Week 5 Starts and Sits
October 5, 2016 | Jackson Safon
We’re 1/4 of the way through the fantasy season and up is down and down is sideways.
DeAndre Hopkins had one catch for four yards while Will Fuller had 27 points. Ben Roethlisberger threw for five touchdowns but Eddie Royal somehow outscored Antonio Brown. At least we can take solace in the fact that Julio Jones is a cyborg, something we’ve known all along.
If you’re still reeling from fantasy heartbreak, that’s okay. I am too. I had two games end in ties, both of which I lost because of the bench points tiebreaker.
That’s still not as bad as me saying to sit both Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham in last week’s column. Good news is I hit on Jordan Howard and Hunter Henry.
If you’re looking for this week’s fantasy advice from someone who will guide you based on statistical patterns but will most likely end up being wrong, you’ve come to the right place.
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Start: Matt Ryan @ Den
Ryan has been the highest scoring player in fantasy this season, but no I’m not doing this just to pad my stats. There is legitimate concern about starting Ryan on the road against a Broncos defense that has been allowing under 15 points per game to opposing quarterbacks. The thing is though, there shouldn’t be.
Ryan has been absolutely crushing it this season, with at least two touchdowns in each game this year and only falling short of 330 yards once. Yes, the Broncos defense is outstanding, but the Falcons still have Julio Jones. While Matt Ryan’s absurd touchdown rate is unlikely continue, the good news is he should be throwing most of this game. The Falcons are six point underdogs, and their defense has actually allowed at least three passing touchdowns in every game this year; meaning they’ll likely be playing from behind this week, allowing Ryan to continue chucking it up to Julio down by the schoolyard.
Sit: Tyrod Taylor @ LA
The good news for Tyrod Taylor is he’s throwing to a receiver who has caught literally hundreds of balls on the Coliseum field. The bad news for Tyrod Taylor is that receiver, Robert Woods, caught as many touchdowns his senior year at USC as he has throughout his entire pro career.
But that’s not where the bad news stops. While Taylor has bounced back well after his disastrous week one, he’s still not a great option for this week. The Bills-Rams matchup has the second lowest over/under of the week, expected at only a half point higher than Vikings-Texans. The Rams defense made the explosive Cardinals offense look like Drew Stanton was quarterbacking them. Taylor will be a QB2 with QB1 upside throughout the season, but please don’t start him this week.
Start: LeGarrette Blount @ Cle
The headlines for this week’s Patriots game will be all Tom Brady. While it’s certainly likely that Brady and his receivers will go off in his first week back, the game script is actually shaping up nicely for Blount. In games in which the Patriots are favored by double digits (they’re 10.5 point favorites this week), Blount averages over 14 points per game. The Patriots are going to try and score as many points as they can this week, and Blount is almost a lock for at least one touchdown.
To make matters even better, the Browns have been horrendous to opposing running backs this year, allowing the seventh most points of any team. With how quickly this game could get out of hand, Blount might get 10 carries, 60 yards, and a touchdown just in the fourth quarter. Start him with the confidence that Bill Belichick has in him.
Sit: Matt Jones @ Bal
Jones had his first great week of the year, putting up over 20 points in PPR. And perhaps more importantly, he actually did so in an efficient manner, averaging over five yards per carry. I would sell high if the window has been opened, because the Ravens have allowed the third fewest fantasy points to running backs so far this season. The over/under isn’t enticing, and Jones hasn’t cracked double digit points without a touchdown.
Furthermore, Jones averages over four fewer points per game when the Washington football franchise is an underdog. He needs volume more than most players, and in a game likely to be played at a slow pace, against a good run defense, with a low over/under, he isn’t likely to get it.
Sit: Alshon Jeffery @ Ind
One of the big disappointments so far this year, Jeffery has not even cracked the top-24 for receivers once this year. While on the surface, the matchup against the Colts looks like a good one, Indy’s defense against receivers has actually been stellar. Vontae Davis and the Colts have allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to receivers this year, a stat that’s shocking for a team that’s allowed over 31 points per game.
As expected, Brian Hoyer under center hurt Jeffery as he had his worst week of the year in week four, only totaling 46 yards. While I expect Jeffery to turn it around this season, this isn’t the week to start him.
Sit: Stefon Diggs vs. Hou
One of the big successes so far this year, Diggs has gone from being drafted at a similar ADP to Laquon Treadwell to being a top-15 receiver. He’s risen as easily the Vikings best receiver and has been a favorite of Sam Bradford so far. The troubling part is, over the past two weeks he hasn’t cracked 50 yards in either contest and has only scored one touchdown. With defenses starting to key on him, Diggs hasn’t been quite as effective.
Cut to this week and Diggs has an astoundingly bad matchup in a game with the lowest over/under of the week and against a team allowing only 15 points per game to all opposing wide receivers combined. The Texans defense lost J.J. Watt for the year, but they’re still a tough matchup for opponents and will force other receivers to beat them. Diggs has been a breakout star this year, but it would be smart to sit him this week.
Start: Hunter Henry @ Oak
I got this one right last week so might as well ride the wave. Henry gets a good matchup against the Raiders who have had one of the worst defenses in the NFL so far this season. This game has the highest over/under of the week so at a position in which touchdowns often make or break the week, Henry is a great guy to target this week as long as Antonio Gates remains out.
Sit: Jacob Tamme @ Den
While I’m still starting Matt Ryan this week, Tamme is one of the guys in this offense that I’m fading this week. Part of the elite Broncos defense is a great pass rush, so you could see Tamme being held in to block a decent amount, cutting down on his routes. Like I said, tight end is a position where there are less yards, making touchdowns more important. I don’t see Tamme getting in the end zone this week against a stout Denver defense.
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