With Week 5 now here, it’s time for a look at the biggest start-sit decisions you’ll be facing in fantasy football. The first bye week is upon us, so you have some decisions to make if you hold players from Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, or Washington. We will update following the release of the final injury report.
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson vs. Los Angeles Rams
After a rough start over the first two games, Russell Wilson has erupted in his last two outings. After throwing for 373 yards and four scores against the Titans, Wilson followed that up with 295 passing yards and three total touchdowns vs. the Colts. Next up, Wilson will face a Rams defense that’s allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last three weeks. Keep Wilson in your starting lineup for Week 5.
Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson vs. New York Jets
The Browns are a mess, especially on offense, but Duke Johnson has been one of the few bright spots. The third-year back is having a career year playing both running back and receiver, making him a viable fantasy option every week. He has 15 catches and two rushing scores over the last two weeks. Now, Johnson faces a Jets defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Start Johnson in Week 5.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. San Francisco 49ers
Without a healthy Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton has struggled to live up to his 2016 season, which saw him become one of the best fantasy receivers. However, Hilton has done well enough thus far that he’s still worth starting if given a good matchup. That will come this week vs. a 49ers defense that’s allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to receivers this season. Keep Hilton in your starting lineup this week.
New York Jets RB Bilal Powell vs. Cleveland Browns
Coming into the season, Bilal Powell was expected to be in a time share with Matt Forte in the Jets’ backfield, even though Powell had a strong finish to 2016. However, Forte missed Week 4 due to injury, allowing Powell to get most of the touches against the Dolphins. He responded with his best game of the season, rushing for 163 yards and one score on 21 carries, good for a ridiculous 7.8 yards per carry. Even with Forte possibly returning this week, Powell should get another heavy workload against the Browns. Start Powell this Sunday.
Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Cardinals are still a work in progress after losing David Johnson, but Carson Palmer has stepped up his game with a bigger workload on his shoulders. In his last three games, Palmer has thrown for 325-plus yards to go with 62 completions and three passing scores over his last two games. He now faces an Eagles defense that has surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Steelers were expected to have one of the most explosive offenses this year, but Ben Roethlisberger has been unable to really get it going. Over the last two games, Roethlisberger has just 40 pass completions for 641 yards and one score vs. one interception. He now faces a Jaguars defense allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. However, Jacksonville is allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs, so Pittsburgh could have a run-heavy approach against the Jaguars’ struggling front seven. Keep Big Ben benched in Week 5.
Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper vs. Baltimore Ravens
Despite being projected to be one of the top fantasy receivers this year, Amari Cooper has been a major disappointment thus far. In four games, Cooper has just 12 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown. Things won’t be getting any better now that Derek Carr is out and EJ Manuel will start in his place. That’s a massive downgrade, even though Cooper has been a ghost even with Carr. Keep Cooper benched in all leagues this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Leonard Fournette has gotten as much attention as some of his fellow rookie running backs, but he’s been consistent as any back with his production. Fournette in all four of his games thus far. He’s coming off his best game of the season with 86 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards and a score vs. the Jets. However, he’ll face his toughest test of the season against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. They’ve allowed just two backs to score double-digit fantasy points, and that was in Chicago against Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard. Every other running back has scored under nine points vs. the Steelers. Expect Fournette to have his first dud and keep him benched this week.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Eagles have gotten a much-needed upgrade to their passing game with, Alshon Jeffery, who has already caught two touchdowns this season while being targeted 34 times. However, Carson Wentz will probably shy away from Jeffery a lot this week, as the top Eagles wideout faces Cardinals All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson, who should keep Jeffrey from making any impact. Keep Jeffery benched this week.
Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon vs. Buffalo Bills
Joe Mixon has had an up-and-down rookie season thus far. His workload has increased over the last two weeks under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, but Mixon could only muster up 29 yards on 17 carries vs. the Browns in Week 4. He’s averaging a mere 2.6 yards per carry this season. Next up, he will face A Bills team that has arguably the best run defense Mixon has faced thus far. Keep him on the bench in Week 5.