UPDATED: October 8, 2021
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.
Week 5 Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Start of the Week
Ja’Marr Chase vs. Packers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Chase has been a big star as a rookie, and that should continue this week against the Packers. Their defense took a massive hit when it lost CB Jaire Alexander to an injured shoulder, which will make life easier for Chase and Tee Higgins (if he returns this week). Green Bay allowed the ninth-most points to receivers split out wide with Alexander, so I like Chase to shine again.
Week 5 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Marquise Brown vs. Colts (Mon., 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Brown found his hands last week, making a brilliant diving catch in a win over the Broncos. Next is a date with the Colts, who have allowed 16 or more fantasy points to four wideouts in their first four games. Their defense has also allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to slot men, which is where Brown has run 32.4 percent of his routes. He’ll be a nice FLEX option.
Kenny Golladay at Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Golladay busted out of his New York funk last week, beating the Saints for 116 yards and 17.6 fantasy points. If the G-Men are without Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton again, I will roll with Golladay against the Cowboys. Their defense has surrendered 17-plus fantasy points to three receivers lined out wide, not to mention the second-most points to the position overall.
Marvin Jones Jr. vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Jones and Laviska Shenault Jr. are viable options for fantasy managers when the Jaguars face the Titans. Their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to wideouts, including the sixth-most points to receivers lined out wide and the most points to slot men. With D.J. Chark on injured reserve, look for Jones and Shenault to both see far more opportunities.
Emmanuel Sanders at Chiefs (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Sanders has been a pleasant surprise for the Bills and fantasy managers, leading their wideouts in snaps while seeing 6.5 targets per game. This week he's in the FLEX conversation as the Bills face the Chiefs in a game with an over/under of 56.5 on SI Sportsbook. Kansas City has also allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers lined out wide.
- Corey Davis at Falcons (London 9:30 a.m. ET, NFL)
- DeVante Parker at Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Hunter Renfrow vs. Bears (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Hunter Renfrow vs. Bears ($4,900)
- Laviska Shenault Jr. vs. Titans ($4,800)
- Marquez Callaway at Football Team ($4,700)
Week 5 Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Sit of the Week
JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Broncos (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Smith-Schuster returned to action last week, but you wouldn’t know it from his 11-yard stinker against the Packers. The Steelers' pass attack looks broken, Ben Roethlisberger looks old, and a game against the Broncos is tough. Denver's defense has allowed just one touchdown and an average of five catches per game to slot receivers, so I'd be extremely wary of JuJu this week.
Courtland Sutton at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Sutton has not looked so great since his breakout performance in Week 2, posting a combined 16.4 points in his last two games. I’d consider sitting him this week against the Steelers, in part because he rolled his ankle in Friday's practice and is questionable. Pittsburgh’s defense has not been good against wideouts this season, but Sutton will remain a risk-reward FLEX at best.
Odell Beckham Jr. at Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): I liked OBJ a lot last week, and he would have had a solid stat line if Baker Mayfield didn’t miss him on what would have been a touchdown. Mayfield and OBJ don’t appear to be on the same page at times, and a matchup against the Chargers is a tough one. Their defense has allowed just one touchdown and the fourth-fewest points to opposing receivers lined out wide.
Allen Robinson at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Admittedly, I'm hoping to put a reverse jinx of sorts on Robinson by listing him as a sit 'em. After four weeks, a total of 59 wide receivers have scored more fantasy points than the talented veteran. This week's matchup against the Raiders is bad on paper, too, as their defense has allowed an average of 78.8 receiving yards and one touchdown to receivers lined out wide.
Watch NFL games online all season long with fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!
Michael Pittman Jr. at Ravens (Mon., 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Pittman has been a nice FLEX option in PPR leagues this season, as he enters this week ranked as WR32. However, he has a difficult matchup on tap, as the Ravens have yielded just one touchdown and the fewest fantasy points to receivers lined out wide this season. Pittman has run more than 80 percent of his routes out wide thus far in 2021.
- A.J. Green vs. 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
- DeVonta Smith at Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Robby Anderson vs. Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Odell Beckham Jr. at Chargers ($6,000)
- DeVonta Smith at Panthers ($5,900)
- Allen Robinson at Raiders ($5,500)
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!
Sports Illustrated may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.