Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 5 Fantasy Quarterbacks

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Deshaun Watson is listed below as a "start" for Week 5. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 5 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Watson, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Watson.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 5 Fantasy Football QB Start'em


QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NE)

Nearly flawless in his past three games (377.3 YPG, 10 TDs and no INTs), no quarterback has scored more fantasy points this season than Tom Brady. As great as Brady has been, the (collective) quarterback(s) on the other side of the field have been even better.

In other words, the Patriots have allowed four consecutive 300-yard passers with multiple scores to start the season. In all of last season, they allowed a total of three such quarterbacks. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Patriots. The four quarterbacks they have faced have averaged 26.61 fantasy points per game compared to Brady (24.42/G).

While he threw three interceptions in Week 3 against the Vikings, Winston himself has thrown for more than 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of his past two games as well for a total of 660 yards and five touchdowns.

Even though Winston and the Bucs are 5.5-point home underdogs, this game has the week's highest total (56.0) and the Bucs still have one of the six highest implied totals based on Vegas odds this week.

Related: Our Favorite Week 5 DraftKings Plays

QB - Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (vs. KC)

The rookie is sure to have ups and downs this season, but it's been only "ups" so far in terms of his fantasy success. Taking over as the starter in Week 2, Watson has scored the seventh-most fantasy points this season and erupted for five touchdowns 33.72 fantasy points in Week 4.

Headlining Week 5's waiver-wire column, Watson was only owned in a third of fantasy leagues before waivers ran. With some top quarterbacks -- Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins -- on bye, Derek Carr (back) out and Marcus Mariota's status in doubt, Watson is definitely a viable start again this week even if the matchup is more difficult.

Even when he's inefficient as a passer (e.g., 125 yards and no TDs in Week 2), his rushing ability (e.g., 5/67/1 in Week 2) can bail him out.

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. GB)

With three touchdowns in back-to-back games, Prescott has scored 22-plus fantasy points in both of those games. Even with difficult matchups to start the season (Giants, Broncos and Cardinals in the first three weeks), Prescott has finished as a top-12 weekly quarterback in all four games this season.

Green Bay's pass defense has played well to start the season as they have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but there should be plenty of offense in this game. The Cowboys have the second-highest implied total this week, which should lead to strong fantasy production from Prescott this week.

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Week 5 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em


QB - Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (at NYG)

Even though Rivers has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in three of four games, he has yet to finish with 20-plus fantasy points in any of those games. After three consecutive home games, Rivers and the Chargers take their show on the road to face the Giants. The Giants have surrendered seven passing touchdowns in four games with no interceptions, but they have allowed just 224.5 passing yards per game over that stretch. At the moment, I currently have Rivers at No. 13 in my fantasy QB rankings so he's just outside that QB1 range.

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BUF)

In the first two games of the season, Dalton threw four interceptions and lost a fumble as the Bengals failed to score a touchdown. In the next two games, Dalton threw six touchdowns with no interceptions although he lost a fumble. While Dalton has looked much better in softer matchups recently, expectations should be tempered as the Bills have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Limiting opposing passers to single-digit fantasy points in three of four games, the Bills have allowed only one passing touchdown and have six interceptions over that span.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at CIN)

Right now, two games don't have a line due to the uncertain status of Mariota and Minnesota's Sam Bradford, but Taylor and the Bills have the second-lowest implied total (18.0) this week. With less than 225 passing yards in all four games, Taylor's rushing ability is a huge part of his fantasy success, but he has had just 25 rushing yards in the past two games combined. The Bengals have limited opposing quarterbacks to the eighth-fewest fantasy points and it could be a very modest performance for Taylor if he's unable to generate more rushing output in Week 5.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 5

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