Fantasy Football Start 'Em Or Sit 'Em: Week 5 Edition
Jason Getz, USATSI

Fantasy football in week five figures to have its share of surprises as we break down who start and who sits.

Fantasy football is by no means easy to predict. As we approach week five, we’re in for another test of finding those borderline line players to win your match-ups. Looking at last week’s pick’s, starting Matt Jones proved to be valuable while benching Ryan Fitzpatrick was also the proper decision.

The season is officially one quarter of the way complete. Player roles are becoming more defined and injuries are providing opportunities for others to step up. We’ve got you covered in week five’s start ’em or sit ’em.

Start ‘Em

John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Over his last two games, Brown has hauled in 16 passes for 214 yards. The speedy wideout has received considerably more targets over the past two weeks after a slow start. Carson Palmer and the Arizona offense have been somewhat disappointing in 2016, but their struggles could soon be ending in week five.

Next in line is a San Francisco defense allowing just under 400 total yards of offense per game. Brown’s recent performances merit consideration as a WR3 or FLEX option.

Sit ‘Em

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Wait, what? Bench the same Matt Ryan that threw for a franchise high 503 yards last week? You’ve heard correctly.


Ryan’s record breaking performance last week doesn’t necessarily warrant a start this week. If he’s your only QB, fine, roll with what you have. However, if you have another option, leave Ryan on the bench next week. The Falcons will travel to Denver, who are allowing the second fewest passing yards per game (169.5).

Start ‘Em

Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears

One of the most popular waiver wire additions in week four did not disappoint in his first career start. Howard ran 23 times for 111 yards and grabbed 3 passes for 21 more. As long as Jeremy Langford remains injured, Howard is worthy of RB2 status.

The Bears travel to Indianapolis in week five against a Colts defense that’s mediocre at best. The Colts currently rank 18th against the run and 24th in total yards per game allowed.

Sit ‘Em

Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Smith may be the top receiver on the San Francisco depth chart, but that doesn’t necessarily make him starting material. Through four games, the University of Maryland product has totaled just 9 catches for 106 yards.

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Thursday night’s matchup with Arizona doesn’t bode well for the 49ers’ passing attack. They’ll line up against a loaded secondary allowing just the seventh fewest pass yards per game. Did we mention Blaine Gabbert is still the quarterback?

Start ‘Em

Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens backfield has been difficult to predict on a week to week basis. Their committee approach makes it frustrating for fantasy owners to predict who might be awarded the bulk of the carries. While one week might not be the main indicator, Terrance West has notched double digit carries each week, including a season high 21 last Sunday.

His 113 yards and one touchdown performance came against an Oakland defense that has struggled thus far, though, West approaches another favorable matchup in week five. The Ravens will host a Washington team 30th against the run, allowing 133 yards per contest.

Sit ‘Em

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings

The 26 year old has enjoyed a nice start to his 2016 campaign after a few rather fruitless seasons. He looks to have found some level of chemistry with Sam Bradford which has made him a valuable commodity. However, you’re better off rolling with another option in week five.

The Vikings are set to square off with the league’s top ranked pass defense against Houston. The Texans are allowing just 162.5  pass yards per game. J.J. Watt or not, this defense can still limit opposing passing games.

Start ‘Em

Hunter Henry, TE, San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Chargers drafted Henry in the second round this past Spring. Many people believed that Henry was the best tight end in the draft, and he’s began to flash his talent over the past two weeks. Combining for 9 catches, 133 yards, and a touchdown over the past two weeks, Henry’s stock is in the green.

Next week, the Chargers will travel to Oakland, who are dead last against the pass, allowing 325.5 pass yards per game. Give the rookie a chance to prove his talent in a favorable week five match-up.

Sit ‘Em

Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins

Similar to the Ravens, the Dolphins backfield has gone by a committee approach, especially with Arian Foster‘s groin issue. However, the Ravens have had much more success running than the Dolphins.

Ajayi has failed to record double digit carries and hasn’t posed much of a threat catching the ball, either. He’s amassed just 75 yards rushing through four games. While he faces a Tennessee defense ranked 20th against the run, his performances don’t warrant a start, even in deeper leagues.



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