Week 5 in the NFL typically brings nagging injuries, more teams with the week off and a better sense of which squads are for real and which ones aren’t. A few sneaky starts could give your fantasy team the energy boost they need.
Let’s start with my boy the Red Rocket. I don’t know if you have noticed, but Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has been money as of late. Dalton has thrown for 890 yards and eight touchdowns in his last three starts and his partner in crime A.J Green looks like the best receiver in football. The Bengals will be playing host to the hapless Dolphins who just allowed 324 yards to Kevin Kolb. Dalton could be a great fill-in for owners of Lions gunslinger Matt Stafford as Detroit is on a bye week.
The next sneaky quarterback start is Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder. Ponder hasn’t thrown for over 300 yards this season, but a matchup with the 27th ranked pass defense of the Tennessee Titans, which allow 25 fantasy points to quarterbacks a game might be the perfect recipe for a breakout.
Week 5 may be a good game to start both Chicago Bears running backs Matt Forte and Michael Bush. Forte returned from his ankle injury last week in a blow-out win against the Cowboys. Although he scared fantasy owners when he went out after his first carry to get re-taped, he quickly returned to rush for 52 yards. Bears head coach Lovie Smith said there are no setbacks and the Jaguars are the fourth-most fantasy friendly opponent for running backs. The Bears will try to get the run game going on the road and Forte should put up big numbers while Bush may get a chance to punch one in on the goal line.
On a running back side note, the Jets have to be making a change at running back soon. Shonn Greene’s abysmal 2.8 yards per carry for the 2-2 Jets is just not getting done. Back up Bilal Powell is averaging 3.8 yards per carry and seems likely to take over the job soon. After a tough matchup with the Texans defense upcoming, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Powell the starter next week. He is worthy storing on your bench in deeper leagues.
From the wide receiver position, look to the New York Giants for a sneaky fill-in. The Giants will be hosting the 0-4 Browns, which are missing their star cornerback Joe Haden. Hakeem Nicks is banged up and has been ruled out for Sunday making Domenik Hixon a very nice start against a bad Browns defense.
A similar story is playing out in Green Bay. Wideout Greg Jennings remains on the shelf for a couple weeks with a groin injury and fellow receiver James Jones has 191 yards and three touchdowns on the year, growing more and more comfortable with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers. The hardest part of the Packers schedule is in the past and Jones could be a nice play this week and moving forward.