As we enter week five, more players begin to emerge as pickups become that much more vital. Grabbing a guy like Brian Hartline or Jackie Battle could end up winning you your league in the long run. Let’s begin with who to start in week five.
Randall Cobb (Packers WR) – Cobb has been getting more and more involved in the Packers offense, and Greg Jennings looks doubtful to play this week. Green Bay also travels to Indianapolis, who has given up the sixth most fantasy points to wideouts. Cobb hauled in seven passes last week, and with Jennings out, who knows what could happen.
Jackie Battle (Chargers RB) – He had 81 total yards and a pair of TD’s last week, and they play the atrocious Saints defense this week that has given up the most fantasy points to running backs. The Chargers seem to trust Battle, and he’s earned it while Ryan Mathews hasn’t. While Mathews has had fumbling issues, Battle has been getting the job done better, and even if Mathews gets touches, Battle should do some damage.
Donald Brown (Colts RB) – If you need a running back to step in this week, Brown has been productive. Against Green Bay, a middle-of-the-pack run defense, he should get his touches and do plenty with them as the Packers need to respect Andrew Luck and his passing targets.
Owen Daniels (Texans TE) – He’s led the Texans in targets so far this season, and has been very productive with 35 fantasy points through four games. They play a mediocre Jets pass defense who lost Darrelle Revis for the season, which won’t help matters at all. It looks like the Owen Daniels who led tight ends in fantasy a couple years ago, before he went down with a season ending injury, is back to his old form.
Jay Cutler (Bears QB) – If you have Stafford on a bye (or Cam Newton which I’ll explain in who to sit), you’ve got to be happy with Cutler this week against Jacksonville. Cutler plays great with a lead, and that’s exactly what will happen against the Jaguars. With Forte, Marshall, Jeffery, and all of his other targets, Cutler should fill out a pretty nice stat sheet in week five.
Now, who to sit on the bench this week:
The Jets Offense – They can’t get anything going lately. After being shutout by the 49ers, things don’t get any easier against another top defense in the Houston Texans. Once they build a lead, the Jets will be forced to pass. Santonio Holmes went down with a season ending injury, and Sanchez can hardly throw to anyone. Shonn Greene has averaged 2.8 yards per carry, and has been a huge disappointment. Stay away until Rex Ryan can fix things in the Meadowlands.
DeAngelo Williams (Panthers RB) – They play Seattle, who has allowed the third least fantasy points to running backs. Although Williams has been pretty productive so far this season, I don’t like the situation with Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, and Mike Tolbert stealing touches. And without the touchdown last week, Williams only has 49 yards. Don’t like the match-up; don’t like the opportunity.
Jeremy Maclin (Eagles WR) – He only had one catch for seven yards last week, as it seems that his hip is still bothering him. The Steelers defense isn’t great, but isn’t terrible, and there seems to be plenty of other options around the league at wide receiver. I want to see Maclin at 100 percent and producing like he’s capable of again before I start him.
Cam Newton (Panthers QB) – Again, this has a lot more to do with Seattle’s defense than anything else. They’ve given up the least amount of points to quarterbacks, and if you saw the Monday night game against the Packers, you saw what they did to Aaron Rodgers. The Seahawks defense is for real, and I honestly don’t trust an inconsistent Cam Newton enough against them over the multitude of other options around the league.
Andre Johnson (Texans WR) – He’s been inconsistent, and defenses are scheming against him. The Texans have more options to go to, and that’s why a guy like Owen Daniels has been more successful. Even with Darrelle Revis out, Antonio Cromartie will most likely cover Johnson along with help from the safety all day. I don’t like it, and I have a feeling that the days of Andre Johnson being a top five, or even top ten receiver are gone.