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Fantasy Football Week 5: Put Calvin Ridley in your lineup, plus more starts and sits

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Who should you start and sit in Week 5 to keep your hopes for the playoffs alive?

Cincinnati Bengals v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

It is Week 5, and odds are you have a pretty decent idea of who your consistent starters should be in your team.

You also probably think you have a good idea of whether you will end up in the playoffs or not. You shouldn’t be too sure about that yet, though. No matter if you are undefeated or near the bottom there is still plenty of time for your season to change course.

Besides, you can always be the one who kept Bill from accounting from bragging about how many years in a row he has made the playoffs.

Bye Weeks: Bucs and Bears

Here are this weeks starts and sits:

Must starts

  • Matt Breida (49ers RB): First off, Breida looks questionable going into his game against the Cardinals, but he was a game-time decision last week before leading all running backs with 38 snaps. Unless he suffers a setback, I’d plan on him playing. His matchup is simply the best, as the Cardinals have allowed over 30 points per game to opposing running backs, according to Fantasy Pros. Breida has shown the ability to make those big plays, as well as get involved in the passing game. He needs to be in your lineup this week.
  • Calvin Ridley (Falcons WR): If you own this guy, play him. He is seeing the end zone just a freakish amount. He leads the NFL with six touchdown catches, and he is going up against the Steelers, who have given up more than 30 points per game to opposing wide receivers. Julio Jones is still a viable play in PPR leagues, but it doesn’t seem like a fluke that the Falcons are operating this way.

Favorable Matchups

  • Aaron Jones (Packers RB): If you were lucky enough to end up with Jones, you may have gotten the pickup of the season. He looked great in his first action after returning from a three-game suspension. Jones and Jamaal Williams both had 11 carries against the Bills last week. Williams ended up with 27 yards while Jones had 65 yards and a touchdown. Jones also caught a pass for 17 yards. He will have an even better matchup this week against a Lions defense that has allowed roughly 28 points per game to opposing running backs.
  • Mike Williams (Chargers WR): Williams put up a stinker last week, but he has a far easier matchup against the Raiders this week who are fresh off getting torched by Baker Mayfield and the Browns. They have given up just over 30 points per game to opposing receivers, and I think Williams has a bounce back game against a divisional opponent.

Good but not great

  • Joe Mixon/ Giovani Bernard (Bengals RBs): First off, it depends if Mixon is officially able to go which guy you play. If Mixon can go there is no reason to have Bernard in your lineup unless you are in a deep league in need of a flex. The Dolphins have allowed the fourth-most points to fantasy running backs so far this season. We just don’t know how much of Mixon we will see if he does play. If Bernard starts, he has shown he can produce (he had two touchdowns last week), but the team doesn’t ride him like they do Mixon.
  • Paul Richardson (Washington WR): The Saints have given up the most points to opposing wide receivers this season, but Washington's’ wide receivers haven’t done much of anything through four weeks. Running back Chris Thompson and tight end Jordan Reed lead the team in receptions with 20 and 14 respectively. Richardson is tied with Jamison Crowder with nine receptions on the team. I’m giving the nod to Richardson because he has just been more productive with his catches than Crowder at this point in the season. Neither guy is more than a flex pickup, though.

Just sit them

  • Vikings RBs: Whether it is Dalvin Cook or Latavius Murray, you don’t need to start either against an Eagles’ defense that has opposing running backs averaging less than 10 points per game. Plus, Cook played only sparingly last week and insisted after the game that his hamstring still isn’t right.
  • Packers WRs: The odds are one of Davante Adams, Randall Cobb or Geronimo Allison will get a touchdown, but you’re gambling pretty hard there. The Lions have been tough against the pass this season. They have only allowed 15 points per game to opposing receivers, which is hard to ignore. Given their defense is also lousy against the run could mean the Packers opt for a more “run it until they stop it” approach. Of course, Aaron Rodgers is going to get a touchdown at some point, but even then your returns could be very small. Making matters worse is all three of those receivers are banged up and may not play, so it’s an easy call to sit them all.

Streaming quarterbacks

  • Andy Dalton (Bengals QB): This is probably the last week I can put him in here as he is tied for second in the NFL with 11 touchdowns this season. He has been money pretty much all year, and it seems fantasy fans are finally taking notice.
  • Alex Smith (Washington QB): As stated before the Saints defense has been garbage defending the pass. Alex Smith hasn’t been a great option in fantasy to this point, but the matchup is too good to pass up if you are looking for a one week starter.

Streaming defenses

  • Titans defense vs Bills: The Bills fell back down to earth against the Packers last week by failing to score at all. They are an offense you should feel safe about starting any defense that plays them.
  • Bengals defense vs Dolphins: The Dolphins got smacked by the Patriots last week, and it is the kind of game that can linger with a team for more than a week. The Bengals haven’t been great this season, but they could be in line for a few turnovers and sacks this week, which isn’t bad considering the slim pickings this week.

Tight ends to stream

I’m adding a stream section for tight ends because honestly if you have a productive guy who gets you around seven points a game you are way ahead of the curve as far as the position goes. I can’t tell you to sit any guy like that.

  • Vance McDonald (Steelers TE): The Falcons are still dealing with major injuries in the middle of that defense, and it seem the Steelers have grown to like McDonald as much as they like Jesse James at tight end. McDonald should be a solid stop gap, and if his streak of solid games continues he could end up being a guy you start weekly (seriously that is how bad the position is).
  • C.J. Uzomah (Bengals TE): I don’t necessarily condone starting Uzomah, but if you had Tyler Eifert you may be forced to take a chance on his backup. Uzomah is the guy to own over Kroft. He should have a more reliable score than Kroft’s up and down scores based on touchdowns. This is especially true in PPR formats.