Week Five Preview: Five Hot Starts and Sits
Week Five kicks off in three days so it’s time to start breaking down those rosters.
Let’s take a look at some key Starts and Sits heading into the weekend.
As always, the National Football Post has you covered.
1. Rashard Mendenhall—Running Back—Pittsburgh Steelers
For those of you who took our advice from two weeks ago and acquired Mendenhall, now is the time to double-down on your bet.
The Steelers running back looked outstanding in Week Four against the Chargers, rushing for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Get him back in the lineup this week as Pittsburgh heads to Detroit to take on the league’s 20th ranked rushing defense (121.2 yards and 33.5 points per game).
Look for the Steelers to get up early and keep the ball on the ground in an effort to control the clock.
2. Glen Coffee—Running Back—San Francisco 49ers
One thing the 49ers do not want to do is let this game turn into a shootout.
So how does a team avoid a back and forth aerial attack? Simple. By keeping the ball on the ground and playing sound defense. Coffee may not have grabbed headlines in his first career start last week, but he did rack up 106 total yards (74 rushing, 32 receiving).
He’s a solid flex option this weekend as San Francisco will look to establish the ground game against an Atlanta Falcons defense that ranks 25th against the run (136.0 yards per game).
3. Nate Burleson—Wide Receiver—Seattle Seahawks
Quietly, Burleson has been putting together a very impressive season despite the fact that backup quarterback Seneca Wallace has been filling in for injured starter Matt Hasselbeck.
There is a lot of upside here, so pay attention. Burleson is currently ranked third in the NFL in targets (41), trailing only Randy Moss and Steve Smith (NY Giants). In addition, the Seahawks play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday, who are tied for dead last in the league in passing defense (282.2 yards per game).
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returned to practice on Monday and could be ready to go for this Week Five showdown. In any event, Burleson should be in your lineup.
4. Pierre Garcon—Wide Receiver—Indianapolis Colts
One of 2009’s early waiver wire steals, Garcon is a solid play this weekend when the Colts travel to Tennessee to take on the winless Titans.
Peyton Manning’s newest target has scored two touchdowns over the past three weeks and is averaging a fantasy-friendly 9.6 points per game during that span (Standard Scoring). The matchup is in Garcon’s favor yet again this Sunday as the Titans are allowing an average of 282.2 yards per game through the air (tied for 31st).
With the Hall of Fame bound Manning at quarterback, Garcon is a guy you should have no worries about putting in your starting lineup.
5. Matt Schaub—Quarterback—Houston Texans
After a dreadful Week One performance against the New York Jets, Schaub has caught fire over the past three games, averaging 293.6 yards and tossing eight touchdown passes to just two interceptions.
Look for the hot streak to continue as the Texans head to Arizona to take on the NFL’s 30th ranked passing defense (280.3 yards and 22.7 points per game).
The best part about starting Schaub this Sunday is that this game has all the makings of a shootout. You know the Cardinals are going to move the football against a Houston defense that is giving up an average of 368.8 yards (25th) and 23.0 points per game. If they hadn’t shutdown a terrible Raiders offense this past Sunday, those numbers would be a lot worse.
1. Thomas Jones—Running Back—New York Jets
Jones has played the Miami Dolphins five times in his career and has had trouble finding fantasy success.
The veteran running back is averaging just 75.6 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry lifetime against the Fish. In addition, he’s only found the end zone twice in five contests and has ripped off just seven carries of 10+ yards in 101 career attempts.
Oh yeah. The Dolphins rank second against the run this season, allowing just 61.0 yards per game on the ground.
2. Cedric Benson—Running Back—Cincinnati Bengals
For those of you who have been reading my work since last year (first off, thank you), you are most certainly getting tired of the following stat: The Baltimore Ravens have not allowed a 100+ yard rusher since 2006.
I may say that every week, but it’s a very important factor to consider when one of your stud running backs is heading to Baltimore to face the league’s top-ranked rushing defense (59.5 yards per game).
In Benson’s only meeting with the Ravens last season he carried the rock just ten times for 17 yards (1.7 YPC) and zero touchdowns. Time to look for a better option in Week Five.
3. The Miami Dolphins' Receivers
Davone Bess, Ted Ginn and Greg Camarillo have combined to catch 45 passes for 381 yards and ZERO touchdowns through four weeks.
If that isn’t enough to sell you on why these guys should be on your bench, try this: The Dolphins host the New York Jets on Monday night. This is a defense that thrives on pressure, ranking 5th against the pass (177.5 yards and 14.2 points per game).
Take into account the fact that all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis will have at least one of these guys (most likely Ginn) on lockdown AND the fact that quarterback Chad Henne is making just his second career start and you get a recipe for fantasy futility. Don’t risk it…with any of these guys.
4. Jake Delhomme—Quarterback—Carolina Panthers
Delhomme has gotten off to a rough start this season (two touchdowns, seven interceptions) and Week Five will be no picnic in the park as he must come off the bye week and take on a tough Washington Redskins passing defense.
Yes, the Redskins are in turmoil at the current moment. But that doesn’t negate the fact that opposing quarterbacks are averaging just 182.0 passing yards per game against them, or the fact that they have only given up four touchdowns through the air.
Granted, the four quarterbacks the ‘Skins have faced this year (Eli Manning, Bulger, Stafford, Josh Johnson) aren’t exactly elite-level signal callers (with the exception of Manning), but they certainly aren’t a considerable amount worse than Delhomme, who is currently rocking a 54.3 quarterback Rating.
5. Santana Moss—Wide Receiver—Washington Redskins
Moss has looked impressive the past two weeks, but those two games came against the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers—two of the worst passing defenses in the NFL.
The key to consider here is reliability. In four games this season, Moss has caught more than three passes and eclipsed 75 yards receiving just one time.
The Panthers rank 6th in the NFL against the pass (179.7 yards per game) and with defensive end Julius Peppers coming hard off the edge against a below-average offensive line, quarterback Jason Campbell is going to feel the heat and need to pull the trigger quickly. Owners are advised to look for a better option.
Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh
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