Start or Sit - Week 5

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Welcome to Week 5 of the fantasy football season.

Today we'll give you the names of some players we think you should start, and those who you should sit.

Like I tell you every week, you probably won't find your stud players on this list. Guys like Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson should always be started, regardless of who they're playing so it's a waste of time to even mention them.

If you have any questions about your lineup, send me an email at

and between Ricky and myself, we'll do the best we can to help you out.

Otherwise, good luck this weekend.


Must starts: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning , Tony Romo, Drew Brees


Jon Kitna - Lions vs. Bears - Despite playing against what most feel is an above average defense, Kitna deserves strong consideration for two reasons.

Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher.

Vasher had surgery on his hand yesterday and Tillman left last week's game with a shoulder injury. Both are questionable for Sunday's tilt against the Lions and if they're not on the field, Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson are going to have a field day.

Matt Cassel - Patriots vs. 49ers - Coming off their embarrassing loss to the Dolphins in Week 3, I'm sure Bill Belichick did everything in his power to get Cassel ready for this game.

And I think he's going to deliver. The 49ers do have a very underrated, veteran secondary but Cassel will deliver.

Phillip Rivers - Chargers vs. Dolphins - After suffering through a knee injury in the offseason, Rivers has come out firing and this matchup is just too tempting to resist.

He threw three touchdown passes in each of the Chargers' first three games.

Out of nowhere he could possibly become one of the top five fantasy quarterbacks this season, replacing Carson Palmer.

Matt Hasslebeck - Seahawks vs. Giants - He's finally going to have a corps of receivers that Mike Holmgren didn't pick up off of the streets.

Remember that when Hasslebeck has the weapons around him, high fantasy numbers are more of regularity than a rarity.


Kerry Collins - Titans vs. Ravens - I was doubtful of that Ravens defense heading into their Monday night matchup against the Steelers. But afterward I'm ready to sing their praises.

Collins is going to have a tough time staying in the pocket to make good throws and he'll end up on his back at least three times on Sunday. Just hopefully not for good.

Aaron Rogers - Packers vs. Falcons - That shoulder sprain he's dealing with has forced the Packers staff to limit Rogers to only handoffs in practice this week.

He won't throw a pass until tomorrow, which makes me very nervous about this start.

The Packers are desperate to get their running game going and this is the perfect opportunity.

J.T. O'Sullivan - 49ers vs. Patriots - Untested quarterback playing against a team coached by Belichick.

Don't like this one bit.

Running Backs

Must starts: LaDanian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson (Min), Joseph Addai , Brian Westbrook, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, Chris Johnson


Matt Forte - Bears vs. Lions - The defense up in Detroit may be celebrating Matt Millen's departure, but overall they've got to be deathly afraid of attempting to stop Forte on Sunday.

He's been everything the Bears and fantasy owners could have ever hoped for and will run rampant against that weak Lions D.

Steve Slaton - Texans vs. Colts - What's going to help Slaton the most here isn't the fact that Colts S Bob Sanders isn't playing.

What's going to help is that Texans QB Matt Schaub is coming off his best game as a pro and go a long way in giving Slaton plenty of room to run.

He's been a very nice surprise thus far and will produce for you again against the Colts.

Michael Turner - Falcons vs. Packers - He plays behind one of the worst offensive lines in football, but still manages to deliver consistently in the fantasy world.

The Packers run defense certainly looked suspect against the Bucs last week and the Falcons will have to lean on Turner to have a chance.


Deuce McAllister - Saints vs. Vikings - You probably are excited to insert him into your starting lineup after snagging him on the waiver wire. But I'm fairly confident you should wait a week.

He's the type of back that the Vikings defense absolutely dominates because Deuce makes his money up the middle. But that just also happens to be the strongest part of the Vikings line.

Reggie Bush will be a much better play here than Deuce.

Chris Perry - Bengals vs. Cowboys - He's the definition of mediocre.

Perry doesn't break tackles or make people miss. He just kind of falls forward and occasionally stumbles for a few extra yards. It's tempting to play him only because he's scored a few touchdowns this season.

But this Bengals team is terrible and with the addition of Cedric Benson to the roster, nobody in Cincinnati is confident Perry can shoulder the load.

Ronnie Brown - Dolphins vs. Chargers - I know you're scared to death of missing another 5-TD performance from Brown but come on. Let's be honest with each other.

Do you really see him ever even scratching the surface of a day like that ever again?

Or, for that matter, the Dolphins playing a better game this season?

Wide Receivers

Must starts: Randy Moss, Terrel Owens, Braylon Edwards (bye), Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, Plaxico Burress (suspension), Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall


Randy Moss - Patriots vs. 49ers - If the Patriots have any chance of keeping Moss happy and their season alive, this is the week they need to feed him the ball early and often.

I'm not sure how many times coaches have to be reminded of this, but you have to throw at least two to three deep passes to Moss a game because there's nobody in the game who can go up and get it like he can.

Chris Chambers - Chargers vs. Dolphins - Any time a receiver of Chambers' caliber is facing off against a former team you have to start him.

A guy with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove is always something you want to look for and exploit.

Steve Breaston - Cardinals vs. Bills - Anquan Boldin suffered one of the most gruesome hits I've ever seen last weekend and as a result, will most likely miss this week's game against the Bills.

Breaston filled in admirably in Boldin's absence (122 yds) against the Jets and can count on Warner looking his way often come Sunday.


Chad _______ - Bengals vs. Cowboys - Until he proves otherwise, Eight Five should stay on your bench unless you have no other viable options.

He may talk a great game, but other than that he's got nothing to offer you.

Donald Driver - Packers vs. Falcons - He absolutely bombed last week and it's crystal clear that Rogers is looking in Greg Jenning's direction most of the time.

Isaac Bruce - 49ers vs. Patriots The old man has been delivering for you so far. But against the Pats I think he's going to struggle.

I'm a big believer in the law of averages and I just don't see Bruce scoring a TD for a third straight week.

Tight Ends

Must starts: Antonio Gates, Chris Cooley, Kellen Winslow Jr., Jason Witten


Owen Daniels - Texans vs. Colts - Texans quarterback Matt Schaub looked his way more than stud WR Andre Johnson last week.

He's a great option at TE and will have another nice week against a Colts team that leaves the middle of the field wide open.


Heath Miller - Steelers vs. Jaguars - Someone needs to remind Big Ben that Miller is still on the team. I'm not sure what has happened in Pittsburgh, but the TE has been an afterthought through the first five weeks.

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Lineup help

2 RBs M Lynch, B Jacobs, S Slaton, C Johnson

I'm ruling out Johnson because of matchup. I'd like to get Slaton in there but I am unsure who to sit between Lynch and Jacobs. Lynch is on the road and has been a bit hit or miss, Jacobs is home and coming off bye but last time he played D Ward upstaged him. What do you recommend?

Also for WR I have Houshmanzadeh, I Bruce, L Moore, and B Engram. Need 3, thinking of waiting a week on Engram to see how it goes...

Olsen responds: I think ruling out Johnson is the right thing to do, even though he has been such a goldmine thus far.

Slaton is a must start from here on out. In my eyes, he's a hybrid back like Reggie Bush i some respects. But I actually like Slaton more as a runner than I do Bush.

His first start against the ridiculously tough Titans defense, Slaton lit it up for 116 yds and a TD while averaging an impressive 6.4 yds per carry.

Last week he put his pass catching ability on display, snagging eight catches for 83 yds and a TD.

He's going to be good and the matchup against the weak Colts defense is too good to ignore.

As for your statement about Lynch being inconsistent, I'd have to strongly disagree.

Week 4 was his first without a touchdown, and through the first three games he racked up four touchdowns, scoring two in one game in Week 3.

Compared to Jacobs, there's no question Lynch is the better option of the two.

Jacobs has only scored a single touchdown and has less yards. But the yardage doesn't mean as much because of the G-Men's bye in Week 4.

Lynch is undoubtedly one of the top seven backs this weekend and should be in your lineup.

Slaton and Lynch has a nice ring to it if I may say so myself.

Housh and Moore are definite starts, no worries there.

But I think deciding between Bruce and Engram is the one you should focus on.

The Patriots are coming off their bye week and have had two weeks to prepare for this game against the 49ers and their inexperienced quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan.

Granted, Bruce has scored a touchdown three straight weeks now and has been a pleasant surprise. However, I'm a big believer in the law of averages and the likelihood of Bruce doing it four times in a row is a definite stretch to me.

Engram is going to be the focal point of that 'Hawks passing game and Hasslebeck definitely didn't forget how drop back and fire.

Not sure if you saw this, but it'll tell you a lot about Engram's role this weekend:

"The AP reports that Bobby Engram will not be eased back into the offense, but rather depended upon immediately. "I'm going to get him the ball. He's going to get his touches," coach Mike Holmgren said. "Having Bobby in the game, for all of us, it's a feel-good thing. It's comforting." Holmgren also called him, "the soul of our team."

Engram and Hasslebeck have such a connection that they vacationed together in the offseason so they could continue working on their timing.

I'd go Engram, Housh and Moore.

Good luck buddy.

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About the bloggers

Matt Wood is a web editor for and editor of He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on October 2, 2008 8:25 AM.

Can Week Four's stars keep it going? was the previous entry in this blog.

Injuries to monitor through the weekend is the next entry in this blog.

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