NFL Week 5 Start/Sit
Through four weeks of the 2020 NFL season, games are averaging a record 51.3 points per game, the highest total since the merger in 1970. Week 5 has the potential to exceed that total with a handful of matchups (Vikings-Seahawks, Giants-Cowboys, Panthers-Falcons, Raiders-Chiefs) that will delight fantasy owners who stand to thrive in each high-scoring affair.
This will be another week of solid fantasy play from the quarterback position, so much so that streaming options like Teddy Bridgewater (Panthers), Daniel Jones (Giants), and Philip Rivers (Colts) project to outscore more established fantasy performers like Deshaun Watson (Texans) and Carson Wentz (Eagles).
In short, this week’s Start/Sit is abundant in surprises.
Start: Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater
He’s the best streaming option during the first week of byes as Bridgewater is gifted a sweet matchup against an Atlanta defense that allows the most fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks by a considerable margin. Bridgewater has thrown for at least 269 yards in three of his first four games and should have no problem exceeding that total while also adding to the Falcons league-worst 13 touchdown passes allowed.
Sit: Eagles QB Carson Wentz
Wentz is 29th out of 33 in the percentage of passes thrown on-target (73.5%). While his increased running ability (touchdown runs in three straight games) works in his favor, it’s hard to buy into Wentz breaking out against a Steelers defense that leads the league in blitz percentage (51.2%), especially with the Eagles offensive line that could be without as many as four of their Week 1 starters.
Start: Jaguars RB James Robinson
Myriad injuries at the position, along with Robinson’s steady production, makes the rookie an RB1 this week as he faces a Texans defense that allows a league-worst 182 rushing yards per game while allowing runners to average five yards per carry. Robinson has also become a reliable pass-catcher, which enhances his value in PPR formats.
SIT: Broncos RB Melvin Gordon III
Timing isn’t on Gordon’s side after he recorded a season-high 107 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 4 win at the Jets. For starters, Phillip Lindsay returns from injury, which will cut into Gordon’s workload. There’s also the fact he’ll be running against a Patriots defense that allows the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs while allowing only one rushing touchdown.
Start: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
Jefferson hauled in 11 of his 14 targets for 278 yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks, making a strong case that the rookie has now become quarterback Kirk Cousins’ go-to option. The duo should remain red-hot going into a Sunday night matchup against a Seahawks defense that allows (by far) the most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts. Seattle has given up an average of 336.3 yards per game to opposing wide receivers, a number that should translate into a monster night for Jefferson.
Sit: Titans WR A.J. Brown
The good news is that Brown (knee) should return to the lineup for the first time since Week 1. The bad news? Brown returns against a Bills defense ranked fifth in average depth allowed per target (7.0) and will see more than his share of Buffalo’s star cornerback, Tre’Davious White. There are much better options available beyond Brown this week.
Start: Chargers TE Hunter Henry
Don’t be discouraged by the mere three targets Henry had in Week 4. Expect a solid bounceback on Monday night as Henry squares off against a Saints defense that has struggled against opposing tight ends thus far. Only the Falcons have allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, so look for rookie quarterback Justin Herbert to re-establish a rapport with Henry.
Sit: Browns TE Austin Hooper
Although Hooper finally scored in Week 4, he continues to be nothing more than a last option for quarterback Baker Mayfield. Cleveland’s league-leading ground game and the presence of wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry certainly doesn’t help Hooper’s cause, nor does facing a Colts defense that allows the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing TEs.
Start: Panthers WR Robbie Anderson
Anderson has quietly averaged 94.2 receiving yards per game thus far and will be in line to record his third 100-yard game of the season at the expense of Atlanta’s woeful defense. The Falcons allow a league-high 744 yards after the catch, a number that plays into the hands of Anderson, who has already equaled his 193 YAC from 2019.
Sit: Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin
Although Gaskin should continue to get a high volume of touches from scrimmage, he has yet to record a rushing touchdown this season, nor has he rushed for better than 66 yards. Don’t count on Gaskin snapping that trend against a 49ers defense that’s first in fewest Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs and gives up just over four yards per carry.
Start: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
He’s overdue for a huge week. That might come on Sunday at the expense of a Jets defense that has allowed multiple touchdown passes three times this season. New York is also 23rd in rushing yards allowed, a deficiency the mobile Murray should exploit, especially with RB Kenyan Drake struggling.
Sit: Buccaneers QB Tom Brady
Brady’s fantasy owners were rewarded with a vintage TB12 outing in Week 4. An encore is unlikely in Week 5 as Brady gets a Thursday night date with a Bears defense that allows the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. The health of wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin remains uncertain, all the more reason to find another option.
Start: Bengals WR Tee Higgins
Over the past three games, Higgins has been targeted 22 times and is slowly easing veteran A.J. Green out of the picture. The Ravens have been just below league average in yards allowed to opposing receivers, and with quarterback Joe Burrow averaging 280 yards per game, count on Higgins to continue establishing himself as a solid WR3/Flex option.
Sit: Colts Mo Alie-Cox
The only reason Cox is here is because of Indy’s timeshare at the position. The presence of Trey Burton and Jack Doyle steals targets from Alie-Cox despite the fact he’s clearly the most productive of the three. Cox has just five targets the past two games, totals that aren’t enough to risk playing him even against a Browns defense ranked 27th in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing tight ends.