Even fantasy football experts have had a rough start to the 2017 season as owners now look ahead to Week 5.
New seasons always provide fresh wrinkles, though this year has seemed stranger than usual. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith sitting as a top-10 scorer through a quarter of the season while Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is well down the list makes for an odd outlook.
Still, experts provide an inside edge thanks to a broad outlook and access to trends and stats that go into weekly rankings. Below, we’ll use the fantasy consensus rankings at FantasyPros, compiled from as many as 117 experts, to outline notable start ’em, sit ’em decisions for Week 5.
Players to Start/Sit Based on FantasyPros Expert Rankings
Deshaun Watson (vs. KC)
FantasyPros Rank: QB7
Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson is another example of the odd course this season has traveled so far considering he sits right alongside Smith as one of fantasy‘s top scorers.
Watson has improved his output over the course of his last three games:
NFL.com’s Gil Brandt provided some real-world perspective on Watson’s journey so far:
Watson won’t throw four touchdowns every time out like he did in Week 4, but he’s a new wrinkle the NFL has yet to figure out. He might regress over the course of the season like Carson Wentz did last year as defenses had more film to work with, but experts agree he’s a big name to start in Week 5.
Funnily enough, Watson next gets Smith’s Chiefs in a game that could turn into a shootout. This works in Watson’s favor, as the visitors have allowed 20.6 or more points to opposing quarterbacks already, so Watson’s ability on the ground and through the air should have him posting another big day.
Melvin Gordon (at NYG)
FantasyPros Rank: RB 8
It’s understandable if owners don’t trust Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon.
Well, don’t trust the coaches, not Gordon. His usage has been all over the place, getting 18, nine, 17 and 10 rushing attempts over the first four games of the season, so it isn’t a shock to see him tally no more than 13.9 points in a game, with 2.9 being the lowest.
Experts still like Gordon, though, which means taking a leap of faith on the coaching staff using him properly. It should because it isn’t hard to see how miserable the New York Giants are against running backs this season.
The Giants can thank the schedule for skewed numbers against running backs this year, though bigger names like Ezekiel Elliott and LeGarrette Blount have had big days against the unit. Gordon should as well, as his Chargers shouldn’t have any problems taking a lead against the winless team and then grinding out a win via what could be his biggest usage total of the season so far.
Larry Fitzgerald (at PHI)
FantasyPros Rank: WR11
Owners might not think it much of a surprise to see Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald sitting right outside the top 10 this week due to name recognition.
Really, though, Fitzgerald hasn’t lived up to expectations this year, scoring under 10 points in three of his four outings, the exception a 20.9-point outburst.
Fitzgerald has scored touchdowns in consecutive games, though like Gordon, it would be nice if the offense provided some consistency. He has double-digit targets in only two games so far.
CBS Sports’ Heath Cummings was one of many to voice frustration lately:
The clouds should part and give way to a sunny day for Fitzgerald in Week 5 thanks to a game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Road contest or not, those Eagles allow the fourth-most points to opposing wideouts on average, with four different names hitting double digits already, including two coming up just shy of the 20-point mark.
In an otherwise-odd fantasy season overall so far, Fitzgerald should help return a sense of normalcy to the scene if he can capitalize on the golden matchup.
Read more Fantasy Football news on NerdyFootball.com