It's getting close to make or break time if your fantasy team is really struggling. No fantasy owner wants to start the season out 5-0, and if you do, well, there's not much hope left for your playoff dreams.
The slate of matchups this weekend isn't the most intriguing, but there will still be plenty of fantasy players you will need to keep an eye on. Bye weeks and injuries are surely hurting owners everywhere now in the fifth week of 2012, and with that in mind you could probably use some advice heading into your matchup.
Let's take a look at who you need to start in Week 5, and who you need to move to the bench.
Peyton Manning, quarterback - Despite all the criticism surrounding his arm through the first few weeks of the season, Manning is putting up solid fantasy numbers. He's thrown for over 300 yards in each of his past two games to go along with five touchdowns in that span. The Patriots once again are proving to struggle against opposing passers. They gave up four touchdowns through the air to Ryan Fitzpatrick, and considering this week is shaping up to be a shootout, Manning should be in for another huge day.
Alfred Morris, running back - What happened to the revolving door in Shanahan's backfield? Morris appears to be locked in as the No. 1 runner in Washington right now, and while that could certainly change at any time, he should continue to carry the workload this week against Atlanta. The Falcons porous rush defense has yielded 146. 3 per game through the first quarter of 2012. Morris continues to shine behind the Redskins impressive zone blocking scheme, so expect big numbers in Week 5.
Reggie Wayne, wide receiver - Drew Brees torched the Packers secondary for 446 yards and three touchdowns this past Sunday. While Andrew Luck isn't on the same level as Brees of course, he's still going to be throwing the ball often. Aaron Rodgers will likely put up plenty of points against the Colts, forcing their rookie quarterback to attempt to answer back. Wayne has emerged as Luck's favorite target. Considering Green Bay couldn't stop a less than 100 percent Marques Colston, you should like Wayne's chances here.
Kyle Rudolph, tight end - Don't let his dismal Week 4 scare you away. Rudolph is taking on a defense that seems to enjoy letting his position score. The Titans have given up seven touchdowns and the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. He's still a huge red zone target for Christian Ponder, and he should get back on track this weekend.
New York Giants defense/special teams - With bye weeks in effect you might be looking for a spot start defense. The Giants have a favorable matchup against the Browns this weekend, so they should be worth an extra look. Brandon Weeden hasn't looked like much of a passer in his rookie year, and when he has stepped up his game his receivers just let him down with drops. New York shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers two weeks ago, and with Cleveland ranking 27th in points per game scored, this week should provide another promising effort from the G-Men.
Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback - Jake Locker will not be playing after injuring his shoulder again, so Matt Hasselbeck takes the reigns in Tennessee. In roughly three quarters of play last week against Houston he threw two interceptions and cough up one fumble. His opponent in Week 5, the Vikings, have allowed just five passing touchdowns so far, and their seventh-ranked pass rush (12 sacks) will keep Hasselbeck uncomfortable in the pocket. You can find other quarterbacks this week in your starter is on bye.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis, running back - The Law Firm will have be dealing with his toughest case of the season on Sunday. Miami is yielding an unbelievable 2.4 yards per carry to opposing rushers. The only two touchdowns the Dolphins allowed on the ground came in Week 1 against Arian Foster. To top all of that off, Green-Ellis received several goal line carries last week and failed to produce. Do yourself a favor and find a replacement this week.
Steve Johnson, wide receiver - The 49ers gave up one touchdown to James Jones of all people in Week 1, the only score allowed to receivers this season. Johnson looked out of sync with Ryan Fitzpatrick against New England, regardless of what either says, and they'll have their work cut out for them again in Week 5. His season high of 61 yards receiving won't cut it if he's not catching touchdowns, so temper your expectations with him.
Antonio Gates, tight end - Sure, Gates is supposed to be a stud, and most owners will keep him in the starting lineup unless he's injured. This sesason, though, he's caught just 10 passes in three games played. He'll be facing the Saints, and while they posses one of the worst defenses you could possibly imagine, they haven't allowed a single touchdown to opposing tight ends. Maybe it's because they're letting wide receivers fly by them at all times. Whatever the case, a breakout performance from Gates should be far from expected here.
Denver Broncos defense/special teams - Allowing 308 yards and 20.8 points per game in 2012, the Broncos defense ranks as a top 10 unit with a quarter of the season in the books. Remember where they're headed this week, though? Tom Brady and his crew rank first overall in yards and points per game. This past week in Buffalo certainly padded those stats, but it looks like their offense is firing on all cylinders right now. It would be wise to hold off on the Broncos for now.