Fantasy Football Week 5: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em, Lineup Advice, Injury Reports, More
Week 5 of fantasy football starts today, and you're probably scrambling to make last-minute adjustments before the first game beings.
Lucky for you, I get up early.
I'll be here right up until the 1 o'clock games begin providing Start 'Em, Sit 'Em advice and injury reports to give you the edge in Week 5.
So let's get started.
Read on to find the most up-to-date fantasy news and advice.
Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells will be a great option as a starter for this week's matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints defense has given up about 140 rushing yards per game, and they are currently ranked No. 26 in the league.
Plus, the Cardinals will be playing with an inexperienced quarterback, which means a conservative offense.
Meaning: More carries for running backs. Wells will share looks with fellow running back Tim Hightower, but we can expect Wells to be the more productive back.
Don't let the Cardinals' performance earlier this season get you down. Start Beanie Wells.
Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is listed as probable for today's game against the Chicago Bears after an illness caused him to miss Wednesday's practice.
I don't have any specifics in his illness, but he was back in practice on Thursday and Friday, so expect Williams to start against the Bears.
The Bears will be tough defending against the rush, but with rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen at the helm of the Carolina Panthers offense, we can count on DeAngelo Williams to get quite a few carries on a relatively conservative offense.
As Clausen becomes more comfortable at quarterback, we could see a decline in Williams' production, but that isn't happening today.
Start Williams against the Panthers.
Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson has been cleared to play in today's game against the New York Giants.
Johnson sustained an ankle injury earlier this season, but he will be good to go today.
The New York Giants have been pretty strong against wide receivers, but Reggie Wayne and Steve Smith were able to rack up some yardage against this Giants defense.
The Texans have been relying on their running game with Arian Foster having a breakout season, but let's not forget that Houston quarterback Matt Schaub is not afraid to air out the ball.
Start Andre Johnson this weekend.
New York Giants running back is listed as questionable for today's game against the Houston Texans, but he says he'll play.
Bradshaw had a limited practice on Friday, but his ankle injury shouldn't keep him from starting today. The Texans have been pretty generous in allowing running backs to gain yardage (they're ranked No. 8 in the league in yards allowed to running backs).
I expect Bradshaw to get the majority of the carries on this New York offense, and he will be more than productive for your fantasy team. Expect well over 100 yards and a couple of touchdowns from this running back.
I know it's hard to bring yourself to start any Buffalo Bills player in your fantasy league, but trust me on this one.
The Bills really aren't as bad as their record, and they have a quarterback that doesn't get enough credit.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has a very favorable matchup against a pretty weak Jacksonville defense.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are ranked No. 30 in the league in passing defense, and I expect the Bills to earn their first win of the season today.
Fitzpatrick should be available in your league, and he would be a solid option to substitute when your starter has a bye or if he gets injured.
Again, this AFC West matchup could be anybody's game, so don't underestimate any one of the Raiders for today's game.
Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush would be a great pickup for this week against the San Diego Chargers. Bush will be taking over the starting job after a hamstring injury to Darren McFadden.
This game will be a real test for Bush, but if he is productive this weekend, we will see him getting more and more looks throughout the season.
If Bush is still available, pick him up as a good No. 2 running back on your team.
If you're looking for a reliable quarterback, look no further than Kyle Orton of the Denver Broncos.
Orton has been extremely productive at the helm of the Denver offense, and he is emerging as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Sorry Tim Tebow, but it looks like you’re going to have to wait your turn.
Even though the Broncos will be facing a very tough Baltimore Ravens defense, I still like the matchup for Orton.
I'm predicting a Ravens win, but Kyle Orton will still be more than productive in your fantasy league. Start him unless your other quarterback is Peyton Manning. Period.
Austin Collie is listed as questionable this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, but I think he'll start.
And I think he'll make some big plays. The Colts do not want to add another loss to their record, and the Indy offense will pull out all stops against the Chiefs.
Collie has developed a very strong relationship with quarterback Peyton Manning, and, if healthy, he will play a big part in handing the Chiefs their first loss.
So start Collie if you have him, and he won't disappoint you this weekend.
Also, if you have the Kansas City defense (not that you would ever start them anyway), make sure you start anyone else this week.
When AFC West rivals San Diego and Oakland meet, anything could happen, but I think the matchup works in favor of Chargers fullback Mike Tolbert.
The Oakland Raiders have had quite a bit of trouble defending against the run, and Mike Tolbert has been doing work on the Chargers' offense. Even with Ryan Mathews listed as the starter, Tolbert has shown that he is just as important.
According to CBSSports, only six other running backs in the NFL have scored more touchdowns than Mike Tolbert, and he will continue to put up some nice numbers this week.
Mike Tolbert is a must-start against the Oakland Raiders in Week 5.
Has anyone else been pleasantly surprised by the Washington Redskins this season? This week will really decide which team will top the NFC East, and I'm putting my money on Washington.
Look out for Washington Redskins running back Ryan Torain against the Green Bay Packers. Torain proved himself against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, so we can expect him to get even more looks this week.
The Packers are ranked No. 24 in rush defense, so this matchup will be extremely favorable for Ryan Torain owners. Start his this week against Green Bay.
Torain may have already been picked up in your league, but he's worth a shot.
That's right. He's out again. Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno is having trouble recovering from a hamstring injury, and he will be missing yet another game this week.
Hold onto Moreno if you want, but don't expect to start him next week either. The Broncos will take on the New York Jets in Week 6, and Knowshon Moreno will not be very productive against the Jets' D.
Looking for a replacement?
Try picking up Javon Ringer of the Tennessee Titans against the Dallas Cowboys. The Titans will be relying on Ringer to take some of the pressure off of Chris Johnson, so he could be a nice option at running back this week.
Cleveland Browns breakout star running back Peyton Hillis suffered a thigh injury during practice this week. He is listed as "questionable," but he has told reporters that he expects to start today against the Atlanta Falcons.
Hillis has been phenomenal so far this season, and he will be the main threat on the Cleveland offense if he remains healthy.
I will keep you posted with any last-minute injury reports on Peyton Hillis, but for now, expect to start him against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons have been tough against the run, but Hillis is no ordinary running back. Look for Hillis to put up over 100 yards again this week.
This Carolina Panthers wide receiver suffered an ankle injury last week against the New Orleans Saints, and he will be out for this week's matchup against the Chicago Bears.
The Panthers have a bye next week, and I expect Steve Smith to be back in Week 7.
Hold onto Smith until he gets better, and hopefully Jimmy Clausen will develop some more confidence on offense and start giving Smith more looks.
Looking for a replacement?
You could try Tennessee Titan Kenny Brit this week against the Dallas Cowboys.
Try Stephen Williams of the Arizona Cardinals against the New Orleans Saints.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice should be back to 100 percent today against the Denver Broncos. Rice was limited in his Week 4 play, but we expect him to be back in fighting shape in Week 5.
The problem here isn't Rice's health; it is his matchup against the Broncos. Denver has a very strong rush defense, so the Broncos could limit Rice's productivity today.
The only thing that could help Rice to put up some impressive numbers would be Joe Flacco's developing passing confidence. The young quarterback has taken the Baltimore offense to the next level, and Denver will have to defend against serious threats in both rushing and passing.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been ruled out for this week's game against the Carolina Panthers after sustaining a head injury against the New York Giants in Week 4.
Cutler's absence from this game will be more of a precautionary move, and we can expect to see him back in action against Seattle next week.
Looking for a replacement for Cutler?
You could try starting Sam Bradford against the Detroit Lions or even Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Jacksonville Jaguars (I know it will be hard for you to start anyone from the Bills, but trust me on this one).