Hardwired for Sports

Week 5: Fantasy Start/ Sit

Dec 29, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) is congratulated by quarterback Tom Brady (12) after he scored a touchdown during the second quarter of their 34-20 win over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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Entering Week 5, here is what we got for starts and sits. Check it out and make your fantasy team a reality champion.

Quarterbacks

He’s back. The great Tom Brady returns from his suspension and he couldn’t get a friendlier matchup for his comeback. The Browns are terrible and Tom is going to pick them apart like no other. If Cam Newton is able to play this week after suffering a concussion in week 4, he has a juicy matchup with Tampa Bay and will look to turn things around quickly. The Panthers have lost 4 of their last 5 games and have looked nothing like their former self. The Colts have not exactly started off very well this year either, but they have an easy matchup this week against the Bears. As long as that garbage O-line can give Andrew Luck a couple of seconds of protection, he will put up big numbers and have a good week. The New York Giants are a bit of a mess right now despite starting 2-2. The front office has been bashing their best player, Odell Beckham Jr., for his attitude and performance on the field. They play against the Packers this week, and with that beat up Packers secondary, Eli Manning will have a field day. Who knows about OBJ though?

All Hail Matt Ryan! Not this week. He has started out as the best QB in the NFL over the first 4 weeks, however, he is going up against one of the all-time great defenses in the Denver Broncos. This will be his first rough week of the season, even though he is elite for the rest of the season. Jameis Winston has not had a good start to the season, throwing 8 interceptions in 4 games. He faces a tough matchup against Carolina this week and that horrible INT count could go up even further. Brock Osweiler is another QB that has not started off his season well and has thrown 6 INTs to 5 TDs thus far. He faces the Minnesota defense, which has shut down opponents left and right. Do not look for Brock to turn his luck around this week.

Running Backs

It looks like the Bears have found a great replacement for the workload that Matt Forte left behind, and that guy is Jordan Howard. The rookie taken in the 5th round out of Indiana had a lot of pop to his step last week and looked like a poor man’s Le’Veon Bell. He was very impressive and even when Jeremy Langford returns, I think he will be the feature back for the Bears. LeGarrette Blount has the almighty matchup with the Browns, and will run all over them this week. The Pats’ system is constantly changing, but they will be up early in this game, giving Blount plenty of touches for the majority of the game. C.J. Anderson has played much better this year than last and his QB, Trevor Siemien, is banged up and might not play this week versus the Falcons. Even if he does play, I predict that the Broncos will run the whole game, giving Anderson plenty of touches.

One of the most consistent RBs in the league so far has undoubtedly been Lamar Miller. Sure, he hasn’t scored any TD’s yet, but he has basically had 100 total yards every game this season. However, his matchup this week against Minnesota does not bode well for him and in standard scoring leagues, his floor is extremely low. Another group of RBs not to start includes both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Denver chews up and swallows anything that comes up the middle, making both of them very spotty picks. Isaiah Crowell has been one of the biggest surprises this year, especially for me. At the moment, he is looking like a fairly consistent RB1, but in a matchup against the Pats, his ceiling and floor appear to be almost completely touchdown-dependent.

Wide Receivers

One of the best WR’s this season has been Mike Evans and it appears right now that he has gotten rid of the drop-happy self of last season. Without Josh Norman, the Carolina secondary has been trash and you better expect Evans to put up big numbers this week. Brandon Marshall is another guy who will be playing against a weak secondary. Injury concerns have made Marshall sketchy, but after last week’s performance against Seattle, it looks like he is back to the low-end WR1 range. Amari Cooper has underperformed this year so far, mostly because Michael Crabtree has been hogging all of the TDs. He is still the guy in Oakland and he is ready to rebound this week against San Diego.

One of the league leaders in receiving yards, Marvin Jones, has been fairly consistent on the Lions offense. He has put up crazy games and has yet to have a bust game, except I still do not see WR1 play. That offense is going to feature Golden Tate more in the future and I just don’t think Marvin has it in him to continue this play. I consider DeAndre Hopkins to be a top-5 WR in the league, but he does not have the right guy throwing him the ball. He goes up against Minnesota this week and, like Lamar Miller, I don’t expect much out of him. OBJ is a big question mark this week. Will he be able to bounce back and take over the game against the Packers? He has all of the skills in the world too, but his ego has been getting in the way and I think its going to take a few more weeks for him to heat up.

Tight Ends

One of the most overlooked TEs in the league has to be Tennessee Titan, Delanie Walker. Marcus Mariota has not played well at all so far, but he is bound to break that streak soon, meaning that Delanie can break out. They play the Dolphins this week and I predict both of them to have bounce back games and to feed off of each other. Gronk’s health has been in question the last month, and has supposedly been getting better day after day. He has a perfect situation this week to have his first big game of the season with Brady back and the Browns’ defense being so horrific. If he suits up and actually takes a good amount of snaps, expect at least one TD here.

On the other side of that game, Gary Barnidge will have a tough matchup and likely continue his trend of poor fantasy production. That offense is a mess and nothing good, except for possibly Isaiah Crowell, will come out of it. One of my favorite players in the league, Jordan Reed, had a fantastic week last week with 2 TDs and silenced his skeptics. This week he goes up against one of the best defenses against the tight end in the league in Baltimore, and is on the lower end of the top-tier TEs.

Defenses/Special Teams

Start: Patriots, Cardinals

Sit: Eagles, Packers

Photo courtesy of CBS Sports.
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