Published: Oct. 3, 2018 at 10:45 a.m.
Updated: Oct. 5, 2018 at 11:29 a.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: Wide receivers


Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Todd Gurley and Antonio Brown will not be featured. All player matchups are based on PPR scoring system. NFL researchers Matt Frederick and Michael Florio have contributed to the column. For your final starting lineup decisions, check our weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Byes: Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Emmanuel Sanders vs. New York Jets

Sanders had a disappointing stat line last week despite a great matchup against the Chiefs, but he needs to remain active for fantasy owners against the Jets. Their defense has allowed 38 receptions and the second-most yards to slot recivers this season, which is where Sanders has lined up on 62.1 percent of his routes in four games.

Cooper Kupp vs. Seattle Seahawks

"Insert Rams wide receiver here" basically sums this one up. Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Kupp have all become startable asset across the fantasy landscape, and a matchup against the Seahawks shouldn't keep owners from firing them up. The Legion of Boom is now a thing of the past, so Kupp and crew should feast in Seattle.

John Brown vs. Cleveland Browns

Brown has emerged as the top wideout in Baltimore this season, and a matchup against the Browns makes him a worthwhile No. 2 wideout or flex starter. Cleveland's defense has allowed the fourth-most yards (573) and five touchdowns to wideouts split out wide, which is where Brown has seen over 70 percent of his routes this season.

Keelan Cole vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Listed as a sit 'em last week, Cole was held to 15 yards and 3.5 PPR points in a win over the Jets. I'd get him back in your starting lineup this week, however, as the Chiefs have allowed 511 yards and four touchdowns to opposing wideouts who are split out wide. That makes Cole and Donte Moncrief worthwhle flex starters in PPR leagues.

Kenny Stills vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Stills has had an uneven start to the fantasy season, but you have to like him as a PPR flex starter when he goes up against the Bengals. Their defense has allowed the fifth-most yards (559) and five touchdowns to wideouts who line up out wide, which is where Stills has seen around 60 percent of his routes after the first four weeks.

Start 'Em: JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Atlanta Falcons, Calvin Ridley at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sleepers: Paul Richardson at New Orleans Saints (Mon.), Mohamed Sanu at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Demaryius Thomas vs. New York Jets

This is a first for me ... the wideout start and sit of the week are on the same team. While I like Sanders to put up a nice stat line, I'm down on Thomas. The veteran has seen more than 60 percent of his routes split out wide, and the Jets have surrendered just one touchdown and a 59.2 passer rating in those instances. D.T. is a fade for me.

Corey Davis vs. Buffalo Bills

Davis is coming off the best stat line of his career, so fantasy fans are going to be excited to start him in Buffalo. I might re-think that decision, however. Davis runs most of his routes out wide, and the Bills have allowed just two touchdowns and an average of 20.7 PPR points per game in those situations this season. Beware this Titan.

Sterling Shepard vs. Carolina Panthers

Shephard has been on quite the hot streak, scoring 20 or more PPR points in each of his last two games. So while it's hard to sit him, I'd beware this week's matchup against the Panthers. Their defense has been tough on slot receivers so far this season, allowing the sixth-fewest PPR points per game (14.9) over their first three games.

Mike Williams vs. Oakland Raiders

Williams has scored three touchdowns in his last three games, though last week's 2.5-point stinker left a lot be desired. This week's matchup against the Raiders is tougher than you might think, as their defense has surrendered just one touchdown and a 54.8 passer rating to receivers split out wide. I'd beware Big Mike in this AFC West tilt.

Geronimo Allison vs. Detroit Lions

In the event that Allison (concussion) is cleared to play in time for Week 5, fantasy fans should beware what is a difficult matchup against the Lions. Their defense has allowed the second-fewest yards (278) and just one touchdown to wide receivers lining up out wide, which is where Allison has run around 88 percent of his routes.

Sit 'Em: Sammy Watkins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Pierre Garcon vs. Arizona Cardinals
Busts: Devin Funchess vs. New York Giants, Tyler Lockett vs. Los Angeles Rams

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!


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