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Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 5: Carson Wentz and Other QB/TE/DST Fantasy Advice

Wentz's rough start to the season doesn't figure to get any better against the Steelers on Sunday

Fantasy owners know that the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers have a bye this week. However, they also need to be aware that the Buffalo-Tennessee game may end up being postponed or cancelled because of COVID-19. As a result, no Bills or Titans are mentioned in this column, although tight end Jonnu Smith would be a start if the Titans end up playing, especially considering the fantasy-relevant players on the Titans that are on the NFL's Reserve/COVID-19 list (Corey Davis and Adam Humphries).

 

Be sure to check your lineups and that you have backup players on your bench (and maybe even a backup for the backup) in case some games end up not happening as scheduled.

 

Week 5 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Detroit, Green Bay

 

START These Quarterbacks

 

Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Fantasy owners of Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers could be looking for a replacement for Week 5. While Bridgewater isn't a great option for all weeks moving forward, he's a solid bye-week replacement for Week 5. Bridgewater faces the Falcons, who allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Bridgewater is coming off a game where he had three touchdowns and he should have success again this Sunday.

 

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

The other quarterback in the Panthers-Falcons matchup is Ryan, and he should put up decent numbers as well. This game has the potential to be a high-scoring one. Ryan didn't throw a touchdown pass in Week 4 against Green Bay and that was mostly because Julio Jones left after re-aggravating his hamstring injury and Calvin Ridley did not catch a pass. If Jones is out, Ridley has another week to get healthy and Ryan should lean on him and tight end Hayden Hurst. Odds are Ryan won't finish this Sunday without tossing at least one TD pass.

 

SIT These Quarterbacks

 

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers

Wentz has produced a rushing touchdown in each of the last three games. While it's always a bonus to get significant fantasy points from your quarterback's legs, it's unrealistic to expect this trend to continue. What's more important to note is that Wentz has thrown just two touchdowns passes compared to five interceptions during that same three-game span. His receiving corps is decimated and the Steelers are one of the NFL's top defenses that just got an unexpected bye. It's just not a good matchup for a QB that has produced more turnovers (eight total) than touchdowns (seven) thus far.

 

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City defense shut down Lamar Jackson, who is one of the top quarterbacks in real life and fantasy. They also shut down the Patriots in Week 4, although Cam Newton did not play. Carr gets the Chiefs in Week 5 and this will be a tough matchup for him. Henry Ruggs is still injured, which hurts Carr as well. If the Chiefs take tight end Darren Waller out of the game, Carr will really struggle.

 

START These Tight Ends

 

Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

Hurst has two touchdowns so far this year, and he is emerging as a trusted target for Matt Ryan. With Julio Jones not practicing on Wednesday (after leaving re-aggravating his hamstring injury on Monday night against Green Bay), his status for this week is very much in doubt. That means more looks could be coming Hurst's way as it's likely the Panthers will focus their defensive attention on Calvin Ridley, who also is dealing with injuries and probably isn't 100 percent healthy. Hurst should be a solid tight end for fantasy in Week 5.

 

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints (Mon.)

The Chargers face the Saints on Monday night. New Orleans hasn't allowed a tight end to score yet this season and Henry hasn't either, but this may be the week. Henry is getting his share of opportunities, recording at least five catches in every game until last week's two-catch (on four targets) effort. The matchup may not look great on paper, but the feeling is that Henry will bounce back this week.

 

SIT These Tight Ends

 

Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Mon.)

It's tempting to put Cook in your lineup, knowing that the Chargers just allowed a pair of touchdowns to Tampa Bay tight ends in Week 4. However, Cook missed last Sunday's game with a groin injury and will likely not be 100 percent for Week 5 should be return. Cook had five receptions in Week 1 and then two in each of the following two games. With Michael Thomas potentially returning, look for Cook to take a back seat in this offense.

 

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts

The Browns face the Colts in Week 5, who did manage to shut down the Bears' Jimmy Graham this past Sunday (unless you want to say Nick Foles did that on his own). Graham, coming off a big Week 3, had four receptions for 33 yards vs. Indianapolis. And that was the best stat line that a tight end has put up against the Colts so far this season. Hooper hasn't had more than 34 yards in a game as he's struggled to find his role with his new team, and this will be a tough week for him to be considered anything more than a TE2.

 

START This Defense/Special Teams (DST)

 

Arizona Cardinals DST at New York Jets

Once the news broke that Sam Darnold won't play this week because of a shoulder sprain he suffered last Thursday, the Cardinals became a must-start DST. Joe Flacco will get the nod for New York, and he hasn't been a full-time starter since 2017. He's 35 years old and his supporting cast is banged up and leaves plenty to be desired. If the Cardinals DST is still available on your league's waiver wire, make sure you're the one who changes that ASAP.

 

SIT This Defense/Special Teams (DST)

 

Seattle Seahawks DST vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Seahawks host the Vikings for "Sunday Night Football" and if you haven't noticed already, this is not your typical Seattle DST. The defense has recorded just six sacks through four games and while it has done a decent job of generating takeaways (second in NFL with six INTs), the unit also has already given up more than 100 points through four games, somewhat due to Seahawks' own potent offense. Remember, there is no 12th Man right now, so home-field advantage isn't really a factor here. Minnesota seems to finally be getting its offense together and primetime games are often high scoring. Enjoy the fireworks, but if you can avoid it, don't put the Seattle DST in your lineup this week.

 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

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