guys, that is all my time for today. Good luck to everyone in Week 5, and I’ll be back on Wednesday for my Week 6 Rankings! As always, if you have a question or comment, don’t hesitate to leave one below!

You Can Find Me on Twitter here!

  1. William Trill Cauley-Stein says:
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    up?! I hope you are doing well. I am in a ten team .5 PPR league. We do have big play bonuses in my league. Can you help me figure out who to start? I would really appreciate it. I really don’t know who to play from QB, RBs, TE or Flex.

    QB- Goff

    RB- S.Michel (I started him Thursday night)

    RB2- Ingram OR Yeldon?

    WR1- M. Thomas

    WR2- Diggs

    Flex-B. Cooks? OR S. Watkins? T. Coleman? OR V. MacDonald OR M. Ingram? OR Yeldon?

    TE-Rudolph OR V. MacDonald?

    K- Crosby

    D- Titans

    I appreciate it!

  2. rainking99 says:
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    Zach,
    I have some tough decisions this week and can use some help! Thanks in advance!

    Yahoo Standard scoring…..10 team 15 man rosters.

    Pick 1:
    Cousins @PHI
    Stafford vs GB

    Pick 2 WR:
    Cooks @SEA
    Boyd vs MIA
    Ridley @PIT
    Sanders @NYJ

    Pick 1 RB:
    A. Jones @DET
    Lindsay @NYJ
    Lewis @BUF

    And then 1 FLEX from the above players.

    Thank you!

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @rainking99: Couysins, Cooks and Ridley, and Aaron Jones

  3. Patrick says:
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    Would you start Mark Ingram or Mixon in full point ppr?

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Patrick: Mixon with the workload imo

  4. Frank says:
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    I’m 1-3 in a 12 team half ppr. I have Brady and Goff and a few teams are now hot for the latter. I have an offer on the table for Landry for Goff… which may not be bad.. but if you can take a look at my roster and give me your .02 on what direction to go, I’d appreciate it !

    QB – Brady, Goff
    RB – Dv Johnson, Miller, Thompson, Riddick, Edmonds
    WR – Adams, Thielen, Woods, Boyd, Crabtree, Godwin
    TE – Watson (had Engram)
    D – Rams

    We start QB, 2, 2, R/W/T flex.

    Clearly I need help at RB. There is another team looking to possibly make a RB-WR swap. He has Gurley, Yeldon, Sony, Mixon, Powell.

    So do I entertain any of this or look to improve my team elsewhere? Thanks in advance!

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Frank: According to Rudy’s trade tools, I would trade away Jared Goff for either Kareem Hunt, Joe Mixon or Le’Veon Bell. These guys are all similar in ROS ppg, so it’s likely you could land one of these backs. I wouldn’t trade him for a receiver though, you’re good on that.

      • Frank says:
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        @Zach: Thanks. Finding it very tough to flip Goff for a startanle RB though. There’s only one team that needs a QB and he’s the one dangling Landry. He has Devonta, too.

        It looks like I might be able to deal Adams or Thielen for Mixon or Sony. I’d prob want to hang onto Thielen. And then if I flip Goff for Landry..

        You think I should make those moves?

        • Zach

          Zach says:
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          @Frank: I don’t really like those moves, so I’d stay put for now

  5. Mr. Hot topic mgr says:
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    Hey Zach – enjoyed the post. You are doing great work with multiple articles a week, and none of it uninteresting or redudantly uninformative. Matthew berry could learn a thing or two from you.

    Cheers my friend,
    Htm

  6. Mr. hot topic mgr says:
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    Quick questions Zach – who has more value ros in a non ppr league, keelan cole or nick Chubb? I am not desperate at either position…so long term is where I’m thinking

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Mr. hot topic mgr: Cole imo. I understand Chubb has some appeal but I think Carlos Hyde is legit in that offense and that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon

  7. GameOn says:
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    Hi Zach,

    Which do you like as a bench lotto stash: Godwin, Callaway, Sutton?

    Thanks!

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @GameOn: Callaway

  8. Donaldson says:
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    My current line up
    Cam
    Hill
    Tate
    Gordon
    Barkley
    McCaffrey

    Some one wants to make this trade
    McCaffrey for brown or
    Gordan for Thomas

    Would you do either or stand pat

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Donaldson: I would stand pat, I really like your LU so far.

  9. Scott says:
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    Need to pick a rb and a flex out if: t Coleman, lindsay, Collins, a cooper or stills. .5 ppr. Thanks

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Scott: Coleman and Lindsay

  10. Paul Zone says:
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    Pick 1 RB and 1 FLEX out of(PPR):

    Freeman, Breida, Peterson, Baldwin, Enunwa

    Thanks!

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Paul Zone: Freeman and Breida

  11. Test says:
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    Test

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Test: Whaddup!

  12. Chester says:
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    Good evening, happy Saturday as well!

    .5 ppr league is a trade for me imperative or is standing pat the solid move? I’m torn – I like my team & I want to stand pat but I also want to make a move to help my roster going forward

    So first off I’ve been streaming TE all season I don’t currently have a TE, trade my kerryon or brieda for Kittle or keep them & continue to stream? Or offer my DJ to get Mark Ingram + kelce? The Kittle owner also owns Kittle & Jesse James.

    Next look to trade my amari Cooper to get Dalvin Cook ? Of course not making this for this week or even next week more for ROS big picture
    Cooks owner has: Lamar Miller, yeldon, jimmy graham, tevin Coleman as guys id be interested in

    So I thought this was fair I offered Baldwin to get Aaron jones he needs WR help his WR1 is funchess & also has jordy too. He rejected this AM yet his Jordan Howard is still in his flex.

    So my team I’ll just list RB & WRs
    Rbs David Johnson, Melvin Gordon, Royce Freeman, brieda, ekeler (cuff), Kerryon Johnson, Ronald Jones

    WRs: Hilton, Keenan Allen, amari Cooper, Sterling Shepard, kupp, Geronimo Allison, Tyler Boyd, Doug Baldwin.

    TE I need one: trade for week 5 not happening so I’m thinking Ben Watson as a stream with no ginn maybe he gets an extra target or swaim of Dallas . Week 6 waiver I want bucs stack with Winston & cam Brate going forward since they don’t have anymore by weeks.
    – would you drop anyone on my roster this week to secure myself of Winston & Brate , or wait til the waiver wire & drop TE x for Brate & drop my QB streamer for Winston?

    I had an idea of packaging Royce Freeman + Baldwin (Or amari Cooper) for 1 RB or WR – which position to target & any names?

    Lastly thoughts on stashing donta foreman now? Smart move?

    Gracias

  13. Bob says:
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    Coleman, lindsay or Henry at flex? .5 ppr. Thank you

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Bob: It’s close, but I’d rather have Lindsay in my lineup

  14. Brian says:
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    I trade Kerryon for Galloday is that a good move ? I think so due to a lions brutal schedule they play a lot of solid run D,s and Johnson is getting screwed by his coach. Thanks

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Brian: I’d hold onto Kerryon over Golladay. He’s a lottery-ticket at best

  15. Brian says:
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    I trade Kerryon for Galloday is that a good move ? I think so due to a lions brutal schedule they play a lot of solid run D,s and Johnson is getting screwed by his coach.

    • Brian says:
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      @Brian: sorry for the duplicate

  16. Oliver says:
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    Man, everyone is cold on AP for this New Orleans matchup. Problem is I only have Ajayi or Crowell as alternatives. Do I go against the grain and stay with AP? Saquan was able to run on NO last week. I need help! Any deep sleepers you can recommend instead?

    Thanks!

    • Oliver says:
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      @Oliver: Or let me ask you this, do you think John Connor is a buy-low candidate? If I offer DeSean Jackson?

      • Oliver says:
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        @Oliver: James Conner, sorry.

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Oliver: Hey dude! I would go Ajayi this week as your RB over AP

  17. T Cole Anderson says:
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    is stills a better option than Jeffery in a nonPPR? others are golladay and D adams. need to start 3

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @T Cole Anderson: It’s a tough matchup for Alshon, but I think I’d still rather have him than Stills today

      • T Cole Anderson says:
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        @Zach: thank you

  18. Brent

    Brent says:
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    Since I chose to go with McDonald over Ebron as a Burton fill in. . Ugh. . Lost my point:(

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Brent: Sorry man, that’s fantasy for ya!

Comments are closed.