Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: How to Handle Fringe Players This Weekend

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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: How to Handle Fringe Players This Weekend
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With 14 matchups scheduled for Week 5, fantasy football owners will have plenty to look forward to this weekend. 

But while superstar performers like Peyton Manning, Jimmy Graham and Adrian Peterson are must-starts week in and week out and make lineup decisions easy, the jury is still out on many fringe players who owners are considering in Week 5.

Below, we'll highlight some of Week 5's notable fringe options at quarterback, running back and receiver, breaking down the best way to handle each. 

*Availability and scoring statistics according to ESPN Fantasy.

Player Best Fantasy Play Comments
Eli Manning, New York Giants Start 'Em Only Minnesota is allowing more passing yards than Manning's Week 5 opponent (Philadelphia) this season.
Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders Start 'Em Pryor's Week 5 foe, San Diego, is one of only seven teams surrendering over 300 passing yards per game.
Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns Start 'Em Hoyer is averaging 18 fantasy points per week since taking over under center for the Browns.
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams Start 'Em Jacksonville has given up nine passing touchdowns in four games this season.
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans Sit 'Em Schaub scored five fantasy points in his last road game and will be facing off against the league's third-ranked pass defense in San Francisco.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins Sit 'Em Tannehill's Week 5 opponent, Baltimore, has allowed just one passing touchdown over the past three games.


Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders, QB

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who suffered a concussion in Week 3, is expected to be back under center for the Silver and Black in Week 5, and that's great news for his fantasy owners. 

Matt Flynn was underwhelming in the starting role in Week 4, and Pryor, having had two weeks to recover, should get the nod at home this week against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. The San Diego Chargers rank 29th against the pass in 2013 and are allowing 312 yards and two touchdowns per game through the air.

Pryor, who is owned in less than a quarter of all ESPN fantasy leagues, has scored at least 18 fantasy points in standard leagues in two of his three starts this season, utilizing both his arm and legs to put up impressive numbers.

With a very favorable matchup upcoming, Pryor is a must-start in Week 5. 

Best Fantasy Play: Start 'Em

Running Backs
Player Best Fantasy Play Comments
Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams Start 'Em Richardson will be up against the worst rush defense in the NFL in Week 5.
Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers Start 'Em Among Chargers receivers, only Antonio Gates has been targeted more often than Woodhead.
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers Start 'Em Lacy's Week 5 opponent, Detroit, is one of only five teams allowing more than five yards per carry in 2013.
Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens Sit 'Em Baltimore is averaging 64 yards per game on the ground and will be up against a top-10 rush defense in Miami.
Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints Sit 'Em Averaging just four fantasy points per week this season.


Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens, RB

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

With Ray Rice returning to the Ravens backfield, Bernard Pierce won't be much use to fantasy owners moving forward, especially in Week 5.

The Baltimore runner only carried the ball four times for seven yards in the Ravens' loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4 and will be up against a top-10 run defense in the Miami Dolphins this coming Sunday. The Dolphins are allowing fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground and have surrendered just two rushing touchdowns total through four games.

Therefore, it's unlikely that either one of Baltimore's running backs will make a significant fantasy impact this weekend. 

On top of all that, The Baltimore Sun's Ravens insider Aaron Wilson reports that Pierce is battling through a calf strain:

All indications are that Pierce is best suited for the bench in Week 5.

Best Fantasy Play: Sit 'Em

Wide Receivers
Player Best Fantasy Play Comments
Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars Start 'Em Shorts is tied with Cincinnati's A.J. Green for the most targets through four weeks with 51.
Donnie Avery, Kansas City Chiefs Start 'Em Among Chiefs receivers, only Jamaal Charles has been targeted more often than Avery.
Kenbrell Thompkins, New England Patriots Start 'Em Thompkins is averaging 17 fantasy points per game over the past two weeks and has been targeted 39 times through four games.
Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers Sit 'Em Royal has only been targeted five times over the past two games after exploding against Houston and Philadelphia.
Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams Sit 'Em Givens' 18.1 yards-per-reception average means that he relies too heavily on the big play to produce for fantasy owners.


Kenbrell Thompkins, New England Patriots, WR

There's been plenty of talk about the lack of offensive weapons at Tom Brady's disposal in 2013, but it's time to stop sleeping on rookie wideout Kenbrell Thompkins. 

The Cincinnati product is averaging 17 fantasy points per game in standard leagues over the past two weeks and has become a reliable target for Brady, catching nine balls for 168 yards and three touchdowns since the start of Week 3.

In Week 5, the Pats will be on the road against Cincinnati.

While the Bengals pass defense hasn't been horrid to start the year, it hasn't been overly impressive either. Cleveland's Brian Hoyer threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns against Cincinnati in Week 4, so expect a future Hall of Famer in Brady to find Thompkins throughout.

Best Fantasy Play: Start 'Em

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