Week 5 in the NFL provided some exceptionally high scoring games, resulting in some obscenely high fantasy scores. Someone in my league lost with 170.9 points, while I squeaked out my first win with 109. Among the high scorers on the week were bonafide starters such as Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas and Deshaun Watson. 40-plus points from players like that are to be expected, but what stood out were the fringe, flex options and bench players who went off. That list includes (but is not limited to) Matt Brieda, DJ Chark, Josh Jacobs and Will Fuller. All of those just mentioned were benched in my league, while scoring over 20 points, with Fuller putting up 53.7. There’s nothing worse than seeing double digits like that on your bench, especially when you started Phillip Dorsett with a resounding zero points. Here’s who you should start and sit this week to avoid that fantasy nightmare this week.
Start: Josh Gordon, NE
With his substance abuse issues seemingly behind him, Josh Gordon has been looking to untap that limitless potential he demonstrated during his early years with the Browns. Flashes (no pun intended) have been shown this year, most notably Week 1 against the Steelers with a 16.3 point performance. Since then he has been relatively inconsistent, as he’s bereft of a showing with more than 15 points. You may assume a lack of targets has been the case for that, however in the last three weeks combined he has accrued 26 targets from Brady. I expect that to continue this week at home to the Giants, but with more success due to a fantasy pass defense that ranks 29th. Fellow receivers Julian Edelman and the aforementioned Phillip Dorsett are both nursing painful injuries, which leaves Gordon as the Patriots only healthy wideout. Those facts, combined with Gordon having quite significant home road splits, makes for a perfect storm.
Start: Will Dissly, SEA
I would think this is rudimentary by now, but seeing Dissly starting in only 54.8% of fantasy leagues makes me believe otherwise. After 2.2 points in Week 1, due to an injury, Dissly has done nothing but produce. Averaging just under 18 points since the Bengals game, it is clear Dissly is (at worst) a top five tight end fantasy option. One of the most eye-opening statistics during that run is Russell Wilson completing 22/24 targets to Dissly. He is quickly becoming Wilson’s favorite target, especially in the end zone. I see people writing about Dissly as only a starter, contingent on whether he scores a touchdown or not. While that is a bonus that he more often than not provides, he put up a respectable 12.8 points last week without one. The Seahawks travel to the struggling Browns this week, who are incredibly thin in the secondary at the moment. Dissly is an absolute must-start in Week 6 and for the foreseeable future.
Start: Kerryon Johnson, DET
Kerryon Johnson has had a steadily increasing role in the somewhat flourishing Lions offense. Week 4 proved to be the culmination of all that with head coach Matt Patricia giving Johnson 26 carries in a loss to the Chiefs. He amassed 157 scrimmage yards in that game against a decent defense. The Lions had a bye last week, giving them significant rest time for this week’s opponent, the Green Bay Packers. I see this as a perfect matchup for a bell cow running back like Johnson. The Packers have allowed the third-most yards per carry this season, with opposing running backs having huge fantasy days against them. Jordan Howard and Phillip Lindsay put up 32.5 and 29 points respectively in back-to-back weeks against the Packers earlier this year. If the touches are there, the points will be too, behind a rested Lions offensive line versus this weak rush defense.
Sit: Stefon Diggs, MIN
In previous years, Stefon Diggs has been one of the most coveted fantasy receivers in the league. Despite “busting” in three out of five weeks and being the 57th ranked in his position fantasy wise, he is still a starter in 49.1% of leagues. I’m not sure how much I can blame Diggs for this as I can the Minnesota passing game as a whole. Kirk Cousins continues to not live up to his massive contract and that offensive line is just getting shredded. Last week was the best week Cousins and the passing attack has had all year, however Diggs was still an afterthought, with only 44 yards. The Philadelphia Eagles defense ranks 28th in fantasy points against for wide receivers, but the caveat is that they have a winning record. We all know what that means for Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense. Even if Cousins puts up big numbers, Diggs appears to be the third or even fourth option for him. As sad as it is to say, Stefon Diggs is closer to being dropped than started in my opinion.
Sit: Phillip Rivers, LAC
Phillip Rivers for whatever reason is just not a good fantasy quarterback. After two weeks without a turnover and around 20 points, I thought I could trust Rivers at home against a Bradley Chubb-less Broncos defense. I was repaid with no touchdowns, two interceptions and 4.1 points. I thought my QB nightmares were gone with Cam Newton. At 37 years old Rivers has shown an ineptitude of throwing the ball downfield accurately. A great portion of his yards come from copious amounts of yards after-catch from Austin Ekeler, Keenen Allen and now, Melvin Gordon. Rivers is so inconsistent as a fantasy product that he is way too far of a risk at such an important position. The Chargers invite the improving Steelers secondary to LA this weekend who, despite a rocky start, have allowed the 10th fewest fantasy points versus quarterbacks. The QB market is very deep out there so look towards a waiver wire acquisition such as Garner Minshew or Teddy Bridgewater instead of the aging Philip Rivers.
Tamir March is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.