This season has seen many of the quarterbacks projected as “elite” fall well short of their original forecasts. Owners who spent a valuable early round pick on someone like Matthew Stafford or Michael Vick are now favoring the unexpected performers like Ryan Fitzpatrick or Robert Griffin. Similarly, we are now entering the part of the season where bye weeks are in full swing, leaving owners digging even deeper, scouring their bench and the waiver wire for talent. Heading into week 5, here are some players that should be solid starts and and a few others would be better suited for a seat on the bench.
- Christian Ponder (vs Ten) – Every quarterback that has played against the Titans this season has put up big numbers, including at least two touchdowns. Jerome Simpson is hopefully more acclimated after returning from suspension last week, and Christian Ponder has looked more mature, and more confident this season. Expect a good performance here.
- Andy Dalton (vs Mia) – Miami has a good run defense, and a bad pass defense. Andy Dalton has looked like a stud so far this season. Solid matchup all around here. The only worry would be if Cincinnati builds a sizable lead, and Dalton turns into game manager. Don’t expect 400 plus yards out of Tannehill every week, but if Miami is able to challenge for this game you can expect a big return from Dalton.
- Joe Flacco (@ KC) – Similar to the previous two QB’s on this list, Flacco faces a defense that is vulnerable against the pass this week. He is having a career year thus far, and should continue to roll this week against a shaky D.
- Ryan Mathews (@ NO) – If any Ryan Mathews owners in your leagues are feeling anxious about Jackie Battle limiting him to a cameo, take advantage and buy him at low value now. He will be back, and it will most likely be this week against a New Orleans defense that is atrocious against the run. Don’t forget about his added value in PPR.
- Cedric Benson (@ Ind) – If the Packers get ahead like expected, Benson should see a heavy workload. He has put up atleast 10 fantasy points in all but one week this season, and is coming into week 5 against a Colts defense that seems to give up atleast 15 points per week to the opposing RB.
- Marshawn Lynch (@ Car) – This one could get downright nasty. Not that you were thinking about benching Lynch anyways, but he is seemingly in line to really turn some heads this game. The Seahawks heavily favor the run, and Marshawn Lynch is the only guy getting touches. The Panthers are god awful against the run. 1 + 1 always equals 2 in fantasy football… right?
- Ryan Williams (@ StL) – Don’t be offput by his struggles in his first week starting. Last week the Cardinals played a tough Miami run defense. This week, Williams is hopefully in better shape after spending the offseason recovering from injury, and he is playing against a miserable St. Louis run defense.
- Marques Colston (vs SD) – Colston is finally healthy, and showed what he could do last week. Coming into a favorable matchup at home against San Diego, the Saints desperately need a win, and Lance Moore is battling hamstring problems. He should put up incredible numbers again this week.
- Malcom Floyd (@ NO) – If your players are matched up against the Saints, they’re probably a good start. New Orleans has let six receivers record over 20+ points this season, and Floyd is the prime target in San Diego.
- James Jones (@ Ind) – With Greg Jennings on the sidelines for the majority of last week, Jones exploded. Jennings is seemingly going to miss next week with the same groin injury, and Jones has seemingly developed a much better chemistry with Aaron Rodgers after some early season struggles.
- Kyle Rudolph (@ Det) – Don’t let the ghost of a week 4 performance scare you off. The Titans are the worst team in the league against the tight end. I expect a nice bounce back this week.
- Scott Chandler (@ SF) – The only spot to attack the ‘Niners defense seems to be through the tight end. Jermichael Finley, Kyle Rudolph, and Brandon Pettigrew have all hit paydirt against this tough defense, and at 6’7″, Chandler is a virtual mismatch against any defensive player he faces, linebacker or defensive back.
- NY Giants (vs Cle) – Weeden has 9 turnovers so far this season, and the Browns have notably struggled to put up points. This one is highly favorable.
- Seattle (@ Car) – The Seahawks should be able to shut down Cam Newton quite effectively, and dominate the time of possession through Marshawn Lynch attacking their garbage run defense
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ SF) – I’m not expecting a Christian Ponder-like performance against the tough SF defense, but I don’t think the Bills will roll over in this one quite like the Jets did last week. If you have a more favorable matchup, take it, but don’t expect Fitzpatrick to put up a duck in this one.
- Cam Newton (vs Sea) – Garbage points at the end of the game might be the only thing that could save Cam’s statline in this one.
- Chris Johnson (@ Min) – Still not sold on him. Minnesota has been playing tough this year, and allowed only one rushing touchdown.
- Shonn Greene (vs Hou) – The Jets are now seemingly more one-dimensional on offense than ever before. Shonn Greene has looked like outright trash, and might have even lost his job to Bilal Powell.
- Donald Brown (vs GB) – The Colts will most likely be forced to throw the ball for a majority of the game. If you play PPR, he could benefit if they work the screen pass into the offense effectively, but don’t expect huge things.
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs Mia) – Has not stood out so far this season, and most likely will not post a big game against a tough Miami run defense.
- Steve Johnson (@ SF) – The ‘Niners have managed to shut down Jordy Nelson, Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, and Percy Harvin. There are much better plays in a league that is very deep in WR talent.
- Larry Fitzgerald (@ StL) – Arizona might spend alot of time on the ground this game. The Rams have surprisingly only allowed one touchdown to a wide receiver this year.
- Steve Smith (vs Sea) – For the same reasons I wouldn’t play Cam Newton, stay away from Steve Smith. The Seahawks defense has been impressive in all aspects, and I wouldn’t expect them to deviate from that now.
- Jermaine Gresham (vs Mia) – This one depends on what kind of owner you are. A conservative owner would see that Miami has yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end this year. A more aggressive owner might recognize the Dolphins struggling secondary, and figure Gresham to be a key factor in a game where Cincinnati’s rushing game will most likely be limited. Personally, I think he will be astoundingly average here, in the 5-8.5 point range.
- Heath Miller (vs Phi) – Similar to Philly has been great covering the tight end. With Bear Pascoe as the only TE to post a touchdown against them, look elsewhere for a starter this week.
- Greg Olsen (vs Sea) – Have you figured out that I like Seattle’s defense yet?
- NY Jets (vs Hou) – No Revis leaves this defense vulnerable. The loss of Santonio Holmes makes the situation even more demoralizing for this struggling team.
- New England (vs Den) – Manning is coming off of a phenomenal performance, and I would not bet against him going into New England here.