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Fantasy Football, Week 5 Start Em and Sit Em: Ryan Mathews or Jackie Battle? How About Both

Whether you believe in the gamesmanship in San Diego with the depth chart or not, Jackie Battle and Ryan Mathews have a fantastic matchup against the Saints defense that ranks last in points per game allowed to backs. I am starting Mathews as my RB2 in one league, with Battle also starting as the flex, so I don’t have to worry if the split is 60/40 one way or the other. I would start either of them if I had them.

The other start that you want to make over more established names is Domenik Hixon. He got more targets than Barden last week, and Nicks is out again. Couple that with a great matchup against Cleveland still without Joe Haden, and Hixon should benefit from attention given to Cruz and have opportunities in this game.

QUARTERBACK

  1. Matt Ryan at Washington
  2. Tom Brady vs. Denver
  3. Eli Manning vs. Cleveland
  4. Drew Brees vs. San Diego
  5. Peyton Manning at New England
  6. Aaron Rodgers at Indianapolis
  7. Robert Griffin III vs. Atlanta
  8. Andy Dalton vs. Miami
  9. Joe Flacco at Kansas City
  10. Philip Rivers at New Orleans
  11. Christian Ponder vs. Tennessee
  12. Michael Vick at Pittsburgh
  13. Ben Roethlisberger vs Philadelphia
  14. Cam Newton vs. Seattle
  15. Andrew Luck vs. Green Bay

AVOID: Jay Cutler at Jacksonville, the Bears can afford to be conservative in this one. Matt Schaub against the Jets for the same reason, as you can expect a heavy dose of running against New York.

SLEEPERS: Alex Smith vs. Buffalo draws a pretty good matchup and should put up better numbers than last week.

 

RUNNING BACK

  1. Arian Foster at NYJ
  2. Ray Rice at KC
  3. Marshawn Lynch at CAR
  4. Adrian Peterson vs. TEN
  5. Jamaal Charles vs. BAL
  6. Reggie Bush at CIN
  7. Frank Gore vs. BUF
  8. Willis McGahee at NE
  9. Trent Richardson at NYG
  10. LeSean McCoy at PIT
  11. Ryan Mathews at NO
  12. Alfred Morris vs. ATL
  13. Matt Forte at JAC
  14. Ahmad Bradshaw vs. CLE
  15. Steven Ridley vs. DEN
  16. Maurice Jones-Drew vs. CHI
  17. Darren Sproles vs. SD
  18. Jackie Battle at NO
  19. Cedric Benson at IND
  20. Michael Turner at WAS
  21. Ben Tate at NYJ
  22. Shonn Greene vs. HOU
  23. C.J. Spiller at SF
  24. Michael Bush at JAC
  25. Chris Johnson at MIN
  26. Benjarvus Green-Ellis vs. MIA
  27. Fred Jackson at SF
  28. Donald Brown vs. GB
  29. Jonathan Stewart vs. SEA
  30. Shaun Draughn vs. BAL

AVOID: The Pittsburgh situation, including Mendenhall’s return, because it is not a good matchup and there is no telling how the splits will come. DeAngelo Williams with a bad matchup and return of Stewart to what should be at least half the touches.

SLEEPERS: I started Kendall Hunter last week, and got a touchdown, and he is a flex play again this week, just missing this list, with another great matchup. Danny Woodhead should get opportunities with last week’s star Brandon Bolden listed on the injury report.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

  1. A.J. Green vs. MIA
  2. Roddy White at WAS
  3. Percy Harvin vs. TEN
  4. Victor Cruz vs. CLE
  5. Jordy Nelson at IND
  6. Julio Jones at WAS
  7. Wes Welker vs. DEN
  8. DeMaryius Thomas at NE
  9. Brandon Marshall at JAC
  10. Reggie Wayne vs. GB
  11. Brandon Lloyd vs. DEN
  12. Andre Johnson at NYJ
  13. Brian Hartline at CIN
  14. Antonio Brown vs. PHI
  15. Torrey Smith at KC
  16. Dwayne Bowe vs. BAL
  17. Mike Wallace vs. PHI
  18. Eric Decker at NE
  19. Domenik Hixon vs. CLE
  20. Marques Colston vs. SD
  21. DeSean Jackson at PIT
  22. Malcom Floyd at NO
  23. Steve Johnson at SF
  24. Michael Crabtree vs. BUF
  25. James Jones at IND
  26. Jerome Simpson vs. TEN
  27. Anquan Boldin at KC
  28. Steve Smith vs. SEA
  29. Davone Bess at CIN
  30. Andrew Hawkins vs. MIA

AVOID: Well, you may need to start him, but Steve Smith has his work cut out against Seattle’s corners and safeties. Jeremy Maclin still needs to prove he is healthy before I would feel comfortable starting him.

SLEEPERS: Pierre Garcon is now starting without limitation, so bump him up the list. Randall Cobb is a playmaker and should fill some of the void left by Jennings absence. Donnie Avery should benefit as the second target in Indianapolis. Both Nate Washington and Kendall Wright could get an uptick with a decent passing matchup, with veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck. We saw how bad Carolina’s safety play was, so you could take a chance on Sidney Rice producing some big plays downfield.

TIGHT END

  1. Rob Gronkowski vs. DEN [update: Gronkowski will play but still has considerable hip pain. If you have a top 8 option you may go elsewhere, but otherwise probably can't take him out because he can still contribute while not 100%]
  2. Jimmy Graham vs. SD
  3. Tony Gonzalez at WAS
  4. Vernon Davis vs. BUF
  5. Antonio Gates at NO
  6. Jermaine Gresham vs. MIA
  7. Kyle Rudolph vs. TEN
  8. Dennis Pitta at KC
  9. Jermichael Finley at IND
  10. Martellus Bennett vs. CLE
  11. Owen Daniels at NYJ
  12. Greg Olsen vs. SEA
  13. Brent Celek at PIT
  14. Heath Miller vs. PHI
  15. Jared Cook at MIN

[photo via US Presswire]

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