Week 5 Where to Put em

Thursday, Oct 6, 2011 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 for Week 5 of the 2011 NFL season.

This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Andre Johnson, or Adrian Peterson. Where to Put 'em takes a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Teams on Bye Week: Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, and Miami Dolphins

Put 'em In The Game: Matt Ryan
We have yet to see the Matt Ryan that we loved last season. That should change this week as Atlanta hosts the defending Super Bowl champions. While it's incredibly tough to run on Green Bay, it's surprisingly easy to throw against them. Only one other team gives up more fantasy points to opposing QB's than the Pack. Green Bay's secondary has allowed an average of 335 yards passing each game which should spell fantasy success for Ryan.
Put 'em In The Game: Cam Newton
Assuming that Cam Newton does what we expect him to this week, he may be moved onto the Studs list and will become an assumed starter. As FFN's Joe frequently says, if the NFL were an Austin Powers movie, Michael Vick would be Dr. Evil and Cam Newton would be Mini-me. Defenses have to prepare for Newton the same way they have to prepare for Vick. He can throw. He can run. He's dangerous both in and out of the pocket. He faces a Saints D that is giving up an average of 18 fantasy points (standard scoring) to opposing QB's each week. What's not to like here?
Put 'em In The Game: Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez has not been great. He has not been consistent. Well, actually, he's been consistently un-great with last week's performance considered hitting rock bottom. Sanchez delivered a whopping doughnut (164 yards, no scores, 3 int) the last time he visited the Patriots at home, so why should you consider starting him? Simple. This isn't the same Patriots D that Sanchez faced before. After Green Bay, New England gives up the next most fantasy points to opposing QB's. Rex Ryan has said that he wants to run more and when that fails this week, Sanchez will take to the air. He'll have to.
Put 'em In The Game: Joseph Addai
Without Peyton Manning, the Colts offense is a shell of its former self. Joseph Addai ran the ball well even if his numbers from Monday night don't reflect it. Addai may not be the stud that he once was, but he's still a good matchup player. This week is a good matchup. The Chiefs are giving up 130+ yards on the ground each week, and more importantly they're giving up more than 20 fantasy points per game to opposing RB's. Addai's FFN rankings are up this week with expectations of a solid outing.
Put 'em In The Game: Fred Jackson
2011 has seen the resurgence of Fred Jackson. He has delivered some fantastic performances for fantasy owners during the first month of the season. If sit/start decisions are often matchup-based, then consider this a sweet matchup for an overperforming player. The Eagles have not been the dream team that many thought they would be. Nobody gives up more fantasy points to opposing RB's than Philly and you can bet that Jackson will see more than his fair share this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Santonio Holmes
Like his quarterback, Santonio Holmes has been consistenly un-great so far this season. Also like his quarterback, Holmes is poised for a breakout performance against the Patriots. The Patriots give up more fantasy points to opposing WR's than any other team. If Jason Campbell can throw for 344 yards on the Pats, surely Sanchez and company can come close to that.
Put 'em In The Game: Julio Jones
We like Julio Jones a lot this week and for the same reasons that we like Ryan above. Green Bay bleeds fantasy points to opposing QB's and WR's. Jones is coming off back-to-back century games including last week's 11 catches for 127 yards. We watched Eric Decker get into the endzone twice against the Pack last week. Even if Green Bay can slow down Roddy White, they're not going to be able to slow down both White and Jones. It wouldn't be surprising to see Jones hit the century mark again this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Mike Williams
The sophomore slump continues, but we're going out on a limb this week and recommending Mike Williams. He's up a few spots in this week's FFN rankings most likely due to his upside against the 49ers. LeGarrette Blount looked fantastic last week but he's going to face a challenge against San Francisco's front line. If (when) he struggles, Freeman will have to take to the air. The 49ers give up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing WR's and Williams is still a top target.
Put 'em In The Game: Brandon Pettigrew
If we're looking at matchups, Brandon Pettigrew has a nice one on Monday night against division rival Chicago. Detroit is one of only two undefeated teams in the NFL right now and Pettigrew is a contributor to that success. The Lions' passing game is looking strong right now and Pettigrew could be solid in the red zone. The Bears give up more fantasy points to opposing TE's than anyone else, and if Stafford is looking for someone (not named Johnson) in the endzone, Pettigrew is a likely candidate.
Put 'em In The Game: Tony Gonzalez
Wasn't Tony Gonzalez supposed to be over-the-hill and just riding out his time until retirement finally calls his name? If that's the case, somebody needs to tell him that because he's playing at an exceptionally high level. He's averaging a score in each of his games and it wouldn't be surprising to see him holding onto the ball in the endzone this week at home against the Packers. The game should be a shootout and Gonzalez should be in line for another great fantasy day.
Put 'em In The Game: John Kasay
Predicting kicker performance is like taking out the garbage. Nobody really likes to do it but you know you're going to have to. Kickers generally flourish in either explosive, efficient offenses or subpar, "let's just try and get it to the 30" type of offenses. John Kasay is on an explosive offense facing his old team. He's been doing well this year and we expect that trend to continue.
Put 'em On The Bench: Matt Cassel
He's in there, but you have to look way down the FFN rankings this week to find Matt Cassel. After losing Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs' offense has been unrecognizable. Bowe may still be able to put up some decent numbers here and there, but Cassel is anything but decent right now. The Colts at home will put pressure on Cassel all day. Without a legitimate run threat and defense, the Chiefs will fall behind and have to throw. That's when the real trouble begins. Only a serious risk-taker would consider Cassel a start.
Put 'em On The Bench: Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben is a Big Risk this week. Ben Roethlisberger will be playing with a steel toed shoe behind an offensive line that has let opposing linemen take their shots at the Steelers' QB. Roethlisberger is well known for his play-making abilities. We've watched him turn the impossible into possible, but if his line can't give him any time in that pocket to throw and his injury keeps him from moving around, he's in for a rough day. Oh yeah, we forgot to mention that the Titans are a Top 10 pass defense.
Put 'em On The Bench: Ben Tate
When Arian Foster went down, Ben Tate filled in beautifully. In fact, he was the dictionary definition of the fantasy term "handcuff". He saw the century mark and said "hello" to the endzone. With Foster's impressive performance last week and Tate's own hamstring injury, he's been relegated to the backup role once again. While we're not going to start him, we're still stashing him on our bench.
Put 'em On The Bench: Rashard Mendenhall
Rashard Mendenhall has yet to produce the kind of stats that we were expecting to see when we drafted him. When 5 yards a carry is considered a good yardstick by which to measure a RB, you've got to be disappointed with Mendenhall's paltry 3. His hamstring injury last week only worsened our outlook on him. Isaac Redman will get the nod this week, and even if Mendenhall plays, we're expecting Redman to have the better fantasy day.
Put 'em On The Bench: Knowshon Moreno
Knowshon Moreno may be ahead on the depth chart but his play is anything but. Moreno is the Ryan Grant of Denver - playing backup to the official backup. Willis McGahee (like James Starks in GB) will be more involved and remain front and center again this week. We don't like McGahee's odds against the Chargers so why should we get excited about NoShow Moreno? The talent is there but the production and attitude are not.
Put 'em On The Bench: Nate Washington
Unless your name is Chris Johnson, there isn't anyone on that Titans offense that we're starting this week including Hasselbeck and Washington. It may look like the vaunted Steelers defense has been losing a step recently, but don't let their rushing D fool you. Their secondary is as strong as ever. In fact, Pittsburgh allows the third fewest points to opposing WR's. With Britt out, you can expect Polamalu and company to key in on Washington.
Put 'em On The Bench: Marques Colston
Saints coach Sean Payton has said that Colston is looking good and that his workload should go back to normal. It's hard to believe that after watching him take part in only a quarter of the offensive action last week. We're sure his targets and playing time will improve, however the Panthers are stingy on giving fantasy points to opposing WR's and we have some lingering doubts as to whether or not Colston is actually 100%.
Put 'em On The Bench: Dustin Keller
While Dustin Keller is generally considered a must-start, he flopped last week in what ended up being a defensive showdown. While the Patriots give up a ton of yards and fantasy points to wide receivers, they are awfully tough on tight ends. Remember Week 2 when Antonio Gates gave us a big, fat doughnut? Yep - that was against the Pats.
Put 'em On The Bench: Marcedes Lewis
If you drafted Marcedes Lewis expecting the Mercedes Benz of last year, you'd probably settle for a nice Ford Fusion right now. Lewis has failed to live up to even the lowest of expectations this year. With Blaine Gabbert throwing the ball, it's hard to get excited about Lewis' potential. What a shame.
Put 'em On The Bench: Nick Folk
Nick Folk was a solid kicker last year and has done a fairly decent job so far this season, but kickers don't generally fare very well kicking in Foxborough. He may still put up respectable numbers, but he'll have his work cut out for him.

Join the Discussion

Len CommentedOct 7, 2011 11:00 am

I see alot of people saying to start Addai. I still question the whole Colts offense. I could start him, Ingram or Ridley. I'm leaning towards Ridley. What do you think?

Nerd CommentedOct 7, 2011 11:00 am

The reason I'm giving the edge to Addai (and I assume why others are as well) is because he's a known quantity. He could have a better than normal game this week based upon his matchup. I agree that the Colts offense leaves a lot to be desired, but Addai is the safer play.

Why would I give him the edge over the others you mention? Well, Ingram is not the star power in that New Orleans backfield - Sproles is. While Ridley could very well have a great game and his workload has increased, his role on the team is still a question mark. There's more risk in starting him.

Every situation is different though. If you are swinging for the fences and your intuition disagrees with me, go with it. Ultimately it's your decision and yours alone. If Ridley breaks one off, he could deliver big points. I just think Addai is safer.

bone70 CommentedOct 7, 2011 11:00 am

Week 5 Question.. PLZ HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have Drew Brees @ QB

Det Lions Def, John Kasay @ Kicker

Maurice Jones Drew, Frank Gore, Ryan Matthews @ RB

My Dilema is @ WR. I have Andre Johnson who is hurt, Brandon Marshall on a bye

So my bench consists of AJ Green, Lance Moore, Titus Young, & Heyward Bey

I was offered a trade of Mike Thomas (Jag WR) for Stevan Ridley. Ridley I picked up just for collateral. Should I give him up and start Thomas, or stay with what I have and start __________ next to AJ Green?

JACKASS PENGUIN CommentedOct 8, 2011 11:00 am

need big time help

please let me know should i play DJ Ware or Mendenhall if he's available?

Thanks, JP

Nerd CommentedOct 8, 2011 11:00 am

@bone70 - I'd be inclined to start Moore in that open spot and stash Ridley for a little while yet.

@JP - Mendenhall is still iffy, but if he's a go (early game so we'll know his status an hour or so before gametime) I'd still start him.

samenus CommentedOct 8, 2011 11:00 am

I have Addai vs KC, Sproles at CAR and Gore v TB. I am going with Sproles and Addai. My decision is based on Sproles consistency (14,13,12,14 pts - Wks 1-4) and Addai's relative consistency to Gore's half arsed efforts weekly. Also the CAR and KC D's are in the bottom 5 vs RB's. TB is in the top 15, and has been dominant the last two weeks. THOUGHTS?

Nerd CommentedOct 9, 2011 11:00 am

Samenus - that's always tough. Fantasy Football Rule #1: Never Sit Your Studs. When we heard that Gore would not be starting last week, his rankings went down and Hunter's went up. Gore ended up having a fantastic day which defies all logic.

Looking at the FFN Defensive Dossier, Addai and Turner both did poorly against TB, but Jahvid Best did alright and AP tore them up. Gore is probable and I'd personally be inclined to continue playing him. You may ultimately end up being correct with Addai & Sproles, but I've always had a hard time going against Rule #1.

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