Wondering whether or not to start Drew Brees and Arian Foster, or to bench Mark Sanchez and Austin Collie? Anyone can give you that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 5:
Watch ’em roll
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals vs. Dolphins. Dalton has collected three TDs in each of his past three games and exceeded 300 passing yards in two of those games. This weekend, he’s facing a reeling Miami secondary that allowed Kevin Kolb’s back-breaking, last-minute comeback in Arizona.
Frank Gore, RB, 49ers vs. Bills. He has been forced to share a lot more than normal, but Gore is still the bell cow of this offense. Though he might yield a goal-line carry or two to others, Gore should have plenty of room against one of the league’s worst run defenses.
Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins vs. Falcons. The rookie had his first 100-yard outing last week against what was then the NFL’s top run defense. On Sunday, Morris will face one of the weakest. Atlanta already has coughed up six rushing scores, and Morris should have no trouble adding to that total.
Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants vs. Browns. Hixon emphatically re-staked his claim to the No. 3 wideout role in this offense with last weekend’s 114-yard game against the Eagles. With Hakeem Nicks (foot) already declared out, and Ramses Barden (concussion) likely to follow, Hixon should be in line for another busy day.
Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers at Saints. New Orleans’ keeps losing, but they still put up plenty of points. Fortunately for opposing offenses, the Saints’ secondary is a giving unit. Philip Rivers should be busy, and Floyd attracts the most targets.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Eli Manning, Michael Vick, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger; RBs Matt Forte, Ryan Mathews, Trent Richardson, Reggie Bush; WRs Percy Harvin, Torrey Smith, James Jones, Lance Moore, DeSean Jackson, Reggie Wayne, Brian Hartline, Brandon Lloyd, Antonio Brown.
Roll ’em back
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills at 49ers. You loved his 350 yards and four TDs last weekend. But the four interceptions? Not so much. Expect more of the latter against the stout 49ers pass defense in what should be a low-scoring affair.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers vs. Eagles. The veteran is expected to play for the first time since he tore the ACL in his right knee in last season’s finale. And although he should quickly reclaim his role as Pittsburgh’s workhorse, that likely won’t happen in his first game back. Not to mention, he’ll be facing a tough Eagles run defense that has only surrendered one rushing score all season.
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, RBs, Bills at 49ers. The two dinged, but prolific, tailbacks are limiting each other’s value by splitting carries. Now, they’re headed cross-country to face one of the most fearsome run defenses in the NFL. Give them both a breather in this one.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins vs. Falcons. It was good to see Garcon back on the field last week, though he was targeted just once all day. Against a solid Falcons secondary, let Garcon work himself back into game shape on your bench.
Nate Washington, WR, Titans at Vikings. You would think the veteran would be exploiting Kenny Britt’s virtual invisibility, but Washington has no more than three receptions in any game thus far, and Matt Hasselbeck is back at the helm.
More thumbs down: QBs Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, Matt Cassel; RBs Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Chris Johnson, Mark Ingram, Shonn Green; WRs Kenny Britt, Brandon Lafell, Justin Blackmon, all Jets WRs.
TAKING A FLIER
Ben Tate, RB, Texans at Jets. Need bye-week help in your backfield? Assuming a minor toe injury doesn’t imperil his playing status Monday night, Tate should see plenty of action. Arian Foster could be pulled early against the Jets’ 31st-ranked defense against the run, leaving a huge opening for Tate.
Don’t be the bonehead who … bails on Dennis Pitta after one lousy outing. Sure, his goose egg was awful; but even after that, the tight end is still the Ravens’ most-targeted receiver. Joe Flacco trusts him, especially in the end zone, which is encouraging this week as Kansas City has surrendered 10 passing TDs (second-worst in the NFL) and the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends.