Fantasy Football Week 5: Start, Sit Advice For Toughest Lineup Decisions

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We’re already past the quarter mark of the 2015 NFL season, and bye weeks are giving fantasy football owners some tough decisions regarding who on their rosters to start and sit.

Luckily for you, we have the answers. Check out the lists below for advice on some of the toughest decisions in Week 5.

Quarterbacks
Start: Philip Rivers (Chargers), Marcus Mariota (Titans), Alex Smith (Chiefs), Kirk Cousins (Redskins), Eli Manning (Giants)
Sit: Colin Kaepernick (49ers), Russell Wilson (Seahawks), Derek Carr (Raiders), Jay Cutler (Bears), Michael Vick (Steelers), Andy Dalton (Bengals)

Rivers, who leads the league in passing yards, is a great play this week against the Steelers. Smith is averaging 338 pass yards and completing 64 percent of his passes over the last two games. He should dominate a weak Bears pass defense.

Kaepernick has a tough matchup against the Giants. He has two touchdowns with five interceptions on the season and only is fantasy relevant when he racks up points on the ground. That probably won’t happen against the Giants’ No. 1 ranked run defense.

Wilson has improved since Seattle’s 0-2 start, but his matchup against the Bengals and their great front seven is a concern.

Running Backs
Start: Dion Lewis (Patriots), C.J. Spiller (Saints), Justin Forsett (Ravens), Thomas Rawls (Seahawks), Todd Gurley (Rams), Darren McFadden (Cowboys),
Sit: Carlos Hyde (49ers), DeMarco Murray (Eagles), C.J. Anderson (Broncos), Latavius Murray (Raiders), Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks), Isaiah Crowell (Browns)

Lance Dunbar’s season-ending injury should give McFadden more touches in the Cowboys offense, particularly in the passing game. Lewis is a smart play because Tom Brady trusts him in the Patriots’ passing attack, which means he’s on the field for a ton of snaps.

Anderson has been a colossal disappointment. He has 117 rushing yards and zero touchdowns through four games. His season high is 43 yards, and that came last week in a win over the Vikings. Anderson isn’t even the clear-cut No. 1 back anymore because Ronnie Hillman has been more productive with almost as many carries.

Wide Receivers
Start: Allen Hurns (Jaguars), Terrance Williams (Cowboys), Rueben Randle (Giants), Amari Cooper (Raiders)
Sit: Brandin Cooks (Saints), Travis Benjamin (Browns), Michael Crabtree (Raiders)

Williams should be productive enough to start in PPR leagues. The Cowboys likely will be trailing early against the Patriots, which would force Brandon Weeden to throw often. Williams has been targeted seven or more times in three of Dallas’ four games and has a touchdown in two of them.

Crabtree has a very tough matchup against an excellent Broncos pass defense and likely will be covered by Chris Harris or Aqib Talib, both of whom are elite cornerbacks. It’s not worth the risk.

Tight End
Start: Martellus Bennett (Bears), Charles Clay (Bills), Tyler Eifert (Bengals), Antonio Gates (Chargers)
Sit: Jared Cook (Rams), Heath Miller (Steelers)

Gates should be started in all leagues. He’s coming off a four-game suspension, so it might take him a little bit to find his rhythm, but he’s been a reliable target for more than a decade and consistently finds the end zone.

Miller has just three receptions on five targets for 18 yards and zero touchdowns since Ben Roethlisberger suffered his leg injury. He’s not a trustworthy tight end for fantasy owners.

Defense
Start: Giants, Jaguars, Ravens, Cardinals, Broncos
Sit: Cowboys, Rams, Steelers, Browns, Falcons

The Giants are facing Kaepernick this week, which means they’re an automatic start. New York also has the league’s stingiest run defense. The Cardinals (vs. the Lions) and Broncos (vs. the Raiders), two more elite defenses, also are likely to give bounce-back performances against inferior opponents in Week 5.

Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images

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