Rotoballer's Lou Cappetta brings you comprehensive Sunday fantasy football advice so you can set your lineup with confidence .
Week 5 NFL Matchups: Fantasy Football Analysis & Sit/Start Advice
Thursday night's game is in the books, and once again the surprising Browns win. It's now time to check out the first part of our Sunday matchups, but first, a quick recap of our Thursday picks:
Matchup We Loved:
Browns DEF: 24 points allowed, 4 Sacks, 1 INT, 1TD, 1 RET TD
Matchup We Hated:
CJ Spiller: 66 Rush YDS, 1 TD
Fred Jackson: 53 Rush YDS, 2 TD, 4 REC, 40 YDS
Now, on to Sunday's match-ups.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants, Sunday 10/6, 1PM
Matchup We Love: David Wilson, RB
With the release of last week's starting running back Da'Rel Scott, the Giants have officially gone all in on David Wilson. At 0-4, the Giants have eliminated any ounce of competition for Wilson at his position, and now seem content to let the fumble-prone back sink or swim. Fortunately for Wilson, he has a very favorable matchup against a Philly defense that just had 50 points dropped on them. The Giants have proven that you cannot succeed in the NFL when the opponent knows what's coming. But with a two-time Super Bowl MVP at QB and two All-Pro wideouts, this one has all the makings of a high-scoring affair, and it's easy to imagine David Wilson getting a ton of opportunities to get his-- as well as the Giants'-- season back on track this week.
Analysis: David Wilson is still a gamble, but if he can't make something happen against a terrible Philly defense this week, he probably never will. It's now or never for the Giants' RB, and I have no problem if you want to take a high-stakes gamble on Wilson this week as a bye fill-in or a flex play.
Matchup We Hate: Both defenses
Yes, the Giants were shut out against Carolina, and neither team was able to do anything on offense against the Chiefs, but both teams have shown this year that they can put up points on offense... and allow points on defense. The Giants rank last in the NFL in points allowed per game at 36.5, and the Eagles, whom I correctly predicted last week would have 50 dropped on them by Peyton Manning and company, are not far behind them at 34.5 points allowed per game. This game has all the makings of an arcade-style shootout, meaning both defenses are in for long, long days.
Analysis: Neither defense should be owned unless your league is extremely deep, and maybe not even then. If for some reason you own one of them, you should avoid starting them this week. There simply has to be a better matchup on your waiver wire.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ St. Louis Rams, Sunday 10/6, 1PM
Matchup We Love: Rams DEF
If you didn't see this coming, then you haven't been reading these columns this year. The Rams looked to be a solid defensive pick going into this year, but have been disappointing so far this season. Well, a good cure for a team's woes is a matchup against Jacksonville, who is staking their claim at being the worst NFL team ever. But there's more in favor of the Rams here than just Jacksonville being terrible. The St. Louis defense is not great, but they do have a very good pass rush, and Jacksonville just traded their best offensive tackle to Baltimore. That could be a recipe for a bunch of sacks and turnovers. With the Rams recent struggles, they are almost certainly available on your waiver wire, and could make for a great bye-week fill-in option.
Analysis: Grab the Rams defense if they're out there. If you have held on to them, this is the week to play them.
Matchup We Hate: Daryl Richardson, RB
A strong sleeper candidate going into the season, Rams running back Daryl Richardson has been a huge disappointment this season. After four weeks, Richardson has rushed for only 42 times for 114 yards and has failed to reach the end zone. Now he's injured, and although he's expected to play, word out of St. Louis is that he's going to see a reduced role. Running back is not a deep position, and it gets even shallower once the bye weeks start, so it may be tempting to use Richardson as a fill-in or a flex play, especially since he'll be playing Jacksonville. At this point, however, you probably can find a better matchup elsewhere.
Analysis: Sit Daryl Richardson this week, and see how his role plays out from here on out.
Key Injuries: Daryl Richardson RB, STL (probable), Will Witherspoon LB, STL (questionable), Trumaine Johnson CB, STL (questionable), Cecil Shorts WR, JAX (questionable), Denard Robinson WR, JAX (questionable), Alan Ball CB, JAX (probable)
San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders Sunday 10/6, 4:25PM
Matchup We Love: Rashad Jennings, RB
Darren McFadden is injured again, and has missed practice all week, leaving his status for this Sunday's matchup up in the air. After Run DMC suffered his hamstring injury last week, Rashad Jennings came in and ran for 45 yards while hauling in eight catches for 71 yards. If he's available in your league still, grab him (he's still owned in fewer of 5 percent of Yahoo! leagues), as he makes a very interesting play this week against a Chargers defense that is below average. If McFadden misses an extended amount of time, which is very possible, Jennings also makes for a great pickup going forward.
Analysis: Grab Rashad Jennings ASAP, and use him this week against the Chargers.
Matchup WE Hate: Ryan Mathews, RB
Last season, the Raiders run defense was terrible, but they have been much improved so far this year. Fantasy-wise, they have given up an average of slightly more than 13 fantasy points per week to opposing rushers, meaning that once again this week, Ryan Mathews is a matchup we want to avoid. The Oakland defense aside, San Diego has shown that it will be a pass first team, even when it comes to it's running backs, and because of that, Mathews has been steadily losing touches to Danny Woodhead. Need another reason to bench Mathews? Well, in two career games against the Raiders, Mathews has 19 touches for 116 total yards.
Analysis: Sit Ryan Mathews unless you have no choice but to play him due to bye weeks or injuries.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans, Sunday 10/6, 1PM
Matchup We Love: Titans DEF
The Titans defense has been amongst the elite defenses so far this year. That has translated into fantasy gold for owners, as only the Chiefs and Seahawks defenses have scored more fantasy points than Tennessee after four games, and that's without the benefit that both the other teams had of playing Jacksonville. TEN is also owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues, so there's a chance you can still grab them. The Chiefs are a good team, but they're not the most explosive offense, and this game has all the makings of a defensive struggle. It's very possible that the two highest-scoring fantasy totals could come from the two defensive units in this game.
Analysis: If the Titans defense is unowned, grab them. If you have them, start them with confidence.
Matchup We Hate: Alex Smith, QB
Surprisingly, Alex Smith has been the sixth highest-scoring fantasy QB this year, besting even the guy who replaced him in San Francisco, Colin Kaepernick. He's been a hot pickup in most leagues, especially after bye weeks began and owners realized they couldn't rely consistently on Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger. Still, he has an extremely tough matchup this week against a defense that is top-notch. He's a risky play in what could be a low-scoring affair.
Analysis: Alex Smith makes for a risky play this week, so only start him if you must. If there are better option on your roster, or on waivers, use them.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers, Sunday 10/6, 1PM
Matchup We Love: Eddie Lacy, RB
Prior to his concussion, Eddie Lacy was the number one running back for the Packers, and a favorite by many to win Rookie of the Year honors. Lacy will more than likely return this week, and he comes back to a favorable matchup against the Lions. Detroit's defense has struggled defending opposing running backs, having allowed seven touchdowns to starting rushers through the first four weeks of the year. If finally healthy, Lacy has tons of upside, and could end up returning low-end RB1 value this week.
Analysis: Keep a close eye on the injury report-- if Lacy plays, he needs to be in your lineup.
Matchup We Hate: Lions DEF
Statistically speaking, the Lions defensive unit has been average so far during the first four weeks of the season. At times, they look terrific and ferocious. Other times, they make stupid penalties and get beat by players they shouldn't. I honestly don't know what to make of the Lions D, but one thing is for sure: there is no way I want to take a chance using them against Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. It's not rocket science-- the best QB in football, at home, who will most likely have his starting running back returning, sounds like a recipe for a long day for the opposing defense.
Analysis: Forget the Lions D this week; there most certainly is a better matchup on waivers.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for our remaining Sunday matchups. And as always, for advice on demand, check out the RotoBaller.com chat room.