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Fantasy Football -- Week 5 Starts and Sits

Starts (and players who might surprise)

Jacoby Brissett, QB, Colts – It takes a lot for owners to consider starting a Colts quarterback not named Andrew Luck. How about a home game against the 49ers during a bye week that has Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan out? Brissett has been competent in his starts and he has weapons, namely T.Y. Hilton and his own legs. This could be a game where Indy feeds Frank Gore against his former team, but Brissett should be more helpful than most would assume.

Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers -- This call is more about the opposing defense than the potential sleeper, though Chargers tight end Hunter Henry has game. Los Angeles plays Sunday on the road against a New York Giants defense that has allowed at least one touchdown to a tight end in all four games this season including two in Week 5. Henry only has nine receptions all season, but he scored his first TD of the season last week. With Jordan Reed and Coby Fleener on byes and Rob Gronkowski inactive, Henry makes for a strong fill in.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers – Gut call. Jaguars Jalen Ramsey is turning into one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks and likely chases after Antonio Brown. Ben Roethlisberger won’t shy away from throwing at his top receiver, but maybe Ramsey’s presence is just enough for a few more looks for Bryant. He came close to hauling in some big plays last week. This week Bryant and Big Ben clocks in with some fantasy gold.

Duke Johnson, RB, Browns – Isaiah Crowell only received 22 snaps in Week 4 and admitted he stormed out of the postgame locker room after the latest Cleveland loss. Meanwhile, Johnson continued his pass-catching trend of more and more. In four games, Johnson has 2, 3, 6 and 9 receptions. The carries aren’t there, but maybe, just maybe, the Browns have lead in the second half at home against the Jets. If so and the Crowell situation remains sulky, Johnson might get 15+ touches.


Others: Frank Gore, RB, Colts; Will Fuller, WR, Texans; Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers; Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Jets

Sits (and players who might let you down)

DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans -- Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota (hamstring) isn't looking like he'll play Sunday, which makes the Titans offense dicey. Murray will receive plenty of work at Miami, but there might not be much payoff in standard leagues if Tennessee cannot keep the chains moving with Matt Cassel at quarterback. The Dolphins are allowing only 3.24 yards per carry.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Rams – Watkins and quarterback Jared Goff rocked in Week 3, but Goff rolled with other options in Week 4 with Watkins in decoy mode. Even if we want to imagine a bounce back in Week 5, that Los Angeles is hosting Seattle limits dreaming. Buy into the Goff-Watkins connection long-term. For this week against one of the league’s top secondaries, look elsewhere

Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders – Good news: Crabtree is expected back after missing last week with a chest injury. Bad news: Quarterback Derek Carr is out at least for this week, meaning E.J. Manuel takes control of the offense. Hmmm. Crabtree and Amari Cooper should catch enough passes and perhaps turn one into a long gainer. There’s simply too much boom-or-bust potential to think of Crabtree as anything more than a WR3 this week.

Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona – The Cardinals are doing the West-to-East travel thing with a 1:00 kickoff in Philadelphia. That’s always worth considering. Here’s something else: Carson Palmer just isn’t that good anymore. Larry Fitzgerald is and John Brown gives Arizona a deep threat, but there’s not much balance in the offense which Philadelphia’s potent defensive line can rush and rush and rush some more. There’s a chance this turns into a shootout so using Palmer as a bye week QB has merit. There are also reasons why owners could be let down.

Others: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings; Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills; Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers, Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders