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NFL fantasy football 2017: Who to sit and who to start in Week 5

Here are the players you should be starting and sitting in Week 5.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It is Week 5 which means bye weeks are starting, and you’ll be relying on your bench more than ever. The Broncos, Falcons, Saints and Redskins are all on a bye this week. That incorporates quite a bit of fantasy studs between them.

Here are the players you should be starting and sitting for Week 5.

Must starts

Chris Hogan (Patriots Receiver): Hogan has been a great option in fantasy this year. He only caught one pass Week 1, but since then he has scored four touchdowns in three weeks, and he has become one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets near the end zone. Tampa Bay also is riddled with injuries in the secondary.

Duke Johnson Jr. (Browns RB): Johnson is a PPR beast. Last week he scared the Browns only touchdown with a goal-line carry, and he also caught nine passes. He will be facing the Jets who have been a doormat for running backs so far this season.

Favorable matchups

Carlos Hyde (49ers RB): Hyde is currently dealing with a hip issue that you should monitor, but if he plays he should have a big game. The Colts have struggled slowing down running backs all season long. If there wasn’t doubt that he was healthy enough for a full workload, I would have made him a must-start.

Randall Cobb (Packers WR): The Cowboys have struggled slowing down teams from throwing the ball on them. Cobb caught a touchdown last week returning from injury, and he should have plenty of targets out of the slot in this game.

Good but not great

Jay Cutler (Dolphins QB): If there weren’t three starting fantasy quarterbacks on bye this week I wouldn’t urge you to play Cutler, but he may be the best you can get off the waiver wire. The Titans did just get torn to shreds by a rookie quarterback though, so at least the matchup is nice.

Carson Palmer (Cardinals QB): The Eagles have been about average at stopping quarterbacks all season. Palmer has been a steady option in fantasy. It isn’t a sexy move, but he probably isn’t going to lose you your game this week.

Marshawn Lynch (Raiders RB): Lynch has had a terrible two weeks, but the Raiders are set to play the Ravens who have struggled with running backs the past two weeks. Oakland will also be without Derek Carr, so the team may just feed Lynch this week. Keep an eye out if Brandon Williams is also out for the Ravens. He has been absent the past two weeks when the Ravens haven’t been able to slow the run down.

Jets defense: The Broncos defense is on a bye, and the Jets defense is probably available. They are playing the Browns, so it could end up being a nice little fantasy game for them. DeShone Kizer has been kind to opposing defenses so far this season.

Bad matchups

Deshaun Watson (Texans QB): I get the urge to chase the points, and you might have to play him because so many quarterbacks are off this week, but Watson could easily cost you your game this week. The Chiefs are a very good defense, and the Titans are very bad. It is pretty much that simple.

Antonio Brown (Steelers WR): I’m not saying sit Brown. That’d be dumb, but the Jaguars are the best defense against receivers, and it could be another rough day for Brown. He only had four catches last week against the Ravens. Your only hope is that he catches a touchdown this week.

Bears RBs: The Vikings are the best defense against the run. Usually, the Bears have Justin Howard, and Tarik Cohen run over opposing defenses, but this isn’t a matchup where both players will get their numbers. In fact, the sharing carries will likely kill their value this week as the Bears debut Mitch Trubisky.

Just sit them

Raiders receivers: The Raiders are going up against a stout Ravens secondary without Carr. Michael Crabtree missed last week due to injury, but the Raiders couldn’t get a passing game going against the Broncos anyway. If you want to start Crabtree or Amari Cooper just ask yourself, do you really trust E.J. Manuel?

LeGarrette Blount (Eagles RB): Blount was clearly the most effective eagles running back last week. The Eagles ran the ball 36 times between their three backs, and Blount got 16 of those carries and ran for 136 yards. Still Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement ran for a combined 64 yards on 20 carries. Smallwood also scored the only touchdown among the running backs. It is clearly still a committee, and the Cardinals’ rushing defense is an entirely different beat than the Chargers’.