The Start’em Six
Doug Martin (TB) vs. Patriots- With the bye weeks here, Martin’s reinstatement couldn’t have been timed any better. Martin looked healthy and in form during preseason games and now gets to start his 2017 season against the worst defense in the NFL. If you have RBs on the bye this week with Martin on your bench, he becomes a must-start in PPR, standard, and in DFS with such a tantalizing matchup.
Bilal Powell (NYJ) at Browns- Powell finally saw the lion’s share of touches with Forte out last week. Powell showed off what he can do with a hefty workload and now he faces a lowly 0-4 Cleveland Browns team in Week 5. Forte is questionable now but even if he does play, I like Powell’s chances to receive high volume from here on out.
Ameer Abdullah (DET) vs. Panthers- Abdullah finally came through with big production in Week 4 on the road versus one of the stingiest defenses in football. It’s very encouraging to see the volume Abdullah’s been getting, targets in the passing game, and even goal-line work. I believe Week 4 proved his worth as a Fantasy starter moving forward.
Baltimore Ravens D/ST at Raiders- The Ravens defense has really fallen off from their first two weeks of dominance. Normally, the Raiders would be a matchup to stay away from, but with Derek Carr on the shelf and E.J. Manuel taking over, the Ravens should have ample opportunity to create turnovers and keep the scoring low. Feel free to stream the Ravens defense in Week 5; they could easily be the highest scoring one of the week.
Will Fuller (HOU) vs. Chiefs- Fuller came back from injury last week and showed flashes of his dynamic abilities. He doesn’t come without flaws, but his speed really helps open the offensive playbook for rookie QB Deshaun Watson. This week, facing off with the undefeated Chiefs seems daunting, but with CB Marcus Peters shadowing DeAndre Hopkins most of the game, Fuller becomes a viable boom or bust option, especially in DFS where his percentage owned should be low.
Hunter Henry (LAC) at Giants- Hunter Henry’s been completely up and down thus far, which makes him a prototypical bye week filler/match-up play. The Giants are one of the worst teams versus TEs in 2017 and Henry is still a very talented player. If you need a TE for the bye, are looking for a good match-up play, or simply feel he’s worth the risk, plug Henry into your lineups with little fear. Henry’s also a great DFS play in Week 5 considering his price and high chances of being low percentage owned.
The Sit’em Six
Marshawn Lynch (OAK) vs. Ravens- Lynch started 2017 off on the right foot, but he’s been completely stagnant as of late. Part of the reason is the tough defensive teams he’s played, but another part is because Lynch’s simply too old to make big plays. Lynch’s a “pound it up the middle” type rusher who can break tackles and tire defenses out when holding a lead late in games. Otherwise, Lynch has very little upside, especially now with his star QB out for two to six weeks. With almost nothing to offer as a receiver as well, Lynch has a very low floor, it’s best to stash him on your bench until Carr gets back.
Eddie Lacy (SEA) at Rams- It looks like the Seahawks will be playing musical RBs all season long. At first, it was Lacy to be the workhorse RB in Seattle, then it was Rawls, then it was Carson, and now we’re back to Lacy after Carson has been put on IR. No matter the situation, starting a Seahawks RB is just not worth it at this point.
Michael Crabtree (OAK) vs. Ravens- No one wants to sit Crabtree when healthy, but he’s been dealing with injury for two weeks now. Whether he plays or not, Crabtree is a sit candidate if you have someone worthy to replace him on the bench. Without Derek Carr around for the next few weeks or more, it’s hard to like Crabtree and Cooper with E.J. Manuel at QB, especially facing a solid defense like the Ravens.
Sammy Watkins (LAR) vs. Seahawks- Watkins has truly been very hit or miss in 2017, He’s a good DFS play most weeks but it’s difficult to start him in season-long. With a matchup against the division rival Seahawks, who still possess a borderline elite secondary, Watkins is a sit for me. However, I believe Watkins will rebound after Week 5 and become a second-half hero.
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST at Texans- Even without their superstar safety Eric Berry, the undefeated Chiefs have been relatively consistent on defense. But, aside from the Patriots who scored 27 points on the Chiefs and didn’t turn the ball over, they haven’t been truly tested. I’m a firm believer in Deshaun Watson and although the Chiefs defense is much better than the Titans, 54 points is nothing to sneeze at. The Texans’ offense is starting to come together. With Fuller back and Watson playing like he’s a five-year veteran, I wouldn’t take my chances starting this Chiefs defense in Week 5.