Week 5 is here, so we need to know who to start and who to sit. Our start/sit article is not going to discuss the obvious players who should always be played. We examine matchups and usage from week to week, which should give you the best chance at winning your weekly matchup. Good luck this week and don’t forget to not overthink it. Here are the Starts/ Sits for Week 5:
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings Vs. Detroit Lions
Cousins had an off week last week against the Browns but should have no problem rebounding against the Lions in week 5. Cousins has amazing talent surrounding him on the offensive side of the ball, that combined with the fact that the Lions have one of the worst defenses in the league makes it even easier to put Cousins in your starting lineup this week. Cousins offers a solid floor and a great ceiling in week 5. Kirk is a low-end QB1 with upside in week 5.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants Vs. Dallas Cowboys
Daniel Jones has been great, ranking as the 6th overall QB so far this season. This week he faces a Cowboys defense that has improved but ultimately can still be scored on. If you need a cheap QB off of the waivers to stream this week, Jones is a good option. He is currently being ranked as a mid-tier QB2 but as we have seen in previous weeks, Jones has QB1 upside on any given week. I would expect the Cowboys to be up for a majority of this matchup, which should leave plenty of time for Jones to utilize his arm and legs in week 5. Jones is a QB2 with great upside against the Cowboys this week.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons Vs. New York Jets
The Falcons offense and Ryan haven’t been as good as most would have expected in the offseason. That does not mean that they are untouchable altogether. The matchup against the Jets is too juicy to pass up. While writing this I received word that both Calvin Ridley and Russel Gage will be out for this game. I am still willing to start Ryan this week. He has enough talent in Kyle Pitts, Cordarelle Patterson, and Mike Davis to be able to have a good enough day against a weak Jets defense. Ryan is a low-end QB2 with decent upside in week 5.
Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Green Bay Packers
Burrow has been alright so far this year. He has plenty of weapons around him and a better offensive line which has helped him succeed so far this year. The issue this week is that Burrow will most likely be without his leading running back and possibly one of his wide receivers in Tee Higgins. The Packers are not a top-tier defense but they can put up enough of a challenge which could limit his overall ceiling in fantasy this week. If you have an option with a better matchup and higher ceiling I would play them this week. Burrow is a mid-tier QB2 with limited upside.
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears Vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Fields is now the starting quarterback for the Bears but that does not mean he is worth starting in fantasy just yet. Last week we saw Fields against the Lions and in what should have been a good fantasy day but turned out to be a 6.5 point day from Fields. This week he faces a better overall team in the Raiders and could encounter similar issues to the ones he had in week 4. Fields should turn out to be a solid quarterback in the NFL but it would be best to have a wait-and-see approach with Fields until we see him have solid and consistent production. Fields is a low-end QB2 in week 5.
Drew Lock, QB, Denver Broncos Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
For the moment Lock is the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Lock has had success from a fantasy football perspective in the past but that is not going to be the case this week against the Steelers. The Steelers defense is the strongest aspect of their team and has been respectable so far this season. If you are looking for a streamable QB, I would look elsewhere. He is a low-end QB 2 this week against the Steelers. If Teddy Bridgewater ends up playing, I would look at him as only a slightly better option than Lock in week 5.
Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots Vs. Houston Texans
Harris has been disappointing lately but is primed to have a solid outing this Sunday against the Texans. The Houston Texans have one of the worst defenses in the league which bodes well for the Patriots offense in week 5. The Patriots should be in the lead for the majority of the game which also helps Harris’ chances of succeeding. Harris is a low-end RB2 with upside this week.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Miami Dolphins
Fournette is not the glitz or glam type of running back, he most likely won’t win you your week. But what he does offer is a great floor and the ability to catch the ball, which makes me confident in starting him this week in a good matchup against the Dolphins. Fournette is a low-end RB2 with a solid floor and plenty of upsides.
Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets Vs. Atlanta Falcons
Carter has had his ups and downs so far this season but it looks like his usage over the last few weeks has risen enough to warrant starting him in your flex. This week’s matchup against the Falcons is as good as they come. If you have been rostering Carter, this is the week you would want to roll him out. Carter is a flex with upside in week 5.
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles Vs. Carolina Panthers
Outside of week 1, Sanders has been extremely disappointing so far this season. Due to the coaching staff going away from the running game and limiting Sanders carries, Sanders ceiling is almost not existent until we see something change. This week’s matchup against the Panthers is also less than stellar which makes me even more alright with benching Sanders this week. Sanders is a flex play with a low floor and low ceiling in week 5.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Gordon still has gas left in the tank but that does not mean he is an auto-start at the running back position like he had been in the past. Gordon and Williams are pretty much in a 50/50 timeshare, which limits any and all upside that Gordon could have on a weekly basis. That combined with the fact that the Steelers have a solid run defense is all I need to sit Gordon in week 5. If the matchup is not right, Gordon’s ceiling is almost certainly capped. Gordon is a flex play with limited upside against the Steelers this week.
Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gaskin was just plain bad last week and this week does look any different. The Dolphins run game is a mess. Since Tua has been out, they have written off the running back position almost completely. The Dolphins have also refused to give Gaskin the carries to succeed, so his future upside is bare to none. This week they face one of the top run defenses in the Tampa Bay Bucs. Gaskin should be on your bench in week 5. He offers almost no floor and barely any ceiling. Gaskin is a desperation flex this week.
Deebo Samuel, WR San Francisco 49ers Vs. Arizona Cardinals
Samuel has been a complete stud so far this year and it shouldn’t change this week against the Arizona Cardinals. This matchup has plenty of upsides and should be a high-scoring event between two of these solid teams. The 49ers running game is a mess, George Kittle might be out with injury, and there is truly no one else behind Samuel that threatens Samuels ability to receive a ton of targets this week. Samuel is a solid WR1 with massive upside in week 5.
Laviska Shenault, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Tennessee Titans
Shenault has been somewhat of a disappointment so far this year, especially since most have thought he was one of the best mid-round options coming into this year. With the unfortunate injury to DJ Chark this past week, Shenault should have no problem being one of Trevor Lawrence’s top targets going forward. Shenault has tons of upside and should be utilized across the field as well as a downfield threat. Shenault is a high-end flex with great upside in week 5.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England Patriots Vs. Houston Texans
Meyers still hasn’t scored a touchdown since College but he still has been one of the most consistent receivers for the Patriots thus far this year. Meyers value is the highest in full PPR as he is receiving a great target share, he is worth starting in all formats though as he is putting up enough yardage to start in your WR2/flex spots this week. The matchups against the Texans are also too good to pass up. Meyers is a high-end flex with upside in week 5.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
We all thought that Sutton would be the one to have the most success after Jeudy got hurt but that has not come to fruition. Sutton has been lackluster over the last few weeks and now it seems like he is dealing with another injury. As you can see above, I have very low expectations for the Broncos this week against the Steelers and Sutton is no different. Sutton is a low-end WR2 with limited upside in week 5.
Henry Ruggs, WR, Las Vegas Raiders Vs. Chicago Bears
Ruggs has been the epitome of a boom/bust play. The fact is that he offers a very low floor and a very high ceiling every week which makes it hard to trust him on any given week. If you are facing an opponent and need a floor play then I would avoid playing Ruggs in week 5. Ruggs is a low-end flex with a very low floor in week 5.
Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals Vs. San Francisco 49ers
Kirk has been good this year, but the volatility of the wide receiver position for the Cardinals has me wanting to find someone consistent in week 5. There is the chance that he succeeds but there is also the chance that he busts as he did in week 4. If you need a play with a safe floor and ceiling then I would look elsewhere in week 5. Kirk is a low-end flex in week 5.
Dawson Knox, TE, Buffalo Bills Vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Knox has been a total stud at the tight end position this year. Not only is he getting touchdowns but he is also turning into one of Josh Allen’s most trusted targets. This week the Buffalo Bills play against the Kansas City Chiefs in what should be one of the highest point totals. If you are looking for a high ceiling at the tight end position then Knox is your guy in week 5. Knox is a solid TE1 with as high of a ceiling as possible at the position.
Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys Vs. New York Giants
Schultz has been awesome so far this year as he has been receiving a great target. This week shouldn’t be any different as Schultz looks to be one of Dak’s most trusted targets. Schultz should have no problem having success against the Giants defense this week in what has shoot-out written all over it. Schultz is a low-end TE1 with upside in week 5.
Jonnu Smith, TE, New England Patriots Vs. Houston Texans
Coming into this season I was really high on Smith, but as we have seen the Patriots targets have been all over the place this season. The Houston Texans are one of the worst defenses in the league which makes starting Smith this week a little easier. If I were a betting man, I would bet that Smith finds the endzone again this week. Smith is a mid-tier TE2 with solid touchdown upside in week 5.
C.J. Uzomah, TE, Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Green Bay Packers
Uzomah looked awesome last week but my assumption is that his production was a little bit of fool’s gold. We have seen Uzomah have success in the past but we have never seen it at a consistent rate. Unless you are desperate, I would look to play a tight end with a higher upside and more consistent production. Uzomah is a boom/ bust play this week against the Packers.
Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns Vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Cleveland Browns offense is a mess outside of their running game. The main reason for that is that Baker Mayfield is currently dealing with an injury that is limiting his throwing ability. Which makes it very hard to trust any of the Browns pass-catching options including Hooper this week against a capable Chargers defense. Hooper is a low-end TE2 with limited upside in week 5.
Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants Vs. Dallas Cowboys
Even with some of their wide receivers out due to injury, the Giants couldn’t get Engram playing at a high level. It seems like it has been years since we could rely upon Engram as a weekly play at the tight end position and this week is no different. The matchup against the Cowboys is juicy as this should be one of the highest-scoring games of the week. Regardless you should look for a different option at the tight end position as Engram offers a basement low floor and pretty much no ceiling in week 5. Engram is a low-end TE 2 this week.