It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for some starts and a few sits. Week 5 will present some challenges to those who are hard hit by the first four-team bye week of the season. I’m sure there also are a few teams playing for their fantasy lives. Hopefully we don’t have many 0-4 squads out there, but if that’s where you are, there’s still hope. A little luck and some good preparation and you can get back into the race. Let’s see if we can find a few good plays for you. If you are looking for information on a player not listed in this space, head over to Rotobahn this weekend and check out our lineup rankings. They will be fully updated by Saturday evening.
As always, I will be here at 11 a.m. for our weekly Sunday chat. Bring your lineup questions and I’ll do my best to help. And don’t forget to tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour this Sunday at 8 a.m. where Jim Hackett and I will discuss the hot Week 5 topics and crucial game day information.
Sam Bradford, Eagles vs. Saints
He’s shaking the rust off and he has been able to stay healthy through four games. The 1-3 record is causing trouble in Philadelphia, but Bradford is in a position to get hot now, and this is a nice home matchup. He can be your QB1 in any league.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars at Buccaneers
Bortles has been a solid fantasy starter so far. Not spectacular, but solid. He has a chance to keep it going this week against a soft Bucs defense, and he is working well with his top two weapons, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers vs. Jaguars
You throw to beat the Jaguars, and that’s what the Bucs will try to do. Winston probably will get picked once or twice, but the numbers should be there at the end of the day. He has the weapons, with receivers like Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, to post good numbers. He also has running backs who are dangerous after the catch.
Brandon Weeden, Cowboys vs. Patriots
He’s underrated, but I don’t like him against the Patriots in this spot. The Cowboys may be able to compete for a while in this game, but it will be by running the football, not by Weeden throwing the ball around. If Dez Bryant returns after the Cowboys’ bye week, then you may see Weeden have some fantasy success. Avoid him for now, even on a tough week for quarterbacks.
T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars at Buccaneers
Yeldon has taken over the Jacksonville backfield lock, stock and barrel, but he hasn’t found much fantasy success yet. That should change this week as he plays a Bucs team that has had big trouble stopping the run. Yeldon should get the touches, so he’s a good play in any format as an RB2 or flex option.
Dion Lewis, Patriots at Cowboys
He’s got his contract signed and I expect him to give the Patriots a nice return on their investment for as long as he can stay healthy. Lewis has always been a dynamic runner and a nice all-around talent. It’s great to see him enjoying some extended health. I see no reason to shy away from him this week, especially in leagues with PPR scoring.
Ronnie Hillman, Broncos at Raiders
Both Broncos backs are playable this week against a Raiders team that will get worn down over the course of four quarters. Hillman might not be the starter, but he will play in an even timeshare with C.J. Anderson. In fact, last week, Hillman got more action near the goal line than Anderson did. Hillman is a worthy RB2 in all 12-team leagues and some smaller leagues as well.
Bishop Sankey, Titans vs. Bills
It’s hard to trust Sankey at this point. The Titans are not committing to any one back right now, and Antonio Andrew was the guy getting the carries the last time the Titans played a game way back in Week 3. Sankey has had his moments, but he is a flex in large formats at best, and a risky one at that. He probably doesn’t even belong on rosters in 10-team leagues.
John Brown, Cardinals at Lions
Brown’s been held out of the end zone for three straight weeks, but I’d stick with him. The matchup this week is a good one, and Brown is seeing plenty of passes coming his way, including 10 targets in last weekend’s game against the Rams.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles vs. Saints
He’s coming off of his best game so far, which was good for 64 yards receiving. It may not seem like much, but it was big for the rookie after three weeks of making close to no impact. This week’s matchup is a very good one. I see Agholor as a reasonable WR3 option in 12-team leagues.
Travis Benjamin, Browns at Ravens
Benjamin now is being used consistently, with 20 targets over the last two games. That makes him more predictable for fantasy purposes. He’s developing some chemistry with quarterback Josh McCown, and he should make a solid WR3 option for Week 5.
Roddy White, Falcons vs. Washington
He’s just not involved enough right now. White may be able to regain PPR value at some point, but right now he’s not much of an option and should be avoided until he shows something.
Delanie Walker, Titans vs. Bills
Rex Ryan‘s defenses often struggle with tight ends, and that’s one area where I expect the Titans to really go after the Bills this Sunday. If you play in a PPR league you get could get high-end results, but you can safely play Walker in all formats and league sizes this week.
Owen Daniels, Broncos at Raiders
This is as good as it gets from a matchup perspective, but that’s not the only reason to play Daniels. He’s been looking better with Peyton Manning the last two weeks. I would not be surprised if he made one or two trips to the end zone on Sunday.
Antonio Gates, Chargers vs. Steelers
He’s fresh, after four weeks off, and he should pick up where he left off in 2014. Start Gates in 12-team leagues and anywhere else you need him. He won’t need any time to get up to speed with Philip Rivers, who has been throwing to Gates for years.
Heath Miller, Steelers at Chargers
He’s not as involved as he was early on, and he has no rapport with Michael Vick. I’d avoid Miller for now, even in bigger formats. He could get some of his value back when Ben Roethlisberger returns, but this is a week to avoid him.
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