Fantasy Football Rankings: Week 5 prognosis from SB Nation Minnesota

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The resident expert at SB Nation Minnesota wonders if the Minnesota Vikings have a top 10 defense when it comes to the Week 5 fantasy football rankings?

If there is one thing I love about fantasy football, it keeps things interesting.

Heading into Monday night's Chicago Dallas game I was trailing a friend of mine by 14 points in one of my more valued leagues. His players were all done. I had Bears' corner Charles Tillman.

Side bar, while I understand IDPs (Individual Defensive Players) are not for everyone, they do provide a fun change-up. Our scoring is set up where solo tackles and passes defended are one point each, sacks are two, forced and recovered fumbles are both three, interceptions are four and of course if your players scores a touchdown, you get six points. The average score for an IDP is around six or seven, with high scores around the 10-12 range. So I will admit it, I thought I was done.

If you recall, in the second quarter of Monday night's game, Charles Tillman intercepted (barely)Tony Romo's pass and took it to the house.. A 10 point play! That brought me to within three. Suddenly, I was in the game!

The second half was an assault of Romo mistakes and it turned into a Bears' blowout win, but my friend and I watched every play to see if Tillman was going to make score enough to finish the comeback.

Tillman ended the night with 14 points on the dot, good enough for a tie. However, when I woke up the next morning, a trusty, yet usually very frustrating, stat correction came through, giving Tillman another pass defended and giving me the W.

It was one of the greatest comebacks in my personal fantasy football career and I will never let my friend forget about it.

*Since writing this, another stat change occurred, bringing the game back to a tie, which is quite embarrassing for the guy that rubbed his win in his friend's face for a few days already with multiple text messages and Facebook posts in an attempt to publicly humiliate him (me). While I love this fantastic game, she is a cruel mistress.

The point of the story is, take fantasy football for what it's worth. A fun way to have something in common with friends and get even more enjoyment out of the game we love, football. I very likely would have turned off that game if not for the fantasy aspect. That's why I love fantasy football.

Obviously, It's a little more fun if you win and I hope to help all of you do that.

Here's this week's LIKES and DISLIKES.

QUARTERBACKS

LIKE ‘EM

Philip Rivers

I have Rivers safely inside my top 10 this week. Why? He got back on track against the Chiefs last Sunday, throwing for 200 yards and 2 TDs... and he is playing that awful New Orleans' secondary. Look for a huge day from the Chargers' offense, lead by their quarterback.

Projection: 22 points

Joe Flacco

Flacco's owners have to be loving the start to this season. Baltimore is in a pass first mode, and their quarterback has put up 19+ in three of his four starts. With the emergence of Torrey Smith in the last two week's Flacco's value has only gone up. With Kansas City's secondary giving up the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, Flacco joins Rivers in my top 10 this week.

Projection: 21 points

Ryan Fitzpatrick

It's tough for me to write off the fifth highest scoring quarterback in Yahoo standard leagues just because he plays that vaunted 49er defense.. so I won't. Fitzpatrick has been one of the steadiest fantasy QBs this season, scoring above 15 points every week. While Bills' coach Chan Gailey would like to run the ball more than the team did against New England, that likely will not happen against San Fran's run defense and Fitzpatrick will be putting the ball in the air often if the Bills fall behind. At the very least I expect some garbage time production.

Projection: 16 points

Sleepers: Alex Smith has had some troubles over the past few weeks and his accuracy issues have been duly noted. However, the Bills' secondary has been brutal against the pass this year, as highlighted by touchdown Tom Brady's performance last week. Also, Andrew Luck will be at home to face a fantasy-friendly Packers' secondary. Following two solid performances and an extra week to prepare for the Pack, Luck could have some success.

DISLIKE ‘EM

Cam Newton

Newton is tough to sit, but i do expect him to struggle this weekend. It's no secret that Seattle's defense is among the elite and their secondary is one of the best in the game. This is the same defense that humbled Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo. If Newton is going to have any success, expect it to be on the ground.

Projection: 12 points

Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben and the Steeler passing game has been clicking on all cylinders this year. Can the Philly defense that has been solid this year and very tough on passing games slow them down? My guess is yes. The Eagles have the physical secondary necessary to slow down the Steelers' smaller receivers like Brown and Wallace on the outside. Pittsburgh should also attempt to establish the run with the return of Rashard Mendenhall.

Projection: 11 points

RUNNING BACKS

LIKE ‘EM

Reggie Bush

Bush is still struggling with a knee injury, but this week he takes aim at a Bengals' rushing defense that has allowed 133.5 yards per game. Look for Bush to return to form this week and I expect his numbers to do the same.

Projection: 18 points

Cedric Benson

Green Bay seems to have discovered their need to establish the run and Benson has answered the call. Benson toted the rock 18 times against New Orleans and averaged over four yards per carry. He has recorded double digit fantasy points each of the last three weeks and takes on a poor Indy run defense this week.

Projection: 14 points

Donald Brown

The Packers have been solid against the run, but I look for the Colts to attempt to establish the ground game to keep Rodgers and company on the sideline. I also expect Brown to benefit from some check-down looks in the passing game from Andrew Luck to avoid pressure from that Green Bay pass rush.

Projection: 11 points

Sleeper: Jackie Battle is actually listed as the number one back on the Chargers' current depth chart. While it wouldn't be smart to expect him to get more work than Ryan Mathews, I do think Battle will garner around 30 percent of the carries and most of the goal line work, making him a viable flex option.

DISLIKE ‘EM

Chris Johnson

I didn't like Johnson last week and he exploded for 130 yards.. Well I still do not like him. While last week's performance was a good sign of possible solid performances down the line for CJ2K, don't expect much this week. The Vikings rank second in points allowed to backs in Yahoo standard leagues and no one has come close to having success against them on the ground.

Projection: 5 points

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

In his last three games Green-Ellis has averaged just over three yards per carry. The Dolphins' defense is allowing the fewest yards per carry in the league this season (2.4 yards per attempt). What does this mean? If "The Law Firm" fails to reach the end zone this week, his fantasy owners are in trouble.

Projection: 6 points

WIDE RECEIVERS

LIKE ‘EM

Reggie Wayne

Wayne is averaging over 11 fantasy points per week in the young season. Marques Colston just torched Green Bay's pass defense. The game is in Indianapolis. Look for Wayne to be featured in Andrew Luck's coming out party.

Projection: 14 points

Malcom Floyd

Floyd has been quiet the last few weeks, including a disappoint two catch day last Sunday against the Chiefs. I expect him to bounce back this Sunday, as the Saints' secondary has not had luck stopping anyone yet this season and the Superdome has hosted some fantasy feasts for opposing wide receivers.

Projection: 15 points

Brian Hartline

It's hard not to like the guy that just recorded 253 receiving yards. Hartline has clearly established himself as the improving Ryan Tannehill's number one target. Hartline should be busy this week going up against the Bengal's corners and should definitely be considered as a high #3 wideout.

Projection: 12 points

sleepers: Andre Roberts was a beast last week, putting up 118 receiving yards and getting into the end zone twice. With Cortland Finnegan likely matched up with Larry Fitzgerald most of the night Thursday, Cardinals' quarterbackKevin Kolb could look Roberts' way often. Domenik Hixon was one of Eli Manning's favorite targets in the Giants' game against Philly Sunday night. If Nicks and Barden remain sidelined this weekend, I would expect that trend to continue.

DISLIKE ‘EM

Steve Smith (Carolina)

Smith has lacked that major production his fantasy owners have come to expect over the years. Last week was a major let down, as Smith was held to 52 yards, even as Newton had a nice passing day. Don't expect things to get any better against Seattle this week. I expect the Seahawks' big corners to have their way with Carolina's top wideout.

Projection: 6 points

Jeremy Maclin

Maclin is not on the Eagles' injury report this week, yet I still question how healthy his hip actually is. In his first game last week he recorded just one catch for seven yards. It will take a solid week from him before I regain full trust. I don't expect Philadelphia's passing game to be overly successful against the Steelers and if that's the case, Maclin will be one of the first ones to suffer

Projection: 4 points

TIGHT ENDS

LIKE ‘EM

Kyle Rudolph

Simple math on this one. Kyle Rudolph is Christian Ponder's number one target when the Vikings' offense nears the goal line. I expect the Vikings to move the ball well against the Titans' defense, meaning Rudolph should have plenty of opportunities to find the end zone.

Projection: 12 points

Antonio Gates

Gates' 59 receiving yards last week were the most he has had all season. Look for even more this week as the Chargers will be throwing all night against New Orleans. Gates should have a big game.

Projection: 15 points

sleepers: Denver has discovered the positives of a the two tight end system with Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessenin the lineup. The Patriots have allowed the second most points to tight ends this year, so there should be plenty to go around for the both of them. Dreessen is only owned in five percent of Yahoo leagues, so he could be a solid fill in for Pettigrew and Witten owners this week.

DISLIKE ‘EM

Martellus Bennett

After scoring touchdowns in each of his first three games with the G-Men, Bennett came up with just one catch for two yards last Sunday against the Eagles. Moving forward I am a Bennett believer, but I am not a big fan of his match up this week against Cleveland. The Browns have given up the fourth-least amount of fantasy points to tight ends this season as their athletic linebackers cause matchup problems in the middle of the field. The Giants' offense should be productive, but I don't expect Bennett to see much of the action.

Projection: 4 points

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

LIKE ‘EM

Minnesota

The Vikings placed the emphasis on the special teams part of the name last week, scoring on both a punt and kick return en route to a great fantasy performance. Over the last two weeks they have stifled both the 49ers and the Lions and now welcome Tennessee into the Metrodome. I don't see how Chris Johnson can run the ball against Minnesota's front seven, so look for the Titans to rely on the arm of Matt Hasselbeck, who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble last week in relief of the injured Jake Locker.

Projection: 14 points

New York (N)

The Giants' defense should benefit from a very favorable matchup this week against the Browns. If New York can focus its efforts on shutting down rookie running back Trent Richardson, quarterbackBrandon Weeden (3 touchdowns, 7 interceptions through 4 games) should take care of the rest.

Projection: 13 points

DISLIKE ‘EM

Green Bay

Last season the Packers' defense was a trendy play, giving up high point totals but making up for it by forcing high volumes of turnovers and often times scoring touchdowns. That is not happening this year. The secondary has lacked that playmaking ability and the only big plays have come at the hands of Clay Matthews. Even against a rookie quarterback this week, I am not crazy about Green Bay's chances.

Projection: 7 points

Remember you can always tweet any additional questions or concerns regarding your fantasy football team to Frederick at @SpaceJace27.

Week 5 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks

1

Matt Ryan

2

Aaron Rodgers

3

Drew Brres

4

Tom Brady

5

Robert Griffin III

6

Eli Manning

7

Peyton Manning

8

Phillip Rivers

9

Joe Flacco

10

Cam Newton

11

Andy Dalton

12

Michael Vick

13

Matt Schaub

14

Ryan Fitzpatrick

15

Christian Ponder

16

Ben Roethlisberger

17

Jay Cutler

18

Andrew Luck

19

Alex Smith

20

Kevin Kolb

21

Ryan Tannehill

22

Matt Cassell

23

Matt Hasselbeck

24

Sam Bradford

25

Russell Wilson

Running Backs

1

Arian Foster

2

Marshawn Lynch

3

Ray Rice

4

Adrian Peterson

5

LeSean McCoy

6

Jamaal Charles

7

Frank Gore

8

Reggie Bush

9

Maurice Jones-Drew

10

Alfred Morris

11

Trent Richardson

12

Matt Forte

13

Michael Turner

14

Ryan Mathews

15

Darren Sproles

16

Cedric Benson

17

Ahmad Bradshaw

18

Willis McGahee

19

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

20

Stevan Ridley

21

Chris Johnson

22

Steven Jackson

23

C.J. Spiller

24

Fred Jackson

25

Donald Brown

26

Ryan Williams

27

Rashard Mendenhall

28

Shonn Greene

29

Michael Bush

30

DeAngelo Williams

31

Jonathon Stewart

32

Ben Tate

33

Pierre Thomas

34

Andre Brown

35

Jackie Battle

36

Jacquizz Rodgers

37

Brandon Bolden

38

Kendall Hunter

39

Isaac Redman

40

Mark Ingram

Wide Receivers

1

A.J. Green

2

Roddy White

3

Victor Cruz

4

Brandon Marshall

5

Andre Johnson

6

Wes Welker

7

Percy Harvin

8

Julio Jones

9

Larry Fitzgerald

10

Marques Colston

11

Brandon Lloyd

12

Reggie Wayne

13

Jordy Nelson

14

Mike Wallace

15

Torrey Smith

16

Steve Smith

17

Demaryius Thomas

18

DeSean Jackson

19

Dwayne Bowe

20

Eric Decker

21

Malcom Floyd

22

Pierre Garcon

23

Steve Johnson

24

Antonio Brown

25

Brian Hartline

26

James Jones

27

Lance Moore

28

Danny Amendola

29

Domenik Hixon

30

Jeremy Maclin

31

Anquan Boldin

32

Nate Washington

33

Michael Crabtree

34

Andre Roberts

35

Kenny Britt

36

Jerome Simpson

37

Donnie Avery

38

Brandon LaFell

39

Randall Cobb

40

Andrew Hawkins

Tight Ends

1

Rob Gronkowski

2

Jimmy Graham

3

Tony Gonzalez

4

Antonio Gates

5

Jermichael Finley

6

Vernon Davis

7

Dennis Pita

8

Kyle Rudolph

9

Owen Daniels

10

Scott Chandler

11

Brent Celek

12

Fred Davis

13

Martellus Bennett

14

Jared Cook

15

Greg Olsen

16

Jacob Tamme

17

Heath Miller

18

Jermaine Gresham

19

Joel Dreessen

20

Coby Fleener

Defense/Special Teams

1

Chicago

2

Baltimore

3

San Francisco

4

Houston

5

Arizona

6

New York (N)

7

Minnesota

8

Seattle

9

Pittsburgh

10

Philadelphia

11

Atlanta

12

Cincinnati

13

St. Louis

14

Green Bay

15

New England

16

Carolina

17

Buffalo

18

Miami

19

Jacksonville

20

Cleveland

*You might notice some projections do not match up with the rankings (Fitzpatrick is four spots behind Newton, yet I have Fitzpatrick projected for four more points). Projections indicate how I believe the players will perform, while rankings indicate who I would start at the position (Newton may not outscore Fitzpatrick this week, but I would still start Newton over Fitzpatrick based solely off upside).

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