The Week 17 start em, sit em lineup advice post is up.
Watching the Packers-Vikings game as I type this, so I will try not to be too distracted. Week 5 is a big week and we’ve all got to be on top of our games this week.
If you’re 0-4, this is your last chance to stay alive and have a prayer’s chance at the playoffs. If you’re 1-3 or 2-2, a win in Week 5 can potentially get you into first place or a game back, depending on your league. And if you’re 3-1 or 4-0, you’re looking to put some distance between you and your foes.
Either way, Week 5 is a huge swing week that will put you in the position of either being the chased or the chaser over the next few weeks.
Let’s hop to it, starting out with a quick look back at Week 4 and then a glance forward to Week 5 with your usual rundown of start ems and sit ems.
Update: Fraschetti and I did the first edition of the our new weekly fantasy football podcast this week. And I promise we discuss some different players than are included in this post…meaning you should definitely listen! Here you go:
Here’s a look at how my picks worked out last week:
- Start ‘em hits: Eli Manning (3 TDs, 1 INT); Knowshon Moreno (76 total yards, TD); Brandon Marshall (4 rec, 91 yards, TD); Cincinnati D/ST (TD, 20 points given up, 2 TOs, 2 sacks)
- Start ‘em misses: Dustin Keller (3 rec, 31 yards)
- Sit ‘em hits: Fred Taylor (38 total yards, 0 TDs); Roy Williams (3 rec, 35 yards);
- Sit ‘em misses: Philip Rivers (3 TDs, 0 INTs); Visanthe Shiancoe (TD); Denver D/ST (10 pts given up, 2 TOs, 5 sacks)
So, not too bad.
And I feel like I did an even better job this week answering peoples’ questions in the comment section (Mike Sims-Walker baby!). Let’s hope we can continue that for another week.
Okay, here we go folks. The Week 5 Start Em, Sit Em.
Week 5 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Lineup Advice
Week 5 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Quarterbacks
Start ‘Em: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Detroit)
Simply put, Ben Roethlisberger is on the verge of becoming a weekly must-start. When he’s facing a team that has given up 12 passing touchdowns through four games (Detroit), you absolutely put him in your lineup unless Peyton Manning against Tennessee is your other option.
Look at these per game pass attempt numbers for Ben Roethlisberger so far in 2009: 43, 35, 31, 33. There was a time not too long ago when Roethlisberger would be lucky to get 20 attempts in a game, severely limiting his fantasy upside.
Those days are long gone, especially with the Steelers’ running game being inconsistent this year. Ben Roethlisberger is the centerpiece of this offense and he has four solid targets in Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, and Heath Miller. Yes, Rashard Mendenhall was great Sunday night, but his challenge now becomes doing it in back-to-back games (which, coincidentally, I think he will do).
Meanwhile, Roethlisberger will be having one of the best fantasy weeks of any QB against the Lions.
Ben Roethlisberger Week 5 projection: 275 passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Other QBs I like in Week 5: Kurt Warner and Matt Schaub (Houston at Arizona); Donovan McNabb, PHI (vs TB); Brett Favre, MIN (at STL)
Sit ‘Em: Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs Oakland)
Eli Manning has been great so far this year, the Giants are 4-0, Oakland is terrible…so you may be wondering why Manning is listed here. I’ll give you a few reasons:
- Oakland is terrible against the run, but better against the pass than you might think. The Raiders give up only 210.5 yards passing per game (13th) and have given up only four passing TDs.
- Manning recently admitted that he has plantar fasciitis, which could hinder his mobility. We’ll have to see if it hinders his ability to deliver the football.
- I think New York will dominate this game and be salting away a win on the ground in the second half. That does not bode well for racking up fantasy stats.
If you have no other options, Manning could obviously still have a decent game, and he’s not going to hurt you. But I would bet that many owners have more favorable options in Week 5.
Eli Manning Week 5 projections: 195 yards passing, 1 TD, 0 INT
Other QBs I don’t like in Week 5: Matt Ryan, ATL (at San Francisco); Mark Sanchez, NYJ (at Miami); Carson Palmer, CIN (at BAL)
Week 5 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Backs
Start ‘Em: Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Detroit Lions)
The Steelers have been patiently awaiting what they saw Sunday night: a dominant running performance from former first round pick Rashard Mendenhall. He carried the ball 29 times for 165 yards and 2 TDs. Of course, this comes a week after being deactivated and quadrupled what he produced through the season’s first two games.
So which Mendenhall will show up this Sunday? And will Willie Parker be there to steal some carries as well?
I think that deep down Mike Tomlin and the Steelers want Mendenhall to take hold of this job. Willie Parker doesn’t have the same burst he once did and is struggling to stay healthy. Mendenhall can be a solid every down back and give the Steelers their old smash-mouth identity back.
Playing the Lions is a good matchup for Mendenhall to try to author a repeat performance. The Lions are giving up 121.2 yards and average giving up one TD per game. I like those numbers for what Mendenhall will provide in Week 5.
Rashard Mendenhall Week 5 projection: 121 rushing yards, 1 TD, 2 rec, 15 yards
Other RBs I like in Week 5: Jerome Harrison, CLE (at Buffalo); Knowshon Moreno, DEN (vs New England); Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG (vs Oakland); Chester Taylor, MIN (at St. Louis);
Sit ‘Em: Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (vs Minnesota Vikings)
Yes, you probably spent a high draft pick on Steven Jackson. And you may have another running back on a bye week, meaning that you have no choice but to start Jackson.
However, if you have a decent alternate option (examples: Jerome Harrison of Cleveland, Rashard Mendenhall of Pittsburgh) I would play them.
Jackson’s only value right now is his ability to rack up yardage, because he certainly isn’t finding his way to the end zone much. But with the Rams set to play the Vikings’ stellar run defense, I don’t see too many holes opening up for Jackson. He has more value in a PPR league, but in TD-heavy scoring systems I would seek points elsewhere in Week 5.
Steven Jackson Week 5 projection: 42 rushing yards, 3 rec, 21 yards, 0 TD
Other RBs I don’t like in Week 5: Kevin Smith, DET (vs Pittsburgh); Cedric Benson, CIN (at Baltimore)
Week 5 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Wide Receivers
Start ‘Em: Mike Sims-Walker, Jacksonville (at Seattle)
I’ve been singing this guy’s praises in sleeper posts for the last couple of weeks. Now that he’s proven me correct, and has a nice matchup in Week 5, Mike Sims-Walker makes his first appearance as an official start ‘em.
Sims-Walker is developing a great relationship with David Garrard and is averaging just over six catches per game, 93 yards, and a TD over the last three games. Those are outstanding numbers for a #2 WR, let alone a #3 WR or flex spot, which is probably where you have Sims-Walker playing.
Seattle’s defense is not playing will this year and the Seahawks are giving up more than a TD per game through the air to go along with 219.8 yards. David Garrard and the Jags’ passing attack seems to be clicking, and it’s a gravy train I will personally be hoping to ride in Week 5 and beyond.
Mike Sims-Walker Week 5 projection: 6 rec, 85 yards, 1 TD
Other WRs I like in Week 5: Desean Jackson, PHI (vs TB); Percy Harvin, MIN (at St. Louis); T.J. Houshmandzadeh, SEA (vs Jacksonville); Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ (at Miami); Pierre Garcon, IND (at Tennessee); and if you’re looking deep…Mohammed Massaquoi, CLE (at Buffalo);
Sit ‘Em: Ted Ginn, Jr., Miami Dolphins (vs New York Jets)
This one really isn’t all that difficult.
The Dolphins are facing the Jets’ staunch defense, which means that Ted Ginn will most likely be facing the currently unbeatable Darrelle Revis. Ginn struggles as a receiver against regular cornerbacks. Against an emerging star in Revis, with an inexperienced QB under center, I don’t like Ginn’s chances.
Ginn will have some value as a flex play if he’s returning kicks and getting reverses, but he also has to fight just to get on the field as his snaps were reduced last week because of his recent ineffectiveness.
Ted Ginn Week 5 projection: 2 rec, 27 yards, 0 TD
Other WRs I don’t like in Week 5: Torry Holt, JAC (at Seattle); Laveraneus Coles, CIN (at Baltimore); Steven Smith and Mario Manningham, NYG (vs Oakland…still start them, but just temper your expectations with Oakland’s decent secondary on the other side and Manning hampered); Roy Willians, DAL (at Kansas City…especially if injured, obviously)
Week 5 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends
Start ‘Em: Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (vs Atlanta Falcons)
Yes, I still love Vernon Davis.
He has three TDs over the last two weeks and I think he could very well get another one this week. Atlanta gives up 245.3 yards per game through the air, and Davis is one of QB Shaun Hill’s favorite targets. I think Davis’ numbers in Week 5 are right between what he did the last couple of weeks.
Vernon Davis Week 5 projection: 5 rec, 70 yards, 1 TD
Other TEs I like in Week 5: Dante Rosario, CAR (vs Washington); Dustin Keller, NYJ (at Miami); Brent Celek, PHI (vs TB)
Sit ‘Em: Mercedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Seattle)
Lewis had a solid day last Sunday against the Titans, but don’t get too excited about this 4-catch, 76-yard, 1-TD performance.
Everyone has been putting up numbers this year through the air against the Titans, and one week does not change the fact that Lewis had only seven receptions on the season coming into last week’s game and that he is one of the more inconsistent tight ends in the NFL.
Seattle looks like an enticing matchup, but look elsewhere if you can.
Mercedes Lewis Week 5 projection: 2 rec, 27 yards, 0 TD
Other TEs I don’t like in Week 5: Kellen Winslow, TB (at Philadelphia); Todd Heap, BAL (vs Cincinnati)
Week 5 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Defense / Special Teams
Start ‘Em: Dallas Cowboys D/ST (at Kansas City Chiefs)
You probably drafted the Cowboys’ D to start for you, but have probably been disappointed thus far in 2009 by their inability to force turnovers and sacks. This Sunday, the Cowboys’ D gets to face a Chiefs offense that is known for giving up both sacks and turnovers in plentiful, fantasy-friendly quantities. Dallas should be a solid, albeit perhaps unspectacular, play this week.
Dallas D Week 5 projection: 17 points or less, 4 sacks, 2 TOs
Other D/ST units I like in Week 5: Indianapolis (at Tennessee); Carolina (vs Washington); San Francisco and Atlanta (playing eachother)
Sit ‘Em: Buffalo Bills D/ST (vs Cleveland Browns)
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been searching for whatever defense is playing the Browns over the past few weeks. This was a pretty good strategy when Brady Quinn was playing QB, but I don’t like it this week.
The Bills have a banged up secondary and are not that great of a defense in the first place. Simply playing the Browns will not be the panacea for everything that ails the Bills’ D.
The Browns were surprisingly effective moving the ball last week with Derek Anderson at QB and Jerome Harrison at RB. And remember, the Browns had a pretty nice offensive output against the Bills last season.
Buffalo D Week 5 projection: 24 points or more, 2 sacks, 1 TO
Other D/ST units I don’t like in Week: Arizona (vs Houston); Cincinnati (at Baltimore)
And that’s it folks. We’re still working on the move over to Explodium, but we will be adding some more community features to our fantasy discussion sometime soon. Until then, feel free to chime in all week in the comment section with your questions and I’ll get to them as quickly as I can.
Best of luck in Week 5!
* – Mike Sims-Walker photo credit: AP Photo/Phil Coale