What week five is lacking in quality matchups it makes up for in fantasy opportunities. That being said, I’ll highlight the top five and bottom five matchups in this week’s love/don’t love.
Matchups I Love
1. Kevin Kolb (ARI) at Saint Louis
Kolb has come in and done a terrific job in place of John Skelton. He has since won the starting spot altogether. Since taking over as starter he has games of 15 FP, 17 FP, and 20 FP. The Rams defense has only played well against a rookie, Russell Wilson, and Jay Cutler so I don’t think their defense is legit. Kolb should have a solid game.
2. Brian Hartline (MIA) at Cincinnati
Hartline is obviously coming off of a monster week so the Bengals will know what to prepare for. I still believe in him because Reggie Bush will be at full strength and Hartline is getting targets at a nearly league-leading rate. Cincinnati is potentially missing four defensive backs this week which should translate to a big game for Hartline.
3. Jamaal Charles (KC) versus Baltimore
Don’t be hesitant with Charles; he has proven he can shoulder the load no matter what opponent he faces. His 84 touches this year rank him top-10 in the league and his 512 total yards is first overall. The Ravens aren’t quite the Ravens anymore either as they have given up 20 PPG this season compared to 16.6 PPG last year.
4. Marcedes Lewis (JAC) versus Chicago
Normally I wouldn’t love a Jaguars player and why would I? Admittedly, this is a bit of a stretch but he is available in 90-percent of leagues and could be a decent fill-in. This is based on the fact that Lewis has caught more touchdowns this year than last year already and that the Bears tend to give up numbers to tight ends. It is the cover-two scheme that the Bears play that leaves the middle of the field open for tight ends.
5. Pittsburgh Defense/Special Teams versus Philadelphia
The Steelers defense hasn’t been good this season. In fact, it hasn’t even been decent. They have Troy Polamalu and James Harrison coming back this week though and I think that is enough to stop the Eagles.
Matchups I Don’t Like
1. Peyton Manning (DEN) at New England
The Patriots have forced 11 turnovers through the first four games and historically have had Peyton’s number. Manning has been pretty good this year compiling an 8-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio so far. That being said, he will probably turn the ball over and I don’t envision a big game.
2. Buffalo Running Backs at San Francisco
Whether it’s C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson who gets the majority of the touches, they are going up against one of the toughest run-defenses in the league. San Francisco hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back since week 16 of 2011 when Marshawn Lynch scored on them. I don’t think this is the week a running back scores.
3. DeSean Jackson at Pittsburgh
Jeremy Maclin is going to be almost full-strength and the Pittsburgh defense will also be full strength. Jackson has benefited from being the number-one option over that past couple of weeks, but I think that changes when he is relegated to just being a deep threat once again.
4. Martellus Bennett versus Cleveland
Cleveland shut out Dennis Pitta last week and hasn’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end this season. Bennett is obviously a big part of the offense this season for the Giants but I think the strong middle of the field for Cleveland will stop him this week.
5. Seattle Defense/Special Teams at Carolina
So far this year Seattle has been one of the strongest plays at defense but this week they run into Carolina. This seems like a fairly favorable matchup but Cam Newton got back on track last week and I don’t think Seattle will be able to stop him. Carolina will also be at home, where Cam plays much better than on the road. The Seahawks have one of the best defenses in the league so I don’t blame you for starting them anyway, this is a just a gut feeling for me. Seattle will probably win, but their defense won’t have a good fantasy game.
That’s all I have for this week, check back next week for more of the same.