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Fantasy Football: Who to Start, Sit and Sleepers for Week 5

Which players will standout and which will bust in this week’s fantasy football contests?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears are both on byes, so there’s no fantasy football wave to try and ride against the Bucs defense or by rolling with quarterback, Mitch Trubisky.

Week 4 of the NFL brought a lot of fun as usual, but we saw guys like the aforementioned Chicago quarterback rise to the top of the fantasy stats like never before.

So, how did our own projections do?

QUARTERBACK (0/3): Ouch. We took some chances, and unfortunately they just didn’t pay off. It always seems Philip Rivers will disappoint when you start to count on him, and while he did come in at QB14, it’s not starting position scoring. Derek Carr responded to his first benching of the season by putting up QB4 numbers and 32-points. Eli Manning is the eternal sleeper, and he just didn’t wake up this past weekend as he failed to crack the Top-20.

RUNNING BACK (3/3): A little bit of redemption with this group. Ezekiel Elliott finished the past week at RB2 with his 33-points and had a five point gap between himself and the next highest scoring back. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen made good on our projection that the second of the two would be the man to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cohen finished with 30-points - good enough for RB5 - while Howard had just three.

RECEIVERS (2/3): Dallas Cowboys fans may have been a bit offended seeing our advice to sit all of their receivers, but the advice proved sound as the highest scoring wide receiver - Cole Beasley - landed at WR53 for Week 4 with just nine points. Geoff Swaim was able to outscore them all, but still didn’t land high enough for us to regret the advice. Meanwhile, Travis Kelce rewarded the start advice with a TE4 performance and once again we had the right team for our tight end sleeper, just not the right player. Atlanta’s Logan Paulsen came through for his team while Austin Hooper landed at TE27.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS (3/3): We got the defensive battle we needed when the Jaguars and Jets faced off as the first defense was labeled our starter for the week and the second was our sleeper. Jacksonville came in at D/ST7 and the Jets were D/ST9. Can’t get much more right than that. Unfortunately for Broncos fans, their defense also made good on our projection as their Monday Night letdown sat them at D/ST24 for Week 4.

TOTAL (67%): We’re steadily over the 65% mark for each week, meaning the majority of our projections are landing true. Quarterback had been a stable position of projection coming into Week 4, but a goose-egg may shake our confidences a bit heading into Week 5. Bold predictions in the running back and defensive positions proved fruitful.

On now, with the current week’s projections!


NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

START: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Atlanta Falcons)

The Falcons defense has been decimated by injury, and opposing quarterbacks are the biggest benefactors. The Steelers won’t miss Le’Veon Bell this week and ‘Big Ben’ will have a big day.

SIT: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs Los Angeles Rams)

I don’t know if there’s a much worse situation for Russell Wilson to go into from a fantasy standpoint. The offense just isn’t all that good, and the defense isn’t either. Losing Earl Thomas ahead of facing the Rams is terrible too. Wilson is taking his team with a compromised defense, a less than stellar supporting cast overall, and going up against a team which sees him twice every year and has one of the best defenses in the league.

SLEEPER: Alex Smith, Washington Redskins (@ New Orleans Saints)

I’m not sure if the Saints will ever get their defense figured out at this point. It felt like this was a year they’d actually be solid, but they’ve underwhelmed up to this point.

Still, the Redskins offense hasn’t exactly been a powerhouse themselves. This week could be different though, and Smith has a few weapons he could use to exploit this defensive unit.


NFL: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

START: Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (@ New Orleans Saints)

Doubling down on our quarterback sleeper pick, this running back should benefit greatly in this match-up.

If wide receivers like Jamison Crowder can get some chunk plays, it’ll open up room for Thompson to operate underneath and give him lanes to run through as well.

SIT: T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (@ Kansas City Chiefs)

I know. He’s starting in place of the often injured Leonard Fournette. Still, the Jaguars picked Fournette in the Top-10 in 2017 for a reason. The reason is Yeldon could never produce consistently.

SLEEPER: Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (vs Oakland Raiders)

I know this isn’t a division match-up, but I just feel like the Chargers will want to beat the Raiders a little bit more than they would a lot of other teams.

Ekeler has paired nicely with fellow running back Melvin Gordon, and this is a week I feel like the team could really look to exploit the benefit each brings to the field.


NFL: New Orleans Saints at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

START: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (@ Carolina Panthers)

He’ll score his first touchdown of the year. He’ll score his first two, even.

SIT: Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (@ Pittsburgh Steelers)

The predictable arrival of Calvin Ridley and the presence of both Falcons running backs will only take Matt Ryan’s eyes off of Hooper. Hard hitting linebackers won’t help matters.

SLEEPER: Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (@ Buffalo Bills)

Davis was one of the best prospects coming out of college two years ago, and he’s starting to show why. In this one, fantasy owners are going to need to be patient, but as the Bills defense is on the field longer and longer, Davis is going to come up with some clutch receptions at the end of this one.


NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

START: Denver Broncos (@ New York Jets)

This is sort of a sleeper pick, because it’s not so much how Denver plays defense, but more about how the Jets play offense.

SIT: Jacksonville Jaguars (@ Kansas City Chiefs)

If there’s a defense out there which can stifle the Chiefs’ offense, it’s this one. But they won’t stifle them enough to make you happy you started them in fantasy.

SLEEPER: Tennessee Titans (@ Buffalo Bills)

I’m going to have an itchy finger looking to click start on every team facing the Bills offense this season. Including this one.


Which Sleeper is the best fantasy football play in Week 5?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Titans D/ST @ Buffalo Bills
    (4 votes)
  • 34%
    RB, Austin Ekeler (LAC) vs Oakland Raiders
    (11 votes)
  • 34%
    QB, Alex Smith (WAS) @ New Orleans Saints
    (11 votes)
  • 18%
    WR, Corey Davis (TEN) @ Buffalo Bills
    (6 votes)
32 votes total Vote Now

So, those are our official Bucs Nation fantasy football projections for Week 5 of the 2018 NFL Season!

Leave your own starts, sits and sleepers in the comments.

Want to be a part of the column? Send your fantasy football roster to me on Twitter prior to 10PM EDT on 10 October 2018, and I’ll embed one along with my recommended line-up for your team heading in to Week 6!