Welcome to Week 5’s edition of “Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em! Plenty of injuries, matchups and everything in between will dictate the starts and sits for this week, so let’s get into them for this week!
QB Blake Bortles, JAX
If you’re streaming quarterbacks, I can think of many worse matchups than Blake Bortles. Jacksonville will ask more from Bortles, who has been known to conjure up big time efforts, like in Week 2 vs. New England where he put up a 376 yd/4 TD line and added 35 yards rushing. He should be the focal point with Leonard Fournette out. The Chiefs defense is not that great and is probably a bit spent on a short week, even at home. I’d take a gamble on him as a streamer if I’m rostering Russell Wilson (vs. LAR) or Carson Wentz (vs. MIN), both of whom I would start Bortles over.
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAX
Kansas City allows the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing running backs and with Leonard Fournette on the shelf for a 2nd time with his hamstring, the Jaguars will be much more cautious this time around with that injury. This ensures T.J. Yeldon will get an extended run as the lead back in Jacksonville, and with the volume and opportunity, should be a must-start running back for now.
RB Matt Breida, SF
This should really be more clear-cut with Matt Breida to start him, but odds are you didn’t draft Breida as a day 1 starter on your fantasy team, so there are decisions to make whether to start him over more established backs at the position. I’m telling you definitively: YES. Arizona has not allowed a running back to finish outside of the top 15 in fantasy, he’s clearly gotten the lion’s share over Alfred Morris (still involved but not as much so compared to Week 1), and is obviously the most talented of the two backs in San Francisco. He’s averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Set and forget!
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI
With the Minnesota defense seemingly more human this season, the Eagles’ pass catchers should have a good day, certainly because Philadelphia has their full complement of wide receivers and their starting quarterback, but especially Nelson Agholor because he has a great matchup in the slot. Ask Cooper Kupp how he fared last week. He’s been in a tough way the last couple weeks with diminished targets and drawing a good slot corner in Logan Ryan last week, but I think Agholor bounces back in a big way this week in a game the Eagles need badly. I’m comfortable with him as a WR3 this week.
WR Marvin Jones, DET
All Detroit receivers should have a plus matchup this week at home against the Packers. Predictably, Matthew Stafford only attempted 30 passes last week vs. Dallas, so they should be more up tempo this week. With the cornerbacks banged up for Green Bay, Marvin Jones should have a great day and find his way into the end zone at the very least. He did pop up on the injury report as questionable, but all reports are that he SHOULD play, so check into the inactive lists to find out for sure.
TE Vance McDonald, PIT
Atlanta is still ravaged by injury, and let’s face it: any Tight End with a pulse should be on the starting radar for fantasy. Vance McDonald is one of the better options this week, with numerous TE options hurt or on bye. Let’s face it: if he’s on your roster and you don’t have a top 4 option, you’re probably rolling with him.
QB Carson Wentz, PHI
If you drafted Carson Wentz, it was as a backup to stash to play matchups, but if not, you’d probably start him. If you have the option, I’m sitting Wentz this week. You have to figure there is way too much talent on the Vikings defense to be dormant for this long. They’ve had 10 days to clean up the mess that Jared Goff and Sean McVay left on their doorstep. Xavier Rhodes has been ordinary this season and he could come back up to the mean. I’d hold off on Wentz this week.
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN
Dalvin Cook may not even play in this contest in Philadelphia, but in the event that he does, he’s a big time fade. He missed practice on both Wednesday and Thursday, has a questionable tag for Sunday, and has been on a snap count since last week. All the talent in the world, but count me out. Same goes for his replacement, Latavius Murray.
RB Lamar Miller, HOU
Putting up very ordinary stats relative to draft position through the first 4 contests of 2018, Lamar Miller is a sit this week, even with a good matchup vs. Dallas. Averaging less than 4 YPC and with only 1 touchdown in 4 games, he’s been pretty mediocre considering the preseason hype. Not to mention, he’s a game time decision as well with a chest injury, he’s a pretty easy sit for me.
WR Devin Funchess, CAR
Devin Funchess will see plenty of coverage from Giants CB Janoris Jenkins, so as the lone established outside target for the Panthers, Funchess will be very limited in both his opportunity and value to fantasy owners on Sunday. The Panthers will look to their bread and butter run game with Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton, downgrading Devin Funchess to a likely WR3 for Sunday’s tilt.
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN
Demaryius Thomas has been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy so far in 2018. He’s gotten the targets (33 thus far, in the top 25 among all receivers in targets), he just hasn’t translated that into fantasy success, leaving owners scrambling for other options. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get better, as the Jets have been a lock down unit in the secondary so far in the early going, so far 2nd in pass defense DVOA. Ultimately, it all boils down to QB Case Keenum, but that trickle down effect comes down on Thomas. This offense just cannot sustain 2 fantasy wide receivers as long as Keenum plays this badly. Pass on Thomas this week.
WR Alshon Jeffrey, PHI
Where Nelson Agholor is a quality start for me, I’m fading Alshon Jeffrey a bit, into WR3 territory for Sunday’s game. The Vikings defense, namely Xavier Rhodes has been a mess, so I’m expecting a bounce back after a horrible showing last Thursday against the Rams. They’ve had 10 days to think about that drubbing, and I expect the Vikings to come out strong and lock down the outside passing game. Jeffrey is more of a borderline WR3 for this matchup.
Stay tuned TOMORROW starting at 11AM EST/10AM CST, I’ll be answering your lineup sits/starts and anything fantasy football related on Twitter! Tweet @ktompkinsii with your questions! See you all tomorrow and good luck this week!