We’re a quarter of the way through the NFL season, and the fantasy football picture seems more confusing than when the season started.
A number of high-caliber players have oscillated between big weeks and duds, while early surprises have since fizzled as the calendar turns to October.
That being said, it’s crucial to identify the best possible matchups for your roster in Week 5 and put your best team on the digital field.
Here are NESN.com’s starts and sits for Week 5.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
Watson looked shaky during the first two weeks, but he responded by putting up big numbers in his past two games, throwing for over 375 yards and two touchdowns in each contest. The Texans face a Dallas Cowboys defense that has been stingy through four weeks, but we’d put our faith in the second-year stud.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Conner burst onto the scene in Week 1, rushing for 135 yards and two touchdowns in Le’Veon Bell’s absence. The Pittsburgh product followed that with three subpar performances, failing to crack the 70-yard plateau over the last three weeks. Conner’s usage has gone down since the Steelers are constantly playing from behind, but a Week 5 date with the Atlanta Falcons, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs, is just what the doctor ordered. Expect Conner to get rack up the yards in what should be a shootout at Heinz Field.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Here’s a rule: If you own a Rams receiver, you start them. Jared Goff and Co. have been racking up points during the first month of the season, and Sean McVay never takes his foot off the gas. Kupp has become a favored downfield target of Goff and that should continue during a Week 5 meeting with a Seattle Seahawks secondary that is on life support.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
There are only about four fantasy tight ends that have been worth anything early in the season, and Reed has been one of them. The Redskins tight end has notched at least four targets and 48 yards in each of the first three games. Expect that trend to continue when the ‘Skins face the New Orleans Saints in Week 5.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Brees has been airing it out early in the season, but with Mark Ingram returning from his suspension this week, New Orleans likely will go back to the run-heavy playbook that was successful a season ago. Couple that with a matchup against a solid Redskins defense and this might not be Brees’ week.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins
The veteran running back has enjoyed a resurgence so far in Washington, but a matchup with the Saints’ stingy run defense — which ranks first in the NFL, allowing only 3.2 yards per carry — doesn’t bode well Peterson. While the Redskins could elect to go run-heavy and play keep-away from Brees, it’s best to give another one of your backs the nod this week.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Thomas’ targets (33) haven’t resulted in yards or scores (168 yards, one touchdown) so far this season. Denver faces a struggling New York Jets defense in Week 5, but the Broncos have yet to prove they are an effective team away from Mile High. SIt.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
The return of Alshon Jeffrey and the drops have sent the USC product’s fantasy value hurtling back to Earth. Make him prove it before you start him again.