Thursday - Feb 25, 2021

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Start/Bench List – Week 5

There’s lots of big names on a bye this week. There’s at least one of the top four point producers in each of the skill positions (QB, RB, WR, TE) sitting this week out. Get creative this week with your reserves and use your depth to your advantage.

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions. I will try to answer as many inquires as possible.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.

Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!


Bye Weeks: Trent Green, Kerry Collins, Daunte Culpepper, Eli Manning

Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. San Francisco
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Dallas
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Jacksonville
Marc Bulger, St. Louis* vs. Seattle


Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle (vs. St. Louis): Hasselbeck has played as expected this season, right smack dab in the middle of the QB pack. Look for his ranking to rise after this week’s journey to St. Louis where Eli looked like Peyton last week.

Josh McCown, Arizona (vs. Carolina): The Warner injury could have been the best thing to happen to Arizona this season. Will McCown be able to match his 385-yard performance from last week? It’ll be tough without the endless supply of burritos and Dos Equis, but his numbers will be worthy of a start.


Gus Frerotte, Miami (vs. Buffalo): A bye week is not enough to put Frerotte in your lineup against the Bills this week. Miami will challenge Buffalo’s run defense all day and Frerotte’s stats will reflect the game plan.

Brian Griese, Tampa Bay (vs. N.Y. Jets): Griese’s numbers last week (302, 2 TDs, 3 INTs) look good, but a closer look reveals that minus a 80-yard TD to Galloway, his numbers were average. Expect a below-average performance from Griese against the Jets who need to lean on their defense to keep them in games.

Running Backs

Bye Weeks: Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson, Lamont Jordan, Mewelde Moore, Michael Bennett, Tiki Barber, Brandon Jacobs


LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Pittsburgh
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. St. Louis
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis vs. San Francisco
Deuce McAllister, New Orleans vs. Green Bay
Willis McGahee, Buffalo vs. Miami
Corey Dillon, New England vs. Atlanta


Ronnie Brown, Miami (vs. Buffalo): Brown will be looking over his shoulder as Ricky Williams is only a week away from returning. Expect Brown to give everything he has this week to prove he deserves the job and Buffalo will be accommodating as their defense ranks 31st in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.

Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati (vs. Jacksonville): Johnson hasn’t had to shoulder the offensive load with Palmer’s early season success…yet. Look for Johnson to carry his weight and then some this week in Jacksonville as the Jags pass defense will give Palmer some headaches.

Warrick Dunn, Atlanta (vs. New England): Dunn cracked the 100-yard mark for the second time this season last week posting 126 yards on only 18 carries. After watching Tomlinson rip apart the Harrison-less Pats defense, the odds are in Dunn’s favor for another solid performance this week.


Kevin Jones, Detroit (vs. Baltimore): Jones lost playing time last week to Artose Pinner and Shawn Bryson in last week’s game against the Bucs. Yikes. With Ray Lewis & Co. on the schedule this week, I wouldn’t touch Jones with a ten-foot pole.

Curtis Martin, N.Y. Jets (vs. Tampa Bay): Martin is averaging a paltry 2.8 yards per carry after four weeks. With Brooks Bollinger at QB and the 83-year old Testaverde listening to classic hits of the roaring 20’s on his headset, Martin’s stats don’t look very promising.

Marcell Shipp, Arizona (vs. Carolina): Shipp has yet to impress as the #1 RB in Arizona. Against the Panthers, his 42 yards last week will look like a career performance.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks: Eddie Kennison, Dante Hall, Samie Parker, Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, Doug Gabriel, Travis Taylor, Troy Williamson, Marcus Robinson, Nate Burleson, Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer


Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. San Francisco
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Seattle
Terrell Owens, Philadelphia vs. Dallas
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Jacksonville
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Carolina
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Arizona

Removed from Studs list:
-Joe Horn, New Orleans: Hamstring injury


Anquan Boldin, Arizona (vs. Carolina): Who says you can’t start both Fitzgerald and Boldin! Did you see Brett Favre pick apart the Panthers on Monday night? That was with WRs like Driver and Ferguson. They’ll be enough yards to go around where both Fitzgerald and Boldin belong in your starting lineup.

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis (vs. San Francisco): Hey Reggie, I’m still waiting for the big numbers. Burress came through last week with his bust out performance, it’s your turn this week.

Darrell Jackson, Seattle (vs. St. Louis): D-Jax has been quietly consistent this season. In the two weeks he did not have over 100 yards receiving, he caught a TD pass each week. Against the Rams this week, you can expect the TD and the 100+ yards receiving.

Hines Ward, Pittsburgh (vs. San Diego): Prior to Ward’s bye week last week, he caught two TDs in each of the past two games. He may only score once this week, but he’ll have the receiving yards to make up the difference.


Laveranues Coles, N.Y. Jets (vs. Tampa Bay): Two words: Brooks Bollinger.

Roy Williams, Detroit (vs. Baltimore): With Charles Rogers suspended, Williams can expect to receive more attention than usual. Against the Ravens, that’s usually not a good sign. Pass on Williams this week.

Marty Booker, Miami (vs. Buffalo): Hopefully, you weren’t one of the owners who grabbed Booker after week one thinking he was this year’s waiver wire steal. If you were, it’s time to cut your losses.

Eric Moulds, Buffalo (vs. Miami): 10 catches for 80 yards, that’s an average day for Moulds. Say what? That’s his receiving totals after four weeks? Ugh. Who would’ve that Moulds would miss Bledsoe this much?

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks: Tony Gonzalez, Courtney Anderson, Jermaine Wiggins, Jeremy Shockey


Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Pittsburgh
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. New England
L.J. Smith, Philadelphia vs. Dallas
Randy McMichael, Miami vs. Buffalo

Removed from Studs list:
-Jason Witten, Dallas: Bledsoe relying more on WRs


Erron Kinney, Tennessee (vs. Houston): Kinney has caught seven passes two weeks in a row. With the lowly Texans up next, that number of catches should be accompanied by a TD this week.

Ben Watson, New England (vs. Atlanta): Big Ben hasn’t caught more than two passes in a game yet this season, but his catches have been for decent yardage. Something tells me Brady and Watson will connect against the Falcons. If you’re a gambling man, take a chance.


Chris Baker, N.Y. Jets (vs. Tampa Bay): You know the drill: Bollinger + Testaverde – Tampa Bay defense = bench.

Alex Smith, Tampa Bay (vs. N.Y. Jets): Smith came out of the gate on fire catching two TDs in week one. Since then, he’s caught three passes for a total of 13 yards. Expect more of the same this week in the Meadowlands.

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