Fantasy Football: Top 10 Start ‘Em Picks for Week 5
By Genna Preston
Heading into Fantasy Football Week 5, here are the top 10 players you must start to enjoy a plethora of points thanks to favorable matchups.
Sep 22, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) warms up before their game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Can you believe a quarter of the fantasy football season has already passed? It’s Week 5; the injuries are continuous, bye weeks are in play and quarterback Tom Brady is back!
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By now, you should have figured it out; which players offer more value, whose a fantasy football bust and when your player has a bye week. Every week it becomes more and more difficult choosing the greatest starting lineup.
But, the best part about fantasy football is that you don’t always need Brady or Antonio Brown. Actually, Brown has less fantasy football points than some rookies.
With that said, it is important to make the most out of your players and your lineup. So forget about the name and focus on the matchup! Check out these top 10 starters for Week 5 that will offer the most fantasy football value in this week’s lineup.
Next: 10. He earned 30 fantasy points last week
Oct 2, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) runs with the ball while scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
10. Steve Smith Sr., WR, Baltimore Ravens
Last year, when Steve Smith Sr. injured his Achilles, we weren’t sure if he would ever fully recover. Well, after last week’s performance it’s clear that the 37-year-old is invincible.
In Week 4, Smith completed 8-of-11 targets for 111 yards. He also had one touchdown earning fantasy football owners 30 points.
This week the Baltimore Ravens take on the Washington Redskins. So far this season, the Redskins have allowed four wide receivers to score touchdowns and are offering 73 or more yards per game to the position.
Not only is Smith coming from an incredible week but, his Week 5 matchup is ideal. He is a must-start this week.
Next: 9. His value increases to QB1 this week
Oct 2, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) gets hit by Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
9. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston isn’t a consistent fantasy football starter. Some week’s he has well over 30 points, while other weeks he struggles to earn 15.
Unfortunately, last week was one of the weeks he struggled. Winston completed 17-of-35 passes for 179 yards. He had no passing touchdowns and two interceptions.
I am sure fantasy football owners wished they hadn’t started him last week, this week is a different story. This week he takes on the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers just offered Matt Ryan 500 passing yards in their Week 4 matchup. On paper, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look great. Start Winston in Week 5.
Next: 8. This running backs workload increases this week
8. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Ironically enough, David Johnson scored over 20 fantasy points in Weeks 1 through 3 but, flopped in last week’s matchup. Johnson only earned fantasy football owners 14 points in Week 4.
Johnson rushed for 83 yards on 17 carries. He lost a fumble but, caught 4-of-4 targets for 41 yards. This week Johnson takes on the San Francisco 49ers.
Not only are the 49ers defense ranked 32nd in the league against the run but, quarterback Carson Palmer has been ruled out for Thursday night’s matchup. Week 5 offers Johnson a poor run defense and Drew Stanton starting which means, Johnson will have an increased workload.
He is a must-start in Week 5.
Next: 7. He will finally be able to score big
Sep 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
7. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
The New England Patriots have had an interesting start to the season. Brady was suspended for the first four games and no one knew what to expect from the Patriots.
Just as expected, Jimmy Garoppolo was holding down the fort for the Patriots. Then, Garoppolo got injured and third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett started for the team; this caused everyone’s fantasy football value to decrease.
Julian Edelman has only earned 10 fantasy football points total in the last two weeks. But, have no fear Brady is here and Edelman’s value has dramatically increased.
This week he takes on the Cleveland Browns, who on average are offering opponents 28 points per game. This is the week we have all been waiting for! Start Edelman in Week 5.
Next: 6. His opponent allows over 4 yards per carry
Sep 18, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) pulls in a reception in front of Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Sio Moore (55) in the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
6. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
Heading into the season, there were a lot of expectations for C.J. Anderson. Just as we all anticipated, there had been little disappointment from Anderson so far this season.
Anderson has earned double-digit fantasy football points on a weekly basis with some weeks averaging over 20 points per game. He also had a touchdown and one pass completion to add three extra yards.
This week the Denver Broncos take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are 26th in the league at defending the run.
On average they allow 4.5 yards per carry to opposing backs. Anderson is a must-start in Week 5.
Next: 5. He posted three touchdowns in Week 4
Oct 2, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
5. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
Michael Crabtree has been on fire the past two weeks. Not only did he have his best career game last week but, he has earned 60 fantasy football points over the last two outings combined.
Last week, Crabtree completed 7-of-12 targets for 88 yards. He finished the game with an incredible three touchdowns.
Now, we don’t expect Crabtree to repeat this performance every week, however, this week’s matchup offers promising results. This week the Oakland Raiders take on the San Diego Chargers who have given up the 28th most passing yards this season.
Within their last four games, the Chargers have given up over 1,150 passing yards. The odds are in Crabtree’s favor in his Week 5 matchup; start him.
Next: 4. He comes back in Week 5 after injuring his ribs
Sep 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles won 29-10. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
4. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Fantasy football owners can finally be assured this is the week to start Zach Ertz. After missing two weeks with a rib injury and then having a bye week, he’s heading into Week 5 ready to rock.
Although we don’t have much to compare him to this season, he has averaged a little over 100 receiving yards over his last five season games, and his Week 1 matchup earned double-digit fantasy points.
This week Ertz takes on the Detroit Lions. The Lions defense is ranked 21st against the pass and has offered opposing tight ends multiple touchdowns.
This week Ertz is considered a TE1 and deserves a spot on any fantasy football roster in week 5.
Next: 3. This is the first time they appear on the start list
Dec 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge (82) is taken down by the San Francisco 49ers defense during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
3. San Francisco 49ers D/ST
I am sure if I told you to start the San Francisco 49ers D/ST this week you would all laugh at me. Well, start laughing, and no this isn’t a joke!
In Week 1 and 2 the 49ers D/ST earned 20 fantasy football points which, by my standards is great. Then, they showed their true colors and barely earned double-digits in Weeks 3 and 4.
This week, however, the 49ers take on the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are now without Palmer and Stanton will be their commander.
I’d also like to mention that in the past two weeks, the Cardinals had 10 turnovers and allowed eight sacks. If there was any week for the 49er’s to dominate, it’s Week 5. Start the 49ers during their Thursday night matchup.
Next: 2. This week's expectations are through the roof
Jan 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) during the game against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
2. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
I stated earlier that many Patriots players fantasy football value decreased across these past four weeks. However, Rob Gronkowski owners have really suffered.
Not only were we unsure of how he would do with Garoppolo front and center but, he suffered an injury and missed the first two weeks of the season.
Once Gronkowski entered the game, he was limited and was used as a blocker more than a receiver. Gronkowski literally earned two fantasy football points so far this season.
Expect that to change this week against the Browns. In the last four weeks, the Browns have offered opponents 10 passing touchdowns. Sit back relax and enjoy the show the Patriots are bringing in Week 5.
Next: 1. His opponents give up 125 rushing yards per game
Sep 11, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (21) runs for a short gain after a missed tackle by Tennessee Titans linebacker Sean Spence (55) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
1. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings
If you haven’t put your claim in for Jerick McKinnon yet I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Even after stepping in for Adrian Peterson, McKinnon is still not owned in 100% of leagues.
The Vikings thought their season was over when Peterson was ruled out for the season but, McKinnon has stepped in and rose to the occasion.
Last week, McKinnon had 18 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. He also completed 3-of-5 targets for 10 yards; he brought home about 18 fantasy football points in Week 4.
This week the Vikings take on the Houston Texans that rank 27th against opposing running backs. On average, the Texans are allowing opponents 125 rushing yards per game.
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If you didn’t have faith in McKinnon last week you should definitely believe in him this week. McKinnon earns a place on this week’s must-start list.