Week 5 of the fantasy season is here, and many owners are scrambling to fill-out their lineups with four teams on bye this weekend and numerous injuries around the league. Our fantasy of James Morris and Jon Cope provide their answers to several questions that are atop of the minds of fantasy owners this week.
Rashard Mendenhall is said to be coming back this week, is he worth playing?
James Morris: Yes he is worth playing, but don’t expect stud numbers from him right out of the gate. The coaches have been impressed with his cutting and overall running so far, but I expect them to use a RBBC this weekend. I would put him in the flex range until we hear otherwise for week 5.
Jon Cope: I wouldn’t worry too much about the Steelers lack of running game in Mendenhall’s absence; Mendenhall is far more talented than Isaac Redman or Jonathan Dwyer and I believe he’ll be a solid fantasy running back for the remainder of the year. I don’t love him THIS week, though because the Eagles defense is in the top-10 in fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs.
Santonio Holmes is out for the season, how should Holmes owners replace him?
James Morris: I owned him in a hand full of leagues, and I cut him on Tuesday before the news became official. This leaves Stephen Hill, Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley as the top 3 WRs going forward. Get off this sinking ship while you can if you own ANY NY Jets players.
Jon Cope: I would advise owners who had Holmes to take a look at Leonard Hankerson, Brian Hartline, Andre Roberts, James Jones, Kendall Wright and Brandon Lafell in that order. If all of those receivers are owned in your league, I believe Chaz Schilens will be the Jets receiver who will become a decent fantasy option with Holmes out. However, like James I believe the Jets offense is a sinking ship and headed for Tebow-time, which eliminates fantasy value of anyone other than the popular backup QB.
I have several players on a bye in week 5, are there any sleepers at RB and WR I can look at that may have been missed by others?
James Morris: Well, Brian Hartline continues to be underrated, as he is owned in just 2.4 percent of NFL.com leagues. The guy is currently ranked #7 for all fantasy WRs, and he is sitting on almost every single waiver wire!
Other than him, I’d look at someone like Rashard Mendenhall (owned in 49.7 percent of NFL.com leagues) or Andre Roberts (1.4 percent). But, the reality is that the waiver wire is picked cleaner than a chicken bone at a Mississippi BBQ by week 5 of the NFL season! You will most likely have to get the best of what is left and just make it work. Watch my Twitter and/or Facebook for injury news, because I post throughout the day.
Jon Cope: Other than the guys already mentioned, I would look at Domenik Hixon, the Giants receiver who had 6 catches for 114 yards on Sunday night in Philadelphia. As long as Hakeem Nicks is out, Hixon should be a solid fantasy option. If you’re desperate at running back and Ryan Williams and Rashard Mendenhall aren’t available, I would go with Jacquizz Rodgers, who I believe will have at least 80 total yards against a shaky Redskins defense.
After the disaster that was MNF, should I hold onto Tony Romo or see what I can get for him on the trade block?
James Morris: Well, I never say ANY player on my team is untouchable. As soon as you close that door, the village idiot may not knock on it. However, I do think Romo is still a top 10 fantasy QB going forward. I made lots of jokes on my social media about how much he liked apples, because he could make turnovers so easily. But, he has too many weapons around him to not succeed, and they are on their bye this week, so they will work this out and he will be fine in week 6.
Jon Cope: Tony Romo is an easy punching bag because of the fact that he hasn’t won a Super Bowl and he has certain games where he has disastrous turnovers. However, as James alluded to, Romo has a ton of weapons and is capable of winning games for you by putting up weeks with 300+ passing yards and 4 TDs. I would advise Romo owners to say on the Romo-coaster because the highs you get with Tony are a lot better than Andy Dalton, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kevin Kolb and anyone else that you’ll find out the waiver wire in most leagues.
For fantasy purposes, who do you think the most overrated player in the NFL is?
James Morris: Hands down it is Beanie Wells of the Cardinals. He is out 8 weeks with a toe injury, but he was ranked in the top 25 for RBs by multiple websites heading into the draft. He averaged just 2.6 YPC in 29 carries, and I seriously doubt he gets anything more than a few garbage time carries once he does return.
Also, I am big enough to admit that I got a little carried away with Mikel Leshoure of the Lions. I was too quick to coin the name “Fo Sho” Leshoure, as he has shown absolutely no HINT of big play ability at the NFL level. I wouldn’t cut him since there is no competition for carries, but I would certainly dangle him out there and see if a team hurting for starting RBs bites.
Jon Cope: Mr. Overrated for me is Steve Smith, Carolina. Smith has been a great fantasy option for many years as one of the elite wide receivers in the NFL. I think Smith can still be a solid fantasy option for teams, but I believe he’s still viewed as a top fantasy wide receiver, which he’s not. Smith is a 33-year-old receiver on a run-first team who hasn’t had a touchdown all year. I like Smith as a #3 fantasy wide receiver, but nothing more.
Be sure to check back on Friday for James’ “Start ’em & Sit ’em” advice.
For more fantasy guidance, you can follow James on Twitter here.
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