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Fitz’s Week 5 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)

Oct 8, 2022
Fantasy Football Week 5 Start/Sit Lineup Advice

The tiers article is getting a makeover.

For the first few weeks of the season, I offered quick thoughts on just about every player listed in the tiers. The Primer already offers information and opinions on every fantasy-viable player, so some of my player blurbs seemed redundant.

You don’t need my thoughts on Josh Allen or Travis Kelce in this article. You’re starting those guys unconditionally. But maybe you’re seeking opinions on Geno Smith, Tyler Allgeier, Brandon Aiyuk, David Njoku and other players who are going to be involved in a lot of start/sit dilemmas.

“I’m thinking of starting this guy. Should I?”

That’s the question we should answer together.

The contents of this article should be practical for you in making your weekly lineup decisions.

So, in this week’s article and all of my other tiers articles going forward, I’ll mostly focus on borderline start/sit players and interesting cases.

Let’s jump into the Week 5 tiers.

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Check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football advice >>

Fitz’s Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice

QUARTERBACKS

Check out Fitz’s quarterback rankings here >>

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

You most likely don’t have to make decisions about the Tier 2 guys, but just in case you’re in an 8- or 10-man league …

Justin Herbert was in fine form last week against the Texans, showing that his tender ribs won’t affect his performance. Joe Burrow had 416 and 525 passing yards in two starts against the injury-riddled Ravens last season. Baltimore has healthy cornerbacks this time around, but the Ravens’ pass defense has been leaky nonetheless. Kyler Murray has a tough matchup with the Eagles, who are giving up 10.9 fantasy points per game to QBs, but Murray is averaging 21.2 FPPG and will have to keep pace with Jalen Hurts in a game that could turn into a track meet.

The two old guys from Tier 3 are interesting cases.

After averaging 312.7 passing yards and 2.5 TD passes a game last season, Tom Brady is averaging 264.5 yards and 1.5 TD passes through four games. But Brady has a full complement of wide receivers now, and he gets a soft home matchup against the Falcons.

Aaron Rodgers is currently the QB21 in fantasy scoring. He’s still one of the best pure passers in the game, but he’s working with a below-average group of pass catchers. With the Packers favored by 7.5 points against the Giants in London, it’s possible Green Bay will lean heavily on the running game.

The QBs from Tier 4 will present fantasy managers with some dilemmas.

Jared Goff is averaging 281.5 passing yards and leads the league with 11 TD passes, but he’s likely to be without WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and RB D’Andre Swift for at least one more week, and he has a tricky road matchup against Bill Belichick’s Patriots. I don’t think I could start Goff with confidence.

Matthew Stafford eventually has to turn his season around, doesn’t he? A matchup against the tough Dallas defense isn’t exactly a get-right spot.

Carson Wentz was terrific in Weeks 1-2 against the Jaguars and Lions, then went off the rails in Weeks 3-4 against the Eagles and Cowboys. This week he gets a Titans defense that is giving up 8.2 yards per pass attempt and has yielded 10 TD passes.

Geno Smith is the QB10 in fantasy scoring, and it’s not as if he hasn’t faced any good pass defenses. Smith opened the season against the Broncos and 49ers, whose pass defenses are both in the top six in DVOA. Still, it’s hard to feel confident about Smith’s road matchup against a good Saints pass defense.

Ryan Tannehill is averaging only 196 passing yards and doesn’t have many playmaking pass catchers, but he has a cushy matchup against the Commanders.

There are some interesting streaming options from Tier 5. My friend Scott Pianowski of Yahoo would describe Teddy Bridgewater as a spare tire QB — he can get you to the grocery store a few miles away, but you don’t want to drive long distances with him. In a pinch, you could probably use Bridgewater against the Jets this week and hope that Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle make some big plays for him.

Seattle’s defense is so bad that it makes Andy Dalton a viable Week 5 streaming option.

Fantas Football Start-Sit Assistant

RUNNING BACKS

Check out Fitz’s running back rankings here >>

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6

Tier 7

Let’s start with some guys from Tier 3 …

Jamaal Williams and Khalil Herbert should continue to see big workloads as they fill in for D’Andre Swift and David Montgomery, respectively. Alvin Kamara gets a juicy matchup against Seattle but can’t be considered a top-10 RB for Week 5 after getting off to a slow start and then missing Week 3 with an injury to his ribs.

Congratulations if you were among the drafters who went way out over your skis to select Dameon Pierce in the fourth or fifth round. That bold move looks like it’s going to pay off — Pierce is now a weekly must-start.

Another must-start: the oft-maligned Miles Sanders, who’s third in the league in rushing and has punched in three touchdowns.

The Monday-night game between the Chiefs and Raiders features an interesting pair of running backs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is making the most of a less-than-robust workload. CEH has played 45% of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps and is averaging 10.3 carries a game. He is nevertheless the RB4 in half-PPR fantasy scoring because he’s scored five touchdowns and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and 8.4 yards per target. The film suggests that CEH is better than we (well, OK, “I”) gave him credit for. But it’s also pretty unlikely that Edwards-Helaire can maintain that sort of efficiency.

Josh Jacobs, on the other hand, has played 72% of the Raiders’ offensive snaps and has been given 77% of the team carries. But last season, Jacobs averaged 41.9 rushing yards and 0.29 touchdowns in Las Vegas losses, and in the Raiders’ three losses this season, he’s averaged 64.0 rushing yards and has scored zero TDs. With the Raiders 7-point underdogs, in Kansas City, perhaps we shouldn’t expect big numbers from Jacobs.

I almost put Breece Hall on Tier 3. He had a 66% snap share in Week 4 along with a season-high 17 carries. He’s already been targeted 27 times. Hall faces a good Miami run defense this week, but his pass-catching ability gives him multiple paths to profitability.

If the RB position weren’t so thin, Najee Harris investors might be nearing the point where they consider benching him, as unfathomable as that may seem. Harris is currently the RB25 in half-PPR scoring. He’s averaging 3.5 yards per carry and has 48 receiving yards. Steelers backup Jaylen Warren has looked more explosive. But – sigh — the Najee stakeholders have little choice but to ride this out and hope rookie QB Kenny Pickett reinvigorates the Pittsburgh offense.

I’m higher on Kareem Hunt for Week 5 than most rankers. The Browns have run the ball on 53% of their offensive snaps, and Hunt has had double-digit carries in every game. He’s also averaging 2.8 receptions a game. Hunt will be facing a Chargers defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to RBs.

J.K. Dobbins had only seven carries when he made his season debut in Week 3 after a long recovery from a knee injury. In Week 4, Dobbins had 13 carries and four catches, and he scored a pair of touchdowns. All systems are go for Dobbins to provide RB2 value.

Other rankers feel more confident in the New England RBs than I do. Yes, a home matchup against the Lions is appealing. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson could run wild against a Detroit defense that has allowed a league-high eight TD runs and is giving up 5.3 yards per carry to running backs. But how many touchdowns are the Patriots capable of scoring with third-string rookie Bailey Zappe at quarterback? Will New England be able to sustain drives? I fear this might not be as good a spot as it looks.

Antonio Gibson sits atop Tier 5. His value is threatened by the return of rookie Brian Robinson, who has a chance to be active for the first time after recovering from gunshot wounds sustained during an attempted robbery. Robinson isn’t likely to get a lot of work in his NFL debut, but with J.D. McKissic also getting snaps and touches, Gibson’s hourglass will lose sand in the weeks to come

It’s not clear how the Falcons will divide RB work with Cordarrelle Patterson on IR, but rookie Tyler Allgeier is the odds-on favorite to be the biggest beneficiary. I wouldn’t want to start Allgeier this week in a touch matchup against the Buccaneers, but some fantasy managers may have no choice.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Check out Fitz’s wide receiver rankings here >>

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6

Tier 7

Unless you’re flush with WR talent, D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett should probably be every-week fantasy starters. It turns out Geno Smith really isn’t that big a step down from Russell Wilson at quarterback. And you’re not scared of starting D.K. Metcalf in a tough individual matchup against Saints CB Marshon Lattimore, are you? There was a lot of talk about how well Lions CB Jeff Okudah had been playing early this season … until Metcalf worked him over in Week 4, finishing with seven catches for 149 yards.

Chris Olave is just so polished for a rookie. He’s officially a weekly must-start now.

Speaking of rookies, don’t be discouraged by Drake London‘s 2-17-0 performance in Week 4. He still lands in WR2 range this week despite a difficult matchup against the Buccaneers and CBs Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean.

This seems like a get-right spot for Terry McLaurin, who’s currently the WR37 in half-PPR fantasy scoring. McLaurin’s target outlook is enhanced by the anticipated absence of rookie WR Jahan Doston (hamstring), and he’ll face a Tennessee defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Opposing WRs have rocked the Titans for 9.5 yards per target.

Chris Godwin is a favorite of mine, so being below consensus on him doesn’t feel good. Godwin had an 83% snap share last week and saw 10 targets, But is he fully healthy after tearing his ACL last December and after dealing with an early-season hamstring injury? This isn’t high-level analysis, but I get nervous about a player who’s noticeably grimacing as he picks himself off the ground. Maybe you don’t have the luxury of keeping Godwin on your bench, but it would be nice to get a “show me” game from him before inserting him into your lineup.

Brandon Aiyuk headlines Tier 5. I’m way above consensus on him. Once Aiyuk got out of Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse last year, he was the WR13 from Week 9 on. Aiyuk had drawn only 23 targets, so far, but one of the 49ers’ games was played in a Chicago rainstorm, and two were lopsided victories in which they didn’t have to throw much. Godwin has a 92% snap share so far this season and plays in an offense with a skinny target tree. If he’s involved in a start/sit decision for you, I would err on the side of starting him even in a slightly difficult road matchup against an underrated Panthers defense.

Yeah, I’m worried about Gabe Davis. He scores touchdowns at a high rate and does a lot of per-catch damage, but he just doesn’t draw targets at a high rate. Ben Gretch and other fantasy analysts have done compelling research to make the point that drawing targets is a skill, and it appears that Davis lacks that particular skill.

Diontae Johnson is tied for 12th in WR targets but is the WR44 in fantasy scoring. What if the targets dry up? He was targeted only four times last week in a game where rookie QB Kenny Pickett replaced Mitchell Trubisky at halftime. Rookie WR George Pickens looks like a superstar in the making and might start to command more targets. Johnson is sliding toward borderline start/sit territory.

For now, I think we should consider the hierarchy of Jets wide receivers to be Garrett Wilson > Elijah Moore > Corey Davis. But it’s clear that young Jets QB Zach Wilson has chemistry with Davis, which might make Wilson and Moore less appealing lineup options for fantasy managers. Ideally, you can keep Wilson or Moore out of your lineup this week to gather one more game’s worth of target data, but I realize that might not be a luxury you can afford.

Robert Woods is bound to see a target uptick with rookie WR Treylon Burks destined to be sidelined for multiple weeks with turf toe. Most likely, it’s going to be an incremental uptick rather than a windfall. We’re not going to see Woods getting a Davante Adams-sized target share. More likely, Woods sees 1-2 more targets a game than he normally would, and the rest of Burks’ targets are distributed among Nick Westbook-Ikhine, Kyle Philips and others. In other words, don’t feel compelled to jam Woods into your lineup over better players.

D.J. Moore is still the same guy who reliably churns out 1,100-yard seasons year after year. If you feel compelled to bench him, I understand. But we’ll soon be regarding Moore as a must-start again.

You’ll have to keep a close eye on the status of Rashod Bateman if you have a stake in either Bateman or Devin Duvernay. Bateman is dealing with a foot injury. If he can’t go this week, Duvernay moves into WR3/flex consideration. He already has three TD catches and a kick-return touchdown, and he doesn’t need heavy target volume to pay off.

CTAs

TIGHT ENDS

Check out Fitz’s tight end rankings here >>

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

T.J. Hockenson has gone from a low-end TE1 to a must-start now that the Lions are without D’Andre Swift and, especially, Amon-Ra St. Brown. Enjoy it while you can, Hockenson investors, because Hock’s fantasy value will take a major haircut as soon as St. Brown returns.

As Rich Hribar of Sharp Football noted on Twitter, George Kittle‘s last eight games have been remarkably unproductive — 21 catches for 220 yards and 1 TD in a stretch that dates back to last season and includes three playoff games.

It’s possible Kyle Pitts will miss Week 5 with a hamstring issue — adding injury to insult for Pitts stakeholders. I think you should be playing Pitts when healthy and not trying to sell him for pennies on the dollar. This week, unless we get the all-clear on Pitts’ health, it might be wise to find an alternative.

David Njoku absolutely belongs on Tier 2. He’s had 14-162-1 over the last two weeks, and he faces a Chargers defense that allowed the most fantasy points to TEs in 2021.

It’s a little premature to declare an outbreak of Conk-o-Mania, but Tyler Conklin is on an 89-catch pace. He’s startable, no question.

I’m fading Pat Freiermuth. The Bills have been murder on opposing TEs this year and last. It’s possible they’re less tough against TEs without injured safety Micah Hyde, but I wouldn’t count on that.

Dalton Schultz may not be 100% healthy after coming back from a sprained PCL. He was held without a catch in Week 4. Now he gets a tough matchup against the Rams, and he’ll be catching passes from backup QB Cooper Rush.


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