Fantasy Football Week 5: Sleeper Candidates Poised to Have a Big Week

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Jackie Battle #44 of the San Diego Chargers is arm tackled by Robert Johnson #32 of the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium on September 16, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

You cannot trust these guys to be elite every week, but Week 5 presents a great opportunity for some players to have a big performance in fantasy football.

It is important for fantasy owners to stay active and look for the best matchups. Otherwise, the bench will end up outscoring the entire starting lineup.

If these players are on your bench, now would be a good time to give them a start.


Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos

In the last two games, Decker has 15 catches on 20 targets from Peyton Manning. The two are starting to develop a connection due to the fact the receiver is always where he expects him to be. 

Even with Demaryius Thomas on the other side of the field, Decker will continue to get looks. Against the New England Patriots, he can be in line for his best game of the season.


Jackie Battle, RB, San Diego Chargers

Ryan Mathews was expected to regain the starting position when he returned from injury, but Battle is still No. 1 on the depth chart. He had more rushing attempts than Mathews and totaled 81 yards and two touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This week, his team faces the New Orleans Saints. The opponent is dead last in the NFL against the run, allowing 186.8 yards per game and six touchdowns. Even while playing on the road, there should be plenty of points to go around for both Battle and Mathews.


Rashard Mendehall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Fantasy owners might be afraid to start Mendenhall in his first game back from injury. However, the Steelers need the running back to do well to help balance the offense.

Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer did not do well in the starter's absence, totaling only 2.5 yards per carry and one touchdown. If Mendenhall is healthy enough to play, he should be used almost exclusively in this struggling rushing attack.

The Eagles have been solid against the run, but the runner will do enough to merit a start right away.


Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

The second-year quarterback should not be considered a sleeper, but people still refuse to start him.

Dalton has scored over 20 fantasy points in three-straight games. While the opposing defenses have not been elite, he has still thrown eight touchdowns in that stretch.

He should be able to continue this hot streak against the Miami Dolphins, who have allowed the third-most passing yards per game this year.


Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens

Pitta was shutout last week against the Cleveland Browns, but he should be ready to bounce back against the Kansas City Chiefs.

In the first three weeks, the tight end had two touchdowns totaled over 50 receiving yards in each game. He is obviously a big part of the Ravens offense. It is unlikely he is left out of the game plan for two straight weeks.

The Chiefs have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in three out of four games. Pitta should be able to add to that number this week.


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