After a one-week hiatus, fantasy owners will happily welcome back the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos. All of them should be healthy, and their coaching staffs will have had nearly two weeks to prepare for their Week 5 matchups.
However one of those DSTs should not be started in Week 5.
Those that should be started include Seattle, along with Denver, Cleveland and Cincinnati (see below). While it’s likely best to leave the Cardinals on the bench this week (also see below).
The Seahawks are rested and coming off a huge victory over Denver, solidifying their incredible Super Bowl victory, and returning to form after their breakdown against San Diego in Week 3. And they’ll face a Washington Redskins club coming off a dreadful six-turnover loss to the N.Y. Giants, while strong safety Kam Chancellor isn’t expected to miss any time due to a bone spur injury in an ankle, according to FieldGulls.
Seattle hasn’t exactly been lighting up opposing teams for turnovers, only generating three so far, and five sacks total. That’s a far cry from the DST that led the league with 14.4 points allowed per game and 28 interceptions, and was tied for eighth with 44 sacks. But injuries might be in the Seahawks favor.
ESPN reports that Washington could see the return of tight end Jordan Reed, but his replacement Niles Paul might still be recovering from the concussion he suffered against the Giants. Starting left tackle Trent Williams and guard Shawn Lauvao were also held out of practice on Tuesday. All that translates into a big Monday night for Seattle's pass rush.
The Seahawks appear to be a gimme pick for a DST, but there are plenty of options for fantasy owners this week. Let’s breakdown each of the best DSTs to start in Week 5, and who else to start/sit.
Rested after coming off an early bye, the Browns take on a Titans squad that’s committed seven turnovers in their last three games. The Titans are also putting up only 15 ppg, No. 30 in the league. Tennessee might have Jake Locker back, but the real concern might be the Browns eight-game losing streak on the road dating back to Week 7 of last season. But Cleveland is healthy after the bye, and has enough talent in the secondary to put up a solid eight to 10 points in Week 5.
There’s a ton not to like about the Broncos DST in Week 5. Their No. 31 in passing yards allowed and only 12th against the run; they’ve forced only three turnovers in three games, and Week 5 opponent Arizona has let up only six sacks so far. But again the Broncos are rested and healthy after their bye, and make the most of the week off. Over the last three years Denver’s won their first game after the bye by allowing an average of 16.3 points. Also, while Drew Stanton has been impressive, he’s never played at Mile High, and Carson Palmer’s 1-5 all-time against the Broncos. Doesn't seem to matter who starts against Denver this week.
Could it be that owners will troll the New England Patriots and their No. 24 ranked offense? It seemed unfathomable with Tom Brady under center, butunless Brady gets better offensive line protection in the coming weeks (10.0 sacks given up already), defenses will feast on the Patriots. The undefeated Bengals are coming off their bye week, and haven’t let up more than two touchdowns in a single game. Their also second in the NFL with six interceptions, even after a week off, and their pass rush has forced seven sacks.
The Lions DST didn’t face much of a challenge against the Jets in Week 4, and in Week 5 they’ll likely perform just as well against veteran quarterback Kyle Orton the Buffalo Bills. Detroit’s allowing only 15.5 points per game, and is second against the pass. Orton’s last victory as a starter came in 2011 with Kansas City, and he threw two picks in that game.
That last second loss to Tampa Bay at home is very troubling for the Steelers overall season, but in Week 5 they’ve lucked into facing the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have now surrendered 20 sacks, five interceptions and three fumbles.
Week 5’s Starts/Sits
Sit: Arizona, Baltimore, Chicago, N.Y. Giants, Houston, Buffalo, Indianapolis, San Francisco, N.Y. Jets, New England, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Green Bay
Start: Detroit, Cleveland, Denver, Cincinnati, Carolina, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Kansas City, Seattle, San Diego, Pittsburgh
Byes: Oakland, Miami