We’re already getting into the heart of the NFL season. Injuries and bye weeks are only making your weekly fantasy football starter decisions harder. Here's my weekly take on some potential trust-or-bust players.
Start: Jordan Howard
The Chicago Bears' starting running back role was Jeremy Langford's position to lose all along. Rookie Jordan Howard will maintain the full workload of Chicago's backfield as Langford continues to be out for 3-5 more weeks with an ankle injury. Even upon Langford's return, it is likely Howard will sustain his featured role. On top of eclipsing 100 rushing yards last week, Howard is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Going up against an Indianapolis Colts defense that is ranked 29th in the league against running backs, expect Howard to continue his upward trend.
Sit: Latavius Murray
Can I vent? Can I? I lost by 1.8 points last week in my marquee fantasy league. Latavius Murray gave me a frustrating 2.4 points. Is 4.2 points asking for too much, Latavius?! So this is a spiteful sit, but a deserving one. The Oakland Raiders backfield is as blurry as frosted glass, and there's no telling where it stops. Murray entered the season rumored to be the "workhorse" back, and has been everything but. As long as DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are healthy, long live the fantasy vultures. Steer clear of the Raiders backfield for the time being, regardless of matchup.
Start: Julian Edelman
This is sort of an obvious one, as the NFL's golden boy, Tom Brady, returns from suspension. The air assault is back in New England, and Julian Edelman is likely the main beneficiary. Against an underwhelming Cleveland Browns defense, this is the perfect match up for Brady to ease back into his bomb-throwing capabilities. Edelman has yet to hit double digits this season, which should come as no surprise with back up quarterbacks at the helm. Expect things to turn around in a positive manner for Julian Edelman on Sunday.
Sit: Will Fuller
Man, what a surprise Will Fuller has been. What a year for rookie wide receivers league-wide, in general. They're unusually hot, and making unusual immediate impacts just a few weeks in. With DeAndre Hopkins receiving lots of attention from defenses, Will Fuller has been scoring big time in fantasy. Though on a business trip to beautiful, new US Bank Stadium, I recommend letting Fuller ride the pine on this one. The Minnesota Vikings defense is real, and after four straight weeks of proof, they should not be taken lightly. Look for talent elsewhere, as the Vikings rank second in the league against wide receivers.
Start: Kelvin Benjamin
While Kelvin Benjamin owners should be hoping for Cam Newton to play, back up quarterback Derek Anderson is still more than capable of slinging the rock. Facing off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are the league worst against wide receivers, is very inviting for Benjamin. The second year man out of Florida State should be able to exploit the weak Buccaneers secondary, especially in the red zone, using his big body and reliable hands. Aside from his week three goose egg, Benjamin has become a must-start in nearly all fantasy football formats.
Sit: Everyone on the Pittsburgh Steelers that isn't named Ben, Brown, or Bell
Let's face it, the three players above are obvious, no-brainer starts each week, regardless of match up. Even Big Ben has become one of the most dominating fantasy quarterbacks, ranking third in the position following week four. Inconsistency looms behind these three, fantasy wise. It's impossible to tell which Steelers receiver will have a good game. Wheaton? Coates? DHB? All of them are TD-or-bust. DeAngelo Williams? While a fantastic asset to the team, he is slowly getting faded out with the return of Bell, and should not be counted on as a fantasy starter anymore. With three tight ends in the mix, it's a gamble to start any of them. Even Chris Boswell has been dropped from my team. Recently, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been TOO good and aren't getting stopped in enemy territory-- it's been touchdown or punt. Heck, you can't even count on extra points with Tomlin, due to his knack for 2-point conversions.