3 Up, 3 Down is a Sports Mockery fantasy football series detailing six players trending, you guessed it, up or down. It will be posted every week to help you get ready for the upcoming fantasy football week. For each category, there’s guaranteed to be at least one running back and one wide receiver. The third player will be selected from any position.
Don’t forget to check the recap for the Week 4 picks on the second page. It was an interesting week to say the least. Without further ado, here’s the Week 5 edition of 3 Up, 3 Down.
Running Back: Rashad Jennings
Week 5 Opponent: Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, 1:00 PM ET
Rashad Jennings’ fantasy number have fluctuated from week to week so far this season, but rest assured that he’s primed and ready to go off against the Falcons. The Falcons’ defense has allowed a horrendous 30 points per game to opposing backfields. In Week 4, the Vikings’ backfield, without Adrian Peterson, totaled 213 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons.
Obviously, Giants rookie running back Andre Williams will join in on the fun and decrease some of Jennings potential, but there’s more than enough opportunity to go around against the weak Falcons. ESPN’s projection for Jennings is right on the money.
ESPN Projection: 17
Wide Receiver: T.Y. Hilton
Week 5 Opponent: Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, 1:00 PM ET
Hilton’s season started off much slower than fantasy owners would have liked, but his numbers have improved each week, a trend that should continue against the Ravens.
“The Ravens pass defense has surrendered 31 catches for 489 yards and two TDs to opposing WRs in the past two games.” -ESPN
Even against a Titans pass defense that has done well against opposing receivers Hilton managed to put up 100 yards. He is yet to find the end zone this year, but if that changes Hilton would quickly become a top 20 fantasy option at the position. Don’t let ESPN’s low projection scare you away from rolling with Hilton as a flex this week.
ESPN Projection: 6
Quarterback: Philip Rivers
Week 5 Opponent: New York Jets, Sunday, 4:25 PM ET
Philip Rivers continues to be an underrated fantasy quarterback. He put up solid numbers last year and his continued to build off of that success. Through four games in 2014, Rivers is averaging 20.3 points per game. He managed to put up 24 points against the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom.
Now following an easy game against the Jaguars, the Chargers will take on the Jets. The Chargers’ have zero run game right now (more on that later) and the Jets struggle to stop the pass.
“The Jets have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. (20.5 per week, 9 TDs, 0 INTs)” -ESPN
There’s no reason to believe Rivers won’t put up at least 20 points in Week 5. Don’t be surprised if he flirts with the 30 point range.
ESPN Projection: 22
Running Back: Montee Ball
Week 5 Opponent: Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, 4:05 PM ET
Montee Ball has struggled through three games this season, only putting up 22 points in three weeks. Some owners who reached on Ball in the first round were expecting to see fantasy numbers near 20 points each week.
Ball won’t even sniff double digit fantasy points this week when the Broncos go up against a tough Cardinals run defense. The Cardinals have only given up 142 rushing yards to running backs this season (three games). Ball was able to muster just one point against a similar Seattle Seahawks defense. Find another option or find yourself looking at another tally in the L column.
Ball’s stock is becoming flat, and it won’t be inflated any time soon as the Broncos face the Jets and the 49ers in Weeks 6 and 7 respectively.
ESPN Projection: 6
Wide Receiver: DeSean Jackson
Week 5 Opponent: Seattle Seahawks, Monday, 8:30 PM ET
If you own DeSean Jackson (like me) then you don’t need me to tell you that he’s been stinking it up this season. His best game came in Philadelphia against his former team. Outside of that games, he’s averaging two fantasy points per game.
The rest of the situation is self-explanatory. The Seahawks defense is always tough to pass on, and Kirk Cousins looked about as bad as an NFL quarterback can against the New York Giants in Week 4.
In the long term, Cousins may be better for Jackson’s fantasy value than RGIII was, but don’t expect much from Jackson during the Redskins battle with Seattle.
ESPN Projection: 5
Running Back: Reggie Bush
Week 5 Opponent: Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 1:00 PM ET
Bush hasn’t looked good against any defense he’s face this year other than the Packers. Sure, the Lions have played the Jets and the Panthers, two fantastic run defenses, but things won’t be getting any easier for Bush this week against the Bills.
“Among 47 qualified RBs, Reggie Bush [ranks 32nd] in rush yards before contact. Only the Seahawks have allowed fewer rushing yards before contact than the Bills this season.” -ESPN
Joique Bell is currently questionable for Week 5 with a concussion. If Bell is absent from the game, then Bush’s stock would certainly rise. With that said, you’d be lucky to get RB2 numbers from Bush this week. Be happy if he reaches double digits.
ESPN Projection: 6
3 Up, Week 5: Rashad Jennings, T.Y. Hilton, Philip Rivers
3 Down, Week 5: Montee Ball, DeSean Jackson, Reggie Bush
That wraps up this week’s edition of 3 Up, 3 Down. You can find the Week 4 recap on the next page. As always, thanks for reading. Comments are welcome! If you have start/sit questions don’t be afraid to ask. Tune in next week as we preview Week 6 and look back at the Week 5 predictions.
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