Week 5 Start ’em Sit ’em: The Gift of Jerick

by Jonathan Chan

Week 5 Start 'em Sit 'em

Week 5 Start 'em Sit 'em

Credit: Kyle Engman

Week 5 is here. A day that many fantasy owners had circled on their calendars for months has arrived. After serving a four game suspension for his alleged role in "Deflate Gate", Tom Brady will return to the Patriots this week. The timing couldn't be better for New England, as their offense finally fell back to earth in Week 4. Starting an injured Jacoby Brissett, the Pats swallowed a shut out for the first time since 2006. With Brady back, the entire Pats team (including the D/ST) gets a boost.

Many in the football community were ready for the return of Josh Gordon. Unfortunately, Gordon's season (and possibly career) will end, as the troubled receiver checked into an in-patient rehab facility late last week. This puts an end to a near three year roller coaster that enthralled the fantasy world (shoutout to Reddit). Everyone who was on the hype train can safely disembark and drop the former All-Pro. Terrelle Pryor will reap the rewards of Gordon's latest slip-up and remain the Browns WR1.

Owners counting on Gordon may need to fight for waiver scraps to bolster their lineups. For immediate waiver help, check out Richard Savill's Week 5 Waiver Grabs. For Week 5 lineup help, you're in the right place.

Week 5 Start 'em Sit 'em

Start 'em

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings

After working through a couple of tough matchups, the time has come to take the reigns off McKinnon and let him run free. Coming off an 85 yard, one touchdown performance against a good Giants defense, McKinnon will have every opportunity to continue his breakout in Week 5.

The Texans run defense has been poor, surrendering 4.6 YPC (26th) and 125 rushing yards per game (24th). With the loss of J.J. Watt, the Texans defense need to make adjustments to avoid a shredding for a second straight week.

If the Texans offense can't solve the Viking defense, the Vikings will have plenty of possessions to work with. McKinnon will likely have many chances to run the ball and should be able to make something happen. McKinnon has versatility in the receiving game, as evidenced by his five targets last week. He'll be a fine choice for owners in need of an RB2.

Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears

Eddie Royal has put himself firmly in the fantasy discussion this season, posting over 13 standard points in three of the Bears four games. This week he'll have even more opportunity to make his mark. Since Brain Hoyer took over at QB, Kevin White has received a lot of attention, seeing 23 targets over the last two games. With news that White has been placed on IR with a broken fibula, Royal will reap the benefits.

Royal will assuredly see an increase on his seven targets from last week. With Alshon Jeffrey unsurprisingly dealing with nagging leg and foot injuries, Royal could even see his targets jump into the double digits. In a matchup against the Colts, the Bears will likely need to throw often in order to keep up with Andrew Luck and the rest of the Colts offense.

Royal did miss practice Wednesday with a calf injury but there's been no indication that he's in danger of missing Sunday's game. Owners should keep an eye on his participation throughout the week, but he'll be good to go if he practices by Friday. If he plays, he'll be a solid WR3/FLEX for owners looking for bye-week (or Josh Gordon) replacements.

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

Edelman has been a bit of a disappointment early on, posting a season high of eight fantasy points in Week 1, and seeing his production steadily decrease as the Weeks went along. Edelman hit rock bottom last week, catching just one pass for 16 yards. Things will turn around in a hurry this week with the return of Brady.

With Brady back at QB, Edelman should receive his usual workload, which would put him at WR2 value. With recent rumblings that Rob Gronkowski's hamstring stubbornly refuses to heal as expected, Edelman could have a huge Sunday

Going up against the Browns' questionable defense, the Brady Revenge Tour 2.0 is going to get off to an explosive start. Don't let his early season struggles worry you, Edelman is one player that everyone should have in their starting lineups this week.

Derek Anderson, QB, Carolina Panthers

This "Start" is a huge risk for a lot of owners, as the Panthers play on Monday night, but it could pay huge dividends should Cam Newton be unable to suit up. Recovery time from concussions are extremely variable and it's entirely possible that Newton will suit up on Monday. QB needy owners should monitor his progress closely and be ready to add Anderson if Newton is unable to start.  As Newton's status likely resolves very close to game-time, this suggestion may be more useful for his owners than anyone else.

Going up against the Buccaneers soft pass-defense, Anderson may face a team that has allowed two 300 yard passers and surrendered nine passing touchdowns thus far. The uninspiring duo of Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whitaker isn't enough to carry the offensive load for the Panthers, and the burden may fall on Anderson should the Panthers fall behind once again.

Anyone starting Anderson will probably be looking at a couple of interceptions, but the potential is there for good yardage and a couple touchdowns. Anderson is more of an emergency start for Newton owners this week, but he presents a realistic option for owners in deep leagues who wish to avoid lower upside options.

Brian Hoyer, QB, Chicago Bears

For owners not waiting on Cam Newton news, this QB suggestions is little more up your alley. Hoyer has been superb in relief of Jay Cutler, throwing over 300 yards in each start. Even better, the former Texan has yet to throw a pick resulting in a couple of top 10 finishes. Forced to throw an inordinate amount because of the poor Bears defense, Hoyer has a good chance to build on his stellar 2016.

The Colts continue to be one of the more vulnerable pass defenses, giving up 277 passing yards per game. To their credit, they have managed to hold their opponents to just five passing TD. Even so, Hoyer should have the ability to take advantage and put up respectable numbers.

Hoyer is looking like one of the better bye-week fill-ins this week. At just 11% owned in Yahoo leagues, pencil him as a decent bet to produce low QB1 numbers in Week 5.

Sit 'em

Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans

Fuller has been excellent in his rookie season, ranking in the top 10 in receiver scoring. His ability as a deep threat has been a Godsend for an otherwise uninspiring Texans offense. This week, Fuller could see his production come to a screeching halt at the hands of the Vikings.

Through four games, the Vikings have been one of the best defenses in the league. Last week, the frustrated Odell Beckham to the point where he is no longer having fun playing football. In Week 3 they held Kelvin Benjamin to zero yards on a single target. While many owners don't have the luxury to bench DeAndre Hopkins, Fuller is also looking at a dud.

The Vikings have also been tough on opposing WR2, holding Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard to just 80 total yards on 16 targets last week. While Fuller has massive upside every week, his floor in Week 5 makes him a risky FLEX play. Owners in need of safer options should look elsewhere.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Coleman being in the sit section has nothing to do with his skill, workload or injury. He's here simply because the Falcons will be playing at high altitude in Denver this week. Due to his sickle cell trait, the Falcons may choose to limit Coleman as they monitor his health.

The dangers of playing at high altitude with sickle cell trait were in evidence with Ryan Clark in 2007:

During a 2007 game against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High, Clark developed severe pain in his left side and immediately taken to hospital. It turned out that Clark had suffered a splenic infarction due to the sickle cell trait from which he has suffered since he was a child; these are usually a risk at high altitudes. Clark had to have his spleen and gall bladder removed, ending his season.

In order to preserve the health of their young RB, the Falcons will likely severely limit Coleman's workload. With the exception of Week 4, Coleman has been producing like a high end RB2. This week, Devonta Freeman will likely shoulder the load leaving Colean with limited touches. Don't be a sucker by playing him in an obvious light work day against a very tough Broncos defense.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

Stafford has been a pleasant surprise in his first year without Calvin Johnson, averaging 23.36 Fantasy points per game before a stinker in Week 4 versus the Bears. Owners looking for a rebound performance may leave disappointed - like Orioles fans looking for Zach Britton.

The Eagles have absolutely shut down opposing quarterbacks this year, holding Ben Roethlisberger to just 7.98 Fantasy points. The Eagles strength has been preventing passing touchdowns, as they've yet to give up a TD through the air. Although their competition hasn't been all that tough outside of Big Ben, the Eagles have still managed to hold their opponents to just 203 passing yards per game, on just 6.9 yards per attempt.

With Golden Tate struggling and Eric Ebron out, Stafford is likely to struggle in this matchup. Extra passing attempts may result in vintage Stafford interceptions as he tries to force balls into coverage to his one remaining target. Stafford is a low-end QB1 at best but will likely perform like a QB2.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Reports out of Philly are saying that Mathews will be ready to go in Week 5 after participating fully in practice Wednesday. Even in a good matchup against the Lions defense, owners would be taking a bit of a risk starting Mathews. The oft-injured back produced well in his first two games, but only took eight snaps in Week 3 while dealing with pain in both ankles. The limited touches began in Week 2, when he only ran the ball nine times for 32 yards but found the endzone twice.

Coming off their bye week, Mathews will return to the Eagles as their lead back but will continue to lose passing work to Darren Sproles. The emergence of Wendell Smallwood as a viable option will allow the Eagles to ease up on Mathews touches in order to keep him healthy.

If Mathews ever proves himself healthy, he will be a solid RB2 in a decent Eagles offense. However, in his first game back from injury, questions remain surrounding his performance and how the workload splits. He's not the worst option due to bye weeks, but here is some risk starting him this week.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Diggs was spectacular though the first two weeks of the season, surpassing 100 yards in each game and posting 34 standard Fantasy points. However, he's been struggling over the last two weeks catching just 87 total yards on nine receptions. His target and reception totals have dipped since the first two weeks and his production has predictably suffered.

This week, Diggs will have to deal with the tough Texans secondary. In four games, the Texans have surrendered just 162.5 yards per week and just one touchdown. In addition to dealing with a tough defense, Diggs missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a groin injury. Although he will likely play Sunday, missing two practices doesn't bode well for this week.

The Vikings have the option of pounding the ball against a soft run-defense, meaning they won't need to lean on Diggs as heavily this week. He'll be a WR3 with a low floor this week.

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