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Carson’s week 5 fantasy football advice

Carson Gourdie, Staff Writer

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What a week. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but you’re welcome. My personal team scored the most points in league history, 163, and my week 4 predictions were spot on, albeit the quarterback position was a bit shaky. I hope the advice helped you beat up your friend. Out of the 24 players I predicted, 16 of them went according to plan, including my predictions of Jordan Howard and Ryan Fitzpatrick disappointing (they scored 2 and 3 points, respectively).  However, I do not like to rest on my laurels, so here are my follow ups for week 5.

 

Quarterbacks

 

Start:

 

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, vs Atlanta:

Big Ben is definitely heading near retirement time, but he is still capable of putting up some crooked numbers, including 38 this year against the Chiefs in week 2. This week, the Steelers are taking on a Falcons team that’s reeling on defense, getting shredded left and right by teams like the Bengals and Saints. With both teams both extremely talented with weaker defenses, expect an offensive shootout with Big Ben utilizing his stellar offensive weapons.    

 

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, vs NYG:

Cam has been a stud this year, averaging 24.3 points per game. With only one turnover so far this season, Cam has been able to stay away from trouble and keep his confidence up. Playing the Giants this week, who actually held Brees in check, Cam should be able to put up at least 20 points.

 

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans, vs Dallas:

I love Mr. Watson so much that I drafted 6th overall in my fantasy league. My decision looked absolutely outrageous after week one when he only scored 11 points, but since then, he has scored at least 22 each week. Watson is a generational talent who should probably start every week, and even against this Dallas team, who has only given up 20 points once this season to a QB,  don’t be shocked to see the former Clemson star put up over 300 yards and a few scores.

 

Bench:

 

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City, vs Jacksonville:

Every day, Andy Reid probably thanks God for giving him the courage to trade Alex Smith so he could start Mahomes right now. Patrick has been flawless in his first season as the starter and is on an absolute hot streak, averaging 28 points this year. Unfortunately, everything must have an end, even hot streaks, and I think this is the week. Playing the Jaguars, one of the best defense in the league, Patrick will struggle just a tad and register his first sub 20 point game.

 

Eli Manning, New York Giants, vs Carolina:

I actually had Eli on my wildcard list last week when he played the putrid Saints defense. However, while he wasn’t a disaster, he didn’t really tear it up either, only scoring 14 points. Fitzpatrick and Ryan scored 41 and 39 against the Saints, respectively. I hate to say it, but Eli is, in fact, washed up, and the Panthers will hold him in check again this week at home.

 

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns, vs Baltimore:

Baker is super talented and will be a top-tier QB in a couple years. Yet he is still extremely young, and it showed in his second start against the previously 0-3 Raiders, turning over the ball four times. The Ravens’ defense doesn’t look like it has taken a step back this year and I expect them to shut down this Cleveland offense, just like what they did against Pittsburgh.

 

Wild Card:

 

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, vs L.A Rams:

Wilson hasn’t scored 20 points once this season so far, which is kind of alarming. In his defense, Wilson is kind of the only star on the team, which puts a lot of pressure on any player. Yet that could also mean payday for fantasy owners since that means he will throwing the ball much, much more. The Rams are probably the Super Bowl favorite right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t give up points. In this rivalry game, I could Russell playing out of his mind to keep his team in pace with this powerful Rams team.

 

Running Backs

 

Start:

 

James White, New England Patriots, vs Indianapolis:

New England goes through running backs like toilet paper. One day Rex Burkhead is the starter and the other day it’s Forrest Gump. But I think the Patriots have finally found their guy, James White. The former Wisconsin running back has been wildly successful so far and even scored 30 points in a PPR standard scoring league last week. With White being so consistent so far catching and running the ball, I strongly recommend a start for him against the Colts this week even though he will split time with Sony Michel.

 

David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals, vs San Francisco:

Johnson has started to pick up the pace a little, scoring 18 points last week. David will gash this below average 49ers team with his running and receiving ability and lead the Cardinals to their first victory this season.

 

James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers, vs Atlanta:

Conner was stuffed last week by the Ravens last week. Big whoop. Everybody gets stuffed by them. Conner is still an great young talent, surrounded by great offensive players. I expect Conner to regain his early season form and score at least in the double digits against this underachieving Atlanta team that has been destroyed by a lot of running backs this season.

 

Bench:

 

Carlos Hyde, Cleveland Browns, vs Baltimore:

You think I’m drinking the Ravens kool aid? I think yes. Hyde has been good this year. I even told you guys to start him last week and he performed way above average, complimenting Baker Mayfield very well. This week, however, the entire Browns team will want to scream uncle as the Ravens’ defense is legit this year, being ranked the third best defense against running backs this season.

 

LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills, vs Tennessee:

I actually drafted this man with my fourth pick. There is no way to sugarcoat this: McCoy has been extremely disappointing this season and I expect him to wet the bed again this week. And it is not like he is getting any support from the rest of team as their QB, Josh Allen, is still a liability at the position, which will allow the Titans to stack the box to stop McCoy.

 

Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles, vs Minnesota:

Minnesota’s defense has given up their fair share of points so far. Still, their defense has been able to keep their opponent’s running game in check, ranking 10th in the league against the position. With Jay not looking like himself and Minnesota’s ability, I would strongly advise a benching for the Ajayi.

 

Wild Card:

 

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals, vs Miami:

 

Mixon has been out for the past two weeks, but playing this Miami team, who got run over by the Patriots, seems like a perfect time to return. If Mixon does, indeed, get a good amount of carries, expect him to gash the 3-1 Miami Dolphins.

 

Wide Receiver

 

Start:

 

Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings, vs Philadelphia:

Thielen has quietly been one of the most productive WRs in the league, scoring 10,19,10 and 19 points, respectively. With Minnesota’s running game calling in sick, expect Cousins to chuck the pigskin around the yard with Thielen getting his fair share of points.

 

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints, vs Washington:

Thomas suffered a down week, but that also correlates with Brees’ surprisingly quiet performance against the Giants. Prior to last week, Thomas was shredding up secondaries, scoring 22,18, and 12 points, respectively. I expect both Brees and Thomas to get their groove back this week against the Redskins.

 

Bench:

 

Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions, vs Green Bay:

Second year player Kenny Golladay has put up some respectable numbers all season long, becoming one of Stafford’s favorites. Yet, with Green Bay starting to gain traction defensively, I expect them to stranglehold Golladay and hold him way below his average.

 

Odell Beckham, Jr, New York Giants, vs Carolina:

OBJ has been a shell of himself, and it is not all of his fault. Manning has been underwhelming at best and hasn’t really given OBJ the chance to shine. With Barkley getting a bigger role each week and teams’ mission to stop OBJ at all cost, expect another single digit performance from one of the best, talent wise, WRs in the league.

 

Wild Card:

 

Josh Gordon, New England, vs Indianapolis:

Newly acquired Patriot Josh Gordon didn’t light it up last week, but it was only his first week with the team. Don’t forget, prior to all of his suspensions, Gordon was a top five receiver. So I am not saying he will score 20 for sure this week, but he is always lurking around, ready to make a huge impact. The only thing to keep that from happening is Brady.

 

Defenses

 

Start:

 

Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland:

C’mon, you knew I had to finish off the last section with my team of the week. Baltimore has been great so far this season, playing just so physical. Last week, they absolutely shut down the high powered Steelers at their own place. Playing a rookie quarterback who isn’t scared to take a risk, expect Baltimore to make the Browns pay on the way to a great team performance.

 

Denver Broncos vs New York Jets:

Denver lost a heartbreaker last week to the 4-0 Chiefs, but they did play extremely well the first 3 quarters, holding them to 13 points. Fortunately for the Broncos, they are able to take out their anger against a much worse QB, Darnold, who has not elevated this offense yet and has thrown 5 interceptions already.

 

Bench:

 

Houston Texans vs Dallas Cowboys:

The Texans are usually good for a turnover or two, even though they might be vulnerable to giving up points. You might be thinking,” Well, Dak is trash, so I’ll start them.” My rebuttal is that, even though Dak is mediocre, the one good thing he does is not turning over the ball. And with Elliot looking like a monster, I could see the Cowboys riding Elliot for 28 points while commiting no turnovers, which would result in virtually no points for fantasy owners that start the Texans.

 

Washington Redskins vs New Orleans Saints:

Washington has performed decent this year, giving up a high of just 21 points to Luck and the Colts. Alas, the Saints aren’t your average NFL offense with playmakers like Karama and Thomas. Oh, and they have Drew Brees. So… ya, don’t start the Redskins as Brees will not turnover the football and the Saints will score at least 30 points.

 

Wild Card:

 

Buffalo Bills vs Tennessee Titans:

The Bills have been toasted a couple times this year, but they have also shut down the Vikings. Go figure. This week against Tennessee, it’s possible that the Bills’ good side shows up while Mariota’s bad side makes a much wanted appearance. Or the Titans, who just beat the Eagles, could continue to play well. I honestly don’t know exactly what is going to happen. That’s why they play the game.

 

Ladies and gentleman, here are my thoughts. Last week, I was on my A game, and I hope it helped. But in the NFL, where there is just so much parity, anything can really happen. Good luck!

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Carson’s week 5 fantasy football advice