Week 5 is the part of the fantasy football season where things usually get a little more interesting because bye weeks come into play. Fantasy owners will get an idea of just how well they drafted as their depth at certain positions, such as wide receiver, will really be tested.
Especially this week with the likes of Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Terrelle Pryor, among others, on bye. And don’t forget about Jordan Reed and Coby Fleener among the tight end ranks either.
So with so many key players already unavailable which WRs and TEs should you turn to this week?
Good Calls in Week 4...
Sit T.Y. Hilton (3 fantasy points) – Playing in Seattle with Jacoby Brisset under center was already a bad set up for Hilton.
Sit Martavis Bryant (4.8 FP) – The Steelers’ passing game has been off so far, and with Le’Veon Bell back to doing his thing, Bryant is going to be a boom-or-bust fantasy option moving forward.
I said it might be worth the risk starting Charles Clay (16.2 PPR FP), he was by far the best receiver for the Bills against the Falcons.
Bad Calls in Week 4...
Start Kyle Rudolph (3.4 FP) – It looks like Rudolph is a must-sit until Sam Bradford returns.
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Washington
START THESE WRs...
DeVante Parker, MIA (vs. TEN)
Even if you expected more from Parker and the Dolphins’ offense, he has put up solid, if not spectacular, lines in each of his games. Finishing in the WR21-34 range every week, Parker has a minimum of eight targets and 69 yards in Miami's three games. There are only two other players that have reached those same minimums over the past three weeks -- DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas. It's possible that the Dolphins get their passing offense going this week against the Titans. Only the Buccaneers have allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing WRs this season.
Pierre Garcon, SF (at IND)
Garcon has been hot and cold all season, mainly because he’s been matched up against elite cover corners, like last week against Arizona’s Patrick Peterson, where he only scored 7.6 PPR points. He should have more success this week, even if gets Vontae Davis, who isn’t 100 percent healthy. The Colts are allowing the fourth-most receiving yards (187.8 ypg) and ninth-most PPR fantasy points (36.15 ppg) to wide receivers.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (at PHI)
It might be hard to trust Fitzgerald after he only got four targets last week in a great matchup against the 49ers. However, he did still score a touchdown and the Cardinals simply cannot run the ball at all, so they have to pass – a lot. Fitzgerald could see double-digit targets against an Eagles defense that is currently allowing the sixth-most PPR points to No. 1 wide receivers on the year.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. LAC)
Shepard’s rise has paralleled that of Eli Manning over the last two weeks, which is a strong foundation for his future. The Chargers have been awfully friendly to receivers this year, ranking 25th in fantasy points allowed against the position. Shepard is turning himself into a nightmare for slot corners, as well. He leads the NFL in receptions and yards out of the slot, and ranks fifth in yards per route run.
SIT THESE WRs...
Tyrell Williams, SD (at NYG)
Williams had a nice game in Week 4, totaling 115 yards on five catches. It was by far his best output of the season. Now, he gets a much stiffer challenge, against a defense giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Williams has too much competition among wide receivers to be trusted on the road against a formidable Giants defense. He's getting around six targets per game, but I don't see much value outside of Keenan Allen for the Chargers in this Week 5 matchup. Williams is matchup-dependent, and this one doesn't work.
Rishard Matthews, TEN (at. MIA)
You can't trust Matthews with uncertainty at the quarterback position. There are a lot of mouths to feed in the Titans’ offense and Matthews is too violate to trust without the possibility of Marcus Mariota lining up behind center. He's had three receptions apiece in two of four games, so even with a decent matchup against Miami, I still would rather find another player with a better matchup. Keep an eye on the quarterback situation in Tennessee. Attack the waiver wire, because even if Mariota starts, Matthews is nothing more than WR3 possibility.
Sammy Watkins, LAR (vs. SEA)
Only a couple of weeks ago, Watkins went off for (6-106-2 on seven targets) against the 49ers. In the games around that stellar performance, however, Watkins had just two targets in each. At this point, there really is no way to know how many targets Watkins will see in a negative matchup. Watkins has now finished as the WR40 (or worse) in three of four games. Outside of my top-24 receivers for Week 5, Watkins is more of a WR3 for me.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. BAL)
Never sit your studs, yadda yadda. This could be really bad. If there’s no Michael Crabtree next week with EJ Manuel under center, Cooper could have a rough time against Baltimore, who is in the better half of passing defense in the league. You have to love that he’s averaging eight targets per game, but he has just 12 receptions on the year. Things are not going as planned in Oakland.
START THESE TEs...
Charles Clay, BUF (at CIN)
The Clay drum will be beaten until Buffalo’s offense inevitably collapses towards the end of the year, because the only thing you can truly depend on in this world is the Bills breaking the hearts of their fans. For now, we should get a few more weeks of heavy use out of Clay, who you’ve hopefully picked up as a sweet bye-week replacement and top-10 guy. He had five catches for 115 yards last week, and has been getting into the end zone too.
Evan Engram, NYG (vs. LAC)
The Giants rookie is a guy who you can pick up on the waiver wire and play immediately, especially in PPR leagues. He’s seen 30 targets in four games (Odell Beckham’s ankle injury has contributed to this usage), and has caught 19 of them. Eli Manning likes Engram, and he seems to have a clear role in the offense that has looked better in recent weeks. The Giants’ record is not good, but you don’t need team wins to have success in fantasy. Get Engram, play Engram.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (at CLE)
ASJ might seem like a surprise start suggestion, but in his first two games back, he’s been heavily involved in the passing game and this week faces a Browns team that’s given up 19.8 points per game to tight ends, second most in the NFL.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Jason Witten, DAL (vs. GB)
He has been terrible after a hot start, but he nearly caught a touchdown last week, and could be heavily involved in what figures to be a high-scoring affair with the Packers.
SIT THESE TEs...
Jack Doyle, IND (vs. SF)
Through four games, the 49ers have allowed just 10 catches for 77 yards to tight ends. That translates to fewest fantasy points to the position – or less than two per game. Doyle has five-plus targets in each of the past three games, but he has a total of only 43 yards in the past two weeks. He also was in the concussion protocol earlier this week, but appears on track to be able to play. Given some of the positive matchups of others at the position, Doyle is outside my top 12 fantasy tight ends for the week.
Tyler Kroft, CIN (vs. BUF)
With six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns on a 23.3 percent target share last week, Kroft was fantasy's top-scoring tight end in Week 4. Even if his volume was encouraging, Kroft won't be ranked inside my top 12 fantasy tight ends even if Tyler Eifert misses another game. The Bills have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to TEs this season.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at CHI, Mon.)
In three games with Case Keenum at the helm, Rudolph has seven catches for 89 yards. In the last two games, he has just six targets, making him non-existent in the offense. The Bears have been tough on opposing tight ends, ranking 10th in fewest fantasy points allowed to the position. Add it up, and it keeps Rudolph on most fantasy benches this week.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Eric Ebron, DET (vs. CAR)
The most consistent thing in fantasy football is getting excited about Ebron and then dropping him two weeks later. This trend continues in 2017. His snaps are down, he’s dropping passes, and he’s been outplayed by Darren Fells. Just like Ebron’s been doing on the field, you can drop him in fantasy.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.