Just hours before the start of Week 5 (for most teams anyways) I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Aaron Hernandez – New England Patriots – Tight End
The New England Patriots are a very frustrating team sometimes, aren’t they? It’s almost like they want us to think that Hernandez is going to play, labeling him with the questionable tag and all. I also know there are reports like these out there, CSN New England (click here for the article), further getting our hopes up:
“Paoletti said that Aaron Hernandez is closer to returning from his ankle injury and Brandon Spikes is looking to achieve consistency.”
Even if he plays, he is going to be a risky option having just limited practices this week. Throw in the late start time and the fact that you had already planned a replacement, and this is a situation we probably want to avoid. However, on the bright side, it is looking like Hernandez will return to viability in Week 6.
Verdict – Probably still a week away, so go with alternate plan you already set
Ben Tate – Houston Texans – Running Back
My initial thought had been to have Tate starting this week, considering the matchup against a Jets defense that just hasn’t shown up. After all, for all of Rex Ryan’s bluster, they are allowing 172.8 rushing yards per game (second most in the league) and have allowed 7 rushing TD (most in the league). While Arian Foster is the lead back, against this defense there should be more than enough opportunities to go around.
However, with Tate listed as questionable and a Monday night game, your options would be incredibly limited if you rolled the dice.
The only way I would roll the dice is if you could grab the Jets’ Bilal Powell off the waiver wire. Do I expect Powell to play a major role? Not likely, given the presence of Shonn Greene and taking on arguably the best defense in the league. However, Greene has struggled and at least Powell would give you an alternative should Tate ultimately not be able to play. Otherwise, the risk of getting a goose egg is too great unless you have no other viable option.
Verdict – Too great of a risk, unless you can get Bilal Powell as a fallback option
Domenik Hixon – New York Giants – Wide Receiver
With Ramses Barden & Hakeem Nicks already ruled out, Hixon once again figures to be featured prominently in the Giants’ offense. He is coming off a week where he had 6 catches for 114 yards (and was targeted 11 times), and the Giants take on a significantly weaker defense. The Browns have allowed the fifth most passing yards per game thus far (286.0) and are tied for the fourth most TD allowed (9).
The Giants have shown that they can throw the ball against almost any defense, and against this one they could easily have a monster day led by Hixon and Victor Cruz.
Verdict –Worth using as a low-end WR2, but a must use as a WR3
Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans – Wide Receiver
According to Jim Wyatt (via Twitter):
“WR Kenny Britt on his chances of playing: ‘It’s not looking so good right now as we stand, but we have two days.’”
He is listed as questionable, but with the recent news and a 4:25 PM start time, how do we use him? He never seems to be healthy and has yet to make an impact for fantasy owners in 2012. Until he not only proves he can stay on the field, but also make some plays, he needs to be on your bench.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Devery Henderson – New Orleans Saints – Wide Receiver
According to Mike Triplett (via Twitter):
“injuries: WR Lance Moore ruled OUT. Also OUT: T. McBride, D. Hawthorne, T. Cadet. … R. Harper, J. Casillas, J. Morgan questionable”
Moore’s absence could lead to a bigger role for Henderson, but he is still an extremely risky option. I would consider him more of a WR4, so a play for the desperate, as the extra opportunities could easily just go to Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles.
Verdict – Just an option for the desperate
Brandon Boldin – New England Patriots – Running Back
He is listed as questionable, but it doesn’t really matter. I know he had a big game last week, but the Patriots are one of the more unpredictable franchises in the league. Just because he was a major factor in Week 4 doesn’t mean that he is going to play a role in Week 5. While I would be surprised if he doesn’t play, there’s too much risk here.
Verdict – Too much risk to trust
Pierre Garcon – Washington Redskins – Wide Receiver
Fantasy owners have been waiting for a healthy Garcon since the promise he and Robert Griffin III showed in Week 1. Well, listed as probable, it appears fantasy owners may finally get their wish…. Maybe…
Mark Maske of the Washington Post (click here for the article), recently posted the following quote from Garcon:
““It’s going to take some time to feel back like my old self, like it was in training camp,” Garcon said in the locker room at Redskins Park. “But it’s a process. It’s a battle. But it’s coming along.”
So, while it looks like he is going to play this week, it doesn’t appear like he is quite at 100%. What does that mean for fantasy owners? We all know that the Atlanta Falcons are going to pass the ball all over the field, so the Redskins will likely have to try and keep pace. While they are facing a tough defense, I would expect the Redskins to be able to make at least a handful of plays. Even at less than full strength, Garcon has the upside to make him worth using as a WR3.
Verdict – Even at less than 100%, worth WR3 status and potentially WR2 depending on other options
Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings: