This column is advice only; Go With Your Gut!
Players I think have favourable/unfavourable match ups heading into week five.
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(NYG) QB Eli Manning vs. (PHI) – Everyone is aware of how poor Eli and the New York Giants have been, but this should be a coming out party for many of its struggling fantasy players. The Eagles are allowing the second most points to fantasy quarterbacks so far in 2013 as they have had trouble stopping pretty much everyone they have faced. If Eli and the Giants are going to get back on track, at least offensively is should happen this weekend against the Eagles.
(PHI) QB Michael Vick vs. (NYG) – Vick is currently the 4th best scoring quarterback in fantasy while the Giants are the sixth worse defence against fantasy quarterbacks. These two struggling teams should make for a great fantasy match up as both host some of the worst defences in football. Vick as well as Manning should be top-10 and possibly top-5 quarterbacks this weekend.
(NYG) RB David Wilson vs. (PHI) – Once again I am sticking with the Giants and Eagles match up, hoping that the massive disappointment that is David Wilson will have his breakout game of the season. I really expect Wilson to score a touchdown in week five, but if he cannot get going against the porous Eagles defence then it is going to be time to bench him indefinitely.
(OAK) RB Rashad Jennings vs. (SD) – With Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece likely both sidelined this weekend when the Raiders host the Chargers in a very late night affair. Jennings has not had many starting roles in the past but has a pretty good track record when he does receive 15 or more touches. In the three games that Jennings was given 15 or more touches in 2012 he had a touchdown in two of them. Jennings also has good hands out of the backfield that should help his fantasy value.
TNF (CLE) WR Josh Gordon vs. (BUF) – It was a bit of a disappointing result last week with Gordon only grabbing four balls for 71 yards, but I still like Gordon as a starter weekly going forward and think he can be great tonight. The Bills have one of the worst defences in fantasy and have allowed more total yardage to wide receivers than any other team this season.
(JAC) WR Justin Blackmon vs. (STL) – The lowly Jaguars could certainly us an influx of talent, and will receive jus that this weekend as second year receiver Justin Blackmon is done with his suspension and ready to play. The Jaguars are so bad that I don’t think Blackmon is going to change the outcome of many games going forward, but he does give whoever is throwing the ball another go-to option besides Cecil Shorts and he does play on a team that is constantly playing from behind.
(DAL) WR Terrence Williams vs. (DEN) – Williams turned some heads in week four when he caught 7 passes for 71 yards against the Chargers in the absence of Miles Austin. Austin is scheduled to be out again, which means more work for Williams in a matchup against the Broncos you would think the Cowboys will need to throw a lot. Dez Bryant should be a monster this weekend, but I also like Williams’ odds of making an impact while Dez sees double teams.
(CAR) TE Greg Olsen vs. (ARI) – The Cardinals have already been burned this season by Jimmy Graham and on a lesser not Jared Cook. Olsen has at least 50 yards in each game this season and has grabbed a touchdown. In week five I like Olsen’s odds of grabbing more than 50 yards and making it two touchdowns.
(SEA) QB Russell Wilson vs. (IND) – I was burned a few weeks ago when I suggested sitting Wilson against the Jaguars, thinking that he would just be a game manager and wouldn’t throw often. While I was right in that Wilson did not throw often, but he still cashed in on his few attempts for four touchdown passes. I am going to flirt with a similar type of danger this weekend when the Seahawks take on the Colts. The Seahawks do not play as well on the road, their running game is key to their success and the Colts have a pretty decent secondary so far this season. I think Wilson stays around 200-225 yards while only throwing one touchdown.
(CHI) QB Jay Cutler vs. (NO) – The Saints have quickly gone from having one of the worst secondaries in the league in 2012 to having one of the best so far in 2013. On the other side of the ball Jay Cutler’s completion percentage has gone down steadily the last few weeks and just threw three interceptions against the Lions. I don’t see Cutler getting more than 20 fantasy points this weekend against the Saints and will likely have a turnover or two.
(NE) RB Stevan Ridley vs. (CIN) – Only eleven carries in each of his last two games with no touchdowns on the season, things are looking worse and worse for Ridley as the season chugs along. Even with Shane Vereen out since week one the Patriots have used Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount in place of giving more touches to Ridley. I don’t like his odds of having a breakout game against the Bengals and might not be much better than a flex play in the coming weeks.
(CAR) RB DeAngelo Williams vs. (ARI) – Williams has been very productive through the first three weeks of the season, rushing for over 80 yards in each game he has started. He does however get a tough match up against the Cardinals this weekend that I see him averaging about 3 yards per carry in. I do think the game will be close and I do think that Williams will get about 15 carries, but I only see him turning those carries into about 60 yards without a score.
(KC) WR Dwayne Bowe vs. (TEN) – Bowe cashed in on his second touchdown of the season in week four against the Giants, but more concerning is that he only had 58 yards on the game, a season high for him so far. QB Alex Smith plays a very conservative game that does not bode well for Bowe at all, and he has not been targeted more than eight times in one game yet. Bowe is looking more like a WR3/flex for this season than the WR2 he was expected to be.
(MIA) WR Mike Wallace vs. (BAL) – Wallace has just one good fantasy game on the season, going for 115 against the Colts, while having 61 total yards in his other three outings. Luckily I don’t own Wallace is a single league so it’s not a decision I have to make, but if I did I would reconsider against the Ravens. The Ravens defence has been a different beast since the blowout loss to the Broncos.
(IND) WR T.Y. Hilton vs. (SEA) – Going against the big and physical cornerbacks and safeties of Seattle is going to be no easy task for Luck and his crew of receivers. The Seahawks have allowed two players to hit 100 yards in a game against them so far this year, but those were Andre Johnson and Cecil Shorts, the defacto number one targets for their respective teams at the time. I am not excited about starting either Reggie Wayne or Hilton this weekend.
(GB) TE Jermichael Finley vs. (DET) – Finley has participated in back to back practices this week, which is good news for fantasy owners, but I don’t think I’m throwing him into my lineups quite yet. Despite the full practices I still worry about the concussion that Finley suffered in week three that has kept him out of practices, and the fat that the Lions defence has been very stingy to opposing tight ends this season.
Beware: (BUF) RB C.J. Spiller vs. (CLE) – I had Spiller as a Sit ‘Em last week and it paid off greatly as the top-10 draft pick amassed only 77 yards on 20+ touches against the Ravens. Spiller is currently banged up and is rumoured to possibly miss tonight’s game against the Browns. Since he has already been a massive disappointment already this year, I think I would leave him on the bench on a night he is banged up, on a short practice and sharing carries with Fred Jackson.