It’s already the quarter mark of the 2017 season for every franchise except the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins, and Week 5 of the NFL season kicks off bye weeks for multiple teams.
The Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins are all not playing this week, leaving many fantasy owners to search their bench or the waiver wire for starting options.
Below is a list of notable players to start and sit in fantasy football leagues in Week 5:
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
The Cowboys second-year quarterback doesn’t draw a favorable matchup against the Green Bay Packers this Sunday, but fantasy owners should feel confident leaving him in their starting lineup. Prescott has thrown five touchdowns to one interception over Dallas’ past two games and also accounted for a score on the ground. The Packers have surrendered the fourth fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but Prescott threw six touchdowns to two interceptions in two meetings against Green Bay last season.
Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson
Watson torched Tennessee’s defense in Week 4, scoring five total touchdowns. While Houston’s rookie quarterback is unlikely to repeat that type of performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, he should remain a solid QB1 option this week. The Chiefs defense has given up the 13th fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but both Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz have given Watson the blueprint for success against this defense.
Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore
Gore should be set for strong fantasy outing against his former team in Week 5, as the San Francisco 49ers are giving up the sixth most fantasy points to opposing running backs. The 13-year veteran running back failed to reach the end zone against the Seattle Seahawks this past week but still accounted for 80 total yards of offense. Gore has scored a touchdown in each of the Colts’ home games this season, and the return of center Ryan Kelly should only help Indianapolis’ ground game this Sunday.
Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell
Crowell goes from the sit ‘em side in Week 4 to a starter in Week 5. Cleveland Browns head Hue Jackson said Wednesday that he still believes in Crowell and that he needs to do a better job of getting his lead back the ball. With that in mind, this has to be the week to start Crowell, as the New York Jets have surrendered the fourth most fantasy points to opposing running backs. There is undoubtedly a risk in starting Crowell this week, but given the matchup, this might be his best chance to have a breakout performance.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton
Andrew Luck returned to practice this week, which surely had Hilton fantasy owners smiling. While No. 12 isn’t expected to suit up for the Colts in Week 5, Indianapolis’ leading receiver should be considered a starter against San Francisco. The 49ers have given up the sixth most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb
Cobb caught four passes for 44 yards and scored one touchdown against the Chicago Bears after missing Week 3 with a chest injury and should be in line for another solid fantasy outing against the Cowboys. Dallas’ defense has given up the 11th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, and if Davante Adams (concussion) is unable to play, it should lead to increased workload for Cobb.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate
Brate has scored a touchdown in back-to-back games and caught four passes for 80 yards against the New York Giants this past Sunday. The Buccaneers top tight end should remain in the starting lineup on a short week, as he faces a New England Patriots defense that has surrendered the fifth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker
Walker was unable to live up to expectations last week, catching just three passes for 51 yards. The Titans veteran tight end has yet to reach the end zone this season but should be considered a legitimate TE1 option in Week 5. The Miami Dolphins have surrendered the 13th most fantasy points to tight ends this season, and Walker should continue to have a significant role in the offense even if Matt Cassel is required to start this Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton
Dalton has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions over Cincinnati’s past two games but should sit squarely on the bench in Week 5. The Buffalo Bills have surrendered the second fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and have allowed just one touchdown pass this season. Buffalo’s defense has also recorded the league’s second most interceptions (6), making Dalton an easy sit ‘em in Week 5.
Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff
Goff has looked great in head coach Sean McVay’s newly implemented offense but draws a tough matchup against NFC West rival Seattle this Sunday. The Seahawks have given up the seventh fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and are on a mission to prove themselves the best team in the division.
Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah
Abdullah is coming off his best fantasy outing of the season in Week 4, rushing for 94 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. The Lions lead running back is dealing with an ankle injury, but should remain on the bench against the Carolina Panthers even if he is able to suit up. Carolina’s defense has given up the 13th fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and has allowed just two rushing touchdowns all season.
Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart
While the Panthers plan to lock down Abdullah in Week 5, the Lions will look to hold Carolina’s running backs Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey in check. McCaffrey is surely the safer fantasy bet against Detroit’s defense, as Stewart has not reached the end zone since Week 1 and isn’t a receiving threat out of the backfield. The Lions have given up the 16th most fantasy points to running backs this season, but Stewart needs to show more consistency before entering the starting lineup.
Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper
Outside of a solid Week 1 performance, Cooper has been one of the biggest fantasy disappointments so far this season. The Raiders third-year receiver has caught just three passes for 15 yards over the past two games and faces a Baltimore Ravens defense in Week 5 that has surrendered the fifth fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Cooper would be a tough start even if Derek Carr was playing this week, but with EJ Manuel under center, Cooper is a clear sit ‘em.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant
It’s the second consecutive week Fourth & Goal has listed Bryant as a sit ‘em. The Steelers 6-foot-4, 211-pound receiver is always a threat to have a breakout performance but draws an extremely unfavorable matchup in Week 5. The Jacksonville Jaguars have given up the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season and have the NFL’s top ranked pass defense in terms of yards allowed.
Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle
Doyle’s fantasy value should rise when Andrew Luck returns, but until then he should remain on the bench. The Colts top tight end is only worth starting in point per receptions leagues, as he has not reached the end zone this season and has only surpassed 50 yards receiving one time. Doyle also draws an unfavorable matchup against San Francisco’s defense this week, as the 49ers have held opposing tight ends to the fewest fantasy points this season.
Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten
Witten has caught just two passes for 12 yards in Dallas’ past two games after having impressive back-to-back fantasy performances to start the season. The Green Bay Packers have given up the second fewest fantasy points to the position this season, making Dallas’ 15-year veteran tight end a bench player in standard leagues.