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Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week five

It’s week five of the NFL season. Injuries, suspensions and pandemic-related game postponements have rocked the league. As there is nothing more embarrassing than losing in fantasy football to your roommate, look no further than this start/sit guide for a grueling week five of fantasy football. 

Quarterbacks:

Start:

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Justin Herbert — Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert is really starting to come together like an NFL quarterback. In his last game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he passed for three touchdowns, earning 24 fantasy points.

Additionally, Chargers star running back Austin Ekeler succumbed to an injury in the game. The likelihood of the Chargers going to the passing game is much higher with Ekeler out. The Chargers face the New Orleans Saints in week five, who have allowed the seventh most fantasy points for opposing quarterbacks.

Sit:

Tom Brady — Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady has had an interesting season, currently being ranked in the top 20 in quarterback standings. This is far from his usual ranking but solid for the 43-year-old. With that being said, fantasy owners should sit Brady this Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Even though Brady threw for five touchdowns last game, don’t expect this against a tough Bears defense, who sit 31st out of 32 teams in fantasy points against quarterbacks, scoring an average 11.64 against the Bears this season. Coupled with the fact that Brady is coming off of a big boom, it would be advantageous to give him a seat on the bench.

Running Backs:

Start:

Kareem Hunt — Cleveland Browns

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The Cleveland Browns’ number one halfback, Nick Chubb, went down with an injury last weekend and was placed on the injured reserve. This means Kareem Hunt, the number two back, is coming up to claim the starting spot on the depth chart. Hunt is noted for being a good receiver as well as a rusher and scored 19.1 points in his last game. Give him a start this weekend, even against a formidable Indianapolis Colts defense.

Mike Davis — Carolina Panthers

Mike Davis has shined for the Panthers since superstar Christian McCaffery went down earlier in the season. Davis is lined up against a weak Cardinals defensive line, which allows an average of almost 30 fantasy points to opposing running-backs. This sets Davis, who has shot up to being ranked the number 11 running back in fantasy football this season, up for a solid weekend. Give Davis the nod this weekend.

Sit:

Melvin Gordon — Denver Broncos

Melvin Gordon is coming off of a boom game, rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns in a win against the New York Jets. However, Gordon has been inconsistent this year. In the game before that, he only notched 3.8 points for fantasy owners, with 26 rushing yards.

The New England Patriots, the Broncos’ opponent this week, only allow running backs an average of 20.50 fantasy points and, in general, are one of the better defenses in the league. It is unlikely Gordon will see big numbers as he did in his last game against a struggling Jets team.

Joshua Kelly — Los Angeles Chargers

A lot of people might want to start Joshua Kelly due to the Ekeler injury, assuming his usage will go up. Kelly is going against a middle of the pack New Orleans Saints defense who allow 24 points for opposing running backs per game, as well as allowing the ninth-fewest yards from scrimmage for running backs. Due to his sharing time with running back Justin Jackson, it just doesn’t seem like the right choice to start giving Kelly the starting nod just yet.

Wide Receivers: 

Start:

CeeDee Lamb — Dallas Cowboys

CeeDee Lamb is among a special group of three wide receivers that have 50-plus yards in receptions and five receptions in every single game of the season. The rookie scored two touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns last weekend and scored 20.2 fantasy points. It seems like Lamb is going to become a real productive wide receiver on this Cowboy’s team.

Lamb faces a struggling New York Giants who allow 37.48 points for opposing wideouts. Lamb has definitely begun to eclipse Michael Gallup as a key target on the team aside from Amari Cooper, so look to start him this weekend.

Tyler Lockett — Seattle Seahawks

Tyler Lockett definitely had a tough break last game, only notching 3.9 points for fantasy owners last weekend. Still, Lockett is the fifth-ranked wide receiver in fantasy football this season and exploded the week before last with 28 fantasy points and three receiving touchdowns.

Lockett is facing a Minnesota Vikings team that allows the fourth most points for opposing receivers and has given up seven receiving touchdowns in just four games. Look to start Lockett for sure.

Sit:

Robert Woods — Los Angeles Rams

Robert Woods had a disappointing game last week, only giving his owners who started him 3.8 points against a struggling Giants team. Woods’ opponent, the Washington Football Team, is second to the Kansas City Chiefs in the least allowed fantasy points for opposing wide receivers. With Woods sharing the spot with another solid wideout, Cooper Kupp, it may be wise to sit him.

Jamison Crowder — New York Jets

Jamison Crowder is playing for a struggling Jets team, and this is one of the main reasons to sit him. Additionally, Sam Darnold, the Jets starter, is out for the week. There really isn’t much else to say; don’t start Crowder if you don’t want to have to count on backup Joe Flacco to target the best receiver on (arguably) the worst team. Oh, and his opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, allow the third least points for opposing wideouts.

Tight Ends:

Start:

George Kittle — San Francisco 49ers

George Kittle is back from his injury with a vengeance. Kittle is the number one tight end in fantasy rankings, as he should be. He scored 25.1 fantasy points in his last game and caught for almost 200 yards. Give him the nod against the Miami Dolphins, who don’t allow many points against opposing tight ends, but do against wide receivers, and Kittle basically works as a wide receiver in the 49ers’ offensive scheme.

Sit: 

Rob Gronkowski — Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rob Gronkowski has scored less than four fantasy points in three games out of the four this season. Additionally, he is going up against a strong Chicago Bears defense, only allowing about 13 points for opposing tight ends per game. Coupled with the fact that Gronk is now considered to be a below-average tight end, sit him.

Defense:

Start:

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are facing a struggling Denver Broncos, allowing for a good matchup with the Patriots. According to the expert rankings, the Patriots are a top defense in the NFL. Give them a start this weekend.

Sit:

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks go against Minnesotia Vikings’ Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen, who are very strong on the passing attack. The Seahawks allow the most points for opposing wide receivers. Put two-and-two together and avoid starting the Seahawks who have a good chance of getting burned on the passing attack.

Kickers:

Start:

Rodrigo Blankenship — Indianapolis Colts

Rodrigo Blankenship is going up against a Cleveland Browns team that allows the fifth-most points for opposing kickers. With a conservative, kick-heavy offense, owners should go with the fourth best-ranked kicker against the Browns.

Sit:

Nick Folk — New England Patriots

Patriots kicker Nick Folk is ranked 29th of 32 kickers currently in the NFL. Even though Folk faces a struggling Broncos team, the Patriots offense is lost without Cam Newton, meaning Folk will have to kick a lot of deep field goal attempts, diminishing his potential production.

Leo Friedman can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @LeoFriedman13

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