Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
We’re officially more than a quarter of the way through the season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennesee Titans set to square off to begin Week 6 on Thursday.Several big-name players take a seat with the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New Orleans Saints all on byes this week.
We’ve given some tips on who we believe can fill the void for some of those players, as well as for some of your injured starters. The players we’ve chosen to sit are ones you believe you should have tempered expectations for this week and if you have a better option, go with it.
This week, some players are included that can still be snatched up on the waiver wire and could make immediate contributions for your team.
The advice we’ve given is based on 10-team standard leagues.
With several of the top tier quarterbacks from the beginning of the season faltering (Michael Vick, Cam Newton, Tony Romo), Luck has been extremely reliable. In four games, he's gone over 300 yards and thrown two touchdowns three times.
Season Total (four gms.): 96/177, 1,208 yards, seven touchdowns, five interceptions
16 carries, 104 yards, one touchdown
Romo has been a whole different story. He's been rattled by the limited protection his offensive line has provided and has only five touchdowns this year. He should bounce back at some point, just not against Baltimore.
Season Total: 101/151, 1,148 yards, five touchdowns, eight interceptions
12 carries, 12 yards
Turner has bounced back from a few hiccups in the first two games when he struggled to run for more than 42 yards. Since then, he's averaging 5.6 yards per carry and he's always a threat to score near the goal line.
Season total: 73 carries, 324 yards, three touchdowns
Eight catches, 71 yards, one touchdown
Consider Bradshaw a low-end starting option this week with a matchup against the stalwart 49ers defence. He may have ran for over 200 yards last week, but those will be harder to come by this week. Don't expect a touchdown either.
Season Total (four gms.): 65 carries, 333 yards, two touchdowns
Nine catches, 92 yards
If you're pressing at the running back position because of bye weeks or injuries, look no further than Ballard. He'll occupy the starting position while Donald Brown is out for two to three weeks after knee surgery. The Jets have yielded the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.
Season Total (four gms.): 21 carries, 42 yards
Leshoure has had a pair of polarising performances since he grabbed a chunk of the starting position for the Lions. One game against Tennessee, 126 yards and a score, but the next game against Minnesota, 26 yards. A risky low-end start this week.
Season Total (two gms.): 39 carries, 126 yards, one touchdown
Eight catches, 71 yards
Hawkins boasts a ton of big play potential, and he'll be going against a Browns secondary that has given up the most touchdowns (10) and second-most yards (1,065) to wide receivers this season. Feel good about using Hawkins as a spot start candidate for your team this week.
Season Total: 20 catches, 294 yards, two touchdowns
Nelson didn't do well last week against Indianapolis when he was charged with the premier wide receiver responsibilities, catching just two passes for 29 yards. If Greg Jennings is out, consider Nelson a flex play against a tough Houston Texans secondary.
Season Total: 23 catches, 289 yards, one touchdown
Crabtree has had a handful of underwhelming performances in the early going, but he broke out for six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown last week against Buffalo. He's Alex Smith's favourite target and goes against a subpar Giants secondary this week.
Season Total: 27 catches, 311 yards, one touchdown
Since returning from an injury in Week 1, Garcon has just four catches for 44 yards in two contests. Garcon may be back at full strength, but Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin is a different story.
Season Total (three gms.): Eight catches, 153 yards, one touchdown
Rudolph has become a reliable red zone target for Christian Ponder, and the Redskins have been susceptible to the big play against opposing tight ends, giving up 361 yards and four touchdowns through five games.
Season Total: 19 catches, 169 yards, four touchdowns
Pitta's production has come down to earth a little bit after his hot start. He has just three catches for 22 yards in the last two weeks, and it won't get any easier against the Cowboys.
Season Total: 21 catches, 210 yards, two touchdowns
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.