Week 5 Where to Put em

Thursday, Oct 7, 2010 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 Week 5 of the fantasy football season. 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: Sam Bradford
If you're in need of a bye week fill-in, Bradford could be your guy. He's owned in only 44% of FleaFlicker leagues and has a nice matchup this weekend with Detroit. Bradford has been impressive for a rookie throwing 6 TD's after only 4 games. We can't promise that he won't throw a pick or two in this game, but he should get some yardage from the Lions who give up 285 yards (26th in the league) and 21.85 points to opposing QB's (25th in the league).
Put 'em In The Game: Eli Manning
It's not often that you see both Manning brothers in the FFN Top 5 but here we are with Eli facing a Houston defense that is giving up a league-worst 381 yards through the air per game. After getting hammered by the Bears, we're expecting a nice little bounce-back for Eli this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Ryan Mathews
Mathews hasn't lived up to the hype that surrounded him before the season began. He saw the endzone for the first time last week and has two fumbles so far. To be fair, his ankle sprain doesn't help and the Chargers intentionally eased him back into the flow last week. Mathews has been named the starter this week and he has a great matchup against Oakland who is giving up an average of 145 yards on the ground each week. The Raiders are 25th in the league in points given up to opposing RB's. Tolbert will still see some carries, but it should be back to work this week for Mathews.
Put 'em In The Game: Cedric Benson
You probably drafted Cedric Benson as a Top 20 back but he hasn't performed to that level yet as he's currently ranked 22nd among RB's this year. Weeks 2 and 4 were major disappointments, but look for that to change this week against the Buccaneers who rank 25th in the league against the run giving up 161 yards on the ground. With T.O. and Ochocinco keeping the Buc's defense honest, there will be holes for Benson to run through this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Marques Colston
Where has Marques Colston been? After 4 games, his best performance was in Week 2 with 5 receptions for 67 yards. He has yet to see the endzone in one of the most prolific passing games in the NFL. Look for that to change this week against a middle-of-the-road Arizona defense that got lit up by San Diego.
Put 'em In The Game: Hakeem Nicks
We really like Nicks this week for the same reason that we're suggesting Eli Manning: Houston cannot hold a passing game in check. We're expecting an aerial assault between both teams with makes Steve Smith a fantastic option as well. Nicks is coming off a fantastic showing against the Bears and gets to face the Texans who practically bleed points to opposing WR's and QB's.
Put 'em In The Game: Terrell Owens
It's tough to call which of the Cincy divas will turn in a better performance each week, however we're leaning towards Owens this week. Mind you that T.O. will NOT have 200+ yards this weekend but we still see him producing this week. As long as Ochocinco gets the defense's primary attention, T.O. should end up with a fine day.
Put 'em In The Game: Chris Cooley
Chris Cooley is clearly a favorite target for Donovan McNabb. The Pack is giving up an average of 67 yards per game to opposing TE's this year (27th in the league) and Cooley has been in double digits in ppr leagues all year. FleaFlicker currently has Cooley ranked 6th among all TE's so far. While we're not expecting a record-breaking day, we do anticipate a solid stat line on Sunday.
Put 'em In The Game: Marcedes Lewis
Other than Week 3, Marcedes Lewis has been a pretty consistent performer He plays the Bills this week and Buffalo ranks 29th in the league in yards allowed, TD's allowed, and fantasy points allowed to opposing TE's. Lewis may not be an every-week starter in some leagues, but his matchup this week makes him an attractive option.
Put 'em On The Bench: Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb's return to Philly last week was pretty classy and the fans showed that they appreciated the previous 11 years. Unfortunately that didn't help McNabb's numbers. He finished the day completing 42.1% of his passes for an awful 125 yards, 1 score, and 1 pick. If it wasn't for his 426 yard performance against the hapless Texans' secondary, McNabb would not warrant a Top 20 overall ranking. You may be able to run on the Pack, but Charles Woodson and company can make it difficult to score through the air.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kevin Kolb
McNabb's heir-apparent will be suiting up this week with Michael Vick still feeling the pain from that sandwich hit last week that brought him out of the game. Kolb is not Vick. He's going to stay in the pocket like a traditional QB. He was good enough to be the starting QB at the beginning of the season and Reid still has faith in him, but playing the 49ers on the road is tough for any QB. Kolb has the potential to put up decent numbers this week, but we're opting for a safer bet if you've got one.
Put 'em On The Bench: Marion Barber
With a few notable exceptions, running back by committee isn't generally conducive to fantasy success. Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones said today that he wants to see more of Felix Jones which hurts both Tashard Choice and Barber. The Cowboys face the Titans this weekend and Tennessee ranks 8th in league in rushing yards allowed. There's just not going to be enough yards to go around this weekend and Barber isn't going to see his potential in that offense.
Put 'em On The Bench: Brandon Jackson
Picking up Brandon Jackson after Ryan Grant went out seemed like a coup for fantasy owners who could snatch him off the waiver wire. Oddly enough, his carries have been cut in half since Week 1 where he carried the ball 18 times. Last week he saw just 9 carries for 33 yards. The week before he carried it 7 times for an ego-deflating 12 yards. FB John Kuhn has more yards per carry and is seeing more action, which makes Brandon Jackson tough to keep on the roster in 8 and 10 team leagues.
Put 'em On The Bench: Malcom Floyd
Floyd is talented and Philip Rivers is having a fantastic year. Unfortunately neither of them will be able to overcome Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha is an elite CB with a good supporting cast. While the Raiders have difficulty stopping the run, they are able to shut down a passing game. They're 2nd in the NFL against the pass allowing a paltry 71 yards per game to opposing WR's. We promise that Floyd will be in Asomugha's crosshairs this weekend.
Put 'em On The Bench: Santana Moss
Nnamdi Asomugha, Darrelle Revis, and Charles Woodson are absolute nightmares to opposing WR's. We touched on Asomugha above so let's look at Charles Woodson. The NFL's reigning Defensive MVP takes on Santana Moss and the Redskins. Moss is really the only deep threat that Washington has so you can be absolutely certain that Woodson is going to be all over him. If you have to start Moss, hold onto the fact that besides last week's terrible performance, he has been a pretty solid fantasy WR thus far. The odds aren't in his favor, but the potential is still there.
Put 'em On The Bench: Jason Witten
For many folks, Witten was drafted to be their starting TE and they can't be thrilled with his production so far this season. Witten is 23rd among TE's this year with a game high of 56 yards in Week 3 against Houston. He has yet to see the endzone and it's not likely to happen this week against the Titans who are 8th in the league in yards allowed to opposing TE's (41 yards/game) and who have not allowed a single score by a tight end. If you have a better option here, play it.
Put 'em On The Bench: Greg Olsen
Jay Cutler was back at practice after suffering a concussion last week, but we've gotten word that Cutler will be inactive this weekend against Carolina. Todd Collins will get the start and it's difficult to know what to expect here in terms of fantasy production. Carolina ranks 11th in the league in points allowed to opposing TE's and has not allowed a score from a tight end. Olsen would be a decent play against a more forgiving defense, however that's not the case this week.

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