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Fantasy football: Week 5 fantasy start ’em or sit ’em

Philadelphia Eagles' Darren Sproles, left, and Nelson Agholor

Philadelphia Eagles' Darren Sproles, left, and Nelson Agholor celebrate after Sproles' touchdown during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP / Chris Szagola

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers QB

vs. Tampa Bay

If he plays, you have to start him, but as of Thursday evening he was still in concussion protocol after sustaining a helmet-to-helmet hit in a loss to the Falcons last Sunday. Perennial backup Derek Anderson, who hasn’t made a start since 2014, is waiting in the wings. Being that it’s the Monday night game, it makes things a little tricky with setting your lineup. If he’s ready to go, Newton’s a top-10 QB play against a Buccaneers’ defense that has allowed 32 points per game. Anderson’s a mid-tier QB2 if he gets the nod.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets QB

at Pittsburgh

Fitzpatrick has thrown nine interceptions the last two games, but there’s more to his struggles than that. He’s 31st in the league among those who qualify with a 55.8 completion percentage. Since leading the Jets to their lone victory of the year in a stellar performance against the Bills in Week 2, it’s been about 51 percent. The Steelers’ passing defense ranks 30th with 316.5 yards allowed per game, but you shouldn’t start Fitzpatrick until he can turn things around.

Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens RB

vs. Washington

Coming into the season, it seemed as if 30-year-old Justin Forsett would be the Ravens’ lead back. Well, he was benched in favor of West last week. Then, he was released. West, a third-year back proved he’s worthy of the job by rushing for 113 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Raiders last week. The Redskins have allowed 133 rushing yards per game, making West a solid RB2 this week.

Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles RB

at Detroit

The Eagles’ new coaching staff has made a concerted effort to get Sproles more involved in the offense this season after just 177 touches in 2015. Sproles leads the team in touches with 36 and the emphasis on getting him the ball came to a head in Week 3 when Sproles had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. The veteran back, who’s always been more well-known for his pass-catching ability, is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry, so he’s still making his money in the passing game. The Lions’ defense is 25th in total defense with 386.2 yards allowed per game. Sproles is a nice RB3 option in standard scoring leagues and an RB2 in PPR leagues.

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins RB

vs. Tennessee

There’s a small chance Arian Foster could make his return Sunday after suffering a groin injury in Week 2 against the Patriots, which hurts Ajayi’s value. Foster practiced Wednesday for the first time in two weeks and still is listed as questionable. The Dolphins are a pass-heavy team, though, with a 65-35 pass-to-run ratio so far this season. Keep Ajayi on the bench, even if Foster’s out.

Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets WR

at Pittsburgh

With Eric Decker battling a slightly torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder and the rest of his season in doubt, Enunwa’s value is on the rise. The third-year player had emerged as a big part of the Jets’ offense even before Decker’s injury, leading the team with 23 catches. The Steelers’ defense has given up the seventh fewest fantasy points to receivers this season, according to Yahoo!, but Enunwa’s still a WR2/WR3 this week.

Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys WR

vs. Cincinnati

Dez Bryant is unlikely to play again after missing last week’s win over the 49ers with a hairline fracture in his knee. Beasley, the speedy slot receiver, leads the Cowboys with 23 catches for 279 yards and has been a nice dumpoff option for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. The Bengals are a top-10 defense this year, so it’s a tough matchup, and the Cowboys likely will focus their efforts on getting Ezekiel Elliott behind their stout offensive line. Beasley’s a flex at best this week.

Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills WR

at Los Angeles

With Sammy Watkins on IR, Woods is the go-to receiver in Buffalo. He had his best game of the season in last week’s win over the Patriots (seven catches, 89 yards). It was Woods’ second straight game with at least six catches, making him a servicable WR3 in PPR leagues. Woods has yet to catch a touchdown this season and has just one red-zone catch. He’ll need to start finding the end zone to be a consistent fantasy play. The Rams have allowed just five passing touchdowns this season, so this isn’t his best bet to score. Unless it’s a PPR league, keep Woods on the bench.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE

at Carolina

The Bucs seem to have found their tight end in Brate. In the two games since Tampa Bay released Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brate has 10 catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends, according to Yahoo! Brate’s a TE2 option this week.


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