Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: Forecasting Feast or Famine Stars on Sunday

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 29:  Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks looks to pass against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

You better make this week count in fantasy football.

It would be very hard to recover after starting the first five weeks of the season poorly. Digging into an 0-5 or 1-4 hole would be almost impossible to climb out of. At this stage, you need to be doing everything to ensure a victory this week.

Make sure to take a final look at these players before determining whether they're worth the risk to start on Sunday.


Start 'Em: Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) throws prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

And the winner of this week's "You Get to Play the Jaguars" lottery is Sam Bradford!

There isn't a better elixir for your fantasy QB than having him go against Jacksonville.

Sam Bradford has quietly put together a very good fantasy season. With a few more good games, he'll be knocking on the door of the top 10.

It's been even more impressive when you consider how little run support he's had and the fact that the team still hasn't replaced Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola at receiver.

The Jaguars have been a mess this season, so there's no reason to think Bradford isn't headed for a possible 20-point fantasy performance on Sunday.

Sit 'Em: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Sep 29, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws prior to the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Few quarterbacks have been as disappointing as Russell Wilson.

Part of the problem is the Seattle Seahawks offense. Marshawn Lynch has been tasked with leading the way, while Wilson is left to essentially feed off the scraps.

The second-year star has attempted just 96 passes, 27th in the league going into Thursday's game, so it's not so much that Wilson has been awful. He just hasn't gotten much of a chance.

Don't expect anything different against the Indianapolis Colts. Going on the road against a good defense, Pete Carroll will continue to lean heavily on Lynch.

If only there was some sort of metric that gave quarterbacks points for being a game manager.

Running Backs

Start 'Em: David Wilson, New York Giants

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back David Wilson (22) runs past Denver Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (45) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

This is it for David Wilson. Either he has a big game against the Philadelphia Eagles, or he'll never be considered a fantasy starter in 2013.

The New York Giants running back has been improving over the last two weeks. He's been more effective on the ground, and more importantly, he hasn't fumbled the ball.

You know there's talent here. He came into the season with big expectations for a reason. After his Week 1 debacle, Wilson needed a few games for his confidence to grow and for Tom Coughlin to trust him again. Now that he's done both of those things to a certain extent, he looks poised to have his best performance of the season.

Or he'll just stink again and we can all go back to forgetting about him.

Sit 'Em: Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins

Sep 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller (26) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY S
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

As somebody who has Lamar Miller on his fantasy team, this is a bit of a bummer. He hasn't been great, but he's done a lot to make fantasy owners forget about that awful Week 1 performance against the Browns.

The problem is he's bound to have another stinker sooner or later. He can't maintain his level of performance over the last three weeks forever.

The Miami Dolphins are facing off with a Baltimore Ravens team that was humbled by the Buffalo Bills last week. The defense will be motivated to set the record straight on Sunday. Baltimore has generally been very good against the run in 2013, so Miller could be in for a rude awakening.

Wide Receivers

Start 'Em: Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) carries the ball against Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore (26) during the second quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Many fantasy experts will be focusing on Victor Cruz this week. With the Giants facing off with the Eagles, somebody, or somebodies, in that New York offense is bound to have a huge game.

Why can't Hakeem Nicks be that guy?

Certainly the Eagles secondary is porous enough to allow both Cruz and Nicks to put up nice numbers. Don't forget about Nicks' first two weeks, either. He combined to have nine receptions for 197 yards.

The 25-year-old wideout is also due for a touchdown, having not recorded one all season.

With Philadelphia doing its best to try to shut down Cruz, that will leave Nicks to slip in the back and have a monster game.

Sit 'Em: DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

Sep 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) catches a pass during  the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Sticking with the Eagles vs. Giants, go ahead and put DeSean Jackson on the bench if you got him. He had his great performances in the first two weeks, but has done very little since then.

The problem is that opposing teams are just looking to stifle Jackson and little else. So far, it's been successful. The Eagles put up points, but it's not enough to make up for their terrible defense.

While the Giants secondary is questionable, if New York follows that blueprint from the past two weeks, it will just look to make Brent Celek, LeSean McCoy and Riley Cooper beat them. Fantasy owners with those players might see a boost in numbers, but Jackson will struggle to make an impact.

Tight Ends

Start 'Em: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

You'd be forgiven if your faith in Jason Witten has been shaken. He's gone three weeks without a touchdown and recorded 122 yards in that span. It's not as if Tony Romo has been awful, either, dragging down his receivers with him.

Witten is just not getting much done and has become a non-factor inside the red zone.

Expect that to change against the Denver Broncos.

Although their secondary isn't the best in the league, the Broncos will be good enough to limit Dez Bryant's touches, forcing Romo to look elsewhere. Witten should get plenty of targets.

USA Today's Lindsay Jones thinks the loss of Danny Trevathan could be a boost for Witten as well.

Unless you've got Jordan Cameron or Jimmy Graham, the Cowboys tight end should be starting on your team.

Sit 'Em: Jermaine Gresham/Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Sep 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) is tackled by a Green Bay Packers player (behind) after making a catch during the third quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Does Andy Dalton not realized how much he's killing people's fantasy teams? His poor play is adversely affecting A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert, forcing their fantasy values to plummet.

Green is always a must-start because the combination of his prodigious talent and the fact he's the No. 1 target in the Cincinnati Bengals passing game.

Eifert and Gresham are different stories, though. They've had some good performances, but nothing consistent. They're splitting targets between themselves, and with Dalton playing inconsistently, there's little hope they'll get much chance this week to be a worthy fantasy starter.


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