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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 5: Rams vs. Eagles

Each team had a crushing loss in its last game. Which one can get back to the good?

Rich Schultz

The St. Louis Rams didn't get the chance to play in Week 4 after suffering a crushing loss in Week 3. And yet, their week last week was better than that of the Philadelphia Eagles, who saw their offense sputter (in the kindest possible verb) in the team's first loss of the season.

Rams quarterback Shaun Hill appears to be back to full health after a thigh injury, but he lost his starting gig in the meantime. Wide receiver Tavon Austin has been limited with a knee injury, though his fantasy usefulness is in serious decline anyway. On the Eagles' side, the only specific fantasy-relevant player who is banged up is wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, with a hamstring injury, but he's in no danger of missing Sunday. The Eagles' more pressing injury concerns are on the offensive line, where injuries have created significant problems for a couple weeks. While there have been some improvements in that regard, C Jason Kelce is out until at least Week 10 after sports hernia surgery, which will continue to hurt the offense.

Sunday afternoon, the two teams meet in Philadelphia at 1 p.m. ET. Most of the fantasy-interesting players are on the Philadelphia side, though St. Louis has a few as well:

RAMS

Start 'em: After a rough Week 1, Zac Stacy has put up 11 points in back-to-back weeks; he's back to easy RB2 territory. ... If the Eagles' offense continues to struggle like it has, the Rams' defense could capitalize nicely.

Start 'em?: It's been a really good start to the season for Brian Quick; he's a fine low-end flex right now, though his stock is definitely rising. ... The only thing keeping Greg Zuerlein from being a top-flight fantasy kicker is whether the St. Louis offense can get him the chances.

Sit 'em: He's been named the starting quarterback, but Austin Davis' only really good game came against a poor Dallas defense. He has a lot more proving to do. ... All that preseason talk about Benny Cunningham hasn't really gone anywhere; he has three total fantasy points in his last two games. ... Even if Tavon Austin plays, he won't help you in fantasy, and neither will Kenny Britt. ... Jared Cook has had not-awful games so far, but you can't count on him for any real production.

Start in every league: Zac Stacy, Defense/special teams
Start if you're desperate:
Brian Quick, Greg Zuerlein
Bench:
Austin Davis, Benny Cunningham, Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook

EAGLES

Start 'em: After two weeks of struggles, LeSean McCoy's stock is definitely on the decline, but you've got to think he's going to get it together one way or another. He's no longer one of the top couple running backs, but we'll need to see a lot more struggles to bump him out of starting territory. ... It's been a great start to the season for Jeremy Maclin, even with only six fantasy points in Week 4. He's a must-start. ... You've got to think the team will get Cody Parkey more kicking opportunities than it did a week ago. ... The Rams' offense isn't great, so this could be a good week for the Eagles' defense.

Start 'em?: The struggles of the Philadelphia offensive line kept Nick Foles' value way down a week ago; he needs more help to be valuable, because he's not good enough to do it himself. ... After Darren Sproles' first two weeks, he looked like a rejuvenated superstar, but he's been held in serious check since. He's a mid-range flex play. ... We all bought in on Zach Ertz after Weeks 1 and 2, yet he has only three fantasy points in two games since. He's a high-end TE2.

Sit 'em: Neither Riley Cooper nor Jordan Matthews (despite the latter's big Week 3) offers enough to be of much use.
Start in every league:
LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Cody Parkey, Defense/special teams
Start if you're desperate:
Nick Foles, Darren Sproles, Zach Ertz
Bench:
Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews