Week 5 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Fantasy Football

Jason Schandl
Start 'em, sit 'em Week 5 for fantasy football, including Leonard Fournette, Aaron Rodgers and Laviska Shenault.
Start 'em, sit 'em Week 5 for fantasy football, including Leonard Fournette, Aaron Rodgers and Laviska Shenault. / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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With the first four weeks of the season under wraps, the fantasy football landscape is starting to offer a little more clarity. Whether it's figuring out a team's usage trends or identifying favorable matchups, we're starting to get some more reliable data to help inform our fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em decisions.

With that in mind, here are The Duel's Week 5 start 'em, sit 'em picks for fantasy football.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5 Quarterbacks

Start Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (@ CIN): I get it if you're not excited about starting Aaron Rodgers. He's just the QB17 in fantasy football so far, and he's been asked to throw more than 30 times only twice in four games this year. But both of those games with fewer than 30 attempts were blowouts, and outside of the abysmal Week 1 showing against the New Orleans Saints, his production has been just fine. From Week 2 through 4 he's the QB10 in fantasy. A matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals also isn't nearly as scary as it might seem. They've allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, but that list of QBs includes Andy Dalton, Trevor Lawrence and the animated corpse of Ben Roethlisberger. Don't worry about Rodgers in this matchup.

Sit Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (vs CLE): In his breakout rookie season, Justin Herbert was contributing 3.6 fantasy points per game just from his rushing stats. In 2021 that average is down to 0.8 per game. He's also not throwing the ball any more efficiently, averaging 6.89 adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A), compared to 6.84 as a rookie. He's coming off of a couple big games, but he's still just fantasy's QB14 on the year and now he faces a Cleveland Browns D that has allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points per game to the position while checking in at 13th in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA metric.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5 Running Backs

Start Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs MIA): Figuring out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' backfield is never fun, but Ronald Jones has done his best to help fantasy football managers. Jones' early-season struggles have led to his playing fewer than 20% of the Bucs' offensive snaps in three of four games in 2021. Accordingly, Leonard Fournette has seen his role expand, culminating in an 82% snap share with 25 opportunities (20 carries plus 5 targets) in Week 4. That's legitimate workhorse territory. Now he gets a dreamy matchup against the Miami Dolphins, whose list of opponents with 100-yard rushing games this season includes Damien Harris, Jonathan Taylor and Peyton Barber.

Sit Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (@ CAR): No matter what the players and coaches say about needing Miles Sanders to get going, you just can't start him until we see some evidence of that. He's seen a combined 9 carries and 7 targets across his last two games, scoring 16.2 PPR fantasy points (and just 10.2 non-PPR) in that stretch.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5 Wide Receivers

Start Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs TEN): The Jacksonville Jaguars are a mess, but Laviska Shenault looks like one of the few bright spots. His 110 yards on 7 touches were a big part of why they almost managed an upset win in Week 4, and he's playing a big role in this offense. He's seen at least 7 targets in three of four games to open the year, also playing at least 70% of the offensive snaps in those three. Another 16% of the team's targets are now vacant with DJ Chark on IR, and we can expect this passing attack to continuing running through Shenault.

Sit Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (@ LV): When Allen Robinson only turned in 9.5 fantasy points in Week 1, fantasy managers still had plenty of room for optimism. He saw 11 targets in that one, plus the upside of Justin Fields eventually taking over for Dalton had us excited. Well Robinson hasn't seen more than 6 targets in a game since then, and in two games with Fields under center Robinson has averaged 2.5 receptions and 45.0 yards per game. That's massively underwhelming, and now he's tasked with facing a Las Vegas Raiders defense that has been shockingly good against the pass, limiting opposing wideouts to bottom-seven fantasy production.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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 his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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