Jennifer Lawrence is reportedly going to have a cameo in the "Dumb and Dumber" sequel. I know, we're excited, too.
You're going to hear the Bears defense "roar" this week against Marques Colston. Yeah, we listen to Katy Perry. So what?
By: Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Mark Strotman (AKA, the three best friends anyone could have)
Welcome to another edition of CSNChicago.com's Start'em and Sit'em, where three totally unqualified guys give their take on the best and worst plays in the upcoming fantasy football week.
We're not experts, but then again, how can anybody truly be an "expert" at fantasy football? This is a game of luck and nobody can predict the future.
We don't have special powers, but we are pretty obsessed with fantasy sports. Just ask our girlfriends...if we had any.
Every week, each of us will comprise a trio of players with the best matchups or situations on tap for the week ahead and a corresponding trio of guys who are most likely to run into a metaphorical brick wall.
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And because we're men and we love perpetuating stereotypes, we, of course, turned this into a competition. Why not?
After three weeks (and all of last year), we realized a major flaw in our scoring: If we assign 0-5 values to each player's performance, there's nothing worse than a zero. And Mark's Week 3 sit of Antonio Brown (who went off for 31 ESPN standard points) should have been bad enough to sink his entire week, instead of just that one pick.
So we've instituted a new system. We will add up the ESPN standard fantasy points for all of our "Starts" and subtract the points from all our "Sits" and the difference will be the weekly score. So if one of us winds up with a negative score, so be it.
(Scoring example: If Scott's three starts total 45 fantasy points and his three sits total 20, he would finish the week with 25 points.)
So without further ado, here are our picks for Week 5:
Tony Andracki (Week 4: 2 points)
Well, the scoring change didn't exactly help me out there, as I had to sacrifice my first-place spot and drop down to the bottom. But it's my own fault. If you followed my advice last week on running backs, you were set. Reginald Bush was great yet again (22 pts) whlie C.J. Spiller was disappointing yet again (7 pts).
But unfortunately, I had four "Samsonite moments" this week. Terrelle Pryor didn't play and Matt Flynn sucked. Eric Decker had 88 yards, but couldn't find the endzone while Larry Fitzgerald did and Andrew Luck helped make me look like an idiot with his best overall passing game of the season.
I still don't think Luck is a must-start each week, so be cautious. He draws Seattle in Week 5, and I would've sat him for the third time this year, but I think Colin Kaepernick is going to have a much worse week.
Eli Manning, QB -- NYG (vs. PHI)
Alright, so Peyton's baby bro has not been good this year (ranked 23 among all fantasy QBs, behind Alex Smith, Jake Locker and E.J. Manuel, among others). But he's got a good matchup against the Eagles, who have given up the second-most points to opposing QBs in the NFL, averaging 22.5 fantasy points per week. Eli has just 10 points the last two weeks, but he's not this bad. He and the Giants will both turn things around and it starts this week.
Darren Sproles, RB -- NO (@ CHI)
Bush had 22 points against this Bears defense last week as the Lions took full advantage of the Bears' ineptitude in the screen game. Sproles actually has more receptions (23) than rushing attempts (22), so he is especially valuable in PPR leagues. As the Bears key on slowing down Jimmy Graham, Sproles will have room to run underneath. Take advantage and start him in what is shaping up to be a tough week for fantasy RBs.
Jordy Nelson, WR -- GB (vs. DET)
I won't talk about his awful Wisconsin commercial again, though I should. I shudder every time I see it. Through three games, Jordy is on pace for 96 catches for 1,541 yards and 16 TDs. Why would you sit him?
Colin Kaepernick, QB -- SF (vs. HOU)
Man, and you think Eli has been bad. After scoring 30 points in Week 1, Kaep has totaled just 22 points in three games since. Don't look for him to turn anything around against the Texans this week. Houston hasn't allowed more than 195 passing yards yet this season and despite six passing TDs allowed, they have held opposing QBs out of the endzone each of the last two weeks. If you have to start Kaep, your team is in worse shape than this bad lip reading commercial.
Trent Richardson, RB -- IND (vs. SEA)
He's just simply not good. Despite two touchdowns in two weeks with the Colts, T-Rich has just 21 fantasy points and is averaging only 2.9 yards per carry. If you think that's going to get any better against a sick Seahawks defense this week, you're straight trippin'.
Torrey Smith, WR -- BAL (@ MIA)
Smith has actually been good this year even when he doesn't score, never netting less than four catches or 85 yards. He is still a big-play threat and could break one for a tuddie at anytime, but the chances of that happening against the Dolphins is slim to none. Miami has yet to allow a wideout to score and is second in the NFL at limiting opposing WRs in the fantasy game. Stay away from Smith if you can help it. I won't be "way off" on this prediction...
And speaking of "Samsonite moments," I'm so jacked for the "Dumb and Dumber" sequel. No way it'll be worse than the prequel, which might be one of the worst movies of all time.
Mark Strotman (Week 4: 10 points)
So Darren Sproles finally had that "it" game for the Saints, huh? My other picks went well in Week 4, and it was nice to see Lamar Miller continue to get increased run for the Dolphins. It's off topic, but I think he'll be a nice fit as an RB2 the rest of the season. Congrats if you held on to him amid the ugly preseason and inconsistent first three weeks. So we're back at it again with new scoring. I'm going to roll the dice and play the bye week plug-and-play route with a few of these players; hope you're playing along with me.
Brian Hoyer, QB -- CLE (vs. BUF)
Get him while he's hot. Since taking over for Brandon Weeden, Hoyer has gone for 18.6 and 19.5 points in Weeks 3 and 4. Against a Bills defense that was good last week against Joe Flacco but has been below average for the season, I expect Hoyer to keep the ball rolling. As long as he avoids turnovers -- he didn't throw one against Cleveland -- he should be another fill-in for any bye week emergencies you have (Robert Griffin III, specifically).
David Wilson, RB -- NYG (vs. PHI)
You're freaking out over four weeks, and perhaps rightfully so. Wilson has just 38 carries and hasn't topped 6.3 points in a game to date, but there's reason for optimism. For one, the Giants are a desperate 0-4 and whatever message Tom Coughlin was trying to send, it probably needs to end now. Second, the Eagles' defense has been dreadful this year. In a division game, yards may be tough(er) to come by than usual, which may mean a steady run game. Eli Manning has been bad; maybe Wilson can get back on track as a flex play.
Alshon Jeffery, WR -- CHI (vs. NO)
Maybe it's because he enters Week 5 on the heels of a 107-yard, one-touchdown performance in Detroit, but Jeffery may be on the verge of a breakout. Playing in Soldier Field against a Saints defense that has been surprisingly good, I expect the Bears to rebound after an embarrassing loss. If the Saints key in on Brandon Marshall (probably a good idea), Jeffery may find the end zone again. In deeper leagues, I like him as a flex play.
Russell Wilson, QB -- SEA (@ IND)
The former Badger wasn't supposed to be a surefire start every week, but Wilson has been rather pedestrian through four weeks. His 14.0 fantasy points per game are 18th in ESPN leagues, and he's up on the road against a solid Colts team. The Seahawks are 4-0 but Wilson will need Percy Harvin back soon if Wilson is going to right the ship. Find another option this week, and hope he gets things going soon behind an injured offensive line.
Chris Johnson, RB -- TEN (vs. KC)
Ouch. What was supposed to be a big bounceback performance for CJ2K has been everything but. He still hasn't found the end zone in four weeks, he's averaging just three yards per catch and has been targeted just five times. Making matters worse, Jake Locker is out for the Titans against a suffocating Chiefs defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start, and you can take that two ways: 1) Johnson will receive plenty of carries and check-down targets OR 2) Fitzpatrick will make a mess of the Titans offense. I'll take the latter. Time to sit your second or third round running back for a week.
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Jacquizz Rodgers, RB -- ATL (vs. NYJ)
If you handcuffed Steven Jackson and have played Rodgers the last two weeks, you've been pleasantly surprised. 9.3 and 8.8 points in Weeks 3 and 4 has been solid production for a likely flex, but in Week 5 he'll face a Jets defense that has been the league's best against the run, in terms of fantasy production. Add in a hot Tony Gonzalez and a healing Roddy White and the Falcons are likely to pass early and often. That may mean Rodgers, too, but odds are he regresses after two good weeks.
Scott Krinch (Week 4: 14 points)
I took advantage of the new scoring system and catapulted in front of those other two clowns. Jay Cutler went off in garbage time which really helped my score and my sits of Eli Manning and Vincent Jackson worked out perfectly. Playing it a little safe in Week 4 has me penciled in first place, but I'm going to live a little on the edge this weekend. With four teams on a bye week, this is the time you need to be strategic with your fantasy lineups. Use the waiver-wire. If there's someone that's been sitting on your bench racking up points, now is the time to use him. Your prospective leagues are starting to take shape and you don't want to fall too far in the standings. Listen to my advice and I'll get you back on track in Week 5.
Terrelle Pryor, QB -- OAK (vs. SD)
When healthy, Pryor is becoming a must-start fantasy quarterback no matter what defense he's playing. It's no surprise that running quarterbacks rack up huge fantasy numbers. The former Ohio State signal-caller is coming off a concussion -- he's been given full clearance by team doctors -- and goes up against a Chargers defense that's allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. This game could turn into another shootout and there's no reason why Pryor shouldn't hang a 20-spot. If he's still sitting on waivers -- highly unlikely -- snatch him up and get him in your starting lineup. Oh and the game has a 10:35 p.m. central start time. What more can you ask for than watching your fantasy QB light it up before you have to get up for work in the morning?
Lamar Miller, RB -- MIA (vs. BAL)
I'm firmly a believer in Miller. He torched the Saints defense in the first half and then the Dolphins got too far behind that they were forced to pass on almost every down in the second half which took Miller out of the equation. Daniel Thomas hasn't done anything to impress the coaching staff in Miami and Miller is fully enshrined as the No. 1 back. The Dolphins welcome in the Ravens on Sunday. Baltimore just gave up 175 yards a touchdown to Bills' running backs last weekend. Look for Miami to establish the run early and Miller to have that breakout game fantasy owners are waiting for.
Danny Amendola, WR -- NE (@ CIN)
If you drafted Amendola, your probably jumping for joy after reading he will be active against the Bengals this weekend. In his first game with the Patriots, Amendola hauled in 10 passes for 104 yards. Those are the kind of numbers you should expect to see from him when he's healthy. Health has always been the big question for for the former St. Louis Ram, but when he plays, he performs. The Bengals secondary has struggled against wide receivers this season, allowing at least 130 yards in each game. The Cincy defense will likely key in on the return of Rob Gronkowski which should allow Amendola to have a solid fantasy afternoon.
Andrew Luck, QB -- IND (vs. SEA)
Luck has been a model of consistency in fantasy terms this year. He hasn't dipped below 14 points in four starts, but he also hasn't had that monster game fantasy owners were hoping for when they drafted him. On Sunday, Luck will have to find a way to get it done against the best defense in the NFL in the Seahawks. Seattle's 'D' is second in the NFC with 13 takeaways and are the reason why the team is undefeated. There aren't too many players in the NFL I'd feel confident starting against their defense. And Luck is definitely not one of them.
DeAngelo Williams, RB -- CAR (@ ARI)
Is Williams back to fantasy relevance again? Averaging 101 yards per game, it surely looks like he's back on track. But most fantasy owners have been burned by the Panthers' running back situation the last few years and I'm not somebody buying into starting Williams every week. Carolina heads to Arizona this weekend. The Cardinals haven't allowed a rushing touchdown in four games this season and their defense has looked better as each week goes by. This is a matchup I'd stay far away from on Sunday because the Cardinals are going to make Cam Newton beat them with his arm.
Marques Colston, WR -- NO (@ CHI)
Colston has been a huge disappointment for fantasy owners in 2013. His largest point total is 12 in ESPN standard scoring leagues. Drew Brees has been getting it done with Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles in the passing game. You may see the Bears defense looming on the schedule this weekend, but don't be fooled. Chicago's defense struggles against speedier, slot type of wideouts. Colston doesn't have the speed anymore and is the big possession type of wide receiver that Charles Tillman has his best games against. Trust me on this matchup and get Colston out of your lineup.