In seasonal fantasy football, matchups often boil down to which owner makes the right start/sit decisions. You can’t hold allegiances to projections or name recognition, you simply have to play the guys you think will wind up with the most fantasy points.
Here are the fringe options that might / should be in your fantasy lineup in Week 5.
Week 5 Start ‘Em
QB Blake Bortles @ KC
Blake Bortles has been a boom-bust commodity so far this season, but is far more likely to blow up with Leonard Fournette (hamstring) ruled out this week. The Chiefs have been horrendous in pass defense and give up the fifth-most FPPG to opposing QBs so far this season. Without defensive leader Eric Berry (heel) in the secondary, the Chiefs have repeatedly been exposed on the back end, and nearly coughed up a game-winning TD to the Broncos last Monday had Case Keenum not missed a wide open Demaryius Thomas. Bortles has been accurate with a 67.5 percent completion rate this season and he has three capable receivers on the outside in Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, and Donte Moncrief.
RB Giovani Bernard vs. MIA
The Bengals expect Joe Mixon (knee) to return this week, which is clouding projections from Gio Bernard. Yet Mixon is only a few weeks removed from a bad knee sprain and is unlikely to resume his workhorse role given how well Bernard has played in his absence. The matchup is better for a change-of-pace back like Bernard. Miami ranks 12th in DVOA rush defense, but has given up the third-most receptions (31) to opposing RBs this season. Bernard could be looking at something close to an even time share and should see a heavy work load with the Bengals (-5.5) expected to handle business at home.
RB Chris Thompson @ NO
While Adrian Peterson (ankle) is expected to suit up in a revenge game against the Saints, he could be playing at less than full strength. Chris Thompson would benefit if Peterson can’t handle a full workload, and his role is secure regardless as one of the best pass-catching backs in the NFL. The Saints rank 31st in DVOA pass defense against opposing RB s and actually lead the NFL in DVOA rush defense. Peterson may not find room to run and the Redskins may be forced to throw throughout the second half to keep pace with a Saints offense that often erupts when playing at home.
WR Nelson Agholor vs. MIN
He cooled off considerably in a tough matchup against the Titans, but Nelson Agholor still drew 12 targets and remains heavily involved in the offense with Carson Wentz under center. The return of Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) should actually help Agholor this week, because shutdown CB Xavier Rhodes should follow Jeffery around the field. Agholor is athletic enough to uncover against Trae Waynes on the opposite side of the field, and he could work out of the slot frequently, where Cooper Kupp just demolished the Vikings defense as part of Jared Goff’s outburst last Thursday night.
WR Keke Coutee vs. DAL
If Will Fuller (hamstring) is cleared to play in Week 5, owners of Keke Coutee might be wary to give the rookie a shot. His insane production (15 targets, 11 receptions for 109 yards) may have been inflated by Fuller’s departure last Sunday, but Coutee is going to have a role regardless as a slot receiver. The lightning quick Texas Tech product is exactly the type of WR that can give the Cowboys trouble in their scheme, as evidenced by Golden Tate’s huge game out of the slot in Week 4. Houston can barely run the ball and Lamar Miller is reportedly dinged up, so Coutee will pile up PPR points on short receptions to help Deshaun Watson move the chains.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones @ SF
The Cardinals offense is trending up with rookie QB Josh Rosen taking over, because frankly, there was nowhere to go but up. Rookies have consistently targeted bigger targets such as TE s with conservative throws over the middle. Ricky Seals-Jones caught 2-of-4 balls for 52 yards in Rosen’s first start last Sunday, flashing his big play potential. This week he’ll face a Niners team that’s given up a league-high 4 receiving TDs to opposing TEs and is a decent streaming option with several viable plays injured or on their bye week.