Fantasy: Start, Sit, Stash, Quit - Week 5
SSSQ is a weekly look at underappreciated fantasy players to consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
Joe Burrow, Bengals
After two subpar outings to start the season, Burrow has righted the ship with back-to-back games of over 20 fantasy points.
Next up is a test against the division rival Ravens - a defense he toyed with last season.
Burrow threw for 416 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in the first encounter, finishing as the QB2 overall in weekly scoring. Somehow, he managed to top those numbers with 525 yards and four touchdowns the next time they met, ending up as the QB1 overall on the week.
The fact the Ravens are allowing the second-most fantasy points to the position is skewed by Tua Tagovailoa's six-touchdown game. But they did give up at least 300 yards to the first three passers they faced this year before losing a bad-weather contest to the Bills in Week 4.
With the forecast looking good for Sunday night, Burrow should move the ball at will against the Ravens en route to his best game of the season.
Boone's projection: 339 passing yards, 3 passing TDs
Other QBs to start
- Aaron Rodgers vs. Giants
- Trevor Lawrence vs. Texans
Damien Harris/Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots
The Patriots have been leaning on their two talented backs this season, and the results have been extremely positive.
Harris has yardage totals of 87, 46, and 84 over the last three weeks while finding the end zone in each game.
Stevenson, who's playing more snaps, has yardage totals of 51, 101, and 89 with one touchdown during that time.
Even if backup quarterback Bailey Zappe is forced to start, New England should have no problems carving up the Lions on the ground. Detroit has permitted the second-most fantasy points to running backs, including seven rushing touchdowns to ball carriers.
Both Harris and Stevenson are top-24 options this week.
Boone's projection for Harris: 83 rushing yards, 12 receiving yards, 2 receptions, TD
Boone's projection for Stevenson: 68 rushing yards, 24 receiving yards, 4 receptions, TD
Other RBs to start
- James Robinson vs. Texans
- Khalil Herbert at Vikings
- Jeff Wilson at Panthers
Chris Olave, Saints
Olave has quickly emerged as a must-start in his debut season, accruing at least 67 yards in each of his past three outings.
The rookie is the WR20 in average fantasy points per game after the first month, and his next opponent should help him improve on those numbers.
The Seahawks have been a friendly matchup for fantasy wideouts, giving up notable stat lines to Jerry Jeudy (4-102-1), Courtland Sutton (4-72-0), Brandon Aiyuk (5-63-0), Drake London (3-54-1), Josh Reynolds (7-81-1), and Tom Kennedy (3-54-0) through four weeks.
With Michael Thomas looking unlikely to play for the second straight week, Olave is set to lead the Saints' receiving corps yet again. He's a locked-in fantasy WR2 with WR1 upside in Week 5.
Boone's projection: 89 receiving yards, 7 receptions, TD
Other WRs to start
- Christian Kirk vs. Texans
- Chris Godwin vs. Falcons
- Terry McLaurin vs. Titans
T.J. Hockenson, Lions
Hockenson makes a repeat appearance in this spot following a monster eight-catch, 179-yard, two-touchdown day in Week 4.
With D'Andre Swift already ruled out and Amon-Ra St. Brown likely sitting until after the Lions' Week 6 bye, Hockenson will have one more opportunity to be the focal point of Detroit's passing attack.
Don't rule out the potential for added motivation on the Lions' side as they take on their former head coach, Matt Patricia, who's now calling plays for the Patriots. However, Hockenson won't need any extra fuel going up against a defense that's watched tight ends cross the goal line five times in the last three games.
He can be started as a top-five fantasy tight end this week, just make sure you start sending out offers immediately after this game because he'll revert to an inconsistent fantasy option when everyone is healthy in a couple weeks.
Boone's projection: 76 receiving yards, 6 receptions, TD
Other TEs to start
- Gerald Everett at Browns
- Tyler Conklin vs. Dolphins
Matthew Stafford, Rams
Stafford returns to this column for all the wrong reasons. The Rams' offense has struggled out of the gate and another tough matchup awaits them versus the Cowboys, who've yet to allow a quarterback to throw for more than 212 yards against them.
That spells trouble for Stafford since his only useable fantasy performance came in a cupcake matchup with the Falcons in Week 2. Outside of that, Stafford has weekly finishes as the QB30, QB26, and most recently the QB28.
If you're holding out hope that he'll turn things around when the schedule softens, just know that his next five weeks consist of four difficult defenses and a bye week.
If there's a quality QB available on your waiver wire, feel free to drop Stafford and pick them up.
Boone's projection: 223 passing yards, TD, 2 INTs
Other QBs to sit
- Jimmy Garoppolo at Panthers
- Geno Smith at Saints
Najee Harris, Steelers
Harris and the Steelers will have a challenging afternoon Sunday as 14-point underdogs against the Bills.
Buffalo hasn't let a running back eclipse 50 rushing yards this season, and if the spread holds up, Pittsburgh won't have the luxury of leaning on the run throughout this contest.
Harris has also been less involved in the passing game this year, and that could become an even bigger problem with Kenny Pickett under center. The rookie seems far more willing to push the ball down the field instead of checking down to his backs.
Better days will come, but treat him as a low-end fantasy RB2 on this slate.
Boone's projection: 48 rushing yards, 18 receiving yards, 2 receptions
Other RBs to sit
- Ezekiel Elliott at Rams
- Rashaad Penny at Saints
- Cam Akers/Darrell Henderson vs. Cowboys
D.J. Moore, Panthers
A nightmare scenario is about to unfold in Carolina this Sunday. It'll be the kind of boo-filled game that could lead to Matt Rhule being fired.
San Francisco is allowing a league-low 11.5 points per contest, and nothing we've seen from the Panthers suggests they'll be able to surpass that number.
Even in what appeared to be a "squeaky-wheel" game for Moore where the team was trying to feed him the ball, he still only managed six catches for 50 yards on 11 targets.
His catch rate is an embarrassing 44.8% this year. Prior to the season, his career rate was above 60%.
You can't justify putting Moore in your lineup at the moment, so send him to the bench until we get better matchups or something changes in the offense.
Boone's projection: 39 receiving yards, 4 receptions
Other WRs to sit
- Brandin Cooks at Jaguars
- Allen Robinson vs. Cowboys
- Darnell Mooney at Vikings
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys
It was great to see Schultz back in the lineup last week, but his zero catches on three targets left a lot to be desired.
Now he squares off with a Rams defense that's given up the fewest fantasy points to tight ends on the season.
We're taking a wait-and-see approach with Schultz. His stock will certainly rise when he's 100% healthy and Dak Prescott returns to the lineup, but for now, he should stay on your bench.
Boone's projection: 23 receiving yards, 2 receptions
Other TEs to sit
- Dawson Knox vs. Steelers
- Irv Smith Jr. vs. Bears
Damien Williams, Falcons
Williams looked like the lead back in the offense when he handled seven of the first 10 snaps in the opener before he hurt his ribs.
With Williams on IR for one more week, you can pick him up and hide him away until we see how Atlanta's younger backs do against Tampa Bay. It's possible the veteran could walk into a significant role next week.
Wan'Dale Robinson, Giants
Robinson (6% rostered) hasn't taken the field since the opener when he caught his lone target while playing just nine snaps.
He was back at practice this week, but probably won't return to the lineup for the Giants' game against the Packers in London.
When he's ready to play, he'll step into a receiving corps that's been decimated by injuries.
That could clear the way for this year's second-rounder to carve out a sizeable target share for the rest of the season if he can stay healthy.
Quarterbacks (1QB): Matthew Stafford, Justin Fields
Running backs: Kenneth Gainwell, James Cook
Wide receivers: Chase Claypool, Jarvis Landry
Tight ends: Irv Smith Jr., Cole Kmet
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- Report: Von Miller dodges ACL tear, out indefinitely with other knee damage
- Smith-Schuster to play vs. Rams after missing Week 11; Toney out