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 – Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NO)
The New Orleans Saints have allowed the second most points per week to opposing quarterbacks, though a lot of that is thanks to 4 rushing TD. While Winston may not run as much as other QB (he’s run the ball 14 times this season), he’s not immobile and did rush for 281 yards in 11 games a year ago. Then you have the way he’s been producing throwing the football the past two weeks:
- vs. NYG – 380 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
- at LAR – 385 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
Look for Winston to continue targeting Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and with the potential to score a TD with his feet he looks that much better in a favorable matchup.
Sit – Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns at SF)
There was a lot of hype surrounding Mayfield and the Browns’ offense heading into the season, but they’ve generally fallen flat. He hasn’t thrown more than 1 TD in a game this season and has struggled with completion percentages under 55% twice. He is coming off a productive day against the Ravens (342 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but with the limited TD and at least 1 INT per week he’s going to be tough to trust. Matching up with a 49ers defense that has allowed 5 TD vs. 5 INT, the outlook doesn’t look any better. He’s not unusable, but he’s also not a preferred option.
Another Quarterbacks to Start:
- Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals vs. ARI) – The Arizona Cardinals have been among the three worst defenses against opposing quarterbacks, including allowing 10 TD vs. 0 INT. While Dalton hasn’t been great the past two weeks (1 TD vs. 3 INT) and his receiving corps is banged up, look for him to utilize his TE and exploit a favorable matchup. As a low-end QB1, roll the dice.
Another Quarterbacks to Sit:
- Daniel Jones (New York Giants vs. MIN) – Jones has gotten a lot of hype after leading New York to back-to-back wins, but the Vikings represent the stiffest test he’s faced. Before anointing him a QB1, let’s see how he handles the pressure.
Start – Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona)
The Arizona Cardinals have allowed the most points per week to opposing tight ends, including a league high in both yards (431) and TD (6). Just look at those who have done damage thus far:
- Week 1 – T.J. Hockenson – 6 receptions, 131 yards, 1 TD
- Week 2 – Mark Andrews – 8 receptions, 112 yards, 1 TD
- Week 3 – Greg Olsen – 6 receptions, 75 yards, 2 TD
- Week 4 – Will Dissly – 7 receptions, 57 yards, 1 TD
A tight end has led the way against Arizona each week, and with the Bengals banged up at wide receiver there’s a good chance that they lean on Eifert. He has yet to top 27 yards in a game this season, but with the matchup/opportunities this should be the week he does. As a low-end TE1 he’s well worth utilizing.
Sit – O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NO)
We keep waiting for Howard to become a bigger part of the offense, but he continues to struggle to have that breakout day. Just look at his season highs:
- Receptions – 4 (Week 1)
- Targets – 5 (Week 1)
- Yards – 66 (Week 3)
He also has yet to find the end zone. While the upside is still there for a breakout at any moment, there’s enough depth at the position that there’s far too much risk to consider him.
More Tight Ends to Start:
- Austin Hooper (Atlanta Falcons vs. HOU) – Hooper is coming off an impressive performance, with 9 receptions for 130 yards, and he’s had at least 6 receptions and 66 yards in three of four games. While Houston has allowed the third fewest points per week to opposing tight ends, Hooper’s usage in the offense and recent production make him worth utilizing regardless.
- Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers vs. JAX) – He’s coming off a terrible performance (2 catches for 5 yards), but in Weeks 2 & 3 he combined for 12 catches, 185 yards and 2 TD. Jacksonville has been a middle of the road defense against tight ends this season, and while Olsen isn’t necessarily a “must” start if you are short on options he’s usable given what we know is possible.
More Tight Ends to Sit:
- Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys vs. GB) – He has at least 50 yards in back-to-back games, but he hasn’t been targeted more than 4 times in a game and draws a Packers’ defense that is among the 10 best against opposing tight ends. That’s never a recommended mix to target.
- Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings at NYG) – The perception is to exploit the Giants defense, but their 178 yards to opposing tight ends is actually 10th fewest in the league. Throw in how rarely used Rudolph is in the offense (5 catches and 7 targets total) and he’s completely unusable.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings: