2013 Fantasy Football: Week 5 Start/Sit
Here are the guys I like or dislike in week 5 compared to the other experts on FantasyPros.com. I focus on guys that are actually on that start/sit bubble. There’s no need to tell you I’m a bit lower on Trent Richardson when I have him ranked #16 and the expert consensus rank (ECR) has him ranked #10. Both rankings tell you to start him. Some of the names discussed below are Terrelle Pryor, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, Cecil Shorts, Kenbrell Thompkins, the guys from the San Francisco passing game and several others.
If you have additional start/sit questions, feel free to ask in the comments below or ask me on Twitter @TheRealTAL.
Terrelle Pryor / vs. San Diego / ECR: 13 / My rank: 11
There are plenty of other experts that are as high or higher on Pryor this week, but I wanted to bring him up here to underline the fact that I would start him over Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson this week. I didn’t quite have the balls to rank him above my tenth ranked QB, Matt Ryan, but I seriously considered it. He’s only owned in about 25% of ESPN.com leagues, so I would actually drop the guy at the end of your bench for him and then start him over Kaep and Wilson this week .His matchup with the Chargers is just too damn good. They have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and they are ranked as the 3rd and 4th worst pass defense by ProFootballFocus and Football Outsiders, respectively.
Colin Kaepernick / vs. Houston / ECR: 12 / My rank: 15
A big part of this is liking a widely available option like Pryor so much. But Kaepernick has really struggled since thrashing the Packers in week one. He has under 200 yards passing in each of his last three games and a 2:4 TD:INT ratio in those games. In the long run I think he’ll be fine, but with his recent track record and a fairly tough matchup with Houston, I have to pass.
RB Start / RB Sit
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller / @ Cleveland
As of the time this was written, it was unclear exactly what the Buffalo backfield would look like on Thursday night. The most likely scenario seemed like both would be active with Spiller being the more likely of the two to sit this one out. But depending on how things work, these backs could either be starts or sits.
If both guys are a go for the Bills, then both guys should be a no go on your roster. This is a tough matchup with Cleveland who is allowing the fifth fewest fantasy points to running backs. They have yet to allow a 100 yard rusher, and ProFootballFocus and Football Outsiders both have them rated as a top ten run defense. So if both are active and splitting the workload, they’re going to have a tough time putting up a solid individual fantasy day.
If Spiller turns out to be inactive, I think I’d go ahead and roll with Jackson. The RB2 situation is pretty bleak this year, and a lot of guys in that range have tough matchups of their own this week. For that reason, I’m not sure you can find 20 or so guys that would be a better play than Jackson with the backfield all to himself. I’d have Jackson ranked #15 in that scenario. And if for some reason Jackson is inactive and Spiller is active I’d have him ranked similarly. But with his injury reportedly being worse, I’d be hoping Jackson had the carries to himself for the week if I owned both guys.
Cecil Shorts / @ St. Louis / ECR: 24 / My rank: 17
Shorts is top ten among receivers in both receptions and targets, and he has seen 36.9% of his team’s targets which is the highest percentage in the league. There’s some concern that the return of Justin Blackmon this week is going to cut into that, but I think Blackmon will primarily eat into the 20% of targets that Ace Sanders was getting with Blackmon out. Blackmon may take a target or two from Shorts, but I don’t think it’s going to be that big of a deal. It’s a good matchup for both as the Rams are bottom ten in fantasy points allowed to receivers and the second worst pass defense according to Football Outsiders.
Kenbrell Thompkins / @ Cincinnati / ECR: 26 / My rank: 20
I wasn’t buying Thompkins after his two touchdown performance in week three because he only had three total catches. But after he caught six balls for 127 yards and a score on 11 targets last week, I’m buying in. But the ranking comes with a few caveats. Whether Leon Hall and Rob Gronkowski make it on the field will determine whether I keep Thompkins in my top 20. Hall is by far Cincy’s best corner, but he missed week four and he did not practice yesterday. As a Gronk owner in a big money league, I’m hoping he’s acive this week. But for the purposes of this ranking, I hope he takes another week to get back on the field.
Anquan Boldin / vs. Houston / ECR: 18 / My rank: 23
Boldin has gone as the matchups have gone this year. He had big days against Green Bay and St. Louis who are the two worst pass defenses in the league according to Football Outsiders, he had a middling day against Indianapolis who has the 6th best pass defense, and he basically got shut out against the Seattle, the #1 pass defense. The Texans have the 7th best pass defense. I think you can draw the intended conclusion.
Jared Cook / vs. Jacksonville / ECR: 11 / My rank: 8
Cook’s 24 fantasy points in week one will almost certainly be his biggest weekly total of the year, but he’s also not going to continue posting weekly totals below five points. He’s one of those tight ends at the back end of the TE1 slash top end of the TE2 conversation. He’ll be a little boom or bust; it’s the nature of the position. But I like him to boom this week because the matchup is much better than what he’s had recently. Two of his last three opponents (Atlanta and San Francisco) have been top ten against the tight end so far this year. Jacksonville is 26th against the tight end. I also want to point out that Cook is tied for fifth among tight ends in targets, and he’s seen at least five in each game.
Vernon Davis / vs. Houston / ECR: 8 / My rank: 12
I think it’s already been well established that I’m not high on the San Francisco pass game this week.