From the Sports Deck: Fantasy football advice week five


Courtesy of ESPN

Zack Goodrow, Sports Editor

START: Teddy Bridgewater – Last week against the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put forth his best performance of the season so far. He threw two touchdowns, rushed for one, and threw for 267 yards. He scored 26.24 fantasy points and should have similar production this week against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have been horrendous on defense this year and have given up an average of 32.48 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. If you have any questions regarding your QB position this week, Bridgewater should be inserted into your lineups. 

SIT: Derek Carr – Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr has performed adamantly this season. He isn’t exactly a starting player in leagues, but he has been reliable for players if they need a spot start. That shouldn’t be the case this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. I suspect that Raiders head coach Jon Gruden will have an extremely aggressive approach going against the defending Super Bowl champs. That means instead of focusing on defense and running the ball to leave less time on the clock for the Chiefs to score, Gruden will opt to attack them offensively. This should not work in Carr’s favor, as he hasn’t been much of a downhill and vertical thrower for much of his career. I’d stay away from Carr this week.

START: Kenyan Drake – Kenyan Drake hasn’t exactly picked up where he left off at the end of last season. He currently ranks thirty fifth among running backs and hasn’t even scored more than 15 points in a game. This week against the New York Jets should be the breakout game that fantasy owners are hoping for. The Jets are absolutely terrible and have averaged 30.28 points to opposing running backs. Many people who own Drake in their leagues have been teetering on whether to drop the RB on not. This week should answer that question and I’d put him in my starting lineup because of his huge upside. 

SIT: Joe Mixon – Last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon finally broke out. He amassed 42.1 fantasy points in PPR leagues with two rushing touchdowns, one receiving TD on six catches, and he ran for 151 yards. I think that is a sign for things to come with Mixon and he should see future success this season. This week against the Baltimore Ravens however, I don’t trust it. The Ravens are the ninth toughest defense against backs so far this year. To add insult to injury quite literally, Mixon has also dealt with a shin issue all week and is listed as questionable for the game. Even if he is cleared to go, I’d bench Mixon for another RB.   

START: Mike Davis – As a Chicago Bears fan I would like to know one thing, where was this Mike Davis when he played in Chicago? So far this year as a replacement for injured Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers RB Mike Davis has hit the ground running. In only three games, Davis ranks as the fourteenth RB and has scored over 20 points the past two games. Against the Falcons this week, Davis should have another great game. 

SIT: Miles Sanders – It’s been a rough season for the Philadelphia Eagles RB Miles Sanders and their entire team. Sanders ranks as the twenty ninth fantasy RB in the league and he most likely won’t be climbing those rankings this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are the second best team against opposing backs this year as they average a mere 15.93 points a game. With little weapons on the Eagles offense, the Steelers defense will most likely try to neutralize Sanders and this Eagles run game. 

START: JUSTIN JEFFERSON – Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has been going absolutely off in the past two weeks. After being off the radar to begin the season, Jefferson has scored 44.8 points these past two weeks and ranks as the twenty first WR in the league. This week against the Seattle Seahawks should be no different. The Seahawks have been the worst team in the league when it comes to points against opposing wide outs. The Seahawks have given up 65.13 points to receivers this year and will be without star safety Jamal Adams. Jefferson and fellow Vikings WR Adam Thielen should have great games. 

SIT: A.J. Green – Many people have deranged thoughts that Bengals WR A.J. Green will play like he did three years ago. Maybe with new QB Joe Burrow, Green would finally be a fantasy relevant receiver once again. If you’re one of these people, it’s time to give up the dream. Green is averaging a whopping 6.48 points per game and he hit an all time low last week as he produced 1.3 points. I don’t think that against a sturdy Baltimore Ravens defense this week, Green will amount to anything productive. He shouldn’t start for players anymore this year or even be on teams. 

START: Marquise Brown – As a Baltimore Ravens WR Marquise Brown owner in my fantasy league, I’ll be honest with you, I am not a happy camper. Many people thought that Brown would have a breakout year after gaining more muscle and weight this offseason, and this being his second year with the high powered Ravens offense. Well, that has not been the case thus far this season. His best game was in week one when he scored 15.1 points and hasn’t reached that total again this year. Brown hasn’t even scored a TD yet this season. There is this feeling I have in me however. It’s deep down in my stomach, somewhere past the stress induced stomach ulcers from watching my Bears on Thursday night football and past the absurd amount of Subway I eat. This feeling is telling me that Brown will score his first touchdown of the year this week and will reward anyone who drafted him. Brown will have a good game this week against a weak Bengals secondary, hopefully.   

SIT: BUFFALO BILLS AND TENNESSEE TITANS PLAYERS: The Bills and Titans game has been moved to Tuesday night instead of Sunday. While I’m very excited about the prospect of Tuesday night football to cure my NFL withdrawal during weekdays, it’s still up in the air if this game actually happens. It seems like everyday there are new COVID cases coming in for the Titans and that’s not good news for the league. It’s also not good news for fantasy players. If the game does get cancelled and you have Bills or Titans players in your lineup, you’ll be straight out of luck. I’m not going to take the risk of having a player get me zero points, even if they’re one of my best players on my team like Bills QB Josh Allen or Titans RB Derrick Henry.   

START: Eric Ebron – In week three against the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron had a big performance. He had five catches for 71 yards and a TD. After their surprise bye week, the Steelers will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in week five. The Eagles lackluster defense has given up 21.2 points to opposing tight ends this year. I suspect that Ebron will have a good performance this week and he should be placed in starting lineups for anyone with TE concerns. 

SIT: Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert – As mentioned above, the Eagles will be facing a very tough Steelers defense this week. The Steelers have only allowed 10.47 points to opposing tight ends this year. With that in mind, I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting Ertz or Goedert. Both have been having good fantasy seasons and even with almost no weapons for QB Carson Wentz to throw to, I doubt that the Steelers will give up big games to either TE. There are better options out there like Evan Ingram on the New York Giants, Hunter Henry of the Los Angeles Chargers, or Dalton Shultz of the Dallas Cowboys. 

KICKER: Rodrigo Blankenship – Man do the Indianapolis Colts just love to kick field goals. Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is tied for first in the league with 12 made field goals so far this year. Expect that trend to continue, with the Colts facing off against the Cleveland Browns. This will be a hard fought and close game. Blankenship has a chance to be the top kicker this week.   

DEFENSE: Arizona Cardinals – I have made my disdain for the New York Jets very clear over the past few weeks. In week five, the Jets will be led by QB Joe Flacco, as their starting QB Sam Darnold has been ruled out with a sprained right shoulder. The Arizona Cardinals should have a field day against this Jets team. They will get some sacks and possibly force a turnover or two.