Finding highly productive, consistent wide receivers for fantasy became even more difficult after Odell Beckham Jr. was lost for the remainder of the season in Week 5.
Taking some chances on the waiver wire will be a necessary endeavor for fantasy owners going forward. Finding players who are going to see a decent amount of volume is the best way to predict whether to keep a player on the bench or to start him.
With that in mind, here are some wide receivers and tight ends that you may want to consider starting and some you may want to sit, even if you are having to do without your Bengals, Bills, Cowboys and Seahawks this week.
Good Calls for Week 5...
Start Pierre Garcon (17.8 PPR fantasy points) – Garcon was targeted an impressive 11 times, catching eight balls for 94 yards. Love that volume.
Sit Sammy Watkins (0 FP) and I warned you against starting Amari Cooper (1.8 FP). Both these guys were early draft picks and are barely on their team’s radar. Be careful moving forward.
Start Austin-Seferian Jenkins (14.9 FP) – It might be scary to start any Jets in fantasy, but the volume is there for ASJ and he
helped the cause by scoring a touchdown last week.
Bad Calls for Week 5...
Start Evan Engram (0 FP) – Even with all the injuries to the Giants wide receivers, Engram put up a big goose egg after being a favorite target of Eli Manning’s the previous three weeks.
Teams on bye: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Seattle
START THESE WRs...
Golden Tate, DET (at NO)
He’s going to get right one of these games, and the Saints should allow him to get there as long as Matthew Stafford is healthy. Tate had eight targets in Week 5, which he turned into five catches for 48 yards. Remember this game is in the Superdome so If Tate can maintain a steady target share, he should easily go over 100 yards with one touchdown.
Chris Hogan, NE (at NYJ)
If you took a flier on Hogan late in your fantasy drafts, you are one happy (and lucky) owner. Hogan ranks fifth so far this season in PPR points and all he does is score touchdowns. He’s once again going to be a start for your fantasy team going up against a Jets defense that has allowed five passing touchdowns in their last four games.
Adam Thielen, MIN (vs. GB)
Thielen and Stefon Diggs might be one of the best 1-2 wide receiver combos in the entire NFL. Even with Sam Bradford out, Thielen has still been putting up excellent fantasy numbers. This week Diggs is out with a groin injury, making Thielen the Vikings No. 1. That’s good news because he’s going up against a Packers defense that has allowed the fourth-most PPR points (40.95) to WRs on the road this season.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
John Brown, ARI (vs. TB)
The Buccaneers have given up the most FPPG to WRs. When healthy, Brown is the Cardinals’ most explosive receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald. Tampa Bay’s defense has been riddled with injuries, yielding 309 passing yards per game, second most in football.
SIT THESE WRs...
Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. PIT)
Although he returned a punt for a TD, Hill had a pedestrian four catches for 68 yards in Week 5. This week, he faces a Steelers team that has yielded the lowest average passing yards per game and the fewest FPPG to WRs. He still has big-play potential, but will be severely challenged in Week 6.
Sammy Watkins, LAR (at JAC)
Hopefully you weren’t depending on Watkins as your WR1 this season. He’s been a total non-factor in four of the Rams five games this season and is coming off a goose egg last week. We’re starting to hear rumors of Watkins’ discontent and that he wants the ball more, but this week is not the week to chase the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” narrative against the league’s best pass defense.
Martavis Bryant, PIT (at KC)
The combo of Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger on the road is a death notice to any chance of winning your fantasy football matchup. Get this, in 12 career road games, Bryant has averaged three catches for 46 yards with just three touchdowns. While he is always a threat for a long touchdown, there are better options this week.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Willie Snead, NO (vs. DET)
For the Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall owners that are desperate (I actually know one), Jermaine Kearse, Devin Funchess, Will Fuller, or any number of players could provide more upside with less risk than Snead. It’s his first game this season after a suspension and injury, and while you have to like the Saints coming off of a bye and at home against Detroit, you just don’t know how Snead fits into the plan quite yet. It’s not worth the risk.
START THESE TEs...
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (vs. NE)
The Patriots give up points to tight ends. So far, they’ve allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. The crazy thing is this is a crucial divisional game in which playoff contention hangs in the balance. The AFC East is up for grabs, people and ASJ is the best receiving option the Jets have.
Evan Engram, NYG (at DEN)
Engram may not have corralled any of his four targets last week, but Eli Manning is going to have to throw to someone, right? Brandon Marshall is done. OBJ is done., and the Broncos have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends so far this season, so there’s that too.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs. GB)
After seeing just barely more than two targets per game on the season, last year’s No. 2 fantasy tight end was targeted nine times between Case Keenum and Sam Bradford. It seems like without Dalvin Cook, and with Stefon Diggs also ailing, Rudolph is back in the picture more.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Ryan Griffin, HOU (vs. CLE)
If you stream tight ends, or are struggling to find someone to start thanks to bye weeks (hello Jimmy Graham and Charles Clay owners), Griffin is your guy. He has the best matchup for tight ends on the week. The Browns have given up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, ranking 27th in yards allowed and 31st in touchdowns.
SIT THESE TEs...
Martellus Bennett, GB (at MIN)
Another week with few targets (three) and thus marks the final week with Bennett on the sit list. It’s time to accept that Rodgers would much rather throw to Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb or Ty Montgomery than Bennett. You’re better off cutting Bennett and streaming tight ends for the rest of the season.
Coby Fleener, NO (vs. DET)
Fleener scored like a top-10 TE in the first two weeks, but since then, he’s seen a total of five targets and turned those into 42 yards. Alvin Kamara is becoming a major threat in the passing game, and Willie Snead is back. Avoid Fleener.
Jared Cook, OAK (vs. LAC)
Believe it or not, Cook ranks 11th in PPR points among tight ends this season. His big problem has been touchdowns, he’s only got one and this week he matches up against a Chargers defense that just held Evan Engram to zero fantasy points and the week before held Travis Kelce to 0.1.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Eric Ebron, DET (at NO)
This is probably the last time Ebron can be listed here because if he doesn’t produce this week, he needs to be dropped. The only reason that Ebron isn’t listed above as a must sit is apparently he had a sit down with Matthew Stafford this week, so maybe, just maybe, Stafford and Ebron get on the same page this week. But I wouldn’t bet on it. It looks like Stafford is more comfortable throwing to backup tight end Darren Fells, especially in the red zone.
— 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.