Every week, fantasy owners across the country curse themselves for leaving valuable points sitting on their bench
While that doesn't necessarily mean you should rush to bench the stars that have gotten you to this point in your league, taking a risk on certain players is what helps build championship-contending teams and allows teams that are viewed as the underdog to come away with the win on a weekly basis.
Though it's not always easy to make room for fantasy sleepers in your lineup on a weekly basis, these five players should be viewed as must-starts in standard scoring 12-team leagues.
1. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
With 146 yards and three touchdowns on the season, Rudolph hasn't exactly established himself as a top-tier tight end in fantasy football at this point.
However, a matchup against a Titans defense that has surrendered seven receiving touchdowns to tight ends in the first four weeks of the season should help.
In what should be a close game, expect Christian Ponder to look Rudolph's way early and often as the Titans play their safeties deep to avoid getting beat deep by Percy Harvin.
2. Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
While Hartline has clearly worked his way into must-start status in PPR leagues, some fantasy owners may be hesitant to rely on a receiver coming off of a true breakout game.
Facing a Bengals pass defense that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to rack up a 102.4 quarterback rating, Hartline should see plenty of targets as Ryan Tannehill's go-to option.
With little competition from the other receivers on the roster in a game that should stay within a touchdown, Hartline should be viewed, at the worst, as a true No. 2 fantasy receiver with No. 1 upside.
3. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
While this is possibly the most obvious selection on this list, it is important to note just how good Matt Ryan has been this season.
Averaging nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns per game, Matt Ryan has taken the step forward that Falcons fans and fantasy owners have been looking for, working his way into a No. 1 quarterback option week in and week out.
Facing one of the worst pass defenses in the league, Ryan is possibly the top fantasy quarterback in all of football this week and has a chance to put up massive numbers with Julio Jones moving closer and closer to 100 percent.
4. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
While this is not necessarily an ideal matchup for the man once known as CJ2k, Johnson showed the burst and hip movement that has been lacking for over a year.
Though one big game is unlikely to restore confidence in owners that spent a first-round pick on Johnson, he is likely to be a big part of the Titans' game plan moving forward and should get enough touches to warrant a spot in most starting lineups.
With Jake Locker and Kenny Britt out, expect a heavy dose of Johnson. If the quickness that he flashed last week remains, expect him to at least turn one or two of those carries into 20-yard gains on his way to a second straight 100-yard game.
5. Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Coming off of a bye week, the Colts face a Packers defense that has been surprisingly solid against the pass thus far this year.
With that said, Reggie Wayne has caught at least six passes through his first three games and appears to have unexpected chemistry with Andrew Luck early in the quarterback's career.
Going against the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers, the Colts will likely find themselves trailing early and will rely on Luck to throw the ball around throughout the majority of the game.
With Wayne as the true No. 1 wide receiver in the Indianapolis offense, he should see enough targets to put up quality yardage numbers as well as a few opportunities to get into the end zone.
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