Week 5 Where to Put 'em

Thursday, Oct 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm ET

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for the week. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Put 'em In The Game: Donovan McNabb
It's always hard to guess how effective a quarterback will be after returning so quickly from an injury. All reports indicate that McNabb will suit up and play against the Bucs. I'd be a little hesitant solely because any lingering effects from the injury are unknown. The upside here is that the Bucs give up a ton of points to opposing QB's and this is a great match up.
Put 'em In The Game: Tony Romo
Romo may have struggled lately and may have given many fantasy owners heartburn, but he should turn that around this week as he faces a Kansas City defense that ranks 28th in the league against the pass giving up 250 yards per game. KC has also given up 8 TD's on the year so far so if Romo is going to have a breakout game, this is the week.
Put 'em In The Game: Rashard Mendenhall
If Willie Parker is out, Mendenhall is your guy! Detroit ranks 20th in the league against the run giving up 120 yards on the ground. Even better - they're giving up 20+ fantasy points to RB's, and based upon last week's performance, there's no reason to expect Mendenhall to do anything less.
Put 'em In The Game: Knowshon Moreno
When Correll Buckhalter got hurt, Moreno was able to pick up the pace with the additional carries and come into fantasy relevance. The Patriots defense is ranked 11th in the league against the run, but this is the same defense that allowed Ray Rice to rip them apart for 152 yards. Moreno may not be Rice, but he should be a good start this week while he gets the majority of the workload.
Put 'em In The Game: Brandon Jacobs
Brandon Jacobs has been "ok" so far. Not great. Just OK. I, along with thousands of you, am hoping that this week he finally breaks out and gives us the game we've been waiting for. The Raiders give up 146 yards on the ground and Eli's nursing a sore foot. If Jacobs can't deliver a big game this week, his fantasy value will take a hit.
Put 'em In The Game: Steve Smith
You're probably thinking to yourself "That's not the Steve Smith I'm used to seeing". Well, you'd be right and you'd also be well served to get him into your lineup if you were fortunate enough to grab him off the wires. Steve Smith can now be considered a stud worthy of starting each week regardless of the match up. The only concern surrounding him this week is the health of Eli Manning.
Put 'em In The Game: DeSean Jackson
With or without Donovan McNabb, DeSean Jackson is racking up the fantasy points. The Bucs rank 17th against the pass giving up 221 yards per game. While not terrible, they're also giving up plenty of TD's to WR's (9 so far this year). Hopefully McNabb is back in throwing shape.
Put 'em In The Game: Derrick Mason
Mason has just been awesome and he's riding high on Joe Flacco's arm. Baltimore has become a solid team overall and Mason's fantasy value has risen since the preseason. The Bengals rank 26th in the league against the pass giving up 242 yards/game.
Put 'em In The Game: Vernon Davis
The 2009 Vernon Davis is 180 degrees different than the 2008 version. Davis is flourishing in the 49'ers offense this year with solid outings the past two weeks. The Falcons rank 27th against the pass giving up 245 yards/game. Davis is solid starter this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Brent Celek
Brent Celek has become a fantasy surprise this year, hasn't he? He's currently ranked #2 among TE's this week on FFN and he gets to face the Bucs who give up yards and points to tight ends. Start him with confidence.
Put 'em On The Bench: JaMarcus Russell
Sorry Raiders fans, but I enjoy seeing him listed here. Especially when both Kyle Boller and Marc Bulger from STL are ranked ahead of him.
Put 'em On The Bench: Derek Anderson
How could anyone possibly think that Braylon Edward's departure could help Derek Anderson? He now has no reliable receiving threat and that offense is still a mess. His only possible hope at fantasy relevance this week is the fact that Buffalo gives up 226 yards through the air (21st in the league).
Put 'em On The Bench: Matt Ryan
This is a tough one, but there are better options this week. Ryan faces a very stingy 49'ers defense that ranks 10th in the league against the pass and only gives up an average of 1 TD per game. He should produce an average day, but it's unlikely that he'll do much more.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kevin Smith
Like Matt Ryan, it's tough to sit someone like Kevin Smith, but sit him if you've got a better option. The Steelers rank 3rd in the league against the run giving up just over 60 yards per game. This is a bad match up for Smith.
Put 'em On The Bench: Larry Johnson
I had such high hopes for a resurgence of Larry Johnson. Unfortunately, the KC offensive line is about as good at the Packer offensive line (which as been pathetic). Johnson has been a fantasy disappointment so far this year and his match up against a middle-of-the-road Cowboys D isn't going to help.
Put 'em On The Bench: Braylon Edwards
Even with an upgrade at QB, Edwards isn't a safe fantasy play this week. He's new to the Jets and still has to learn the playbook. I think he has potential once he gets acclimated to his new team, but the safe play is to put him on the bench this week.
Put 'em On The Bench: Santana Moss
Santana Moss comes in this week at #19 among WR's in the FFN rankings, however I think that's a bit generous. Moss is inconsistent and he's facing a Carolina defense that ranks 6th in the league against the pass. Campbell will have a difficult day and so will Moss.
Put 'em On The Bench: Zach Miller
Is Zach Miller still on your team? His #16 ranking on this week's FFN TE list is perhaps a bit high. The Giants have the #1 pass defense in the league and they'll be watching Miller. Oh yeah, he also has JaMarcus Russell throwing to him.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kevin Boss
Here's a game where neither team's TE is startable. Miller's a bust and Kevin Boss gets lumped into that category as well but for slightly different reasons. While the Raiders offense may sputter, their defense is actually quite good and ranks 11th in the league against the pass. Boss is nursing a sore ankle and that could hamper his production this week.

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