Fantasy Football Week 5: Start ‘em/sit ‘em

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Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) in the tunnel prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 of the NFL season is already upon us, and you need to make sure you’re ready to set your fantasy football lineup. So here are some players to start and sit to make sure you have the best possible lineup for this weekend’s action.

Players to Start

Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Rivers has found a bit of his old swagger (or possibly a brand new approach) under new head coach Mike McCoy, and he’ll get a perfect chance to show that off against division and in-state rival Oakland.

The Raiders don’t have a defense that will intimidate Rivers, so he’ll be able to sling the ball around to his no-name receivers and reliable tight end Antonio Gates for a decent fantasy day. And if the Raiders turn it into a shootout, Rivers will be able to match them point-for-point.

Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets

I’m sorry if you read my articles every week and constantly see Powell’s name. If you follow my writing, you know by now that I am very high on Powell, and a matchup with the Falcons is certainly not going to slow me down.

If Chris Ivory plays again at full health (which is hardly a guarantee), he’s still not going to be an option in the passing game. That means that Powell is going to be on the field more often, and he’s going to be the workhorse. Trust him every week, but if you need an excuse to start him, you can tell yourself that the Falcons have a below-average defense and he’s going to have good room to run.

Danny Woodhead or Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

Remember how I said Rivers might have a brand new approach in 2013 under his new coach? Part of that approach is an emphasis on accurate passes and efficient offense, and dumping off short throws to a reliable running back fits that bill. That’s Woodhead.

But he’ll also need a runner to hand the ball off to in what should be a fairly high-scoring and competitive game. That’s Mathews.

So this start ‘em/sit ‘em really depends on what kind of league you’re in. In a PPR? My advice is to start Woodhead. Standard scoring? Start Mathews. I think they both have good games, but for different reasons. (And you probably don’t have both on your roster, so start the one you have and enjoy their game against the Raiders.)

Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

The St. Louis Rams’ cornerbacks have been some of the worst in the NFL this season, according to Pro Football Focus. On plays where Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins were the primary coverage man of the intended receiver, they have allowed insanely high quarterback ratings.

That’s great news for Blackmon, who returns from a suspension just in time to line up across from either Jenkins or Finnegan. He’s not on a great offense, but he’s the sort of talent at receiver that can make something out of nothing and earn fantasy points despite a lackluster quarterback.

Denarius Moore, WR, Oakland Raiders

Terrelle Pryor is recovering from a concussion, and as long as he’s looking good to go for this weekend’s game (and it seems like he is), he brings value back to Moore.

The Raiders will face a less-than-stellar San Diego defense in a game I see being a shootout, so Moore will have his chances to impress. If you took Moore out of your lineup because Matt Flynn was starting (and I can’t blame you for that), put him back in this week.

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