Perhaps I need to temper my expectations a bit.
Last week’s Ace run was my worst yet, as I only correctly called Aaron Rodgers’ breakout session against New Orleans correctly. My other picks – especially Christian Ponder and Ben Tate – were way off, leading me to believe that this week might offer a good chance to go a little more conservative with my points estimates. After all, I am now sporting a Houston Astros-like .276 winning percentage with the Aces.
Who am I kidding? Where’s the fun in being conservative? Go big or go home, I say. So go big with these picks in Week 5, because it can’t get much worse than last week.
Aces – Week 5
TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Tennessee Titans) Tennessee’s lackluster defense has been gift wrapping points for tight ends this season, much to the delight of fantasy owners. Check out the stats from the first four weeks of the season:
- Week 1, Rob Gronkowski – 60 yards, 1 touchdown
- Week 1, Aaron Hernandez – 59 yards, 1 touchdown
- Week 2, Dante Rosario – 48 yards, 3 touchdowns
- Week 3, Brandon Pettigrew – 61 yards, 0 touchdowns
- Week 4, Owen Daniels – 72 yards, 1 touchdown
This all bodes well for owners of Rudolph, who has become one of Christian Ponder’s favorite red zone targets. He is an absolute must-start this week. Prediction: 82 yards + 2 touchdowns = 20.2 fantasy points
QB Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (@ New Orleans Saints) Rivers has been on the decline, from a fantasy standpoint, since last season. He is currently ranked 19th in standard scoring among quarterbacks, behind such stellar names as Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer, and even Matt Cassel. However, he faces a Saints defense that has been the cure to all fantasy ills this season, and I expect him to put a few TDs on the board, as well as more than 300 yards in the air as he shoots it out against his former teammate Sunday night. Prediction: 330 yards passing + 3 TDs + 1 INT = 23.2 fantasy points
WR Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks (@ Carolina Panthers) OK, so Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hasn’t been slinging it around like it’s the preseason all over again, and Rice has never quite returned to form since battling constant injuries in the Emerald City. But going up against a Carolina defense that has a knack for giving up big plays (14 receptions of more than 20 yards), look for Rice to remove his cloak of invisibility and play one of the better games of the season thus far. Prediction: 79 yards receiving + 1 TD = 13.9 fantasy points
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons (@ Washington Redskins) Sure, Michael Turner is the main man in the running game for the Falcons, but Washington is holding opposing rushers to only 89 yards per game, meaning a healthy helping of the uptempo Atlanta passing game is in store. As a result, this is the week where I expect Jacquizz to explode on the fantasy world, as his speed will be an asset in the screen game against Washington’s 31st-ranked pass defense. Prediction: 22 yards rushing + 62 yards receiving + 1 TD = 14.4 fantasy points
RB Ryan Williams, Arizona Cardinals (@ St. Louis Rams) In tonight’s snoozefest of a matchup, look for Williams to be the standout player. With Beanie Wells out of the picture and a St. Louis pass defense that has only allowed two touchdowns in the air, Arizona will have to rely on the second year Virginia Tech product to move the ball across the pylons. As long as he holds onto the rock, he should have plenty of opportunities to bruise the Rams for more than 100 yards. Prediction: 107 yards rushing + 1 TD = 16.7 fantasy points
WR Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Buffalo Bills) You won’t find anyone who is more opposed to betting on the 49ers passing game than me, as it has become marginally clear that Alex Smith is only going to dink and dunk his way down the field, save the odd 40-yarder to a wide open Vernon Davis. That being said, Buffalo’s secondary is abysmal right now, and it might be a good chance for Smith to let his hair down and air it out a bit. With Crabtree actually leading the Niners in targets, I expect this to be a chance for him and Smith to put the naysayers to rest. Prediction: 116 yards receiving + 1 TD = 17.6 fantasy points