Starts and sits are coming a day late this week, but still in time to set your lineups for Week 5. As always, obvious starters like Antonio Brown and David Johnson will not be mentioned as starts...but maybe as sits.
Start of the Week: Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots - Edelman has been far from impressive to start the 2016 season. Edelman had decent production with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm, but did next to nothing with Jacoby Brissett. But in Week 5 Edelman gets Tom Brady back. Edelman is a high end WR2 with Brady under center. Edelman is clearly Brady’s favorite target not named Gronkowski. Not only does Edelman get Brady back this week, but a cushy matchup against the Cleveland Browns secondary is great for Edelman as well. Expect Brady to make sure everyone around the league knows he is back against Cleveland this week, and Edelman could be a major beneficiary.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings - While many people (me) have written about Houston defense really good, they have been pretty bad against the run. They haven’t just been bad against the run the past two weeks, they have just been flat out terrible. McKinnon largely powered the Vikings to a big Monday night victory of the Giants. Mike Zimmer might even consider limiting McKinnon’s touches. He has clearly proven to be the guy over Matt Asiata.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadephia Eagles - Raise your hand if you thought Carson Wentz would be this good this soon (if you raised your hand you are a liar). Well he is for real. He is fresh coming off of a bye week, and is greeted with a matchup against the Lions secondary. Many owners are looking for replacements at quarterback this week with Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Blake Bortles and Alex Smith all on bye this week. Wentz is by far and away the best streaming option, and is even a good option if your don’t need a replacement this week.
Steve Smith Sr., WR, Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens - At least for Week 5, West is the unquestioned leader in the Ravens backfield. The Ravens offense seemed to figure it out in the second half against Oakland, and that involved feeding the ball to Terrance West. Expect West to see upwards of 15 carries for a second straight week, and with that workload, expect production as the Towson product faces a poor Washington defense.
Another key aspect to the Ravens offense against Oakland was Steve Smith Sr. Smith had eight catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. He proved that he also is a huge key to the Ravens success. It will be interesting to watch how two of the leagues best trash talkers, Smith and Josh Norman, go at it this week. But Flacco will not fail to get the ball to the ageless wonder this week. Speaking of ageless wonders.......
Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts - Gore has quietly been having a really good season. Gore has scored a touchdown in three straight games, and has had at least 12 points in all of those games. That even includes the Colts game against Denver. This week, Gore will face the Bears, one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Gore could be in for another big week.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans - Hopkins is on several of my fantasy teams, so sitting him is pretty difficult. Obviously it is hard to sit a player you likely took in the first round of your draft. However, rarely does a matchup scare me as much as the one Hopkins has this week. The Texans are playing the Vikings, in Minnesota. This is the Vikings defense that has shut down Kelvin Benjamin and Odell Beckham Jr. in consecutive weeks. Xavier Rhodes is proving to be an elite corner. There is no reason to expect Hopkins to fare any better, especially coming off a horrible Week 4. I’m sitting also sitting Will Fuller this week if your team can afford to.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos - Rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch will be starting in place of Trevor Siemien this week for the Broncos. Sanders has been really good the past two weeks, but it’s not smart to expect that to continue. Even though Lynch was solid in his role on Sunday, Sanders is incredibly risky. The big play threat is probably a touchdown-or-bust play even against a bad Atlanta Falcons secondary.
Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions - Riddick is an intriguing play considering Dwayne Washington might miss Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle and foot. But Riddick had his chance to prove he was the guy in the Lions backfield, and he failed. Riddick’s value as purely as a receiver. Factor in a matchup against the red-hot Eagles defense, and this spells a bad day for Riddick.
Arian Foster, RB, Miami Dolphins - ESPN (at the time this is being written) projects Foster to put up 11 points (11.7 if your league gives 0.1 for every yard). That projection seems high. Foster is not the same guy he once was, and the offense he is in sure isn’t any help. The Dolphins face the Titans this week, who have allowed the fourth fewest points to fantasy running backs. Just because Foster is back from injury doesn’t make him an automatic start. Even if he hadn’t missed time, the matchup this week is nothing to get excited over for Foster.
Honorable mention: Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins (playing against the Ravens)
Last week my starts and sits were dead on for the most part. The only misses were recommendations to sit Frank Gore and Derek Carr. Hopefully success from last week will carry into Week 5. Good luck this week. Make sure to check back on Tuesday for Week 6 waiver wire pick ups.