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Five up, five down for Week 5

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Disclaimer ... Before you start reading, please 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, Arian Foster, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you make a decision on players you are on the fence about.

We have some heavy hitters on byes this week with Detroit, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Oakland all out of action. With quality players unavailable and injuries mounting up as they always do, here are five to start and five to sit as you get ready for Week 5.

Get 'em active ...

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals (vs. MIA)
Current own/start %: 92/39
I'd start him over: Ryan Fitzpatrick (at SF), Ben Roethlisberger (vs. PHI), Michael Vick (at PIT)
The Red Rifle is absolutely on fire right now with three straight games with three total touchdowns and at least 25 Fantasy points. During that span, Dalton has been a Top 12 quarterback in every single week and has been Top 6 at the position twice. In his three-game breakout, the Rifle has completed 70 percent of his passes and has thrown for 890 yards (10 yards per attempt) and eight touchdowns while adding a score on the ground to boot. He has arguably the best receiver in the NFL in A.J. Green and is piloting an offense that has to rely on the pass to move the ball. This week he gets a great matchup with the Dolphins, who have allowed at least 300 yards passing in three straight games while surrendering an average of 334.3 yards and 1.67 touchdowns passing per game during that span. Yep, the murderer's row of Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kolb lit up this overmatched secondary, so this week look for the Red Rifle to stay guns-a-blazing, making him a great start.

Other QBs with favorable matchups: Philip Rivers (at NO), Joe Flacco (at KC), Peyton Manning (at NE), Eli Manning (vs. CLE), Ben Roethlisberger (vs. PHI), Andrew Luck (vs. GB)

Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals (at STL)
Current own/start %: 92/45
I'd start him over: Fred Jackson (at SF), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. MIA), Chris Johnson (at MIN)
The only time we have seen Ryan Williams show any signs of life was in Week 3, as he rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries against the Eagles. With the Beanie Wells injury, Williams was the hot pickup for Week 4, but was a must sit against the awesome Dolphins run defense. Now we will get the chance to use Williams in our starting lineups as he faces the Rams in a Thursday night delight for Week 5. The Rams are allowing 135.2 yards rushing per game (seventh most) and 1.5 rushing touchdowns per game (second most) on 4.7 yards per carry (also seventh most). Every starting running back who has faced them has produced at least eight Fantasy points and three runners have produced at least 12 points. Both Kevin Smith and Marshawn Lynch have posted 20 points against the Rams, who are surrendering 19.5 points per game to opposing running backs this year, 11th most in the league. Last year in St. Louis, Beanie Wells ran for a career high 228 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. Williams won't do that, but he is a good bet to set his own career high this week, making him a solid No. 2 running back for your teams.

Other RBs with favorable matchups: Ryan Mathews (at NO), Frank Gore (vs. BUF), Matt Forte/Michael Bush (at JAC), Jamaal Charles (vs. BAL), Michael Turner (at WAS), Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. CLE), Alfred Morris (vs. ATL), Cedric Benson (at IND), Jackie Battle (at NO), Ben Tate (at NYJ), Kendall Hunter (vs. BUF)

Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers (at NO)
Current own/start %: 100/73
I'd start him over: Steve Smith (vs. SEA), Steve Johnson (at SF), Dwayne Bowe (at BAL)
After a fast start to his 2012 season, Floyd has cooled off considerably with just five catches for 75 yards in his last two games combined. Nothing gets a receiver back on track faster than a matchup with the Saints, who enter Week 5 having allowed six wide receiver touchdowns this year, fourth most in the league. For the season, the Saints have allowed three receiver groups to top 22 points and they are giving up 28.5 points per game, fourth most in the NFL. The Saints gave Pierre Garcon the best quarter of the year and in Week 4 they allowed a league high four wide receiver scores as Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings both found the end zone for the first time this season. The Chargers only threw the ball 23 times last week in their blowout win over the Chiefs, but this week they will have to put it in the air a ton to match fire with fire. No opposing No. 1 receiver has been held under seven points against the Saints this year and the opposing top target has a 75 percent consistency rate and is averaging a healthy 12 points per game. The opposing top receiver has scored or topped 100 yards receiving against the Saints in eight of the last 10 games, so Floyd makes for a great play for you on Sunday night.

Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins (at CIN)
Current own/start %: 78/41
I'd start him over: Michael Crabtree (vs. BUF), Anquan Boldin (vs. KC), Jeremy Maclin (at PIT)
Right now Brian Hartline is third in the NFL with 48 targets and has 25 catches (eighth most) for a league high 455 yards receiving. Hartline is one of only 10 receivers to see at least eight targets in every game this year and he already has two games of 100 yards receiving, including his career best 253 yards last week. Hartline is no doubt the hot waiver pickup in your league this week and with plenty of quality receivers on a bye in Week 5, he is absolutely worth a start against the Cincinnati Bengals. Take away the Jacksonville game, because we all know they can't throw the ball, and the Bengals have allowed two opposing top targets to score on them this year and they have given up an average of 22 points per game to the position. Hartline has produced in two of his four games this year and is certainly worth a start this week, as he has clearly developed into the go to guy for Ryan Tannehill. Last week, Hartline was the target on 19 of Tannehill's 41 pass attempts and you can expect him to be busy this week because Andy Dalton and the red hot Bengals will be putting points on the board. I'm not all in on Hartline just yet, but as a Bye Week Broski, I love him in your lineups for Week 5.

Other WRs with favorable matchups: Julio Jones/Roddy White (at WAS), Domenik Hixon/Hakeem Nicks (vs. CLE), Eric Decker/Demaryius Thomas (at NE), Lance Moore (vs. SD), Donnie Avery (vs. GB), Andrew Hawkins (vs. MIA), Davone Bess (at CIN), Brandon Lloyd/Wes Welker (vs. DEN), Antonio Brown (vs. PHI), DeSean Jackson (at PIT), Kenny Britt/Nate Washington (at MIN), Torrey Smith (at KC), Jerome Simpson (vs. TEN)

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Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings (vs. TEN)
Current own/start %: 82/51
I'd start him over: Martellus Bennett (vs. CLE), Brent Celek (at PIT), Jermichael Finley (at IND)
Many of our early season darling tight ends like Martellus Bennett, Dennis Pitta and Kyle Rudolph all abandoned us in Week 4 as the trio actually combined for no Fantasy points. Yep, we all scored as many points as those three combined last week, but while all should bounce back, the one I want in my lineup this week is Rudolph. There is only one team in the NFL giving up a 100 percent consistency rate (60 yards receiving or a touchdown) through five weeks to opposing tight ends and that team is the Titans. The Titans have allowed league highs in both tight end touchdowns with six (no other team has allowed more than four) and Fantasy points per game to the position at an absurd 17.25. Rudolph struggled against Detroit as the Vikings only attempted 26 passes and the stud tight end saw only five targets. Look for him to get back on track this week against the Titans and I expect he will make it four out of five with at least 60 yards or a touchdown this Sunday. Rudolph's next touchdown catch will set a new career high and I think the Titans are the perfect opponent to make it happen.

Other TEs with favorable matchups: Antonio Gates (at NO), Scott Chandler (at SF), Dennis Pitta (at KC), Fred Davis (vs. ATL)

Ride the pine ...

Michael Vick, QB, Eagles (at PHI)
Current own/start %: 99/56
I'd rather start: Philip Rivers (at NO), Andy Dalton (vs. MIA), Peyton Manning (at NE)
Vick has only been a Top 12 quarterback once this year and only Peyton Manning (back in Week 1) has finished as a starter against the Steelers second ranked pass defense, which is allowing just 200 yards passing per game. The Steelers are coming off of a bye week and that is bad news for Vick as the Steelers have not allowed more than 10 points in a game following their bye since 2007. The Steelers hope to have James Harrison back for Week 5, which could help them generate the kind of pressure they need to slow down Vick, who enters the game with a knee contusion. When you consider that Vick has accounted for five total touchdowns and nine turnovers things could be tough this week on the road, where Vick has really struggled. In his two road games, Vick is averaging less than six yards per attempt and has just two total touchdowns and six turnovers. Vick has not been a Top 12 quarterback on the road and is averaging just 12.5 points per game away from home in 2012 for what has been a stagnant offense. In fact, the Eagles have a grand total of 22 points on the road this year in their two games against the Browns and Cardinals. Given that the Steelers have had two weeks to plan for what should be a tough slugfest on the road for the Eagles, I would be nervous about starting Vick in Week 5.

Matt Schaub, QB, Texans (at NYJ)
Current own/start %: 98/46
I'd rather start: Joe Flacco (at KC), Andrew Luck (vs. GB), Andy Dalton (vs. MIA)
When you are not in the Top 20 in pass attempts per game or passing yards per game, it is tough to be counted on as a weekly Fantasy play. It is no wonder then that outside of his four touchdown barrage in Week 3 against the Broncos, Matt Schaub has not been a Top 12 Fantasy quarterback in 2012. So yes, even though he has six touchdowns in his last two games, I am sitting Schaub against the Revis-less New York Jets. The Jets have allowed a league high seven rushing touchdowns thus far and they are one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL. Their ineptitude on offense and their inability to stop the rush are major reasons why they have allowed only five passing scores all year and only one quarterback has topped 200 yards passing or produced 20 Fantasy points. This game smells like a blowout win to me for the Texans and Schaub could easily turn in a stat line like he did last week against Tennessee when he threw the ball just 28 times and had 202 yards with two scores. Is that solid production? Absolutely, but with guys chucking the ball all over the place, I'd rather take a higher-upside choice for my team in Week 5.

Other QBs with tough matchups: Ryan Fitzpatrick (at SF), Kevin Kolb (at STL)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN (vs. MIA)
Current own/start %: 100/80
I'd rather start: Ryan Williams (at STL), Steven Jackson (vs. ARI), Jackie Battle (at NO)
Who is the No. 1 run defense in the NFL? The answer is the Dolphins, who are allowing a league low 56.8 yards per game on the ground. They are ceding just 2.4 yards per carry, also best in the NFL, and no one has a run of longer than 14 yards against this defense. When you consider that no running back has run for 80 yards or averaged more than 3.0 yards per carry against this defense, it seems very impressive. When you add in the fact that only one runner has topped 50 yards against them despite facing Arian Foster, Darren McFadden, Shonn Greene and Ryan Williams (well the first two are impressive) and you get the picture: this is not a run defense to trifle with. The Law Firm enters Week 5 in a bit of a slump as is averaging just 65 yards rushing per game over the last three weeks despite taking 21.3 carries per game. His 3.04 yards per carry average during that span does not bode well for Green-Ellis this week against the 'Fins when you consider that it was all he could muster against the defenses of Cleveland, Washington and Jacksonville. This will be his toughest test this year and I am going to sit him down in Week 5 against the league's best run defense.

Fred Jackson/C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills (at SF)
Current own/start %: 98/48 ... 99/27
I'd rather start: Michael Turner (at WAS), Alfred Morris (vs. ATL), Stevan Ridley (vs. DEN)
If Miami is the league's toughest run defense, then the San Francisco 49ers are not far behind. This year, the 49ers have not allowed a single runner to reach 100 yards rushing or score a single touchdown against them. Running backs are averaging a league low 7.0 Fantasy points per week against the 49ers and only one runner has even topped six points against them. That runner was Adrian Peterson, who needed 27 touches to get to 10 Fantasy points in Week 3. With Jackson and Spiller splitting carries and injuries on the offensive line, they will really have their work cut out for them against the 49ers. After all, neither topped seven points against the Patriots last week and this will be a much tougher matchup. Keep in mind that only one running back has produced 100 yards rushing against the 49ers in their last 44 games and only they have allowed only two running back rushing scores in their last 22 games. With only two runners above 80 yards (AP and Marshawn Lynch) in the last 22 games as well, I'd take my chances elsewhere for Week 5. If I had to play one of these two runners, I would go with Jackson, who had 50 yards receiving last week against the Pats, but ideally I'd play Ryan Mathews and Jackie Battle and sit both Bills.

Other RBs with tough matchups: Maurice Jones-Drew (vs. CHI; but I am still starting him), Shonn Greene (vs. HOU), DeAngelo Williams (vs. SEA), Donald Brown (vs. GB), Mark Ingram (vs. SD)

Steve Johnson, WR, Bills (at SF)
Current own/start %: 100/80
I'd rather start: Danny Amendola (vs. ARI), James Jones (at IND), Donnie Avery (vs. GB) Clearly I am not all that high on the Bills offense travelling to San Francisco for Week 5 and really, I think tight end Scott Chandler is the best play on the squad. The 49ers have allowed five passing scores this year and four of them have gone to tight ends, while only one has been caught by a wide receiver, which is the second-lowest total in the league. That's why I think touchdown Steve Johnson is likely to just be Steve Johnson this week, which, based on his yardage totals thus far, means he should be kept on the bench. Through four games, Johnson has caught only 15 of his 36 targets (41.7 percent) for 195 yards and three scores. He is averaging less than 50 yards receiving per game and has a season high of just 61 yards. Johnson is producing only 5.4 yards per target and if it were not for his touchdowns, Johnson would be averaging just 4.5 points per week. That's not a risk I am willing to take against a 49ers defense that has kept Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Santonio Holmes and Percy Harvin out of the end zone so far in 2012. His touchdowns have been covering up his warts early in 2012, which the Pats exposed last week. I think it will be two tough weeks in a row for Johnson against the Niners, so I am benching him on my teams.

Some WRs and TEs with tough matchups: Justin Blackmon (vs. CHI), Brandon LaFell (vs. SEA), Andre Roberts (at STL), Marcedes Lewis (vs. CHI)

Good luck this week!

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Nathan at @nathanzegura .

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Player News
Bengals OC Hue Jackson still believes in QB Andy Dalton
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:45 pm ET) Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson missed quarterback Andy Dalton's Pro Bowl performance Sunday. Despite hearing about his 9 of 20 passing performance, Jackson said Tuesday to ESPN he still has faith in Dalton to get the job done.

"I'm not going to stop believing in him," Jackson said. "He's going to have to prove otherwise. I believe this guy has it in him. My job, my charge as I've said before is to have him do it on a consistent basis."

Jackson added he's seen the great Dalton and thinks it's something to build on.

"I see in the first three games of the season a guy that played with moxie and tenacity and aggressiveness, and who played extremely well down that 3-0 stretch," Jackson said.


Seahawks NT Brandon Mebane expected to be full go by April
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:15 pm ET) Seahawks starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane said the surgery to fix his torn hamstring went well, and he should be full go by April, reports the Seattle Times. Mebane's season was cut short after nine games. He finished with 20 tackles and a sack.

DT Kevin Williams could retire if Seahawks win
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:03 pm ET) Seahawks defensive tackle Kevin Williams did not rule out retiring if his team beats the Patriots in Super Bowl 49, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Williams, 34, is a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time First-Team All-Pro.

He played in every game this season, recording 22 tackles, three sacks and two pass breakups.


Bills' Roman: EJ Manuel getting clean slate with new coaching staff
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:41 pm ET) Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Tuesday during his introductory press conference quarterback EJ Manuel will get a fresh start with the new coaching staff, per WGR 550. Manuel was benched in favor of veteran Kyle Orton in 2014. Orton has since retired.

"I'm not going to get into specifics. but I definitely think he's done some very good things and displayed some good traits," Roman said. "We just have to get his level of consistency a little bit greater. Really, he and everybody else, once we get thru this evaluation process, we're going to have a very clean slate, once we get going because what they might have been asked to do or done in the past is really not relevant to what we may or may not ask them to do. So to sit here and pontificate about this that and the other, is a little premature."

Manuel is 6-8 as a starter over two NFL seasons. The 2013 first-round pick has a career 58.6 completion rate. He has passed for 2,810 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 15 games (14 starts).


Bryan Stork not a lock to play in Super Bowl
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:37 pm ET) Patriots rookie center Bryan Stork said he's working with the training staff in hopes of playing in Super Bowl 49, reports ESPN.com. Stork, who nursing a knee injury, has been limited in practice.

"Nobody's working harder than Bryan to play," coach Bill Belichick said.

Stork started 11 regular-season games but missed the AFC title game after getting hurt in the divisional playoff win over Baltimore. Ryan Wendell replaced Stork and played well in the 45-7 victory over the Colts.


Colts can void RB Trent Richardson's contract
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:27 pm ET) The Colts can void running back Trent Richardson's $3.18 million guaranteed salary for 2015 because he was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, reports CBS Sports' Joel Corry, a former agent who's an expert on player contracts.

Richardson, who missed a walkthrough before the AFC title game, received a two-game suspension from the team, general manager Ryan Grigson confirmed. If Indy chooses to keep Richardson, he'd serve the second game of the suspension next season.

ESPN.com expects the Colts to exercise their option to void Richardson's contract, and the players' union to challenge that move.


Panthers LB Thomas Davis says he's not close to retirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:17 pm ET) Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who turns 32 in March, is not contemplating retirement any time soon, reports ESPN.com.

“I lost two and a half years to injuries, but I also feel I gained two and a half years," said Davis, who underwent two reconstructive ACL surgeries on the same knee. "This was my 10th year and I’m going on year 11, and I still feel I have a lot of football left in me.’’

Davis has one year left on his contract, and he hopes to sign one more contract after that. Davis made 100 tackles this season after recording a team-high 123 in 2013.


Union challenges Goodell on Adrian Peterson's counseling requirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:16 pm ET) The NFL Players Association filed a legal brief saying Commissioner Roger Goodell's requirement that Adrian Peterson attend counseling was unlawful, reports ESPN.com. The union claims Goodell's disciplinary powers don't extend past suspensions, fines and contract terminations to counseling, the report said.

In November, Goodell suspended Peterson without pay for the rest of the season and said the Vikings running back cannot be reinstated until at least April 15. The move came after Peterson pleaded no contest to recklessly injuring his 4-year-old son last May.

In his letter to Peterson, Goodell set several requirements for reinstatement, including counseling.

"In order to assess your progress going forward, I will establish periodic reviews, the first of which will be on or about April 15, 2015," the commisssioner wrote. "At that time, I will meet with you and your representatives and the NFLPA to review the extent to which you have complied with your program of counseling and therapy and both made and lived up to an affirmative commitment to change such that this conduct will not occur again. A failure to cooperate and follow your plan will result in a lengthier suspension without pay."


Bucs QB Mike Glennon on the move?
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:03 am ET) With the Buccaneers holding the No. 1 overall draft pick, the team has its choice of quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. The Tampa Tribune says "some around the league" believe other teams will try to trade for quarterback Mike Glennon, and that Glennon could net the Bucs a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

Glennon played in six games this season, throwing for 1,417 yards and 10 touchdowns with six interceptions. The team's refusal to play Glennon "even after their slim playoff hopes faded" has many observers believing the Bucs are ready to move on from him, the paper said.


Lions see plenty of upside in WR Corey Fuller
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:38 am ET) The Lions are looking for a solid No. 3 receiver to supplement Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, and converted track star Corey Fuller could be the guy, reports the team's website. Fuller was Johnson's backup in 2014 and played in some multi-receiver sets, catching 14 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown.

“I think I had a big improvement coming in from last year to this year,” said Fuller, a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft. “If I just keep on progressing, who knows where I can go.”

Fuller, who brings a unique combination of speed and strength, said his main focus this offseason is improving his route running.

“The whole (route) tree,” he said. “Being able to expand the routes they throw me.”


 
 
 
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