Week 5 is here, and the bye weeks are already wreaking havoc on fantasy football lineups. This week, the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints, among others, are out, meaning fantasy owners won't be able to use Russell Wilson or Drew Brees. Blake Bortles and Alex Smith are the other quarterbacks sitting out.
In addition to the byes, one major injury throws things into further chaos. Cam Newton is still in the concussion protocol, but he wasn't officially ruled out until Saturday. Owners who were holding out hope he'd be cleared now have to find a replacement on short notice.
So, with all that going on, which quarterbacks are worth starting this week, and which ones should be avoided? Let's dive in.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (at Detroit Lions)
Back from his bye week, the rookie sensation has a friendly opponent for his first action in two weeks. The Lions' defense has crumbled after injuries, currently 21st in passing yards allowed per game. Wentz may yet hit a rookie wall sometime this season, but we don't expect him to slow down in Week 5. He'll be a valuable streaming option during the bye weeks.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at Oakland Raiders)
The Chargers can't figure out how to hold fourth-quarter leads, but it's not for lack of trying on Rivers' part. He's 13th in QB fantasy points on Yahoo! and should be a borderline QB1 most weeks. Rivers' upside is enormous when he goes up against Oakland's poor pass defense.
Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (at Indianapolis Colts)
It's 2016 and we're recommending you start Brian Hoyer in fantasy football. What a world. Hoyer doesn't have much real upside, but two weeks of competent play means he has an established floor. If you're pressing for a bye week streaming option, Hoyer against Indy's joke of a defense is not the worst gamble in the world.
Matthew Stafford, Lions (vs. Eagles)
Just when we thought Stafford was ready to settle in as an every-week starter, he goes and puts up a dud against Chicago's injury-riddled defense. Now he gets an Eagles unit that has new life under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, completely shutting down Ben Roethlisberger and company in Week 3. Stafford will still have productive fantasy weeks this year, but he's back to "prove it" mode for now.
Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans (at Minnesota Vikings)
Osweiler is struggling with turnovers, putting up low fantasy numbers, and going on the road to face a Vikings defense that has erased everything in its path this year. No thank you.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at Los Angeles Rams)
The Bills got a surprise road win over the New England Patriots last week, and Taylor had about as decent a day as you could hope for without Sammy Watkins. But now he has a tougher matchup with the Rams, and LeSean McCoy is hobbled by a hand injury he picked up in practice. This feels like it'll be one of those "bust" weeks for one of the most boom-or-bust quarterbacks in all of fantasy football.