NFL

Miles Sanders, Darius Slayton among 3 Starts and 3 Sits for Fantasy Football Week 5

Oct 4, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) misses catching a pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half at SoFi Stadium.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy football is a fascinating and often frustrating endeavor. One stares at their lineup for the whole week to see that they made the wrong decision come game day. Here are three starts and sit for your fantasy team for Week 5.

Start #1: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Carolina Panthers (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

Falcons fans endured a horrendous first four weeks in which they lost every game. Bridgewater will look to capitalize on what has been a dreadful Falcons secondary.

The Falcons have given up 300 or more passing yards to every quarterback they have faced so far. They have also given up four touchdowns in three of the four games. There average fantasy points given up to opposing quarterbacks (standard scoring) is 31.5.

Bridgewater will remain without star running back Christian McCaffrey for at least this week against Atlanta. However, with fill-in running back Mike Davis putting up star performances and D.J Moore being a threat on the outside, Bridgewater looks to have a big game.

Start #2: Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

The tight end position is a tough one to figure out for most fantasy owners. There are the apparent studs in Travis Kelec, George Kittle, and, to some extent, Darren Waller. There have also been some duds with Zach Ertz and Evan Engram failing to live up to their preseason hype thus far. Ebron can be a good flier without a confident pick at tight end ready to go this week.

Ebron came over this offseason from the Colts and signed a two-year deal. He has amassed eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown over the first three games. While not eye-popping stats, Ebron has a chance to have a significant performance this week against the Eagles.

The Eagles were winless up until Sunday night when they beat a hobbled 49ers team. Among many issues, their defense has been subpar, giving up 20 or more points in all four games so far. They have also struggled mightily to contain the tight end position. Excluding the Cincinnati game (where Bengals starting tight end C.J Uzomah went down with an injury the week before), the Eagles have been horrible. They have given up 25 catches for well over 200 yards to opposing tight ends. Last week in the previously mentioned 49ers game, Kittle went for 15 receptions and 183 yards and a touchdown.

Ebron will likely not replicate Kittle’s success, but with Big Ben throwing him the ball combined with the Eagles inability to defend tight ends, Ebron will likely exceed his point projection for this week.

Start #3: Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

The Giants have been horrible this season as they have scored only three touchdowns in their first four games so far this season. According to the New York Daily News, no other team has fewer than 6. However, despite the Giant’s disastrous efforts on offense, the Cowboys pass defense has nearly been worse, which is where Slayton finds his opportunity.

The Cowboys first four games have given up 53 receptions, 736 yards, and nine touchdowns to opposing teams receivers. It should be noted that 7 of those nine touchdowns came against the Falcons and Seahawks, two teams that have much more offensive firepower than the Giants at the moment. However, the opportunity is still there for a player like Slayton to have a big week.

Slayton and fellow Giants receiver Golden Tate are the only two fantasy-relevant receivers on the roster as they go into this matchup. However, Slayton averages more targets per game and has two touchdowns to Tate’s zero. With the Giants offense such a trainwreck, Slayton is undoubtedly risky but worth a shot against a possibly worse Dallas secondary.

Sit #1: Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

Take this with a grain of salt as Sanders is still a very competent back. With that being said, there should be hesitancy starting him this week against the Steelers.

The Eagles have endured a ravage of injuries thus far that has continued into this week. According to the Eagles injury report, three key offensive linemen are trending towards “Out” for this upcoming game against the Steelers. That includes star center Jason Kelce and tackle Lane Johnson.

Sanders will also be facing a Steelers defense that has played exceptionally well against some of the league’s top backs. The Steelers defense has given up only 121 yards and one touchdown through 3 games this season. That includes the incredible game in which they held Giants running back Saquon Barkley to a measly 7 yards on 16 carries. Sanders will likely be missing key pieces on the offensive line and combined with the Steelers stingy run defense, makes him a low-end RB2 play this week.

Sit #2: Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

Fantasy owners will be quick to insert Hunt into their starting lineups after seeing Nick Chubb land on the IR with a knee injury. A closer look suggests that this week’s matchup against the Colts will be riskier.

The Colts have given up 258 yards and one touchdown through 4 games this season. They have not given up more than 100 rushing yards in any game so far. Indianapolis boasts a stout run defense highlighted by star defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and linebacker Darius Leonard. With the Colts secondary, the more vulnerable part of the defense, expect the Browns to use Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, and the passing game as the focal point of their offense this week.

Sit #3: Scotty Miller, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Chicago Bears)

The Buccaneers are losing weapons on the offense rapidly. Receiver Chris Godwin appears to be trending towards “Out” for the second straight week, and O.J Howard suffered a season-ending torn Achilles this past week. Miller can receive a large volume this coming Sunday; however, he is still a risky bet.

Miller had an opportunity similar to this early on when both Godwin and Bucs star receiver Mike Evans was out due to various ailments in Week 2 against the Panthers. The perceived volume never materialized as Miller had a season-low in targets and yards in that game. Not to mention the fact that the Bucs are facing a Chicago defense, who give up about seven fewer fantasy points to receivers on average in comparison to the NFL average. Miller appears to be a tempting play given the circumstances but is a sit after seeing his output in a similar situation.

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