Start’em Sit’em Week 5
As we head into week five, fantasy football shifts into the month of October. This means the beginning of a consistent stretch of NFL bye weeks and the ever-mounting pressure to get wins. A seasoned fantasy owner knows it’s a long season and you need to continue to grind it out, yet many fantasy owners will start peeking at their league standings, worrying about the postseason. Some owners are cooking up blockbuster trade offers trying to jumpstart their season, while others are dropping quality players that are just off to a slow start. If you’re finding yourself struggling to make a dent on the scoreboard each week, remember fantasy football is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t get crazy with the kool-aid and start chasing points. I’ve seen some outrageous trades so far this season, some including quality star players for Ryan Fitzpatrick, a QB who has already lost his starting job.
Let’s get to Start’em Sit’em Week 5.
Weekly Start’em Sit’em Recap
Alright, I’m going to plead the 5th on this one. Last week was ruined by injuries and overtime. I’m adding a Void category to this week’s recap.
- Start Joe Flacco – Great call.
- Start Carlos Hyde – 82 yards, TD
- Start John Brown – Had a TD on the first score of the game. He’s been money in 2018.
- Start Sterling Shepard – This call won people money on DraftKings. I had some very nice messages from this pick. If you forgot, I posted this tweet which was a part of last week’s article.
- Sit Chris Hogan – Good read. Totally shut down.
- Start Jimmy Graham – Found the end zone.
Not Bad, Not Great
- Sit Jay Ajayi– 70 yards.
- Start Antonio Callaway – 59 yards. He got hurt. Another frustrating prediction that could have been great.
- Start Tyler Lockett – Not bad. 10.3 in PPR.
- Start Case Keenum -What a bum.
- Start Kenyan Drake – Seriously WTF Dolphins. That was the worst performance I’ve ever seen from a 3-0 team.
- Start Mike Williams – Off and on performances.
- Start Larry Fitzgerald – It’s sad seeing him going out like this.
- Sit George Kittle – Embarrassing. Bad call.
- Sit Packers DEF – This was me getting too cute and overthinking things. My bad.
- Start Chris Carson – This pissed me off. Great call, lost due to injury. His backup had a career day.
- Sit Sony Michel – Total BS. Rex Burkhead was sent to IR a few days after I wrote about him in the article. I should have yanked Michel from my article.
Final Grade: My great calls didn’t make up for my bold predictions. But hey, by now you know I’m not “captain obvious” and I’m willing to make some bold start and sit predictions that could shoot to the moon or crash and burn. My Grade: C-
How Do You Pick Your Starts and Sits?
I plan to use a combination of matchup tools, data, and NFL Betting Lines to pick the best start’em sit’em players to recommend to you. Here is a list of sites I’ll be relying on:
- Daily Roto – I’m using Daily Roto for Redzone data, snap counts, targets, and play calling distribution.
- The Quant Edge – TQE has a WR/CB matchup tool that’ll be perfect for WR Start/Sits.
Start’em Sit’em Quarterbacks
Falcons at Steelers
The best part about the 2018 Atlanta Falcons from a Matt Ryan fantasy perspective is that the team is dreadful on defense. Due to the loss of some key defensive starters, the Falcons can never comfortably sit on a lead. The over/under for the Steelers matchup is 57 total points. Both teams rank in the bottom ten of the league for passing yardage allowed per game along with passing touchdowns allowed. This game will be a shootout; start’em if you got ’em.
Ravens at Browns
I’m going to continue to recommend the Ravens this year until fantasy owners start to show some respect. Flacco is only owned in 16.5% of all ESPN leagues but is having an impressive season thus far. The veteran QB racked up 363 passing yards and two scores against the Steelers, and despite beating a division rival on the road, his post-game interview mentioned his disappointment in the fact that the team wasn’t able to score more points. The Lamar Jackson presence has kicked Flacco in the butt, and his motivation is to not lose his job.
This week the Ravens take on a Browns team that is coming off yet another overtime game without a win.
QB Stream Recommendation
- Ryan Tannehill – The team played like absolute garbage on the road last week and now take on a 3-1 Bengals squad that has been known to give up a lot of passing yardage through the air. Tannehill is on a short leash this season, and he can’t afford another bad performance. I expect a solid bounce-back game.
- Alex Smith – Fresh off an early bye, the Redskins play the Saints on Monday Night Football. New Orleans has struggled against the pass this season, and the division-leading 2-1 Skins will be motivated to play spoiler. The Over/Under for this game is 52 total points.
Titans at Bills
Despite a big overtime win against the Eagles, Marcus Mariota’s week five matchup against the Bills isn’t ideal. The Bills have been somewhat respectable on defense the last two weeks, holding opposing QB’s (Rodgers and Cousins) to modest numbers. The Over/Under for this game is only 39 points. I’d expect a hard-fought defensive battle, which is rare in the NFL these days.
Start’em Sit’em Running Backs
Jaguars at Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs face off against arguably their toughest defensive opponent on Sunday. The Jaguars haven’t been the elite dominant force they were of last season, but they’re still top five in the league. This means the game will be close and the Jaguars should be able to run a balanced offense, one that will exploit the Chiefs terrible run defense. With Leonard Fournette likely out with an injury, T.J. Yeldon will have an opportunity for a heavy workload. The Jags rank first in the league for passing defense, holding opponents to under 164.2 yards per game through the air. This is a great matchup if you believe the Jaguars can slow the Chiefs offense down and grind it out with a rushing attack.
Cardinals at 49ers
The Cardinals have been brutal against the run this season. They have given up 7 rushing TD’s on the ground (ranking last in the NFL), and 141.2 rushing yards per game (ranking second to last). The snap count distribution clearly shows Matt Breida is pulling away with a bigger workload every week.
PPR Flex Starters
- Nyheim Hines – The Colts leaned on Hines in their attempt to mount a comeback last Sunday, targeting him 11 times. The Colts rookie led all RB’s in targets in week four, and as 10 point underdogs against the Patriots on a short week, he should be busy again.
- Bilal Powell – The Jets struggled to move the chains against the Jaguars last week, but a positive takeaway was the heavy use of Bilal Powell. The eight-year veteran RB saw 7 targets along with 63% of the team’s snaps. He almost doubled the workload of Isaiah Crowell.
Vikings at Eagles
The Eagles have the best rushing defense in the league, holding opponents to under 64 rushing yards per game. Dalvin Cook is still not 100% and has said he wants to be fully healthy before his return. If he suits up for this game, have modest expectations. The Eagles secondary has been struggling lately and the Vikings may continue to attack through the air. I understand quality running backs are hard to come by, but if you have better options, consider it.
Titans at Bills
This recommended “sit’em” is for fantasy owners playing in standard scoring leagues. The Titans have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season and have only given up one run of over 20 yards. That being said, McCoy (if healthy) could have some value in the passing game. Overall it’s an ugly matchup. If you’re a McCoy owner, you should start cheering for the rumors of him getting traded before the NFL Trade Deadline.