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
Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys, Sunday 10/6, 4:25PM
Match-up We Love: Julius Thomas, TE
It's easy to love anyone Peyton Manning is throwing to these days, but we especially love the Broncos break out tight end this week. Yes, he did practically nothing in terms of fantasy points last week, and while the Dallas defense has been very good on paper (fifth most fantasy points among team defenses), they have struggled against opposing tight ends this year. In fact, Dallas has allowed more receptions and receiving yardage to opposing tight ends than any other defense through the first four weeks of the season. Even with all of Denver's receiving weapons, don't be surprised if Julius Thomas ends up with the best receiving numbers of the group on Sunday.
Analysis: Julius Thomas is a must start this week.
Match-up We Hate: Cowboys DEF
Remember above how I stated that Dallas is the fifth highest scoring fantasy defense so far this year? Well throw that out the window this week. Anyone who uses the Cowboys defense this week either hasn't been paying attention to what's going on this season, or is a relative of Jerry Jones. This is really a no brainer. Peyton Manning is a future Hall of Fame quarterback, who is not only off to his best start ever, he's off to one of the greatest starts of any QB ever. With the way Dallas is rolling, I'd be hesitant to even start the Seattle defense against them, so there is simply no way I'm recommending using Dallas's defense this Sunday.
Analysis: There are always plenty of defenses on waivers, and there simply has to be a better match-up out there than Dallas has this week.
Key Injuries: Eric Decker WR, DEN (probable), Champ Bailey CB, DEN (questionable), Miles Austin WR, DAL (doubtful), DeMarcus Ware DE, DAL (probable), Justin Durant LB, DAL (doubtful)
Start 'Em: Peyton Manning, Eric Decker, Demayrious Thomas, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Broncos DEF, Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten
Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins, Sunday 10/6, 1PM
Match-up We Love: Joe Flacco, QB
I picked Joe Flacco in this spot last week, and if you listened to me, let me appologize, as the Ravens QB ended up throwing five, yes five, interceptions. It may be a shock to see him here again, especially against a solid Miami defense, but hear me out. First, Joe Flacco is not a five interception quarterback, so I'm willing to chalk that up to just being a bad game. Second, Miami may be without Cameron Wake again this week, and we all saw how different the Dolphins pass defense is when Wake doesn't play. Nobody is going to confuse Joe Flacco with Drew Brees, but he makes for an interesting bye week fill in this week.
Analysis: Don't let last week scare you away from Flacco if your QB has a bye this week. Start him.
Match-up We Hate: Mike Wallace, WR
So far this year, Mike Wallace has 15 receptions for 176 yards and one touchdown. Those are pretty bad numbers for a guy many owners drafted as a high WR2. Those stats look even worse when you see that the majority of his numbers came in week two against the Colts when he had nine grabs for 115 yards and his lone touchdown. In the other three games he's played this year Wallace has failed to even reach 25 receiving yards, and his paltry numbers put him out of the top 50 receivers in fantasy football. At this point, Wallace has to be a candidate for the most disappointing player in fantasy, and can not be trusted as anything more than a low end flex play or bye week fill in until he turns it around. Throw in a match-up against the Baltimore defense, and there really isn't much to like here.
Analysis: Bench Mike Wallace unless you absolutely need to use him.
Key Injuries: Cameron Wake DE, MIA (questionable), Chris Clemons S, MIA (probable), Danelle Elerbe LB, MIA (probable), Lardarius Webb CB, BAL (questionable), Brandon Stokely WR, BAL (questionable), Jacoby Jones WR, BAL (questionable), Dennis Pitta TE, BAL (out)
Start 'Em: Brian Hartline, Lamar Miller, Dolphins DEF, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Torrey Smith, Ravens DEF
New England Patriots @ Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday 10/6, 1PM
Match-up We Love: LeGerrette Blount, RB
With the bye weeks underway, the already shallow running back position get even more sparse, meaning any rusher who may have any value needs to be scooped up of your waiver wire. LeGerrette Blount fits that description perfectly. The Patriots have shown the past two weeks that they plan on using somewhat of a three running back committee, and Blount has been the biggest benefactor of the timeshare. Over the past two weeks, Blount (23 rushes, 129 yards, 1 TD) has actually outperformed Stevan Ridley (22 rushes, 88 yards) in an equal amount of touches. Now that Ridley has been ruled out of the game and Brandon Bolden is questionable, Blount becomes a must own player, and a very good start against a defense that ranks 21st against the rush this year. There's always a chance that the Pats will go throw heavy with Ridley out, but remember, unless Danny Amendola and Gronk play, they probably don't have the personnel to go that route.
Analysis: Both LeGerrette Blount and Brandon Bolden are owned in fewer than half of all Yahoo! and ESPN leagues. With Ridley ruled out, both become must own players. Blount is the guy to start this week, as he'll probably see the majority of Ridley's touches.
Match-up We Hate: Bengals DEF
The Bengals defense has shown signs of being very good and turnover hungry, but they are going against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick this week, and that can be a recipe for disaster. Even now that the Patriots are a more conservative offense that doesn't blow up the scoreboard, opposing defenses still don't put up huge fantasy numbers against them. The Patriots are simply to smart to make mistakes on offense, and they very rarely turn the ball over. The Bengals will be an average defense this week at best, and there surely are better match-ups out there on your waiver wire.
Analysis: Sit the Bengals defense and look for a better match-up elsewhere.
Key Injuries: Stevan Ridley RB, NE (out), Rob Gronkowski TE, NE (questionable), Danny Amendola WR, NE (questionable), Jerod Mayo LB, NE (questionable), Kenbrell Thompkins WR, NE (questionable), Aaron Dobson WR, NE (questionable), Leon Hall CB, CIN (doubtful), James Harrison LB, CIN (probable)
Start 'Em: Tom Brady, LeGerrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Julian Edelman, Patriots DEF, Andy Dalton, AJ Green, Giovanni Bernard, BenJarvis Green-Ellis
Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals, Sunday 10/6 1PM
Match-up We Love: Greg Olsen, TE
He's not flashy, but Carolina tight end Greg Olsen is a very consistent performer, and a very solid fantasy tight end. His solid production could see a spike this week in a very favorable match-up against an Arizona defense that has allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends so far this year. Don't expect him to turn into Gronk, but Olsen should be in for some very good production Sunday.
Analysis: Start Olsen with confidence.
Match-up We Hate: Carson Palmer, QB
Now that the bye weeks are here, this is the time when you'll begin seeing guys like Carson Palmer in starting line-ups. I was big on Carson palmer coming into this year, and after a very good first game, I thought I was right. However, a combination of a banged up Larry Fitzgerald, an offensive line that has been pretty poor in pass protection, and some tough match-ups has lead to Palmer averaging fewer than 10 fantasy points over the last three weeks. He faces another tough match-up against A Carolina defense that is fresh off a bye, and a shutout of Eli Manning and the Giants. If you need a QB, it may be wise to look elsewhere.
Analysis: Leave Palmer alone this week, and look for a better QB match-up elsewhere.
Key Injuries: Darnell Dockett DT, AZ (questionable), D.J. Moore CB, CAR (out)
Start 'Em: Cam Newton, DeAngelo WIlliams, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, Panthers DEF, Larry Fitzgerald Michael Floyd, Rashard Mendenhall
Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts, Sunday 10/6, 1PM
Match-up We Love: Coby Fleener, TE
It's hard to argue starting anyone against Seattle's league-best defense, but maybe the only are of weakness for the Seahawks defensive unit has come against opposing tight ends, who have averaged double digit fantasy point totals so far this year. Fleener's stock is on the rise, and he is now the unquestioned No. 1 tight end target for Andrew Luck. With the stout Seattle secondary, Luck could be checking down to Fleener all day long Sunday, making him a must start this week.
Analysis: Start Coby Fleener with confidence this week.
Match-up We Hate: Reggie Wayne, WR
Although tight ends have put up solid numbers against the Seahawks D, opposing wide receivers have done just the opposite. In fact, the best secondary in the NFL has held opposing wideouts to the lowest fantasy points per week of any defense. For Reggie Wayne, that could be bad news, as he's already gotten off to a very inconsistent start this year. Wayne was predicted to be a low-end WR1 or high-end WR2, so it may be hard to bench him, but at the deepest position in the game, you should be able to find a solid replacement with a better match-up.b
Analysis: Start Wayne if you must, but temper expectations.
Key Injuries: Ahmad Bradshaw RB, IND (out), Laron Landry S, IND (out), Marshawn Lynch RB, SEA (probable)
Start 'Em: Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Seahawks DEF, Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, Coby Fleener, TY Hilton
New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears, Sunday 10/6 1PM
Match-up We Love: Darren Sproles, RB
Darren Sproles has been fantasy gold so far this year, especially in a PPR format, and that trend should continue against the Bears Sunday. The Bears defense is very good, but the Cover 2 scheme they play suits the underneath throws perfectly, and that's where Sproles makes his living. The Bears secondary will have their hands full with Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston, meaning Sproles could find himself working in space all day. Don't be shocked if he ends up being the Saints' most productive receiving option on Sunday.
Analysis: Don't let the Bears defense scare you into sitting Sproles this week. Start him with confidence.
Match-up We Hate: Bears DEF
I like the Bears defense a lot, but not to the point where they are an automatic start for me each week. This particular match-up against the Saints worries me. The Saints offense is clicking, the Bears defense still has a banged up Charles Tillman, and Sean Payton's personnel is perfectly suited to exploit a Cover 2 defense. The Bears defense could come out and play well, but after watching what the Saints did to Miami last Monday, that's not a risk I'd want to take.
Analysis: Look for a better match-up if there's one still out there. Sit the Bears defense this week.
Key Injuries: Charles Tillman CB, CHI (questionable), Brandon Marshall WR, CHI (probable), Julius Peppers DE, CHI (probable), Martellus Bennett TE, CHI (probable), Lance Moore WR, NO (out), Mark Ingram RB, NO (out)
Start 'Em: Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, Alshon Jeffery