As we pass the first quarter of the fantasy season, some of us sit atop our league and currently feel invincible, some of you may be sitting at 1-3 and are currently panicking. Well, don’t. There is a lot of football left and COVID has presented a barrier to which we all need to overcome at some point. Be proactive, add depth pieces and stay aggressive! It could be the difference between fantasy playoffs and fantasy blues. This week's starts and sits will begin with a quarterback who is available in most leagues and is a viable streaming option in Week 5. So let’s get into this week’s 5 Starts & 5 Sits.
QB – Kirk Cousins | Minnesota Vikings (@SEA)
You read that correctly, Cousins is our start at the quarterback position. Cousins has been hit or miss this year and his misses have hurt (Week 2 and Week 4), but this week will be a hit. Seattle is simply terrible against the pass and although I think they can turn things around on defense, it won’t happen this week in what should be a high scoring game with two terrible defenses. Cousins can easily end up a QB1 this week thanks to a healthy matchup against a secondary that has allowed the most passing yards to opposing quarterbacks as well as the emergence of rookie wideout, Justin Jefferson. Having Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen is just a nice safety blanket. So, tuck Cousins into your fantasy lineups this week.
RB – James Robinson | Jacksonville Jaguars (@HOU)
James Robinson has been nothing short of amazing this year. He’s on pace to have a better season than Fournette did in any of his three years on this team. Will he be able to keep it up? Mmm, that’s a question for another week as Robinson gets to face a Houston defense who has yielded the third-most fantasy points and most rushing yards to opposing running backs. Sprinkle in Robinson’s hefty workload and you have a recipe for success.
WR – Robby Anderson & D.J. Moore | Carolina Panthers (@ATL)
Remember how my last week’s quarterback start, Aaron Rodgers, performed? Well, insert here as Anderson gets his chance to face the Falcons defense as the current leader in targets for the Panthers four weeks into the season and that won't be changing. It seems like Anderson has inherited the D.J. Moore role from last year (more targets, less air yards) and Moore is inheriting the Curtis Samuel role (less targets, more air yards). I think this is a game they both turn it around not only because the Atlanta defense is sub-par and will allow points, or that the Panthers have a good offense, but also because the Falcons are allowing the fourth-most yards to opposing wide receivers on the defensive side of the ball and if that isn’t enough, the Falcons defensive backfield is dealing with a heap of injuries (Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen and Darqueze Dennard). They are both receiving valuable volume and should each end up WR2s in Week 5.
TE – Hunter Henry | Los Angeles Chargers (@ NO)
Henry was on this list in Week 2 where he put up a 6/83/0 stat line against the Chiefs. Well, the formula is the same here. The Chargers face a good offense and they will need to keep up. The Saints are good at locking down opposing wideouts but are horrendous against the tight end. The Saints have allowed the second-most points to the tight end position, with a friendly third-most yards and second-most touchdowns given to the position. Henry will be busy in this game and presents a high floor in Week 5.
D/ST – Arizona Cardinals (@ NYJ)
The Jets are without their best player… Sam Darnold. Who replaces him? Joe Flacco. Le’Veon Bell may be returning this week but with a mediocre offensive line, no offensive weapons and the Jets constantly trying to catch up; mistakes will be made. Play this defense.
QB – Tom Brady | Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ CHI)
Brady is back, baby! Well, he was. Brady looked good in last week’s win against the Chargers where he threw 5 touchdowns and one interception. But on a short week traveling north to Chicago without Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Justin Watson and an injured Mike Evans and Scotty Miller, it doesn’t look good on paper. The Bears defense has only allowed three passing touchdowns so far this year and have allowed the second-fewest points to the position. This is a short week where Brady will be without some key weapons and the rest are banged up, adding in that this defense is great against the pass… I’ll look elsewhere this week, especially with viable streaming options such as Teddy Bridgewater, Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins.
RB – Miami Running Backs | Miami Dolphins (@ SF)
I would’ve thought the San Francisco 49ers defense would be struggling right now without their two best pass rushers and pro bowl corner, Richard Sherman. But I was wrong. This defense is still good, especially against the run. Myles Gaskin as been the lead back for this team through four weeks and he looks pretty good. But I wouldn’t trust a guy who doesn’t get goal line carries who is also taken out of the game on third down situations. Myles Gaskin would have to break off large gains for a score to be fantasy relevant this week and that’s not something I’ll bet on as he faces the second-best run defense. The 49ers have allowed one rushing touchdown so far this season so the chance of Howard falling in is slim-to-none, but you weren’t really starting him anyways. None of these backs are a worthy start and if I had to guess, Breida may end up with the most fantasy points in this backfield in Week 5. But still, not worth the dart throw so look elsewhere.
WR – A.J. Green | Cincinnati Bengals (@ BAL)
We have seen Green do amazing things against the Ravens (i.e. Week 2 in 2018). But are we going to predict that for this year? No. The Ravens defense has only allowed two receivers into the endzone so far this year and both came against the Chiefs. With Tavon Young out, the defense will be best exposed from the slot position, a place where Green rarely goes. This may be more of a Tee Higgins game if anything else. But Green isn’t performing this year and is a high injury risk, couple that with a stingy matchup... I’m not going down with that boat, not anymore.
TE – Dalton Schultz | Dallas Cowboys (vs. NYG)
Schultz has been good for fantasy over the past couple weeks, so why is he on here now? Well, for one, Schultz isn’t a terrific receiver, but he gets the job done thanks to high volume and game script. However, this week I don’t think the Cowboys will be down 40 points and for the first time this year, they can hand the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys will control this game and should lead, so don’t expect Schultz to see much opportunity like he has in weeks previous. But if that isn’t enough for you, the Giants have only allowed 158 yards and zero touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Tough matchup, low volume, sit Schultz. Also, have you noticed this is the first player with a home game on this list?
D/ST – Los Angeles Chargers (@ NO)
The Chargers travel across the country to play the Saints who now get Michael Thomas back. The Saints offense is back to full strength and the Chargers defense is still figuring things out. On paper this defense is good, but they are getting beat on every level. If it wasn’t for a pick-six last week, this defense would’ve killed you for fantasy. I believe this defense can figure themselves out but it won’t be this week against one of the best offenses in football.
Chris Hexter is a former Towson University Tiger who majored in Communications and minored in Mass Communication Studies. Chris is a fantasy football writer and public relations and marketing professional for manufacturing and IT companies. Besides beating his friends in his home league, Chris enjoys shanking balls in golf, gaming, and spending time with his loving girlfriend (she made him say it). You can find him on twitter at https://twitter.com/ChrisHexter?s=09
Questions, comments, suggestions are welcome. Follow me on twitter @ChrisHexter and I'd be happy to answer any fantasy football question you may have.