Play the matchups.
It’s been said a million times, but it remains the most important advice you’ll ever get in fantasy football.
The consistent champions and gurus in this game are the ones who have a keen eye for avoiding tough showdowns that net little points whilst doing everything possible to exploit favorable situations.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players you should definitely start in Week 5 and a handful you need to avoid.
Start: David Wilson, New York Giants (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Wilson has been nothing but frustrating in 2013, but he has a chance to turn it around this Sunday against a pitiful Eagles defense.
With Da’Rel Scott out of the picture—he was waived earlier in the week—Wilson should generate more carries and produce at a higher level.
Expect the second-year back to finally find the end zone for the first time this season and gash a front that is conceding over 120 yards per game on the ground.
Sit: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
CJ2K has an impossible matchup against a ferocious Chiefs defense on Sunday.
The veteran running back has clearly lost a step and isn’t able to break the big gains that he was capable of on a regular basis in his youth.
Factor in that improving third-year quarterback Jake Locker is out with a hip injury and you are looking at a recipe for disaster.
Johnson will be tasked with running into a loaded box and will be eaten alive by the Kansas City front seven.
Don’t expect much from him—it would be better to look elsewhere for a RB if at all possible in Week 5.
Start: Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars (at St. Louis Rams)
Blackmon finally returns from his four-game suspension this Sunday against the Rams. He’s not going to save the winless Jaguars season, but he could help turn around a few fantasy squads.
The former first-round pick was one of the most productive talents at his position in fantasy to close out the 2012 campaign and should be able to make that sort of impact immediately in 2013.
With a dearth of healthy receivers in Jacksonville, Blackmon has a chance to put up huge numbers due to the sheer number of targets he is going to receive. He’s undoubtedly the best wideout on the roster and should be in line for a big game against a mediocre St. Louis secondary.
Sit: Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (at Tennessee Titans)
Bowe is not a fit in Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s new offense, and it’s clear as day after four games.
The veteran wideout only has 13 catches for 148 yards and two scores through four games, although his score in Week 4 was effectively a worthless one at the end of the game.
With the Titans up next, it’s highly doubtful that Bowe will even sniff that meager four-catch, 58-yard performance he had against the Giants last Sunday.
Tennessee features a legit group of defensive backs who have been locking down receivers and keeping them from making a fantasy impact. Stay away from Bowe if possible and consider him a low-end WR3 this week.
Start: Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
This is a make-or-break game for Cook.
After tantalizing Week 1 performance (seven catches, 141 yards, two touchdowns), fantasy owners have been patiently waiting for the athletic tight end to reemerge as quarterback Sam Bradford’s top target, especially in the red zone.
If he can’t do it against a beatable Jags defense, it may be time to say goodbye to this 26-year-old’s tenure as a TE1.
Look for the Rams to try and get Cook involved early and hopefully find a rhythm early that will continue throughout the afternoon.
Sit: Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
The Seahawks are an immensely tough matchup for this second-year stud, and it’s doubtful he’ll be able to put up double-digit numbers.
Expect a back-and-forth battle that is waged on the ground and decided by field position, with Fleener catching just a handful of passes for limited yards.