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Big Ten Fantasy Week 5

Bye Week’s Create Tough Decisions

Virginia v Indiana Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images


Week Winner - Brian Lewerke, Michigan State v. Central Michigan

You’ve got a lot of Big Ten teams on bye, and Michigan State is the only team still playing a cupcake here in week 5. I expect the Michigan State offense to try and get on track, no matter what, which means running up the score isn’t out of the question with Lewerke through the air to Felton Davis and Cody White. Prediction - 280 yards passing, 3 TDs, 50 yards rushing, 1 TD.

Bench ‘Em - Shea Patterson, Michigan v. Northwestern

Again, it’s a small week of sample size in the conference, but recent history would suggest Northwestern is going to show up ready to play and turn this one into a ugly contest. When things get mucked up, a la Notre Dame, Patterson’s numbers can falter.

Keep an Eye On - Trace McSorley, Penn State v. Ohio State

McSorley is facing the best defense in the conference, but that won’t matter at home for the White Out. I expect Ohio State to win the game, but McSorley is a gamer, and I expect him to rise to the occasion and put on a good show. Illinois fans saw last week what type of player Trace is.

Running Backs

Week Winner - Stevie Scott, Indiana v. Rutgers

Stevie’s got 406 yards through four games, and hasn’t yet played a Rutgers team coming off back-to-back blowout losses against Kansas and Buffalo. Indiana should win big in New Jersey, and if that’s the case, Scott is going to have some video game stats. Prediction - 220 rushing yards, 3 TDs

Bench ‘Em - John Moten, Northwestern v. Michigan

After Jeremy Larkin retired this week, John Moten is being thrust into the limelight against a very good Michigan defense. Make sure you aren’t putting your week on his shoulders.

Keep an Eye On - DJ Knox, Purdue v. Nebraska

Knox hasn’t received the ink that freshman Rondale Moore has, but he’s been Jeff Brohm’s reliable backfield weapon. Knox only has 55 carries on the year, but has 303 rushing yards and three TDs. I haven’t watched too much Purdue since Week 1, but I’ve seen him bust loose on some long ones, and the Nebraska D was gashed last week.

Wide Receivers

Week Winner - Rondale Moore, Purdue v. Nebraska

The Big Ten needed Rondale Moore after the departure of Saquon Barkley. Moore is the most exciting player in the conference to watch on a play-by-play basis, and all the hyperbole works when applied here. He can take it the distance any time he touches it. He’s lightning in a bottle. He could make you miss in a phone booth. All of it. Oh, and Nebraska stinks on ice. Prediction - 140 receiving yards, 40 rushing yards, 2 TDs.

Bench ‘Em - Parris Campbell - Ohio State v. Penn State

Trying to guess how Campbell is going to play is absolutely impossible. Right when you think the mercurial receiver is more consistent he’ll have a 1 for 12 type of game. He usually disappears in big games, and this is the biggest of the year.

Keep an Eye On - Cody White, Michigan State v. Central Michigan

Central Michigan factor alert here. White isn’t the touchdown guy in East Lansing, but he’s going to have a ton of yardage against a bad opponent. And I think they’d like to get Lewerke going in the passing game by peppering White.

Tight End

Week Winner - Zach Gentry, Michigan v. Northwestern

Gentry is starting to get it, and Patterson enjoys having the mismatch nightmare out at tight end. Northwestern has great linebackers, but they’ve been hurt between the hashes, and Gentry could become more than a dynamite red-zone and 3rd down threat this weekend.

Bench ‘Em - Noah Fant, Iowa

Iowa doesn’t have a game, so don’t play Fant.

Keep an Eye On - Brycen Hopkins, Purdue v. Nebraska

Hopkins has a very quiet 205 yards and a touchdown, but he’s certainly one of the go-to guys on the Purdue offense. Besides for Rondale Moore, Hopkins size makes him the most dangerous guy in the passing game.

Defense of the Week - Indiana v. Rutgers

I’ll take anyone against Rutgers. They’re absolutely dreadful, won’t draw 15,000 fans, and without an insane pivot should throw in the towel soon.

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