Fantasy Football Analysis: Who to start, who to sit - Week 5

Posted Oct 4, 2012

Tim Twentyman offers his advice to fantasy football owners. Among some of the top picks this week: start Falcons' QB Matt Ryan, sit Bills' RB Fred Jackson.

The Lions may be on the bye this week, but fantasy football drudges on. So sit your Lions and maybe start one of these guys:

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: Ryan is proof of why taking a quarterback can wait a few rounds. Ryan has been the No. 1 ranked fantasy quarterback through the first four weeks of the season. This week he faces a Redskins defense that’s given up 10 touchdown passes and the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year.

Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: The Bills are just brutal in run defense. Last week against the Patriots, they allowed Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden to combine for 243 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. They rank 29th against the run in fantasy land.

Texans defense: The 49ers feasted on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and the turnover-happy Jets offense last week. Now the Jets are without receiver Santonio Holmes for their matchup against the Texans this week. This could get out of hand quickly on Monday Night against a very good Texans defense that’s the No. 3 fantasy defense averaging 12.8 points per week.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos: Thomas is a very good option this week against a Patriots defense that has allowed four touchdowns and 69 fantasy points to receivers the last two weeks.

Roddy White, WR, Falcons: It makes sense that if the Redskins defense is giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks then they probably aren’t too good against opposing receivers, either. Ding. Ding. The Redskins are allowing the second-most fantasy points to receivers and four touchdowns over the last two weeks.

Fred Jackson, RB, Bills: Any fantasy owner who has a running back facing the 49ers defense, it’s probably a good move to go with Plan B. The 49ers are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs (7.5) and Jackson will also split some carries with C.J. Spiller.

Matt Schaub, QB, Texans: The Texans have been relying heavily on their run game over the first quarter of the season and that could continue this week against the Jets defense that’s allowed the second-most rushing yards this season. Expect a heavy dose of Arian Foster and Ben Tate in a possible blowout.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs: This isn’t as much about Bowe, who’s averaging 12.5 fantasy points per week, but rather a Ravens defense that’s allowed just two passing touchdowns this season and not more than one per game dating back more than a year.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers: Like a new toy at Christmas, fantasy owners will be excited to show off Mendehall for the first time in their lineups this week as he’s back from injury. Unfortunately, it’s not a great matchup for him against the Eagles, who are allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs and only one touchdown in four games.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: The Seahawks defense might be the most underrated unit in all of football, especially against the run. They’ve allowed just two rushing touchdowns through four games and are giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing backs this season, more than six points below the NFL average.

Andrew Hawkins, WR, Bengals: Hawkins has built a good rapport with Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Hawkins is averaging 8.8 fantasy points per week and faces a Dolphins team allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to receivers.

Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers: Floyd hasn’t given fantasy owners a lot to cheer about this season (7.3 average), but has a pretty good matchup this week against a Saints defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings: No team has allowed more yards, touchdowns or fantasy points to tight ends this year than the Titans. Coming off of a disappointing performance for owners in Detroit, Rudolph seems to be a nice play this week.

Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals: The benefit of owning Williams is that he gets the bulk of the carries for the Cardinals as the clear No. 1 option in their backfield (though it didn’t help last week with just two fantasy points). This week, though, he’s facing a Rams defense on Thursday night allowing 18.5 points to running backs on average.

Cedric Benson, RB, Packers: Benson has increased his production over the last few weeks and is averaging 10.6 fantasy points over his last three weeks (11, 11 and 10). This week, he faces a Colts defense that’s allowed 125 rushing yards per game and the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing runners. Benson is a solid No. 2 or flex starter Week 5.