The NFL kicks off Week 5 on Thursday Night Football with the Los Angeles Rams at the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are 1.5-point favorites in what could be a higher-scoring game, as DraftKings Sportsbook has given the game a total points of 49.5, one of the highest point totals in Week 5. Because the game has potential to be high-scoring, fantasy options are more likely to be fruitful, making many players in this game worthy starts.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson ranks third in fantasy points and is an easy choice to start, as is Rams WR Cooper Kupp, who ranks second among all WR in targets with 46 and third in fantasy points. Here are some other players that fantasy owners can consider starting or sitting in their leagues:
Start: RB Todd Gurley
Gurley, once a fantasy monster, had some alarming trends early in the season as the Rams appeared to be looking to manage his workload as he deals with a knee condition. In Week 1, RB Malcolm Brown got five red zone carries compared to none for Gurley, and a report from the NFL Network stated that Brown could continue to vulture TD opportunities from Gurley going forward. The exact opposite has happened since then, with Gurley out-touching Brown on red zone carries 9-to-2. Gurley has started to take back a higher percentage of snaps, playing on a season-high 75% of snaps last week, compared to just 25% for Brown. Gurley got into the end zone twice last week and was heavily involved in the passing game with the Rams significantly behind, getting 11 targets, third most in any game of his career. With Gurley’s volume trending up both in snaps and red zone touches, his fantasy arrow is pointing back up.
Start: RB Chris Carson
While Rashaad Penny’s expected return this week will likely limit some of Carson’s volume, Carson is coming off a strong bounce back performance last week against the Cardinals. Carson had plus efficiency on the ground and did not fumble after fumbling in each of his first three games. Carson has been the Seahawks’ top RB in red zone situations even when Penny has played and ranks tied for fifth in total red zone carries among all RBs. The Rams have allowed more fantasy points and more TDs than average to running backs.
Sit: QB Jared Goff
The Rams are coming off giving up an explosive 55 points at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which forced Goff into a career-high 68 passing attempts. While that type of volume served as a strong fantasy deodorant, Goff has not played well this season as the Rams offensive line has seen a significant drop off in effectiveness. Goff underperformed his expected completion percentage based on throw difficultly last week despite the high volume and ranks towards the bottom of the league among QBs by that metric on the season. A matchup as the road team on the short week is also a negative.
Start: WR Tyler Lockett
Lockett’s 26 catches rank 10th best among all WR, and he leads the Seahawks in targets (32) by a comfortable margin. He has also been targeted down the field at a plus clip by air yards, posting a higher than average air yards per target. Lockett is appealing in this matchup with the game carrying plus scoring potential.
Start: WR D.K. Metcalf
Metcalf had a very disappointing Week 4 in a good matchup vs. the Cardinals, catching just one of four targets for six yards. That said, Metcalf is still being given a substantial portion of the Seahawks’ air yards, ranking slightly ahead of Lockett in the percentage of air yards given to him in the Seahawks’ passing game. Metcalf is averaging a heavy 17 air yards per target, fifth highest among receivers. Metcalf has also seen a strong amount of red zone targets, ranking tied for third in most red zone targets among WR. Metcalf is a rebound candidate this week.