Breakout of the Week
Marion Barber, DAL: Barber had a dismal week against Washington, primarily because he was limited to eight carries in the entire game. This week, all the attention will be on Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson, but I have a feeling Marion Barber will have the most to say come post-game. Cincinnati is ranked 28th against the run so Phillips will take advantage of this statistic all day. This also means that Felix Jones will also benefit from this matchup. Although any Dallas offensive player is worth a start in week 5, Marion Barber should produce like the top five running back he is.
Philip Rivers, SD: Rivers had his first below average performance of the 2008 season against Oakland in week 4. The success of LT on the ground played an important role in limiting River's statistics last week. Rivers faces Miami in week 5, which should drastically increase his 2008 statistics from an already remarkable 1,024 yards and 10 touchdowns. Kurt Warner was able to throw for 361 yards and three touchdowns against Miami, so Rivers and company should have a productive week. Eli Manning, NYG: Fresh off of a bye week, Manning enters week 5 without the always deadly Burress. However, Manning led the Giants to a victory in week three without any productivity from Burress until overtime. Trent Edwards, BUF: Edwards continues to remain a consistent fantasy option. Although he does not post yardage statistics like Warner, Kitna, or any other low level passing quarterbacks, he also doesn't make as many mistakes. A solid running game in Buffalo allows Edwards to hit the little passes to move the chains and take big chances with Lee and Hardy. He faces Arizona in week 5 after they allowed Brett Favre to throw six touchdown passes against them. Edwards is a great start in all fantasy leagues.
Others to consider starting: Carson Palmer, CIN; Donovan McNabb, PHI
David Garrard, JAC: Garrard has been decent all year, but the Pittsburgh Steeler's defense has been great all year. In any sport, I will take the team that performs well over the one leader that performs well. Garrard has yet to throw over 250 yards or over one touchdown in any game this season. Pittsburgh is ranked 7th against the pass and only has allowed three passing touchdowns all season. Give Garrard a rest this week and start any viable option you have on your roster. Aaron Rodgers, GB: The only reason I have decided to place him here is because of the recent shoulder injury. The Packers are generally mum when it comes to disclosing injuries, so until he is declared ready to play, we will have little information. If he plays, Rodgers goes up against a mediocre Falcons defense at home. Monitor this situation and if Rodgers is cleared to play, you may want to start him this week. Kerry Collins, TEN: It is now apparent that no player will have a good week against the Baltimore Ravens. Although Tennessee is winning, it is the result of their defense and the running game. Kerry Collins will have another down week and this will be a defensive battle. Reserve Collins in all leagues.
Others to consider sitting: Matt Schaub, HOU; J.T O'Sullivan, SF;
Matt Forte, CHI: Not only is Detroit a dirty city, it is also notorious for its terrible sports franchises (Red Wings and Pistons excluded). This year in the NFL is no exception. Detroit is ranked 32nd against the rush and will have trouble stopping Chicago's primary back out of Tulane University. Forte has had a great rookie campaign thus far and will continue to add to his statbook on Sunday. Start him in all leagues this week. Joseph Addai, IND: Fresh off of a bye week, Indy will look to regain the momentum offensively that they have been used to with Peyton Manning. Indy has been trying to commit more to the run to open up looks for Manning and what better way to accomplish this than against the 27th ranked rushing defense of the Houston Texans. Addai has scored at least once in his last two games and he will find the endzone again in week 5. Earnest Graham, TB: Another 60-yard scamper turned a decent week for Earnest Graham into a great performance in week 4. The lacks of carries until the fourth quarter concerned some owners, but Graham still finished with 20 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown. Earnest goes against Denver in week three and should be able to post similar numbers as Larry Johnson did in week 4 (198 yards and two touchdowns).
Others to consider starting: Edgerrin James, ARI; Reggie Bush, NO; Jonathan Stewart, CAR
Clinton Portis, WAS: Portis was able to reach the the 100 yard mark last week, but a tough Philly D and a balanced offensive attack will prevent him from doing so in week 5. Philly is ranked first against the rush, so it is difficult to imagine that he will have a field day. I am not suggesting that you sit Portis for any other running back, but if the options are available, this may be a down week for Portis. LenDale White, TEN: He has been a touchdown machine in the first four weeks (5 touchdowns) but has never rushed for more than 60 yards. Chris Johnson found the endzone twice last week which is a disaster for all White owners. Bench White this week and wait till the matchup is favorable to activate him again. Hopefully, you handcuffed him with Johnson! Selvin Young, DEN: Denver is a nightmare at running back when it comes to fantasy production. One week, Young could rush for 160 yards on 12 carries good for two touchdowns, only to lose his job the next week to the running back third on the depth chart. Denver has seen more running backs in the last 10 years than Brianna Banks has sex partners, due to Shannahan's fickle personality. Young faces Tampa Bay, who did an excellent job stuffing Ryan Grant in week 5.
Others to consider sitting: Deuce McAllister, NO; Julius Jones, SEA
Calvin Johnson, DET: Johnson was a monster in the first two games of the season and should repeat the same numbers against Chicago this week. Chicago's run defense is superb, but the pass defense has left a lot to be desired. Chicago ranks 28th against the pass and Calvin has replaced Roy Williams as the primary receiver in Detroit. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI: Boldin almost left week 4 in a body bag, so it is safe to say that Fitz should get a lot more attention in week 5. Fitz has 415 yards and two touchdowns on the season, so he should continue to shine against the 4-0 Buffalo Bills. Man does that feel weird to say. Start Fitzgerald in week 5 because the 4-0 Bills made the Rams look like a passing team. Chris Chambers, SD: Teams in the past have just abused the Dolphins offensively. This will be a great week for Rivers to get back on track. Expect Chambers to find the endzone again this week. The Dolphins are ranked 25th against the pass so the Chargers should toss it all day in good old Miami.
Hines Ward, PIT: Hines has not done much since his explosive week 1 performance to justify starting him this week. Fat Boy in Pittsburgh cannot throw the ball for over 200 yards and is banged up from the abuse he has taken early on. Jacksonville's pass defense is rather weak, but Fat Boy never gets it done through the air when the running game is struggling. Willie Parker is out and Mendenhall is out for the year, so sit Ward this week until the running game is established in the Steel City. Randy Moss, NE: Owners at the beginning of the year were hoping that Moss would be able to repeat his 2007 numbers. Now all they are hoping for is an idiot to accept him in a trade package. The injury to Brady has crushed Moss' fantasy reputation and production across the board. Moss faces San Francisco in week 5, meaning Clement and Harris should be able to limit him in week 5. Derrick Mason, BAL: Mason has surprised some owners in 2008, serving as the leading receiver in Baltimore thus far. Baltimore faces a tough Tennessee defense in week 5, which should limit the production of Flacco and Mason.
Dallas Clark, IND:
Tony Gonzalez, KC:
Greg Olsen, CHI:
Chris Cooley, WAS:
Todd Heap, BAL:
Heath Miller, PIT: