CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Rishard Matthews #18 of the Tennessee Titans makes a touchdown against Adrian Amos #38 of the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at Soldier Field on November 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hogs & Dogs: Week 5

Week four is in the books, and somehow, someway, we’re already a quarter of the way through the regular season.  And through those four games, things are wilder than ever.  The parity across the league is at an all-time high, with only one undefeated team remaining, your Kansas City Chiefs.  That certainly wouldn’t have been my guess at the quarter-point had you asked me at the onset of the season.  New England, Dallas, or Atlanta would have most likely been my best guesses, but they all fell in week four.  And after that occurred on Sunday, Kansas City stood strong on Monday night against a viable Washington team.  This first quarter has taught us yet again that there are no sure things in the NFL.  The Pats are 2-2 and their defense is swiss cheese, the Cowboys are also 2-2 and just lost to the Rams, who of course lead the NFC West, the Falcons lost to the Bills, and the Carson Wentz led Eagles are leading the NFC East at the moment.  Mayhem has once again ensued in the 2017 season, and we’re only a quarter of the way through. 

So, while some things may seem like absolute shoo-ins at this point, I can assure you that they are not.  Look at the Miami Dolphins, who have been dreadful for two straight weeks.  They should have beaten the Jets handedly and they definitely should have been able to score at least some points against the Saints.  Did they do either of those things?  Well, of course not.  Should they lose to the Titans this week while Cutler continues to play himself out of his job?  They most certainly should.  Which is exactly why they’ll probably win and Cutler will finish as a top five QB for the week.  Unfortunately for Cutler, he won’t find himself on the Hogs list this week, because it’s just way too hard to predict what he’ll give you and you’d be an absolute lunatic to take your chances playing him right now.  On to week five.

This is our weekly start and sit article that we want to get out to you before Thursday’s games. While discussing starts and sits in Hogs and Dogs, we also like to sprinkle in some buy lows, sell highs, who’s hot, who’s cold, and contrarian views that might not exactly mesh with what the majority of other experts are saying.  We want to give you a different perspective of the NFL while also delivering some helpful advice that can translate to success in your leagues.  Let’s get this show on the road.

Hogs

Ben Roethlisberger – This may not seem like the best matchup with the Jaguars giving up the fewest fantasy points to QBs so far this season.  But, it’s at home for the Steelers against a team that just lost to the Jets, so I’m expecting a big day all around from this offense.  And in a highly streamable QB week, Roethlisberger could be a sneaky good play.

LeGarrette Blount – Blount ripped off some chunk gains against the Chargers this past weekend and was looking like his old self, something we’ve now seen in back to back weeks.  Even though this is a three-pronged attack in the backfield, Blount is the main caddy, and the most startable one at this point.  Arizona is also making a difficult trip from the west coast to Philly which bodes well for Blount and the Eagles.

Latavius Murray – I know some may be reluctant to use him right off the waiver wire, especially behind an average offensive line.  Add in the uncertainty at QB each week and this could be a roller coaster ride.  But, I actually like the situation for Murray because he will be getting the lion’s share of the touches and last time I checked, he still played adequately last season when he scored 12 touchdowns.  I’m taking my chances.

Aaron Jones – A risky play, especially due to his size, but has a plus matchup this week against the Cowboys very beatable rush defense.  Keep an eye on whether Sean Lee suits up or not, but this is his backfield to lose at the moment.  It doesn’t hurt that Rodgers has sang his praises as well.  I know some Gurus are happy to see Jones getting run.

Rishard Matthews – Still the number one in that offense that is looking to rebound after a tough go against Houston.  Tennessee is facing a sad Miami team that hasn’t really cared to show up the past few weeks, as previously mentioned.  The only caveat here is that if Mariota doesn’t play, Matthews gets bumped down a fringe WR3 for me.  The rapport that he and Mariota have is what keeps him in that high end WR3 category and if Mariota is outchea, then Matthews value takes a hit.

DeSean Jackson – At this point, you might as well play anyone facing the Patriots leaky secondary.  Jackson will be looking to take the top off the New England secondary as he always does.  With how much miscommunication they’ve had lately, he should be able to find plenty of room to run once he gets past the likes of Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore.  And in case it wasn’t super obvious, fire up his quarterback, too.

Dez Bryant – We’ve been waiting patiently on a huge game from Dez, and this might just be the week.  This has the makings of a shootout with two high powered offenses coupled with some subpar defenses.  He has played decently up until this point while facing some stiff competition and now his schedule significantly lightens up.  He’s a great option to target in trades right now too.

Dogs

DeShaun Watson – Some will see what he’s done these past few weeks and assume that’s the productivity he’ll give you every week.  But, Kansas City’s defense is on a whole separate level compared to Tennessee’s and New England’s, so we may have to pump the brakes, albeit temporarily, on Watson’s blistering last few games.  It may be best to find an alternative option this week before trotting him back out against the Browns in week six.

Philip Rivers – I still think the Giants’ D is underrated and at some point, will start making some plays.  Facing a turnover machine like Phil the Thrill can certainly help to speed up that process.  Rivers and the Chargers have to make the previously mentioned dreaded west to east coast trip this weekend, which is not typically favorable to the west coast traveling team.  You can find better streaming options.

Isaiah Crowell – Just don’t do it.  Duke Johnson is the only one worth playing in that entire offense at the moment.  Crowell has been garbage and has yet to top 44 rushing yards.  Leave him on the pine.

Amari Cooper – Still a great buy low option, Cooper draws a tough matchup against Jimmy Smith with E.J. Manuel tossing him the ol’ pigskin.  Woof.  He hasn’t shown that he’s even startable at this point with Derek Carr under center, so I’m not taking any chances this week.  Get him now at a huge discount if you can.

Zay Jones – The de facto number one in Buffalo with Jordan Matthews buckling his hand, but there are better options out there.  At best, he’s a deep bench stash because we have yet to see anything from him so far.  He has four catches on the season.

Seattle Backfield – Mentioned on the pod this week, avoid this situation like the plague.  Pete Carroll doesn’t care about your fantasy team (as he shouldn’t), and he doesn’t care about telling the truth either.  There’s no real answer as to what will happen here, though I can tell you that I think C.J. Prosise is the most talented back, he just needs to stay healthy.  My guess for this week is that they’ll roll with some combination of Rawls and Lacy.  Good luck grasping at the straws here!

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That’ll wrap us up. Best of luck to everyone this week.  We’re here to have fun and we’re here to help you.  So, if you can’t get enough of the Guru family, be sure to check out all of our great content below.  We’re everywhere, so come get in on the action!

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