Fantasy Football Projections Week 5: Sleepers and Predictions

Luke Carlton@lukecarlton6Contributor IIIOctober 9, 2011

Fantasy Football Projections Week 5: Sleepers and Predictions

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    Following Buffalo's Week 4 loss to Cincinnati, the AFC has no undefeated teams, while the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions have kept their unbeaten streak throughout the first quarter of the season.

    Who would have guessed that the only unbeaten teams after four games would (a) be in the same division and (b) would include the Detroit Lions? We've become accustomed to seeing the Lions with a zero in the win column, but after an impressive comeback at Dallas last week, they have proven they are legitimate contenders.

    With six teams on a bye, your fantasy team may be in a bit of a mess this week. No need to worry, because here come your fantasy sleepers and pick'em predictions

Philadelphia Eagles @ Buffalo Bills

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    Picks Against Spread: Philadelphia by three

    Yahoo Community Pick'em

    Buffalo, 51 percent
    Philadelphia, 49 percent

    My Pick: Philadelphia

    Both teams have lost a lot of band-wagoners after last weeks results, and one of them will continue to lose them. Buffalo lost a game they had complete control of against the Bengals last week, while the same could be said for the Eagles, who threw away a 20-point lead at home to the 49ers.

    I'm taking the Eagles in this one. When a team is put under scrutiny from the media, they either do one of two things, lie down and take it or fight back. The Eagles will fight back.

New Orleans @ Carolina

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    Picks Against Spread: New Orleans by seven

    Yahoo Community Pick'em

    New Orleans, 94 percent
    Carolina, six percent

    My Pick: New Orleans

    I feel sorry for the Panthers, as if it wasn't for their rough schedule, they could be better than 1-3. Playing Green Bay, Chicago and now New Orleans within the first five weeks of the season is a tough way to start any season, yet Cam Newton and Co. have not laid down.

    As for New Orleans, they are systematically sound on offense. Every week, you can almost guarantee Drew Brees will dissect the opposing defense with the help of Sean Payton's play calling.

    Don't expect this week to be any different.

Oakland @ Houston

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    Picks Against Spread: Houston by five

    Yahoo Community Pick'em

    Houston, 84 percent
    Oakland, 16 percent

    My Pick - Houston

    First off, I'm sure we would all like to offer our condolences to the Davis family on the tragic passing of Al Davis yesterday. He was a footballing pioneer who wasn't afraid to stick it to the man and fight for what he truly wanted. Rest in Peace Al Davis.

    Houston are continuing to prove me wrong, but they will need to prove they can last without Andre Johnson, who will miss this game through injury. I can see this being a nice upset pick, with the Raiders showing promise and hoping to dedicate the victory to Al Davis.

    However, with Houston having Arian Foster back to near enough full fitness and the defense firing on all cylinders, I'm hoping the Texans won't disappoint.

Kansas City @ Indianapolis

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    Picks Against Spread: Indianapolis by two

    Yahoo Community Pick'em

    Indianapolis, 69 percent
    Kansas City, 31 percent

    My Pick - Kansas City

    I urge you, people of B/R nation, not to watch this football game. No Jamaal Charles and no Peyton Manning makes this game a battle of NFL mediocrity. Even if you win, your team still is awful.

    I'll take the Chiefs, for the single reason that until proven wrong, I cannot believe that Curtis Painter will lead an NFL team to victory over another NFL team.

Cincinnati @ Jacksonville

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    Picks Against Spread: Cincinnati by one

    Yahoo Community Pick'em

    Cincinnati, 57 percent
    Jacksonville, 43 percent

    My Pick: Cincinnati

    I urge you, people of B/R nation, not to watch this game, for your own benefit. Both team's lack talent on both sides of the ball, except the Bengals' defence, which is surprisingly extremely good. Admittedly, they have yet to face an elite offence, but they play the Jags this week—hardly "The Greatest Show on Turf." 

    The Bengals' stingy defence will pull out a win, but I'm far from confident with this pick.

Arizona @ Minnesota

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    Picks Against Spread: Minnesota by three

    Yahoo Community Pick'em

    Minnesota, 59 percent
    Arizona, 41 percent

    My Pick: Minnesota

    It's now becoming a question of not if, but when will the Vikings admit this season is lost and start Christian Ponder at quarterback. Donovan McNabb has been far from a revelation in Minnesota, and it may be easier to follow what the Redskins did and admit defeat and look to move on.

    If that is the case, why have I picked the Vikings? A mixture of Arizona being a poor road team and a gut feeling Adrian Peterson is in for a monster day.

Seattle @ New York

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    Picks Against Spread: New york by 10

    Yahoo Community Pick'Em

    New York, 98 percent
    Seattle, two percent

    My Pick: New York

    West Coast team travelling east for an early kickoff.

    Road team is worse than the home team.

    Anemic offense against a strong defence.

    It's not hard to see why 98 percent of people like the Giants.

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh

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    Picks Against Spread: Pittsburgh by three

    Yahoo Community Pick'em

    Pittsburgh, 65 percent
    Tennessee, 35 percent

    My Pick: Pittsburgh

    It's hard to pick against the Steelers at home, even if the Titans have shown lots of promise to start the season. The Steelers defence is still dominant and hard to put points on. Heinz Field is still a fortress. The fans are still loud and rowdy.

    Tennessee are playing well at the moment, but they don't have the momentum or skill to leave Heinz Field with a victory.

Tampa Bay @ San Francisco

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    Picks Against Spread: San Francisco by three

    Yahoo Community Pick'em

    San Francisco, 56 percent
    Tampa Bay, 44 percent

    My Pick: Tampa Bay

    All aboard the San Francisco bandwagon? Think twice about that.

    Though I can see the 49ers getting a victory in this game, you have to consider the Buccaneers are a very tough team to beat. The Eagles may have given up according to frank Gore, but Raheem Morris runs a tight ship (no pun intended) in Tampa. He keeps his team very disciplined and will lead them into every game thinking that they are the underdogs and they must go out and prove a point.

    I love what Jim Harbaugh is doing in the Bay Area, but I'm taking the road win for the Bucs.

San Diego @ Denver

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    Picks Against Spread: San Diego by four

    Yahoo Community Pick'Em

    San Diego, 93 percent
    Denver, seven percent

    My Pick: San Diego

    It seems Norv Turner and the Chargers have discovered how to win games in the early stages of the season.

    Whether that means they will slack off towards the end of the season remains to be seen.

    The Chargers have found a way to get the most out of Ryan Mathews, who has discovered his form. Philip Rivers is still Philip Rivers, and Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd continue to provide a deep threat. The Broncos should be overpowered by the Chargers, both offensively and defensively.

New York @ New England

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    Picks Against Spread: New England by eight

    Yahoo Community Pick'Em

    New England, 93 percent
    New York, seven percent

    My Pick: New England

    No love for the Jets in either the spread picks or the pick'em it seems. I expected it to be a little bit more balanced, seeing as the Jets did beat the Patriots in the last head to head.

    The Jets have been far from convincing in the last two weeks. To be fair to them, back-to-back losses on the road against Oakland and Baltimore isn't embarrassing. Both teams are in or around the playoff hunt and can make it hard for visiting teams.

    The one thing which makes me doubt the Jets is the running game. No New York player has broke 60 yards rushing in a single game. This is a frightening stat, even if the Patriots defense is one of the worst in the league.

    The Pats are clicking and will be out for revenge after the Jets knocked them out of the playoffs last year.

Green Bay @ Atlanta

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    Picks Against Spread: Green Bay by six

    Yahoo Community Pick'Em

    Green Bay, 90 percent
    Atlanta, 10 percent

    My Pick: Green Bay

    While the Packers steamrolled the Broncos last week, the Falcons had to fight for a narrow win over the Seahawks.

    This game won't be like the match we saw in the playoffs last year. The Falcons will be better prepared for the high-octane offense of the Packers, and with Julio Jones showing why the Falcons traded up for him, the offense for Atlanta should be much better.

    It's not far-fetched to think the Falcons have a chance to win this game. They defeated the Packers in the regular season last year and the Georgia Dome can be an intimidating place to play, especially considering Matt Ryan's home record.

    Packers should have the weapons to win this game. One thing you can guarantee is that it will be a fun game to watch.

Chicago @ Detroit

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    Picks Against Spread: Detroit by six

    Yahoo Community Pick'Em

    Detroit, 83 percent
    Chicago, 17 percent

    My Pick: Chicago

    I read a statistic in Matthew Berry's Love/Hate column today which sums up how the Bears will win this game.

    As Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN Stats & Information points out, when Jay Cutler throws more than 35 passes, Chicago is 2-12. When he throws 35 or fewer times, the Bears are 17-4. 

    Basically, If you can take anything from that stat, it is that Jay Cutler loses games for the Bears when he is forced to throw the ball. If the Bears establish their running game and don't have to resort to throwing the ball every down, the Bears have a good chance of winning.

    The love for Detroit has reached new highs and it almost feeling like after building up the love for the Lions, it's the perfect time to knock it all down. While playing Madden this week, I realised the Lions were ranked as 89 overall, the same as the Patriots and Ravens.

    The affection has gone too far. Matthew Stafford and the Lions are taught a lesson by the veteran Bears defense, ready to make a statement of their own.

Sleepers: QB-RB-WR-TE-D/ST

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    QB, Kevin Kolb: The Vikings secondary is porous and it's in a dome, so no weather concerns.

    QB, Mark Sanchez: Really? The Patriots defense is horrendous and it's worth a shot in a bye week.

    RB, Dexter McCluster: Receiver or running back, McCluster has big-play potential in a team lacking play makers outside of Dwayne Bowe.

    RB, Isaac Redman: Rashard Mendenhall is out and Ben Roethlisberger isn't 100 percent. Expect Redman to carry the load.

    WR, Jacoby Jones: No Andre Johnson means that Matt Schaub needs a new go-to guy. Enter Jones.

    WR, Jordy Nelson: Putting up good numbers this year and had five for 61 and a touchdown last year.

    TE, Owen Daniels: No Andre Johnson, so he should be getting more targets than usual.

    TE, Jermaine Gresham: Getting plenty of looks from Andy Dalton and the Jags are giving up big numbers to tight ends.

    D/ST, New York Giants: Seattle at home is as good a matchup as you could hope for.

    D/ST, Detroit Lions: If they can shut down Matt Forte, they will force Cutler to pass, which is great news for any defence.

Dreamers: QB-RB-WR-TE-D/ST

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    QB, Ben Roethlisberger: No offensive line and a very good Titans defense.

    QB, Jay Cutler: Ndamukong Suh. National Television. It's a recipe for disaster.

    RB, Shonn Greene: He's not rushed for more than 60 yards this year. If the Jets want to ground and pound, they will be using LT.

    RB, Marshawn Lynch: I realise we are on a bye week, but nobody should be that desperate.

    WR, Reggie Wayne: He's slowly being overtaken by Pierre Garcon as the favourite target for Curtis Painter.

    WR, Mario Manningham: The emergence of Victor Cruz has taken away some of that preseason love.

    TE, Marcedes Lewis: He's not been the same player as last year; it's time to move on.

    TE, Aaron Hernandez: He's a game time decision and he'll still have to compete with Gronkowski for targets.

    D/ST, New York Jets: Patriots in New England. It doesn't get much worse than that.

    D/ST, Atlanta Falcons: Green Bay are hot. the Falcons will not be able to cool down that offense in what could be a shootout.