Week 5 Start'em - Sit'em

Thursday, Oct 3, 2019 at 12:00 pm ET


This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FFN. FFN rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. 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, Travis Kelce, or DeAndre Hopkins. 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 Kyler Murray (ARI, QB)
Ranked inside our Top 10 this week is Kyler Murray facing a Bengals defense that has given up an average of 18 fantasy points to Josh Allen, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Russell Wilson over the first three weeks. Cincinnati has a middle-of-the-road secondary giving up 243 yards through the air each week, but they give up the 5th most points on the board. Murray is like a diesel engine - it takes him a bit to get started, but once he's running, he can be effective.
Start 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
It's funny how public sentiment towards Jameis Winston changes each week. With tough matchups or horrible weather, some folks are ready to throw the towel in on him. Don't be that person. Winston will still come through for you. His Week 5 matchup with the Saints should be interesting as they shut Dak Prescott down last week but gave up an average of 30 fantasy points for the previous three weeks.
Start 'em Andy Dalton (CIN, QB)
If you're willing to take the risk, Andy Dalton could be a potential streamer for you this week. His offensive line has not been able to protect him and his receiving corp has been depleted, but the matchup (at least on paper) looks intriguing. The Cardinals give up 271 yards through the air each week and averaged 24 fantasy points to Matt Stafford, Lamar Jackson, and Russell Wilson.
Start 'em Melvin Gordon (LAC, RB)
If you've held onto Melvin Gordon, it's time to get him into your lineups. It will be interesting to see how the touches actually get split between Gordon and Austin Ekeler. Gordon is technically the starter, but estimates have Ekeler with a 2-1 split over Gordon. Interestingly enough, both are listed inside the Top 15 (PPR) with Ekeler well ahead of Gordon. The matchup is fantastic as every team has been able to put up double-digit fantasy points against Denver including 26 points by Leonard Fournette last week.
Start 'em LeSean McCoy (KC, RB)
Damien Williams returned to practice this week, so we'll see how the carries split when Kansas City faces the Colts on Sunday night. Indy has given up the eighth-most yards on the ground (132.5) and allowed Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, Devonta Freeman, and Josh Jacobs to score an average of 20 fantasy points against them. Assuming Shady isn't limited by his lingering ankle issue, he may still be productive enough to be your RB2 in this matchup.
Start 'em David Montgomery (CHI, RB)
Cheerio! David Montgomery and the Bears are heading to London to face the Raiders in what should be a fun game to watch - fun if we see Montgomery's usage go up. With no Mitch Trubisky, the Bears may lean on Montgomery to help them move the chains. On paper, Oakland remains a middle-of-the-road run-stopper, but they also just got gashed by Dalvin Cook (24.3 points) and his backup Alexander Mattison (11.8 points) in Week 3. Montgomery could have a breakout game over the pond.
Start 'em Tyler Boyd (CIN, WR)
With A.J. Green and John Ross sidelined, there aren't many options in Cincinnati for Andy Dalton. Look for Tyler Boyd to maintain his role atop the depth chart with Auden Tate getting some additional targets. Boyd is ranked just inside our Top 10 facing an Arizona Cardinals defense that also ranks inside the Top 10 for yards given up through the air. It's no stretch of the imagination to see Boyd with double-digit fantasy production this week.
Start 'em Stefon Diggs (MIN, WR)
Until last week, we hadn't seen anything out of Stefon Diggs that inspired any sort of confidence. The Vikings said they were going to be a run-first team and they've lived up to those expectations, but the matchup against the Giants is simply too good to pass up. This is the same Vikings secondary that Mike Evans burned for 45 fantasy points in Week 3. Diggs won't pull down that many fantasy points, but he should deliver nicely as your WR2 this week.
Start 'em Alshon Jeffery (PHI, WR)
Ranked 23rd this week is Alshon Jeffery as the Eagles prepare to take on the Jets. New York allowed an average of 17.3 fantasy points to the Patriots receivers in Week 3 and a whopping 28.1 points to Odell Beckham Jr the week prior. They give up the fifth-most yards through the air and may struggle to stop Carson Wentz and company this week.
Start 'em Darren Waller (OAK, TE)
Even with a brutal matchup against the Bears, Waller deserves a starting spot based purely on volume. He's on the field for more snaps than virtually all the other tight ends in the league and is a focal point for this offense. Chicago hasn't faced any of the top tight ends yet, so we're expecting a double-digit fantasy day from Waller.
Start 'em Jimmy Graham (GB, TE)
Jimmy Graham is generally going to be very touchdown-dependent from a fantasy perspective, but if stud WR Davante Adams misses this week (which is expected), Graham's value goes up enough to warrant starting consideration. Graham is ranked 11th this week facing a Cowboys defense that has largely kept tight ends in check with the exception of Evan Engram who hauled in 28.6 fantasy points in Week 1. Granted, the only other tight ends they've faced have been Jared Cook, Mike Gesicki, and Vernon Davis - hardly an exceptional trio of comparisons.
Start 'em New England Patriots (NE, DEF)
With a matchup on tap against a struggling Redskins offense, the Patriots should continue to dominate the fantasy defense landscape. Defensive projections for New England have them going as high as 22 fantasy points.
Start 'em Joey Slye (CAR, K)
Joey Slye has been a nice surprise for fantasy owners this year. That streak should continue against the Panthers who have given up almost 10 fantasy points to kickers each week this season.
Sit 'em Marcus Mariota (TEN, QB)
You might be surprised to know that Marcus Mariota is the eighth-best fantasy QB after a quarter of the season. As well as his recent play has been, he may struggle against Buffalo's solid secondary which has kept opposing QB's including Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, Eli Manning, and Sam Darnold to just 10 fantasy points.
Sit 'em Kyle Allen (CAR, QB)
After coming out swinging and having a big day in Week 3, Kyle Allen came crashing back down to Earth last week. Other QBs have seen some success against Jacksonville including Patrick Mahomes with 27 points in Week 1 and Joe Flacco with 22 points last week, but those offensive lines have done a better job protecting their signal callers than the Panthers have. There's only so much that Christian McCaffrey can do on his own.
Sit 'em Gardner Minshew (JAC, QB)
The power of the mustache may not be enough to make Gardner Minshew a fantasy start this week. Nobody has allowed fewer yards through the air than Carolina (156.8) and that was against guys like Deshaun Watson, Jared Goff, Jameis Winston, and Kyler Murray who managed just 13 fantasy points on average. Minshew Mania may need to take a week off.
Sit 'em Josh Jacobs (OAK, RB)
I think we all expected more out of Josh Jacobs than what we've seen so far this year, and a matchup with Khalil Mack and the Bears isn't bound to help that. Chicago allows the 3rd-fewest yards on the ground (61.5), and other than giving up 19 points to Dalvin Cook last week, they've largely kept opposing running backs to ten points or less.
Sit 'em Frank Gore (BUF, RB)
Fresh off joining the 15,000 yard club last week, Frank Gore finds himself ranked 37th this week on FFN - just outside of RB3/Flex territory. Devin Singletary is expected back and the Titans defense has been fairly solid allowing just 103.8 total yards on the ground each week. The league's leading rusher Nick Chubb was held to just 11 points in Week 1, and with sharing duties again with Singletary, Gore's value gets diluted enough that starting him isn't an exciting option.
Sit 'em Adrian Peterson (WAS, RB)
Whether it's Adrian Peterson or Chris Thompson, neither is a good option this week. Only one other team allows fewer yards on the ground each week than the Patriots, and with a shaky QB situation in Washington, you can bet New England is going to look to lock down the run game here. Frank Gore, Le'Veon Bell, Kenyan Drake, and James Conner managed to eke out just 10 PPR points against them this year.
Sit 'em Golden Tate (NYG, WR)
Fresh off his 4-game suspension, Golden Tate should step right into that slot receiver role for the Giants. Lord knows he's got fresh legs and ready to make an impact, but he may struggle in his first game of the season. The Vikings defense is no joke. They've surrendered the 9th-fewest yards through the air and kept the opposing team's #1 WR (a distinction we can't necessarily place on Tate yet) to under 15 points.
Sit 'em Dede Westbrook (JAC, WR)
Who is the number one receiver for Jacksonville. We know what the depth chart says, but Dede Westbrook hasn't really lived up the billing. DJ Chark has been great and Chris Conley has also showed his potential. Nobody gives up fewer yards through the air than Carolina (just 156.8) and the Panthers kept super-stud DeAndre Hopkins to single digits last week. Make room on your bench for the Jacksonville receivers this week.
Sit 'em AJ Brown (TEN, WR)
One of the hottest names on the waiver wire this week was AJ Brown from the Titans. Fresh off a monster 94-yard, 2-TD performance against Atlanta last week, a bit of recency bias might be in play here. The Falcons secondary is not the same as the Bills secondary which has allowed the 4th-fewest yards through the air and kept the Patriots receivers in check last week (Dorsett - 3.9 points, Edelman - 7 points, Gordon - 7.6 points).
Sit 'em Vernon Davis (WAS, TE)
Don't be surprised when Jordan Reed is inactive, and don't be surprised when Vernon Davis fails to deliver. Davis is dealing with his own concussion issues, and if that weren't enough, he's got a Patriots defense that hasn't allowed any tight end to score more than 6 fantasy points and has kept the rest to a measly 1.7 points.
Sit 'em Jared Cook (NO, TE)
On paper, the matchup against the Bucs is great. This should be a fantastic game for Jared Cook, but he has largely failed to live up to any sort of expectations this season. He hasn't seen more than 3 catches in a game, and he's averaging just 4.2 fantasy points (PPR) on the season. If you're ready to throw the dice, take a gamble on Cook, but putting him on the bench is much safer.
Sit 'em Baltimore Ravens (BAL, DEF)
After a solid start to the season, the Ravens defense has taken a backseat lately with tough matchups. The Steelers may not be the same team without Big Ben but they still have weapons to beat you - likely the reason why we see Baltimore ranked 16th this week on FFN. You'll use them again - just not in Week 5.
Sit 'em Brett Maher (DAL, K)
For the past three weeks, opposing kickers have scored exactly 4 fantasy points against the Packers, and the week prior was just 3 points. Not exactly the kind of numbers that you want or need from this position.

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

Lightskin CommentedOct 3, 2019 11:00 am

so do i start both austin ekeler and melvin gordon?

mrock CommentedOct 3, 2019 11:00 am

I would start both.

WizardofOdds CommentedOct 5, 2019 11:00 am

For Slye, you meant... against Jacksonville.


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