Nick Mensio

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Week 5 Start 'Em or Sit 'Em

Friday, October 6, 2017




WIDE RECEIVER

Start of the Week: DeVante Parker vs. Titans: Parker has played one fewer game than everyone else, but he’s 10th among all receivers seeing nine targets per game. Parker has seen target totals of 9, 10, and 8 the first three weeks and has yet to produce fewer than 69 yards. A lot of his stats accumulation has come via garbage time the past two weeks, but whatever, it still counts. When the Dolphins get near the end zone, which hasn’t been much so far, Jay Cutler loves to try and get the ball to 6-foot-3 Parker. The Dolphins will be playing their first home game on Sunday after the Week 1 opener was postponed by Hurricane Irma. And the Miami offense couldn’t ask for a better draw. The Titans have been getting flamed through the air. Tennessee has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers, and no team has allowed more touchdowns (8) to the position. The Chargers are next-closest at six. The Titans are also 29th in pass-defense DVOA. Parker figures to see a lot of the Titans’ small outside CB duo of Brice McCain (5’9/182) and Adoree’ Jackson (5’11/185). McCain is Pro Football Focus’ No. 78 cover corner after four weeks, and Jackson is a rookie who struggled big time with consistency in college. He’s PFF’s No. 91 cover corner.

Starts

T.Y. Hilton vs. 49ers: Hilton has been a huge disappointment for the most part through four weeks, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. He has always performed much better at home in the dome, and that has carried over into 2017. For his career, Hilton averages 81.5 yards per game at home with 18 touchdowns compared to 68.2 and 13 scores on the road in just two fewer games. In two home games this season, Hilton has reeled in 11-of-15 targets for 202 yards and one score. On the road, he’s managed six grabs on 13 targets for 87 scoreless yards. Hilton is back at home this week against a 49ers defense that has surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to receivers, including a pair of 100-yard games to Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods in Week 3 and then Jaron Brown in Week 4. The Niners are 26th in pass-defense DVOA, and this game features a solid 45-point total and 1.5-point spread that could easily turn into a bit of a sloppy shootout. Hilton figures to see a ton of 49ers top CB Rashard Robinson, who is Pro Football Focus’ No. 104 cover corner out of 106 qualifiers. He’s allowing 14.2 yards per catch in his coverage and has given up two scores.

Pierre Garcon at Colts: Garcon was an easy sit last week on the road against shutdown CB Patrick Peterson’s man coverage. Garcon fought his way to a 4-36 line on eight targets but should bounce back this week in a #RevengeGame against his former Colts team. Garcon was drafted by the Colts but left as a free agent in 2012. This will be his second time back. Garcon should avoid CB Vontae Davis a lot of the day, as Davis doesn’t travel much with No. 1 receivers anymore as he has been unable to get and stay healthy the past two seasons. Even in a matchup one-on-one with Davis, it wouldn’t be a scary spot. The Colts have been getting torched by receivers, allowing the fourth-most yards and ninth-most fantasy points to the position. Indianapolis is 24th in pass-defense DVOA. Outside WRs Tyler Lockett (4-67, WR25), Kenny Britt (3-54-1, WR33), J.J. Nelson (5-120-1, WR4), and Jaron Brown (4-73, WR32) have all had respectable games in the past three weeks against Indy. After a WR59 finish in Week 4, Garcon will be back in the mix as a top-36 wideout with upside.

John Brown at Eagles: The theme here is picking on soft pass defenses. Brown returned Week 4 from a two-week absence with a quad injury and played 62.8% of the snaps while seeing seven targets. He came out of the game healthy and has been practicing on a limited basis all week as the Cardinals manage his reps. Brown has already re-passed J.J. Nelson on the depth chart and should see his snaps increase a bit in the league’s pass-happiest offense that likes to use a ton of three-wide sets. The Eagles have serious problems at cornerback, especially on the outside. They’ve allowed the most yards and third-most fantasy points to receivers. Outside CBs Jalen Mills and rookie Rasul Douglas have combined to give up 46 catches for 516 yards and three touchdowns in their coverage, according to Pro Football Focus’ charts. Brown and Jaron Brown both draw good matchups, while Larry Fitzgerald should continue to be peppered with targets in the slot. All are usable fantasy plays in a week with a ton of skilled receivers on their byes.

Sits

Tyrell Williams at Giants: The Gazelle just had his predictable breakout game against the Eagles’ sorry pass defense in Week 4, totaling 115 yards and a touchdown on five grabs, taking one of them to the house from 75 yards away. The 115 yards nearly doubled his season total entering the game. But with Keenan Allen back to full health and looking as good as ever, Williams’ target share is down from last season. He’s averaging just six targets per game, which is hard to get by on when you rely on the big play. Williams figures to see a ton of shutdown CB Janoris Jenkins on Sunday. While Jenkins hasn’t been healthy much through the first month, he’s off the injury report now and has only allowed nine catches in his coverage. Jenkins was Pro Football Focus’ No. 8 cover corner in 2016. Williams is usable as a FLEX option, but you’d really just be hoping for a big play.

Alshon Jeffery vs. Cardinals: Jeffery had a strong Week 2 in Kansas City, nabbing 7-of-13 targets for 92 yards and a score. In his other three games, Jeffery has averaged 3.3 catches for 41 yards and an additional touchdown. Jeffery is still the WR18 in PPR formats and a very usable asset, but he is going to see a ton of Patrick Peterson on Sunday. Peterson is playing some of the best ball of his life at the moment. Through four games, Peterson has allowed just five catches for 56 yards and one touchdown on 13 targets. Quarterbacks simply aren’t testing him much, and he follows around opposing No. 1 receivers on the outside. Jeffery runs 86% of his routes on the outside. It’s tough to flat-out bench Jeffery, but he very easily may not finish as a top-50 wideout in Week 5.

Martavis Bryant vs. Jaguars: Bryant has been a major disappointment through four weeks, failing to top 48 yards in 3-of-4 games. He’s been really close to making some big plays on deep balls, but they simply haven’t been there to this point. Bryant now gets a brutal matchup against the Jaguars’ elite outside cornerback duo of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. In terms of size, Ramsey (6’1/208) should see a lot of the 6’4/211 Bryant, while 6’1/191 Bouye works on Antonio Brown (5’10/181). It won’t be a true shadow situation for either, but both Bouye and Ramsey have been playing great ball. Ramsey is Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 cover corner out of 110 qualifiers, and his 23.4 passer rating allowed in his coverage is second-best only to the Ravens’ Brandon Carr. Bouye is No. 18 and has allowed a 35.2 passer rating. Neither is a cake walk. Bryant is always a threat for a long score any time he steps on the field, but this matchup is really tough to navigate. The Jaguars are No. 1 in pass-defense DVOA and passing yards allowed.


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Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
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