Week 5 Starts and Sits October 9, 2015  |  Chet


 

Welcome back, fake footballers, for Week 5’s installment of starts and sits.  Despite a compressed production schedule in Week 4, I had a good feel for the games and I was paid off with my highest finish so far this season in terms of rankings accuracy at FantasyPros.com.

On the other hand, this week’s slate features an inordinate number of tough-to-predict games.  You may infer from the video and player recommendations below that my confidence level is not quite as high for these Week 5 starts and sits, despite more time to develop my rankings and game flow predictions.  With that said, it wouldn’t be a start/sit article without some amount of uneasiness.  The safety of the status quo is always inviting, but let us once again stray from the herd in search of greener turf:

2015 Game Flowbotics (Week 5)

TFF’s Week 5 Staff Rankings

Starts

QB

  • Philip Rivers vs. PIT:  The Chargers have an offense built to pass and the Steelers struggle against the pass.  Mathematics!
  • Eli Manning vs. SF:  The Giants could hang 49 points on the 49ers in this game, just sayin’.
  • Sam Bradford vs. NO:  The Saints have the league’s worst passing defense by DVOA.
  • Blake Bortles @ TB:  I covered in the video how worried I am about suggesting so many players in this match-up, but my need to bet against the Bucs’ defense is immutable.
  • Jay Cutler @ KC:  This pick assumed Alshon Jeffery would play.  With news that Alshon missed Friday’s practice, this prediction looks a lot riskier.  The Chiefs have played a difficult schedule to this point, so they’re likely not as bad as their record and play would indicate.  Cutler slides down my rankings a bit with the Alshon news, but he’s still startable in 2QB formats.
  • Kirk Cousins @ ATL:  The Cuz’ wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the video, but I want to offer a bonus 2QB play now that I’ve hedged on Cutler.  This pick ties directly into my love of Jamison Crowder (see below).

RB

  • Todd Gurley @ GB:  Potential for game flow danger here, but Gurley looked special in Week 4 and the Packers have the league’s 2nd-worst run defense by DVOA.
  • Dion Lewis @ DAL:  He should be an every week starter going forward.  This is your post-bye reminder.
  • T.J. Yeldon @ TB:  See Blake Bortles above, but Yeldon might be the play in this contest I’m most confident about.  I’m willing to be burned on this (and all fake football prognostications, really), but Yeldon’s breakout week seems likely against Tampa Bay.
  • Ronnie Hillman @ OAK:  Two weeks in a row recommending the same time-share RB?  This can only end in tears…
  • Anthony Dixon @ TEN:  I called out the risk of using Boobie this week in the video and news since I recorded has largely been negative.  Sounds like Dan Herron might be the better value in Buffalo’s backfield, but I’d stay away from both, if at all possible.
  • Charles Sims vs. JAC:  Strictly a PPR-play in deeper leagues.  Sims’ touches have been very consistent and the Jags rank 4th in rushing defense DVOA, which could be mean tough sledding for Doug Martin and more usage for Sims on pass plays.

WR

  • Allen Robinson @ TB:  See Blake Bortles above.  Allen Hurns has been the Jacksonville WR to own recently.  In this week’s cushy match-up, I expect the pendulum to swing back in A-Rob’s favor.
  • Alshon Jeffery @ KC:  As always, contingent on him playing (he missed Friday’s practice), but wideouts have been feasting on the Chiefs’ Chefs’ secondary cuisine.
  • Leonard Hankerson vs. WAS:  It’s tough to run against Washington and they’ll have to key on Julio Jones in the passing game.  The stage is set for another quality week from Hankerson.
  • Kamar Aiken vs. CLE:  Flacco has no one else.  It’s like a buddy cop movie.  RIGGGGGGGGS!
  • Travis Benjamin @ BAL:  All of the sudden, I’m a Benjamin believer.  The bandwagon collective will add my biological and technological distinctiveness to its own.
  • Jamison Crowder @ ATL:  See Kirk Cousins above.  Oh no, I’ve created an infinite referential loop!  *The void envelops us all.  Only Gronkowski survives.*

TE

  • Antonio Gates vs. PIT:  Off suspension just in time to take the place of San Diego’s injured receivers.
  • Charles Clay @ TEN:  A bit of a no-brainer, but keep using Clay if you’ve got him.
  • Delanie Walker vs. BUF:  For what it’s worth, I also like Kendall Wright in this match-up.
  • Owen Daniels & Virgil Green @ OAK:  Tight ends tend to roast the raiders.  Daniels is a nice option for normal leagues and Green is intriguing for TD upside in deeper formats.
  • Ladarius Green vs. PIT:  The return of Gates doesn’t necessarily indicate doom for Green.  Stevie Johnson’s absence matters too.  Chargers could potentially use more two-TE sets and threaten to run more often.  Doesn’t quite fit their offensive mindset to date, but good teams adapt and build around talent.

 

Sits

QB

  • Andy Dalton vs. SEA:  I don’t expect the wheels to completely fall off, but I don’t expect Dalton’s top-5 production to continue, either.  The rough part of his schedule begins this week.
  • Joe Flacco vs. CLE:  I’ll use Aiken for volume’s sake, but I worry about Flacco’s production with the dearth of receiving options in Baltimore.
  • Matthew Stafford vs. ARI:  Another brutal match-up for Stafford.  You can do better.
  • Colin Kaepernick @ NYG:  His rushing floor is theoretically nice, but those rushing points will double as his ceiling if he keeps grounding passes.
  • Derek Carr vs. DEN:  I don’t want any of my fantasy plays to face the Broncos defense.

RB

  • DeMarco Murray vs. NO:  Saints are more vulnerable to the the pass than the run and the Eagles’ backfield is a clear timeshare.
  • Melvin Gordon vs. PIT:  One of the hardest players to forecast week-to-week.  Gordon’s usage doesn’t seem to correlate with any obvious match-up factors.
  • C.J. Anderson @ OAK:  Split backfield at this point and Hillman didn’t suffer a turf toe injury this season.
  • Isaiah Crowell @ BAL:  Seemingly passed by Duke Johnson on the depth chart.
  • Antonio Andrews vs. BUF:  Strong opposing defense, unclear usage forecast, no thanks.
  • Darren McFadden vs. NE:  Not a particularly bold call, but I don’t expect McFadden to easily absorb Lance Dunbar’s touches.

WR

  • Amari Cooper & Michael Crabtree:  See Derek Carr above.  Cooper has the talent to rise above the match-up woes, but he’s further down my rankings this week than usual.
  • Brandin Cooks @ PHI:  Philly’s defense is quietly legit and Cooks simply isn’t the WR1.5 we wanted him to be.  He could produce decent number in this game, but he’s outside of my top 30 WRs.
  • Golden Tate vs. ARI:  See Matthew Stafford above.
  • Kenny Britt @ GB:  I worry that fantasy owners will look at what Britt did with the game flow boon granted by Pittsburgh in Week 3 and expect a similar occurrence here against Green Bay, but the Packers’ pass defense is much better than Steelers’.  Buyer beware.
  • Anquan Boldin @ NYG:  See Colin Kaepernick above.

TE

  • Richard Rodgers vs. STL:  Tough defensive opponent, I prefer a lot of other TE options this week.
  • Heath Miller @ SD:  Vick has largely ignored him.
  • Dwayne Allen @ HOU:  Not actionable after the game has already occurred, but I was out on Allen.  In future weeks, check in early on the Game Flowbotics spreadsheet for TNF starts and sits.
  • Vernon Davis @ NYG:  See Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin above.

Thanks for reading/watching and good luck this week.

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