2010 NFL Fantasy Football: Week 5 Start’em, Sit’em

ryan mathews

It can be tough to make a decision between starting or sitting specific players throughout your fantasy football season based on favorable and/or tough match-ups.

TotalProSports.com is here to help you make such decisions with our weekly Start’em & Sit’em post where we will break down each position and give you some players you may want to consider starting, and some you might be better off sitting.


Start’em: Eli Manning vs. HOU – After recording five touchdowns in his first two games, Eli Manning has failed to find the end zone in his last two outings.  He should be able to bounce back in week five when his Giants travel to Houston to take on a Texans’ secondary that ranks last in the league against the pass.  Through four games they have allowed an average of 338 yards against per game and a total of eight touchdowns.  That bodes well for Manning, who should be throwing the ball a lot in order to keep pace with a high-scoring Houston offense.

Other QB start’ems worth noting: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. JAC, Sam Bradford vs. DET, Matt Ryan vs. CLE

Sit’em: Alex Smith vs. PHI – After coming into the 2010 season as a potential breakout candidate, Alex Smith has been one of the league’s biggest disappointments and appears to be on his last legs as the 49ers’ starting quarterback.  It certainly will not help his cause that he will be facing an Eagles secondary in week five that has allowed only 168 yards per game and five total touchdowns through their first four games.  With Kevin Kolb starting at quarterback for Philadelphia, their defense will know that much of the onus to win this game will be on them.  That is bad new for Smith.  Don’t expect this to be a rebound game for the former first-overall draft pick.

Other QB sit’ems worth noting: Donovan McNabb vs. GB, Josh Freeman vs. CIN, Brett Favre vs. NYJ

Running Backs

Start’em: Ryan Mathews vs. OAK – Those who used a high draft pick on rookie Ryan Mathews have been waiting for him to have a breakout game.  His week five match-up against the Oakland Raiders could be that game.  Mathews was eased back into action in week four against the Cardinals and finished with 55 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries.  He also had one catch for 13 yards.  Norv Turner has committed to Mathews as his starter, and that should bode well for the Fresno State product in week five against a Raiders run defense that has allowed an average 162 yards per game and five total touchdowns on the ground thus far.  If there was ever a week for Mathews to break out, this would be that week.

Other RB start’ems worth noting: Fred Jackson vs. JAC, Thomas Jones vs. IND, Cedric Benson vs. TB

Sit’em: Michael Turner vs. CLE – It is tough to bench Turner, and I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless you have a solid replacement option on your bench, but you should temper your expectations for the Falcons’ running back this week.  The Browns may appear to be an easy match-up to some, but they have been anything but that to opposing running backs in 2010.  Through four games, Cleveland has allowed just over 100 yards per game on the ground, but their most impressive stat is the amount of rushing touchdowns they have allowed thus far:  ZERO.  Turner may be able to break that goose egg, but I’d expect the Falcons to be more reliant on their passing game against the Browns.  After all, they have allowed seven touchdowns through the air thus far this season.

Other RB sit’ems worth noting: LaDainian Tomlinson vs. MIN, Knowshon Moreno vs. BAL, Cadillac Williams vs. CIN

Wide Receivers

Start’em: Mark Clayton vs. DET – Clayton has been a pleasant surprise for the Rams thus far this season and he should continue to produce at a steady rate in week five when he faces a Lions secondary that has allowed eight touchdowns through the air thus far this season.  Clayton has become a favorite target of rookie quarterback Sam Bradford and with the Lions fielding a strong defensive line, we expect the Rams to put the ball in the air often.  That means a lot of balls should be flying in Clayton’s direction on Sunday.

Other WR start’ems worth noting: Hakeem Nicks vs. HOU, Steve Smith vs. HOU, Donald Driver vs. WSH

Sit’em: Malcolm Floyd vs. OAK – Philip Rivers has been throwing the ball great thus far this season, and while we expect him to continue doing just that in week five against the Raiders, don’t expect him to be looking Floyd’s way too often.  The Chargers’ top wide receiver should be lined up against Nnamdi Asomugha the entire game, meaning it will likely be a lot of Antonio Gates, Legedu Naanee, and the running game, and very little Malcolm Floyd.

Other WR sit’ems worth noting: Michael Crabtree vs. PHI, Santana Moss vs. GB, Mike Williams vs. CIN

Tight Ends

Start’em: Dustin Keller vs. MIN – Dustin Keller has been great thus far this season for the New York Jets as he currently ranks second among tight ends in standard fantasy leagues.  His success should continue against the Vikings on Monday night as their fierce pass rush will force Mark Sanchez to check the ball down often.

Other TE start’ems worth noting: Zach Miller vs. SD, Chris Cooley vs. GB, Jeremy Shockey vs. ARI

Sit’em: Jason Witten vs. TEN – Jason Witten has struggled thus far this season, averaging under five fantasy points per game in standard scoring leagues.  It doesn’t appear as though he will be turning things around in week five when he takes on a Titans team that has been solid against the pass thus far this season and has done a great job limiting opposing tight ends.

Other TE sit’ems worth noting: Jermaine Gresham vs. TB, Owen Daniels vs. NYG, Todd Heap vs. DEN


Start’em: Neil Rackers vs. OAK – Rackers has been great thus far this season, ranking fourth in standard fantasy leagues at his position.  He should continue to put up solid numbers against a Giants defense that has been especially kind to kickers.

Sit’em: Jay Feely vs. NO – The Cards have had a tough time moving the ball this season, and we don’t expect things to get much better with Max Hall taking over at quarterback.  As long as that is the case, Feely will continue to have little fantasy value.


Start’em: Saints vs. ARI – The Saints will once again face a rookie quarterback.  This time it will be the Cardinals’ Max Hall.  Look for them to send the blitz early and often as they should be able to limit the Arizona offense.

Sit’em: Giants vs. HOU – After their Sunday night sack party, it is back to reality for the Giants defense.  The Texans’ offensive line is much improved and should be able to hold New York’s front four at bay.

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