Do you have lineup questions? We got answers, week 5 of the NFL season is here and the fantasy season is in full swing. Several star players were injured in week 4 meaning it’s time to find some helpful waiver wire options. Here, I’ll do my best to help you navigate those tough fantasy football start and sit decisions in Week 5.
READ MORE: Post-Week 4 Power Rankings
Fantasy Football Start and Sit for Week 5
Quarterback Starts: Tom Brady and Joe Burrow
Tom Brady has gotten off to a rough start this season, he currently sits at QB16 on the season. Although the Bucs lost in Week 4, they got healthy in the receiving core with Chris Godwin and Julio Jones returning from injury. Mike Evans also returned from his one-game suspension.
Tampa Bay route percentages from Week 4:
🔺Mike Evans – 92%
🔺Chris Godwin – 85%
🔺Russell Gage – 62%
🔺Julio Jones – 32%
🔺Coke Beasley – 7.5%
Good to see Godwin immediately stepping back into a full time role.
The WR3 role is sadly a committee for now.
— preston (@FF_Engineer_) October 4, 2022
In Week 5 Brady will see a Falcons defense that is bottom 10 in passing yards and points allowed. The Falcons are also bottom 10 in adjusted sack rate according to Football Outsiders. In Tom Brady’s career, he has a 28-4 TD-INT ratio and averages over 300 yards per game against the Falcons. Since joining the Bucs, Brady has had 15 TDs and averages over 350 yards per game against the Falcons in four games.
Joe Burrow was sacked 13 times in the first two games of the season but has only taken three since then. The Bengal’s passing offense has settled down some and is slowly getting going. This week Burrow will see a Baltimore Ravens defense that is struggling to rush the passer. The Ravens are top 10 in running back stuff rate and bottom 10 in adjusted sack rate. This usually is a formula for a high percentage passing game. The Ravens are also bottom 10 in yards allowed to number one and number two receivers this season. Last season Burrow threw for over 900 yards and had five touchdowns in two games against the Ravens.
Quarterback Sits: Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan
Matthew Stafford was a fantasy football sit last week and we got that one right, so there’s no reason to start him in Week 5. Stafford finished as QB29 after a zero touchdown two turnover game against the 49ers. Stafford has struggled this season but so has Rams entire offense. The Los Angeles offense ranks bottom ten in adjusted sack rate and yards per carry. That is a bad combination against a Cowboys defense that is number one in the league in adjusted sack rate this season. The Rams are far from the explosive team that they were last year, the Rams don’t have a pass play longer than 32 yards this season. If you can, let Stafford sit this week out.
Matt Ryan has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league this season and the Colts have been one of the worst offenses in the league so far this year. Ryan hasn’t shown chemistry with his receivers up to this point and the Colts offensive line isn’t the same as its been in previous years. Struggles in the running game and also the idea that Jonathan Taylor could miss this game in Week 5 has Ryan on the sit list. Playing against the Broncos on the road on a Thursday night doesn’t help either.
Running Back Starts: James Robinson and Rhamondre Stevenson
James Robinson has come back from his torn Achilles and is better than ever. He struggled in Week 4 against the Eagles top-notch run defense but he has a cake matchup in Week 5.
The #Texans have given up the most points to RBs this season allowing
172 Rush Yards/Game
1.25 Rush TDs/Game
Will we see a Travis Etienne breakout game or James Robinson buffet this week?
— uSTADIUM Fantasy (@uSTADIUMFantasy) October 4, 2022
The Houston Texans rank 31st in run defense, giving up over 170 yards per game. Robinson averages over 16 touches per game. So far this season running backs that get to 16 touches against the Houston Texans average over 25 PPR points per game.
In the first two weeks of the season, Rhamondre Stevenson averaged ten touches per game. Over the last two weeks, his touches are up to 17 per game. His boost in snaps and touches has raised his fantasy value. Stuck in a timeshare with Damien Harris, Stevenson has outscored and out-snapped Harris since week 1 when Stevenson only saw 14 snaps. Stevenson will see a Detroit Lions defense that has given up three 90 yard games and five rushing touchdowns on the season.
Running Back Sits: James Conner and Joe Mixon
James Conner was a shocking running back breakout in 2021, so far in 2022 Conner has struggled. The Arizona Cardinals offense has struggled to get the running game going. Conner has failed to average four yards per carry in a game this season. The Cardinals have trailed by double digits in three out of the four games this season. This may have something to do with the lack of running game for the Cardinals but with the Eagles coming to town this weekend Conner may struggle again this week. Since Week 2, no running back has surpassed 40 yards against the Eagles.
Joe Mixon was great for fantasy last week getting 17 PPR points so you were happy with that effort. The efficiency for Mixon has been bad all season and his production last week seems like an outlier. Take out the Miami game and Mixon is averaging 13 points per game on 20 touches per game.
Joe Mixon has broken the expected vs actual fantasy points chart pic.twitter.com/zIxvc2C5P3
— Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF) October 4, 2022
That is not good, what’s also not good is the matchup this week against a Ravens run defense. The Ravens are only surrendering 11 carries per game to number one running backs. If Mixon is only getting minimal touches his fantasy managers will not be happy with the results this week.
Wide Receiver Starts: Courtland Sutton and Tee Higgins
Courtland Sutton has been one of the few Denver Broncos that have done well for fantasy so far this year. Sutton is averaging 86 yards per game on nine targets per game this season. Sutton has a 27% target share, it’s obvious that Sutton is Wilson’s favorite target.
Players with at least 7 targets in every game played this year:
Amon-Ra St. Brown
— TJ Hernandez (@TJHernandez) October 4, 2022
Sutton has six red zone targets on the season and that number should keep rising as the season goes on. Sutton will see a Colts defense that has allowed 75 yards to three different receivers this season. The Colts also play a lot of Cover-3 which means Sutton will see quite a bit of single coverage this week.
Tee Higgins was one of my favorite breakouts this year and he has delivered on that so far this season. Higgins is WR7 since returning from his concussion in Week 1. Higgins has outplayed teammate Ja’Marr Chase on similar target numbers.
Tee Higgins, who missed most of Week 1, currently has more fantasy points than Ja'Marr Chase this season.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) September 30, 2022
This week Higgins will see a Ravens defense that has allowed three one hundred-yard games and five receiving touchdowns. In four career games against the Ravens Higgins is averaging 80 yards per game and has two touchdowns.
Wide Receiver Sits: D.J. Moore and Michael Pittman Jr.
DJ Moore has been one of the biggest busts so far this season, with the addition of Baker Mayfield many assumed Moore would break out this year. I am one of those people and unfortunately for the Panthers, it hasn’t happened yet this season. Moore is WR51 on the season with 138 yards on 29 targets. In Week 4 Moore had 11 targets so maybe that is a trend that will continue but for this week the matchup is brutal. The 49ers are number one in the NFL in points allowed and number two in passing yards allowed. The Panthers are one of the worst offenses in the league and aren’t expected to score many points this week leaving Moore with minimal opportunity.
Yesterday's offensive performance (EPA/drive) by the Panthers was the worst of any team this season (126 games).
First 10 drives: 4 punts, 3 TOs, 2 fourth-down fails, 1 FG.
Panthers offense is 31st in EPA per drive and 30th in success rate.
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) October 3, 2022
Michael Pittman Jr. was my favorite wide receiver to draft this year in fantasy so having him as a sit hurts my heart. But I hate his situation and his matchup this week, the Colts are one of the worst offenses in the league. Matt Ryan has been bad this season and Pittman will see Pat Surtain Jr. this week.
#broncos CB Pat Surtain lined up across from #raiders WR Davante Adams on 25 of Adams' 35 routes (71.4%)
– Adams was targeted 8 times with Surtain in primary coverage. 4 catches for 46 yards and Surtain forced 3 incompletions.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) October 3, 2022
In Week 4 Pittman had just 31 yards on six targets, two numbers that are both way too low. Pittman was a 2nd-3rd-round pick this year, sitting him may be difficult but I lower expectations for him this week.
Tight End Starts: Zack Ertz
Zach Ertz is TE4 on the season and is fourth in tight end targets and first in red zone tight end targets on the season.
Only tight ends averaging 10+ PPG in Half-PPR ⤵️
Travis Kelce – 16.3
Mark Andrews – 14.1
T.J. Hockenson – 13.8
Zach Ertz – 10.8
Gerald Everett – 10.3 pic.twitter.com/6SHmzerYUK
— FantasyPros (@FantasyPros) October 3, 2022
Ertz leads the Cardinals in red zone targets by a large amount and has a revenge game this Sunday against his former team. In the games where the Eagles have surrendered at least six targets to a tight end those tight ends average out 10 points per game. With this being a revenge game expect Ertz to get a target boost and with the Cardinals as six-point underdogs he has the chance to see a target boost anyways.
Tight End Sits: Pat Freirmuth and TJ Hockenson
The Bills are historically good year to year against the tight end position, this year they are giving up just 30 yards per game. Pat Freirmuth had his best game last week against the Jets finishing with 85 yards on nine targets. In Week 5, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett will make his first start against the Buffalo Bills. With the question marks regarding Pickett’s inexperience and how the Steeler’s offense will change, Freirmuths role and target share are now a question that needs answered. Pickett’s first start coming against the number one defense in the league is a huge ask of the rookie.
TJ Hockenson had a career day in week five against the Seattle Seahawks. With all the injuries to the Lion’s wide receivers, a target boost was expected for Hockenson. It’s only Tuesday so we have no idea about the status of Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark so all we can do is assume for now. The Patriots numbers have dropped a bit but they are still a top defense when it comes to covering tight ends. Tight Ends not named Mark Andrews have 59 yards on 14 targets against the Patriots this season. Excluding last week’s game, Hockenson is averaging just 27 yards per game this year.