Much like Mark Sanchez and Eva Longoria, the Aces & Deuces have split up.
Also like Sanchez, yours truly has also put together a string of lackluster performances, with Week 8 being perhaps the season’s worst.
Despite Andrew Luck’s handsome matchup against Tennessee and Santana Moss being the only functional “receiver” the Redskins have, I still managed to go for 0-for-5 in the Aces department last week, which means this week has to get better as we meet the halfway point of the season.
Wait, I have half a season’s worth left of predicting to do? Better get this train back on track.
Aces – Week 9
QB Joe Flacco & WR Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens (@ Cleveland Browns) Well-rested after a bye week and facing a divisional rival that has shown some energy lately, this should be a monster week for Flacco and all his receivers. True, Cleveland is coming off a defensive performance in which they held San Diego to a mere six points, but anyone who has watched San Diego this season knows that, sadly, the Browns’ performance was hardly impressive. With an offense that is ripe with weapons for spreading the ball around the field, Baltimore will be able to exploit Cleveland’s 26th-ranked defense from all angles. I like Smith, especially, in this game due to Anquan Boldin’s recent re-emergence. With safety Joe Haden likely devoting most of his attention to the veteran, we could see plenty of targets headed Smith’s way. Predictions: Flacco – 295 yards passing + 2 TDs = 19.8 fantasy points; Smith – 74 yards receiving + 1 TD = 13.4 fantasy points
QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (@ Atlanta Falcons) Romo is the ultimate garbage time hero. Whether the garbage time is of his own making or the oppositions matters not, as ultimately Dallas digs so big a hole that the team has to take to the air for three quarters of the game. With a banged up corps of running backs, a quick-strike Atlanta offense, and a ball-hawking Falcons secondary, it’s a perfect storm of passing opportunities for Romo. Even if he throws three picks, he’ll still get the ball back in time to throw three TDs and a few hundred yards to offset them. Prediction: 310 yards passing + 3 TDs + 2 INTs = 20.4 fantasy points
WR Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Oakland Raiders) The distraction method seems to be working for Williams. While opponents are busy keying on big man Vincent Jackson, Williams is making the most of his looks, with only a marginally smaller yards per target average than VJax (9.27 vs. 9.94). Tampa Bay’s offense has been firing on all cylinders since playing the New Orleans Slump Busters, and against an Oakland secondary that is lacking for playmakers, Williams is a great WR3 play this week. Prediction: 66 yards receiving + 1 TD = 12.6 fantasy points
RB Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints (vs. Philadelphia Eagles) With the news today that Saints jack-of-all-trades man Darren Sproles is out with a broken hand, Thomas’ value has skyrocketed. Normally a victim of New Orleans’ spread the love offense, Thomas routinely racks up yards after contact and truly shines when given a larger volume of touches (see his Week 2 effort against Carolina, in which he touched the ball 13 times for a total of 143 yards). I just hope the team lets him enjoy the spoils of the end zone, instead of letting PT carry it to the two, only to have Mark Ingram take three downs to push it past the pylons. Prediction: 72 yards rushing + 43 yards receiving + 1 TD = 17.5 fantasy points
RB Mikel LeShoure, Detroit Lions (@ Jacksonville Jaguars) I have been down on the Detroit running game all season, but this week presents a positive matchup for the team. Calvin Johnson has been hobbled and out of practice all week, which is going to make offensive balance an absolute necessity. The Jags give up more than 130 yards and a touchdown on the ground per game, and LeShoure just had a baby this week that he has to impress (even if he will be lacking for sleep). He’ll still get pulled on third downs in favor of Joique Bell, but he is a solid flex option or bye week starter for owners of the Stevens (Jackson and Ridley). Prediction: 59 yards rushing + 1 TD = 11.9 fantasy points
On the season, Celek has amassed 169 yards after the catch. Saints defenders couldn’t tackle Lieutenant Dan if they tried, so the formula here seems pretty simple to me. Look for Celek to exploit Corey White’s slot coverage and for Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper to miss a few easy stops, as per usual. Prediction: 70 yards receiving + 1 TD = 13 fantasy points