Week 5 Sit Start Advice

Thursday, Oct 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 5 of the 2016 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.

Please Note: 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.

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Start 'em Derek Carr (OAK, QB)
Coming in at #8 this week is Oakland's Derek Carr facing a Chargers' secondary that has given up the 6th-most yards through the air this season. San Diego has given up an average of 18 fantasy points each week to opposing QB's including Blake Bortles and Alex Smith. The Carr to Cooper/Crabtree connection should be in full effect.
Start 'em Carson Wentz (PHI, QB)
Coming in at #9 this week is a fresh face to the Top 10: Carson Wentz. The Lions don't give up a ton of yards through the air (271 ypg), but they give up a lot of fantasy points - roughly 24 points per week including almost 20 points last week to Bears' backup Brian Hoyer. Wentz is on a roll and should be in your lineups. He's also a nice DFS play.
Start 'em Jordan Howard (CHI, RB)
The Bears should be in no rush to get Jeremy Langford back as Jordan Howard is doing a fine job in the Chicago backfield. He's ranked 13th this week making him a high-end RB2 against an Indy defense that has given up an average of 16 fantasy points (std) per week.
Start 'em Frank Gore (IND, RB)
On the other side of the field from Howard will be veteran Frank Gore who has seen a bit of a resurgence as of late. Chicago has done a fine job shutting down the passing game this year (8th-best in the league), but opponents have been able to run all over them with Elliott, Mathews, and Miller all hitting double digits. Gore is ranked 8th this week.
Start 'em Jordan Matthews (PHI, WR)
Sitting just outside our Top 10 this week is Jordan Matthews (ranked 11th). He's fresh off a bye and facing a Detroit secondary that Eddie Royal and Jordy Nelson collectively put up 39 standard fantasy points on (52 PPR). The Lions give up the 6th-most fantasy points to opposing WRs.
Start 'em Michael Crabtree (OAK, WR)
Ranked 16th this week among WRs (and 2 spots ahead of teammate Amari Cooper) is Michael Crabtree who has developed a solid rapport with Derek Carr and has outplayed Cooper after four games. San Diego gives up 289 yards per game through the air and we expect Crabtree to get a solid share and won't be surprised to see him in the endzone again.
Start 'em Hunter Henry (SD, TE)
Sitting just inside our Top 10 this week is Hunter Henry who has an opportunity to shine once again in the absence of Antonio Gates. He shone bright last week catching 4 of his 7 targets for 61 yards and a score. He should be considered a must-start this week against Oakland.
Start 'em Martellus Bennett (NE, TE)
While he hasn't been the most consistent player this year, the potential is definitely there. With the return of Tom Brady, you'll find both Gronk and Martellus Bennett in the FFN Top 10 this week facing a Cleveland secondary that just got torched by Jordan Reed last week to the tune of 19 points (std) and 28 points (PPR).
Start 'em New England Patriots (NE, DEF)
There's a lot to be happy about in the Patriot Nation right now, and when they come into Cleveland this week, many are expecting a lopsided victory. The Pats are ranked #1 this week facing a Browns defense that has not played up to expectations. New England is a must-start.
Start 'em Mason Crosby (GB, K)
Fresh off a bye and facing the Giants, Mason Crosby should be in every fantasy lineup. No other team has given up more fantasy points to kickers than New York so we expect Crosby to turn his fantasy season around this Sunday. He's ranked #5 this week.
Sit 'em Tyrod Taylor (BUF, QB)
Without Sammy Watkins and facing an above-average Rams secondary, the outlook for Taylor has dimmed considerably since the start of the season. He's ranked 18th this week on FFN, so if you have a better alternative, play the alternative.
Sit 'em Matt Ryan (ATL, QB)
After throwing for 1,473 yards and 11 scores this season (including the amazing 503 yards and 4 scores last week), why on Earth would you consider benching Matty Ice? He's ranked 19th this week because the odds are simply not in his favor to put up solid numbers against a stout Denver D that allows just 13 fantasy points per week and has held Winston, Dalton, and Luck to just 11 points.
Sit 'em Charles Sims (TB, RB)
After a disappointing week and knee injured by Aqib Talib in the first quarter of last week's game, Charles Sims has failed to live up to expectations while filling in for Doug Martin. Carolina gives up the 10th-fewest rushing yards per game and a sputtering Tampa Bay offense isn't going to change that.
Sit 'em Rashad Jennings (NYG, RB)
We anticipate Rashad Jennings suiting up and playing on Sunday night against Green Bay, but the last place Jennings belongs is in your lineup. No other team has given up fewer rushing yards this year than the Packers.
Sit 'em Golden Tate (DET, WR)
If your name isn't Marvin Jones, have a seat. Golden Tate was expected to be the lead WR on this Lions' offense this year, but reality has not matched up with the hype. Tate is ranked 51st this week (not a typo) against a Philly D that kept Antonio Brown to 14 points (std) and everyone else under 10.
Sit 'em Randall Cobb (GB, WR)
With Jordy Nelson back and some defensive pressure off, we all anticipated Randall Cobb getting some fantasy love this season. There's not much love to give this week either as the Giants have held WR1's and WR2's to an average of just 8 fantasy points including keeping Stefon Diggs and Brandin Cooks to pedestrian days.
Sit 'em Jason Witten (DAL, TE)
Facing a Cincy defense that has given up the 10-fewest yards per game through the air, Jason Witten will likely struggle this week. The Bengals have not allowed a tight end to hit double digit fantasy points (std) this year. Incidentally, Witten hasn't hit double digits either making this an easy decision.
Sit 'em Houston Texans (HOU, DEF)
You can't simply replace someone like JJ Watt (out for the year), yet the Texans D has to try and do just that. Facing a Vikings offense that has been surprisingly effective even without Adrian Peterson, there are better options that the 21st-ranked Houston defense.
Sit 'em Matt Bryant (ATL, K)
Denver has given up the 5th-fewest points this season so Matt Bryant's odds of putting up big fantasy numbers is awfully small. Bryant is ranked 20th this week among kickers.

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