A refreshed edition of Fantasy Island: Week 5 starts and sits

Fire up James Robinson and the rest of the Jaguars against Houston this week. (Photo by All-Pro Reels/Joe Glorioso via Wikimedia Commons)


After a miserable week filled with low numbers, last week brought us the bounce back. Fantasy goodness was everywhere, from the glorious 48-45 Seahawks-Lions game (we see you, T.J. Hockenson) to the Miles Sanders explosion week to the welcome-back parties for Christian McCaffery, Austin Ekeler, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson.

It felt like walking inside from the sweltering Gulf Coast heat and sitting right under the air conditioner vent with a cold beer. Ahhhhh.

Keep your fingers crossed that this week is more of the same and we don’t get thrown back out into the furnace. Here are the recommended starts and sits:



Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars: Last week, we advised you to avoid Lawrence and hopefully, you listened. He fumbled four times and didn’t even reach double-digit fantasy points. Well, now we’re telling you that you can trust him again. After running into the Eagles’ wrecking crew, the Jags get the much more forgiving Texans this week, and they’re allowing the second-most passing yards in the league.


Matthew Stafford, Rams: After essentially reaching set-and-forget status last year while leading the Rams to the Super Bowl, Stafford has reverted to a streaming option in 2022. You want to play him against weak defenses and sit him against any defense with a good pass rush, as the Rams’ offensive line is currently a big turnstile. Guess which team is currently tied for second in the league with 15 sacks? The Rams’ opponent this week, the Dallas Cowboys.



Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots: We don’t particularly want to be too invested in a Patriots offense led by third-stringer Bailey Zappe. But New England’s opponent this week is the Detroit Lions, who are allowing a league-worst 5.6 yards per carry on the ground and a league-worst 10 rushing touchdowns. Harris and Stevenson are splitting the carries fairly evenly out of the Patriots’ backfield and both should put up usable numbers this week.  

James Robinson, Jaguars: While the Lions are allowing the highest yards-per-carry average, the Houston Texans are allowing the second-highest number of total rushing yards. And this is a game in which the Jaguars should be leading. Like Lawrence, Robinson’s numbers suffered against Philly’s suffocating defense, but he should be set free this week.


Najee Harris, Steelers: He’s been woefully inefficient while the Steelers try to work through their offensive issues and Pittsburgh will likely be playing from behind against a tough Bills defense. You may not have better options, but this is not a week to expect him to break out of his funk.

Tyler Allgeier, Falcons: If you picked him up off the wire this week, congratulations. Now sit him on your bench. With the Bucs up next, he’s not likely to set the world aflame in his first week taking over for the injured Cordarelle Patterson. He’ll also likely be sharing carries with Caleb Huntley.



Christian Kirk, Jaguars: If I’m advising you to play Lawrence, it reasonably follows that you should play his top receiver, especially since Jacksonville WR2 Zay Jones missed last week with an injury and remains questionable for Sunday’s game against Houston.

Chris Olave, Saints: Last week, the Seahawks’ secondary was torched for 378 yards by a Detroit team missing its top two receivers and its best running back. The Saints don’t have Jared Goff and may not have Jameis Winston, but that didn’t stop Olave from following up a 147-yard breakout performance with 67 yards and a touchdown against in London against the Vikings.


Michael Pittman, Colts: Pittman should be a fantasy winner most weeks as the only reliable pass-catcher for Matt Ryan and the Colts. But he gave us a 31-yard dud last week and he should see a heavy dose of Patrick Surtain on Thursday night. Without Jonathan Taylor, this whole offense may be a mess. You may not have better options, but temper expectations.

D.J. Moore, Panthers: Moore has been one of this year’s biggest disappointments thus far with a measly 138 yards and one touchdown through four games. It’s not really even his fault, as new Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield has been dreadful. Matched up against one of the best defenses in the league this week in the 49ers, this is the opposite of a get-right spot.



Dallas Goedert, Eagles: He’s been as consistent as any tight end not named Travis Kelce. And this week he gets an Arizona defense giving up the second-most points to fantasy tight ends.  


Zach Ertz, Cardinals: On the other side of this game, I’m not expecting Ertz to put up big numbers against his former team. But you really can’t afford to sit any tight end who’s shown a pulse. Just don’t expect too much.

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