By: Nate Leer
With week 5 comes the start of bye season. Now’s the time for roster depth and shrewd pickups to make a difference. Here’s the players we think you should target or start if you have them and those to avoid.
4 Players to start this week:
Marshawn Lynch – RB – Oak va. Bal: Oakland needs to win and win now and the best way for them to do that without QB Derek Carr is to lean on Lynch and the O line. This should be his breakout game against a subpar run D.
Devin Funchess – WR – Car @ Det: Funchess scored twice last week and he will continue to have opportunities as the clearcut #2 target for QB Cam Newton.
Latavius Murray – RB – Min @ Chi: Murray was signed to be the Vikes starting RB. Dalvin Cook’s emergence and Murray’s recovery from surgery delayed that development. Now Cook’s ACL injury opens the door for Murray. He is a complete back so TDs, receptions and plenty of carries are all possibilities. Chicago’s best LB is suspended which helps Murray’s potential production this week.
Dak Prescott – QB – Dal vs GB: It’s hard to imagine there is a better option to start than the QBs in this game. We all know Aaron Rodgers is a beast but Dak has separated himself from the crowded QB field and is looking like an every week start.
Honorable mention: Randall Cobb – WR – GB @ Dal, Isaiah Crowell – RB – Cle vs NYJ.
3 Players to bench or cut now:
Martavius Bryant – WR – Pit vs Jac: Don’t feel bad if you have to start Bryant in a pinch but look for other options. He could have a big play to yield some fantasy value and if you own him you expect he will blow up eventually. However, against this excellent pass D, a wait and see approach is wisest.
Hunter Henry – TE – LAC – @ NYG: Until QB Philip Rivers starts to focus on Henry and/or Antonio Gates becomes a nonfactor, Henry is virtually an impossible start. Sure he could catch a couple TDs any week but his lack of consistent targets makes it an exercise in futility to try to predict when that will come.
Javorius Allen – RB – Bal @ Oak: Time to cut bait on Allen. Between the mix of other RBs in the Ravens backfield and the overall ineptitude of their entire O, Allen can be swapped out for one of the players mentioned below.
Honorable mention: Chris Carson – RB – Sea @ LAR (injury), Jay Cutler – QB – Mia vs Ten.
3 Players to grab and stash:
Jacoby Brissett – QB – Ind vs SF: Andrew Luck’s replacement has a run of good matchups coming up. He is worth plugging in as a QB streamer in deep leagues and 2 QB leagues.
Elijah McGuire – RB – NYJ @ Cle: It seems like every rookie RB has produced when given a chance this year. McGuire could be the next low round pick to find success as his athletic ability looks superior to his backfield mates.
Jerick McKinnon – RB – Min @ Chi: In deeper leagues, Jet McKinnon is definitely worth a grab and stash. He could easily emerge as the most productive RB in Minnesota on an O that might pass a lot, which plays to his strengths.
Honorable mention: Jalen Richard – Oak vs Bal, J.D. McKissic – RB – Sea @ LAR.