Bye Weeks Begin
Every week of the NFL season, fantasy gamers juggle players to insert into lineups at each position. Are you questioning which players face easy matchups and which players face tougher paths to production? You are in the right place! With Week 5 coming, bye weeks will start impacting fantasy managers. This week, players on the Browns, Chargers, Seahawks, and Buccaneers will not be available for fantasy lineups. For seasonal leagues, DFS, and more, this week’s must start and sit picks can give you some guidance on setting your lineups. Good luck!
Start: Zach Wilson
It felt icky debating Zach Wilson and Daniel Jones for this spot with soft matchups in Week 5. Ultimately, Zach Wilson was the better matchup and momentum play. His Week 4 performance against the Chiefs showed that he still has the ability to perform, and, at least put up fantasy numbers. Facing the Broncos, Wilson could not have an easier game to build upon last week’s performance. Denver has allowed 13 passing touchdowns this season, with opponents averaging over 300 passing yards. Justin Fields, who struggled to start the season, had a 335-yard, four-touchdown game against the Broncos last week. If you have a QB like Justin Herbert or Geno Smith on bye this week, Wilson is likely available on waivers. Start Wilson in what will be the softest matchup of the season for him so far.
Sit: Trevor Lawrence
The Jaguars offense has gotten off to a slow start this season. Trevor Lawrence is throwing for 70.9-percent (No. 17) Adjusted Yards Per Attempt with 7.0 (No. 24) Air Yards Per Attempt. Lawrence’s connection with his receivers has been off at times, with 7 (No. 2) dropped passes. Now entering another game in London, Lawrence faces an intimidating Bills defense.
Quarterbacks have thrown three touchdowns and eight interceptions averaging under 200 passing yards per game against the Bills this season. While losing Tre’Davious White for the season hurts, Ed Oliver, Leonard Floyd, and the rest of the Bills’ front seven have been good enough to apply pressure and take some weight off the secondary. Lawrence may see high pass volume, but is likely to be less efficient against an effective Buffalo defense.
Start: Brian Robinson
Through the first four games of the season, Brian Robinson has operated as the Commanders’ lead back. He has gotten double-digit touches every game this season, leading the backfield in Snap Share. A Week 3 blowout loss to the Bills was the only week Antonio Gibson overtook Robinson in snaps.
Brian Robinson: 19 rushes for a first down this season (2nd in the NFL) 😤 pic.twitter.com/XZN1tMFCUS
— PFF Commanders (@PFF_Washington) October 3, 2023
Facing a bad Bears defense in Week 5, Robinson has another chance to maximize his fantasy output. Chicago’s defense is solid when it comes to efficiency, but volume and scoring opportunities yielded to RBs is high. The Bears allowed four rushing touchdowns through the first four games of the season. They also allow nearly six RB receptions per game. With Robinson taking the bulk of the carries and some receptions out of the Commanders backfield, he is in for a high-upside game in Week 5.
Sit: Miles Sanders
Despite being Carolina’s lead back, Miles Sanders has not had a fruitful fantasy season. He is averaging 3.4 (No. 47) True Yards Per Carry, with one top-12 fantasy finish so far. Sanders handles the bulk of Carolina’s RB receptions, but lacks the scoring opportunities to boost his fantasy output. This week, he faces a stout Detroit run defense. Allowing less than four yards per carry to RBs, the Lions have consistently swarmed the run.
The Panthers offense has gotten off to a rough start and scoring opportunities are sparser with Carolina than they were when he was in Philly. In a game where the Panthers will likely trail, expect Sanders to see low volume carries. He will need high volume receptions and a touchdown to be a good start this week, but facing a tough Detroit team, Sanders is a sit.
Start: Zay Flowers
Rookie Zay Flowers has seen high volume from Lamar Jackson four games into his career. He has a 28.7-percent (No. 10) Target Share with 100-percent (No. 1) Route Participation. Flowers specializes in making defenders miss with a 24.0-percent (No. 4) Juke Rate. He is a centerpiece of the Baltimore offense moving forward.
Why does PlayerProfiler love Zay Flowers?
See below ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️pic.twitter.com/5EWSkVX6jP
— PlayerProfiler NFL (@Profiler_NFL) October 1, 2023
In Week 5, Flowers faces the Steelers defense, who just allowed over 300 yards to C.J. Stroud and the Texans. Pittsburgh has allowed three 100-yard receivers this season, with the secondary struggling to contain receivers. In a scrappy AFC North rivalry game, Baltimore will be looking for Flowers on screens, sprinkling in deep targets along the way. With Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman hurt, Flowers is the Ravens’ No.1 WR and is a start against a flimsy Steelers secondary.
Sit: Courtland Sutton
The Broncos finally won in Week 4, with Courtland Sutton catching three passes and a touchdown along the way. Denver’s “bounceback” season has not gone as hoped and the offense has shown signs of struggle. Sutton specifically has just one top-24 fantasy finish this season.
The Broncos offense is a clear matchup-based play, and Sutton has a tough one this week. Denver plays the New York Jets, who just held Patrick Mahomes to 203 passing yards. The Jets have held opponents to under 260 passing yards each game this season, limiting quarterbacks like Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Dak Prescott. Expect them to dominate against the Broncos barring a vintage Russell Wilson-Sean Payton masterclass. Sutton will have a tough time against Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed, making him a sit for Week 5.
Start: Dalton Kincaid
Between the two Bills tight ends, Dalton Kincaid has had the slight edge over Dawson Knox in receiving usage. Kincaid has a 13.1-percent (No. 20) Target Share, producing three games of at least four targets this season. He has been more of a short yardage weapon, taking 62 (No. 5) Slot Snaps. Despite the underwhelming output, the looks are there for Kincaid and a touchdown would make him a top fantasy TE most weeks. In Week 5, Kincaid gets a matchup with the Jaguars. Jacksonville has given up two TE touchdowns this season, recently allowing 95 receiving yards to Jonnu Smith in Week 4. Kincaid is more of a big slot receiver than a traditional tight end, making him an excellent over-the-middle target. Whether he is guarded by a linebacker or defensive back, Kincaid has a good matchup in Week 5.
Sit: Cole Kmet
It’s very easy to be infatuated with a player that just had a fantastic week, especially at the barren tight end position. However, Cole Kmet will not see the same output in Week 5 as he did in Week 4. He had seven receptions and two touchdowns against a soft Broncos defense last week. This week, he plays a better Commanders defense. The Commanders have yielded less than 30 TE receiving yards in each game this season. They have also not allowed a TE touchdown. Prior to Week 4, Kmet had back-to-back weeks of less than 40 receiving yards and no touchdowns. He gets usage in a bad Bears offense, but the scoring opportunities will not be there in Week 5. Kmet looks like fool’s gold this week.
Looking ahead to player bye weeks can give you a boost on planning for your team. You will know which players are out for you and what positional spots you need to fill. You can also plan for player injury returns by monitoring how close a player is to a bye when hurt, with many players waiting until after a bye to return. Planning for byes can put you ahead this fantasy season.