The Week 5 fantasy start ’em, sit ’em decisions aren’t getting any easier, are they? Heading into Week 5, backups QBs Trey Lance and Drew Lock seem poised to start, while handcuff RBs Damien Williams and Samaje Perine might suddenly be thrust into high-volume roles. Whenever there’s a QB change, the ripple effects are felt throughout the entire team, making many question their WRs and TEs and seek lineup advice. As always, SN’s Vinnie Iyer, aka “The Decider,” is here to help those in season-long leagues and those looking for DFS tips.
It’s important to remember that we have an early-morning Sunday kickoff this week, as the Jets and Falcons are set to do battle in London. Don’t get caught off guard and leave any key Falcons and Jets on your bench (or in your lineup) by accident.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks
- Josh Allen, Bills (at KC)
- Kyler Murray, Cardinals (vs. SF)
- Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (vs. BUF)
- Dak Prescott, Cowboys (vs. NYG)
- Lamar Jackson, Ravens (vs. IND)
- Matthew Stafford, Rams (at SEA)
- Tom Brady, Buccaneers (at MIA)
- Russell Wilson, Seahawks (vs. LAR)
- Aaron Rodgers, Packers (at CIN)
- Jalen Hurts, Eagles (at CAR)
- Justin Herbert, Chargers (vs. CLE)
Joe Burrow, Bengals (vs. GB). Burrow will deliver in a shootout with Rodgers with no Jaire Alexander in coverage and getting back to full strength at wide receiver down a running back.
Daniel Jones, Giants (at DAL). There’s running, passing volume, and production to be had opposite Dak Prescott, and Jones should put up another week of pleasing all-around digits.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings (vs. DET). Cousins faced a tough defense at home last week and underwhelmed. He’ll go back to working over a bad defense at home.
Trey Lance, 49ers (if he starts, vs. ARI). Jimmy G has less appeal here, but Lance riffing off Kyler Murray sounds great to us.
Sam Darnold, Panthers (vs. PHI). Darnold will keep getting it done in some form, and he should be busy throwing vs. Hurts at home.
Derek Carr, Raiders (vs. CHI). The Bears’ defense plays better at home and has enough secondary holes behind the pass rush of former Raider Khalil Mack.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (at JAX). Tannehill will take advantage of a get-well game with hopefully some better receiving health.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington (vs. NO). He’s on fire and can do what Daniel Jones did against this defense in what’s another sneaky good spot.
Mac Jones, Patriots (at HOU, $5,300 on DraftKings, $6,700 on FanDuel). Jones can drop 250 yards and two TDs against another weak pass defense on the road.
Jacoby Brissett, Dolphins (at TB, $5,200 on DraftKings, $6,300 on FanDuel). Brissett gets the defense Mac Jones dinked and dunked on well in Week 4. That’s his game, plus a little rushing.
Zach Wilson, Jets (at ATL in London). Wilson had his best game by far against the Titans, falling just short of 300 yards and two TDs, and he can roast the Falcons in Tottenham.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan, Falcons (vs. NYJ in London). The Jets are hard to pass on, so Atlanta should win more with running volume and timely, overachieving defense.
Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (vs. TEN). Even though the fellow rookie Zach Wilson had great success on this defense at home, Jacksonville should be more committed to run down a key wideout.
Justin Fields, Bears (if he starts, at LV). You still can’t go there until you see some running and touchdowns.
Baker Mayfield, Browns (at LAC). He seems skittish and inaccurate at the moment, and the Chargers on the road won’t help fix that.
Jameis Winston, Saints (at WAS). The matchup numbers might say “yes,” but the usage and unpredictability say “no.”
Jared Goff, Lions (at MIN). He won’t put up enough against an improving pass defense in garbage time.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (vs. DEN). Big Ben, small stats.
Carson Wentz, Colts (at BAL), Drew Lock/Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos (at PIT)
Fantasy Football Week 5 Start ‘Em: Running backs
- Derrick Henry, Titans (at JAX)
- Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (vs. NYG)
- Alvin Kamara, Saints (at WAS)
- Aaron Jones, Packers (at CIN)
- Nick Chubb, Browns (at LAC)
- Dalvin Cook, Vikings (vs. DET)
- Saquon Barkley, Giants (at DAL)
- Antonio Gibson, Washington (vs. NO)
- Austin Ekeler, Chargers (vs. CLE)
- Jonathan Taylor, Colts (at BAL)
- James Robinson, Jaguars (vs. TEN)
- Kareem Hunt, Browns (at LAC)
- Chris Carson, Seahawks (vs. LAR)
- Darrell Henderson, Rams (at SEA)
- Najee Harris, Steelers (vs. DEN)
- D’Andre Swift, Lions (at MIN)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs (vs. BUF)
Damien Harris, Patriots (at HOU). Harris should get back on track against a bad run defense after running into the Buccaneers’ wall in Week 4.
Chase Edmonds, Cardinals (vs. SF). He and James Conner keep getting it done in different ways as different plays, so you can’t rest him against a suddenly struggling Niners run defense.
Damien Williams, Bears (at LV). He should be starting for David Montgomery (knee) and will deliver solid supersub stats in the desert.
Chuba Hubbard, Panthers (vs. PHI). You’re counting mostly on volume here, and the Eagles tend to dare teams to run.
Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson, Falcons (vs. NYJ in London). They both scored in Week 4, and expect Arthur Smith to follow the Titans suit and pound away across the pond.
Zack Moss, Bills (at KC). Moss should be busy against a vulnerable front seven, and Devin Singletary could also return some deep-league flex value.
Trey Sermon, 49ers (at ARI). Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) might be back, but Sermon is looking great and should push for a 100 yards and a TD playing off Trey Lance.
Tony Pollard, Cowboys (vs. NYG). He has some flex appeal at home when Ezekiel Elliott is doing his thing.
Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers (at MIA, $5,200 on DraftKings, $6,400 on FanDuel). Tampa Bay found its best running game when needed in New England, and that’s also the ideal way to attack the Dolphins.
Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles (at CAR, $4,900 on DraftKings, $5,700 on FanDuel). He’s starting to get the key touches in Philadelphia’s backfield, and the rookie can return some value against a Panthers defense that got gashed by the Cowboys.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Sit ‘Em: Running backs
Josh Jacobs, Raiders (vs. CHI). He’s back, but he doesn’t look right and the matchup is terrible.
Miles Sanders, Eagles (at CAR). Things keep trending in the wrong direction for him, and you can’t trust his touches.
Latavius Murray, Ravens (vs. IND). The running game is starting to underwhelm with the replacements, and there could be another usage pivot.
Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams, Broncos (at PIT). They can’t get either going well in tougher matchups.
Samaje Perine, Bengals (vs. GB). He’s the first man up for Joe Mixon (ankle), but the game script might push usage toward rookie Chris Evans in a bad split.
Michael Carter, Jets (at. ATL in London). The Falcons tend to be better in run defense than leaky pass defense.
All Dolphins (at TB). No way.
Ronald Jones, Buccaneers (vs. MIA), Darrel Williams, Chiefs (vs. BUF) and Alex Collins, Seahawks (vs. LAR). Don’t go chasing TDs of lesser commitee backs from the previous week.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Start ‘Em: Wide receivers
- Davante Adams, Packers (at CIN)
- Justin Jefferson, Vikings (vs. DET)
- Stefon Diggs, Bills (vs. KC).
- DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals (vs. SF)
- Cooper Kupp, Rams (at SEA)
- Tyreek Hill, Chiefs (vs. BUF)
- Adam Thielen, Vikings (vs. DET)
- Terry McLaurin, Washington (vs. NO)
- D.J. Moore, Panthers (vs. PHI)
- Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals (vs. GB)
- A.J. Brown, Titans (if he plays, at JAX)
- Allen Robinson II, Bears (at LV)
- Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (at MIA)
- CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (vs. NYG)
- Calvin Ridley, Falcons (at NYJ)
- Deebo Samuel, 49ers (vs. ARI)
- Mike Williams, Chargers (vs. CLE)
- Amari Cooper, Cowboys (vs. DAL)
- Keenan Allen, Chargers (vs. CLE)
- Mike Evans, Buccaneers (vs. MIA)
- DK Metcalf, Seahawks (vs. LAR)
- Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (at LAR)
- Marquise Brown, Ravens (vs. IND)
Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder, Jets (vs. ATL in London). They got it done work well off each other for Wilson in Week 4 and get another weak cornerback group to attack outside deep and inside short.
Brandin Cooks, Texans (vs. NE). It’s a revenge game for the former Patriot, and although the matchup is tough and he should be keyed on, he should do a little more pleasing garbage work this week.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals (vs. GB). Boyd keeps it going as Cincinnati schemes him open away from Ja’Marr Chase.
Robert Woods, Rams (at SEA). Woods needed a garbage-time TD last week to bust his slump, and you gotta figure the Rams will use him more in this shootout.
Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr., Jaguars (vs. TEN). They get a nice target bump without DJ Chark (ankle), and the game script can add up to a nice catch and yardage total.
Kenny Golladay, Giants (at DAL). Golladay is unlikely to see Trevon Diggs all game, and he’s feeling it with Daniel Jones now.
Jakobi Meyers, Patriots (at HOU). Meyers is their most reliable receiver working the slot, and he might even get his first NFL TD here.
Darnell Mooney, Bears (at LV). Mooney needs Justin Fields to produce best, but the Raiders’ cornerbacks are still overrated.
Emmanuel Sanders, Bills (at KC). Sanders will be needed in this shootout to make big plays opposite Stefon Diggs.
Tee Higgins, Bengals (vs. GB, $5,000 on DraftKings, $6,700 on FanDuel). Higgins should return from his shoulder injury with extended time off and steps into a nice matchup away from Ja’Marr Chase with no Jaire Alexander in coverage for the Packers anywhere outside.
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders (vs. CHI, $4,900 on DraftKings, $5,800 on FanDuel). Renfrow keeps getting it done as Derek Carr’s most consistent receiver, and the Bears have just enough trouble with the slot to trust he can put together another solid performance to get good return.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins (vs. TB, $5,400 on DraftKings, $5,700 on FanDuel). There’s no Will Fuller V (finger), and Jacoby Brissett is firing his way often when not going to tight end. The Bucs’ secondary also has no one left to cover the savvy veteran well in what should be a game of high passing volume.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Sit ‘Em: Wide receivers
Courtland Sutton, Broncos (vs. PIT). Lock hurts and helps him at the same time, but this matchup is rough when not working inside.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers (vs. DEN). Avoid this low-scoring game for passing and receiving production.
Antonio Brown, Buccaneers (vs. MIA). He won’t be needed for big plays as Tom Brady dinks and dunks and the Bucs run all over the Dolphins.
Odell Beckham Jr, Browns (at LAC). The connection downfield remains off with Baker Mayfield, and the Chargers can contain OBJ deep.
DeVonta Smith, Eagles (at CAR). This is a better spot for the Eagles to run than throw to wideouts.
Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins (vs. TB). No Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) makes this better for the intermediate veterans than the speedy and quick rookie.
Michael Pittman Jr., Colts (at BAL). He’s been Indy’s No. 1, but the Ravens’ cornerbacks can work to bottle him up.
Henry Ruggs III, Raiders (vs. CHI). He will be shut down by rising coverage star Jaylon Johnson.
Cole Beasley, Bills (at KC). The usage of Emmanuel Sanders and the running backs, plus Josh Allen throwing more to Dawson Knox, hurts Beasley’s value.
A.J. Green, Cardinals (vs. SF), Tim Patrick, Broncos (vs. PIT), JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers (vs. DEN)
Fantasy Football Week 5 Start ‘Em: Tight ends
- Travis Kelce, Chiefs (vs. BUF)
- Darren Waller, Raiders (vs. CHI)
- Mark Andrews, Ravens (vs. IND)
- George Kittle, 49ers (at ARI)
- T.J. Hockenson, Lions (at MIN)
- Dallas Goedert, Eagles (at CAR)
- Kyle Pitts, Falcons (at NYJ in London)
- Noah Fant, Broncos (at PIT)
Dawson Knox, Bills (at KC). Knox is locked in with Josh Allen, especially in the red zone, and the Chiefs can’t cover him well.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins (vs. TB). Gesicki from Jacoby Brissett continues to work nicely for Miami.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys (vs. NYG). He’s scoring on the regular now, and he’s still the preferred guy for Dak Prescott over Blake Jarwin.
Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, Patriots (at HOU). They should both score again for Mac Jones because the Texans have no answers for either.
Tyler Conklin, Vikings (vs. DET). The Vikings’ positive game script and rebound in rushing success means Conklin will be out there most with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and the matchup is terrific.
Austin Hooper, Browns (at LAC, $3,200 on DraftKings, $4,900 on FanDuel). Hooper got his steady targets on a off day from Baker Mayfield, and the Chargers have proved to be most vulnerable to running backs and tight ends in the passing game more so than wideouts.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Sit ‘Em: Tight ends
Tyler Higbee, Rams (at SEA). The matchup is good, but the targets are hard to expect given the wide receivers doing work.
Robert Tonyan, Packers (at CIN). The Bengals should get Jessie Bates back to help cover him, and Aaron Rodgers will go more to his wideouts again.
Jared Cook, Chargers (at CLE). Cook can go back to not doing much with the wideouts bouncing back.
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers (at MIA). Should Gronk (ribs) miss another game, it’s hard to trust him now.
Evan Engram, Giants (at DAL). He’s getting lost in the land of better wide receivers.
Maxx Williams, Cardinals (vs. SF). His production can be hit-or-miss given all their weapons, and a second X doesn’t mark the spot this week
Fantasy Football Week 5 Start ‘Em: Defenses
- Patriots (at HOU)
- Steelers (vs. DEN)
- Broncos (at PIT)
- Buccaneers (vs. MIA)
- Ravens (vs. IND)
Cardinals (vs. SF). They might give up some production to Trey Lance, but they can also get some sacks and takeaways.
Raiders (vs. CHI). There will be sacks and maybe a big turnover available from Justin Fields.
Cowboys (vs. NYG). Daniel Jones is protecting the ball, but Trevon Diggs can change that fast.
Falcons (vs. NYJ). The Titans didn’t work out well against the Jets last week, but there are a few guys to disrupt New York up front with a positive game script.
Washington (vs. NO). They have been bad, but this feels like a time to get a pick-six from Winston.
Bears (at LV). The Raiders will give up more pressure, and Derek Carr is bound to make a mistake or two along with his decent day.
Vikings (vs. DET, $3,000 on DraftKings $3,900 on FanDuel). The Vikings played well against the Browns but got run over. That won’t happen against the Lions, and big turnovers are possible against Jared Goff.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Sit ‘Em: Defenses
Saints (at WAS). There’s a perception Taylor Heinicke is sloppy with the ball, but it’s not true.
Browns (at LAC). Not against Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler, etc.
Panthers (vs. PHI). Jalen Hurts can make some mistakes, but Philadelphia also will bring the points.
Titans (at JAX). It’s hard to go there after the Jets debacle.
Chargers (vs. CLE) and Rams (vs. SEA). Not against those offenses for L.A.
Bills (at KC) and Chiefs (vs. BUF). Not against those offenses, period.
Packers (at CIN). They don’t have enough pass defense pop for Joe Burrow.
Get more of Vinnie Iyer’s in-depth fantasy football advice for Week 5 by subscribing to the Locked On Fantasy Football podcast.