Week 5: Start 'Em
Sorry to anyone who used any of the players I suggested last week, they were all stinkers. That being said, please understand the purpose of the article. It is only to suggest players to start IF you have bye week or injury issues. You should NEVER start these players over your studs, that is not the purpose of the article and I don't want anyone to misunderstand and start the wrong guy. Please see below for this week's players. Hopefully I do better than last week.
For his first four years Brian Hoyer didn't see much of the field, spending most of that time backing up Tom Brady. When the 2013 season started, Hoyer took his usual position being the backup, but over the last 2 games - both starts - Hoyer has basically eclipsed his career totals, throwing for 590 yards and five touchdowns in two victories for the Browns. We aren't sure when "starting" quarterback Brandon Weeden will be healthy, but as long as Hoyer continues to put up those numbers and win games, he will keep his job. The Browns have next to no running game since trading Trent Richardson, so they will rely on Hoyer to keep the offense going. Hoyer has 92 pass attempts over the last 2 games and I wouldn't expect that to change very much. If you need a QB this week, give Hoyer a look.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Yes I'm going to recommend starting Eli Manning this week, and no it is not because I'm a Giants fan; it is due to Manning having such a juicy matchup that it's hard to not start him. The entire Giants offense has been a pathetic display so far this season. That being said, Eli is still 9th in the NFL in passing yards with 1148 yards and tied for 12th in the league in touchdown passes with six. This week the Giants return home after scoring only seven points over the past two games to face an Eagles team that has given up 78 points over the past two weeks. With Eli being back at home, look for the him and the Giants to try and get back on track with this above average matchup. The Eagles defense has given up the 2nd most passing yards per game - 325 yards - and that should allow Eli the chance to put up big numbers. Don't be surprised if he passes for over 300 yards and two touchdowns.
After spending his first three years in the league backing up MJD in Jacksonville, Rashad Jennings moved across the coast to play for the Raiders and backup Darren McFadden. Over the first three games, Jennings didn't see much action but that changed in week four. McFadden went down with a hamstring injury and fellow running back Marcel Reece left with a knee injury, neither of them returned to the game, leaving all the running back touches to Jennings. Jennings gained 45 yards rushing and helped out in the passing game, catching eight passes for 71 yards. Reece looks to have suffered a multi week injury, and while McFadden might have escaped something serious, he will likely miss at least the next game. With that in mind, Jennings makes for a solid flex or RB2 as he should have no problem getting at least 20 touches, especially in a point per reception league.
The Green Bay Packers were very high on their 2013 2nd round pick - Eddie Lacy - going into the season and were even happier after week one. Despite being down all game, Lacy totaled 72 yards and one touchdown. Unfortunately he suffered a concussion early in week two and missed the game in week three. Lacy has gotten the go ahead to practice in full and with James Starks likely out this week, Lacy will be full steam ahead. I wouldn't be that worried about Lacy sharing the load with fellow rookie Jonathan Franklin - who will likely only be used as a change of pace. If you need help at running back or flex, Lacy makes for a good start this week.
Coming off a bye, DeAngelo Williams is ready to run wild on the Cardinals this coming week. With no Jonathan Stewart to steal touches from him, Williams has been the go-to guy out of the backfield and is coming off his best week of the season, when he ran for 120 yards vs. the lowly NY Giants. The Panthers should be well rested and will do their best to slow the game down and control it by running the ball. After Williams had such a good game vs. the Giants, expect them to lean on him again - getting about 20 or so touches. Williams doesn't do much in the passing game, so he isn't as valued in point per reception leagues; that being said, he still makes for a low end RB2 and/or flex.