Fantasy Football Must Starts Week 5

By James Collier

The bye weeks are here! Four NFL teams have the week off and each of them have at least three regular fantasy starters in their ranks. Start/sit decisions can get a little easier when we don’t have a full roster of players to choose from but we also might be left scrambling for plug and play options if we are short at a position. 

As always we will present our list of must start players this week, some of which will be slightly deeper plays

Matthew Stafford vs Philadelphia Eagles

With Deshaun Watson, Justin Herbert, Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield on a bye there are likely to be two or three teams in each league looking for a streaming quarterback for Week 5. Stafford is the QB18 on the season and is ranked at 16 according to FantasyPros ECR this week. 

The reality is that he has been balling to start the season but his lack of touchdowns has prevented him from breaking the top 12 at the position. This week he gets Cooper Kupp back in a matchup against an Eagles defense allowing the fourth most points to opposing quarterbacks. I’m expecting a big week from Stafford and he should easily outscore the likes of Daniel Jones and Jordan Love who are ranked above him.

Breece Hall @ Denver Broncos (Tom Strachan)

The Fantasy Sanctuary’s Tom Strachan (@NFL_TStrack) is looking to exploit the Jets’ matchup with the Broncos with his must start, Breece Hall. 

“With Robert Saleh saying the Jets will no longer keep Hall on a pitch count, it seems he’s finally caught up to what the rest of us knew months ago, Dalvin Cook is past it. Via 4for4’s, John Daigle, Breece Hall’s first two carries went for 109 yards, and then his next 30 turned into only 101 yards, but even the sickest patients can feel better with the right medicine and this week Breece Hall gets served a large dose of the Denver Broncos rushing defense, who have allowed 613 rushing yards so far, over 100 more than any other team. The Broncos have also allowed a league-leading seven rushing touchdowns to running backs, and the second-highest yards per carry (5.8). Make no mistake, the Broncos are no placebo. Insert Rocket Ship Emoji here.”

Romeo Doubs @ Las Vegas Raiders (Rhys Knott)

As usual we get a slightly left field selection from Rhys (@wrhys_writes) and this week it’s Packers wide receiver Romeo Doubs who has seen 25 targets over the last couple of weeks. 

“I think Romeo Doubs is going to have a chance to rack up the receiving yards on Monday night. He should be up against Jakorian Bennett. Bennett’s got a passer rating against of 134.8 and 80% of the passes thrown his direction have been completed.”

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Rashee Rice @ Minnesota Vikings (Rob Ward)

Rob (@robwardrw) is looking at a rookie receiver, Rashee Rice, in the matchup that has the highest over/under of the week. 

“This Vikings Chiefs game has the sniff of a shootout and I’m willing to take a chance on the rookie in my flex in Week 5. We all know the story by now. The Chiefs traded away Tyreek Hill and have a bunch of nobodies at wide receiver, all contributing approx 560 yards each a season, whilst Travis Kelce feasts. But over the last couple of weeks I’m starting to sense Rice emerging as the favoured option after the dominant tight end. We heard in the off-season Mahomes had gone out of his way to encourage the Chiefs to draft the SMU product. That narrative isn’t always reliable – Aaron Rodgers held two franchises hostage until they brought in Randall Cobb to add 48 yards a season – but it’s worth keeping in mind as no one last season emerged as a true number one for KC. 7 targets in Week 3, second in targets (5) to Kelce in a down day for the Chiefs offense in Week 4, he’s been stopped at the 1 yard line a couple of times. I think there’s something here. Against a Vikings secondary giving up the most fantasy production, give me Rashee Rice to breakout in Week 5. Note to other NFL writers, it is possible to mention Travis Kelce in an article without mentioning Taylor Sw… ah balls, I was so close!”

Garrett Wilson @ Denver Broncos (The Fantasy Football Combine)

It’s not the first and it definitely won’t be the last time we have two players that are playing the Broncos listed in this column. The Fantasy Football Combine (@TheFFCombine) would have also gone down the Jets running back route if they could, but they’ve settled for their WR1 instead. 

“Wilson has struggled with his namesake Zach at quarterback in the past but there were signs of the QB starting to figure it out last week. The Broncos defense is historically bad and has shown absolutely no interest in tackling anyone in recent weeks. So Garrett will be a genuine threat to score, if Zach can just get the ball in his hands.”

Thanks for reading and to everyone for their selections. Enjoy the games! 

Feature photo credit: Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports


Lead Fantasy Football Analyst

A Washington fan since the early 2010’s, James had no choice but to turn to fantasy football in search of happiness – and it wasn’t long until it became an obsession. You can follow him on Twitter @jamesc294.