What a wild and whacky week we had in Week 4, huh? More injuries(seems to be the norm each week), followed by two games postponed due to an outbreak in Coronavirus cases. Luckily, one game was still able to be played in KC-NE, but Ten-Pit unfortunately was rescheduled for Week 7. Gotta give credit to the NFL though and taking these matters seriously. I grow more and more confident each week that we will see a full season, as long as every organization continues to follow the protocols put in place. Expect to see Tennessee suffer the consequences this week for violating COVID-19 procedures.
Anyhoo, we are on to Week 5 with our first round of bye weeks commencing. Week 5 also brings some more solid fantasy matchups. Hopefully, you have found a way to start out strong over the first five weeks at 4-0, 3-1, or even 2-2. If you are sitting below .500, now’s the time to evaluate your team and start making some moves to better your team and go on a run. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen an 0-4 team go on a run and either make the playoffs, or win it all. It happens every year and it won’t be the last.
In case you are new to reading this, consider this A2D Radio’s weekly start/sit fantasy football preview. Each week, I will give you my thoughts/analysis on the best matchups of the week and who you should consider starting in that respective week. Also included will be the not-so-good matchups and those players you own who might be best left on the bench.
With that being said, let’s jump into the matchups on tap in Week 5 and who to start or sit.
Teddy Bridgewater & Matt Ryan – Both of these quarterbacks can be considered good starts in this matchup. Both defenses have been atrocious against QBs in 2020 and this seems like another week where points will be scored. I think there is potential that Bridgewater posts a 20 spot, with Ryan capable of 30 spot, as I believe he bounces back from last week against the Packers.
DeShaun Watson – It’s been a rough road for Watson to start the season, but with Bill O’Brien(finally) being given his pink slip, I think this will be a game where Watson can back on track. The Jaguars are not a very good football team and they have given up 300+ passing yards to opposing QBs in three out of their first four games this year. Watson can get it done this week, both through the air and on the ground.
Daniel Jones – Through the first four games, Jones has not looked like the franchise QB that the Giants were hopeful when they drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 2019. However, the Giants have had one of the toughest schedules through the first four games, but it lightens up this week against a Cowboys defense that gives up 23.1 fantasy points against QBs. If Jones cannot get going in this game, then it might be time to panic.
Justin Herbert – I am not sure why Anthony Lynn continues to be noncommittal about his young franchise quarterback, but I think it’s about time he gives him the credit he deserves. Herbert has showed off his skillset admirably since he his emergency start in Week 2. His first touchdown pass last week against the Bucs was a beauty and showed off his ability to hit the deep ball. The Saints have allowed 3+ touchdown passes in every game through Week 4, and I think Herbert has the talent to make it five in a row.
Carson Wentz – You have to give Wentz credit, in willing the Eagles to victory last week on the road against the Niners. He single-handedly won that game on his own. Are we starting to see glimpses of Carson circa 2017? Maybe. But we’d have to see him do it again on the road against another stingy defense. This might not be the Week to trust him, but he can probably find a way to score 1-2 touchdowns this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – The Niners are at home again in this one and are ready to take it out on their next opponent, which is the Miami Dolphins. Fitz was named the starter again for Week 5, but not after a discussion was had amongst Dolphins coaches if it was indeed “Tua time.” Unfortunately, that will have to wait another week, but if Fitz disappoints again, it might be time to pass the torch over to the kid.
Joe Burrow – Burrow has come as advertised, but this will be his first matchup against one of the best defenses in the NFL in the Ravens. I am not sure Burrow is ready for this test yet, so I’d consider looking for another option. However, so far through four weeks, Burrow has lived up to the hype. Be excited, Bengals fans.
Todd Gurley & Mike Davis – Gurley was able to find the endzone twice against Green Bay and will have a good shot to do so again. The Panthers are the second-best matchup for RBs behind the Raiders, so I think Gurley can find room to run, as well as have a role in the passing game this week. Mike Davis continues to fill in nicely for Christian McCaffrey while he recovers from a bum ankle. Davis is worth another start this week as a mid to low end RB2.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – As I mentioned above, the Raiders are dead last in points against the running back position in fantasy football. That means this is another week to trust CEH, as he is the clear lead dog for the KC backfield. He is an obvious start every week, but in case you were teetering, I’d lean with Edwards-Helaire.
James Robinson & David Johnson – Who would’ve thought an undrafted rookie from Illinois St would be the RB6 through four games? That’s what James Robinson is, and he earns another start this week against a leaky Texans front seven, giving up 31.1 points to the RB position. Likewise with David Johnson, as he makes for a good start this week as a low-end RB2 against the Jags horrific run defense.
Jerick McKinnon – McKinnon should be rolled out as an RB2 again this week in a solid matchup against the Dolphins. He has filled in well for Raheem Mostert while the latter has been hurt and has probably earned additional work once Mostert returns. Currently, Mostert is the RB12 on the year. Start him until you can no longer trust him.
Cardinals RBs – Probably Chase Edmonds you more likely to trust then Kenyan Drake, but can this finally be the game Drake breaks out? We have been waiting on it for four games now, and those owners who invested in him with an early pick(I was not one of them, though…. thumbs up!) are starting to get a little wrestless. And rightfully so. But, the matchup couldn’t be better against the Dolphins. I’d give Drake one last shot to earn your trust.
Myles Gaskin – Gaskin is the RB34 on the season to date, shattering his ADP(which was pretty much undrafted) and might be the waiver wire pick up of the year so far. Gaskin has received workhorse-like volume and has scored double digit points in 3 out of 4 games. However, now he faces a stingy Niners defense that held Miles Sanders to 9.20 PPR points in Week 4. Gaskin will have better games moving forward.
Patriots RBs – With Sony Michel going on the IR, Damien Harris was activated and showed himself well with 100 yards rushing. However, Week 5 presents a much tougher test against the Broncos, who have given up only 21.9 ppg to RBs – good for 4th best against the position. I’d stay away from trusting any Patriots running back in this matchup. Keep an eye on this game, if it is even played as Patriots all-pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Miles Sanders – Where was Miles Sanders at the end of the game last week in San Franciso? Most watching thought he was hurt, but it was later revealed that he was not and kept on the bench. Can’t get any more concerned than that if you’re an Eagles fan and invested a late first/early second round pick in fantasy drafts this year. Hopefully, it turns out to be just gameflow and not a reoccurring theme. But Sanders has shown that he is not matchup-proof and this is a game where you should not rely on him as your RB1/high end RB2. Consider him more of an RB3, with a realistic chance to bust.
Adam Thielen/Justin Jefferson – The days of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” are long gone and nowadays it’s more like “Legion of Butter” against the wide receiver position each week. The Seahawks secondary has given up the most points to WRs so far this season and this week should be no different. Thielen is an every-week must start and Justin Jefferson has put together consecutive productive weeks and seems clear has elevated himself as the WR2 in Minnesota. I think both will have busy nights on Sunday Night Football in Seattle.
Darius Slayton – As bad as the Seahawks are, the Cowboys secondary might be even worse. Let this be a lesson to all – don’t overpay for RBs. The Cowboys paid Zeke 90 million dollars over 8 years and now they’re cash strapped to the point where they could not afford Byron Jones – who left for Miami last offseason – and also have to cross their fingers that they can hit on draft picks(much easier said than done). Basically, what I am saying is, the Cowboys defensive backfield is atrocious and has been a productive matchup for wide receivers thus far. Slayton will have a good shot to see a lot of volume in Week 5.
TY Hilton – Hilton seems to be well past his prime, but he gets a great matchup against a Browns secondary that was torched last week by Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Despite Hilton not being who he once was, he’s the only reliable receiver you can count on this week for the Colts. It’s risky, but he’s certainly viable as a flex option this week.
Brandon Aiyuk/Deebo Samuel – Samuel missed practice this week, so keep an eye out on the active/inactive list prior to game time; but if he plays, he and Aiyuk are solid options against the 8th best matchup for wide receivers in the Dolphins.
Tim Patrick/Jerry Jeudy – It was confirmed this game will be played on Monday at 5p after Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19. Even with Gilmore, the Patriots were still ranked 9th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. With Jeudy and Patrick being the only reliable outside options for Denver – and Gilmore out this week – they can both be played as a WR3 and flex option with upside.
Henry Ruggs – Ruggs practiced in full this week and appears ready to return from his hamstring injury. However, he’ll face a Chiefs team that has given up the least amount of points to wide receivers thru Week 4. Ruggs will have some good games going forward, but this might not be the week it happens. I’d leave him on your bench until we see how he responds at full health.
Preston Williams – Well, unfortunately, the Preston Williams breakout we were all hoping for is nowhere to be found. At this point, Williams’ owners/truthers are just hoping and crossing their fingers that when Tua time comes, that’ll be the key to unleash the talent. For now though, he cannot be trusted; and I wouldn’t this week either against Niners.
Jarvis Landry – The only highlight Landry had last week against Dallas was his touchdown pass to Odell. Besides that, Landry just hasn’t been himself and has hurt you more often than not. This week, the Browns meet the Colts, who have been one of the strongest units against WRs in 2020. Due to the matchup, and due to Landry’s usage, it would be hard to trust him in this one. The only one you can probably count on is Odell, but even he is probably more of a WR2 this week.
Eric Ebron – Ebron will face an Eagles unit that has been shredded by tight ends through four weeks and has given up five touchdowns in four games to the position. Before last week’s forced bye, Ebron had a breakout game catching five passes and a touchdown. The matchup couldn’t be better in this one, and I’d consider starting him as a low-end TE1.
Ian Thomas – Thomas found the end zone last week and is slowly integrating himself into Carolina’s gameplan on a weekly basis. He had a 14% target share, and I’d expect that to continue this week against the Falcons leaky secondary. He won’t go off like Tonyan last week for three scores, but a few catches and maybe a touchdown is viable.
Mo Alie-Cox – Alie-Cox, ever since stepping in for Jack Doyle in Week 2, has found the end zone in the last three games. Can we finally put to bed all the Jack Doyle-is-a-late-round-sleeper garbage? Please. What else do you need to see from him? Alie-Cox is the more athletic, explosive athlete, and in today’s game, athletic tight ends play all over the field. His matchup against the Browns makes him a viable start again this week. I have a couple of shares, too, and will roll him out on Sunday.
Austin Hooper – Hooper was able to vulture a touchdown against Dallas last week which saved his day, as otherwise he would’ve disappointed again. However, this week, it presents a much tougher, stiffer test against the Colts. With his volume being extremely volatile each week, and only being the 3rd or 4th option for Mayfield, it is hard to trust that he can be successful. I’d wait for a better matchup.
Mike Gesicki – As is the hope with Preston Williams, Gesicki just hasn’t had that third year leap you’d hope from a young tight end. He has had only one catch in two consecutive weeks and has been a non-factor for opposing defenses. Is it possible his value spikes when/if Tua takes the reigns? Maybe. Certainly possible. As is the same for Williams, too. But right now, neither can be played/trusted, especially in this one against the Niners who held Zach Ertz to under 10 points last week.