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

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2013

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Running back Danny Woodhead #39 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half at Qualcomm Stadium on September 29, 2013 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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.


Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders, QB

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:   Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Oakland Raiders thows a second quarter touchdown pass against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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


Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens, RB

Sep 22, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) avoids the tackle of Houston Texans safety Shiloh Keo (31) during the game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
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


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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