Welcome to Week 5 of the fantasy and NFL season and the debut of my “Diamonds and Not So Rough” column. This column will focus on five players that are highly rated that I see with the probability of high scoring weeks and five players that are rated highly that in my mind will disappear this week and disappoint their owners. These opinions are just that opinions and I’m certainly not recommending that if I happen to be down on Ray Rice for a week that you bench him and play Chester Taylor in his place (sorry Chester but you were washed up at least two years ago). Place kickers and defensive players will not be discussed in this column on a weekly basis.
The scoring system I will use to grade my performance is this:
- All touchdowns 6 points
- .04 point per yard passing
- .1 per yard for rushing/receiving,
- points per receptions > .25 RB/.50 WR/1.00 all others;
- -1 per interception
- -3 for interception return for TDs (also known as pick sixes).
Diamonds: I’m looking for a 60% success ratio and I’m looking for the same 60% for the Not So Rough players. A Diamond must score at least 15 points in the scoring system listed above while a Not So Rough player must score under 20 to be considered a success.
So without further adieu here are this week’s picks for Diamonds:
Willis McGahee RB Denver Broncos.
Willis is now the #1 running back in Denver, but a somewhat healthy Knowshown Moreno is lurking in the background. This week he faces the San Diego Chargers at home. The Chargers have the 5th best pass defense and the 12th ranked rush defense in the NFL. Denver has to rely a little more on their running game as putting the ball in Kyle Orton’s hands too much is proving to be their downfall. The Chargers may have their way with the Broncos but the good news is Willis can catch. Willis should crack my goal of 15 points this week with 80 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving and my bold call – a short TD pass from Tim Tebow!
Greg Olsen TE Carolina Panthers.
We all know the Saints pass defense is not very good and Panthers QB Cam Newton has established a fine chemistry with Olsen. I’ve seen at least one of his touchdowns and a few other nice catches called back on penalties. Couple his matchup, plus the face I traded him this week and Olsen is looking at a 6 catch, 100 yard receiving and 1 TD game. That’s good for 22 points in our scoring system.
Mark Sanchez QB New York Jets
Coming off a negative week in most scoring systems along with Rex Ryan’s assertion that the team will be more “ground n’ pound” makes this prediction a scary proposition. The good news is Sanchez gets to play the Patriots horrific pass defense. 280 yards along with 2 TDs and 2 INTs make this a 21 point day for Mr. Sanchez.
Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons
Tune in to NBC to watch the rookie breakout game for Falcons #2 WR rookie Julio Jones. The Green Bay pass defense is struggling andAtlantais out for a little revenge after last season’s playoff whipping. My Diamond prediction for Jones is 8 catches, 125 yards and 2 TDs or close to 28 points.
Mario Manningham WR New York Giants
Mario was projected as a top wide receiver heading into the season and he’s been nothing short of disappointing so far. That will all change this week againstSeattle. They have a decent pass defense but they won’t stop Super Mario this week. 100+ yards, 6 catches and a TD are looking like conservative projections this week.
Now for the Not So Roughs:
Cedric Benson RB Cincinnati Bengals
He has a suspension looming, but something tells me it’s taking so long he will avoid the suspension. So while some will see this as his farewell for three weeks game, I just see it as another disappointing game in what’s become a pretty disappointing career.Jacksonvillecan stop the run and they will this week too. No TDs and 75 total yards for “Ced.”
Stevie Johnson WR Buffalo Bills
Nnamdi orAsante, pick your poison this week, Stevie. The “Dream Team” is struggling and they face pretty close to a “must win” this week. I think the Bills play them tough and beat them but RB Fred Jackson, not the passing game leads the way. Stevie will probably find the end zone for one TD but 4 catches and 60 yards receiving keep him under my goal of 20 points.
Maurice Jones-Drew RB Jacksonville Jaguars
The Bengals defense does not get a lot of respect, but they have played the run pretty good so far this year. MJD faces a bigger challenge then he’s probably expecting this week. He probably needs a lot of catches this week to exceed the 20 point barrier. I don’t see him doing that. One TD and less than 100 total yards won’t get him to 20 points.
Brandon Lloyd WR Denver Broncos
Lloyd faces a tough matchup with the Chargers 5th ranked pass defense. His QB is struggling and Lloyd has not come close to approaching last year’s numbers. In some ways WR Eric Decker has taken over as the #1 wide receiver inDenver. Lloyd will have some catches this week but he’ll be under 100 yards again and not in the end zone. Anyway you slice it it’s less than 20 points.
Chris “Beanie” Wells RB Arizona Cardinals
Coming off last week’s three TD game he’s rated high on most people’s list this week. This week he faces two challenges, one the hamstring is still not 100% and the Vikings staunch run defense. I see Beanie scoring a TD this week, but that coupled with less than 100 total yards does not equal 20 points so he’s a Not So Rough this week.