Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week #5
Start – Peyton Manning vs Raiders
If I were to ask you at the beginning of the season, “Should I start Peyton Manning versus the Oakland Raiders defense?” You would probably look at me with a confused look and tell me this is a no brainer. Manning has been a must start in fantasy land his entire career with the exception of his rookie season but began to struggle with arm strength and consistency towards the end of last season and for the first 4 games of the 2015 season. The defense thus far has carried this Broncos team as Manning has thrown for only 968 and 5 interceptions compared to only 6 touchdowns while leading the 27th ranked passing offense. With all that said if there was a game to start Manning this season with confidence it would be this one against an Oakland Raiders defense who managed to make a less than 100% Jay Cutler look good. This matchup against the second worst pass defense in the league is just what the doctor ordered for Manning and the Broncos’ passing game. If this is not the bounce back game for Manning then I would be nervous if I’m a fantasy football owner of the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Notables – Phillip Rivers vs. Steelers, Matt Ryan vs. Redskins, Carson Palmer vs. Lions
Sit – Matthew Stafford vs Cardinals
If Matthew Stafford’s fantasy stock has not bottomed out yet then this might be the game of no return against a blitz happy Arizona Cardinals team facing a shaky Lions’ offensive line. The Cardinals defense not only can get to the quarterback but also has a solid secondary led by All Pro CB Patrick Peterson who should shadow Calvin Johnson in this contest. Stafford hasn’t been able to get on track with star receivers Johnson and Golden Tate thus far because he has no time to get them the ball down the field due to an offensive line which leads the league in quarterback hurries allowed. The Lions quarterback has now failed to throw for 300 yards in seven straight games, the longest streak of his career and is a good bet to NOT get to that number this week against the Cardinals’ Top 10 pass defense.
Notables – Colin Kaepernick vs. Giants, Derek Carr vs. Broncos, Andy Dalton vs. Seahawks
Start – Justin Forsett vs Browns
Last years breakout running back Justin Forsett struggled to live up to his 2nd round billing in the first 3 games of the 2015 season under new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman only gaining a total of 124 yards. Fantasy owners who invested an early round pick on the diminutive back were certainly experiencing buyer’s remorse until last week when Forsett broke out for 150 yards on the ground with a work horse like 27 carries against the Steelers defense. Its hard to get a better matchup than the Steelers porous defense but the Ravens back strikes gold again with a tastier matchup against the Browns’ run defense that has struggled to stop opposing rushing attacks for two years now. Yes, the injury to the Ravens’ only viable receiving option Steve Smith Sr. means the Browns will have at least 8 men in the box at all times but if Forsett can find a crease he can break long runs and with his speed he can have a career game. Start Forsett with confidence this week.
Notables – Dion Lewis vs. Cowboys, Danny Woodhead vs. Steelers, T.J. Yeldon vs. Buccaneers
Sit – Bishop Sankey vs Bills
After struggling in his rookie season Bishop Sankey seemed to be on his way to getting on track with new QB Marcus Mariota and the coaching staff giving him an opportunity in Week 1 as he totaled 86 total yards and 2 TDs. Well that was a façade as he was then out-rushed by Dexter McCluster in Week 2 and then by undrafted running back Antonio Andrews in Week 3. Sankey now looks to be on the short end of the stick in the Titans running back committee playing against a tough Bills run defense. You don’t want no parts of Sankey this week as a back in your free agency pool should be a better option.
Notables – Isaiah Crowell vs. Ravens, Ameer Abdullah vs. Cardinals
Start – Keenan Allen vs Steelers
The San Diego Chargers gets a much needed boost to a banged up receiving core with the return of Antonio Gates from suspension. But Gates will play “Robin” to target monster Keenan Allen against a leaky Steelers secondary. Look for Phillip Rivers to funnel a lot of targets Allen’s way and for him to push double digit receptions and 100+ yards on Monday Night. Allen has alternated big reception games with 15 and 12 in Week 1 and 3 with low reception games with 2 and 4 in Week 2 and 4, that trend should continue in this one with QB Phillip Rivers peppering the 3rd year wideout with opportunities.
Notables – Jeremy Maclin vs. Bears, Leonard Hankerson vs. Redskins, Allen Robinson vs. Buccaneers, James Jones vs. Rams, Julian Edelman vs. Cowboys
Sit – Tavon Austin vs Packers
A boom or bust fantasy option each week Tavon Austin is a very risky fantasy play. I’m betting against the electrifying talent as he is seems to only get off against divisional foes and the Rams will play outside the division this week against the Green Bay Packers. The Rams will probably be playing from behind in this game but Austin still cannot be trusted playing for an anemic offense that loves to run the football.
Notables – Percy Harvin vs. Titans, Torrey Smith vs. Giants
Start – Owen Daniels vs Raiders
Week 1 Tyler Eifert 9 catches 104 yards 2 TDs
Week 2 Crockett Gillmore 5 catches 88 yards 2 TDs
Week 3 Gary Barnidge 6 catches 105 yards 1 TD
Week 4 Martellus Bennett 11 catches 83 yards 1 TD
Continue to start tight ends against the Oakland Raiders defense until they are able to stop them.
Notables – Antonio Gates vs. Steelers, Charles Clay vs. Titans, Martellus Bennett vs. Chiefs
Sit – Gary Barnidge vs Ravens
Browns TE Gary Barnidge followed up his career game against the Raiders defense with a 6 catch 75 yard 1 TD game against the Chargers last week. The seventh year career journeyman is enjoying his best season as a pro and has become QB Josh McCown’s go to player within the offense. Call me hard headed but I’m still not buying the hype and will sit Barnidge this week against a Ravens defense which has allowed only 8 catches for 31 yards and 0 TDs to tight ends across 4 games.
Notables – Tyler Eifert vs. Seahawks, Larry Donnell vs. 49ers
Start – Chiefs D vs Bears
A defense that has struggled this season can be a good streaming option facing a Jay Cutler led offense at #ChiefsKingdom.
Sit – Rams D vs Packers
Will never recommend starting a defense against MVP Aaron Rodgers (The spooning continues).