It’s go time. We’re five weeks in to the fantasy season, which is likely one-third or larger of your fantasy regular season. Owners with two wins or fewer are feeling the heat. The time is now to make moves. Don’t wait. Get creative with your deals. Let me help you if you don’t know what you’re doing by showing you what I wrote two years ago.
Now that you’ve acquired your new talent, it’s time to get your lineup in order. Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Eli Manning (QB – N.Y. Giants)
The Giants’ offense is alive and kicking over the last three weeks. Even better, they face the Eagles this weekend. You see, the Eagles have given up at least two passing touchdowns in every game so far this year. They just gave up 375 passing yards to Austin Davis after giving up 427 yards to Kirk Cousins a few weeks ago. With all his receiving weapons in the fold, look for Manning to have a big day on Sunday.
Andre Williams (RB – N.Y. Giants)
You just grabbed Williams off the waiver wire (or maybe you had the foresight to stash him given Rashad Jennings’ injury history) and hopefully you’ve got him in your lineup this week. He’s a top 10 option and a better look than regular names like Zac Stacy, Alfred Morris, or Matt Asiata. Williams is going to get at least 20 touches this weekend, has a good chance for touchdowns because the Eagles’ defense sucks, and has athleticism numbers that jump off the charts.
Branden Oliver (RB – San Diego)
Bravo if you had the foresight to start Oliver last weekend because 99 percent of America didn’t see it coming. Not only was Oliver playing second string when the game started, but the Jets’ defense had shut things down against the run so far this year. Oliver also found himself on many a waiver wire this week and his new owners should feel good about starting him over those names listed above as well as C.J. Spiller, Doug Martin, and Ahmad Bradshaw. (The same applies to Williams) The Raiders will be another easy opportunity for Oliver to shine.
Mohamed Sanu (WR – Cincinnati)
Sadly it looks as if A.J. Green is going to be out at least one week, but probably more. I say sadly because I own him in two leagues. (Somewhere a trombone plays…) Sanu may not be ready to face lockdown defensive attention, but thankfully for him, Carolina can’t offer that. His ability to get down the field will be a positive as he becomes Andy Dalton’s prime receiving target.
Justin Hunter (WR – Tennessee)
Hunter was inserted into Tennessee’s starting lineup last week despite not being a great worker and not having a full grasp of the plays. Hunter is just so talented and the Titans are finally giving him a shot. The Jaguars are on Hunter’s schedule this week and they’re tied for the most yards allowed to wide receivers this season. Hunter will get down the field and whichever Titans’ quarterback who plays will find him.
Jordan Reed (TE – Arizona)
Reed excelled a few times last year before concussions ended his season. He couldn’t get things going this year after tweaking his hamstring in the first game. Now he’s expected to be back in uniform for Sunday’s game against Arizona and his owners should be happy. The Cardinals have allowed over 80 yards to tight ends in three of their four games this year, so there will be space for Reed to shine.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Cam Newton (QB – Carolina)
The Bengals just got ripped up by Tom Brady on national TV because that’s what the Bengals do on national TV. This week they’re back home and can get back to what they did in the first three weeks of the season. That was limiting opposing quarterbacks to less than a touchdown per game. Cam Newton has struggled at times this year and given the Bengals ability to shut down the running game reasonably well (outside of that Patriots game), they’ll be able to focus on Newton.
Stevan Ridley (RB – New England)
Ridley just put up 113 yards and a touchdown. Now he gets to play the Bills, so we should pop the champagne, right? Not so fast, my friend. The Bills not only haven’t given up a rushing touchdown to a running back this year, but they’ve also held every RB under 90 yards. Owners are probably trying to relive Ridley’s success from two years ago, but that will have to be delayed for at least a week.
Doug Martin (RB – Tampa Bay)
Martin, like Ridley, was drafted with the hope that he’d regain form from a couple years ago. He, however, was drafted much higher than Ridley with grander expectations. Martin surely won’t regain his form this week as the Buccaneers host the Ravens, who’ve held RBs to the fourth fewest points of any team. They only gave up rushing touchdowns in one of five games as well. Martin hasn’t proved enough this year to be an automatic start, so look for alternatives this weekend if you have them.
Terrance Williams (WR – Dallas)
An unsuspecting owner may see the points Williams puts up every week and think he’s a must-start. I mean putting up 9 or more points in four of five games in standard scoring is solid for a wide receiver. Look closer and you’ll see Williams has scored a touchdown in four of five games so far this season. That pass in unsustainable.
Andre Johnson (WR – Houston)
It’s really hard for older players to recover for Thursday night games with less rest and recovery time than normal. It doesn’t help when, like Johnson, you’re nursing an injury as you’re trying to regroup. It’s already debatable as to whether or not Johnson has been surpassed as the team’s No. 1 receiver and what I mentioned previously makes it worse for this week. Did you know that Indianapolis also holds receivers to the second fewest points per game? Lawyered!
Martellus Bennett (TE – Chicago)
The Falcons had a blip in Week 1 when they gave up 82 yards to Jimmy Graham. Graham’s a stud, but look at how the Falcons have held down tight ends since that game. They just held fan favorite Larry Donnell down to a double bagel effort last weekend. Given how easily the Falcons can be beaten elsewhere, look for Cutler to find his wide receivers in this one.