Wondering who the hell you should get in there and who to give a few ass-splinters to?
Check out our Start Em and Sit Em for Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em – Week 5
(BYE: Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Joe Flacco (@ KC) – Flacco has now made my top-10 QBs for three weeks in a row, something I never would have guessed would happen at this time last season. His control of the no-huddle offense has been outstanding thus far and I expect it to only get better as the year goes on. This week he’ll face a Chiefs defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points/game to opposing QBs and even though they’ve improved a bit with CB Brandon Flowers back in the lineup, they’re still tied for the most passing TDs allowed this season with 10. Flacco’s only other time facing this team was back in Week 1 of the 2009 when he put up two career-firsts by throwing for 307 yards and three TDs.
Andy Dalton (vs. Mia) – Dalton has put up three straight games with 24 or more fantasy points and has been one of the bigger surprises of the young fantasy season. This week he’ll take on a Miami team that has allowed three 300-yard games in a row by Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kolb. In my estimation, Dalton is the best of the bunch and should be primed for a nice game. Considering the strength of the Dolphins run defense, it wouldn’t shock me to see the Bengals QB toss up 40 passes and maybe even sneak into the top-5 for the week.
Philip Rivers (@ NO - Sunday Night) – With Gates having a bit of a down season and without a steady wide receiver to throw to on a consistent basis, Rivers fantasy numbers have suffered immensely. In real life, he’s led the Chargers to a 2-0 record on the road and 3-1 overall, but unless you’re a big San Diego fan, that doesn’t mean much to his owners. That being said, this is the best chance he’ll have to turn it around going up against a Saints defense that gives it up as much through the air as on the ground. With Drew Brees gunning for yet another passing record, I’m expecting a bit of a shootout this Sunday night so there should be a bunch of fantasy points to be had here by Rivers.
Other QBs with QB1 Potential:
Andrew Luck (vs. GB)
Christian Ponder (vs. Ten)
Matt Hasselbeck (@ Min)
Ryan Tannehill (@ Cin)
Brandon Weeden (@ NYG)
Russell Wilson (@ Car)
Reggie Bush (@ Cin) – Bush played through a lot of pain last weekend at Arizona so you have to give him credit for sucking it up and getting out on the field when he was needed. This week he’ll have a lot easier of a time running the ball against an inferior Bengals rush D than he did last week and is set up for some really nice stats. The Bengals have allowed more than five yards/carry to running backs thus far while Reggie dons a 5.6 YPC so far himself (5.1 YPC in 2011). The Bengals have ALSO allowed the second-most yards receiving to RBs this season which is obviously another big strength to Bush’s game. Add it all up and it looks like the Dolphins RB should end up with top-5 fantasy stats this week.
Trent Richardson (@ NYG) – Richardson hasn’t put up the rushing yardage his fantasy owners were all hoping for yet, but if you ever watched him play back at Alabama, you’ll recall what a monstrous touchdown machine he was. Luckily for his owners, that part of his game DID transfer over to the NFL as he’s currently tied for second in the league with four total TDs (Arian Foster; 5). On paper, the Giants don’t look so bad defending the run until you look a little closer and see that they’ve allowed two 100-yard rushers thus far and rookie Doug Martin’s lone touchdown of the season. Trent’s going to be used plenty this Sunday both in and out of the backfield and after putting up over 100 total yards and a TD against Baltimore last week, you know he has a ton of confidence to ride upon.
Ryan Mathews (@ NO - Sunday Night) – So I understand the point most people are talking about in that the Chargers were in some way trying to send a message to Mathews concerning his fumbling problem. However, I have two other explanations that can, in part, decipher the reasoning behind starting Jackie Battle and giving him 19 touches to Mathews 16. First off, there is a widespread thought throughout the sporting world that when a player goes up against a former team of his (as the Chiefs are for Battle), the player will somehow rise above his normal level in an effort to show his formal team what they’re missing. In that sense, Jackie did pretty well scoring two touchdowns in the contest. Second, through the first two seasons of his career, Mathews did extremely well as part of a tandem. Considering his recent return from a broken collarbone, Norv Turner must have figured it was a good idea to go back to that and see how it worked out. In that sense, it also worked out with Mathews putting up 82 total yards on his 16 touches. With all that said, the Chargers have to realize that if they want to make some serious noise in the playoffs this season, the better/more talented/more explosive back (Mathews) will have to be more involved in their offense. Besides all of this, whenever a fantasy RB needs a little pick-me-up, the best thing for him is to go up against a Swiss cheese defense to get him going again. The Saints did it for Jamaal Charles two weeks ago and should do it again for Mathews this weekend.
Jamaal Charles (vs. Bal) – Charles had another nice game for the Chiefs last weekend totaling 115 yards (92 rushing) and two touchdowns in their loss to the Chargers. You can tell he has his confidence back now as well as he’s hitting holes hard without dancing too much and not shying away from contact. With his blazing speed and overall skill-set, the sky’s the limit for The Ostrich. Right now he sits eight yards behind Marshawn Lynch for the league lead in rushing yards with 415 and will have every opportunity to add to his total with Peyton Hillis looking to be out again this weekend. Baltimore is still a hard-nosed defense, but they’ve slowed down a bit as well and are only in the middle of the pack as far as fantasy points allowed are concerned. If the Chiefs are smart and give him 20 or so touches, Charles can do some real damage in this one.
Matt Forte (@ Jax) – Forte has the skills to be one of the best all-around backs in the NFL, but he needs to be healthy so he can get enough touches to do so. Forte returned from his sprained ankle earlier than expected last Monday night and got 14 touches (13 carries) despite rolling his ankle on the first play of the game. Forte, however, must be just fine if he was able to play the rest of the game, so I’m not too worried about his playing time this Sunday. Jacksonville has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points and the third most rushing yards to RBs so far this season, so look for Forte to have a real nice all-around game and possibly break off a TD run of over 20 yards.
Other RBs with RB1 Potential:
Stevan Ridley (vs. Den)
Willis McGahee (@ NE)
Darren Sproles (vs. SD - Sunday Night)
Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. Cle)
Jackie Battle (@ NO - Sunday Night)
Cedric Benson (@ Ind)
Michael Bush (@ Jax)
Kendall Hunter (vs. Buf)
Jacquizz Rodgers (@ Was)
Pierre Thomas (vs. SD - Sunday Night)
Percy Harvin (vs. Ten) – The Detroit Lions came out to say a couple of days ago that their whole defensive scheme was set up to shut down Percy Harvin. You have to hand it to them as they did very well in accomplishing their goal, yet Percy STILL took back the opening kickoff for a touchdown on them…which unfortunately for fantasy owners were pretty much the only points he scored on the day. The good news is that with the Titans on tap this weekend, there’s absolutely ZERO chance something like that happens again. Not only is Tennessee terrible against the pass, but they can’t stop the run either so no matter how the Vikings plan on getting Percy the ball this weekend, he’s more than likely going to do something special with it. I’m expecting a real nice game here with at least eight catches, 120 total yards and a touchdown.
Jordy Nelson (@ Ind) – So Nelson finally had a game worth writing home about, but was it simply because he was playing against a terrible Saints defense? Was it because Greg Jennings was in the game for a little while to draw attention away from him? Or was it because he and Aaron Rodgers are finally back on the same page? I’m going to say it was a mixture of all three, but luckily for Nelson and his fantasy owners, the Colts secondary isn’t much better than the Saints. However, Greg Jennings won’t be suiting up for at least this week, so Nelson may see an extra body on him from time to time. Still, Jordy should be able to come through with a couple of lengthy catches as the Colts are prone to giving up the big play. This COULD be the breakout game we’ve been waiting for from Nelson.
Brandon Marshall (@ Jax) – If Matt Forte and Michael Bush were both completely healthy, I might have moved Marshall down a few spots. That said, they aren’t, so Cutler is going to have to throw the ball some like he did against the Cowboys last Monday night. The Jaguars rush defense is one of the worst in the game, but even though their pass D isn’t the Superman of Super Heroes, they aren’t half bad either. They do allow 255 passing yards a game, though, and seem to have a bit of a problem with bigger wide receivers, so if Brandon gets close to double-digit targets like he should, he could be in for a big game.
Torrey Smith (@ KC) – Torrey is on a nice little run right now with 12 catches on 20 targets for 224 yards and three TDs over the last two games. The sudden death of his younger brother may have something to do with his heightened the level play, but he’s also a much better receiver in his second year and has gained the trust of Joe Flacco because of it. The Chiefs defense has given up the fewest receptions per game to wideouts thus far, but they’ve also allowed the fifth-highest yards per attempt which plays right into Torrey’s strength. Smith’s 20.8 yards per catch ranks second in the league and may have a chance to with CB Brandon Flowers still a bit banged up.
Malcom Floyd (@ NO - Sunday Night) – Floyd started the season off hot putting up double-digit fantasy points in his first two games, but has slowed of late catching just five balls for 75 yards in his last two combined. This could be the game he gets back on track, however, with the Saints allowing the fourth-most fantasy points and touchdowns to wide receivers on the year. New Orleans may be 0-4 right now, but a fantasy-happy shootout could be on the horizon this Sunday night with both teams averaging 25 or more points a game.
Other WRs with WR1 Potential:
Pierre Garcon (vs. Atl)
James Jones (@ Ind)
Nate Washington (@ Min)
Andrew Hawkins (vs. Mia)
Domenik Hixon (vs. Cle)
Kendall Wright (@ Min)
Donnie Avery (vs. GB)
Greg Little (@ NYG)
Randall Cobb (@ Ind)
Brandon Stokley (@ NE)
Devery Henderson (vs. SD - Sunday Night)
Tony Gonzalez (@ Was) – Coincidentally, not only was Week 4 the first week in which Tony Gonzalez was held out of the endzone, but it was also the first game that the Redskins were able to keep a tight end from scoring a touchdown against them as well. Let’s call it an anomaly as I believe Gonzo gets back into the Promised Land again this weekend. Washington can’t cover anyone worth a lick out there and won’t be able to contain the league leader in receptions for tight ends.
Kyle Rudolph (vs. Ten) – The Tennessee Titans top the league in points allowed/game this year at 37.75, with 34 being the fewest they’ve given up in any of their four games. Tight ends have specifically caused the most damage against them catching a whopping 34 passes for 360 yards and six touchdowns so far, so Rudolph should at least be targeted quite a bit in this one. Besides, the Minnesota coaching staff recently discussed using Kyle’s skills more in the passing game from here on out, so a breakout game could be in the offing this week.
Dennis Pitta (@ KC) – So Pitta had his first real stinker of a game last week against the Browns, but you can’t really expect a non-elite tight end to do well for your fantasy team every week. Besides, Cleveland has been good against tight ends for awhile now, so I’m really not that surprised by the goose-egg. The Chiefs are a more fantasy-generous team for TEs, so Pitta should be able to pick his game back up in Week 5. He’s still a relatively significant cog to the Ravens no-huddle offense, so I expect the targets and catches to be back up to where they were the first few weeks.
Greg Olsen (vs. Sea) – It seems Cam Newton has found himself a new favorite target this season as Greg Olsen has been thrown at six more times than Steve Smith through the team’s first four games. Olsen has done well with the attention, too, putting up three games with six or more receptions while also just grabbing his first TD of the year last weekend. The Panthers use of Greg as more of a wide receiver in their offense is a beautiful thing for fantasy owners due to the constant matchup problems it creates for opposing defenses. Seattle can be stingy against the pass, but Olsen might see double-digit targets with Smith and Brandon LaFell being locked down on the outside, so the opportunity to score big will be there.
Other TEs with TE1 Potential:
Brent Celek (@ Pit)
Scott Chandler (@ SF)
Owen Daniels (@ NYJ - Monday Night)
Jared Cook (@ Min)
Jacob Tamme (@ NE)
Fred Davis (vs. Atl)
Dwayne Allen (vs. GB)
Marcedes Lewis (vs. Chi)
Cam Newton (vs. Sea)
Michael Vick (@ Pit)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ SF)
Jake Locker (@ Min) – OUT – Shoulder; unknown how long he’ll be out, but it might be a couple of weeks
BYE WEEK QBs
Dallas – Tony Romo
Detroit – Matthew Stafford
Oakland – Carson Palmer
Tampa Bay – Josh Freeman
Chris Johnson (@ Min)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Mia)
Rashard Mendenhall (vs. Phi)
Shonn Greene (vs. Hou - Monday Night) – Sell him while you can because Greene won’t be keeping his job more than just a couple more weeks. The Jets will TRY to use him this Monday night, but he won’t be able to do much against a defense a lot of people consider to be the best in the NFL.
Ben Tate (@ NYJ - Monday Night) – QUESTIONABLE – Toe; hasn’t practiced all week but could play with the extra day of rest before Monday night
Peyton Hillis (vs. Bal) – OUT – Ankle
BYE WEEK RBs
Dwayne Bowe (vs. Bal)
Stevie Johnson (@ SF)
Jeremy Maclin (@ Pit)
Brian Hartline (@ Cin)
Brandon LaFell (vs. Sea)
Greg Jennings (@ Ind) – OUT – Groin; could miss a couple of weeks
Hakeem Nicks (@ Phi - Sunday Night) – OUT – Knee/Foot; the swelling in the knee is down and the foot isn’t too bad anymore. Could be back in Week 6
Kenny Britt (@ Min) – QUESTIONABLE – Ankle; missed practice all week, but could be back for the Titans Thursday night game in Week 6
Lance Moore (vs. SD - Sunday Night) – OUT – Hamstring; missed practice all week but has a Bye in Week 6 to rest it up
Ramses Barden (vs. Cle) – OUT - Concussion
Julian Edelman (vs. Den) – OUT – Hand; the Patriots haven’t said anything but it looks like it could be broken
Laurent Robinson (vs. Chi) – OUT – Concussion
Stephen Hill (vs. Hou - Monday Night) – DOUBTFUL - Hamstring
BYE WEEK WRs
Martellus Bennett (vs. Cle)
Jermichael Finley (@ Ind)
Coby Fleener (vs. GB)
Dustin Keller (vs. Hou - Monday Night) – QUESTIONABLE – Hamstring; didn’t practice all week and unlikely to play on Monday night
Aaron Hernandez (@ Buf) – QUESTIONABLE – Ankle; could be back as early as Week 6
BYE WEEK TEs
Dallas – Jason Witten
Oakland – Brandon Myers
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