Fantasy Impact of Week 4

Fantasy Impact of Week 4

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Fantasy Impact of Week 4

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Running down Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:

Packers 38, Bears 17
Solider Field, Chicago
Yeah, Packers fantasy owners can R-E-L-A-X now. Aaron Rodgers (302 yards) tossed four touchdowns – two apiece for WRs Randall Cobb (7-113) and Jordy Nelson (10-108) – in another big win over the Bears. Cobb (9 targets) and Nelson (12) were the first G.B. receiving duo to finish a game with 100-or-more yards and two-plus TDs in 45 years.
Extra points: Eddie Lacy? The fantasy first-round pick certainly was better with 59 total yards and his first TD of the season, but it still wasn’t RB1 worthy. … Matt Forte, meanwhile, didn’t get his first TD, but he did roll up a season-high 171 total yards (122 rushing) on 28 touches. … Jay Cutler started strong with first-half TD passes to Brandon Marshall (2-19) and Alshon Jeffery (4-39) but threw a pair of second-half picks and finished with only 256 yards – his third straight game with 260 or fewer. … With Marshall and Jeffery still not close to 100 percent health-wise, TE Martellus Bennett was targeted a team-high 11 times and finished with nine grabs for 134 yards. … And, in case you couldn’t tell from the numbers above, don’t expect much form either D/ST going forward as this was only the second game in NFL history not to feature a punt.


Texans 23, Bills 17
NRG Stadium, Houston
DE J.J. Watt found himself in the end zone for the second time this season – this time taking an interception 80 yards to the house on the first possession of the third quarter – giving him one more TD than offensive counterparts Arian Foster (1) and Andre Johnson (0) combined through four games. Neither Foster (8-6 rushing, 7-55 receiving) nor Johnson (6-71, fumble) was able to get untracked Sunday, and Johnson departed early with a fourth-quarter ankle injury.
Extra points: Another Texan outperforming Foster and Johnson is second-year wideout DeAndre Hopkins who posted a 5-64-1 line and has either scored or totaled 100-plus receiving yards in each of the team’s four games. … Alfred Blue (9-9) actually led Houston RBs in rushing attempts and yards, but there was little to be had (24-37 total) against the Bills’ rush D. … For the visitors, EJ Manuel had solid QB2 fantasy numbers (225 passing yards, 2 TDs), but his real-life stats (21-of-44 passing, 2 interceptions) left much to be desired. … Mike Williams (2-84) and Sammy Watkins (4-30) caught Manuel’s TD throws, while Robert Woods (3-17) had five more targets (12) than any other Buffalo pass-catcher. … C.J. Spiller 15-60 rushing, 3-24 receiving) and Fred Jackson (7-33, 6-52) arrived at similar touch and total yardage totals by different means, and neither found the end zone.


Colts 41, Titans 17
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
If you haven’t taken notice, Andrew Luck has been fantasy’s top QB so far, and his 29-of-41, 393-yard, 4-TD showing Sunday only padded his sizable lead.
Extra points: T.Y. Hilton (6-105) led Indy with 10 targets, but he remains without a touchdown with Luck’s TD tosses going to Reggie Wayne (7-119), Ahmad Bradshaw (2-20) and TEs Dwayne Allen (3-38) and Coby Fleneer (2-26). … Trent Richardson finally bested Bradshaw in total yards (99-52) and scored his first TD this season but still struggled on the ground, averaging only 2.4 yards per carry on his 20 rushing attempts. … For the Titans, Charlie Whitehurst got his first starting call since 2011 in place of the injured Jake Locker (wrist) and led the team with 40 rushing yards on five carries but only was 12-for-23 for 177 yards, a TD and an interception through the air. … TE Delanie Walker (5-84, TD) and WR Kendall Wright (5-55, fumble) led the Titans in receiving, while rookie Bishop Sankey (6-34, TD rushing; 2-23 receiving) was the most productive Tennessee RB for the second straight game.


Ravens 38, Panthers 10
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Those fantasy GMs banking on a big “revenge” game from Ravens WR Steve Smith definitely weren’t disappointed as he delivered a 7-139-2 statement – served cold — on a team-high 10 targets.
Extra points: Believe it or not, there also was a Torrey Smith sighting as he caught his first TD pass of the season – a 24-yarder in the third quarter. Still, don’t get too excited as he was targeted only three times and finished with two catches. … All told, though, it easily added up to Joe Flacco’s best fantasy outing (327 yards, 3 TDs) of the season. … RB Bernard Pierce was active after sitting out Week 3 with a thigh injury, but strangely didn’t log a touch while Justin Forsett (14-66 rushing, 3-31 receiving) and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro (15-58) both ran for touchdowns. … As the final score indicates, not much to report for the Panthers as still-not-right Cam Newton (197 yards, TD passing, 2-7 rushing) and Co. were held in check. … DeAngelo Williams got the start at RB, but gained only 34 yards on 11 carries before leaving with a second-half ankle issue. Rookie Darrin Reaves (12-26 rushing, 3-11 receiving) took it from there. …  Rookie revelation Kelvin Benjamin (5-76, TD on team-high 9 targets) remains the only startable Carolina WR in almost all fantasy leagues.


Lions 24, Jets 17
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
QB Matthew Stafford (293, 2 TDs passing; 6-8, TD rushing) had a big day, but that didn’t mean Calvin Johnson did as Megatron – playing on an ailing ankle – was mainly a mega-decoy, catching only two passes for 12 yards on a pair of targets.
Extra points: Golden Tate (team-high 10 targets, 8-116) was the Lions’ leading receiver, but WR Jeremy Ross (2-65) and rookie TE Eric Ebron (3-34) hauled in the TD receptions. … Reggie Bush (12-46, 4-19) led Detroit in rushing, while Joique Bell (8-32, 2-7) left in the second half with a likely concussion. … Geno Smith (17-of-33, 209 yards, TD, interception) struggled again, but there was no sign of Michael Vick despite chants from the MetLife crowd. … WR Eric Decker caught only four of his team-high 10 targets for 48 yards but salvaged his fantasy day with a TD grab. … And while Chris Ivory (17-84 rushing, 2-16 receiving) led N.Y. RBs in touches and total yards, it was Chris Johnson (6-44, 2-17) who found the end zone on a 35-yard fourth-quarter run.


Buccaneers 27, Steelers 24
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Eleven days removed from their 56-14 beatdown in Atlanta, the Bucs sported a new look in the Steel City, and QB Mike Glennon (302 yards, 2 TDs), RB Doug Martin (16 touches-56 total yards, TD) and WR Louis Murphy (6-99, 11 targets) all delivered in a last-second upset win against a short-handed Steeler D.
Extra points: Vincent Jackson (3-32) caught the game-winning TD pass to score for the second straight week but his five combined catches for 47 yards over the two-game span aren’t exactly up to his usual fantasy standards. … Rookie wideout Mike Evans (4-65) also had a touchdown grab – his first as a pro – but left in the third quarter with what was reported as a groin injury.… Big Ben Roethlisberger (314, 3 TDs, fumble), WR Antonio Brown (7-131, 2 TD) and TE Heath Miller (19-85, TD) all had big afternoons for the Steelers, but Le’Veon Bell (19-63), LeGarrette Blount (4-25) and the Pittsburgh ground game was held in check for a change. Bell, however, did tack on six receptions for 46 yards.


Dolphins 38, Raiders 14
Wembley Stadium, London
Ryan Tannehill responded well to a week of benching talk, completing 23-of-31 passes for 278, two touchdowns, an interception and rushing for 35 yards.
Extra points: Meanwhile, Lamar Miller (12-64, 2 TDs) provided nice balance on the ground and overcame a goal-line fumble by delivering his first multiple-TD game as a pro. … WR Brian Hartline led the Fins in targets (7), receptions (6) and receiving yards (74), but Tannehill’s TD tosses went to Mike Wallace (3-35) and reserve TE Dion Sims (1-18). … The Raiders? Ugh. It’s now 10 straight losses dating back to last season and that doesn’t include losing rookie QB Derek Carr (146 yards, TD, interception) to a third-quarter leg injury. …WR Andre Holmes (5-74, team-high 12 targets) and unknown backup TE Brian Leonhardt (1-3) scored the Silver & Black’s touchdowns, while Darren McFadden (11-40) and James Jones (6-83) again led the squad in rushing and receiving, respectively. … Maurice Jones-Drew did nothing (4 touches-3 yards) in his return from a two-game absence. … As a result, the Miami D/ST was a fantasy find with three interceptions, a fumble recovery, two sacks and a TD.


Chargers 33, Jaguars 14
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
After taking a run-heavy approach Week 3 in Buffalo, the Bolts had Philip Rivers air it out 39 times against the defenseless Jags – who entered the contest surrendering the most points to opposing fantasy QBs – and he delivered with a 29-of-39, 377-yard, 3-TD performance. 
Extra points: Apparently Eddie Royal wasn’t finished after his two-TD outing against the Bills, repeating the feat on a five-catch, 105-yard afternoon here. Malcom Floyd (3-39) caught Rivers’ other TD throw. … Meanwhile, those fantasy owners who remained patient with slumping second-year WR Keenan Allen were rewarded with a 10-135 performance on a team-high 11 targets. … Donald Brown was a popular start this week, but he was outgained by Branden Oliver (56-54), who had one fewer touch (13-14). … Jags’ rookie and Big Ben-clone Blake Bortles made his first NFL start and provided excitement early with a pair of TD drives but finished with a pedestrian 253 passing yards and one TD despite completing 29-of-37 passes. He was picked off twice, sacked three times and rushed for 24 yards on five carries. … Toby Gerhart salvaged a little something out of another lackluster yardage day (40 on 11 touches) with his first TD as a Jaguar but also lost a fumble on his first carry of the game. … TE Clay Harbor (8-69 on team-most 8 targets), making his 2014 debut following a late-July calf injury, and rookie wideout Allen Hurns (5-68) led the Jags in receiving, while veteran WR Cecil Shorts (2-25) departed with yet another hamstring problem in the third quarter.


49ers 26, Eagles 21
Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.
After a Week 3 loss in which their top two backs received a combined nine carries, the Niners got back to running and winning in knocking Philly from the unbeaten ranks. Frank Gore, who rushed six times a week ago, carried 24 times for 119 yards and took his only reception 55 yards to the house.
Extra points: QB Colin Kapernick also got into rushing act, carrying seven times for 58 yards to top 50 yards for the second straight game, and threw for 218 yards, two TDs and a pick. … WR Stevie Johnson (1-12) was on the receiving end of Kapernick’s other scoring pass, but Auquan Boldin (5-62) and Michael Crabtree (5-43) paced the squad in receptions. …TE Vernon Davis played after missing Week 3 with an ankle injury but left in third quarter after taking a shot to his back. He finished with three targets, two catches and 8 yards. … The Eagles, meanwhile, scored a trio of touchdowns but all three came on special teams (blocked-punt recovery, punt return) and defense (interception return). … Nick Foles was an ugly 21-of-43 for 195 yards and two interceptions, while LeSean McCoy (10-17) ran in place for the second straight game and somehow was not targeted in the passing game. Fellow RB Darren Sproles (3 touches-6 yards) also did nothing for his fantasy owners, unless your league credits his 82-yard punt return score to the player rather than the D/ST. … Leading receiver Jeremy Maclin was targeted a Week 3-high 16 times but finished with a ho-hum five catches for 68 yards. WR Riley Cooper (6-54) and TE Zach Ertz (4-43) each lost a fumble.


Vikings 41, Falcons 28
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
The Vikings, with rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater making his first start and still, of course, without Adrian Peterson, rolled up 558 total yards and hung 41 points on the Falcons. Bridgewater was 19-of-30 for 317 yards, no TDs or interceptions but rushed five times for 27 yards and a score before turning an ankle in the fourth quarter and departing the game. Meanwhile, RBs Matt Asiata (20-78, 3 TDs rushing, 3-22 receiving) and Jerick McKinnon (18-135, 1-17) ran over around and through the Falcons with relative ease.
Extra points: Matt Ryan (298 yards, 3 TDs) gamely tried to keep pace, but was undone by two second-half interceptions. … WRs Roddy White (4-73, 14 targets) and Devin Hester (5-70, 7 targets) both caught scoring passes, while Julio Jones led the team in receptions and yards (6-82, 8 targets). … Steven Jackson (62 total yards) didn’t do much with his team-leading 15 touches, but Antone Smith (4-62) broke loose for a 48-yard scoring run. … For the Minnesota pass-catchers, Jarius Wright surprised with career highs in receptions (8) and receiving yards (132) on a team-leading 10 targets, outdoing the combined efforts of Greg Jennings (3-72) and Cordarrelle Patterson (2-38) who were targeted four times apiece and started in considerably more fantasy leagues.


Cowboys 38, Saints 17
AT&T Stadium; Arlington, Texas
It was another Sunday Night Football walkover, and surprisingly, it was Dallas doing the walking with Tony Romo (262 yards, 3 TDs), DeMarco Murray (24-149, 2 TDs) and WR Terrance Walliams (6-77-2) shredding the Saints with a big assist from a dominant Dallas offensive front.
Extra points: Dez Bryant had a quiet 3-44 night on six targets but salvaged a double-digit fantasy-point evening with an 18-yard scoring grab in the fourth quarter. … The Saints’ Drew Brees (340 yards, 2 TDs, 1 pick) and TE Jimmy Graham (8-86-1, fumble) used a lot of garbage-time production to post decent fantasy figures, but then again, that counts just the same. … Khiry Robinson (10-105) led the N.O. RBs in touches and total yards, while WRs Marques Colston (5-50) and Brandin Cooks (5-31) did little with a combined 16 targets. … Backup TE Josh Hill (1-12) reeled in a scoring pass for the second straight game. … FYI: Stay away from starting the poor-tackling New Orleans defense – particularly on the road – as the Saints have surrendered 101 points and 1,337 total yards in their 0-3 start away from home.


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