Fantasy Football: Week Five Staff Must Start, Must Sit and Sleeper Picks

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Sep 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Hal Bent:

Must Start: Donnie Avery (WR) Kansas City Chiefs

Every year in fantasy football, there is one player that seems to be befuddle: draft him or keep him, and he underperforms. Pass over him, and he has a huge season. The fantasy tease: thy name is Dwayne Bowe, wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs. Bowe could get double-digit receptions and multiple touchdowns any week as easily as he could get shut out completely and leave you with a big goose egg in the score column. Fortunately, unlike in the past, the Chiefs have a second option at wide receiver: Donnie Avery. Yes, the same Donnie Avery who flamed out in St. Louis. Coach Andy Reid needs a speedy, elusive slot receiver in his offense and Avery has fit the bill. With the pure speed to take any pass at any point of the field to the end zone, Avery has become a top target of quarterback Alex Smith. Smith’s strength is finding the first receiver to get open, and Avery has taken advantage of it.

Must Sit: Bernard Pierce (RB) Baltimore Ravens

There is an NFL team with the reputation of being an offense built around the running game for over a decade: the Baltimore Ravens. Now, forget it. This team is built around quarterback Joe Flacco and they put their money behind him this offseason. On the field, this is a passing offense. Top running back Ray Rice has been hobbled by injuries and many a fantasy owner (myself included) grabbed running back Bernard Pierce to take the player in line in Baltimore’s succession of 1,000 yard backs. Unfortunately, this year has not been Pierce’s year quite yet. The Ravens are shuffling the deck on the offensive line, and seem ready to put Ray Rice back into the feature back role. Pierce owners need to find him a comfy spot on their bench, just like the Ravens are planning to do.

Sleeper Pick: Eli Manning (QB) New York Giants

There’s one quarterback with two Super Bowl rings who is likely on your bench or available on waivers. With the bye weeks already started, fantasy players are scrambling to find a quarterback to sneak a decent amount of points out of before going back to their starter after the week. Here’s a name to throw out for a must start this week: Eli Manning. OK, stop laughing and listen up: the matchup. The Giants face their division rivals the Philadelphia Eagles this week, a team that has been a gold mine matchup for opposing quarterbacks. The Eagles get into scoring track-meets and their defense spends an inordinate number of time on the field. If there was ever a week to take a chance on Eli Manning this season, this is it.