Our Week 5 start ’em features regular fantasy starters, as well as lesser-known players, who are likely to exceed expectations based on a favorable matchup. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 5 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.


Russell Wilson SEA @ WAS

The defending Superbowl champions enter FedEx field, home to the Washington Redskins, for Monday Night Football heavily favored. After last Thursday’s abysmal showing against the Giants, Kirk Cousins will look to get back on track. The only problem is that Seattle owns a superior and elite defense. This could get ugly early. Wilson will be a threat for rushing and throwing touchdowns. While 30 points is not out of the picture, anything less than 25 would be a surprise. Expect a welcoming party for Wilson in our nation’s capital Monday night in Landover, MD.

Ben Roethlisberger PIT @ JAX

Big Ben lost about 20 pounds this offseason and his passing accuracy has been great in the first quarter of the NFL season. Expect him to take full advantage of Jacksonville, much like the other teams have this year, including: Eagles, Redskins, Colts and Chargers. Big Ben is a great play this week and should be a top 5 QB that you should consider starting even if you have Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers. If you’ve got Brady and Big Ben, start Big Ben! Until Jacksonsville proves to be more than a cupcake, deploy their opponent’s QBs and offensive studs.

Running Backs

Giovanni Bernard CIN @ NE

The Patriots are coming off one of the most embarrassing losses in the Belicheck era. However, I don’t expect much relief to be in order when they return to Foxborough on Sunday. Bernard is a great open field runner and New England’s defensive line has proven little resilience this season. A great example was Jamal Charles’ 3 TD performance on Monday night. While I wouldn’t expect 3 TDs, a 100 yards game and a TD along with 50 plus yards receiving sounds about right. The Patriots are in trouble.

DeMarco Murray DAL VS HOU

Murray is becoming cream of the running back crop for this season. He’s been a consistent beast that is a must start in all formats this weekend. While Houston has a stout defense and is arguably the best statistically for fantasy football relevance, there is no reason to sit Murray. He’s far too good a running back and he’s coming off some amazing performances. If the Cowboys do what they did to the Saints against the Texans then Murray should see a lot of work in the second half.

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen SD VS NYJ

Don’t get impatient Allen owners. Allen is due for another big game and I expect he’ll finally find the end zone for the first time this season against the Jets. The Jets have a formidable run-stopping defense, but without Revis there anymore, it’s a crap shoot in the secondary. Allen is River’s favorite target, not named Antonio Gates. He’ll be there when you need him Sunday, deploy as usual.

Kelvin Benjamin CAR VS CHI

This rookie and Florida State Seminole has been Cam Newton’s only reliable wide-receiver in a completely re-built receiving corps this season. It’s a must win at home against the Bears and the Bears were just torched by Green Bay. Benjamin is unlike many rookie wide outs, in that he’s arguably the most reliable receiving option on the field at all times for Carolina. It’ll be interesting to see what Carolina’s game plan will be with all the injuries to their running backs. I would have to imagine it will involve more targets and yards as a result for Benjamin.

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce KC @ SF

Kelce is still pointing arrows to the sky after making first downs from Monday night’s massacre against New England. San Francisco is at home and the defense can make any quarterback, including Nick Foles from last weekend, look pedestrian. I think Alex Smith will need to find Kelce as a safety valve enough to make him important part of the offense. If you’ve got him and don’t have a top 5 TE, then he’s a must start this week.

Clay Harbor JAX VS PIT

Clay is more of a sleeper/start’em than a sure fire start’em this week. He’s coming on to the scene and developed a bit of chemistry already with Blake Bortles at the helm. Pittsburgh loves to dial up blitzes and exotic schemes to throw off quarterbacks. Harbor will find ways to get open enough to be fantasy relevant and I’m expecting at least 60 yards and a TD for the big fella. Jaguars aren’t a horrible offensive team; they’re just a bad overall team.


Denver Broncos DEN VS AZ

Denver is back from their bye-week layover and have had a couple weeks to prepare for Arizona. The Cardinals sort of have a QB controversy and Denver knows how to get after the QB and sack ’em. I like a few forced turnovers from either Stanton or Palmer and enough sacks to necessitate a bag of potatoes. Broncos at home are tough to argue with in any case. Start’em!