Welcome to the first edition of “The Weekend’s Bits and Pieces” – A space where I will recap the weekends fantasy performances while providing some insight on what it may mean for the rest of the year. I look forward to getting some feedback and interacting with you as the weeks progress. Let’s get started.
Be Proud of Yourself:
There were plenty of draft day risks this year, and while a very large part of fantasy football is minimizing risk, those who take the right ones are usually the ones that come out on top. For example, let’s say you belong to the population of people who bypassed the top tier of quarterbacks and took a risk on the only QB to have 20+ fantasy points in each of the first four games, including 22 in week 4 – Mr. RG III. Or the BC alum that has the highest QBR through the first four weeks and sits in second place in total fantasy points (after the aforementioned Redskins rookie) for the season – Mr. Matty Ice. If you went all in on either of those guys, be proud of yourself, as week 4 made you all the more comfortable that this is likely to continue throughout the season. Now, would I trade Aaron Rodgers straight up for Ryan or Griffin? No. But if either of those guys were my starting QB I would ignore the matchups and smile, patiently awaiting the 15-25 points that would soon be mine.
The two players who came with the most risk this year have the same initials: ACL. Ok, that’s not true, but you see what I did there, right? I’m not a knee expert, but Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles look just fine to me, and though it’s still early, through four weeks they seem as though they will be another risk that will pay off very kindly. Peterson took a play from Wes Welker’s playbook, recovering so quickly it makes me question whether the wax healing bath from Wanted actually exists, has run very effectively and will undoubtedly find the end zone again very soon and very often. Charles, coming off an absurd 288 yards from scrimmage and a TD in week 3 didn’t disappoint in week 4 with 115 yards from scrimmage and two TDs (one receiving). If I’m picking one of these guys, it’s Charles. Younger, longer recovery time, he’s starting to look real lonely in that backfield with Hillis still suffering from the Madden cover curse, and, I’m going to say it, has a bigger big-play potential. It’s a small margin, as obviously Peterson can break out as well, but my personal goal for this week is to trade for Jamaal Charles. I’m convinced.
Finally, as the first week of byes has come to a close, congratulations to those who started Brian Hartline, Brandon Bolden, Jackie Battle, or Ryan Fitzpatrick (more-so if your league doesn’t count interceptions against you…). Battle is an important player for any Ryan Mathews owner, as he’s shown potential, this week and in weeks passed, were he to have a role as the lead back. I would expect it’s going to take Hartline the next four weeks to match his week 4 yardage, however the Dolphins offense has proven itself fairly efficient against some respectable defenses, and should be a good starting point for bye-week fill-ins.
Sorry You’re Disappointed:
The injury bug has plagued a couple players who returned this week, who you probably started, and who definitely let you down. Forte was limited to just 13 carries, but when you see the Bears put up 34 points, it’s disheartening to see Forte not involved in the scoring. If he gets healthy however, he should be the stud you drafted. I can’t say I feel the same way about Stephen Jackson. ”Stud” is probably too generous of a label to begin with, as most of his value comes from the fact that he’s one of the few players alone in his team’s backfield. However if I could get 80 cents on the dollar on an injury prone RB whose team usually plays from behind and seems to be allergic to the end zone, I would take it. Maybe even 75 – then you’re just getting quarters.
Other guys who belong on this list: Darren McFadden, Fred Jackson, Reggie Bush, and C.J. Spiller. McFadden has one good game and three miserable ones, and doesn’t have an injury to point to this year (although, it’s still early). He’s been frustrating, but I can’t help feel as though he’s one of the best, if not the best, buy-low options right now… I already talked about Miami’s offense, so a healthy Bush seems like a good option to me, and as far as Buffalo is concerned I would take Spiller for the upside, but can’t get too excited about either. If I’m a Spiller owner I would recognize that week 1 and 2 are still fresh in peoples minds, and try to move him fast.
Don’t Get Too Excited:
I’m as excited about the Arizona Cardinals as the next guy is, but I’m not buying Andre Roberts. We’ve seen many times the WR2 benefit when opposite a stud such as Larry Fitzgerald, but I have a difficult time believing that you’re looking at that next Anquan Boldin. You know, when he was good. I also think Jason Witten’s 100+ yards and TD were fluky, and while you could obviously do worse, just, you know, don’t get too excited.
Finally, and most importantly, trade Michael Turner. The Atlanta Falcons are throwing the ball, and while Turner’s receptions have seen an increase in the last couple years, it isn’t enough that you can count on a 60 yard TD reception each week. Or anything close to it, for that matter. Not only that, but Jaquizz Rodgers is sneaking up on the worn down back, taking some of his early down carries and being productive enough with them to stay in the mix. Turner isn’t useless, but if I was a betting man, I would say his value is only going to go down from here – All it would take is one big game from Rodgers.
Now You Can Get Excited:
Raise your hand if you thought Julio Jones was Matt Ryan’s favorite target. Once you’re done explaining to whoever is around you why you’re hand is up, if you’re also a Roddy White owner, get excited. Roddy has been one of the most consistent fantasy wideouts over the last couple years, and Julio is, overall, going to help that remain the same, not hurt it. So I guess it’s less about excitement, and more a sigh of relief. While Julio Jones is still going to be productive, there’s nothing to worry about as far as White is concerned. The stud sophomore receiver not named Jones, A.J. Green, stayed atop the fantasy wideout list by adding another 100+ yards and a TD in week 4 – I think him and Dalton are friends. Expect it to continue. That I would be excited about…
You are also free to get excited about Steven Ridley and Willis McGahee. A lot of people were skeptical here, including yours truly, but these two workhorses, one young and one old, used week 4 to continue establishing themselves as solid RB1 options. They’ve had slow weeks, but they’re getting the ball, and they’re getting it on the goal line. It’s hard to ask for much more than that.
And while we’re talking about Denver, let’s end today with Peyton Manning, who sure hasn’t disappointed so far. 20+ points in three of four weeks, making Decker and Thomas look pretty good, and came at a significant draft day bargain. He didn’t make the “Be Proud of Yourself” section, because I still think if an angry linebacker got a clean shot at him, you could very quickly have a whole to fill at QB. However, if he plays 16 games, I promise I’ll put him in that section at the end of the year.
Good luck in week 5, I’m sure it will give us all much more to be excited about.