Fantasy Football Week 5: Stars with Tough Matchups to Sit
The point of drafting superstars early in fantasy drafts is having them active through thick and thin during the season. Week 5 brings about some tough matchups for some of fantasy football's most reliable stars, though, and it's worth considering sitting them if other options are available.
There's always a risk in sitting top-tier players. At any point, these guys can go off and have huge weeks for their teams and fantasy owners. The worst feeling in the world for a fantasy owner is benching a player and then watching him put up his best numbers of the season.
Sitting these guys this week is worth that risk. An even worse feeling is seeing the guys you chose to start perform worse than those you benched, so making the swap to the safer bet before Week 5 action begins is the safe bet.
After these particular matchups, feel free to get those guys active again. I mean, hey, you drafted them early on for a reason.
There's nothing wrong with taking a precaution after the quarter mark of the season, though. Playing guys in the best positions to succeed is always a smart strategy.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Yes, I know; it's hard to sit arguably one of the best wide receivers in football. A.J. Green is as much a target over the middle of the field as he is a target in the end zone, and it's obvious that he has become Andy Dalton's favorite target.
That being said, sitting him this week may not be such a bad idea.
Green was held in check by Joe Haden of the Cleveland Browns last week, as the cornerback limited him to just seven catches for 51 yards. Haden also broke up two passes in the Browns' 17-6 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Green faces an equally tough opponent in Week 5. Aqib Talib of the New England Patriots is a lockdown corner along the lines of Haden, Darrelle Revis and Ike Taylor, so it's fair to assume that Green will produce similarly to Week 4. For perspective, Green managed six catches for 41 yards off Taylor this season.
With safety help coming over the top to double-team Green, Dalton may choose to look somewhere else when throwing down the field.
If there's nobody better to start, then keep Green active and hope Talib has an off game. Otherwise, I say sit Green with the expectations that he'll be active on your team again in Week 6.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Arian Foster runs into a tough matchup on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5.
The Niners are allowing an uncharacteristically high 109.2 yards per game on the ground this season, but Foster also makes an impact in the air. San Francisco has only allowed 190.5 passing yards per game.
The Houston Texans will attempt to be balanced when attacking San Francisco's defense, but it'll be difficult to do with their linebackers and defensive lineman swarming Foster and Ben Tate—both of which will see ample carries, but it'll be interesting to see if they produce at their usual level.
Foster has 398 total yards and two touchdowns on the season. Because most of his value comes from his versatility in both aspects of the offense, owners have started him through thick and thin (when healthy). This week represents a legitimate chance for Foster to struggle, though, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to sit him.
Again, sitting Foster is only possible if there are other running backs available in your league's waiver wire or if there is another back sitting on your bench. Daryl Richardson or Benny Cunningham from the St. Louis Rams may be available in your league, and they face the weak Jacksonville Jaguars defense in Week 5. Picking one up in hopes that they produce isn't a bad idea.
It's tough to sit Foster—someone you likely took in the first or second round—but rest assured it's just for this week.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Do not start Colin Kaepernick in Week 5. I have advised you not to start Green or Foster, but I'm telling you not to start Kaepernick. He hasn't played well and faces the tough Texans defense on Sunday.
The Texans have allowed just 141 passing yards per game, by far the lowest in the NFL. Kaepernick hasn't exactly been slinging the ball around the field through four games, so starting him is a huge risk. His inconsistencies already made him a questionable start, but this matchup makes him a guaranteed sit.
You more than likely drafted Kaepernick somewhere between rounds six and nine in hopes of bolstering your team before grabbing a quality quarterback late. Now, after missing out on the top options, there's a good chance you're kicking yourself for grabbing Kaepernick.
Much was expected of him in his first full season as a starting quarterback, but he's failed to produce gaudy numbers over four games. He has just five total touchdowns and has already thrown more interceptions (four) than he did all of last season (three).
Sit him this week, and don't start him again until he proves some consistency. Your fantasy team will thank you.
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