Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: Lineup Advice, Stars to Exploit and Sleeper Options

Michelle BrutonFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball against Landon Collins #21 of the New York Giants in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 24, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It's Week 5 in the NFL, which has one big implication for fantasy football owners: Many players will be unavailable this week as teams start to go on their bye weeks. 

In Week 5, the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints and Washington will stay home, taking plenty of big fantasy names (Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, C.J. Anderson) off the table. 

Of course, injuries already threatened to do that, so fantasy owners might also consider this a welcome opportunity for some of their star players, like Jones, to mend. 

Still, bye weeks mean heavier reliance on the waiver wire. If you find yourself in need of sleepers to target this week or just unsure about which players to star, we have answers to all your biggest start 'em, sit 'em questions below.  

All stats and rankings are via Yahoo Sports for PPR leagues. 

          

Week 5 Lineup Advice    

QB Advice

Tom Brady vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Start 'em

Aaron Rodgers vs. Dallas Cowboys: Start 'em

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Start 'em

Carson Palmer vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Sit 'em 

Eli Manning vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Sit 'em

Andy Dalton vs. Buffalo Bills: Sit 'em 

         

Star to Exploit: Aaron Rodgers 

Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

Fantasy owners who selected Aaron Rodgers early have to be scratching their heads after four weeks of play. Rodgers uncharacteristically threw an interception in each of his first three games of the season and also lost a fumble. 

However, despite the early hiccups, Rodgers is still the second-highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy, with 102.94 points on the season so far, just behind Tom Brady. And his point totals have grown every week as the Packers offense gets hotter, from 18.54 in Week 1 to 31.06 in Week 4. 

Against Dallas, Rodgers has a strong matchup. The Cowboys have only nabbed two interceptions this season, and they've allowed their opponents to put up big points on them (such as the Los Angeles Rams' 35 in Week 4 or the Denver Broncos' 42 in Week 2). Rodgers could help the Packers do the same. 

        

RB Advice

Leonard Fournette vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Start 'em

LeSean McCoy vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Start 'em

Bilal Powell vs. Cleveland Browns: Start 'em

Eddie Lacy vs. Los Angeles Rams: Sit 'em

Jalen Richard vs. Baltimore Ravens: Sit 'em

Chris Ivory vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sit 'em

             

Sleeper Option: Wendell Smallwood

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 01:  Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers tackles Wendell Smallwood #28 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half at the StubHub Center on October 1, 2017 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles' Wendell Smallwood followed up a solid outing in Week 3, in which he accumulated 71 yards on 12 attempts for 9.0 points, with a breakout performance in Week 4. 

Against the Los Angeles Chargers, Smallwood carried the rock 10 times for 34 yards but also found the end zone, for a total of 17.90 points. 

Smallwood is going to be a better sleeper option in PPR leagues, as his carries will net extra points even if he doesn't find the end zone. That honor may still go to LeGarrette Blount, whom the Eagles rotated in with Smallwood in Week 4. 

But with Darren Sproles out for the season, there's no reason Smallwood should only be owned in 59 percent of leagues. 

      

WR Advice

Mike Evans vs. New England Patriots: Start 'em

Tyreek Hill vs. Houston Texans: Start 'em

Stefon Diggs vs. Chicago Bears: Start 'em

Nelson Agholor vs. Arizona Cardinals: Sit 'em

Cole Beasley vs. Green Bay Packers: Sit 'em

Kenny Stills vs. Tennessee Titans: Sit 'em

     

Sleeper Option: Allen Hurns

The Jacksonville Jaguars are still without top wideout Allen Robinson...so why is Allen Hurns only owned in 51 percent of fantasy leagues?

Sure, Marqise Lee is the Jaguars' No. 1 receiver in Robinson's absence. And you can't discount quarterback Blake Bortles' struggles. 

But Hurns has managed to perform quite nicely despite these apparent obstacles, to the tune of 46.60 points on the year so far. 

Hurns found the end zone in Weeks 2 and 3, but he failed to in Week 4 against the New York Jets. But he was targeted 10 times and is a viable option if you have injury or bye week problems (Julio Jones, anyone?) on your roster. 

                  

TE Advice

Travis Kelce vs. Houston Texans: Start 'em

Kyle Rudolph vs. Chicago Bears: Start 'em

Zach Ertz vs. Arizona Cardinals: Start 'em 

Martellus Bennett vs. Dallas Cowboys: Sit 'em

Delanie Walker vs. Miami Dolphins: Sit 'em

Hunter Henry vs. New York Giants: Sit 'em 

        

Star to Exploit: Zach Ertz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with Zach Ertz #86 after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 24, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsyl
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Don't look now, but Philadelphia's Zach Ertz is neck-and-neck with New England's Rob Gronkowski to earn the illustrious title of the highest-scoring tight end in fantasy. 

At 62.60 points on the year, Ertz is a little more than a point away (63.80) from catching Gronk's total.

Fantasy owners have to be delighted with Ertz's consistency through the first quarter of the season. His point totals have been as follows: 17.30, 14.70, 17.50, 13.10. And that's all been from pure pass-catching, not scoring, save for Week 3 when he found the end zone.

Not being a prolific scorer might put some people off from starting Ertz week after week, but if he's putting up numbers like those when he's not finding the end zone, don't you want him in your lineup when he does?

      

D/ST Advice

Minnesota Vikings: Start 'em

Philadelphia Eagles: Start 'em

Baltimore Ravens: Start 'em

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sit 'em

Dallas Cowboys: Sit 'em

Chicago Bears: Sit 'em