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Five players you should avoid putting in your lineup for Week 5

George Pickens

George Pickens

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

We are heading into Week 5, and most managers are happily waving goodbye to last week’s disappointing injury news. Hopefully, you were able to snag those valuable waiver wire pickups to help your squad. Whether you’re 4-0 or 0-4, those all-important start and sit decisions are looming large. Here are five players to fade in Week 5 now that we have a better idea of what defenses look like in the NFL.

Remember, these are fades not automatic sits. You may not be in a position to sit these players. If that is the case, surround your roster with high upside options to help combat the low floor and capped upside they are facing this week.

Allen Robinson - WR Los Angeles Rams

This season has been full of surprises, but one that stands out in the NFC East is the emergence of the Dallas Cowboys defense. Their secondary is much improved and instead of picking on their squad for weekly starters in fantasy football, it’s time to start fading those players instead. They have allowed the sixth-fewest yards to wide receivers so far this season with 537. That averages out to 134.3 per game. For perspective, the Ravens have allowed the most with 242, and the Broncos have allowed just 118.5 per game.

The Rams’ offense has looked disjointed after their Super Bowl victory in the 2021 season. The offensive line cannot stay healthy and Sean McVay has had to shuffle around players to protect QB Matthew Stafford. Despite the effort, Stafford has been sacked 16 times including seven in last week’s loss to San Francisco.

It’s no secret that Stafford’s favorite target is Cooper Kupp who has already garnered 54 looks in four weeks. Right behind him is TE Tyler Higbee with 38. Allen Robinson, the new kid on the block, has seen only 18. That’s only two more targets than Ben Skowronek who has logged more receptions and yards on the veteran.

Until the Rams can get their offense and their offensive line in order, it’s a big risk to start any piece other than Kupp. Against the number one defense against wide receivers, it’s a no-brainer that Robinson needs to take a seat until further notice.

D.J. Moore - WR Carolina Panthers

Baker Mayfield isn’t panning out to be the answer the Panthers were looking for to fix their offense. Managers feel this deeply about D.J. Moore‘s lack of performance. He had a decent showing in Week 4 against Arizona in terms of real football with 11 targets, six receptions, and 50 yards, but that translated to only 9.1 points in half-PPR formats. As the WR1, Moore needs to be producing at a higher level to make him worth the investment.

Bayfield has thrown for over 200 yards only once this season and that was in Week 1 against the Browns in a revenge matchup. Since then, he has passed for only 145, 170, and 197 yards respectively through Week 4. That doesn’t bode well for his receiving corp.

The Panthers will host the San Francisco 49ers who dominated the Rams last week. They held Los Angeles to only 257 total yards, forced two turnovers, sacked Stafford seven times, and didn’t allow a single touchdown the entire game. Against an offense that is already struggling through the air against a defense that is on fire, Moore should be on your bench if you have other options to put in his place.

George Pickens - WR Pittsburgh Steelers

There is a change of the guard in Pittsburgh with rookie QB Kenny Pickett taking over under center. While this is good news overall for the franchise, the next few weeks are going to be a rough trial by fire for the young quarterback. The Steelers are facing the Bills in Buffalo who have allowed just two touchdowns all season to wide receivers.

Both Pickett and George Pickens are rookies, which is difficult enough as it is. Add a road game against the fifth-best defense and it is a Herculean task for the tandem to put up fantasy points. The Bills’ secondary can be exploited and Pickett isn’t afraid to chuck the ball downfield. Against Buffalo, that may translate more into interceptions rather than splash plays to Pickens.

He was a hot pickup on the waiver wire last week, but he may be better suited to take a back seat until the Steelers can string together some experience with Pickett. There is always the chance that Pickens breaks through with a long touchdown, but that’s the ceiling. He is the definition of boom or bust and this matchup leads to the latter in Pickett’s first start in the NFL.

Tyler Allgeier - RB Atlanta Falcons

Another hot waiver wire add was the Falcons’ rookie RB Tyler Allgeier who has started to emerge as a threat in Atlanta’s offense. Normally, the loss of the starting running back would be excellent news for the backup option. However, the Falcons are facing the third-best defense against RBs in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.

Cordarrelle Patterson has been ruled out for this week’s matchup, so that gives Allgeier a bump in volume. You may also be in a position where you have to play him if you are dealing with the potential loss of Jonathan Taylor and the season loss of Javonte Williams. If that is the case, surround your roster with high upside players to help combat the capped upside.

Michael Carter - RB New York Jets

It looks like the writing is on the wall for Michael Carter as rookie Breece Hall starts to take over as a dominant force in this offense. Week 4 was the tipping point where Hall rushed 17 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. Carter only got 15 yards out of nine attempts. Hall also saw three more targets from Zach Wilson who is back from injury.

The Jets are hosting the Miami Dolphins this week whose defense has stepped up to the plate. They are tied with the 49ers for the second-fewest rushing yards allowed (229).

While the total rushing yards against the Dolphins is stingy, they have allowed the third-most red zone touches to running backs. Unfortunately, the back at the goal line is trending more toward Hall instead of Carter whose RZ Touches are dwindling as each week passes.

Carter’s days are limited if they aren’t done already for fantasy football managers. If Carter happens to pull through, bundle him in a trade while you can.