Week Four of the NFL is behind us and now is about that time when you know whether or not your fantasy squad is the real deal. In the NFL, what we know is Tom Brady is now back, Odell Beckham Jr. is “not having fun” and Sam Bradford, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz and Trevor Siemian are all leading their teams to better records than last year’s MVP, Cam Newton. So as unpredictable as that is, I will tell you guys whom to start come Week Five.
Starting QB: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
I get it, there really isn’t ever a week that you shouldn’t start Aaron Rodgers. However with all of the surprise quarterbacks this year and Rodgers up and down throughout his first three games, I am here to make sure you don’t start anybody over him. Rodgers is coming off of a bye week, but the last time we saw him he was nearly flawless with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Rodgers is here to remind people that he is still the premier quarterback in this league. The morale of the New York Giants has to be down and Rodgers is going to take complete advantage of that. The Giants are coming off of two rough losses, their star player (Odell Beckham Jr.) has recently come out saying he is not having fun anymore and their franchise quarterback made some questionable remarks. We are seeing this Giants team slowly crumble in front of our own eyes and I believe that this two-time NFL Most Valuable Player is going to take advantage of that.
Sit QB: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott has been great and I will not take that away from him. He has yet to throw an interception in 130 attempts this year, which is an incredible rookie record. I don’t want fantasy owners to make the mistake of falling in love with Prescott too soon, however. As a rookie he is bound to make a mistake sooner or later and if it’s going to be any week, it may be this week. When it comes to points per game, Dallas and Prescott have only played one defense ranked in the top 50 percent this season. That defense was the New York Giants, which happens to be their only loss and Prescott’s worst game. He had only 10 fantasy points that game in NFL.com standard leagues. In Week Five, the fourth round draft pick Prescott is facing a real deal defense in the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are coming off of their best game of the year and are going to head into Dallas and take advantage of a rookie quarterback.
Start RB: David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals is coming off of his worst game of the year where he was only responsible for 10 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues, which is average but definitely not RB1 material. This week, I expect him to put on a show. Arizona was upset big time last week by Los Angeles, but Los Angeles’ running defense is a whole lot better than San Francisco’s rushing defense, which is ranked last in the NFL. Yes, Arizona is playing San Francisco this week. Since their Week One blowout win, the 49ers have lost three straight games in which they have given up 36 points per game, three rushing touchdowns and an average of 174.7 rushing yards per game to their opponents. If I were to read those stats to the offensive coordinator over in Arizona he would likely throw any pass play he’s drawn up straight out of the window and David Johnson would run the ball every time he’s on the field. So start David Johnson this week and for some other solid advice, don’t start San Francisco's defense.
Sit RB: Any New York Giants Running Back
As I mentioned previously, the New York Giants have been crumbling these last two weeks and that includes their rushing game in a big way. They have two running backs on the injured reserved list, one suspended running back and one running back going into Week Five listed as questionable. So that means that going into this week the Giants may have Orleans Darkwa as their RB1 and Bobby Rainey as their RB2. Darkwa is an alright goal line back and we haven’t really seen much of Rainey. Either way, did I mention that they’re playing the number one rushing defense in the league? They are playing the Green Bay Packers who have only allowed one rushing touchdown this year, as well as 1.8 yards per attempt and 42.7 yards per game. The inexperienced and somewhat skilless backfield of the New York Giants is in for a long week. You will be too, if you manage to start any running back wearing a Giants jersey.
Start WR: Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos
Emmanuel Sanders has been the Broncos’ biggest threat in the passing game this year with a pair of young quarterbacks under center. Sanders is coming off of two huge games totaling three touchdowns, 17 receptions and 205 yards. He has definitely found his groove, and in Week Five he will be facing arguably the worst pass defense in the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have given up 13 touchdowns through the air this year and over 300 yards through the air per game. I cannot see a defense that is performing that poorly slowing down a wide receiver who is as hot as Sanders has been of late. Sanders has averaged over 18 fantasy points per game in his last two outings, and I expect a similar performance this week.
Sit WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
DeAndre Hopkins is supposed to be a WR1 in most fantasy leagues, but has recently looked like a bench player to me. Last week he had one reception for four yards, which equated to zero fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues, and the week before he only managed five fantasy points. This week he is playing against the NFL’s toughest defense in Minnesota. The Vikings have stopped MVPs Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers from finding their favorite targets out on the field. They have also stopped two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning from finding Odell Beckham Jr. (who had his worst career game). I know they will stop Brock Osweiler from finding DeAndre Hopkins. The defense in Minnesota is virtually unstoppable and the way that Hopkins has played the last two weeks, I don’t see him leaving Week Five as a fantasy gem.
Bobby Farris is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.