Better late than Sunday afternoon, right?
This week’s slate of Aces & Deuces are a little behind schedule, but still in with enough time to make any lineup tweaks before the games begin tomorrow. After last week’s 4-6 showing, though, I feel like I got cheated a little. I mean, who would have expected San Francisco and Seattle would both yield 100-yard games on the ground? That effectively ruined my shot at a good Deuces showing, but I will say this: I knocked my Dustin Keller swing-for-the-fences out of the park.
Now that I’ve puffed my chest out a little, let’s check out this week’s picks.
QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (@ Tennessee Titans) A look at the Titans’ defensive statistics is enough to make Luck’s owners salivate. Tennessee has given up 16 touchdowns (tied for most in the league), the highest opposing passer rating (108.2), and a whopping 103 first downs via the pass. With a running game that still isn’t clicking, and a major bromance developing with Reggie Wayne, look for Luck to have a big day on the road. Prediction: 315 yards passing + 25 yards rushing + 3 TDs passing = 27.1 fantasy points
TE Joel Dreessen, Denver Broncos (vs. New Orleans Saints) While Dreessen is owned in fewer leagues than teammate Jacob Tamme and also trails the latter in targets, the former Texan standouts out in the most important category when predicting Aces: fantasy points. Dreessen has three touchdowns on the year to Tamme’s one, and more yardage on fewer looks. In a likely shootout against a Saints defense that couldn’t stop a scarecrow, targets will be aplenty, and Dreesen’s size will prove to be a huge advantage in the red zone. Plug him in if you were burned by Aaron Hernandez’s fear of bangers and mash. Prediciton: 45 yards receiving + 1 TD = 10.5 fantasy points
RB Michael Bush, Chicago Bears (@ Carolina Panthers) I like Bush this week simply due to Jay Cutler’s rib injury last week. Since he will be limited in his mobility, I look for the Bears to lean more heavily on the running game against a subpar Carolina defense. Matt Forte will get the bulk of the work, but Bush has performed well as a deep flex starter (242 yards, 3 TDs), and this will be a good week to use him in that role. Prediction: 64 yards rushing + 1 TD = 12.4 fantasy points
WR Santana Moss, Washington Redskins (@ Pittsburgh Steelers) Pierre Garcon has a torn tendon in his foot. Fred Davis blew out his Achilles. Josh Morgan has been a free agent bust. Leonard Hankerson is Leonard Hankerson. Someone has to catch RGIII’s bombs, and that someone has emerged in the form of the veteran Moss. With 226 yards and three touchdowns in his last four games, he is poised for more action against a seemingly always hobbles Pittsburgh defense. And while the Steelers are holding opponents to under 200 yards per game passing, they have yet to deal with the play-extending machine that is Bob Griff, and Moss will use his experience to get open when refined plays break down into sandlot game breakers. Prediction: 96 yards receiving + 1 TD = 15.6 fantasy points
WR Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets (vs. Miami Dolphins) Even though Miami averages an interception per game, the secondary is the team’s biggest defensive liability. Kerley is Mark Sanchez’s go-to guy in New York, and with a 17.4 yards per catch average, he has a knack for the big play. With a game plan that will see the Jets put more trust in Sanchez’s hands in order to play to the Dolphins’ weakness, Kerley’s role should be expansive. Prediction: 115 yards receiving + 1 TD = 17.5 fantasy points
QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (@ Philadelphia Eagles) Picking against the leaders of an undefeated offense doesn’t seem like the smart way to make money, does it? I guess that’s why I’m not getting paid for this gig. Despite firing their defensive coordinator during the bye week, Philly still boasts a strong secondary. Even though they are the league’s 15th-ranked pass defense based on yardage, opposing signal callers are completing only 52.7% of their attempts against the Eagles, and Gang Green has given up only one touchdown per game via the pass. Atlanta is certainly riding high, but the Falcons have also been the benefactors of some soft secondaries in the final two minutes of the game, and I don’t think they will experience the same fortune this weekend. Predictions: Ryan – 260 yards passing + 2 TDs + 1 INT = 16.4 fantasy points; Jones – 72 yards receiving = 7.2 fantasy points
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs. San Francisco 49ers) The Niners have held Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson, and Percy Harvin to less than ten fantasy points in their respective matchups this season. Even Victor Cruz, who has been his usual salsa-dancing self for most of the year, only managed 11.8 against San Francisco, which tells me Fitzgerald will have his work cut out for him. With no other viable receiving threats to take away attention, and a patchwork offensive line that continues to play matador for its poor quarterbacks, Larry will be lucky to score as many points as the number on his jersey. Prediction: 89 yards receiving = 8.9 fantasy points
TE Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (vs. New York Giants) Witten managed a paltry 44 yards against a poor Carolina defense last week, and he takes on a Giants team that is stifling opposing tight ends. The overall inconsistency of Dallas’ offensive play, combined with Witten only scoring one touchdown on the year thus far, is cause for concern in a big divisional matchup that should prove New York is the cream of the NFC East crop. Prediction: 62 yards receiving = 6.2 fantasy points
WR Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (vs. Seattle Seahawks) I am posting Megatron on this list for one reason alone this week: Richard Sherman. The second year cornerback out of Stanford is by no means a household name, or even dominant, but anyone having the audacity to change his Twitter handle for the week to Optimus Prime gets the nod in my book. I like the confidence this Seattle defense displays. Prediction: 104 yards receiving = 10.4 fantasy points