Fantasy Football: Week 5 start/sit

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) raises his fist as he leaves the field, at the end an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Bucs defeated the Bears 29-7. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) raises his fist as he leaves the field, at the end an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Bucs defeated the Bears 29-7. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Last week’s sits were Ben Roethlisberger, Marshawn Lynch and Amari Cooper, and each had dreadful fantasy weeks. Roethlisberger landed outside the top 20 quarterbacks in fantasy scoring. Lynch had an incredibly ineffective day, rushing for only 12 yards on nine carries. Cooper caught just two passes for nine yards.

The starts were Carson Palmer, Tarik Cohen and Adam Thielen, and each were average, but a bit underwhelming. Palmer had a decent week, passing for 357 yards and finishing just outside the top 12 quarterbacks. Cohen rushed for 24 yards and caught four passes for 24 more yards while Thielen had five receptions for 59 yards.

Here we go with Week 5:

Start: QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The New England Patriots have quickly become a must-start matchup for quarterbacks. The Pats’ passing defense is ranked dead last in both yards and touchdowns. They have given up gigantic weeks to Alex Smith, Drew Brees, Deshaun Watson and Cam Newton so far this season, and Winston is going to have a similar fate. The Bucs’ quarterback put up 332 yards and three touchdowns against the Giants last week and he needs to be in every single fantasy lineup this Sunday.

Sit: QB Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs just keep on winning and Smith continues to be a reliable fantasy asset, ranking as the No. 2 quarterback in fantasy scoring through four weeks. This week, he runs into a tough matchup, going on the road to play the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football. Houston has a top 10 passing defense this year, holding opposing quarterbacks to under 200 yards per game. Smith is still a relatively safe play this week and won’t completely bust, but expect him to fall outside the top 12 QBs in Week 5.

Start: RB Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are getting their first-round center Ryan Kelly back this week after sitting out since early August with a foot injury. Kelly should help an offense that ranks 25th in rushing yards so far this season. A matchup with San Francisco 49ers also helps, a team with an average rushing defense that just happens to be where Gore spent most of his career. Gore is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry this season, but in a game where the Colts are favored and not coming from behind, I think Gore gets much more opportunity for success.

Sit: RB Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns

As a big believer in Crowell before the season and heavily invested in him in my leagues, this one hurts. Crowell has a great matchup against the Jets, probably the best he will ever have, but you just can’t trust him. Crowell is averaging 2.9 yards per carry and is slowly losing his role to Duke Johnson. I have no confidence in starting Crowell, and if he can’t perform this week, you might not be able to start him the rest of the season.

Start: WR DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In case you missed the quarterback section of this column and the first four weeks of the NFL season, the Patriots’ passing defense is atrocious. Jackson, Mike Evans and maybe even Adam Humphries will feast in this matchup. The over/under for this game is an abnormally high 56 points, the most expected points in the league this week. New England has conceded big weeks to similar speedy receivers Tyreek Hill and Bruce Ellington, Jackson will do the same.

Sit: WR Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles

In the past three weeks, the Arizona Cardinals, led by star cornerback Patrick Peterson, have held T.Y. Hilton to four catches for 49 yards, Dez Bryant to two catches for 12 yards and Pierre Garcon to four catches for 36 yards. No. 1 wide receivers have not fared well against Arizona, to say the least. Jeffery scored a touchdown last week but only caught three passes, and he only has one game this season with more than four receptions. He’ll likely have a rough game against the Cardinals.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.