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2013 Fantasy Football: Week 5 Thursday Night Matchup & Sit/Start Advice

Well, one quarter of the NFL season is in the books, and it seems like it's going so quickly. Week Five is already upon us with this Thursday night's matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the surging Cleveland Browns.

Before we analyze this Thursday's game, here is a quick rundown of how our picks fared last week.


Matchups We Loved:

Quarterbacks:  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT: 383 pass YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT.....Joe Flacco, BAL: 347 pass YDS, 2 TDs, 5 INTs (ouch)

Running Backs:  Reggie Bush, DET: 139 rush YDS, 1 TD, 4 REC, 34 YDS.....DeMarco Murray, DAL: 70 rush YDS, 5 REC, 20 YDS....Doug Martin, TB: 45 rush YDS, 3 REC, 16 YDS....Trent Richardson, IND: 60 rush YDS, 1TD, 1 REC, 6 YDS.....Darren McFadden, OAK: 29 rush YDS.....Frank Gore, SF: 153 rush YDS, 1 TD

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends: Eric Decker, DEN: 5 REC, 88 YDS

Defenses: Texans DEF: 17 PTA, 5 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FUM.....Bengals DEF: 17 PTA, 3 Sacks.....Chiefs DEF: 7 PTA, 3 Sacks, 1 INT, 2 FUM, 1 TD.....Jets DEF: 32 PTA, 2 Sacks


Matchups We Hated:

Quarterbacks:Eli Manning, NYG: 217 Pass YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 FUM.....EJ Manuel, BUF: 167 Pass YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT, 1 FUM.....Matt Schaub, HOU: 355 Pass YDS, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

Running Backs:  Cleveland RBs: 82 Rush YDS, 7 REC, 41 YDS, 1 TD (combined 3 players).....Chris Johnson, TEN: 21 Rush YDS, 2 REC, 10 YDS.....Ryan Mathews, SD: 62 Rush YDS, 4 REC, 41 YDS

Wide Rceivers/ Tight Ends:  Larry Fitzgerald, AZ: 6 REC, 68 YDS, 1 TD.....Kyle Rudolph, MIN: 2 REC, 6 YDS

DefensesRedskins DEF: 14 PTA, 7 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FUM, 1 TD.....Bears DEF: 34 PTA, 1 Sack, 1 INT, 2 FUM.....Eagles DEF: 52 PTA, 1 Sack.....Rams DEF: 35 PTA, 2 Sacks, 2 FUM

We also hated the entire Jags team this week, and they proved us right by being terrible once again. The entire offense totaled only 205 net yards, on their way to scoring a measly three points.


Suicide Pick of the Week: 

The Cleveland Browns have burned me the past two weeks, as both weeks I've picked against them and lost. Well, as the old saying goes, "If you can't beat them, join them". That's right, I'm going with the team I thought would end up being the worst in the NFL after they traded Trent Richardson. They're hot right now, they have a great defensive unit and they get to go against turnover-prone EJ Manuel and a banged-up rushing attack. Brian Hoyer will go to 3-0 as a starting NFL QB when the Browns defeat the Bills on Thursday night.


Thursday Night Matchup:

Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns, Thursday 10/3, 8:30PM

Matchup We Love: Browns DEF
QB Brian Hoyer is making for a terrific story in Cleveland this year, but the biggest reason behind the Browns sharing a division lead after a quarter of the season is their defense, which has been top-notch. They currently sit third in the NFL in total yards allowed per game, and eighth in points allowed. They'll be going against an offense with a rookie quarterback who has been very mistake prone of late, and a running game that could be without both CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. It's all adding up to what could be a huge game for the Browns defense, and possibly a third straight win.

Analysis: If the Browns D isn't owned in your league, grab them and use them. If you own them, start them with confidence.

Matchup We Hate: CJ Spiller & Fred Jackson, RBs
CJ Spiller has been a huge disappointment so far this year. He's been unproductive, and has seen more and more of his carries handed to Fred Jackson. His disappointing season aside, the real problem here for both Spiller and Jackson is their health. I have a hard time believing that both of these guys will sit out, but the combination of injuries, a short week and a very good opposing defense should be a red light to their fantasy owners for this week.

Analysis: Start Spiller or Jackson if you must, but try to see if you can find a better matchup elsewhere. If you do use them, temper your expectations.

Key Injuries: CJ Spiller RB, BUF (questionable), Fred Jackson RB, BUF (probable), Jairus Byrd S, BUF (questionable), Mario Williams DE, BUF (probable), Stephon Gilmore DB, BUF (out), Chris Ogbonnaya RB, CLE (probable), Quentin Groves LB, CLE (doubtful)

Start 'Em: Brian Hoyer, Willis McGahee, Jordan Cameron, Josh Gordon, Browns DEF, EJ Manuel, Fred Jackson, Stevie Johnson, Bills DEF



Good luck on Thursday night. Don't forget to check all weekend for more matchups and sit/start advice. And as always, for advice on demand, check out the chat room.