It is suspension-return week in the NFL this week and there are some key players such as New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram coming back. These two could give their respective offenses a completely new dimension in the passing game and that means news for fantasy players across the country.
Here are the players you should start, sit or pick up during week 5.
Editor’s note: Eddie Velazquez is a football fan with very little to do other than consistently check the waiver wire. He wants to give his dad a big shout-out for coming up with the “Showtime Mahomes” nickname before it became a comfort food-type term for sportswriters across America. He is also playing for sums of money he has only seen once in his life. Wish him luck on twitter @ezvelazquez…and I guess also send him your fantasy questions there.
Quarterback start of the week: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (at Seattle Seahawks).
Breaking news: the “Jared Goff is a system quarterback” narrative has finally been shattered. With 64 total fantasy points in standard scoring over the last two weeks, Goff is playing the best football of his young career and he is actually improving the offensive system he plays in.
According to Pro Football Focus (PFF) Ryan Gosling’s doppelganger recorded an unreal 92.9 adjusted completion percentage and a perfect 158.3 passer rating against a talented Minnesota Vikings defense that simply had no answers.
Even if Seattle’s defense is overachieving this year, Goff has at least four pass catchers in Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Todd Gurley who have the potential to go off on any given week.
Other QB starts: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Atlanta Falcons). Matt Ryan (at Pittsburgh Steelers). Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Kansas City Chiefs).
Quarterback sit of the week: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (vs Baltimore Ravens)
The most electrifying rookie in the league failed to produce last week after a week in the fantasy hype cycle. And while it wasn’t his moxy or his yardage output that doomed his performance, turnovers are an issue for the former Sooner. He had four turnovers against a depleted Raiders defense and this week is not gonna get any easier.
The Ravens defense is simply a scary outing for any quarterback. As a unit, they average an interception per game, have 10 sacks total and have forced five fumbles so far this season (per NFL.com). Add to that the fact that they are getting their no.1 cornerback Jimmy Smith back from suspension and this might be a recipe for disaster at M&T Bank Stadium.
This is a rough week for all of us Mayfield truthers out there.
Other QB sits: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs Los Angeles Rams). Eli Manning, New York Giants (at Carolina Panthers). Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (at Houston Texans).
Running back start of the week: T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Kansas City Chiefs)
With Leonard Fournette set to miss this game, T.J. Yeldon slides in as a nice flex option for regular fantasy players and perhaps a sneaky RB2 for points-per-reception (PPR) players this week. Last week he had 100 yards from scrimmage and found the end zone twice against a middle-of-the-road Jets defense. More importantly, he looked like a reliable playmaker in an offense with limited quarterback play.
This week, Yeldon’s production will be aided by a Chiefs defense that cannot stop running backs. According to PFF, they are allowing 5.54 yards per carry and 37.9 PPR points per game to opposing running backs.
Other RB starts: Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (at Detroit Lions). Sony Michel, New England Patriots (vs Indianapolis Colts). Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (at New Orleans Saints).
Running back sit of the week: Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (at Philadelphia Eagles)
This pick is simply based on his original average draft position (ADP) and health. Cook is not at 100 percent just yet and is still nurturing a hamstring injury that has hampered his production throughout the season.
Whether it is a negative game script against a stingy Philadelphia defense that has only allowed a touchdown to running backs in five weeks or simply losing carries to Latavius Murray, Cook is a fade this week.
Other RB sits: Lamar Miller, Houston Texans (vs Dallas Cowboys). Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets (vs Denver Broncos). LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (vs Tennessee Titans).
Wide receiver start of the week: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (at Seattle Seahawks)
I wonder how many times this week linebacker Anthony Barr has actually watched the film of Kupp torching him on wheel routes.
Kupp is more than just a mismatch to athletic linebackers and he has proven that week after week this season. Not only has he become a weapon for Goff on deep throws, but he is also reliable underneath and in the slot. He currently averages 10.71 yards per target and has found the end zone four times in four games.
Other WR starts: Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (at Pittsburgh Steelers). Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (vs Green Bay Packers). Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (vs Miami Dolphins).
Pickup of the week: Keke Coutee, wide receiver, Houston Texans.
The former Texas Tech star made his debut for the Texans last week due to the absence of slot receiver Bruce Ellington. Ellington had a great connection with quarterback Deshaun Watson, and Coutee seems to be reaping the benefits of the quarterback’s fondness of slot receivers.
In his first game, Coutee was targeted 14 times and caught 11 of those for 109 yards, and his numbers only seem to be trending up now that Ellington was placed on injury reserve. Will Fuller is also bound to see less snaps due to a hamstring injury this week, so Coutee could also start lining up outside in an important matchup against the Cowboys.
Other adds to look out for: Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback, Chicago Bears. Andy Dalton, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals. Vance McDonald, tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wide receiver sit of the week: Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (at Carolina Panthers)
The pick here is simple, the Giants offense is wretched and simply cannot produce despite being loaded with offensive talent.
Shepard gets the sit here because he isn’t as talented as receiver Odell Beckham Jr. or running back Saquon Barkley. Additionally, the Panthers’ defense is a surprising matchup nightmare for slot receivers. According to NFL.com, the Panthers allows the sixth-fewest PPR points per game to slot receivers with 14.9.
Other WR sits: Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (vs Los Angeles Rams). Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers (at Detroit Lions). Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (at New York Jets).
Tight end of start of the week: Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (at Pittsburgh Steelers)
Tight end is simply the most unpredictable and talent deficient position in fantasy football. However, this start is based on Hooper’s football talent and a terrible Steelers defense.
According to NFL.com, the Steelers back seven have allowed three touchdowns, as well as the most PPR points to tight ends in the league (20.5 PPG).
Other TE starts: Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (at New Orleans Saints). George Kittle, 49ers (vs Arizona Cardinals). Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts (at New England Patriots).
Tight end sit of the week: David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (vs Baltimore Ravens).
Njoku hasn’t looked like the athletic freak that was supposed to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses on a weekly basis. Not only has he lost snaps and red zone touches fellow tight end Darren Fells, but he also faces one of the best defenses against tight ends in the league.
According to NFL.com the Ravens defense has only allowed one touchdown to opposing tight ends and less than 10 PPR points per game.
Other TE sits: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (vs Minnesota Vikings). Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Kansas City Chiefs). Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (vs Washington Redskins).
Defense and special teams starts of the week: Houston Texans (vs Dallas Cowboys). Los Angeles Rams (at Seattle Seahawks). Carolina Panthers (vs New York Giants).
Defense and special team busts of the week: Miami Dolphins (at Cincinnati Bengals). Washington Redskins (at New Orleans Saints). Detroit Lions (vs Green Bay Packers).
Kicker starts of the week: Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons (at Pittsburgh Steelers). Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs (vs Jacksonville Jaguars). Randy Bullock, Cincinnati Bengals (vs Miami Dolphins).
Kicker busts of the week: Phil Dawson, Arizona Cardinals (at San Francisco 49ers). Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Atlanta Falcons). Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants (at Carolina Panthers).