Disclaimer ... Before you start reading, understand that we are not in the business of stating the obvious and wasting your time (or ours), so you won't be reading here why you need to start Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you evaluate players you might be on the fence about.
|Cam Newton, CAR||vs. NO|
|Eli Manning, NYG||vs. SEA|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF||vs. PHI|
|Ben Roethlisberger, PIT||vs. TEN|
|Matt Schaub, HOU||vs. OAK|
We all remember the playoff game between the Packers and Falcons last year. Atlanta was the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and Green Bay was the wild-card team coming off a first-round victory at Philadelphia.
The Packers completely embarrassed the Falcons at home in a 48-21 victory en route to winning the Super Bowl. Matt Ryan was miserable in that performance with 186 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, and he was sacked a season-high five times.
But now Ryan gets his chance at revenge with the Packers coming to town Sunday, and he should have a much better performance. This is the matchup the Falcons have pointed toward all offseason.
It's why Atlanta mortgaged its future to move up in the NFL Draft to take receiver Julio Jones. The Falcons wanted to give Ryan enough fire power to compete with Aaron Rodgers, and we expect him to be ready with Roddy White, Jones and Tony Gonzalez all playing well.
Ryan has thrown for at least 290 passing yards in three of four games this year, and he has at least 19 Fantasy points in two of his past three outings. We also know he thrives playing at home, and he has 11 touchdowns and two interceptions in his past five regular-season games at the Georgia Dome.
The Packers also have been terrible in pass defense this season, allowing the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. All four quarterbacks to face Green Bay this season have recorded multiple touchdowns with Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Jay Cutler and Kyle Orton, and all but Orton has passed for at least 300 yards.
Now, the Packers are still creating problems for opposing quarterbacks with eight interceptions, and the Falcons offensive line has been a mess, allowing 13 sacks in the first three games. But even with some negative stats, we still expect Ryan to be outstanding based on the matchup at home in what should be an offensive bonanza.
This game is going to be fun to watch, and Ryan should have his best game of the season. He should be considered a definite starting option in all leagues for Week 5.
|Player||Fantasy Points (projected)||Fantasy Points (actual)||Start percentage|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills||25||7||64|
|Player||Fantasy Points (projected)||Fantasy Points (actual)||Start percentage|
|Cam Newton, QB, Panthers||20||33||42|
|Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys||19||25||56|
|Eli Manning, QB, Giants||20||22||46|
|Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys||11||15||61|
|Steven Jackson, RB, Rams||11||11||67|
|Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers||11||11||53|
|Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals||10||10||63|
|Player||Fantasy Points (projected)||Fantasy Points (actual)||Start percentage|
|Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers||20||7||73|
|Rex Grossman, QB, Redskins||19||7||21|
|Lance Moore, WR, Saints||10||5||50|
|Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets||13||3||77|
|Tim Hightower, RB, Redskins||12||2||85|
|Scott Chandler, TE, Bills||9||0||44|
|Player||Fantasy Points (projected)||Fantasy Points (actual)||Start percentage|
|Matt Schaub, QB, Texans||18||11||76|
|Nate Washington, WR, Titans||8||6||50|
|Fred Davis, TE, Redskins||6||3||41|
|Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens||16||2||25|
|Shonn Greene, RB, Jets||6||2||34|
|Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens||7||2||60|
|Dustin Keller, TE, Jets||8||1||58|
|Player||Fantasy Points (projected)||Fantasy Points (actual)||Start percentage|
|Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Titans||16||24||10|
|Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons||17||19||67|
|Colt McCoy, QB, Browns||15||19||5|
|BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots||9||14||50|
|Sidney Rice, WR, Seahawks||6||13||39|
|Brandon Lloyd, WR, Broncos||6||13||59|
|Owen Daniels, TE, Texans||6||12||64|
|Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos||7||11||22|
|Mark Sanchez, NYJ||at NE|
|Donovan McNabb, MIN||vs. ARI|
|Kevin Kolb, ARI||at MIN|
Cam Newton (vs. NO): As we told you last week in this spot, the reason Newton struggled in Week 3 against Jacksonville was because of the rain. In his three other games he has at least 28 Fantasy points, and he should find success again this week against the Saints. New Orleans has given up big games against Rodgers and Matt Schaub already this season, and Newton should be able to post quality stats this week to keep him as a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback. You should continue to start him while he's hot, and you should also look to trade him now in case he starts to struggle. But for this week, keep him in your active lineup.
Eli Manning (vs. SEA): Manning is coming off three impressive games in a row against St. Louis, Philadelphia and Arizona with an average of 266 passing yards to go with eight touchdowns and one interception over that span. This week he faces a Seahawks defense that he posted 290 passing yards and three touchdowns against. Seattle has only allowed three passing touchdowns on the season, but Ryan just had 19 Fantasy points against the Seahawks last week and Manning should easily reach that total.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. PHI): Fitzpatrick was miserable last week as the Start of the Week with seven Fantasy points, but he should rebound against the Eagles. Philadelphia has struggled the past three games against Ryan, Manning and Alex Smith, as all three have combined for 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The Eagles also are dealing with several key injuries on defense, including standout pass rusher Trent Cole (calf), who is expected to be out. In Fitzpatrick's two home games this season he is averaging 317 passing yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions, and he should get back to posting quality stats this week, with the majority of his production going to David Nelson, Fred Jackson and Scott Chandler.
Josh Freeman (at SF): Freeman played at San Francisco in 2010 and had a typical Freeman game with 136 passing yards, two touchdowns and 15 rushing yards, which comes to 18 Fantasy points. He should be able to reach that total this week again, especially if he plays like he did Monday night against the Colts. Freeman took what the defense was giving him and completed 25 of 39 passes for 287 yards and one touchdown and had 27 rushing yards for a touchdown. The 49ers have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in three of four games this year, and hopefully Freeman is now back as a starting Fantasy option after a slow start to the season.
Jay Cutler (at DET): We'll give Cutler another opportunity to prove himself since he could be needed as a starter this week as a bye-week replacement. He has a good history against the Lions, and he could be throwing all game in a potential shootout. In his past four meetings with the Lions, Cutler has 10 touchdowns and one interception with an average of 256 passing yards over that span. The Lions gave up 25 Fantasy points against Tony Romo last week, and Cutler has at least 20 Fantasy points in two games this season.
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. TEN): We all know Roethlisberger is not going to play at 100 percent with his foot injury, so that's one strike against him. His offensive line is another strike since they have allowed 14 sacks through four games, and Roethlisberger isn't getting time to look down the field. And the Titans have done a solid job in pass defense in allowing just four touchdowns and five interceptions, and Colt McCoy is the lone quarterback to pass for more than 200 yards against them. But McCoy needed 61 pass attempts to get 350 yards, and we don't expect Roethlisberger to throw it that many times. He should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback this week.
Matt Schaub (vs. OAK): Schaub faced the Raiders in Oakland last year without Andre Johnson due to an ankle injury, and he had 19 Fantasy points. He could easily reach that total again this week even with Johnson (hamstring) out again, but we'd be cautious putting Schaub in your lineup. He will likely do plenty of handing off to Arian Foster this week because the Raiders are No. 29 in run defense. If you're stuck with Schaub as your starter this week then hope for a similar performance against the Raiders like he had last season, but we consider him just a No. 2 option with Johnson out.
Kyle Orton (vs. SD): Orton could be on the verge of losing his job to Tim Tebow, so we'll find out if that pressure motivates him or he crumbles and eventually heads to the bench. This could be a rough week since Orton has a difficult history against the Chargers. In three meetings with Denver, Orton has just one game with more than 220 passing yards and has combined for three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Chargers haven't faced many daunting pass attacks against Minnesota, Kansas City and Miami, but Tom Brady lit them up in Week 2 for 423 passing yards and three touchdowns. Since Orton isn't Brady, we'll give the advantage to San Diego and consider Orton a reserve this week.
Jason Campbell (at HOU): Campbell has posted decent production so far this season with two games with multiple touchdowns and two games with at least 300 passing yards. Prior to the season, this looked like a quality matchup based on how Houston played in pass defense last year, but the Texans have turned things around on defense. They have allowed just Drew Brees to throw for more than 210 yards, and he's the only one to pass for multiple touchdowns against them. Campbell's best offense is handing the ball off to Darren McFadden, but you can expect his passing stats to be modest at best. He is only worth using as a bye-week replacement in two-quarterback leagues.
Andy Dalton (at JAC): Dalton has played like a rookie quarterback with his inconsistent production. He has two games with double digits in Fantasy points and two games with 10 points or less. This week he faces a Jacksonville defense that has been surprisingly good to start the season. The Jaguars, with the help of a rain storm, are the only team to keep Newton under 20 Fantasy points, and they forced Brees into more interceptions than touchdowns. Jacksonville also has five interceptions for the season, and they could force Dalton into a couple of mistakes. Even with the bye weeks, Dalton isn't yet trustworthy as a starting option in the majority of leagues.
Bust alert: Matt Hasselbeck (at PIT): The outlook for Hasselbeck improved with Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison (eye) out, but the Titans could do what most teams have done against the Steelers and just rely on their running game this week with Chris Johnson. Joe Flacco is the only quarterback to reach at least 20 Fantasy points against the Steelers, and they held Schaub to just 11 points last week. Hasselbeck has been amazing so far this year with at least 18 Fantasy points in all four games, but this should be his first poor performance. We only consider him a No. 2 Fantasy option this week based on the matchup, but hopefully he can continue his hot start following Tennessee's bye in Week 6.
|Stevan Ridley, NE||vs. NYJ|
|Isaac Redman, PIT||vs. TEN|
|Thomas Jones, KC||at IND|
|Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL||vs. GB|
|Willis McGahee, DEN||vs. SD|
Beanie Wells (at MIN): Wells continues to show that he's headed for a breakout season following his performance against the Giants last week. He had 27 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns one week after sitting out with a hamstring injury, but it appears as if he's back to 100 percent. He has a quality matchup this week at Minnesota even though the Vikings have done well in run defense the past two weeks since defensive tackle Kevin Williams returned from his suspension. But stopping Jahvid Best and Thomas Jones the past two games doesn't compare to Wells, who has three games with double digits in Fantasy points this season with five touchdowns over that span. Start him confidence and hope he remains healthy for the rest of the year.
Frank Gore (vs. TB): Gore showed in Week 4 at the Eagles that his ankle injury isn't a concern after he had 19 Fantasy points. It was easily his best game of the season, and he should have a productive encore. The Bucs are headed West on a short week after playing Indianapolis on Monday night, and Tampa Bay has allowed two running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year with Jahvid Best and Adrian Peterson. Gore struggled against the Bucs last year with just 60 total yards, but we expect him to be much better than that this week. He's back as a must-start Fantasy option in all leagues.
Darren Sproles/Mark Ingram (at CAR): We'd love to say start Pierre Thomas as well, but he's clearly the third wheel in this backfield. Sproles has become a must-start Fantasy option based on his play so far this season. He has three games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points, and he is competing with tight end Jimmy Graham as the MVP of the Saints offense. This week, Ingram has the chance to shine based on the matchup since the Panthers have been terrible in run defense all season. They have allowed four running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year with Wells, James Starks, Jones-Drew and Matt Forte. We can see Sproles and Ingram both finishing with double digits in Fantasy points, and they are worth starting in the majority of leagues. If you need to pick one, however, go with Sproles since he's already shown he can be a successful Fantasy option in all leagues.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. NYJ): Even though we expect and hope for a bigger role for Stevan Ridley, Green-Ellis continues to get the job done. He now has three touchdowns in four games, and he's coming off his best performance in Week 4 with 16 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown at Oakland. The Jets run defense has been a mess this year, and losing linebacker Bryan Thomas (Achilles' tendon) will hurt. They have allowed three running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points with Felix Jones, McFadden and Ray Rice, and Green-Ellis had 18 carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets at home last year. Look for Green-Ellis and Ridley to both play well, especially with Danny Woodhead (ankle) out or limited.
Shonn Greene (at NE): It could be a mistake to buy into Greene right now, but after coach Rex Ryan said the Jets will return to their "ground and pound offense" this could be the right time to trust him. It helps that he's facing a Patriots defense that has allowed four running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points the past three games with Ryan Mathews, Fred Jackson, McFadden and Michael Bush, and New England just lost linebacker Jerod Mayo (knee) for at least six weeks. Greene ran well against the Patriots in the playoffs with 17 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown, and hopefully he can duplicate that performance this week with center Nick Mangold (ankle) also expected to return.
Rashard Mendenhall (vs. TEN): There's a chance Mendenhall could play this week despite injuring his hamstring in Week 4, but we would keep him reserved. He's struggled so far this season at 100 percent, so there's no guarantee he will be productive when he's hurt. The Titans have only allowed one running back to gain more than 55 yards rushing, and that was Maurice Jones-Drew in Week 1. He's also the only running back to score a rushing touchdown against Tennessee, and Mendenhall has three games this season with fewer than nine Fantasy points.
Ryan Grant (at ATL): I'm not ready to trust Grant yet as a starting Fantasy option after he missed Week 4 with a bruised kidney, and James Starks has still been more productive. Grant has yet to find the end zone and Starks continues to see the field on all passing situations for a passing team. We expect the Packers to stick with the idea that the running back with the hot hand will get the most touches, and we still expect that to be Starks in Week 5, so start him if needed. Keep Grant reserved until he starts to prove himself on a consistent basis.
Kendall Hunter (vs. TB): Hunter is a great running back to stash on your roster, but as we saw in Week 4 against the Eagles, Gore is back as the No. 1 rusher for the 49ers. Hunter posted solid stats against Philadelphia with nine carries for 38 yards and two catches for 62 yards, but we're not expecting him to average 31 yards per catch on a weekly basis. Just continue to sit on Hunter for now in case Gore suffers a serious injury, as Hunter has plenty of potential to help Fantasy owners down the road. But in Week 5 he should be considered just a flex option at best in deeper leagues.
DeAngelo Williams (vs. NO): We hope that Williams is building toward a big game after he had 10 carries for 82 yards in Week 4 at Chicago, but we're not confident he will be successful this week. The Panthers will likely be trailing in this matchup with the Saints, which means more passing situations, and that would lead to Jonathan Stewart getting more playing time. New Orleans also hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 1, and Williams is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry with no touchdowns in his past five home games. Let him prove himself first before you consider starting him, even as a bye-week replacement.
Marshawn Lynch (at NYG): I know the Giants just got run over by Wells last week, and they have allowed 266 rushing yards and four touchdowns the past two games when you add in LeSean McCoy's performance in Week 3. But I'm not ready to count on Lynch as a starting Fantasy option just yet, especially in this matchup on the road. Lynch had a productive game in Week 4 against Atlanta with 11 Fantasy points, but he had just eight carries. And in his past five road games he is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry with no touchdowns and two fumbles over that span. If the Giants go up early in this game then Lynch won't have the chance to run the ball at a high level, and we could definitely see that scenario play out in New York.
Bust alert: LeGarrette Blount (at SF): We understand it's difficult to bench someone of Blount's caliber during the bye weeks, but if you start him just lower your expectations based on this difficult matchup. The 49ers are No. 4 in run defense at 74 yards per game and No. 1 in fewest Fantasy points allowed. They have yet to allow a running back to rush for a touchdown, and McCoy is the only running back to score against San Francisco -- last week through the air on a shovel pass. The 49ers have been able to contain Lynch, Jones, Cedric Benson and McCoy, and they should able to limit Blount even after he had 19 Fantasy points against the Colts last week. In last year's matchup at San Francisco, Blount had 26 carries for 82 yards, and that's the stat line you can expect from him this week.
|Jacoby Jones, HOU||vs. OAK|
|Victor Cruz, NYG||vs. SEA|
|Dexter McCluster, KC||at IND|
|Plaxico Burress, NYJ||at NE|
|Johnny Knox, CHI||at DET|
Jordy Nelson (at ATL): Nelson is playing well this year, and he should have another productive game against the Falcons. In the playoff meeting with Atlanta last year, Nelson had eight catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. He is coming off a great game against Denver with five catches for 91 yards and a touchdown on six targets, and he could see more passes in his direction if Donald Driver (shin) is out or limited. Nelson has become a must-start Fantasy option in all leagues.
Julio Jones (vs. GB): Jones comes into this matchup with consecutive games with at least six catches for 115 yards. He is still looking for his first NFL touchdown, but he's producing at a high level without finding the end zone. This game should be high scoring, and Jones has the chance for a third big game in a row since secondary receivers have hurt the Packers this year. Already this season they have allowed touchdowns to Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Brandon LaFell, Dane Sanzenbacher and Eric Decker. Jones should add his name to that list in what should be another outstanding performance.
Percy Harvin (vs. ARI): Harvin enters Week 5 against Arizona coming off his best game of the season in Week 4 at Kansas City. Harvin topped 100 total yards in the game for the first time on the year. Harvin, who has yet to score a touchdown this season, has an excellent history against the Cardinals. He caught nine passes for 126 yards last year against Arizona. And for his career, Harvin has 15 catches for 205 yards and a touchdown in two games against the Cardinals. Arizona has also allowed four receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points.
Eric Decker (vs. SD): Decker has become a must-start Fantasy option for owners in point-per-reception leagues, but he can be considered a quality starter in standard formats as well. He has at least five catches each of the past three weeks with four touchdowns over that span, and he has 32 targets in those matchups against Cincinnati, Tennessee and Green Bay. The Chargers have only allowed two receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points with Deion Branch and Dwayne Bowe, but they've also faced weak pass offenses in Minnesota and Miami.
Mike Williams (at SF): I'm giving Williams another chance to have a big game based on the matchup and his history with the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed three receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points and given up five touchdowns. And Williams had three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown at San Francisco last year. He has 10 catches for 109 yards in his past two games against Atlanta and Indianapolis, and he had eight targets against the Colts. All he needs to do is be more productive in the red zone for his Fantasy value to rise, and I have faith in him to be successful this week.
Deion Branch (vs. NYJ): The fun of dealing with receivers facing the Jets is trying to figure out where Darrelle Revis will line up. Against the Patriots, it's difficult for Revis to cover Wes Welker since he lines up in the slot, so look for Revis to take away Branch. Not that it's difficult to stop Branch, who has just one catch in his past two games against Buffalo and Oakland, and he had just four targets against the Raiders. Branch played well against the Jets in two meetings last year with a touchdown in the regular season and in the playoffs, but I'm not comfortable starting him in this matchup based on his recent lack of production.
Mario Manningham (vs. SEA): You can't trust Manningham now with the problems he's having with Manning and their communication and Victor Cruz taking his spot. Even if Manningham has a good game this week against the Seahawks, he still remains a risky starting option. He had just five targets in Week 4 at Arizona before being replaced by Cruz in two-receiver sets. Manningham also has struggled to start the season with no touchdowns yet, and Seattle has only allowed two receivers to score this year in Mike Wallace and Larry Fitzgerald.
Mike Thomas (vs. CIN): Thomas has played well the past two weeks against Carolina and New Orleans with 18 Fantasy points over that span, but this is a difficult matchup for him against the Bengals. Cincinnati has allowed only Decker to score this season, and last week the Bengals limited Steve Johnson to four catches for 58 yards. Thomas is worth starting as a No. 3 receiver in PPR leagues, but owners in standard formats should keep him reserved based on the matchup.
Nate Burleson (vs. CHI): I keep waiting for Burleson to have a big game, but he's heading in the wrong direction the past two weeks. He has just four catches for 28 yards in his past two games against Minnesota and Dallas, and he has yet to score this season. Titus Young looks more promising right now than Burleson, who had just six targets against the Vikings and Cowboys. In two games against the Bears last year, Burleson combined for four catches and 46 yards.
Michael Crabtree (vs. TB): I'm not buying into the Crabtree hype even though he played well last week at the Eagles with five catches for 68 yards. He still needs to show me more, and even though he has a decent matchup this week against Tampa Bay, I can't trust him as a starting option. He had one catch for 15 yards against the Bucs last year, and you never know when he might pull a disappearing act. Let someone else plan on starting Crabtree, but he's not someone I want on my Fantasy roster.
Bust alert: Steve Johnson (vs. PHI): The Eagles have given up big stats in the passing game the past three weeks despite not allowing No. 1 receivers to do much. That tells me Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are still doing their job on elite options. Roddy White and Hakeem Nicks were held to six catches for 48 yards and a touchdown in two games, and Johnson is coming off his worst performance of the season against the Bengals with five Fantasy points. Johnson is still worth starting in the majority of leagues based on his big-play ability, but he could struggle this week if the Eagles continue to lock down No. 1 receivers like they have so far this year.
|Jared Cook, TEN||at PIT|
|Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN||vs. ARI|
|James Casey, HOU||vs. OAK|
Greg Olsen (vs. NO): Olsen is off to a great start with 17 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns, and he clearly has a tremendous rapport with Newton. He has another great matchup this week against the Saints, who have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in the past two games against Houston and Jacksonville. Jeremy Shockey could also play a factor here against his former team, but Olsen is approaching must-start status in all Fantasy leagues based on his play to start the season.
Jermaine Gresham (at JAC): Gresham is looking like a breakout player this year with two touchdowns in four games and two games with double digits in Fantasy points. He has a good matchup this week at Jacksonville, which has allowed a tight end to reach double digits in Fantasy points in the past three games against Dustin Keller, Olsen and Graham. The Bengals are relying on Gresham as their main target in the middle of the field, and he's responding with quality outings. Fantasy owners should plan on using Gresham as a bye-week replacement but also as a potential starter for the rest of the year.
Brandon Pettigrew (vs. CHI): Pettigrew has shown the past two weeks that he should finish the season as a No. 1 Fantasy tight end. He's also on the verge of some big games. He had six catches for 64 yards in Week 4 at Dallas on nine targets, and he missed out on a potential touchdown due to a defensive holding call. He now has 17 catches for 176 yards in his past two outings, and he has a great matchup against Chicago in Week 5. The Bears have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends with four touchdowns allowed the past two games against Jermichael Finley (three touchdowns in Week 3) and Olsen. Four tight ends have also reached at least seven Fantasy points in Gonzalez, Graham, Finley and Olsen. Keep Pettigrew active in all formats.
Kellen Winslow (at SF): Winslow is struggling right now, and Fantasy owners are frustrated with his lack of production. His best game was Week 1 against Detroit with six catches for 66 yards, and he has yet to score a touchdown. He had six targets against the Colts last week, but he finished with just five catches for 33 yards. Last year at San Francisco, Winslow had four catches for 34 yards, and the 49ers have done well against tight ends this year. Jason Witten had seven catches for 102 yards against San Francisco in Week 2, and last week Clay Harbor scored a touchdown against the 49ers off a broken play. Start Winslow if you're stuck this week, but you might consider other options based on his lack of production.
Randy McMichael (at DEN): It's clear that McMichael is not going to come close to helping Fantasy owners replace the injured Antonio Gates (foot). He had just three catches for 25 yards last week against Miami, and that was in a good matchup. The Broncos have done a great job against tight ends this year, holding Gresham and Finley to a combined two Fantasy points. Hopefully we'll see Gates return soon because McMichael is not a starting Fantasy option at this point in his career.
Kevin Boss (at HOU): Boss has played well the past two weeks and is coming off a solid outing against New England with four catches for 78 yards. But the Texans should be able to contain Boss since they have done well against opposing tight ends. Graham is the only tight end to reach double digits against Houston, and he will do that to plenty of teams. Continue to monitor Boss and hope he keeps playing well, but don't consider him a bye-week replacement in the majority of leagues.
Bust alert: Dallas Clark (vs. KC): Clark has a great matchup this week against the Chiefs, who have allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year. But you can't trust Clark now with the way he's played as a result of Peyton Manning (neck) out. He has one touchdown on the season and has yet to reach double digits in Fantasy points. In his past two games he has combined for five catches for 58 yards. We hope that Curtis Painter can keep Clark involved and help his production increase, but right now it's hard to count on him as a guaranteed starter in the majority of leagues.
Titans (at PIT): Things are not good for the Steelers right now on offense. Their starting quarterback is playing with an injured foot and their starting running back might be playing with a bad hamstring. They have offensive line issues, and opposing teams are taking advantage. Three of the four teams to face the Steelers this year have finished as Top 10 DST options. The Ravens had 24 Fantasy points in a standard league in Week 1, the Colts had 17 points in Week 3 and the Texans had 15 points last week. Only the Seahawks failed to reach double digits in Week 2. Roethlisberger has been sacked 14 times on the season, and that was when he was 100 percent. Imagine how he'll do now when he's less mobile. Pittsburgh also has 11 turnovers on the season (five interceptions and six fumbles), and the Titans enter this game as the No. 5 overall DST in standard formats.
Jets (at NE): It's hard to bench the Jets DST because they do a solid job forcing turnovers and have the ability to score on defense and special teams. But this could be a rough week against the Patriots. The problem for the Jets is their pass rush has struggled with just nine sacks. In Week 4 against Baltimore they used No. 3 running back Joe McKnight to help their pass rush by lining him up as a defensive back and blitzing him off the edge. It paid off against Joe Flacco, but that's not a good sign if McKnight is considered a reliable pass rusher. Tom Brady is great when he doesn't feel pressure, and if the Jets can't get to Brady it could be a long day. You might consider using another DST option for this week.
|David Akers, SF||vs. TB|
|Robbie Gould, CHI||at DET|
|Ryan Succop, KC||at IND|
Nick Novak (at DEN): Novak has gotten off to a good start since replacing the injured Nate Kaeding (knee). He has six field goals in his past two games and four extra points without missing a kick. This week he goes to Denver, which is a good thing for opposing kickers. Sebastian Janikowski and Mike Nugent both made three field goals each in Denver, and last year the Broncos allowed 15 field goals at home. The Chargers should be able to move the ball at will and give Novak plenty of chances to score, and he's a great bye-week replacement if you don't own him already.
Rian Lindell (vs. PHI): This game between the Eagles and Bills has the chance to be high-scoring, but kickers haven't exactly fared well against Philadelphia in the field goal department. Most of their production has come on extra points, and you want to see threes from your kicker on a weekly basis and not ones. Josh Brown is the lone kicker to have multiple field goals against the Eagles, but Matt Bryant, Lawrence Tynes and David Akers have combined for one field goal on three attempts over the past three games. The Eagles have allowed a combined 21 Fantasy points to opposing kickers this season. By comparison, Ryan Succop had 20 Fantasy points in Week 4 against Minnesota alone as the high kicker for a week this year. Even though Lindell has multiple field goals in three games this season, he could struggle this week based on how kickers have done against Philadelphia this year.