By: Jake Hinson @JakeHinson11
Hold the Phone: Week 5 Surprising Sits
The start/sit decision is one that can make or break a fantasy season. Teams looking at 0-4 or 1-3 at this juncture cannot afford to mess up a roster decision in order to stay alive. It can be tempting to start the flashy pickup off the bench. Fantasy owners also feel pressured to start a guy they invested heavily in on draft day. Think twice about starting these guys who are either in unfavorable matchups or may burn you due to high expectations.
This is not a conviction against these players for the rest of the season; this is simply for Week 5. This article should also depend on how your fantasy roster is composed. If you have no one else to play in front of one of the following players, go ahead and start that guy. These players all have potential to do well this week, so if your bench is bare because of bye weeks or speculative additions, roll these players out there. But my belief is these players will underperform this week and put your team at risk.
The rookie from Clemson has been lighting it up as of late. Deshaun Watson dismantled Tennessee in Week 4, establishing himself as a legitimate candidate for Rookie of the Year. However, he gets the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5. The Chiefs are the hottest team in the NFL and seem to be a team without any flaws. Despite losing Eric Berry in Week 1, Kansas City is still a top 5 defense and has shut down the likes of Tom Brady and Philip Rivers. Watson isn’t on the same level of the other quarterbacks that KC has shut down.
Projection: 190 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 30 yards rushing
Superman had a revitalization at New England last weekend. Cam Newton struggled mightily to open the season but managed to throw for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns, while adding 44 yards and a touchdown on the ground. It was Cam’s best game all year and it might entice fantasy owners to start him confidently for the rest of the season. Don’t give in. Carolina goes to Detroit, who has been a very stingy defense themselves. The Lions have forced 11 turnovers and are only allowing 17.5 points per game, fourth best in the NFL. Expect Cam to regress in Week 5.
Projection: 210 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 20 yards rushing
It’s been an odd year for Marshawn Lynch. He began the year with 76 yards on 18 carries in Week 1, then scored in Week 2. He has been a manageable running back, until Week 3. Beast Mode saw his attempts go down and was held in check against Washington and Denver. Lynch will need volume in order to produce. Add in Derek Carr’s back injury and Lynch could see 7-8 man boxes attempting to stop the run. Baltimore is better against the pass than the run, but Marshawn is susceptible to struggling yet again.
Projection: 11 carries, 36 yards, 1 catch, 4 yards
As the popular waiver wire add for the week, Aaron Jones is set to have the backfield to himself on Sunday, as Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams all left last Thursday’s game with injuries. So we should assume he will see the workload that Montgomery got, right? Not exactly. First of all, there is a good chance that Williams suits up against Dallas this week. If he does, work will be split between the two. There is even a chance Montgomery plays this weekend as well. While I don’t believe he will, the three will all be used and it will be a headache for fantasy owners. In the case that Montgomery and Williams both sit, I think Green Bay reverts to a style of offense they played last year, where they throw the ball relentlessly and line up Randall Cobb, Jones, and Aaron Ripkowski in the backfield. It doesn’t bode well for the owners who spent high FAAB dollars on Aaron Jones.
Projection: 13 carries, 45 yards, 3 catches, 20 yards
I know the adage, “start your studs”, but there are a lot of factors going against Amari Cooper this week. Cooper has struggled mightily as of late, as he hasn’t had over 100 yards in his last 13 games. Throw in Baltimore’s stingy pass defense stifling quarterbacks and receivers and it already sounds like a recipe for disaster. Now Derek Carr is out for 2-6 weeks with a back injury and E.J. Manuel steps in for Oakland. While there is a chance he will funnel targets to Cooper, it won’t be efficient targets. A backup quarterback, an elite pass defense, and an already struggling Amari Cooper is enough for me to bench him for a better option.
Projection: 3 catches, 41 yards
It is difficult to sit a player like Martavis Bryant, as he can score at any given time. It only takes one play for Bryant to return the investment. However, I’m not a fan of him this week. He isn’t getting the volume you want from a #2 option on an offense like the Steelers. He is too dependent on a touchdown and on an offense with Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell, as well as JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jesse James, predicting touchdowns for Bryant is difficult. Throw in the fact Pittsburgh plays Jacksonville and Bryant will either see A.J. Bouye or Jalen Ramsey in Week 5 and he is definitely warranted for a sit.
Projection: 4 catches, 35 yards
The breakout for Eric Ebron isn’t looking like it is coming soon. He has had one top 12 finish, but there is a good chance that was because of the New York Giants’ leaky pass defense against the tight end. Other than that, Ebron has been completely nonexistent. He is getting targets, but Ebron is having troubles yet again with drops. He’s had two catches in three of the four games already played in and now plays Carolina, who plays against the tight end better than a lot of teams. Throw a dart at your waivers at any tight end. They have a better chance of producing than Eric Ebron.
Projection: 3 catches, 22 yards