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Fantasy football starts and sits for Week 5

helping guide you through the recent and COVID-19 and bye week blues.

Philadelphia Eagles v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Week 5 looks to be another rough one for fantasy players. It always felt more like a when than an if the season would get to this point with teams, players and games being in doubt.

It looks like the Titans game against the Bills is in doubt due to Tennessee’s continued struggles with the COVID-19 virus, though it’s currently scheduled for next Tuesday. For the purposes of providing options for players this will be written under the assumption that game and any player who tested positive last won’t play this week either.

With that being said, we have teams on actual byes this week that include the Lions and Packers.

Running backs

Start

D’Ernest Johnson, Browns: This isn’t a very good matchup, but we are about to find out that Cleveland running backs are matchup proof really quick. That offensive line is a real problem for other teams. Johnson rushed for 95 yards in Week 4 after Nick Chubb left the game with an injury. There are probably going to be some fantasy players who really need to take a big risk in their flex position, and Johnson should have a very productive day behind Kareem Hunt.

Le’Veon Bell, Jets (Watch injury report): Bell is coming off the injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury early in the season. There are reports coming out that he could be active this week. Assuming this isn’t all just smokescreen, he has a great matchup against the Cardinals who allow 24.8 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, according to Fantasy Pros. Bell is a pretty big risk even if he is active just because he is coming off that injury, but he could be worth it.

Kenyan Drake, Cardinals: It is hard out there for running backs outside of the typical guys who should always be in your lineup. Drake has had a rough couple of weeks. Last week he squandered a great matchup against the Panthers, but he gets another shot this week against the Jets. Drake will also have to hope the opposing team doesn’t jump out to a huge lead, because he clearly has no value in the passing game, as Chase Edmunds carried a vast majority of those duties. Still, New York is the ninth best matchup for opposing running backs.

Sits

Miles Sanders, Eagles: Sanders will be facing a Steelers defense that only allows 11.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. That is the second fewest in the NFL. When you add in that offensive line being a little bit of a mess, you may be better off with Sanders on the bench this week.

Myles Gaskin, Dolphins: Gaskin has been the feature back in Miami, and he has turned in some nice performances. However, he will now be facing the toughest matchup for fantasy running backs, the 49ers. It is just hard to imagine Gaskin being the guy to overcome this run defense that has been so strong. His best opportunity is in PPR leagues getting some late garbage time throws.

Wide receiver

Starts

Justin Jefferson, Vikings: Jefferson is practically a must start already in his career, but this week he will be going up against the Seahawks who allow the most points to opposing wide receivers in fantasy. He has two 100-yard performances in a row, and that doesn’t seem like it will end anytime soon.

Darius Slayton, Giants: This is kind of a deep shot, but Slayton has 29 targets this year, which is only one behind Evan Engram on the team. He also had a huge Week 1 in another great matchup against the Steelers. This week, he gets to face the Cowboys who will almost certainly take an early lead. That means plenty of opportunities against a terrible Dallas defense.

Tight ends to start

Hunter Henry, Chargers: Without Austin Ekeler as an easy outlet for the rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, Henry should see an increase in the amount of targets he has been seeing. It also helps that the Saints defense is the second best matchup for tight ends in fantasy. Henry is in one of the best positions for a tight end going into Week 5.

Tyler Higbee, Rams: Higbee already has three touchdowns on the season, and he could easily add to that total this week. Washington has allowed opposing tight ends to score just over 13 points per game. Higbee is actually third on the team in targets after Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, so him continuing his productive season is easy to envision.

Quarterback stream

Justin Herbert, Chargers: Odds are that someone already has picked up Herbert after the game he had last week, but the rookie has scored plenty of touchdowns so far this season. He faces a Saints defense on Monday Night Football that is in the bottom 10 of defense as far as being able to actually stop quarterbacks. This seems like an easy suggestion.

Kirk Cousins, Vikings: The Legion of Boom is a long distant memory at this point. Seattle can barely stop anyone through the air, and that is just what the doctor ordered for Cousins. He has Jefferson and Adam Thielen to go make plays for him, and it would be pretty shocking if he didn’t put up a multiple touchdown day.

Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers: This one isn’t hard. He is going up against a Falcons defense that can’t stop anyone. Multiple touchdowns is an easy guarantee, but it is also fairly likely he ends up with at least three touchdowns on the day.

Defense stream

  • Rams defense against Washington
  • Cardinals defense against Jets
  • Texans defense against Jaguars