It’s already the time of year when bye weeks and injuries start to make weekly roster decisions increasingly difficult. Those two things have wiped out nearly an entire position group already (more on that later). Hopefully you have a deep enough roster to get through this initial wave of potential hardship.
For those facing some difficult decisions this week, here’s start/sit for Week 5:
Start: T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars
Leonard Fournette is out, so Yeldon should get the majority of the snaps and carries for the Jaguars — though Corey Grant should play more, though who knows if Jacksonville will actually pull that trigger. Yeldon’s yardage totals haven’t been overly impressive in games this season — he peaked at 58 rushing yards against the New England Patriots in Week 2 — but he should get the volume as the lead back. Kansas City’s defense is pretty much an open road and in two of Yeldon’s four games, he’s seen seven targets to go along with two receiving touchdowns.
Start: Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins
Chris Thompson’s usage hasn’t been consistent from game-to-game, but there is a pattern. When Washington is ahead, Thompson doesn’t get a lot of work. But when they’re trailing, such as the 21-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2 (still weird), he’ll get more time. In that Colts game, Thompson had 13 receptions for 92 yards on 14 targets. This week Washington will play New Orleans and while the Washington defense should be good enough to not let the Saints completely run away, the game script should lend itself to more Thompson touches.
Sit: Alfred Morris, San Francisco 49ers
Even though the Arizona Cardnals have given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, this isn’t a great game for Alfred Morris. Matt Brieda significantly out-snapped Morris last week against the Los Angeles Chargers 38-14. The running backs weren’t very involved, either. Brieda and Morris combined for 13 rushing attempts and six targets. Arizona’s defense has been improving — they’re 11th in DVOA — and without knowing how the workload split is going to look, it’s best to stay away.
Sit: Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans
Dion Lewis should be a bigger part of the Tennessee Titans offense. Maybe he will be eventually as the unit seems to be putting more pieces together and figuring out what they want to do. But Lewis had just four rushes and nine targets against the Philadelphia Eagles. Those targets ended with nine receptions and 66 yards, which made him a passable play for PPR, but left more to be desired. It’s also fair to wonder how much run Lewis will get — especially in the passing game — if the Titans take an early lead against the struggling Buffalo Bills.
Start: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
I’ve brought this up before, but I firmly believe in the idea of starting your studs. Keenan Allen is a stud. Yes, he hasn’t had 100 yards receiver or a touchdown since Week 1 and he’s been battling some health issues, but Allen is still a stud. He’s still getting volume — 10 targets last week — and he could break out with a big game at any point. The Oakland Raiders have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, which could be the matchup Allen needs to get his numbers back to where they’re expected.
Start: Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
You’re riding this out. At some point, the Calvin Ridley Experience is going to slow down — he has five touchdowns while safely being third among wide receivers in snaps played on the Falcons. Over the past three games, Ridley has played 55.6 percent, 61.8 percent, and 54.3 percent of Atlanta’s offensive snaps. But, he’s clearly been involved when he’s on the field. He has five targets, five receptions, and four touchdowns inside the 20 over those three games. While the Falcons have figured out their red zone offense, they’ve made Ridley a big part of it. He might be a good option to try to sell high before some touchdown regression hits, but if he’s on your roster, you’re starting him.
Sit: Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers
After an up and down start to the season, Janoris Jenkins has been pretty good containing opposing No. 1 wide receivers. Micahel Thomas, the league’s leading receiver, was held to just four receptions against Jenkins last week. Devin Funchess gets that matchup this weekend and while the Panthers offense has been quite good, throwing to wide receivers has not been a strength. In a game where the Panthers are likely to rely on the legs of Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey, Funchess is unlikely to see meaningful volume.
Sit: Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
The main event of this matchup is going to be Tyreek Hill and Jalen Ramsey however often they’re matched up. That will leave Watkins with A.J. Bouye, who is still quite good, or even Ramsey if the Jaguars choose to stay with their cornerbacks on sides. While Watkins has been able to break through with some big plays, he hasn’t been the big play threat in Kansas City. He’s only seeing 12.5 percent of the Chiefs’ air yards, which is around the likes of Danny Amendola and Jermaine Kearse. There’s always upside here in a high-powered offense, but if you have a better option, it could be safe to stay away from this matchup.
Start: Anyone who is healthy
Between the injuries and bye weeks (Trey Burton), it’s nearly impossible for anyone to have a legitimate start-sit issue at tight end this week. If you do, good for you, but you probably have too many tight ends on your roster. If you have any tight end who has the possibility of seeing even some volume in the passing game this week, start him.