With more bye weeks on the way, setting your fantasy football lineup is full of difficult decisions. My Start-Sit fantasy predictions are here to help guide you through some of the toughest lineup choices for Week 5.
We are through four weeks of the NFL season, and it is worth noting that it is time to start prioritizing production over where a player was drafted. There are sure to be players that simply got off to slow starts, but when it comes to setting your starting lineup you need players you can consistently count on to score points.
Where a player was selected in your fantasy draft is no longer relevant, especially if they are not producing up to their preseason expectations. When debating between two players, let the data guide you and not whether a player is a household name.
One thing that is clear is there are not enough starting running backs to go around. With teams utilizing multiple backs, the number of players receiving consistent touches appears to have dropped.
If you have an excess of running backs on your roster, chances are you will find a healthy trade market given the lack of viable waiver wire options in most leagues. As always, feel free to reach out on Twitter @JonDAdams with any waiver wire or general fantasy football questions you may have.
Here is a look at my fantasy football predictions for Week 5.
Start Eagles QB Carson Wentz vs. Jets & Sit Falcons QB Matt Ryan vs. Texans
Wentz survived a difficult road matchup against the Packers and had a few extra days to prepare for the Jets. New York ranks near the bottom in passing defense allowing more than 286 yards per game. Look for Wentz and the Eagles offense to finally get back on track at home in a plus matchup. The Eagles quarterback should have his best performance so far this season.
The entire Falcons team is on a downward spiral, and you can no longer have confidence starting Matt Ryan. The Falcons quarterback has looked inaccurate and is part of the reason for the offensive struggles.
Atlanta’s offensive line has been plagued by injuries, but Ryan has struggled even when there is a clean pocket. Ryan is better left on your bench until the Falcons prove their offense has improved. It is a terrible time for a difficult road matchup against a good Texans defense.
QB Starts Week 5: Assuming Sam Darnold is cleared to play, he gets a plus matchup against an Eagles defense that allows the most passing yards in the NFL. If you are desperate at quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater should have a nice day against the Bucs defense.
QB Sits Week 5: While you are not likely sitting Dak Prescott, we could see another middle-of-the-road performance against a good Packers defense. Jameis Winston is likely to struggle to have another strong fantasy outing against a Saints defense that did not allow a passing touchdown to a prolific Cowboys offense.
Gardner Minshew should remain on your bench against the Panthers, who are the best passing defense in the league. Whoever the Redskins end up starting at quarterback should also be avoided against the Patriots.
Start Vikings WR Adam Thielen vs. Giants & Sit Titans WR A.J. Brown vs. Bills
Adam Thielen is not happy with the Vikings offense and made his displeasure known after Minnesota’s loss. Thielen had just two receptions for six yards against the Bears. Whether or not Kirk Cousins remains at quarterback, you can expect the Vikings to feed Thielen early and often against a suspect Giants defense.
“At some point, you’re not going to be able to run the ball for 180 yards, even with the best running back in the NFL,” Thielen told The Athletic. “That’s when you have to be able to throw the ball. You have to be able to make plays. You have to be able to hit the deep balls. You have to do that.”
A.J. Brown took advantage of a struggling Falcons defense and is worth adding if he is on your waiver wire. That does not mean you need to insert him into your starting lineup. Green and the Titans face a much tougher opponent in Week 5 against the Bills. We need to see Green put multiple productive weeks together before feeling confident with him in your lineup.
WR Starts Week 5: Alshon Jeffery should be peppered with targets against a pass-friendly Jets defense. With Darnold likely back under center, Jamison Crowder once again has fantasy relevance as the slot receiver appears to be the quarterback’s favorite target. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is expected to be the Packers top receiver this week given Davante Adams’ status being in doubt against the Cowboys.
WR Sits Week 5: It is hard to get away from starting D.J. Chark, but the Jaguars face the Panthers which is the best pass defense in the NFL. Carolina is allowing just 156 passing yards per game. Mike Williams continues to struggle for the Chargers. The L.A. receiver has just eight receptions through four weeks of the season and faces a challenging Broncos secondary on Sunday.
Start Chargers RB Melvin Gordon vs. Broncos & Sit Bears RB David Montgomery vs. Raiders
Melvin Gordon was active in Week 4, but the Chargers were only going to use the running back in an emergency situation. With a full week of practice ahead, this could be the game where the Chargers start to unleash Gordon. Austin Ekeler is still going to get carries as the Chargers attempt not to overwork Gordon, but a matchup against the Broncos defensive line is too much to pass up.
Denver is allowing 149 rushing yards per game and received even more bad news with Bradley Chubb out for the season. You will want to monitor reports on Gordon leading up to kickoff, but assuming he is expected to get work you will want him in your lineup.
At first, David Montgomery’s lack of production appeared to be tied to his usage. The rookie running back got a whopping 21 carries against the Vikings, but only averaged a mere 2.5 yards per carry ending the game with just 53 rushing yards. Hopefully, things begin to click for Montgomery as the season goes on, but he cannot be trusted in your lineup until he breaks out.
RB Starts Week 5: Marlon Mack has become an obvious start, but it is worth emphasizing the Colts running back has a plus matchup against the Chiefs this weekend. Joe Mixon has struggled this season but should be able to break out against the Cardinals defense. Frank Gore should continue to well out-perform where he was drafted and gets a solid matchup against the Titans.
RB Sits Week 5: After one of the best performances of his career, Wayne Gallman is unlikely to find similar success against the Vikings. You are most likely starting Josh Jacobs, but you should temper your expectations against a stout Bears defense. Jordan Howard is unlikely to have a repeat performance against a solid Jets rushing defense and should be left out of your lineup in most circumstances.