Week 5: Sit 'Em
Week 3 wrap-up:
Frank Gore - Gore finally brought off some runs this season. He averaged 8.5 yards per carry with a long of 40 yards. Gore also caught 2 passes for minimal yardage.
Cam Newton - Newton completed 27 of 46 passes with 374 passing yards and 1 score with 1 interception. He also scored twice on 8 rushing attempts for 35 yards.
Ben Tate - With the return of Arian Foster, who rushed for 155 yards, Tate received minimal carries and rushed for 20 yards.
Steven Jackson - Jackson rushed for 45 yards, but did score on one of his receptions -- 4 for 19 yards.
DeSean Jackson - Vick played and Jackson caught 6 passes for 171 yards without a score.
Fred Davis - Chris Cooley and Fred Jackson were ineffective this week. Watch this unfold.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis - Stevan Ridley nearly reached 100 yards rushing and continued to steal carries. Green-Ellis rushed for 75 yards and a score and caught one pass.
With the first bye week upon us, fantasy owners now have more important start-sit decisions to make. Starters like Ray Rice, the Dallas offense, and others are unavailable this week; so choose your team wisely.
This week I think you should sit:
LeGarrette Blount finally looked decent this past week, but it was against Indianapolis.
Darren Sproles is appealing in PPR leagues, but might not get you the points in standard leagues. He twice took the ball down the one yard line last week and did not get to score.
Mike Tolbert is losing possessions to Ryan Mathews, who appears to be gaining traction with his game.
Deion Branch did score this past week, but it was on his one 4 yard reception and the week before he did not even register a catch. The trend is not looking good even with Brady at the helm.
Pierre Garcon had a monster game on Monday night, but I do not think the passing situation in Indianapolis will be consistently solid.
Devery Henderson's opportunities have dwindled now that Colston is back in action and Brees is spreading the ball around.
Scott Chandler might be on your short list as a fill-in at tight end, but he will not likely produce big numbers this week.
I agree, Blount has been upgraded in many fantasy leagues following his performances in Weeks 3 and 4. However, as our Upgrades article states, the San Francisco run defense is only allowing an average of 74 rushing yards to opposing backs. In his Week 4 romp for 127 rushing yards, Blount faced an Indy defense that is allowing 133 yards on average to running backs. Tampa Bay will have to air the ball out against San Francisco this week and this will limit some of Blount's carries. Josh Freeman is also a mobile quarterback and he may choose some run options as well. Blount will likely see the carries this week, but be limited in terms of the gaps he sees and the yardage he gains. I think Blount will be good for 60-70 yards, but no score this week. Another downside to Blount is the fact that he does not factor in to the passing game much. Sell Blount high if you can and avoid playing him this week.
The upside to Sproles this week is that Carolina is giving up 140 some rushing yards to backs. The downside is that Drew Brees and Cam Newton are likely to engage in a shootout this week. New Orleans is giving up 254 average passing yards and Carolina is giving up 203 passing yards. New Orleans also limits rushers to 94 yards per game. I figure New Orleans will begin with a forced rushing game, but air the ball out as needed to keep a lead in this game. Newton will look to exploit the passing game to take pressure off his backs and try to get points on the board. I think Sproles will see 20-30 rushing yards and get his average of 4-5 receptions, but he will not score. Last week Sproles got within a yard of the end zone twice, only to find others scoring the touchdowns. Sproles only has value in PPR leagues for the most part.
This week Tolbert and Mathews (who is gaining great traction in his running game) face a Denver defense that is allowing about 102 yards to running backs. To-date this season Tolbert has been playing a greater role in the passing game than the running attack. As you look at the match-up this week and figure San Diego should beat Denver, do not count on Tolbert as a bye week fill-in or flex option. It is likely that both Mathews and Tolbert will get opportunities and gain yardage vs. Denver, but my vote goes for Mathews being the workhorse here. Tolbert will likely get 6-7 rushing attempts and gain 20-30 yards on the ground, plus he may add 15 yards or so in receptions. I think Mathews will get the goal line carries and have the opportunity to run wild on Denver this week.
Branch has been quite the disappointment lately. A week ago, he failed to record a single reception. This past week, he caught one reception for four yards and it happened to be for a touchdown. Personally, Branch is killing me this season. I was hoping he would benefit from the stellar season Brady is having, but all the spoils are going to Gronkowski and Welker. If you have Branch on your roster and think he might make a good flex or wide receiver three this week, I think not. New York is only allowing 180 yards per game to receivers on average and if Brady has eyes for other targets, you might as well forget about Branch for now. I think Branch will come around and have some solid outings from now until the end of the season, but I think they will be hit or miss. Keep Branch on your bench.
Garcon came up big in Week 4, but I think Indianapolis will refocus to Wayne, Clark, and crew now that the passing game is getting some momentum. This week Garcon and mates face a Kansas City defense that is giving up 130 rushing yards and 243 passing yards per game. I think Indianapolis has major issues with their ground game, but will fair well this week. Therefore, the passing game will have more time to focus and get the ball to some other receivers. Wayne and Clark should have decent production in Week 5 with Painter under center. Garcon will also play into the mix, but Kansas City will be aware of the the big play options and keep Garcon at bay. I think Garcon will have an average week with 60-70 yards and no score.