Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable match-ups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. Let’s take a look at some players that you’ll want in your lineup for Week 5. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.

Running Backs

Ryan Mathews SD VS. NO

Mathews is in the dog house. He’s been fumbling, bumbling and stumbling since returning from his collarbone fracture this season and saw Jackie Battle score 2 TDs last weekend. So while some naïve fantasy gurus predict Battle now has staying power, you can’t deny Mathews is going to get the carries and has the much higher upside. New Orleans should just throw necklace beads at the San Diego cheerleaders since that appears to be only way they are going to get off this week, since getting off the losing side of the game has been problematic thus far. The Saints D hasn’t been stopping anyone and that will open the glory holes for Mathews success.

Jamal Charles KC VS. BAL

Charles in Charge in KC! Jamal has been beast thus far and has been the top point producer in a majority of leagues at the running back position a quarter into the season. Now the Ravens are a nasty D, but without Suggs to anchor the D-End that run defense has struggled to stop opposing running games like previous seasons. Charles will find some space and could break a big one. He might have an even more value in the passing game if they get behind early with that upstart Ravens offense ability to put up points in a hurry. KC is not a bad team either, just saying.

Ahmad Bradshaw NYG VS. CLE

Fresh off last week’s Sit’ems he shows up towards the top of the list here. He stayed healthy in his first action back and now goes up against a vulnerable Browns team. It’s no secret that Eli will go over the top but Bradshaw will bang between the tackles and once it becomes a multiple score game it’s easy to see Coach Coughlin wearing the clock down with the running game once that Browns D has called in the dogs.


Robert Griffin III WAS VS. ATL

Can I get an RGIII in DC? Seriously, he’s lived up to the hype and exceeded it exponentially. He’s the #1 QB in fantasy and for that alone he’s getting some definite love this week. Now the Falcons pose a pretty tough D but Skins are going to have to throw it around and lean on #10 with his ability to extend the play and fling it down field to stay up with the dirty birds. Expect it be a field day with plenty of offense to go around at FedEx on Sunday.

Phillip Rivers SD VS. NO

Rivers, Rivers, Rivers….Jackpot! If there is any week that I would start Rivers this season it’s this one. He’s got most of his weapons there in Gates and Mathews back in action and it’s at home vs. a battered Saints team. If not then he might want to consider packing Norv Turner’s bags because Rivers is the key to SD and Coach Turner will be in some hot water if they can’t beat an 0 and 4 Saints team.

Peyton Manning DEN VS. NE

Mr. Manning takes on Mr. Brady in battle of “Who is the better NFL spokesperson?” Manning has one of the highest QBR’s in the league. Apparently this stat takes into consideration accuracy, TDs, interceptions, fumbles and contribution to the team. Brady is one spot behind him. I see fireworks in Gillette stadium and Manning will look to go for 5 wins in the past 7 meetings vs. Brady. While Brady might get the super-model type panties I’m picking Peyton with the “Panty-Dropping” pick of the week. I’m going with Manning to get it done with 2 TDs and 300 yards passing.

Wide Receivers

Brian Hartline MIA VS. CIN

Paging Mr. Hartline, I apologize. I didn’t mean to doubt you and your no-name crew of receivers or rookie QB that made HBO’s season of Hard-Knocks in Miami about as popular as the Presidential Debate to the Green Party. But seriously, Brian I am sorry for doubting you, so please go out and prove that you are not a fluke or the by-product of having nobody else getting open on that offense. The Bengals are susceptible to getting beat as evidence by the Skins and Ravens so there’s good chance he’s goes off again.

Jordy Nelson GB VS. IND

Lordy, lordy we found Jordy! Jordy did find the end zone finally last week and with Greg Jennings likely out this week nursing his ailing groin (who has an ailing groin by the way? It should always be active if you’re a pro) Nelson assumes role of #1 option. Rodgers loves to spread it around but there is plenty of potential for Nelson to burn the Colts DBs on the Lucus Oil turf Sunday. I think is the start of GB running away from the NFC North.

Percy Harvin MIN VS. TEN

Percy hasn’t quite turned it on yet for many owners yet. If you want results, just order the Tennessee Titans for take-out or delivery. That team couldn’t stop their QB from getting gang-banged last week and probably have no chance of stopping this speed demon either. I am a big believer in Harvin finding the end zone and alleviating fantasy owner migraines from his mediocre production to date. Vikings in NFC North lead? Ponder for President? The men in purple are playing tough, hats off!

Tight Ends

Tony Gonzalez ATL VS. WAS

In the “Bullet-Proof Tiger” pick of the week I’m calling for the reincarnation of Tony Gonzalez to yield over 100 yards receiving and at least 1 TD. This beast is leading the TE crew in points in standard leagues, outdoing studs like Graham and Gronk thus far. It’s a testament to what Matty Ice has been able to accomplish thus far. The Redskins will have matchup problems all over the field so I can see plenty of red zone targets for this guy. Maybe the ex-basketball player from Cal can dunk one over the goal post after a little post TD celebration.

Jacob Tamme DEN VS. NE

Tamme, Tamme, Tamme….no whammies! Manning is going to have to lean on this guy to come out on top this week. We all know Gronk as the TE to watch when games are played the “Razor” in Foxborough, but Tamme has big game potential. As long as Peyton is on his game there is definite reason to hedge those bets and double down on Tamme.

Owen Daniels HOU VS. NYJ

Daniels benefits this week from playing the Jets. Yep, this is the same Jets team that got called out by no-name CB Carlos Rodgers for quitting against the 49ers last week. I don’t have much other than that the Texans are on fire and the J-E-T-S (Jets, Jets, Jets) are without Revis and Rex Ryan looks like he’s about to implode as his team continues to stave off Tebow Time chants.


Houston Texans HOU VS. NYJ

This question should sum up the reason for starting Houston’s Defense on Monday night: Will Tim Tebow end the game as Jets QB? That alone is concerning for any Jets fan. Now all Texans fans should kindly remove their tongues from the ground and stop salivating at the idea of going up against this inept offense. Without Holmes now officially out this week and possibly the season, fantasy owners of the Texans D only need be worried that the game is too far a blow out that they don’t bring on their 2nd string team in the 4th quarter and give up garbage points.