Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 5

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.

(Two-Receiver Formats)
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.

(Three-Receiver Formats)
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:

    Fantasy Football Week 5: Sunday Morning Start or Sit Thoughts
    Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 4


    1. Nick Tenaglia says:

      Do you still sit Brett Favre with Randy Moss now in town? In my opinion you still do. Antonio Cromartie has shown that he is well-suited to shutdown the vertical routes of Moss, which leaves Revis on Harvin.

      It looks like Visanthe Shiancoe will be getting a lot of targets this week….

    2. admin says:

      Nick, I would still sit Favre this week. It’s not like Moss has a history of lighting up the Jets and his own big play earlier this season was the play Revis hurt his hamstring.

    3. Mike R. says:

      With Portis out 4-6 does this rank Torain higher than Wells? In other words, do I drop Beanie for the R-Train? Thanks!

    4. JC says:

      I know it’s a moot point this week, but what the heck do you do with Ronnie Brown? He hasn’t performed yet, but he’s capable. I’ve been lucky and picked up Green-Ellis as well as Torian in the past couple weeks to cover Brown’s slow start.

      Do I drop him soon? Or wait it out?

    5. Mike D says:

      Dez Bryant or Crabtree this week?

    6. admin says:

      Mike – This week, I like Torain better. Long-term, it’s hard to saw. Torain is no guarantee to hold down the job and Wells still has a ton of upside. Of course, he needs to stay healthy and prove what he can do, so it would depend on your situation. If it is as a reserve, I’d probably keep Wells (especially if he’s your RB4). Is there someone else you can drop?

      JC – I’ve seen Brown dropped in smaller leagues, but I think it’s still a bit too early to cut bait. You clearly have added enough depth that you can afford to give him another few weeks to see if he can rebound. If he starts losing carries to Ricky Williams (extremely possible), this changes significantly.

      Mike D – I’d go Crabtree this week. He showed signs of life and has less competition for catches. Bryant has to compete with Miles Austin, Roy Williams and Jason Witten.

    7. LJ says:

      Should I start Brandon lloyd or percy harvin?

    8. admin says:

      I’d go Lloyd, he’s been too good to ignore. Plus, the Vikings have a pretty touch matchup this week with the Jets and Darrelle Revis returning to the lineup.

    9. Jen H says:

      Okay, playing my fiance this week in my match-up-I am torn on starting…

      Dwayne Bowe, Lance Moore, Or Jeremy Maclin as my 3rd WR?

      Also, I have Pierre Thomas-if he is ruled a go this week, do I start him or Thomas Jones as my 2nd RB? And if Pierre Thomas is ruled out do I start Thomas Jones or Chris Ivory?


    10. ali says:

      First you folks are outstanding and I wanna thank you for answering people’s questions every week!
      I’m looking for a def to fill in for Steelers on their bye. Do I roll w/ Carolina at home, Cutler is out. Do I pick up Atlanta at clev who Has a shaky qb sitch as well. Or do I give Houston at home a try, they are getting b cushing back this week. Your suggestions and thoughts are appreciated.

    11. Josh says:

      You guys are great!!! I’m 4-0 going to week 5. So my question this week is almost the same as last week. I have 2RB slots 3WR and a flex WR/RB. I was wondering who I should start this week. RB’s I have a Hillis, Turner, tolbert, and stewart. WR’s I have are Bowe, Murphy, Floyd, Clayton, S. Moss. what my best options?

      thanks again!

    12. admin says:

      Let’s take this one thing at a time:

      Ali – That’s what I’m here for! I’m always happy to give my opinion to anyone who wants it. Of those, I’d go with Atlanta this week. I actually have them ranked as the fourth best defense (which will be released tomorrow).

      Jen – I would go with Bowe, but I could see people arguing Maclin as well (though the change at QB is going to hurt him). Bowe has been bad, but he’s a proven commodity and if the Chiefs fall behind in Indianapolis they are going to be forced to pass to keep up. That should mean good things from Bowe.

      Josh – I’m glad I could help! WR – Bowe, Floyd & Clayton. RB – Turner & Hillis. FLEX – This is a tough one, but I’d go Tolbert. Even if Mathews is acting as the top back, the Raiders run defense has been so bad that you have to think Tolbert will also make a significant impact.

    13. Manamongst says:

      I have Boldin, Roy Williams and Manningham, I’m thinking of starting Garcon this week though and you have me torn as well with benching Crabtree this week.

    14. eddie says:

      I have B.Llyod, N.Washington, Dwanye Bowe, Chad Ocho, or J.Knox, which 3 should i start? also i have LT, Thomas Jones and Ryan Torain, which two would recommand?

    15. G-Man says:

      I have ray rice, L.T., torain, r.mathews and lynch…need to start two……….The Beast has a bye so i need to start 3 outta s.moss, k. walter, lloyd, braylen, b. tate….Thank u.

    16. Jen H says:

      Thanks for your response on my WR, Bowe it is! Now, on my RB- if Pierre Thomas… If they play him this week, do I put him in, or play Thomas Jones? And if he doesn’t play, do I play Chris Ivory or Thomas Jones? Thanks again in advance, you rock!

    17. CB says:

      Pivitol week for me (2-2) Need some advice.

      2 RB’s (no PPR)
      A. Bradshaw, M. Tolbert, M. Barber, T. Hightower, M. Bell, B. Jackson

      3 WR’s (PPR)
      R. Moss, M. Thomas, J. Maclin, D. Amendola

    18. Nick Tenaglia says:


      3 WRs would be Loyd, Ochocinco and Knox. Despite Cutler not starting, I think Knox is a safer bet than both Bowe and NateWash. I think KC is going to pound the run all day against Indy’s soft Run Defense

      For RBs I would say LT and Thomas Jones (for the same reason that I stated above). Torain could get pulled after the first quarter if he starts off bad – thats how little job security he has with Mike Shanahan

    19. Mike D says:

      Good Day!

      So I have just acquired Torain off of waivers, and now have 4 quality backs this week. Turner, Foster, Mathews and Torain. I was going to sit Mathews however turner said he’ll be getting more touches this week. Which 3 do I start?

      Also, in a PPR format, advice on which 2 of the following I should start? Steve Smith (NYG), Eddie Royal, and Santana Moss.

      Awesome that you respond to these, thanks!

    20. damian says:

      Thanks for helping out with these ?s

      WRS: (need 3) R Williams, Britt, DJax, S Holmes?

      RBs (need 2) SJax, Bradshaw, RMathews, Tolbert?

    21. Scott P says:

      For my WR/RB spot should I play RB Pierre Thomas if he plays this week or WR Randy Moss?

    22. admin says:

      There are a lot of these this afternoon, so let’s take it one at a time (and one big your welcome to everyone and thanks for following the site! I truly appreciate your support and am always here and willing to kick in my two cents):

      Manamongst – I would probably go Boldin, Manningham & Crabtree…though if Garcon plays (and Collie doesn’t), he’ll be worth plugging in there. Watch the news carefully before setting things in stone.

      Eddie – I’d go Bowe, Lloyd & Ochocinco – w/o Cutler, Knox really scares me for this week. For the RB, I’m going LT and Torain, no doubt about it.

      G-Man – For RB I’d go Rice and Mathews, depending on the news. Otherwise, it’s Rice & LT, though Tomlinson against the Vikings defense is a big risk (it certainly is nice to have that type of depth!). At WR I’d go I’d go Lloyd, Moss & Braylon.

      Jen – I think you have to play Thomas if he’s healthy and in the lineup. If he’s not, I don’t trust Ivory in the least and see them going more pass oriented. That would mean, in your situation, I’d go Jones if Thomas is out.

      CB – For the WR, it’s Moss, Maclin & Amendola. At RB, it’s Bradshaw & Tolbert

      Mike D – I’d go Mathews, Foster & Turner. That matchup against Oakland is good enough that I would expect both Mathews & Tolbert to have good days. It’s tough sitting Torain, however, so if you are skepitical, I could see swapping him with Mathews. At WR, I’d def. go Smith and Moss, the Broncos WR corps is too deep to trust.

      Damian – RB I’d go Jackson & Matthews. At WR, it’s tough to trust Holmes in his first game out because he’s such a wild card, though after Jackson it’s all wild cards, honestly. DJax is a must. After that I’d probably go with Williams & Britt, but it’s a coin flip between the three.

      Scott – That’s a real tough one, because both have the potential to explode or struggle. I’d lean towards a healthy Thomas, but keep checking the news. This may play itself out.

    23. Ryan says:

      Lance Moore Or Ryan Torain at flex? My other running backs are hillis/Addai…my wideouts are andre and calvin johnson.

    24. JH says:

      Ok Pierre Thomas is out, have a flex position to fill-who do I play?

      Dwayne Bowe, Christopher Ivory or Jeremy Maclin?

    25. Scott says:

      WR Lloyd, Floyd, S.Moss, Collie?

      RB-Mathews, Tolbert, Gore

    26. Manamongst says:


      Is Roy Williams scaring you with the Titans match-up coming off a bye week from his monster Week 3 (23.70 pts.)? Or are there just too many options in the receiver pecking order?

    27. admin says:

      Ryan – Torain by a lot. He has the potential to grasp the Redskins RB job for the rest of the season, and I am expecting him to take it.

      JR – I know Bowe has been bad thus far, but I’d still go with him. I’m not expecting much from Ivory, as I think the Saints will likely just go more pass heavy. Kevin Kolb at QB also concerns me, so that means Bowe.

      Scott – Collie is looking unlikely to play, so that may make your decision easy. How many do you need?

      Manamongst – Williams has never really been able to string strong games together. Every time he looks to be turning it around, he finds a way to disappoint owners. With Dez Bryant in place, would it be a shock to see Bryant & Miles Austin get the majority of the targets?

    28. Joe says:

      Who should I start Eli or Sam Bradford?????

    29. admin says:

      Joe, in that start, it’s 100% Eli. The Texans have allowed a league worst 337.8 passing yards per game and the Giants have a very good group of WR. He could be in store for a big afternoon.

    30. Diesel says:

      Who would you recommend starting… Roy williams coming off of a killer game or Dez Bryant coming off of injury? Felix Jones, Chester Taylor or Jerrome Harrison????? 1 WR and 2 RB recomendations

    31. All DaY LM says:

      Need help!!!!!! Have Moss, A. Johnson, Mike Thomas, Wes Welker and L. Nanee. My backs are J. Charles, L. McCoy, D. Williams, and Felix Jones as you no. But made a P. Thomas and F. Jackson 4 Moss and F. Jones trade. need to start 2 backs and 2 wide outs and a flex starter.

    32. All DaY LM says:

      Also who do you like starting at QB Kolb or Farve

    33. admin says:

      Diesel – I’d go Roy Williams at the WR spot. As for the RB, I’d go Jones & Harrison (only because of Hillis’ injury).

      All Day – Definitely Favre at QB. As for the WR, I’d go Johnson & Moss (with Welker on his bye week). As for RB, I’d go Charles & Williams. McCoy is just too big of a risk to reinjure his ribs and become a bust this week.

    34. All DaY LM says:

      Thanks, but what if johnson cant go and who should I start as my flex postion.

    35. All DaY LM says:

      Thanks, but what if Johnson can’t go, and who should I start as my flex.

    36. Too many options says:

      WR(pick 3)- Boldin, Floyd, Harvin, Knox, Eddie Royal, Manningham, or Crabtree/Garcon (able to pick up crabtree or garçon off waivers Sunday morning – who do I take for short/long term? I will not have access to see updated news on Collie/Garcon situation Sunday morning so have to decide Sat night.)

      RB (pick 2)- MJD, Snelling, Ivory, John Kuhn. I know….it’s ugly.

      Thanks so much for your help , professor!

    37. admin says:

      All Day – It’s looking like Johnson is going to be playing, so I don’t think you’re going to have a problem. If something does change, I’d go Naanee

      Too many – I’d probably go Crabtree for the long-term, because his status in his offense is more secure. With Collie’s emergence, there are not going to be enough balls to go around for Wayne/Collie/Clark/Garcon all to have big games every week.

      For this week, I’d go Boldin, Floyd & Manningham at WR and MJD & Ivory at RB.

    38. Tony says:

      I need to pick 3 rb’s. Here are my options:
      Jahvid Best, Ryan Matthews, Deangelo Williams, and Peyton Hillis

      I like all of the matchups, but Best and Hillis are questionable…what do I do???!!!!!

      Thanks for the help!!

    39. Too many options says:

      Thanks again

    40. admin says:

      Any time guys!

      Tony – A lot is going to have to go by tomorrow’s news. You are going to have to check things prior to the games and confirm who is in and who is out. At this point, there’s no way to know.

      Assuming everyone is healthy, I’d go Best, Hillis & Williams. While I love Mathew’s matchup, there’s a good chance that Tolbert will cut into his carries, limiting his value. Again, however, you need to make sure everyone is playing before locking it in.

    41. Sam says:

      Who should I start: Clayton, Colston, or Royal?

    42. Rusty says:

      Who should I start as my 3rd WR, Kevin Walter, Dez Bryant or Jeremy Maclin? Thanks!

    43. jackie jk says:

      who do i start out of these
      Benson v TB
      Snelling v CLE

      Bryant v TEN
      Garcon v KC
      Bowe v IND
      Harvin v NYJ
      Sims Wanker v BUF

    44. admin says:

      Sam – I’d go Colston this week. While Clayton has been good, he still has the higher upside.

      Rusty – I’d go Walter. With Johnson/Jones hurting and that game having the potential to turn into a shootout, Walter has a good chance to produce big numbers

      jackie jk – I assume you need one from each group? From the WR I’m still holding out hope for Bowe, so I’d go with him (especially since it looks like Collie will play). At RB, Benson is the easy call.

    45. Rusty says:

      one more because I actually have Collie too (but was thinking he’s down).. would you play a hurt Collie over Walter today?

      Thank You!

    46. admin says:

      Rusty, it’s a really tough call, honestly. I do like Walter today, but Collie has been very, very good. Of course, he’s a huge risk so it depends on your mentality. If you are a risk taker, Collie is worth a gamble.

      Walter could be every bit as good, however, and is a viable WR2 in all formats. He’s the safer option and is worth using.

    47. Rusty says:

      Thanks for the Help!
      here’s my line up
      QB Manning
      RB Foster
      RB Torain
      WR Ochocinco
      WR Walter
      WR Clayton
      TE Finley
      W/R Tomlinson
      K Gould
      DEF Falcons

    48. jackie jk says:

      jets D against Vikes or Saints D @ Cards??
      sims walker or dez bryant

    49. KO says:

      I need to pick 2 RB. I already have Collie as my WR and due to injury potential/problems worried about my RB’s.
      Who would you pick – Steve Jackson, Cedrick Benson, LaDainian Tomlinson or Ahmad Bradshaw.

    50. admin says:

      jackie – I have the defenses back-to-back on my rankings, so it is kinda a coin flip. I have the Saints a spot higher, though, so they’d probably be my choice. For the WR, I’d go with Sims-Walker.

      KO – I’d go Benson & Jackson…with LT as my third choice

    51. BEAU says:

      Who should istart at flex?? HILLIS OR LLOYD?? thanks

    52. admin says:

      Sorry I missed you BEAU, but I hope it worked out for you!

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