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6 Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 5 Start/Sit Advice (2023)

6 Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 5 Start/Sit Advice (2023)

Arguably the most frustrating thing in fantasy football is seeing someone in your starting lineup struggle that week. Therefore, the logic behind this article is simple – identify fantasy football lineup landmines.

These are players you’re leaning towards starting this week but could end up being a landmine that blows up and destroys your starting lineup, potentially costing you your matchup.

Brace yourself and take cover. These six players could blow up in your face this week.

Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 5

Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC)

The fantasy football community declared Lawrence a superstar in the making entering the season. After a two-touchdown performance in Week 1, the former No. 1 overall pick has struggled, throwing two total scores. Furthermore, he has averaged only 13.4 fantasy points per game since scoring 17.7 on opening weekend. The number of pass attempts by Lawrence has also dipped in three consecutive games. More importantly, the former Clemson star faces an elite Buffalo Bills defense in London.

While losing Tre’Davious White to a torn Achilles hurts the Bills defense, they could get Von Miller back this week. Even if the star pass rusher doesn’t play until Week 6, fantasy players should feel nervous starting Lawrence against Buffalo. The Bills have held quarterbacks to only 7.6 fantasy points per game this season, the fewest in the league. Furthermore, Tua Tagovailoa is the only quarterback with more than 185 passing yards and 8.2 fantasy points against Buffalo this year. I would start Sam Howell and Joshua Dobbs over Lawrence this week.

Kyren Williams (RB – LAR)

There have been several surprises this season and Williams is arguable the top one. He is the RB4 over the first month, averaging 19 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. However, the former Notre Dame running back is a sell-high candidate for me. He has averaged only 61.3 rushing yards per game and 3.8 yards per attempt this season. Furthermore, according to Fantasy Points Data, Williams has only a 1.6% explosive run rate, a lower average than Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Chuba Hubbard. More importantly, the second-year running back is super touchdown-dependent.

Williams has six touchdowns this season, scoring two in all but one contest. In those three matchups, he has averaged 22.9 fantasy points per game, with the touchdowns accounting for 52.5% of his fantasy production. By comparison, he scored only 7.5 fantasy points in the one matchup he didn’t find the end zone. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia Eagles have held running backs to the second-fewest fantasy points per game (11.4) and only one touchdown this year. With Cooper Kupp possibly playing this week, Williams could see his role in the passing game significantly reduced.

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB – NE)

Following his top-seven finish in 2022, fantasy players had high hopes for Stevenson this year. Unfortunately, the entire Patriots offense has struggled. The former Oklahoma star is the RB23, averaging only 9.3 half-point PPR fantasy points per game and 2.7 yards per rushing attempt. New England’s offensive line hasn’t helped the star running back. According to Fantasy Points Data, Stevenson has averaged only 1.05 yards before contact and a 53.3% stuff rate. Meanwhile, he hasn’t gotten saved by a role in the passing game, totaling only six receptions for 23 receiving yards since Week 1.

Unfortunately, Stevenson faces an elite New Orleans Saints run defense in Week 5. The Saints have struggled on offense, but their defense has been excellent since opening weekend. Over the past three weeks, New Orleans has held running backs to only 3.1 yards per rushing attempt and 11.6 fantasy points per game. They have also limited running backs to only 0.75 yards before contact per rushing attempt this season, the fifth-lowest average in the NFL. Fantasy players should consider starting Javonte Williams and Gus Edwards over Stevenson.

DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI)

Over the first two weeks this year, Smith looked like the new No. 1 wide receiver in Philadelphia. He had 10 targets in Week 1 against the New England Patriots. Then, the former Alabama star had 131 receiving yards against the Minnesota Vikings, while A.J. Brown had only 29 yards. However, it’s been a different story for Smith the past two weeks, averaging 5.5 receptions for 53 receiving yards and 8.1 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. By comparison, Brown has been the WR1, averaging nine receptions for 153 receiving yards and 25.8 fantasy points per game over the past two weeks.

Smith’s target share has also declined since Week 1. He had a 30.3% target share against the Patriots but only a 19.6% target share over the past three weeks. His target share over the past two weeks has been 18.9%, compared to 40.5% for Brown. Meanwhile, the Rams have done well containing wide receivers this season, giving up 23.1 fantasy points per game to the position, the seventh-fewest in the NFL. More importantly, they haven’t surrendered a touchdown to wide receivers since Week 1.

Drake London (WR – ATL)

Fantasy players must be frustrated with Atlanta’s passing attack. London had one target and zero half-point PPR fantasy points in Week 1. While he has averaged seven targets per game over the past three weeks, that has only equated to an average of 3.7 receptions for 42 receiving yards and 10 fantasy points per game. The second-year receiver has gotten double-digit fantasy points in half the contests, but only 4.1 total fantasy points in the other half. Furthermore, according to Fantasy Points Data, London has been the first read on only 23.4% of the pass plays, a lower average than Tutu Atwell.

While some have called for the Falcons to replace Desmond Ridder with Taylor Heinicke, Arthur Smith is sticking with the young quarterback. Unfortunately, the Atlanta passing attack is in for a rough matchup against the Houston Texans. They have held wide receivers to only 19.7 fantasy points per game (the second-fewest) and one touchdown (the fewest) this season. According to Fantasy Points Data, only 59.1% of London’s targets have been catchable. Meanwhile, the Texans have the fourth-best coverage grade (83.9) by PFF this season.

George Kittle (TE – SF)

No one expected Kittle to sustain the 19.4 half-point PPR fantasy points per game that he averaged over the final four contests last year into this season. However, the veteran tight end has been awful with Brandon Aiyuk in the lineup. Kittle has totaled 10 targets and 9.3 fantasy points in the three games with Aiyuk this season. By comparison, he had nine targets and 12.5 fantasy points in the lone matchup without the star receiver. Furthermore, the former Iowa tight end had only one reception for nine yards last week despite Deebo Samuel not earning a target.

Unfortunately, things won’t be better for him this week. The Dallas Cowboys have suffocated opposing tight ends this season, giving up only 6.8 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, they’ve held tight ends to only 43.8 receiving yards per game and haven’t surrendered a receiving touchdown this year. Over the past two weeks, Dallas has picked up their play against tight ends, giving up only eight receptions for 71 receiving yards and 5.6 fantasy points to the position. Fantasy players should consider starting Jake Ferguson or Zach Ertz over Kittle this week.

Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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