Week 5 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Browns vs Chargers

Fantasy football picks for the Cleveland Browns vs Los Angeles Chargers Week 5 matchup, including Kareem Hunt, Jared Cook and Austin Ekeler.
Fantasy football picks for the Cleveland Browns vs Los Angeles Chargers Week 5 matchup, including Kareem Hunt, Jared Cook and Austin Ekeler. / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

Two teams looking to build off of impressive Week 4 wins meet head-to-head in Week 5 as the Cleveland Browns take on the Los Angeles Chargers. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Chargers slated as small 1.5-point home favorites in a game that is expected to go down to the wire.

If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 5 AFC clash.

Kareem Hunt Fantasy

Start Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns: This is a tough matchup for anyone on the Browns' offense, which makes it important to look at volume. Running back Kareem Hunt played in a season-high 53% of the offensive snaps in Week 4 and has now seen at least 14 touches in each of the last three games. His role in the passing game has actually allowed him to outscore starter Nick Chubb in fantasy so far. Hunt currently ranks as the RB6 in PPR scoring and continues to put up RB1 numbers in any given week. He can be started with confidence in Week 5.

Jared Cook Fantasy

Start Jared Cook, TE, Los Angeles Chargers: The targets have always been there for tight end Jared Cook and he finally put them to good use in Week 4. The veteran pass-catcher racked up 70 yards on 6 catches and scored his first touchdown of the season. Cook remains one of quarterback Justin Herbert's favorite red zone options and has seen a target in that area of the field in three of his four games played. While the Browns have been solid against the pass in 2021, they are giving up 9.6 yards per reception to opposing TEs. Cook has made his way into TE1 territory and is worth starting from now on.

Rashard Higgins Fantasy

Sit Rashard Higgins, WR, Cleveland Browns: With wide receiver Jarvis Landry on the injured reserve, Rashard Higgins is expected to take on a larger role. He did act as the WR2 behind Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 5 and hauled in 4 of 7 targets for 63 yards. However, Higgins still only played in 53% of the offensive snaps despite the game being within one possession at all times. It is clear that he is a secondary option and now faces a Chargers' defense that has posted the fourth-best pass defense DVOA rating. Expect the Browns to lean on their strong rushing game, which leaves little room for Higgins to ball out on Sunday.

Austin Ekeler Fantasy

Sit Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Fantasy managers rostering Austin Ekeler are not likely going to sit him this week, but this is not a favorable matchup for the Chargers' workhorse. Cleveland has been dominant against the run this season, posting the best rush defense DVOA rating in the NFL. The Browns are also allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs. Ekeler makes a living in the passing attack, but Cleveland has given up just 105 receiving yards to the position all season (No. 4 in NFL). Look for Ekeler to take a small step back in what is a very tough matchup.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.