WEEK 5 PICKS: Freeman to Come Down to Earth

With another week under our belts, we should have a better understanding of the NFL. As we learn the PickChamps game, we want a foundation of steady picks to go along with some chancier prospects with some higher Offers. We’ll take you through a mix of both in our weekly Picks.

Here are a few to keep an eye on for this week:

DeAndre Hopkins (WR) will have at least eight catches

As long as he hasn’t been opposed by Carolina’s emerging cornerback Josh Norman, Hopkins has been as steady as they come at wide receiver. Hopkins had five catches for 53 yards in Week 2 against Norman and the Panthers. In the three other games, “Nuk” has had at least eight catches, 98 yards and has scored three touchdowns.

Hopkins has been so good, that it hasn’t even mattered who’s throwing him the ball. He’s produced plenty with both Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer at quarterback. Hopkins will also be operating Thursday night as, perhaps, the only receiving threat for Houston. Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington were injured last week and likely won’t play.

This week, Hopkins gets another good matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. I might feel different if cornerback Vontae Davis plays for Indianapolis. He’s a shutdown type corner. But Davis hasn’t practiced all week and is unlikely to play.

Suggestion: 25 Points x 2.06 Offer = 51.50 Return

Le’Veon Bell (RB) will have at least 100 yards rushing

Bell returned from his suspension in Week 3 to tally 62 yards rushing on 19 carries and followed with his first 100-yard game last week. With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger still out, expect Pittsburgh to continue to rely on Bell.

Bell had 22 carries last week against Baltimore, a number he could likely exceed this week. He had 129 yards rushing and looked patient and able to see the holes open up. They will open up this week against San Diego, which has allowed 126.8 rushing yards per game, fourth-most in the NFL.

Suggestion: 25 Points x 2.11 Offer = 52.75 Return

Peyton Manning (QB) will have at least 250 passing yards

This isn’t the Manning of old, but 250 isn’t a big number either. Even with his decline, you might be surprised to see Peyton has passed for 250 yards in just two of his four games – and barely, with 256 yards against Kansas City. But Manning has looked a bit better in recent weeks.

And 250 yards from one of the more pass-centric offenses still manages a nice offer for us. Plus, we mentioned the approach of going with a few safe Picks with a few riskier ones. Manning should be “safe” this week against an Oakland defense that has allowed 310.5 passing yards per game, which is the second-highest in the league.

Suggestion: 25 Points x 2.06 Offer = 51.50 Return

Devonta Freeman (RB) will have at most 70 rushing yards

Freeman has been one of the early stars at running back in the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons are undefeated in part because of their running game. While everyone is likely to be on Freeman this week, it could be the perfect time to change direction.

Freeman has rushed 45 times for 209 yards the past two weeks, with six touchdowns mixed in. While Freeman has staked claim to the No. 1 spot for Atlanta, rookie Tevin Coleman could be back to take some of the carries and the Falcons will be facing Washington this week. The Redskins aren’t a great defensive team and Atlanta is home, but Washington features the NFL’s second-ranked run defense. The Redskins are only giving up 78.0 yards per game.

With fewer touches likely against a strong defensive front, Freeman could be in for a down day. Remember, Freeman had 47 rushing yards total the first two weeks.

Suggestion: 15 Points x 2.82 Offer = 42.30 Return

Jeremy Maclin (WR) will have at least one touchdown

If we’re looking for bold, how about a touchdown by a Chiefs’ receiver. One of the most curious anomalies has been the lack of touchdowns by receivers in Kansas City. Maclin finally ended the season-plus drought in Week 3 and I’m doubling up he’ll do so again this week. Maclin has been targeted by quarterback Alex Smith 24 times in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the passing touchdowns keep coming against Chicago. The Bears’ pass defense looks OK in terms of yardage numbers, but opponents have 10 passing touchdowns in four games against Chicago.

Suggestion: 15 Points x 6.67 Offer = 100.05 Return

3 years ago
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Written by Brian Hall
Hall has spent the past 13 years as a reporter in the Twin Cities, covering every professional team along with the University of Minnesota. For the past four years, he was a regular beat reporter covering the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild for FoxSportsNorth.com. He's been an avid fantasy sports player for years and has caught the daily fantasy sports bug like so many others.