Week 5 Start 'Em or Sit 'Em
Start 'Em or Sit' Em is geared towards seasonal leagues but can also be used for daily fancy purposes.
Start of the week: Ben Roethlisberger v Eagles - Bigy's QB11 in points per game and an unexpected goodbye thanks to the Titans' COVID-19 outbreak. Big Ben is well rested and pulls an Eagles unit that takes 25th place in the opponent playing per game and 16th in Pass-Defense DVOA. Jim Schwartz's group largely shut down Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard last week, but surrendered 312 yards and two points to Joe Burrow in Week 3 after being peeled for 267 yards and three points by Jared Goff last week. All in all, this could be the best quarterback and passing offensive combination to face the Eagles for five weeks. Both the Steelers and Eagles are in the top eight in offensive games. Pittsburgh is a solid home favorite with seven points, implying 25.5 points, eleventh place in week 5. Big Ben doesn't have the advantages of years past, but he's a very solid back-end QB1.
Teddy Bridgewater at Falcons - Another cupcake tie under the roof of the Mercedes-Benz after Bridgewater last week against the Cardinals, whom he threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns when he threw 267 yards and two touchdowns in a third run Stadium in Atlanta. The Falcons are blown up by quarterbacks, give the most fantasy points and touchdowns to the position and occupy 31st place in the Pass-Defense-DVOA and 26th place in the adjusted bag rate. Bridgewater is unlikely to light up the stats sheet for big passing numbers, but he's more than able to take advantage of a plus matchup for a top 8 week. Atlanta coughed 327 yards and four touchdowns against Aaron Rodgers last Monday night, playing without receivers # 1 and 2. Nick Foles made a comeback of the Week 3 Bears in Atlanta with three touchdowns in the second half. And Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott bonded for 819 yards and eight touchdowns in weeks 1-2 against the Falcons. Atlanta is 26th in opposing games per game, and the 53.5 point total for that game is the fifth highest of the week. Carolina's implied team total of 26.25 is the 10th highest in Week 5. Bridgewater is a solid streaming option.
Gardner Minshew at Texans - Fantasys QB14 in points per game, Minshew has multiple touchdown passes in 3 of 4 games and hit a season high of 351 yards and 8.78 yards per try last week as QB13 against the Bengals. He is now receiving a Texans Defense, which ranks 19th in the Pass-Defense-DVOA and is the only team that has not yet intercepted a pass. Kirk Cousins marked Houston for 11.8 YPA last week. Houston hasn't allowed a 300-yard passer-by yet, but the teams simply drilled the Texans on the scoreboard and didn't have to throw the ball. A possible shooting at bad teams should threaten Minshew with 40 attempts to pass, a number he resolved three weeks after throwing the ball 20 times in week 1. The Texans occupy the 24th place in the opposing games per game. The 54 point total for this game is the third highest on the board.
Kirk Cousins at Seahawks - Cousins the Texans drilled for 11.8 yards per attempt last week and are number 3 in yards per attempt among all quarterbacks. The Fantasy numbers weren't in the total QB27 in points per game in a low volume pass offense, but Cousins arguably get the best matchup he's going to see all season this Sunday. Seattle is 31st in Fantasy Points for Quarterback, 29th in Pass Defense DVOA, and 28th in Adjusted Sack Rate. Ryan Fitzpatrick put 315 yards on the Seahawks last week after Dak Prescott hung them 472 yards and three touchdowns in Week 3,4. Cam Newton had his best pass of the season with two rushing points in Week 2 in Seattle with 397 yards and one point. Matt Ryan posted 450 yards and two touchdowns in week 1. With Justin Jefferson emerging as a legitimate threat alongside Adam Thielen, Cousins has enough arsenal of passing games to put a large number on the board as a streaming option in a game with a 56.5 points total.
Matt Ryan vs. Panthers - Ryan was the full QB6 after Week 2, having completed 723 yards and six touchdowns against the Seahawks and Cowboys. But Julio Jones (thighs) and Calvin Ridley (ankles) have both played through injuries or missed games in the past two weeks, and Ryan has fought the Bears and Packers with QB27 and QB25. Jones doesn't seem close to 100%, and Ridley hit five no-catch destinations in Green Bay last Monday night. Despite checking in in 26th place in the Pass Defense DVOA thanks to Zero Pass Rush, the Panthers are number 5 in fantasy points for quarterbacks and number 6 in opposing games per game. If Julio fails or plays at far less than full health and Ryan scores a zero in the rushing department, I wouldn't be too excited to play him, despite the potential highscoring nature of this game at 53.5. Kyler Murray threw three touchdowns against Carolina last week, but he averaged a terrible 4.29 YPA and finished 133 yards on 31 tries. In weeks 1 through 3, Derek Carr, Tom Brady and Justin Herbert combined three touchdowns against the Panthers. Ryan is a strong QB2, but his cap may not be as high as you'd think at this point given the injuries around him.
Carson Wentz at Steelers - Wentz has made multiple interceptions and 0-1 touchdowns in three of his four games this season. He is the overall QB20 in fantasy points per game while playing with a decimated skill position group that already includes Jalen Reagor (thumb) and Dallas Goedert (ankle) at I.R. while DeSean Jackson (thigh) and Alshon Jeffery (foot) attempt to return to the line-up. Wentz also has key OL members LT Jason Peters and RG Brandon Brooks to the long-term I.R. Injuries. The Steelers are only 16th in fantasy points, which are allowed for quarterbacks, but check in at 2nd place in the adjusted bag rate and 8th place in the Pass-Defense-DVOA. The Steelers' D / ST unit is a better one-on-one game than Wentz in a 44-point game. Philly's implied team total of 18.5 points is the lowest of the week as seven-point street dogs.
Jared Goff in Washington - Fantasys QB19 in points per game. Goff prevailed against the Giants where he threw just 200 yards and a touchdown in a narrow home win by eight points. Goff is hidden by trainer Sean McVay, who plays the ball in the NFC's top clip. Goff only makes an average of 30.5 attempts per game. Washington is 27th in fantasy points allowed for quarterbacks, but a large chunk of that production is on position in three quick touchdowns. The soccer team is number 1 in the adjusted bag rate and number 3 in the pass defense DVOA. Stud DE Chase Young (groin) also returned to training on Thursday. The Rams should win this game, but it will likely be on the back of their three-person running-back committee. Goff could easily finish the drives with touchdowns, but I wouldn't actively try to start Goff outside of two quarterback leagues in a 47-point game.
Week start: Mike Davis at Falcons - In the Panthers' first game without Chrisitan McCaffrey (Knuckles, R.I.) two weeks ago, Davis played 76% of the snaps at Reggie Bonnafon's 4% rate. Last week against the Cardinals, Davis hit 71% of the downs, scoring a one-yard touchdown on 20 carry and targets. Bonnafon was in about a fifth of the snapshots and scored a touchdown, while Teddy Bridgewater also did a touchdown. Davis could have had a much bigger afternoon. Bonnafon has since moved to I.R. Davis has scored a total of 23 goals in roughly two and a half action games following McCaffrey's injury. Davis is a weekly 20+ touch threat in an offense who likes to use a back. McCaffrey has at least a week left for I.R. Davis gets a juicy date with a Falcons Defense who has made the second most frequent catches on returns 25% of the season. Chase Edmonds (5-24-1), Austin Ekeler (11-84), LeSean McCoy (5-26) and Josh Jacobs (4-46) all exceeded expectations as pass catchers against Atlanta. That game's 53.5 point total is the fifth highest of the week, and the Carolina implied team total of 26.25 is the eleventh highest.
Kenyan Drake at Jets - Drake's 13 carry and zero goals against the Panthers last week were new season lows. He's been targeted just five times this season, well below his average of 4.4 per game last season in Arizona. And after averaging a sturdy 5.2 yards per carry with the Cardinals in 2019, Drake has hit a pathetic 3.8 mark in four games. Drake's counting stats leave much to be desired, especially after another disappointing Week 4. Some have wondered if Drake is healthy after spending the last part of training camp in a walking shoe. However, his snap rate remains high, playing 67% of the Cardinals' downs. Drake is drawing the Jets 5, 7 and Seahawks Weeks 5-7, but we have to start seeing a production. I am ready to keep betting on Drake on an offensive that is 2nd in pace and 9th in total games when a terrible Jets team has all but set and abandoned the 2020 campaign. Gang Green was just run over by Melvin Gordon for RB3 week last Thursday night. The Arizona implicit team with a total of 27 points is the tenth highest of the week. Drake has to stay on line-up until we see Chase ordering Edmonds more of the snap release.
Antonio Gibson v Rams - If the soccer team is chasing points, Gibson is the game. If Washington is in the game or in the lead for any reason, Peyton Barber will steal more of the sight, especially on the goal line. But Barber's Snap rates have been 2%> 11%> 7% for the last three weeks after his big first week. Gibson has found the end zone on the floor in three back-to-back games and settled in as RB2 in an offense that involves playing pretty much from behind. Perhaps new starter Kyle Allen Gibson will steadily shower goals in the old Allen-Christian McCaffrey situation that Allen was in last year with Carolina. Dwayne Haskins' move to Allen is for D.C. more of a sideways movement and shouldn't have a significant impact on the entire offense. There really is no other way than up. With Gibson hitting the top 18 combined broadcasts and goals of the season last week, I'm confident of putting him in the season's lineup as FLEX in the worst case scenario. The Rams are 17th in Fantasy Points allowed to run back and 28th in Run-Defense-DVOA. This game isn't all that appealing, but Gibson should be on the line-up despite Washington entering the game as an 8.5-point underdog.
Damien Harris v Broncos - Sony Michel was sent to I.R. and Harris was removed from the list in time for Week 4 against the Chiefs. Rex Burkhead's snaps went down to 35%, with Harris taking on 31% of the games and handling 17 carry for 100 yards with no targets in the passing game. Harris seems to be the earliest guy who is now more skilled than Michel. Burkhead and White mingle on pass-downs and key blocking situations. Harris is now the back in New England moving on. Denver has been playing a strong run defense up to that point, checking in at number 5 on the fantasy points allowed for running backs and number 15 on the run defense DVOA, but the Patriots run the ball at the fourth highest rate in the NFL. Harris belongs in the line-up as an RB3 / FLEX game. Broncos Patriots are currently scheduled to start early Monday evening.
Darrell Henderson in Washington - Henderson was a 4th week bust as Malcolm Brown hit a season high of 61% of the Snaps against the Giants, handling 16 combined transfers and goals for Henderson's nine. Henderson's still got his back in LA if he's forced to pick one, but Brown will definitely be a thorn in the side all season. And with rookie Cam Akers expected this week, things could get even hairier in the LA backfield. The good news is that the Rams are running the ball on an incredibly high clip, but for now we have to wait and see this tripartite committee. Washington is a middle 12th in Fantasy Allowed Points and 18th in Run-Defense-DVOA. Rams-Washington has a low overall score of 47 points. The situation the Rams run back in is a weekly conundrum.
Le'Veon Bell v Cardinals - Bell has missed the past three weeks with hamstrings pulled after a miserable Week 1 of racing 14 yards (2.33 YPC) against the Bills six times. The Jets are still employing Frank Gore, claiming Ty Johnson waived from the Lions, and also have rookie Lamical Perine. Bell is unlikely to be a workhorse under coach Adam Gase. The Cardinals were torn apart by running backs, giving up the seventh most fantasy points to position, but we just can't project Bell into a big enough workload in his first second leg due to a soft tissue injury. The 47 point total for Cardinals Jets is the third lowest on the weekend. This game is now also in question after the jets had a "suspected positive" COVID-19 test on Friday.
Devonta Freeman at Cowboys - In Freeman's second game with the team, he played 54% of the snaps and handled 15 touches, but last week it was only 68 scoreless yards against the Rams. Lewis was right behind him for just over 30% of the game when it was actually Wayne Gallman who led the G-Men in a rush, despite only seeing six broadcasts. Neither of those backs plays on a bad offensive and is so attractive from an imaginative point of view, especially when all three are watching the game time. Freeman looks washed out at age 28 after a few years of heavy workload in Atlanta. Dallas was terrible on the defensive, but the run defense was actually the "strongest" part. The Cowboys are 21st in Fantasy Points, which are allowed to run back, and 23rd in Run-Defense-DVOA. The way to attack Dallas is through the air on the edge.
Week start: D.J. Moore at Falcons - Moore is a frustrating fantasy asset in the first month of the season. In the past two weeks, Moore has only seen 10 targets and has not yet found the end zone. While Robby Anderson has taken on Teddy Bridgewater's favorite target and Carolina's leading wideout, Moore is the current WR44 with half PPR points per game. If there is a week to overcome his slump, this is the one. The falcons were destroyed by opposing passport offenses. They checked in on the 23rd in fantasy points allowed for wideouts and on the 31st in the pass defense DVOA. Allen Robinson (10-123-1), Anthony Miller (2-41-1), CeeDee Lamb (6-106), Amari Cooper (6-100), DK Metcalf (4-95-1) and Tyler Lockett (8 -92) met or exceeded all expectations of Atlanta. Anderson is the better game, but Moore should be fired as WR2 / 3 heads in a game with 53.5 in a friendly dome environment.
Darius Slayton at Cowboys - Slayton spent a 6-102-2 night with the Steelers in Week 1 but has since been calmed down by the Bears, 49ers and Rams in a series of difficult matchups. He was unable to clear three catches or 53 yards on any of these dates and has not scored a goal since Week 1. This Sunday offers Slayton, who is now a Dallas defense with 31st place in fantasy points allowed for wideouts and 25th place, a tremendous rebound opportunity in pass defense DVOA. CBs Anthony Brown and Chidobe Awuzie are still on I.R. and the Cowboys released veteran Brandon Carr this week. There are still no answers to be found in the backend of Dallas. Odell Beckham (5-81-2) weathered his Dallas break-in last week in a big way. DK Metcalf (4-110-1), Tyler Lockett (9-100-3), Calvin Ridley (7-109-2), Russell Gage (6-46-1) and Robert Woods (6-105) have already crushed Expectations against Dallas this season. Slayton sees 7.25 goals per game. Giants Cowboys has a whopping 54 points in total. It's a rare "boom" for Daniel Jones.
CeeDee Lamb vs. Giants - After Lamb only played 60% of the Snaps against Seattle in Week 3, Lamb's Snap stake was back where we wanted it against Cleveland last week, playing 76% of the games. He did the first two touchdowns of his career last week and is playing 92% of his snapshots from the slot where he'll pull coverage from Giants rookie Darnay Holmes. The slot WRs Cooper Kupp (5-69-1) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (6-69-2) shredded the G-Men in the first four weeks. The Cowboys play at the league's fastest offensive pace and are number 1 in games per game, while the Giants are 21st in Fantasy Points and 24th in Pass-Defense-DVOA. Dallas' implied team total of 31.75 is the week's second highest. Lamm is already a rising star and should be treated as a weekly WR2.
Justin Jefferson at Seahawks - Jefferson plays 100 yard games in a row at 78% and 77% of the Vikings against the Titans and Texans. He has seen a total of 14 goals in the past two weeks and is the entire WR4 of the imagination during that time. The Vikings have finally realized that they need to involve Jefferson more if they are to compete. Jefferson now draws a Seahawks defense last on Fantasy Wideouts Approved and 29th on Pass Defense DVOA. DeVante Parker (10-110), Michael Gallup (6-138-1), Cedrick Wilson (5-107-2), Amari Cooper (9-86), CeeDee Lamb (5-65), Julian Edelman (8-179 )), N'Keal Harry (8-72), Damiere Byrd (6-72), Julio Jones (9-157), Calvin Ridley (9-130-2) and Russell Gage (9-114) all had great success Games against Seattle. Jefferson tops the NFL in yards per run, a key indicator of the issuance of elite receivers. Jefferson belongs in the WR2 talk this week with obvious advantages in a game with a whopping 56.5 points.
Christian Kirk at Jets - Kyler Murray has apparently declined as a passer and showed a pathetic passing performance against the Panthers last week when he averaged 4.29 yards per pass. Dreadful. The jets aren't good, but Murray just pounds DeAndre Hopkins with goals and takes off as a runner when that's not there. Kirk had his first touchdown last week but is at the bottom of the league in yards per route and failed to hit 19 yards in 2-of-3 games. He missed another with a groin injury. He just can't be very good. Murray has to show more than a passerby before we can trust any of those wideouts who are not called Hopkins.
A.J. Green at Ravens - Green has turned 33 targets into a pathetic 14-119-0 line as an overall WR81 in semi-PPR formats. He's still playing over 70% of the Snaps, but rookie Tee Higgins has popped up in the past few weeks and is producing the veteran out. Green looks 100% washed out after not playing last season and battling injuries again in the summer. A date with Marcus Peters doesn't look like it'll suddenly rescue Green from his break-in. The Ravens are 12th in Fantasy Points allowed for wideouts and 14th in Pass Defense DVOA. Joe Burrow finds more success by throwing the ball to Tyler Boyd, Higgins, and anyone outside of Green.
Jarvis Landry v Colts - Landry hasn't found the end zone this season and is on pace with just 76 targets after being thrown 138 times a year ago. That offense seems capable of sustaining a pass-catching option and so far it has been Odell Beckham who overcame his slump in a big way last week with three touchdowns against Dallas. Landry just doesn't look like he's past his off-season hip replacement surgery, and the Browns are playing the ball at such high speed. A date with the Colts isn't an attack, especially after Landry failed to deliver against the Bengals, Washington, and the Cowboys for consecutive weeks. Indy is number 9 in fantasy points approved for wideouts and number 2 in Pass Defense DVOA. The 46.5 point total for Colts-Browns is the second lowest of the weekend. Landry is the current WR49 in half PPR and that's mainly because he scored a touchdown for Beckham last week. Landry is a WR4 / 5 until further notice.
Week Start: Evan Engram at Cowboys - While production hasn't been there, Engram sees solid volume - 7.5 goals per game - and stays healthy after foot surgery. He plays tough snapshots and is second only to Zach Ertz on the overall routes under the tight ends. He's now getting a Dallas defense that continues to bleed points and yards in large quantities. Leighton Vander Esch is still injured, leaving Jaylon Smith for cover on too many islands. Dallas is 24th on fantasy points that are allowed to tight ends. Austin Hooper (5-34-1), Greg Olsen (5-61), Hayden Hurst (5-72-1) and Tyler Higbee (3-40) have all met or exceeded expectations of the Cowboys. We want to attack this game with a total of 54 points, the second highest of the week. Engram was supposed to start confidently throughout the season and as a popular DFS game.
Ian Thomas at Falcons - Thomas was only targeted 8 out of 109 routes but he found the end zone against Arizona last week and set up a 2-5-1 line on the top five goals of the season. Thomas was kept at 16 yards or less in all four games, so the ground is eerily low for him as a streaming option. He's deep in the target's totem pole in Carolina. But this matchup with the Falcons is probably his best single place all season. The Falcons are the last to be dead in Fantasy Points, allowed to finish, having already coughed seven touchdowns on the position. Robert Tonyan nuclear went 6-98-3 against Atlanta last Monday night. Jimmy Graham went 6-60-2 last week. Dalton Schultz (9-88-1) and Greg Olsen (4-24-1) have also found the end zone against Atlanta. Thomas is in the game for managers desperately looking for a tight end.
Eric Ebron vs Eagles - After a slow week 1, Ebron has played 77% and 75% of the week 2 and 3 snaps against the Broncos and Texans, turning 3-43 and 5-52- for the past few weeks. 1 reception lines on a total of 12 destinations. After Ebron has said goodbye, he gets an Eagles team that has been creamed by tight ends and gives the third most fantasy points to the position. George Kittle was obsessed last week, going 15-183-1 against Philly. Tyler Higbee hung a 5-54-3 line to the Eagles in Week 2 after Logan Thomas went 4-37-1 in the opener. Ebron is an outstanding player in the red zone and should be more comfortable on offense.
Dalton Schultz v Giants - Nobody expected Schultz to be this productive after Blake Jarwin's ACL at the end of the season in Week 1, but in Weeks 2-4, Schultz released the TE3 totals behind Robert Tonyan and Travis Kelce. He's averaged eight goals per game during that time, and even if he's not number 1 or 2 on the Dallas Passing Offensive, this team tosses the ball and fires so many games that it can assist a handful of skill players in of imagination. The Giants are number 10 in Fantasy Points, allowed until the end, but not having many notable problems. This game has a total of 54 points so we want pieces from both sides.
The narrow end may be deeper than it has been in years, but I find it difficult to argue against someone in this position. It's a crapshoot and all we're looking for is tight ends that can find the end zone and / or see the volume in relation to targets. Predicting touchdowns is the hardest thing in football. Finding just a close finish that is enough on the field and runs many distances is difficult enough. This is why it is so beneficial to have Travis Kelce, George Kittle, or Mark Andrews.
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