Week 5 Where to Put em

Thursday, Oct 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 5 of the 2015 NFL 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.

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, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take 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.

Start 'em Sam Bradford (PHI, QB)
Ranked #13 this week is Sam Bradford who could be a great bye-week filler if you need it. The Saints have given up the 2nd-most fantasy points including 30 to Cam Newton and 25 to Carson Palmer. Jameis Winston pulled in almost 19 points on them in Week 2. Bradford should continue to roll after a solid outing last week. Great matchup.
Start 'em Philip Rivers (SD, QB)
It has been a while since we've seen Philip Rivers inside the FFN Top 5, but there's exactly where we see him this week as he prepares to face the Steelers on Monday night. With Antonio Gates set to return from suspension, Rivers will have one of his favorite targets alongside Keenan Allen who has been fantastic. Kaepernick scored nearly 25 points on the Steelers in Week 2 and Rivers should put up similar numbers.
Start 'em Dion Lewis (NE, RB)
It's always tough to trust a Belichick running back, but Dion Lewis has been a nice surprise - particularly in PPR formats. The Pats are facing the Cowboys who have given up 19 points to Mark Ingram and 42 points to Devonta Freeman the past two weeks. Lewis should be a solid play.
Start 'em DeMarco Murray (PHI, RB)
We're going out on a limb here and saying that this is the week that DeMarco Murray finally emerges. Coming into the rankings at #10 overall, Murray should put up low end RB1/high end RB2-type numbers against a Saints team that is giving up 123 yards on the ground each week. Combine that with a squeaky wheel gets the grease situation, and if Murray can't perform this week, the show may be over folks.
Start 'em Keenan Allen (SD, WR)
You didn't draft Keenan Allen as a Top 5 wide receiver, but that's where he is in this week's rankings. Kamar Aiken, Kenny Britt, Torrey Smith, Julian Edelman, and Anquan Boldin have all scored at least 17 points (ppr) against the Steelers this year, and with Allen playing at a high level right now, 20+ points (ppr) is a legitimate expectation.
Start 'em Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, WR)
As one of them, it's nice to see the "old guys" doing well this year. It might be tempting to say that Fitz has found the fountain of youth, but that wouldn't be fair. Fitzgerald is a phenomenal player whose production depends solely on his quarterback. With a solid QB under center, he's a beast. Looking at guys of his caliber (Keenan Allen - 31 points & Demaryius Thomas - 22 points), Fitz should be a lock to see 20-ish points this week.
Start 'em Antonio Gates (SD, TE)
Let's keep the old guy theme rolling with Antonio Gates. Fresh off a 4-game suspension, Gates will face a susceptible Steelers D that gave up 32 points (ppr) to Gronk and 11 to Vernon Davis (yes - the San Fran Vernon Davis). We're expecting a big game out of Gates which is why he's in the Top 10 this week.
Start 'em Charles Clay (BUF, TE)
No Sammy Watkins equals fantasy goodness for Charles Clay as evidenced by his #4 FFN ranking this week. Tyrod Taylor loves this guy targeting him 13 times last week for 9 receptions for 111 yards. It should have been more if not for a touchdown called back on penalty. Clay should be a Top 5 play this week.
Start 'em Arizona Cardinals (ARI, DEF)
If you own the Arizona Cardinals, a short memory is what you need. They stunk it up last week, but take a peek at this week's rankings and you'll find them tied for first with the Chiefs and Broncos - good company. Detroit seems to be having difficulty getting started this year and the Cards aren't going to make that any easier this week.
Start 'em Justin Tucker (BAL, K)
The number one fantasy kicker should be the number one kicker this week as well. He's facing a Browns defense that has given up more total yards than every other team in the NFL. This should be a big game for Baltimore.
Sit 'em Colin Kaepernick (SF, QB)
The Giants actually allow a league-worst 316 yards passing per game; however, Kaepernick is not playing well enough to exploit that fact. Matt Ryan put up 18 points against New York, but we watched Tyrod Taylor and Kirk Cousins falter with just 14 and 12 points respectively. That might be a good day for Kaep this week.
Sit 'em Derek Carr (OAK, QB)
I'm not even going to address last week's disappointing game in what should have been a cake matchup. Instead, let's focus on the Broncos and the fact that QB's have scored an average of 7.5 fantasy points against them this year. This is a tough matchup against fantasy's best defensive unit.
Sit 'em Alfred Morris (WAS, RB)
Who would have guessed that Alfred Morris wouldn't have been in the endzone at all this year? Who would have guessed that he'd be losing so much work to Matt Jones? That's the world we live in. Atlanta is giving up the 5th-fewest yards per game on the ground making this a tough matchup for a guy who isn't the same workhorse he was last year.
Sit 'em Latavius Murray (OAK, RB)
The Broncos have been tough on D this year giving up the 8th-fewest yards on the ground and nobody gives up fewer yards total then Denver. With Roy Helu starting to shine in that backfield, don't be surprised to see a handful of Murray's snaps come his way. Denver should be able to bottle both guys up this week.
Sit 'em Percy Harvin (BUF, WR)
So much potential - so much disappointment. After a solid start to the year, Percy Harvin has fallen short of expectations. With Sammy Watkins out last week, we expected a nice uptick in production. The targets were there but the production was not. The Titans are tough on the pass giving up the 6th-fewest yards through the air per game. Flex play only.
Sit 'em Amari Cooper (OAK, WR)
This kid is super talented and nobody can argue the rapport he has with Derek Carr, but nobody gives up fewer yards through the air than Aqib Talib and the Broncos. He'll bounce back after this week, but this week will be too tough for the dynamic duo to overcome.
Sit 'em Ladarius Green (SD, TE)
Putting Ladarius Green on the sit list is less about Green than it is about the return of Antonio Gates. It's a good matchup, but in the end it's going to come down to targets and how Rivers is going to split them up. Gates ended last season as the second most productive TE in fantasy and we're banking on Gates being that guy again.
Sit 'em Heath Miller (PIT, TE)
Normally Heath Miller would be on the must-start list, but that was with Big Ben under center. Miller is ranked 21st among all tight ends this week on FFN - likely because he just hasn't been involved with the passing game. Until Mike Vick gets him involved, expectations are at an all-time low.
Sit 'em St. Louis Rams (STL, DEF)
The Rams have a good secondary but facing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at home in Green Bay is tough for any team. The Pack is averaging 23 points and 373 total yards per game. The Rams will likely be playing from behind for much of this game.
Sit 'em Sebastian Janikowski (OAK, K)
One of the best kickers over the past few years has been Sebastian Janikowski, but his #19 ranking this week is because he's facing a Broncos defense that has allowed the fewest total yards in the NFL.

Join the Discussion

JuJu's Tigers CommentedOct 9, 2015 11:00 am

I need help with WR.....I have Odell Beckham, Golden Tate, and Devante Adams. Adams is still having ankle issues and I'm not sure about starting Tate this week. Should I pick up Allen Hurns or Rueben Randle for this week? Not much else on the waivers.

JuJu's Tigers CommentedOct 9, 2015 11:00 am

Just saw that Kamir Aiken is also on waivers. Another question....should I start Blount this week as running back. I have Mark Ingram, (already played Frank Gore), Karlos Williams, Ellington, and Darren Sproles. Too many players getting hurt.

Lutefisk CommentedOct 9, 2015 11:00 am

Hi, I've got a general question re your ranking data. Once you put it up for the week do you adjust it at all? I've noted that even when players are ruled out for a game (Luck for example) their rank/expected pts don't change. I realize you can't adjust for game time decisions. I really like to use your line up analyzer especially for selecting flex players. I'm curious if there's a "drop dead" day or time when the data become locked. Thanks much!

Lucky Man CommentedOct 9, 2015 11:00 am

My comment is about Sebas.... Denver defense does allow fewer yards to offenses. Therefore Oakland will be forced to attempt more, longer field goals. Big leg Sebas to the rescue! Start Janikowski with confidence!

Nerd CommentedOct 10, 2015 11:00 am

@JuJu's TIgers: I like OBJ, Tate, Aiken, Hurns, Randle, & Adams in that order this week. Not expecting Karlos Williams to play this week, so I like Ingram, Blount, Sproles, & Ellington in that order. I'd move Ellington up but not sure what his snap count will be or how healthy he'll actually be. Should play behind CJ1K.

@Lutefish: Player points can be dropped to zero as soon as we mark them Inactive in our system. For example, as soon as we marked Andrew Luck inactive, his projected points went to zero. I've struggled with this in the past. For example, using Drew Brees as an example from two weeks ago. All indications were that he would not play so he was marked inactive in the system. I got complaints that Brees wasn't showing up and should be because technically he wasn't officially inactive yet. Here's my preference on this: I prefer to wait until the official announcement comes out, or at a minimum, the team's head coach officially announces that a player will be inactive (ie, Lynch, McCoy, & Williams this week). I recognize that it's impossible to please everyone on this, but that's how it works. As soon as the official inactive lists are provided on Sunday morning (usually starting around 11:30 ET), we'll be officially marking those players inactive. Great question!

@Lucky Man: I hope you're right.

Lutefisk CommentedOct 12, 2015 11:00 am

Ok. Thanks for the explanation. That helps.

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