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:
Start – Shaun Hill – Detroit Lions – vs. St. Louis
Sit – Brett Favre – Minnesota Vikings – at New York Jets
Shaun Hill’s matchup against the Rams, who are allowing 230.8 passing yards per game (12th most in the league), is enough to make you consider Hill this week. Of course, that number is lower then you would expect, having played the Seahawks anemic passing offense (191 yards) in Week 3. Throw in the fact that the Lions are giving Hill ample opportunities to throw the ball, with at least 43 attempts each of the last three games, and Hill is looking even better. While he’s had interception problems (7 total and at least two in each of the last three games), the upside is well worth the risk.
Forget about Favre’s struggles this season, though those factor heavily into things. The Vikings draw the New York Jets, with Darelle Revis expected to return to the field. He has limited options to throw the ball to (though rumors are that could change if they finalize a deal for Randy Moss), so look for the team to try and ride Adrian Peterson to victory. That’s going to be tough in its own right, but it gives them the best chance to compete.
Start – Ryan Torain – Washington Redskins – vs. Green Bay
Sit – Brandon Jackson – Green Bay Packers – at Washington
The Redskins and Packers face-off this week, making this an interesting comparison. Clinton Portis is expected to miss the Week 5 matchup, meaning Torain should step in and see the bulk of the carries. He was productive in Week 4 (70 yards, 1 TD) and gets a defense allowing nearly 120 rushing yards per game. It certainly seems to add up to a solid play, especially for those who are looking for a potential replacement for Darren McFadden or one of the other injured running backs.
Jackson, meanwhile, was less productive then John Kuhn in Week 4. Of course, neither had much of an opportunity, with both getting just nine carries on the day (Kuhn had 39 yards while Jackson had 33 yards). The offense is more geared towards the pass, and the Redskins have allowed the second most passing yards in the league, at 305.0 yards per game. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them nearly abandon the run.
Start – Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at Oakland
Sit – Marion Barber – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Tennessee
While the Chargers claim that Ryan Mathews is going to be their top running back, that doesn’t mean that Tolbert is not going to get his touches. Tolbert has excelled in recent weeks, with 155 yards in Weeks 2 & 3, before exploding for 100 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 (even with Mathews back in the lineup). Going against the Raiders, who have allowed the second most rushing yards per game this season (162.0), there should be plenty of touches to go around.
The Cowboys have said that they want to get Felix Jones more involved in the offense, and the touches have to come from somewhere. In Week 3 Barber had 17 carries (for 55 yards), while Jones had 7 carries (for 43 yards). The two could be more equal, or potentially flipping the other way, this week. Throw in a tougher matchup with the Tennessee Titans defense, and it makes sense not to take the risk on him this week.
Start – Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – at Indianapolis
Sit – Mario Manningham – New York Giants – at Houston
Bowe hasn’t been good this season. There’s no way around that, considering he has just seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown over the team’s first three games. However, while the Chiefs offense is built towards the run, would it be a surprise to see them fall behind early and have to pass to keep up? While tight end Tony Moeaki will share in the opportunities, Bowe should also get plenty of looks.
Manningham, meanwhile, was held without a catch in the team’s Week 4 matchup with the Chicago Bears. Of course, they have a positive matchup with the Houston Texans, but big play receivers are tough to depend on in shallower formats. You really just don’t know if they are going to make a play, or if they will even be given an opportunity to contribute.
Start – Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Philadelphia
Sit – Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – vs. Minnesota
Mark Sanchez has certainly been on a roll, but Holmes needs to be worked back into the offense. Plus, the team is still more geared towards a running attack. While he has the potential to succeed, he’s a huge risk in his first game back. You just don’t know exactly what you are going to get, and that’s certainly not what you want.
Crabtree didn’t have a great game in Week 4, with five catches for 58 yards, but at least he finally showed signs of life under a new offensive coordinator. The Eagles have been a very good passing defense this season (168.0 yards per game), but Crabtree has the talent to overcome that. With things looking up, he’s certainly worth using.
What are your thoughts on these decisions? Who would you start? Who would you sit?
Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 5 Rankings:
- Top 25 Quarterbacks
- Top 40 Running Backs
- Top 60 Wide Receivers
- Top 20 Tight Ends
- Top 15 Kickers
- Top 15 Defenses
- Waiver Worthy
- Sunday Sleepers