Here is my expert opinion on who to start and who to sit in week 5 of the NFL season.
Emmanuel Sanders – WR Denver Broncos
The “Lightning” of the Broncos receiving corps has been electric that last two weeks posting 32.7 and 22.8 fantasy points, respectively. He has been targeted 13 times in each game, which almost doubles his teammates, Demaryius Thomas, 7 targets per game. Atlanta’s defense has given up a league-worst 13 passing TDs, making Sanders a viable WR1.
Isaiah Crowell – RB Cleveland Browns
Crowell has been the surprise of the season. Head Coach, Hue Jackson, who started as a running backs coach, has proven that he knows how to get the full potential out of his rushing attack. Crowell has been trusted with a higher workload (over 15 rush attempts each of the last 3 games) and has not disappointed going over the century mark twice and rushing for a touchdown in each of those games. The Patriots gave up 134 yards rushing to the Buffalo Bills last week, and if the Browns hope to compete at all with New England, they will need a big game out of Crowell.
Zach Miller – TE Chicago Bears
Zach Miller is a touchdown vulture with Brian Hoyer under center. He has three touchdowns over the last 2 weeks and will hope to continue that production against the Colts this week. With Kevin White being put on the IR and a young running back in the backfield, Miller is a must-start at tight end.
Matt Ryan – QB Atlanta Falcons
You cannot deny the greatness that Matt Ryan has shown thus far. He leads the entire NFL in 4 major categories: Yards (1,473), Touchdowns (11), Rating (126.3), and Completion Percentage (72.1 among starting quarterbacks). However, this week he travels to the Mile High City and must face a defense that hasn’t allowed more than 206 yards passing in a single game, and has yet to allow multiple passing touchdowns through 4 weeks against 4 very good quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, and Jameis Winston). Ryan will have a down week in Denver.
DeAndre Hopkins – WR Houston Texans
Hopkins has struggled with double teams in the past 2 weeks posting poultry reception numbers with 4 and 1, respectively. He squares off against a Minnesota Vikings defense this week that has given up the 3rd fewest fantasy points to receivers. Xavier Rhodes was inside OBJ’s head from the first snap and completely shut him down. I expect Hopkins to have another quiet Sunday.
Matt Jones – RB Washington Redskins
Jones is coming off of a season best 117 yards rushing and 1 touchdown against the Cleveland Browns in week 4. This week however, Jones will have to run against a tough Ravens defense that has only allowed 80.0 rushing yards per game which is good for 5th in the league. Unless Washington can build a lead early, Jones will be somewhat of a non-factor throughout the game.