Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Week 5: Wide Receiver Edition: Calvin Ridley, Demaryius Thomas & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:


Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons – at Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed the second most points per week to opposing wide receivers (behind only the New Orleans Saints), courtesy of 883 yards and 7 TD.  It’s easy to envision both offenses airing the ball out in this one, as it has all of the makings of a shootout with Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger trading blows.

No one should safely assume that Ridley is going to be able to maintain the gaudy stats he’s posted over the past two weeks:

  • vs. New Orleans – 7 receptions, 146 yards, 3 TD
  • vs. Cincinnati – 4 receptions, 54 yards, 2 TD

He’s actually scored TD in three straight games, and has 6 TD vs. 0 TD for Julio Jones.  Is that something that’s going to continue?  It’s highly unlikely, and Jones should soon start finding the end zone.  That’s more of a concern for Week 6 and beyond, however, because this week there could be more than enough scoring to go around.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable WR2)


Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans – at Buffalo
The Buffalo Bills aren’t very good, but it’s interesting that they actually haven’t been beaten up by opposing wide receivers (they have allowed the 22nd most points per week).  Instead it’s been more pass catching running backs and tight ends who have done the damage, and that speaks more to Dion Lewis having the potential for a monster day than anyone else.

That’s not to say that Davis won’t get his opportunity, having racked up 39 targets with the bulk coming in Week 1 and Week 4 (both of the games where Marcus Mariota saw action at quarterback).  There is a little bit of risk, and that makes him more of a borderline WR2, but he’s viable all the same.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (borderline WR2/must start WR3)


Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos – at New York Jets
It’s interesting to see the production for Thomas, as he’s been utilized more as a safety valve than a potential big play threat.  While he leads the team in targets (33), he’s turned his 20 receptions into just 168 yards.  That translates to an 8.4 yards/receptions, and that only continues to downward trend that we’ve seen over the past few seasons (the last time he averaged more than 12.5 yards/catch was in 2014).  That has corresponded with a fall in his TD production (he hasn’t scored more than 6 TD since 2014), and he also will have to battle Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton for opportunities.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (more often than not, only viable as a WR3)


Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions – vs. Green Bay
His name appeal likely brings more value than his actual production, as Jones has arguably slipped to being the third best receiver on his team.  Just look at how the targets have gone through four weeks:

  • Golden Tate – 44 targets
  • Kenny Golladay – 33 targets
  • Marvin Jones – 29 targets

While the targets are on pace with Golladay’s, Jones has barely converted 50% of them (15 receptions) and has mustered 233 yards.  He hasn’t topped 4 receptions or 69 yards in a game yet this season, making him a TD dependent option and is anyone willing to bet that the opportunities go his way?

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (more often than not, only viable as a WR3)


Geronimo Allison – Green Bay Packers – at Detroit
Allison already leads Green Bay in receiving yards (289) and with Randall Cobb hurt he should continue to play a bigger role in the offense.  He’s coming off a day where he received 11 targets (6 receptions for 80 yards), and with Davante Adams likely drawing Darius Slay on Sunday you would think Allison is set for another heavy workload.  Detroit has allowed the second fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, which does hurt Allison’s outlook slightly and makes him more a borderline WR3 as opposed to a favorable option.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (more often than not, only viable as a WR3)

Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Joe Mixon, Alfred Blue, Marvin Jones & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Week 5: Running Back Edition: Mark Ingram, Kerryon Johnson & More


  1. Romo says:

    Hey roto. I wanna bench d Thomas. I have him as a flex and my flex options are t Coleman, m Williams, and McCoy. My starting 2 WRs are k allen and j Landry. Valdes-scantling and Fitzgerald are on the wire. Not sure if they worth picking up.

  2. Too Tall says:

    Hi Prof,

    10 team standard. I have Kupp, Goliday, and Mike Williams for WR. Aaron Jones, Mixon, K. Hunt, Devonta Freeman for RB. I need 2 WR, 2 RB, and a flex. What do you suggest, Thanks.

    • Too Tall says:

      Also, would you drop G. Bernard considering is injury? I also have C. Godwin on bench. D. Westbrook, K. Cole, P. Richardson (Washington), Q. Enunwa, M. Sanu, Matt Breida on waiver wire. Any you would put this week or for ROS?

    • RB – Hunt/Freeman
      WR – Kupp/Golladay
      FLEX – I’d grab Breida

  3. Brian says:

    Corey Davis or Lynch….1 point ppr

  4. Carmen says:

    Hey prof,
    Given Thomas doesn’t seem to be viable in most football formats, I need to pick 3 WRs and a flex, my choices are:
    Keenan Allen, Tyler Boyd (leaning towards these two @WR), D. Thomas, K. Stills, and Taywan Taylor
    Other flex options than those listed above are Ekeler and Javorius Allen (using Hyde and Freeman @ RB)

    Thanks in Advance!

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