Copestick’s Picks- Week 5

Start em’

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Winston torched the Giants’ defense last week, throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns against one of the NFL’s best units. The Bucs’ opponent this week is the New England Patriots, whose defense is statistically on pace to be the worst defense in the history of football. That’s an enticing matchup for Winston, who can put up points regardless of who his opponent is. To Winston’s benefit, running back Doug Martin is done serving his four game suspension, and his presence in the backfield will keep the Pats defense honest. Winston should put up a top 5 fantasy day, with the Bucs pass-happy offense going against one of the league’s worst units.

Bilal Powell, New York Jets – Through the first three games this season, Bilal Powell ran for a total of 72 yards. On Sunday, he burst on the scene for 163 yards on the ground. With lead back Matt Forte sidelined because of an injury, Powell will assume the primary role against the Cleveland Browns. Look for Powell to contribute in the passing game as well, as the Browns not only have a horrible defense, but one of the saddest rosters in the NFL as well. Powell split carries with rookie Elijah McGuire last week, but Powell’s ability to be on the field for all three downs should earn him most of the workload.

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts – Fantasy owners of T.Y. Hilton heard some good news this week. Star quarterback Andrew Luck started practicing this week, following offseason surgery on his shoulder. Hilton has dealt with abysmal quarterback play in Luck’s absence. The placeholders for Luck have been newly acquired Jacoby Brissett, and journeyman Scott Tolzien, who looks like he should be selling insurance, rather than playing quarterback. It hasn’t necessarily been Hilton’s fault for his production, but the presence of Andrew Luck will ignite the Colts passing game, and get Hilton more involved. If you’ve read my past articles, you’ll notice a common theme; start anyone if they play the San Francisco 49ers. That’s who Hilton has this week, so you know he’ll get a starting nod from me.

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills – The Buffalo Bills are 3-1, and leading the AFC East. Yes,  you read that right, the New England Patriots are no longer at the top. The Bills offense has played a key role in the team’s success, specifically the team’s passing attack. Buffalo traded former fourth overall pick Sammy Watkins to the Rams, although they acquired Eagles wideout Jordan Matthews to assume the top receiver spot. However, tight end Charles Clay has arguably been the Bills best receiver, ranking as the fourth best tight end in fantasy this season. The previously mentioned Jordan Matthews is out about a month due to a broken hand, and Clay will presumptively demand more targets.

Vikings D/ST – The Vikings defense slowed down a versatile Lions offense last week, holding them to just 14 points. The task this week is to neutralize a Bears rushing attack led by Jordan Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen, who’s contrasting styles are hard to stop. Howard is a hard-nosed, between the tackles runner, while Cohen is a quick, shifty back that has a niche for catching the ball out of the backfield. If the Vikings can stop the run, the Bears offense will fall apart. Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will start his first career game, and fortunately for the Vikings, he has a group of no-name receivers that the Vikings should have no problem shutting down.

Sit em’

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals – It’s getting hard to trust Carson Palmer. His play has progressively gotten worse, and he’s the main reason for the Cardinals offensive woes. Palmer’s offensive line has forced him into some bad decisions, a result of injuries and moving around lineman out of their original spots. Palmer was sacked six times against the 49ers last week, and that number could grow, as the Cardinals travel to Philly to face a solid Eagles’ front seven.

Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders – Prior to the start of the season, I was all in on the hype of Beastmode’s return. Everything seemed to be in Lynch’s favor; the Raiders have a run first offense, spearheaded by one the best offensive lines in the game. Lynch has only scored one touchdown all season, and has seen a drop off in touches after he was given the rock 19 times in Week 1. The Raiders are starting backup signal caller EJ Manuel on Sunday in lieu of an injury to starter Derek Carr, which may mean more touches for Lynch, but the play action element will be gone. The Ravens defense will zero in on stopping Lynch, forcing EJ Manuel to beat them.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers – I’m a huge fan of Keenan Allen. He’s a reception machine, Allen is Philip Rivers go-to wide receiver. I’m not a huge fan of Allen this week though; the man lining up across from him is New York Giants stud Janoris Jenkins. The player referred to as “Jackrabbit” shuts down nearly everyone put in front of him. Jenkins has a knack for reading the quarterback and jumping routes for easy interceptions, so if Philip Rivers throws arrant passes in Allen’s direction, Jenkins will likely get his hands on one.

Patriots D/ST – The previously mentioned Patriots are on pace to be the worst defense ever. A lot of obstacles have kept the Pats from maintaining their status as one of the league’s premier defenses. A plethora of new players were brought in via trade, free agency, and the draft. Injuries have occurred, the lack of pass rushers has become a major liability. The team ranks last in almost every statistical category for defense. Jameis Winston will look to exploit  the many weaknesses the Patriots possess.

Play of the Week
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings – After rookie sensation Dalvin Cook was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Sunday’s game against the Lions, running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are left vying for the starting running back job. The obvious choice for the job would likely be Murray, who signed a three year, 15 million dollar deal with the team in March. It doesn’t seem practical on the part of the Vikings to put a guy making so much money on the bench, however, this may be the case. Fourth year running back Jerick McKinnon will push for snaps, given his speed and hands out of the backfield. Murray may be the more traditional workhorse running back, but I believe McKinnon’s versatility will make him the Vikings back to pick up on the waiver wire.