Fantasy Football: Week 5 starts, sits

October 03, 2014 - 4:59 am

WEEI_FantasyFootball_2014_hdr I'€™ll get to the starts and sits in a second, but I have to say that if the NFL wants to keep having Thursday night football, could they have both teams agree to play? It's now two weeks in a row that one team showed up and mopped the field with what looked like a JV unit. It seems like we keep getting low-quality football on Thursdays and it'€™s almost certainly related to the short week of preparation. And, in an era where player safety is supposedly of paramount concern, what'€™s the rationale for the short week? Not to mention that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are about as compelling as another Derek Jeter retrospective. I never thought I would miss Mike Mayock. So who do we want in our Week 5 lineups this weekend? Let'€™s endeavor to find out. As usual, I have avoided the exceedingly obvious choices. The most obvious selection below probably is Reggie Bush, who is included because his Week 5 situation is atypical. If the player or players that you want feedback on are not listed here, consult my full lineup rankings at Rotobahn. If you still have unanswered questions on Sunday, then head over to our chat, which starts at 11 a.m. every Sunday during fantasy football season. And, don'€™t forget to check out The Fantasy Football Hour. It airs each Sunday morning starting at 6:30 a.m., and you can listen to a tape of the show right here on WEEI.com if you are not an early riser. To keep track of all our fantasy football content both here and at Rotobahn, follow us on Twitter. QUARTERBACKS Start Eli Manning, Giants vs. Falcons He gets Odell Beckham, Jr. back this week, and they have righted the ship lately even without the highly regarded rookie. It'€™s a sweet home matchup with the Falcons, who can score the ball and who aid others in doing the same. Fire up all your Giants skill players. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Jaguars He'€™s playing well, and this matchup is a slam dunk. Big Ben is a solid QB1 option with a cast of healthy targets led by scorching-hot receiver Antonio Brown. Blake Bortles, Jaguars vs. Vikings He should be playing from behind for much of the game, and we like the way he stays cool under pressure. This is crucial in Jacksonville, where quarterbacks face constant pressure. The good thing about Bortles is that he'€™s a rugged dude who gets you points with both his arm and his feet. If you need an option in a deep league, he can help you. Sit Andy Dalton, Bengals at Patriots He'€™s playable in big formats, but I am not loving him on the road against a Patriots defense that projects to be fired up and ready to go. The Bengals are likely to be without Marvin Jones again after the tall receiver rolled his ankle in practice this week. Jones was supposed to return and bolster the Cincinnati receiving corps, but he'€™ll be limited if he can play. I see this game as a ground battle, so be careful with Dalton in smaller formats. You probably have better options. RUNNING BACKS Start Reggie Bush, Lions vs. Bills There are injuries to all the backs in Detroit not named Reggie, so get Bush active this week as he projects to get a major workload at home vs. the Bills. Ahmad Bradshaw, Colts vs. Ravens The Colts are rotating their two backs, giving both Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw weekly snaps and touches. Last week they had an easy game and got Richardson more involved, but this week should be different. This week they have the Ravens, who like to get after the quarterback. Baltimore puts stress on a backfield, and Bradshaw'€™s ability to pick up the blitz will be big. I expect him to be the back who posts the most stats because he'€™ll be on the field more. Start him in medium to large leagues and in all PPR leagues. Ben Tate, Browns at Titans He'€™s back and he'€™s projected to start in a sweet road matchup against the Titans' mediocre run defense. Start Tate as a RB2 or flex option. He should handle about half of the workload. Khiry Robinson, Saints vs. Buccaneers Mark Ingram likely will be back next week, but Robinson will have a big role this week against a Bucs team that isn't stopping much these days. The Saints should get a lead and Robinson should be the back who protects it. He'€™s a solid flex play in 12-team leagues. Sit Trent Richardson, Colts vs. Ravens As I mentioned before, Bradshaw could be the crucial back this week for Indianapolis, so I'€™d be careful with Richardson, who is playing decent football but who also is less equipped to handle the Ravens pass rush compared to Bradshaw. WIDE RECEIVERS Start DeAndre Hopkins, Texans at Cowboys He'€™s playing too well to bench in 12-team leagues and he'€™s a decent start in smaller formats if you need him. The matchup against Dallas certainly is nothing to fear. Sammy Watkins, Bills at Lions Watkins has been playing well, and now he gets a new quarterback in Kyle Orton. I think it'€™s a plus for Watkins' fantasy value and I would keep him active as a WR3 in 10-team leagues and above. Rueben Randle, Giants vs. Falcons This is a week to get your Giants active as they face a soft defense but also are in a game that could feature plenty of offense on both sides. The Giants could throw a lot and still be throwing down the stretch if things break right. There'€™s some big-game potential here. Torrey Smith, Ravens at Colts I like Smith this week as a WR3 or flex play in 12-team leagues. He'€™s playing better than his numbers indicate and he finally found the end zone last week. Sit Eric Decker, Jets at Chargers The Jets seemingly are hell-bent on ruining Decker'€™s season. He'€™s been battling a hamstring injury since early August and the Jets just don'€™t want to shut him down long enough for it to fully heal. You might get lucky. Decker did manage to get through last week and find the end zone in the process, but he'€™s missing practice again this week and his conditioning is not going to be there for a full workload this weekend. Consider other options, especially in smaller formats. TIGHT ENDS Start Larry Donnell, Giants vs. Falcons This might be on the obvious side, but do not even consider benching this guy until the magic stops. For now, he is a red zone producer who must be tapped into. And it'€™s not a fluke. Donnell is playing good, solid football. He'€™s a TE1 in all leagues. Travis Kelce, Chiefs at 49ers This is a matchup that will test him, but no way do you bench Kelce right now. He'€™s playing too well and the Chiefs are featuring him. Owen Daniels, Ravens at Colts If you need an option with a chance at success this week, Daniels could help you in bigger leagues. The Colts are hurting on the back end, and Daniels is well-versed in Gary Kubiak'€™s system. As teams try to take away Steve Smith, things might open up for Daniels underneath. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buccaneers at Saints Another option for deep leagues. This one is for really deep leagues, but I am liking what I am seeing from this rookie. Seferian-Jenkins is a huge target with surprising athleticism, and he played every snap last week. He'€™s officially supplanted the unimpressive Brandon Myers and he could be in for extra looks in the red zone with Mike Evans out for a few weeks. He can help you in leagues with 14 or more teams this week and he could be on the 12-team radar very soon. Sit Coby Fleener, Colts vs. Ravens He'€™s playable if you need him, but this is a tough match for Fleener, who is less athletic than everybody in the Ravens secondary. He needs the cheap score to make it work this week. Do you want to bet on that?