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Start/Sit Hub – Week 5

TGIF fantasy followers, and welcome back to my Start/Sit HUB! Mike Hubbard Jr here, providing information to help you win your fantasy league one week at a time. For all things fantasy football, follow me on Twitter (@FantasyHubbard) and Instagram (@fantasyhubbard)

Week 5 is underway following the TNF game between the Seahawks and Rams. Sundays slate of games look very entertaining and should provide a lot booms and busts. I’m back with start and sit suggestions that can impact your team. My decisions as always include obvious and not so obvious picks. The games I look forward to the most this Sunday are the Giants/Cowboys and the Bills/Chiefs. Both matchups have a bunch of players that have enormous fantasy implications. Good luck this week and continue to check out my weekly articles.

Eagles @ Panthers

Start – Sam Darnold – Sam Darnold and the Panthers got handed their first loss of the season in week 4 against the red-hot Cowboys. Even in a loss Darnold had his best fantasy outing thus far. He has 4 rushing TDs in the past 2 weeks and gets to play at home next against the Eagles. Teams have been moving the ball rather easily against the Eagles defense which makes Darnold even more appealing. I could easily see another rushing TD or 2 this week, maybe even paired with a passing TD or 2. Christian McCaffrey might actually play in week 5 helping Darnold move the ball on offense giving him another reliable target. Sam Darnold could land in the top 5 QBs in fantasy points for a third consecutive week.

Sit – Miles Sanders – Miles Sanders has yet to score a TD of any kind this season. Sanders also has yet to reach 75 yards rushing or 40 yards receiving in a game this season. Jalen Hurts has led the Eagles in rushing for a 3rd consecutive week and the touches for Sanders are not looking ideal for fantasy owners. Philadelphia needs to get him involved more but hasn’t shown many signs of doing so. To Sanders disadvantage, Kenneth Gainwell has emerged on the scene in Philly as a productive back when given chances. Carolina’s defense has been great with the exception of last week, but the Eagles aren’t the same offense as the Cowboys, and the Panthers will look to shut down opponents like they were doing the first 3 weeks. I’m benching Sanders unless I have no better options this week.

Jets @ Falcons

Start – Jamison Crowder – Crowder is surely a great waiver wire addition this week after posting 7 receptions for 61 yards and a TD in his first game of the season. He should be getting a good number of targets this week when Wilson and Crowder face the Falcons defense that have let WRs have their way. If the Jets want to win another game prior to their week 6 BYE, then Crowder needs to get a lot of targets.

Sit – Both Defenses – Originally, I had Kyle Pitts in this sit position until news broke out that Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage are both not traveling to London to play the Jets. So, Pitts has to go off right? Most offensive players on both sides of the ball should be able to exploit their opponent’s defense. I wouldn’t start either defense this week (mostly every week for these two) since Atlanta can score points and the Jets are finally starting to look like they can score points as well. Easy decision here.

Packers @ Bengals

Start – Joe Burrow – Burrow has led the Bengals to an encouraging 3-1 record and will try to make that 4-1 this weekend in Cincinnati. The Packers defense has yet to be consistent and Burrow has at least 2 passing TDs each game this season. Burrow has his chemistry with former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, an emerging receiving threat in CJ Uzomah, a reliable target in Tyler Boyd, and WR Tee Higgins returning from injury this week. Even with a banged-up Joe Mixon, I expect the Bengals to be competitive and prepared on offense. All eyes will be on the battle between Rodgers and Burrow.

Sit – Robert Tonyan – Tonyan has 3 or less receptions in all 4 games this season and only surpassed 8 yards in 1 game. The Bengals defense has shut down every TE they’ve faced so far, allowing just 111 total receiving yards and 1 TD. Expect Rodgers to continue to throw most targets toward his WRs. I would wait for production and a better matchup before starting him moving forward.

Lions @ Vikings

Start – Justin Jefferson – Jefferson is having himself a nice start to the season though 4 weeks. Thielen and Jefferson have combined for 565 receiving yards and 7 TDs. Jefferson currently leads the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. Kirk Cousins has been playing very well and both Thielen and Jefferson should have a great outing against the Lions. Look for Jefferson to score a TD in his 4th consecutive game.

Sit – Jamaal Williams – Jamaal Williams has been getting a decent workload recently accounting for 26 rushing attempts in his past 2 games. The problem is that he has only seen 5 targets in his past 3 games when he had 9 in week 1. The Lions have recently said that we are going to see a lot more of D’Andre Swift which is discouraging for Williams fantasy owners. Swift has taken over the receiving targets for Detroit RBs and the Lions will most likely be throwing a lot in a game they might be trailing from the get-go.

Broncos @ Steelers

Start – Diontae Johnson – Diontae has seen a minimum of 10 targets in all 3 games he has played in this season and has found the endzone twice. Big Ben has looked like the worst QB in the AFC North this year, but that hasn’t affected Johnsons production. He is WR1 in Pittsburgh and his consistency is what makes him an easy start moving forward. Even with a decent opposing defense in the Broncos, Diontae Is a must start.

Sit – Melvin Gordon III – A matchup against Pittsburgh is not ideal for any RB in fantasy football, let alone a RB splitting time with an up-and-coming rookie that is Javonte Williams. Not knowing which RB could boom or bust makes it difficult to be confident in starting either of them. I’m steering clear of both Broncos RBs this week with their limited volume. Expect Denver to try to beat the Steelers through the pass game.

Dolphins @ Buccaneers

Start – Leonard Fournette – Fournette had himself a RB1 solidifying performance last Sunday against the Patriots. He had 20 carries for 92 yards and had 3 receptions for 47 yards. Ronald Jones vultured a rushing TD on 1 of his 6 carries. Fournette will continue to handle the bulk of the rushing workload and is a great receiving option for Brady. Whether the Dolphins are competitive against the Buc or not, Fournette should get plenty of touches in this one.

Sit – Myles Gaskin – Gaskins had just 2 rushing attempts against the Colts. He also wasn’t targeted at all in the game. In Gaskins first 3 games this season he had a minimum of 5 targets and averaged 46 rushing yards. Malcolm Brown had 35 snaps compared to Gaskin’s 12 in week 4 and Gaskin has the Bucs this Sunday who just held the Patriots to negative rushing yards. Yes, negative rushing yards.  

Saints @ Washington

Start – Taylor Heinicke – Taylor Heinicke is the guy in Washington. If I’m managing this team, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be Heinicke’s back up once he is able to return from injury. Taylor has proven he has got what it takes to compete and put his team in a position to win. In his 2 wins this season he has thrown an average of almost 40 passing attempts each game compared to an average of almost 20 attempts in their 2 losses (Fitzpatrick started game 1). When he airs it out, good things tend to happen. He gets a good defense in the Saints this week, but I wouldn’t shy away from him. Heinicke should look for Terry McLaurin often and use the RBs in the pass game in order to get a win and have a top 15 fantasy QB performance this week.

Sit – Antonio Gibson – Like I said above WFT gets a good defense in the Saints this week. I’m more worried about them defending the run than the pass. After a week 1 hefty workload of 20 carries for 90 yards, Gibson has averaged 13 carries for 54 yards over the last 3 weeks. We have seen his ability to catch and run when he broke a long one for a TD against the Bills, but other than that 1 play he hasn’t been very effective as a receiving back. I have Gibson outside my top 20 RBs this week. If I have decent options, I will sit Gibson this week.

Titans @ Jaguars

Start – James Robinson – We are finally seeing the James Robinson production we expected to see from the get-go. In the past 2 weeks he has at least 15 rushing attempts per game and has totaled 166 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs. Look for him to build on his momentum and take pressure off rookie QB Trevor Lawrence in a matchup with Tennessee who has let their opponents score an average of over 27 points each game.  

Sit – Anthony Firkser – Firkser is TE1 for the Titans this season. He has missed 2 of their 4 games so far which has given 3 other TEs opportunities for targets. In the weeks Firkser did play, he had 3 receptions each game, and had a 19-yard performance and a 23-yard performance. Even without Julio Jones and AJ Brown last week, Firkser wasn’t involved much. He has yet to score and gets the Jags defense this week. If he is going to produce, this is the game to do it. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening, so he isn’t worth a start or maybe even a bench spot unless you are desperate in hopes of a boom or bust TD reliant performance.

Patriots @ Texans

Start – Damien Harris – Harris has seen his rushing attempts and rushing yards decrease every single week. Look for Harris to turn it around and get a good workload against Houston. After Rhamondre Stevenson’s week 1 fumble, James White’s week 3 season ending injury, and JJ Taylors week 4 fumble, Damien Harris and Brandon Bolden seem to be the only relevant RBs for New England. Harris should see plenty of rushing opportunities and maybe even some targets.

Sit – Mark Ingram II – Take your pick of Texans players to sit this week. I’ll pick Ingram. The Patriot’s defense comes to play more often than not, and I bet they’re ready to feast on this Texans team. Houston has used a RB by committee approach this year by distributing carries to Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, and David Johnson. They are consistently inconsistent which is a fantasy owner’s nightmare. Avoid all Texan’s players not named Brandin Cooks.

Bears @ Raiders

Start – Damien Williams – Damien Williams was a hot name on the waiver wire this week. David Montgomery is out at least 4 weeks after his injury opening the door for Williams to be RB1 in Chicago. Be warned that Williams has a thigh bruise, but he should be able to play and take advantage of this opportunity. Definitely monitor the situation moving forward and keep an eye on Khalil Herbert if Williams is unable to play. The Raiders haven’t been good defending the run and Williams is on a Bears offense that loves to run the ball. Fire him up without hesitation.

Sit – Kenyan Drake – Did Kenyan Drake play last week? Yes, he did. He ran the ball 1 time for 2 yards. He wasn’t targeted at all after having at least 5 per game leading up to week 4. He doesn’t have a TD this year and Josh Jacobs is back leading the way for the Raiders RBs. Drake’s window of opportunity seems to have shut rather abruptly barring an injury to Jacobs which we all know wouldn’t be a shocking surprise. Drake is no longer starter worthy and has a case to be dropped soon if not already.  

Browns @ Chargers

Start – Kareem Hunt – Who would of thought Kareem Hunt would be performing as well if not better than Nick Chubb this season. Hunt has had enough usage and volume to continue to have great statistics this week against the LA Chargers. Hunt has double digit rushing attempts in 3 of 4 games and has scored 3 rushing TDs this season. Hunt is a great receiving option for Baker Mayfield as well making him a true dual threat RB. Don’t shy away from Hunt this week.

Sit – Baker Mayfield – The good news is the Browns are 3-1. The bad news is Baker has played underwhelmingly average at best, he has a partially torn labrum in his shoulder (non-throwing arm), and the Browns face a red-hot contender that is the Chargers in LA. If the Browns want to win, they will emphasize Hunt and Chubb as much as possible, and if the Chargers want to win, they will try to shut down the run game and make Baker throw more than he wants to. Baker has just 2 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD this season after 4 games. All signs point to a bust week for Mayfield so bench him with ease this week.

Giants @ Cowboys

Start – Ezekiel Elliot – Not only does Zeke have 4 rushing TDs in his last 3 games, but his rushing attempts and yards have increased every week. The Cowboys are feeding Zeke and it’s resulting in wins. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  The Giants defense is fairly soft so Zeke should continue to feast this Sunday in Dallas. Elliot is a must start every week.

Sit – Kenny Golladay – Golladay capitalized on the absence of Slayton and Shephard last weekend going for 6 receptions and 116 yards. This week Slayton and Shephard are both questionable. Even with the uncertainty of those WRs, Golladay might be covered by the shutdown rookie corner Trevon Diggs. Daniel Jones could go off in this game which bodes well for Golladay, but Diggs in coverage is scary right now. Start him if you have no better viable options, but if that’s not the case, bench him.

49ers @ Cardinals

Start – Chase Edmonds – Edmonds and James Connor are both getting plentiful touches for the streaking Arizona Cardinals. Connor has 10 more rushing attempts and has 4 rushing TDs, but Edmonds is RB1 on the depth chart and has made the most of his usage. Edmonds is more beneficial in PPR leagues as he has at least 4 receptions in every game. It’s only a matter of time before he gets a score on the ground and/or through the air. Big play upside for Chase so start him with confidence.

Sit – Brandon Aiyuk – Brandon Aiyuk has been one of the most disappointing fantasy football players this season thus far. In week 3 he showed a glimpse of promise with 4 receptions on 6 targets and a TD. He followed that up with 1 reception for 15 yards in week 4. The panic button is now broken from fantasy owners repeatedly pressing it. Aiyuk is not a starter again and his time is running out for even a bench spot consideration. His expectations are lower than low at this point.

Bills @ Chiefs

Start – Emmanuel Sanders – Sanders has at least 6 targets in every game this season and gets the lackadaisical defense of the Chiefs this week. I’m expecting the Bills to move the ball easily in KC. Josh Allen loves to throw and spread the ball around to different receivers. Sanders is capable of a booming stat line in almost every game. All Bills offensive weapons are must plays this week.

Sit – Clyde Edwards-Helaire – CEH is coming off back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. He has also scored a receiving TD in both of those games. Although he is clearly trending in the right direction, proceed with caution this week against an impressive Buffalo defense. The bills have given up just 21 points in their past 3 games and 2 of those games were shutouts. No one expects the Chiefs to ever be held scoreless, but I don’t expect their usual 30 points per game kind of performance. Look for the Bills to make a defensive statement in this SNF primetime matchup.

Recent News

MRI on Darrell Taylor’s neck “clear,” may be able to play this week
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the team got a “really good preliminary report” on defensive end Darrell Taylor‘s neck after a CT scan on Sunday night and further tests on Monday also brought good news. Carroll said that Taylor’s “MRI stuff was clear” and that he is dealing with an injury that’s “a little [more]
(Oct 19 -- ProFootballTalk.com)

Report: Caleb Farley, Cameron Batson suffer torn ACLs
The Titans got a win on Monday night, but they reportedly lost a couple of players for the season. Longtime Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky reports that cornerback Caleb Farley and wide receiver Cameron Batson suffered torn ACLs during the 34-31 victory over the Bills. Farley was a first-round pick this spring and his rookie year [more]
(Oct 19 -- Yahoo Sports)

Mike Vrabel: We continue to jump on Derrick Henry s back and he carries us
Everyone who faces the Titans knows that they are going to get a heavy dose of running back Derrick Henry, but no one has been able to come up with a way to shut him down. The Bills had done better than most in recent matchups, but they were not up to the task on [more]
(Oct 19 -- Yahoo Sports)

Week 7 NFL power rankings: Unbeaten Cardinals remain No. 1, Ravens crack top five
The first four teams, including No. 1 Arizona Cardinals, remain unchanged after posting Week 6 wins. But Baltimore Ravens stake claim as AFC's top squad.
(Oct 19 -- Yahoo Sports)

NFL power rankings after Week 6
Here is how the 32 NFL teams stand after Week 6 of the 2021 season.       
(Oct 19 -- USA Today)

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