Why You Must Sit Amari Cooper and Other WR/TE Start/Sit Fantasy Advice for Week 5

Plus should you start Antonio Gates this week in his return?

So how did the Week 4 fantasy advice pan out for the wide receivers and tight ends? Let’s take a quick look.

 

Good Calls:

 

Start Ted Ginn Jr. (13.8 FP) — Didn’t catch many balls, but two touchdowns sure helps.

 

Sit Jarvis Landry (6.9 FP) — I warned you against starting Landry in London. He, much like the entire Dolphins team, was terrible.

 

Start Martellus Bennett (14.3 FP) — It really helped that Jay Cutler played, but the Raiders can’t cover tight ends.

 

Sit Jordan Cameron (1.9 FP) — The Dolphins suck.

 

Sit Kyle Rudolph (0.7 FP) — He was an afterthought in the Vikings' hard-fought loss to the Broncos.

 

Bad Calls:

 

Start Rishard Matthews (1.6 FP) — I was hoping the good times would keep rolling. The whole Dolphins team is a mess. Stay away.

 

Start Jordan Matthews (5 FP) — So far Matthews has been the best offensive player the Eagles had, not last week though.

 

Sit Vincent Jackson (20.7 FP) — Up until last week Jackson hadn’t done anything and still might not do anything moving forward.

 

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

 

Byes: Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, New York Jets

 

Wide Receivers

 

START THESE WRs...

 

DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. IND, Thurs.)

It might be an ugly Thursday night game, but with Andrew Luck playing after a week off for the Colts, you know that if the Texans are going to have any chance at winning, they are going to have to throw the ball. Enter Hopkins. The man who had an insane 22 targets last week in a loss against the Falcons and the man who leads the entire NFL in total targets through the first four weeks of the season with 60. It really doesn’t matter who the quarterback is (it looks like Ryan Mallet again this week) because Hopkins keeps on producing. Hopkins has a great matchup this week against a weak Colts secondary that currently is giving up the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Start Week 5 off right and keep Hopkins in your lineup.

 

Jeremy Maclin, KC (vs. CHI)

After a slow start to the season (which shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing that poor Maclin had to adjust to Alex Smith as his quarterback), Maclin has thrived the past two weeks – catching eight balls, for 141 yards and a TD in Week 3 against the Packers and last week against the Bengals he managed to bring in 11 balls for 148 yards. The good times keep rolling this week as the Bears travel to Kansas City and they won’t slow down Maclin. The Bears' defense is currently giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Maclin should be good for another day of at least 100 receiving yards and a TD.

 

Travis Benjamin, CLE (at BAL)

Benjamin still doesn’t get any respect in the fantasy world, even though his ownership continues to rise. Benjamin isn’t a one-hit wonder. He’s been very consistent through four games this season. Believe it or not, he ranks in the top 10 in fantasy points among wideouts heading into Week 5. This week against the Ravens, Benjamin should put up WR2 numbers even though you’ll probably start him as your flex. The Ravens have allowed the second-most fantasy points to wideouts this season.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

Allen Robinson, JAC (at TB)

Last week against one of the league’s best corners in Vontae Davis, Robinson was targeted a whopping 12 times, only catching four passes though for 80 yards. This week Robinson and the Jaguars get a plum matchup against the Buccaneers, who have given up the tenth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. It’s true that Robinson’s partner in crime, Allen Hurns, has emerged as a threat as well, but it’s Robinson who still leads the team in targets and has the attention of quarterback Blake Bortles. Robinson should have a big game against a no-nothing Tampa Bay pass defense this week.

 

SIT THESE WRs...

 

Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. DEN)

All the hype leading into the season about how good Cooper is has actually turned out to be true. He does run excellent routes and already is Derek Carr’s favorite target. Unfortunately this week Cooper and the Raiders finally play against an elite-level defense in the Denver Broncos. The Broncos blitz the quarterback as good as anyone in the league thanks to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and the Broncos also have two of the best shutdown corners in all of football. If you have other options to play this week, do it and sit Cooper for this game.

 

A.J. Green, CIN (vs. SEA)

Thanks to Andy Dalton all the Bengals' targets have had a great start to the fantasy season, but keep in mind that Green has only really had one good game where he scored 34.7 fantasy points thanks to 10 catches, 227 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Other than that game he’s scored 6.3, 10.5 and 8.2 fantasy points. Those really aren’t great numbers for someone you are expecting to be a WR1. This week he is going to be matched up a lot against Richard Sherman and the rest of the Legion of Boom. The Seahawks' defense is playing really well, having only allowed 10 total points in the last two weeks and have given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Of course you won’t sit Green, but you should at least consider it.

 

Percy Harvin, BUF (at TEN)

Harvin had a great opportunity last week to put up big numbers against a weak New York Giants defense with Sammy Watkins not playing due to injury. So what did Harvin do? He scored a pathetic 2.6 fantasy points. Regardless of whether or not Watkins plays this week against the Titans, Harvin shouldn’t be anywhere near your starting lineup. The Titans' D has allowed just 131.7 total receiving yards per game to wideouts.

 

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Keenan Allen, SD (vs. PIT, Mon.)

Other than in Week 2 where Allen somehow managed to score -0.40 points (yes, you read that right, he was a minus-fantasy player), Allen has done pretty well for himself so far in 2015. You would think that his numbers would continue to get better playing at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But this week Philip Rivers gets his all-time favorite target back in Antonio Gates. The days of Allen getting 18 targets is probably gone, but don’t count him out. Moving forward it will be quality over quantity and Allen should still be a low-end WR1.

 

Tight Ends

 

START THESE TEs...

 

Antonio Gates, SD (vs. PIT, Mon.)

Guess who's back? Gates, the second-highest scoring fantasy tight end from a year ago. Gates will finally suit up this week on Monday night against the Steelers after being suspended for the first four games. Gates is by far Philip Rivers’ favorite target and you know that Rivers is going to look Gates’ way early to get him into the game. It also doesn’t hurt that the Steelers have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points (11.65 PPG) to tight ends thus far, so look for Gates to easily be a top-3 fantasy tight end this week.

 

Charles Clay, BUF (at TEN)

It took a few weeks, but Clay is finally starting to earn his big pay check as he has become the top target for the Buffalo Bills' passing attack. Clay has scored 14 and 11 fantasy points in the last two weeks, after scoring a total of 11 in the first two games. Last week was his best game as a Bill, catching nine passes for 111 yards and he had a touchdown called back due to a penalty. This week Clay goes up against a Tennessee Titans defense that can’t stop tight ends. Through three games, the Titans have allowed opposing TEs to score two touchdowns and score 32 fantasy points. Look for Clay to have a huge game this week.

 

Tyler Eifert, CIN (vs. SEA)

Eifert started the season on fire, scoring three touchdowns in his first two games. Then he put up a big doughnut (that’s zero fantasy points) in Week 3 and scored a somewhat respectable 6.9 fantasy points last week. So which Eifert is going to show up against the Seahawks? Well, you can expect that A.J. Green and Marvin Jones are going to face tight coverage, and since the Seahawks are allowing an average of 8.8 fantasy points per game to tight ends, there should be plenty of room available for Eifert to make plays.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

Owen Daniels, DEN (at OAK)

You would think that a tight end in a Peyton Manning (or even a Gary Kubiak offense for that matter), would have a higher ownership percentage than 44.8, but so it goes at the tight end position. Daniels is coming along and finding his grove in the Broncos offense. He now has a touchdown in each of his last two games and he could explode this week against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are historically bad against tight ends, giving up 22, 20 and 16 fantasy points to tight ends before last week where Martellus Bennett scored 14 points. You can guarantee Peyton Manning knows this and he will exploit this weakness early and often on Sunday.

 

SIT THESE TEs...

 

Gary Barnidge, CLE (at BAL)

You might have to read this twice, but trust me, I’m not making this up. Barnidge has scored more fantasy points in the last two weeks than any other tight end in the league. Of course it helped that Gronk had a bye week last week, but still, Barnidge has been impressive. His also been one of the most added players off the waiver wire. But it’s hard to trust his recent streak of success against a Baltimore Ravens defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends in the first four games of the season. Hold off on starting Barnidge this week.

 

Heath Miller, PIT (at SD, Mon.)

The Steelers play at San Diego Monday night against a Chargers defense that has struggled defending against tight ends. The Chargers have allowed Eric Ebron, Tyler Eifert and Gary Barnidge to post stellar numbers against them. So why not start Heath Miller then? Because poor Miller has Michael Vick throwing him the ball, not Ben Roethlisberger. Need another reason? Miller has totaled just five catches since week 2.

 

Jared Cook, STL (at GB)

Cook was a nice surprise for the first two games of the season, leading the Rams in receptions. Too bad nobody started Cook, as he was primarily on the waiver wire the first two weeks. Now that people have taken an interest in Cook, he has been a complete non-factor in the last two games, scoring only 2.9 fantasy points combined. Don’t expect Cook to bounce back this week, even though the Rams will be playing from behind. The Packers' defense has allowed only one touchdown to a tight end all season and you can bet that Cook isn’t going to score the second.

 

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Jason Witten, DAL (vs. NE)

You would think that Witten would be a primary target with Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and now Lance Dunbar out of the lineup due to injuries. Sure, this might be true, but can you really trust Brandon Weeden to get Witten the ball? It really looks like the Cowboys are going to try and pound to ball against the Patriots to slow the game down to keep Tom Brady off the field. This will limit Witten’s opportunities and now he will lose targets to Cole Beasley, who now seems destined to play a similar role to that of Julian Edelman in New England.

 

— 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.

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