Austin Ekeler - Fantasy Football Start and Sit
Sep 22, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Houston Texans inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney (55) forces Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) out of bounds during the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back fantasy friends and foes to the PFN weekly fantasy football start-sit. 

Week 4 was a little rough on me, but I guess that’s what I deserve after thinking a few Washington Redskins players would actually produce. 

I looked smart on my Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard projections, but not so much on my selections of quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Kyle Allen

There are zero Redskins recommendations this week, so let’s dive in my Week 5 evaluations in the Fantasy Football: 6 Players to Start and Sit in Week 5. 

Quarterbacks

START: Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Fantasy owners are wise to start any quarterback facing the Kansas City Chiefs, who are tied with the Baltimore Ravens in averaging the most points scored per game with 33.8 points. 

In Week 5, fantasy owners have to get the Chiefs’ opposing quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, in their starting lineups. Brissett will have to throw often to keep up the pace with the Chiefs’ offensive attack. Combine the Chiefs offense juggernaut with the fact that Brissett is proving himself to be a legit offensive threat this season. 

Brissett is currently the only quarterback in the league to throw for two-or-more touchdowns in every game this season. He’s presently putting up numbers without his number one receiver T.Y. Hilton, who missed the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 4 matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Without Hilton in Week 4, Brissett still threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns. 

Hilton will be a game-time decision for this Week 5 matchup. Regardless, Brissett should continue his excellent start this season. He is an excellent option at quarterback in a projected high-scoring contest for fantasy owners in Week 5. 

SIT: Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills 

Marcus Mariota shocked fantasy owners last week by throwing for 227 yards and three touchdowns in a plus matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. 

However, fantasy owners are familiar with the inconsistencies of Mariota. We can never predict which version of Mariota we will see for fantasy owners.

This week, Mariota will go up against the Buffalo Bills, who surrender the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The Bills just finished shutting down Tom Brady last week to only 150 passing yards and zero touchdowns. 

Look for Mariota to produce similar stats to Brady, which will force Mariota to the bench for fantasy owners. 

Running Back

START:  Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos

I know that Melvin Gordon is back, but Austin Ekeler is still a strong start this week. Ekeler will play a lot, although Gordon will get some touches. Ekeler is having a remarkable season with a league-high six total touchdowns. 

Ekeler should thrive against the Denver Broncos’ defense in Week 5. The Broncos’ defense just gave up 225 rushing yards to Leonard Fournette in Week 4. 

Don’t give up on Ekeler yet! He will still have a role in the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense, especially in Week 5. Make sure Ekeler is in your starting lineups this week. 

START: James White, RB, New England Patriots vs. Washington Redskins

The New England Patriots are and always have been frustrating for fantasy football owners. The Patriots like to play all of their running backs weekly, even including special teams ace Brandon Bolden occasionally rushing for a touchdown.

However, the one constant is James White, who has 21 targets in three games (missed Week 3 following the birth of his son). In his Week 4 return, White jumped directly back into his pass-catching role with ten targets. 

With Rex Burkhead out this week, look for White to see a considerable share of the running back touches along with Sony Michel. Michel is having a poor season as the Patriots are struggling to open holes in the running game. The loss of blocking fullback James Develin has been felt more than even the Patriots realized. 

The Redskins allowed backup running back Wayne Gallman to gain 118 total yards, including a receiving stat line of six catches for 55 yards and a touchdown in Week 4. 

White should put impressive fantasy numbers in Week 5. Fantasy owners should get White in all of their PPR starting lineups. 

SIT: Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears 

Former Alabama running back Josh Jacobs is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and should be considered the front-runner for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Unfortunately, he has not scored a touchdown since Week 1. It won’t be easy for him to score in Week 5 either when he faces the tough Chicago Bears’ defense. The Bears have one of the top run defenses in the league and held the NFL’s leading rusher, Dalvin Cook, to just 35 yards rushing on 14 carries in Week 4. 

His lack of touches in the passing game limits his upside, especially since the Raiders are projected to play from behind. 

The Bears are allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs this season. This matchup doesn’t bode well for Jacobs and his fantasy production. Fantasy owners need to find other options for Week 5.

SIT: Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

Ronald Jones has out carried Peyton Barber 33 times to 22 times in the past two weeks. Jones seems to be the lead running back in Tampa Bay. 

However, Jones is not involved in the passing game with only three combined targets so far this season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a road underdog in their Week 5 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, so I don’t see much of a role for Jones this week. 

Additionally, the Saints run defense has given up an average of just 12.5 fantasy points per game this season (seventh-fewest in the NFL). 

Despite the recent accolades for Jones, fantasy owners should sit Jones in Week 5. 

Wide Receiver 

START: Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

The recent news of Davante Adams being ruled out for Week 5 means that Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will see a considerable uptick in targets. 

I prefer Allison out of this receiver duo. He has not received more than four targets in a game this season, including three catches for 52 yards and a score last week. 

The Green Bay Packers face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5. The Cowboys have allowed the sixth-fewest wide receiver fantasy points this season. However, the Cowboys have not faced Aaron Rodgers this season, so I project that Allison will see six-plus targets and a touchdown in Week 5.

START: Auden Tate, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Cincinnati Bengals placed their top wideout John Ross on injured reserve earlier this week. Auden Tate has recorded 16 targets over the past two weeks, and fantasy owners can expect an uptick in targets, especially considering their Week 5 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. 

The Cardinals rank second to last in total defense so far this season. Tate is a sneaky play this week, especially with the Bengals running game struggles. Some of your fellow owners might laugh to see Tate in your lineup, but you will get the last laugh with the fantasy production from Tate. 

Start Tate, and if you play DFS, get Tate in those lineups as well. 

SIT:  Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears

Tyrell Williams is questionable heading into the Week 5 matchup in London against the Chicago Bears with a foot injury. This looks to be a game-time decision, but this is not the only reason to be concerned with Williams this week. 

Williams has scored in four straight games but faces his toughest test in Week 5 with a matchup against a Bears’ defense who has given up just three touchdowns this season. 

He is only averaging 3.7 receptions and 37 receiving yards over his past three games. Williams is a touchdown or bust receiver. 

A nightmare matchup should find Williams on your bench in Week 5. 

SIT: DJ Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Carolina Panthers

DJ Chark leads the Jacksonville Jaguars with 19 receptions, and his touchdown streak of three consecutive games came to an end in Week 4. 

Any expectation of Chark beginning another streak is limited in Week 5 with the Jaguars facing the Carolina Panthers in Week 5. The Panthers have allowed just two receiving touchdowns to wide receivers this season. Additionally, the Panthers pass defense has given up an NFL-best 156.8 passing yards per game. 

Fantasy football owners should be hesitant to start Chark against this elite Panthers’ pass defense in Week 5. 

Tight End

START: Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Green Bay Packers receiving options will need to step up in Week 5 with elite wide receiver Davante Adams already been ruled out due to a toe injury suffered in Week 4. 

Following Adams’ injury, tight end Jimmy Graham was targeted four times by Aaron Rodgers. Graham finished catching six of nine targets for 61 yards and a touchdown last week. 

Rodgers spoke about getting the ball to Graham more often before last week’s game, and Graham posted season highs across the board. Graham will be targeted heavily in the Week 5 matchup against the Cowboys, who surrender the 10th most points to tight ends this season.

Fantasy owners should look for Graham to be peppered with targets in Week 5. Targets equal opportunities so start Graham in your fantasy football lineup. 

SIT:  Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills

Fantasy owners doubted if Delanie Walker would return to be fantasy relevant at the age of 35 after a brutal ankle injury suffered in 2018. 

Walker started the 2019 season with a bang, catching five passes for 55 yards and scored two touchdowns in a blowout win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 1. After four games, Walker leads the Titans in targets (23) and receptions (17) and tied for the most receiving touchdowns (2). 

In Week 4, the Titans tight end was held to one reception for four yards against the Atlanta Falcons even though his much-maligned quarterback Marcus Mariota threw three touchdowns in the Titans 24-10 victory over the Falcons. 

His Week 5 opponent, the Buffalo Bills, allow the fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, continuing their dominance from last season where they also allowed the fewest points to tight ends in the previous year as well. 

Fantasy football owners need to find another option in Week 5 and sit Walker. 

Dennis Sosic is a writer for the Pro Football Network covering Fantasy Football. Dennis is also a co-host of the Fantasy Fixers podcast for PFN. You can follow him @CALL_ME_SOS on Twitter.

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