Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 10/4/11


Andre Johnson is gone.  Ben Roethlisberger is banged up.  Miles Austin is on the mend.  Marques Colston is back, but when will he get on track?

With the bye weeks now here, the time has come when fantasy leagues are truly won and lost.  If you drafted well, and got a little lucky, you should be near the top of the standings.  But nobody can ever completely escape the injury bug.  Managing your lineup properly when byes and injuries attack is what separates the good owners from the great ones.

So let’s look at the Week Five games and decide who to start and who to sit this week.

As always, let’s briefly recap last week’s picks just to see how we did.

Once again, “Start Em” guys are QBs/TEs outside of the Top 12 and RBs/WRs outside of the Top 25. “Sit Em Guys” include QBs/TEs that are in the Top 12 and RBs/WRs that are in the Top 25.

Week Four Recap

Overall – 29 for 47 (62%)

Best Player Predictions: 2 for 4

  • Hits: Megatron and Rob Gronkowski
  • Misses: Matt Stafford and Adrian Peterson

Start Em Predictions: 2 for 4

  • Hits: BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Greg Olsen
  • Misses: Ben Roethlisberger and Plaxico Burress (Thanks a lot…Sanchez…)

Other Guys I Liked Predictions: 12 for 16

  • Hits: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Hasselbeck, Fred Jackson, Michael Turner, Brandon Jacobs, AJ Green, Wes Welker, Roddy White, Jimmy Graham, Jermaine Gresham, and Tony Gonzalez
  • Misses: Jay Cutler, Jahvid Best, Reggie Wayne, and Jermichael Finley.

Worst Player Predictions: 0 for 4

  • Misses: Kyle Orton, Texans’ Running Backs (HUGE MISS…sorry guys), Sidney Rice, and Owen Daniels

Sit Em Predictions: 1 for 4

  • Hits: Joe Flacco
  • Misses: Ray Rice (Never will I ever doubt him again), Dwayne Bowe, and Vernon Davis

Other Guys I Didn’t Like Predictions: 12 for 15

  • Hits: Matt Cassel, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Schaub, Chad Henne, Daniel Thomas, James Starks, Cowboys’ Running Backs, Chad Ochocinco, Jeremy Maclin, Anquan Boldin, Heath Miller, and Kellen Winslow
  • Misses: Denver Running Backs, Steve Smith 1.0, and Benjamin Watson

And now onto the Week 5 start em, sit em picks.

Fantasy Football Week 5 Start Em, Sit Em Projections

One brief change this week:

As you know, Jerod did the Start/Sit column the last two years before handing the keys to me this year. He still edits the column before it’s posted though, and helps out in the comment section answering questions throughout the week. And while we agree on the majority of these picks, there are some spots where we differ, and we think it will add value to the column to have him chime in with alternate viewpoints when he has them.

So at the end of each position section, you’ll see a blockquote with Jerod’s quick-hit thoughts on the picks, especially any he strongly disagrees with. As always when it comes to our fantasy advice, MSF is an ego-free zone where helping readers put the best possible lineup together is the goal. This is just one more way we can work together to do that.

Remember that the following teams are on bye in Week 5:

  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • St. Louis
  • Miami
  • Washington
  • Baltimore
Fantasy Football Week 5 Start Em, Sit em Picks: Quarterbacks 

Projected Best Performer – Michael Vick

Vick started to look like the Vick of last season on Sunday, and his team still got the loss.  Buffalo’s secondary leaves a lot to be desired, as they have been torched by several teams already this season.  Look for Vick to try and put the Eagles on his shoulders as they travel to Buffalo trying to save their season.  The Eagles may not win, but Vick should have a MONSTER day.

Michael Vick Fantasy Football Week 5 Projection – 380 passing yards, 3 TDs and 1INT; 85 rushing yards, 1 TD

Start Em – Philip Rivers

I almost feel like this is cheating, but Rivers is only ranked 14th among fantasy quarterbacks.  Look for him to start moving up the charts this week in Denver.

Philip Rivers Fantasy Football Week 5 Projection – 350 yards, 3 TDs

Other Guys I Like:

  • Eli Manning – At home against Seattle.
  • Drew Brees – On the road in Carolina.
  • Curtis Painter – Played well in his debut, and will be doing his best against the Chiefs to make sure the Colts don’t finish with the worst record in the league.
  • Mark Sanchez – The Pats’ defense is beyond banged up right now…and they weren’t all that good to begin with – especially against the pass.

Projected Worst Performer – Cam Newton

No, this is not one of those “He can’t really be this good!  He’s going to fail eventually!” picks… I have actually been very impressed by the youngster so far this year.  Unfortunately, the Saints’ defense will be unlike anything he has played so far.  The Packers were definitely a better defense, but they played very vanilla against him.  He has never faced a defense that will attack him like New Orleans will this Sunday.  I think Newton will go on to have a very good season, but not this week against New Orleans.

Cam Newton Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 180 passing yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs; 45 rushing yards, 2 fumbles

Sit Em – Tom Brady

Just hear me out.  Obviously, if you have Tom Brady, you probably don’t have a reliable backup.  That’s ok.  He could still get you 15 to 18 fantasy points this week.  However, if you are in a small league, and you were able to pick up someone like Matt Stafford as a backup, you should look very seriously at benching Brady this week, and it has everything to do with the Patriots’ Week 5 opponent and Brady’s checkered history against them.

The Jets have one of the best passing defenses in the league, and Darrelle Revis will be able to shut down Wes Welker better than anyone else in the league.  That leaves Brady with only Rob Gronkowski as a legitimate weapon all day, and the Jets will be licking their chops to rush Brady if New England only has five guys protecting him.

Plus, consider Brady’s last five starts against the Jets:

  • 2010 Playoffs: 299 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
  • 2010 Week 2: 248 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
  • 2010 Week 13: 326 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
  • 2009 Week 11: 310 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
  • 2009 Week 2: 216 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT

Based on the averages, Brady will still throw for 250 yards, and may even have a few TDs…and of course he has the potential to throw a 4 TD gem against anyone…but the Jets have also proven that more often than not they at least pull Brady back to the pack; thus, there could definitely be much better options than him for your lineup this week.

Tom Brady Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 250 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT

Other Guys I Don’t Like

  • Ben Roethlisberger – The Steelers are just bad, and he’s banged up.
  • Donovan McNabb – I’m just trying to pad my stats for next week…
  • Matt Ryan – They might lose by 50 points to Green Bay.
  • Jay Cutler – Detroit’s defensive line will make him dance by the second quarter.

Jerod’s thoughts:

Everything here sounds reasonable, including Jon’s thoughts on Brady (who I’d still start though, personally), but I disagree on Matt Ryan. He and the Falcons offense are much better at home and in domes, and the Green Bay defense is giving up a lot through the air. I say start Ryan. He’s a top 10 QB this week.


Fantasy Football Week 5 Start Em, Sit em Picks: Running Backs

Projected Best Performer – Maurice Jones-Drew

Jacksonville is just awful, and they will ride Mo-Joe until he falls over in the second quarter during week 8.  I feel bad for the guy, having his prime ruined on lousy teams.  Fortunately, his fantasy owners will make good – especially this week against Cincinnati.

Maurice Jones-Drew Fantasy Football Week 5 Projection – 180 yards, 1 TD; 80 yards receiving

Start Em – Joseph Addai

He’s quietly had a pretty decent year, despite all of the upheaval in Indy.  The Colts’ offense should move a little more fluidly with Curtis Painter as well.  To top that off, Indy will be playing Kansas City in a game that the Colts foolishly think they need to win.  Colts’ fans will watch in horror as Indy ruins their chances at Andrew Luck.

Joseph Addai Fantasy Football Week 5 Projection – 135 yards, 1 TD; 45 yards receiving, 1 TD

Other Guys I Like

  • Darren Sproles – He’s just so fast…and Carolina’s LBs are hurt.
  • LeGarrette Blount – San Francisco is actually sneaky decent…Tampa Bay will be forced to grind it out more than normal.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson – He might have 150 yards receiving against the Pats.
  • Mike Tolbert – Playing Denver…enough said.

Projected Worst Performer – Rashard Mendenhall

He’s awful, and Tennessee is good.

Rashard Mendenhall Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 10 yards rushing

Sit Em – Michael Turner

Remember the last time Green Bay played Atlanta, on that fast turf, indoors, and jumped out to a huge lead, and rendered Michael Turner unusable against a defensive line that was already amazing at stuffing the run?  Oh.  Me neither…

Michael Turner Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 25 yards rushing; 15 yards receiving

Other Guys I Don’t Like

  • Shonn Greene – Not a great matchup against NE.
  • BJGE – Pats won’t have a good day on offense.
  • James Starks – The Packers don’t run the ball…and they don’t need to.
  • Matt Forte – Detroit’s defensive line will make him cry by the second quarter.

Jerod’s thoughts:

Joseph Addai has been surprisingly effective this season, and I like him as a flex option this week, perhaps even over Mendenhall (who I’m growing to hate), but I personally would not start him over Michael Turner. I know the Packers held him down in the playoffs last year, but in Week 12 of 2010 he had over 100 yards and a TD against Green Bay in the Georgia Dome, and Green Bay’s defense is not nearly as good this year. Hell, let me just say it: I like everyone in the Packers-Falcons game, and with Turner averaging 4.6 yards per carry this year, I can’t recommend sitting him.


Fantasy Football Week 5 Start Em, Sit em Picks: Wide Receivers

Projected Best Performer – Megatron

I will continue to pick him every week until he becomes human.

Calvin Johnson Fantasy Football Week 5 Projection – 8 catches for 120 yards and 3 TDs.

Start Em – Deion Branch

If the Jets do what I think they will do, I think Branch will have a breakout game of sorts.  Look for Gronkowski and Welker to be neutralized, and Branch to have a pretty decent game.

Deion Branch Fantasy Football Week 5 Projection – 7 catches for 90 yards and 1 TD.

Other Guys I Like

  • Reggie Wayne – Got a lot of targets last week with Painter, and should have a favorable matchup against anyone on KC.
  • Hakeem Nicks – Huge game for him.
  • AJ Green – He’s unbelievable…I keep telling you.
  • Devery Henderson – Despite registering zero catches last week, Carolina won’t be able to stay in front of him and Henderson will bounce back.

Projected Worst Performer – David Nelson

Nnamdi Asomugha finally justifies the money that was spent on him this summer.

David Nelson Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 4 catches for 30 yards.

Sit Em – Pierre Garcon

Don’t chase TDs!  He only had two catches on Monday Night, and although they ended up being two giant home runs, he only caught the ball one-fourth of the time it was thrown to him.  Believe me, this is hard for me to say, because Pierre is my favorite player.  I may or may not have spent more than 100 bucks on a Super Bowl jersey with his name and number that ended up being a curse against the Saints.  Either way, don’t be fooled by his “big game” against Tampa.  He’s hit or miss…and this week is a miss.

Pierre Garcon Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 0 catches

Other Guys I Don’t Like

  • Wes Welker – Bad game by his standards.
  • Victor Cruz – Stop drinking the Cruz kool-aid…right now.
  • Steve Smith 1.0 – Tough game for Newton and the Panthers.
  • Jacoby Ford – Don’t be fooled…he won’t have a break out game, no matter who is hurt on his team.

Jerod’s Thoughts:

So long as people make sure to still start Wes Welker – because you can’t sit him right now – I’m fine with him being in Jon’s dislike section. I also agree on Garcon. Don’t overreact to one big week and a couple of fluky touchdowns. As for Nelson, the question is who will Nnamdi cover? The Eagles play a lot of zone, which has been part of their secondary’s downfall since they have a lot of good cover corners. And I agree on Branch. I thought he’d bounce back last week, but I think it comes this week with one of Brady’s favorite all-time targets getting the 3rd or 4th best cover option on the Jets.


Fantasy Football Week 5 Start Em, Sit em Picks: Tight Ends

Projected Best Performer – Jermaine Gresham

He’s really good and the Jaguars are really bad.

Jermaine Gresham Fantasy Football Week 5 Projection: 7 catches for 120 yards and 1 TD.

Start Em – Brandon Pettigrew

I watched, first hand, two weeks ago as the Chicago Bears proved they couldn’t guard tight ends and Jermichael Finley went off.  Look for Pettigrew to have a big day in a huge Monday Night Football game that the city of Detroit deserves.

Brandon Pettigrew Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 5 catches for 130 yards and 1 TD

Other Guys I Like

  • Greg Olsen – Cam Newton’s security blanket all game against the blitzing Saints.
  • Dallas Clark – Let’s just hook everybody up the the Curtis Painter rejuvenation machine!
  • Owen Daniels – He’s the guy that will get more looks with Andre Johnson being out.
  • Scott Chandler – I know I always say not to chase TDs…but I think he grabs one or two this week.

Projected Worst Performer – Heath Miller

When Tight Ends lose it…they LOSE it…and Heath Miller has lost it.

Heath Miller Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 1 catch for 8 yard

Sit Em – Vernon Davis

Tampa Bay did a great job of locking down Dallas Clark, and they should have similar success against the 49ers.

Vernon Davis Fantasy Football Week 5 Projected Stats – 4 catches for 40 yards

Other Guys I Don’t Like

  • Jimmy Graham – One of those games where Brees finds everybody else.
  • Jeff King – Rough day for Arizona
  • Jeremy Shockey – One get enough looks against New Orleans.

Jerod’s thoughts:

First off, you can’t sit Jimmy Graham. Sorry Jon, but I disagree here strongly. He hasn’t caught fewer than four passes this year and he’s had over 100 yards the last two weeks. He’s also scored three times. The reality is that Graham, not Colston, not Meachem, not Moore, not Henderson, is Drew Brees’ #1 target right now. Also, I’d think long and hard before sitting Vernon Davis. Alex Smith gained a lot of confidence last week, and Davis remains the best receiving threat on the team. If you’re going to sit him, make sure it’s for someone the caliber of Gronkowski, Pettigrew, or Graham. Remember: talent usually wins out over time, and few tight ends are as talented as Vernon Davis.


As always, feel free to ask your questions in the comment section and I will do my best to respond.  Or, you can send them to me on twitter anytime: @The_Dr_Twitch.

Jon Washburn @The_Dr_Twitch
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