NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 5 Fantasy Player Matchups and Decisions 

Sam Bradford proved in 2012 that he's the real deal.

Week five of the fantasy football season will roll with just 14 games, meaning four teams are on bye and your roster could be hurting. I’m talking to you, Detroit Lions homers, after you hoarded your roster with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Mikel Leshoure and Brandon Pettigrew.

If you’re not totally screwed by the bye weeks, then dive right into our week five fantasy matchups as we dissect every single relevant or borderline relevant player in every game for the week:

Note: All players are rated on a five star scale: ★★★★★

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams

 Cardinals Fantasy Options

QB Kevin Kolb -Not putting up amazing fantasy numbers, but has been decent. Faces a tough challenge with Rams secondary though.  

QB John Skelton –Returned to practice Tuesday. Will be interesting to see if he can play.

RB Ryan Williams –Lost a bit against Dolphins but should bounce back against Rams D.

RB William Powell –Will get some touches in.

WR Larry Fitzgerald – Stud you gotta play every week, although matchup not great this week. ★★★★★

WR Andre Roberts – Has been scoring but tough matchup and he doesn’t get a ton of targets. ★★★

WR Early Doucet – Not heavily targeted and matchup stinks so tough to rely on. ★★

WR Michael Floyd – Targets are hit or miss but he has potential. ★★

TE Todd Heap – Extremely inconsistent and can’t be relied on. ★★

TE Rob Housler – Great athlete with upside but just isn’t playing enough right now. 

K Jay Feely – Always active and should get plenty of chances in this one. ★★★★

Cardinals DEF/ST – Nasty defense and Rams can certainly be contained. ★★★★★


 Rams Fantasy Options

QB Sam Bradford – Has been OK but matchup does not look good. ★★★

RB Steven Jackson – Not quite 100% yet and matchup could be tough. ★★★

RB Daryl Richardson – Not really getting the ball much right now. 

WR Danny Amendola – Will get his targets and Hartline did crush them so there’s a chance. ★★★

WR Brandon Gibson – Very hit or miss and role seems to be shrinking. ★★

WR Chris Givens – Deep threat who is getting more chances. ★★

WR Brian Quick – Rookie with no clear role so hard to trust right now. 

WR Austin Pettis – Not getting many targets so can’t roll with him with this matchup. 

WR Steve Smith – Isn’t a factor, so can’t trust him. 

TE Lance Kendricks – Waiting for him to blow up, but unlikely to happen this week. ★★

K Greg Zuerlein – Excellent rookie kicker hasn’t missed yet. Great play. ★★★★★

Rams DEF/ST – Underrated defense and the matchup is solid. ★★★★

Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts

 Packers Fantasy Options

QB Aaron Rodgers – A must start always and Colts defense is weak. ★★★★★

RB Cedric Benson – He’s getting 91% of the carries so he’s the only GB runner you need to worry about. Solid matchup. ★★★★

WR Jordy Nelson – Finally got going last week and Colts give him another shot this week. ★★★★★

WR Greg Jennings – Looks to rest his sore groin this week, so get him out of your lineup. ★★

WR James Jones – Will be the #2 with Jennings out, and scored twice last week. ★★★★

WR Randall Cobb – Got involved again last week so has potential again. ★★★

WR Donald Driver – Jennings is probably out so he could see some action. ★★

TE Jermichael Finley – Really hasn’t been consistent but matchup works for sure. ★★★★

K Mason Crosby – Should be as active as ever, so use him as usual. ★★★★★

Packers DEF/ST – D has been solid and they could pick off Luck a few times. ★★★★


 Colts Fantasy Options

QB Andrew Luck – Luck has been solid and he’ll be passing a lot vs. Pack. ★★★

RB Donald Brown – Packers aren’t great against run so he has Flex value at the worst. ★★★

RB Vick Ballard – Doesn’t have much of a role but is still a guy to watch. 

WR Reggie Wayne – Will be focus of defense but Luck targets him like crazy so use him. ★★★★

WR Donnie Avery – Has shown he can do well and Collie is done for season so he has a chance. ★★★

WR T.Y. Hilton – Went off in his last game so his stock is certainly on the rise. ★★★

WR Lavonn Brazil – 4th option at best but he still has some potential. 

TE Coby Fleener – Hasn’t done jack since week 1 but you never know. ★★

TE Dwayne Allen – Looking like the TE to use in Indy right now due to being on field more. ★★

K Adam Vinatierie – Mr. reliable should be pretty active in this one. ★★★★

Colts DEF/ST – Their D isn’t good and facing Pack makes it way worse. 

Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers

 Eagles Fantasy Options

QB Michael Vick – Finally didn’t turn ball over against Giants. But that could change this week. 

RB LeSean McCoy – The best way for the Eagles to win any game is to feed him the ball.

WR Jeremy Maclin – Not really putting up big fantasy numbers this year.

WR DeSean Jackson – A hard matchup for any defense to defend.

WR Jason Avant – Solid No. 3 receiver but tough matchup this week.

WR Damaris Johnson – Not worth starting.

TE Brent Celek – Favorable matchup this week. Vick targets him a lot.

K Alex Henery – Solid kicker. Eagles offense will give him some opportunities.

Eagles DEF/ST – Tough matchup but they proved their worth last week.


 Steelers Fantasy Options

QB Ben Roethlisberger – Going to air it out a lot. Good matchup this week.

RB Rashard Mendenhall – Could be back this week, but could easily be limited. Might be worth a shot, though.

RB Isaac Redman – If Mendenhall doesn’t go, he’ll get the bulk of the carries.

RB Jonathan Dwyer – Will get some touches.

WR Mike Wallace – Going to be the focus of the Eagles defense as they’ll intend to stop him.

WR Antonio Brown – Definitely worth the start. Solid WR with good matchup.

WR Emmanuel Sanders – Not a bad No. 3 play here.

TE Heath Miller – Not what he used to be, but still decent.

K Shaun Suisham – Going to get his chances.

Steelers DEF/ST – Healthier and coming off a bye should provide them with enough to withstand Eagles’ powerful offense.

Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Redskins

 Falcons Fantasy Options

QB Matt Ryan – Probably the best player through the first month of the season.

RB Michael Turner – Showed he still has some life left  in his old legs.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers – He’s going to get his touches but may not be worth starting here.

RB Jason Snelling – See above.

WR Roddy White – Showed he’s still the best WR on the team last week.

WR Julio Jones – Lacking in numbers last week, Jones should make up for that this week.

WR Harry Douglas – Solid No. 3.

TE Tony Gonzalez – Still as good as ever.

K Matt Bryant – Going to rack up plenty of points.

Falcons DEF/ST – Had troubles stopping Cam Newton last week and should have similar problems with RG3.


 Redskins Fantasy Options

QB Robert Griffin III – Always puts up solid fantasy numbers.

RB Alfred Morris – Had great day running vs. Bucs’ top-ranked run D.

RB Evan Royster – Not worth the start.

RB Ryan Grant – Not sure what he’s going to do. Worth keeping an eye on though.

WR Pierre Garcon – Still a bit banged up but it looks like he’s playing this week. Proceed with caution.

WR Leonard Hankerson – Not a bad option to play in place of Garcon.

WR Santana Moss – The veteran still has it.

WR Aldrick Robinson – Not worth starting.

WR Josh Morgan – See above.

TE Fred Davis – Solid TE with good matchup.

K Billy Cundiff – Went 1-of-4 last week.

Redskins DEF/ST – Yeah, they’re not going to stop the Falcons offense.

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs

 Ravens Fantasy Options

QB Joe Flacco – Keeps proving he’s an elite QB.

RB Ray Rice – Offense still runs through him.

RB Bernard Pierce – Not ever worth starting unless Rice goes down.

WR Torrey Smith – Great young WR is only going to get better.

WR Anquan Boldin – Has new life in Baltimore from Arizona.

WR Jacoby Jones – Not doing much as a No. 3 guy.

WR Tandon Doss – Not doing much as a No. 4 guy.

TE Dennis Pitta – Flacco’s going to go his way a lot.

TE Ed Dickson – Good TE, but not worth starting over Pitta.

K Justin Tucker – Getting plenty of opportunities in this one.

Ravens DEF/ST – Great D with favorable matchup in this game.


 Chiefs Fantasy Options

QB Matt Cassel – Playing poorly enough to give Quinn a chance. Doesn’t face easy opponent, either.

QB Brady Quinn – Don’t actually start him, but keep your eye out for him.

RB Jamaal Charles – Probably one of two guys on this Chiefs offense to start this week.

RB Peyton Hillis – Injured and may not play.

RB Shaun Draughn – Not worth starting.

WR Dwayne Bowe – The other guy worth starting.

WR Jonathan Baldwin – OK No. 2 guy.

WR Steve Breaston – OK No. 3 guy.

WR Dexter McCluster – Still a bit banged up. Not sure if he’s playing this week.

TE Tony Moeaki – Could exploit a mismatch.

TE Kevin Boss – Out for season with concussion.

K Ryan Succop – Good kicker, but the offense has to move the ball on the Ravens D.

Chiefs DEF/ST – Not going to stop Ravens offense.

Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals

 Dolphins Fantasy Options

QB Ryan Tannehill – Not going to have the same kind of day he had last week against Bengals D.

RB Reggie Bush – Still a bit banged up. Looks like he’s playing though.

RB Daniel Thomas – Could get a decent amount of touches this week.

RB Lamar Miller – Not worth starting.

WR Brian Hartline – Not going to have another 200+ yards receiving against an underrated Bengals secondary.

WR Davone Bess – Decent receiver, just not worth starting in this matchup. ★★

WR Jabar Gaffney – See above.

WR Legedu Naanee – See above.

TE Anthony Fasano – Favorable matchup here.

K Dan Carpetner – Good kicker and should get enough chances in this game.

Dolphins DEF/ST – Tough matchup with underrated Bengals offense.


 Bengals Fantasy Options

QB Andy Dalton – Has great WRs and has favorable matchup in this game.

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Solid running back but never does a lot.

RB Bernard Scott – See above.

WR A.J. Green – Great WR, worth starting every week.

WR Andrew Hawkins – Solid No. 2.

WR Mohamed Sanu – Getting more and more playing time.

WR Armon Binns – Not worth starting.

TE Jermaine Gresham – Solid TE with favorable matchup.

K Mike Nugent – Going to rack up plenty of points in this one.

Bengals DEF/ST – Underrated D with favorable matchup.

Cleveland Browns @ New York Giants

 Browns Fantasy Options

RB Trent Richardson – Really the only Browns player worth starting.  
WR Greg Little – Too inconsistent.
WR Josh Gordon – See above.
WR Mohamed Massaquoi – See above.
WR Travis Benjamin – See above.
WR Josh Cribbs – Concussion could keep him out this week, but his value is minimal even if he does play.
TE Benjamin Watson – Good, but not great
TE Jordan Cameron – Not a bad play here.
K Phil Dawson – Well, aside from T-Rich, he’s worth playing. Makes almost every kick.
Browns DEF/ST – Yeah, they’re not going to shut down the Giants offense.

 Giants Fantasy Options

QB Eli Manning – Favorable matchup in this game.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – He’s healthy and the starter, and the matchup certainly works in his favor.

RB Andre Brown – Not guaranteed a big role right now but they could run a lot vs. Browns.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Not likely to play again this week as knee is giving him serious problems.

WR Victor Cruz – Always worth starting.

WR Domenik Hixon – Not a bad play here for a No. 2 guy.

WR Ramses Barden – Injured and may not play. Monitor status.

TE Martellus Bennett – Solid TE play here.

K Lawrence Tynes – As long as it’s not a GW 50+ yarder, he’ll make it.

Giants DEF/ST – Favorable matchup in this game.

Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars

 Bears Fantasy Options

QB Jay Cutler – Proved his worth last week, and plays a poor defense this week.

RB Matt Forte – Likely to play but injury could limit him.

RB Michael Bush – Will get carries regardless in this game.

WR Brandon Marshall – Going to have a big day in this one.

WR Alshon Jeffery – Solid No. 2 play here.

WR Devin Hester – Proved he’s a pretty valuable WR last week.

WR Earl Bennett – May sit out this week with injury.

TE Kellen Davis – Favorable matchup in this one.

K Robbie Gould – Great kicker to play.

Bears DEF/ST – Favorable matchup against weak Jags offense.


 Jaguars Fantasy Options

QB Blaine Gabbert – Tough matchup this week.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew – The only Jags player worth playing.

RB Rashad Jennings – Decent RB but not worth playing in this one.

WR Justin Blackmon – Decent WR but not worth starting in this tough matchup.

WR Laurent Robinson – See above.

WR Cecil Shorts – See above.

TE Mercedes Lewis – Decent matchup.

K Josh Scobee – Good kicker, but offense has to move the ball on tough Bears D and I don’t see that happening.

Jaguars DEF/ST – Tough matchup this week.

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers

 Seahawks Fantasy Options

QB Russell Wilson – Struggling this season to put up solid numbers.

QB Matt Flynn – Worth keeping an eye on in case of a potential QB controversy.

RB Marshawn Lynch – Beast Mode is going to have a big day in this one.

RB Robert Turbin – Not worth starting.

WR Sidney Rice – Has never really been all that great since the 2009 season with Brett Favre.

WR Doug Baldwin – Decent No. 2 play here.

WR Golden Tate – Could get another Toucherception this week. Wait, regular refs are back.

WR Braylon Edwards – Not worth starting.

TE Zach Miller – Good TE with favorable matchup.

TE Anthony McCoy – Decent TE but not worth starting over Miller.

K Steve Hauschka – Going to get his chances in this one.

Seahawks DEF/ST – Underrated defense but faces a tough matchup this week.


2011 NFL Draft Panthers Fantasy Options

QB Cam Newton – Favorable matchup in this game.

RB DeAngelo Williams – Hard to tell which Panthers RB will have a big day.

RB Jonathan Stewart – See above.

RB Mike Tolbert – See above.

WR Steve Smith – Always worth starting.

WR Brandon LaFell – Solid No. 2 play here.

WR Louis Murphy – Not worth starting.

WR Kealoha Pilares – See above.

TE Greg Olsen – Favorable matchup.

K Justin Medlock – Good kicker with good matchup in this game.

Panthers DEF/ST – Face a tough challenge in this game.

Buffalo Bills @ San Francisco 49ers

 Bills Fantasy Options

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – Faces another tough defense this week.

RB Fred Jackson – Good enough to get some points against tough run D.

RB C.J. Spiller – Still a bit banged up and could be limited to preserve health.

RB Tashard Choice – Decent play if Spiller is limited.

WR Stevie Johnson – Always worth starting.

WR Donald Jones – OK WR, but faces tough matchup.

WR T.J. Graham – See above.

WR Naaman Roosevelt – Not worth starting.

WR Brad Smith – See above.

TE Scott Chandler – Favorable matchup and a good TE.

K Rian Lindell – Good kicker and could put up some points in this one.

Bills DEF/ST – Let the Pats put up 52 last week. 49ers offense isn’t that great, but 30+ points from them should be expected.


 49ers Fantasy Options

QB Alex Smith – Going to look like Tom Brady this week.

RB Frank Gore – Favorable matchup this week.

RB Kendall Hunter – Even as a backup he could get 100+ yards rushing just like Pats offense last week (don’t count on it though).

WR Michael Crabtree – Great matchup.

WR Mario Manningham – Worth a start here.

WR Randy Moss – Surprised he’s not doing more with this offense.

TE Vernon Davis – Always a must start.

K David Akers – Must start as well.

49ers DEF/ST – Favorable matchup.

Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots

 Broncos Fantasy Options

QB Peyton Manning – You know he wants to show up Belichick & Brady in this one.

RB Willis McGahee – Favorable matchup in this one.

RB Ronnie Hillman – Could get some touches but not worth starting.

RB Knowshon Moreno – See above.

WR Demaryius Thomas – Favorable matchup against Pats secondary.

WR Eric Decker – See above.

WR Brandon Stokley – Manning’s going to rely on him a decent amount in this one.

WR Andre Caldwell – Decent play.

TE Jacob Tamme – Good matchup and a solid start in this one.

TE Joel Dreessen – Not worth the start.

K Matt Prater – Always a must start.

Broncos DEF/ST – Let Pats offense put up big points on them last year and it won’t be any easier this year.


 Patriots Fantasy Options

QB Tom Brady – Back with a vengeance so far and you know he wants to continue to show up Manning.

RB Stevan Ridley – Good matchup but could be hard to tell which Pats RB has the big day.

RB Brandon Bolden – See above.

RB Danny Woodhead – See above.

WR Wes Welker – A must start in this game.

WR Brandon Lloyd – See above.

WR Julian Edelman – May not play in this one.

TE Rob Gronkowski – A bit banged up so monitor his status. Should be a big factor if good to go, though.

TE Aaron Hernandez – Looks to be out this week again.

K Stephen Gostkowski – A must start.

Patriots DEF/ST – Face tough matchup in this game.

Tennessee Titans @ Minnesota Vikings

 Titans Fantasy Options

QB Jake Locker – Out this week with separated shoulder.

QB Matt Hasselbeck – The real Matty Ice is back and faces a much better matchup this week.

RB Chris Johnson – Finally had a big game last week but could have a harder time in this one.

WR Kenny Britt – Good matchup.

WR Nate Washington – See above.

WR Kendall Wright – Not worth starting.

WR Damian Williams – See above.

TE Jared Cook – Decent play here.

K Rob Bironas – Favorable matchup.

Titans DEF/ST – Face an underrated challenger in this game.


 Vikings Fantasy Options

QB Christian Ponder – Pretty favorable matchup in this one.

RB Adrian Peterson – Can’t not start him. Ever.

RB Toby Gerhart – Not worth the start.

WR Percy Harvin – Great matchup here.

WR Jerome Simpson – Waiting for him to break out now.

WR Michael Jenkins – Decent play.

TE Kyle Rudolph – Good matchup.

K Blair Walsh – Vikings offense will give him chances.

Vikings DEF/ST – OK matchup here. Too much potential on Titans offense.

San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints

 Chargers Fantasy Options

QB Philip Rivers – Favorable matchup in this game.

RB Ryan Mathews – Good matchup but Battle could take away some carries.

RB Jackie Battle – Can’t count on him to be the No. 1 guy every week.

WR Malcom Floyd – Favorable matchup.

WR Robert Meachem – You know he wants to have a big day against his former team.

WR Eddie Royal – Good matchup.

TE Antonio Gates – Must start.

K Nate Kaeding – May not play in this game. 

K Nick Novak – Will get plenty of chances with offense and Kaeding on bench.

Chargers DEF/ST – Tough matchup vs. Drew Brees.


 Saints Fantasy Options

QB Drew Brees – Very favorable matchup here, especially with a new NFL record on the line.

RB Mark Ingram – Don’t run enough to start.

RB Darren Sproles – The only one worth playing, but is he really worth it?   

RB Pierre Thomas – Not worth starting.

WR Marques Colston – Favorable matchup.

WR Lance Moore – See above.

WR Devery Henderson – See above.

TE Jimmy Graham – Always a must start.

K Garrett Hartley – Going to put up lots of points in this one.

Saints DEF/ST – Face tough matchup and their defense is struggling.

Houston Texans @ New York Jets

 Texans Fantasy Options

QB Matt Schaub – Going to light up a Revis-less Jets secondary.

RB Arian Foster – Always a must start.

RB Ben Tate – Don’t know what he’s going to do on a weekly basis.

WR Andre Johnson – Great matchup.

WR Kevin Walter – Favorable matchup.

WR Lestar Jean – OK play here.

WR Keshawn Martin – See above.

TE Owen Daniels – Great matchup.

K Shayne Graham – Have to start him.

Texans DEF/ST – Their defense is going to destroy Jets. Possibly shut the Jets out again, too.


 Jets Fantasy Options

QB Mark Sanchez – Could be seeing the bench soon.  

QB Tim Tebow – Could be seeing the field more soon.

RB Shonn Greene – Tough matchup.

RB Bilal Powell – Not worth starting.

WR Santonio Holmes – Out this week (foot) and could be done for the year.

WR Stephen Hill – Thrust into big role. Will he respond?

WR Jeremy Kerley – Not worth starting.

WR Chaz Schilens – See above.

WR Clyde Gates – See above.

TE Dustin Keller – Decent matchup in this game.

TE Jeff Cumberland – See above.

K Nick Folk – Offense has to get him in range first, and that may be hard for them to do.

Jets DEF/ST – They are not going to stop Houston’s offense.

About the author: Michael Cellars

Michael Cellars currently attends Kent State University, where he is majoring in English with minors in writing and psychology. In addition to his studies, he serves in the Ohio Army National Guard. During his free time, he surrounds himself with as much of the NFL as possible, and writes for football websites NFL Soup and Football Nation. Michael’s favorite team is the Green Bay Packers, who he has been an avid fan for his entire life.

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