Scanning through Week 4 games for fantasy impacts from notable players.
Minnesota 28, New Orleans 25
The London game was far more entertaining and close than imagined, given that the Saints were without Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, and – WHAT? – Alvin Kamara as the surprise scratch. There were 11 scores. Let the soccer crowd wrap their head around that. Kirk Cousins threw for 273 yards and one score while Justin Jefferson (10-147) and Adam Thielen (8-72) were the top receivers. Dalvin Cook ran for 76 yards on 20 carries but only caught two passes for ten yards. Greg Joseph kicked five of five field goals, including the game-winner with 24 seconds left to play. The 3-1 Vikings host the Bears for Week 5.
Andy Dalton threw for 236 yards and one score which was impressive considering the Saints were missing so many players. Chris Olave (4-67, TD) and Marquez Callaway (3-53) were the only receivers with more than 40 yards. Mark Ingram (10-30) took the start, but Latavius Murray (11-57, TD) was called up from the practice squad and looked like he belonged on the active roster. Taysom Hill scored but only gained 21 yards on five carries. This was much closer than expected but gave the British crowds an exciting game even if the player names were different than we are used to seeing. The 1-3 Saints host the Seahawks this week.
Cleveland 20, Atlanta 23
These Falcons under second-year head coach Arthur Smith are on the right track, and they haven’t even unwrapped that shiny new quarterback standing in the corner. The defense is most to credit for the two wins and Marcus Mariota only threw for 139 yards, and only completed 7-of-19 passes. Kyle Pitts (1-25) is still a bitter fantasy disappointment and Olamide Zaccheaus (2-55) doesn’t make any real difference. Drake London was held to only two catches for 17 yards. The Falcons had surprising success with the very diverse backfield. Tyler Allgeier (10-84), Cordarrelle Patterson (10-56, TD) and Caleb Huntley (10-56, TD), and Avery Williams (1-21) all contributed to the 30 carries and yet Allgeier had the only catch by a running back. The Falcons kicked two field goals in the final eight minutes to take the win back from the Browns. They travel to Tampa Bay for Week 5.
The Browns lost due to a defensive letdown and a passing game that wasn’t effective under Jacoby Brissett. He passed for 234 yards and one interception, and Amari Cooper only caught one pass for nine yards. David Njoku (5-73) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (5-71) were the lead receivers. Nick Chubb (19-118, TD) was solid as always and Kareem Hunt (10-49) also gained 19 yards on two receptions. This was a close-fought game throughout but also a symbol of how the Falcons are better this year and the Browns – are not. The Chargers visit Cleveland this week.
Washington 10, Dallas 25
The matchup was a low-scoring affair, and the Cowboys didn’t pull away until the fourth quarter. Carson Wentz only managed 170 passing yards and one score with two interceptions. He was only sacked twice which was a minor success. Jahan Dotson (3-43, TD) and Curtis Samuel (4-38) were the top receivers, and Terry McLaurin (2-15) had yet another invisible day, Antonio Gibson (13-49) and J.D. McKissic (8-40) also shared with Jonathan Williams (5-48) to ensure no running back offered much fantasy help, though McKissic added three catches for 16 yards. The Commanders wouldn’t sustain drives, much less punch in scores. They fall to 1-3 and host the Titans this week.
The Cowboys had a standard sort of win. Cooper Rush won his fourth straight start with 223 yards and two scores, and finally connected well with CeeDee Lamb (6-97, TD). Michael Gallup returned from the knee injury of last year and caught a touchdown during his two catches for 24 yards. Dalton Schultz was active, had three targets and caught nothing. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 49 yards on 19 ruses and added two catches for 32 yards, but Tony Pollard was left with just eight runs for six yards and a two-yard catch. The Cowboys have won in the absence of Dak Prescott but travel to play the Rams for Week 5.
Tennessee 24, Indianapolis 17
The Titans led throughout this matchup and were up 24-3 in the second quarter before they stopped scoring and just coasted. Derrick Henry ran for 114 yards and a score on 22 carries in hist best effort of the season. Ryan Tannehill only threw for 137 yards and two scores, but completed 17-of-21 passes. Robert Woods (4-30, TD) also was better than usual but Treylon Burks left on a cart. The tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo (3-38, TD) was the top receiver which is not how the offense should work. The 2-2 Titans got a much-needed win over a divisional rival and play in Washington this week.
Jonathan Taylor was limited to only 42 yards on 2 runs in a home game, which alone means the Colts struggled. Matt Ryan threw for 356 yards and two scores since they trailed by two touchdowns for most of the game. Mo Alie-Cox (6-85, 2 TD) took his turn as the top receiver and Kylen Granson (4-62) also had his personal best. Alec Pierce (4-80) was effective but Michael Pittman (3-31) couldn’t get on track. The Colts’ defense isn’t meeting expectations, but the offense is also struggling to play consistently. The 1-2-1 Colts head to Denver for Week 5.
Chicago 12, NY Giants 20
The Bears lost, and never scored a touchdown, but the game should still get an asterisk as a win since Darnell Mooney caught four passes for 94 yards. Granted, the one 56-yard gainer made up a big chunk of that, but it was the first time that Mooney delivered any notable stats this year. Justin Fields threw for 174 yards, so the one long completion was about a third of his yardage. With David Montgomery out, Khalil Herbert ran for 77 yards on 19 carries and had a 24-yard catch. But the Bears never scored a touchdown and overall, it was the same depressed effort on offense plus a 56-yard catch by Mooney. The 2-2 Bears play in Minnesota on Sunday.
The Giants won mostly thanks to Saquon Barkley (31-146) who also gained 16 yards on two catches. Daniel Jones was knocked out of the game, then Tyrod Taylor was also injured and Jones returned but they combined for only 82 passing yards and one interception. Jones ran in two scores on his six runs for 68 yards but the passing effort failed to connect to any receiver for more than 23 yards. This was a messy, low-scoring matchup that Barkley helped to win. The 3-1 Giants play in Green Bay for Week 5 and will need more than just Barkley.
Jacksonville 21, Philadelphia 29
The Eagles won as expected, but the Jaguars put up a fight and even led 14-0 in the second quarter. Trevor Lawrence threw for 174 yards and two scores to Jamel Agnew (4-50, 2 TD). Christian Kirk (2-60) salvaged an otherwise poor outing with a 45-yard catch later in the game. Most interesting was that Travis Etienne (8-32) and James Robinson (8-29) split the carries in the backfield though neither caught a pass. The worst part of the game for the Jaguars was Lawrence losing four fumbles and tossing an interception. The 2-2 Jaguars host the Texans this weekend.
The Eagles remain a perfect 4-0 though they were sluggish and fell behind in that way that they knew they could win, but weren’t in a hurry to get there. Jalen Hurts only threw for 204 yards and one interception but ran in a score on his 16 rushes for 38 yards. A.J. Brown (5-95) and Dallas Goedert (5-72) were the lead receivers. Miles Sanders ran for 134 yards and two scores on 27 carries, plus caught two passes for 22 yards in one of the best performances of his career. Even Kenneth Gainwell (5-19, TD) scored. The Eagles head to Arizona on Sunday.
NY Jets 24, Pittsburgh 20
The Jets led 10-0 before the Steelers reeled off 20 straight points by the middle of the fourth quarter. But these Jets scored two touchdowns in the final eight minutes, including a score by Breece Hall with 16 seconds left to play. Zach Wilson debuted for 2022 and threw for 252 yards and one score with two interceptions. Corey Davis (5-74, TD) and Elijah Moore (3-53) were the lead receivers and Garrett Wilson was held to only two catches for 41 yards. Breece Hall ran for 66 yards and the winning touchdown on his 17 carries which doubled Michael Carter’s nine runs for 15 yards. The 2-2 Jets benefitted from the Steelers’ struggles on offense and swapping out quarterbacks. But the first game back for Wilson was a win and Breece Hall is taking a bigger chunk of work. The Jets host the Dolphins this weekend.
The Steelers finally had enough of Mitchell Trubisky and went with Kenny Pickett in the second half. He ran in two scores, and he has yet to throw an incompletion since his 13 passes resulted in ten completions for 120 yards and three interceptions. Diontae Johnson (2-11) was a nonfactor but George Pickens (6-102) and Pat Freiermuth (7-85) give promise to the youthful rebuilding of the roster. Najee Harris ran for 74 yards on 18 carries but was never thrown a pass. The 1-3 Steelers look to get back on track in Buffalo this week which may not go well.
Buffalo 23, Baltimore 20
The Bills had to mount a comeback when they trailed 20-3 in the second quarter. Fortunately, they did all the scoring in the second half and tied the game with 3:26 left to play and then kicked the winning field goal as time expired. Josh Allen only passed for 213 yards and one score but rushed for 70 yards and a score. Stefon Diggs (4-62) was the only receiver with more than 50 yards and Isaiah McKenzie (4-21, TD) caught the only passing score. Devin Singletary ran for 49 yards and caught four passes for 47 yards but it was a less productive game than the 3-1 Bills usually post. They host the Steelers this weekend.
The Ravens also struggled to gain much on offense. Lamar Jackson passed for 141 yards and a score with two interceptions. Devin Duvernay (4-51) was the only receiver with more than 25 yards. J.K. Dobbins showed better form this week with 41 yards and a score on 13 rushes and four catches for 22 yards and a second touchdown. The Ravens had better results rushing the ball, but less passing against the Bills injured but still good defense. The 2-2 Ravens host the Bengals this week.
LA Chargers 34, Houston 24
The Texans trailed 27-7 at the end of the first half but then reeled off 17 points to draw within three with 8:30 left to play. The Chargers finally scored a touchdown with 2:28 left to play to secure the win. Davis Mills passed for 246 yards and two scores, but also two interceptions. Nico Collins (3-82) had his best game of the year while Brandin Cooks (7-57, TD) was the most productive. Dameon Pierce again delivered for fantasy owners with 131 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries, that included a 75-yard rushing touchdown. He also added six catches for eight yards. The 0-3-1 Texans head to Jacksonville for Week 5.
With Keenan Allen out again, the offense just overloaded both the remaining fantasy stars. Austin Ekeler ran for 60 yards and two scores on 13 carries and added six receptions for 49 yards and a third touchdown. Justin Herbert passed for 340 yards and two scores with Mike Williams (7-120) and Gerald Everett (5-61, TD) as the best receivers. The Chargers opened with a 20-point lead and coasted in the second half. The final score by Ekeler locked down the win. The 2-2 Chargers play in Cleveland this week.
Arizona 26, Carolina 16
The Cardinals led this game from the second quarter onward and only the late touchdown catch by Christian McCaffrey made it look closer than it was. Kyler Murray passed for 207 yards and two scores, plus he ran in a touchdown on his twelve rushes for 26 yards. James Conner ran for 55 yards on 15 rushes and caught three passes for 22 more yards. Marquise Brown (6-88, TD) and Zach Ertz (6-47, TD) were the lead receivers while no one else gained more than 25 yards. The Cardinals only led 13-10 in the fourth quarter before scoring two touchdowns to put the game out of reach. The 2-2 Cards host the Eagles on Sunday.
The Panthers struggled to produce any consistent offense. Christian McCaffrey only gained 27 yards on eight carries but led the team with nine catches for 81 yards and the lone Panther’s touchdown. D.J. Moore (6-50) and Robbie Anderson (3-26) were disappointing again. Baker Mayfield only passed for 197 yards and the touchdown and also two interceptions. The Panthers drop to 1-3 and are little more than McCaffrey running and receiving. None of the others in the passing game are contributing much. The Panthers host the 49ers in Week 5.
New England 24, Green Bay 27 Overtime
The Packers were favored by 10.5 points, so there’s a chance that they didn’t take the Patriots seriously enough, and the game went into overtime despite New England turning to their third-string quarterback. Brian Hoyer was injured and Bailey Zappe took over at the end of the first quarter. They combined for only 136 yards and one score, but the Pats were helped with a 40-yard interception return for a score. The backfield was relied on as expected, with Damien Harris (18-86, TD) and Rhamondre Stevenson (14-66) commanding 32 carries against only 21 passes thrown. No receivers gained more than 50 yards though DeVante Parker (2-24, TD) snared the lone passing touchdown. The 1-3 Patriots host the Lions this week with a good chance for a win.
The Packers should have won this one with little drama but dropped touchdown passes and gave away an interception-touchdown to their defense made it reach overtime. Aaron Jones ran for 110 yards on 16 carries and caught three passes for five yards. AJ Dillon gained 73 yards on 17 rushes as the Packers had surprising success running on the typically stout defense. Aaron Rodgers ended with 251 passing yards and two scores. Allen Lazard (6-116) and Romeo Doubs (5-47, TD) were the top receivers though Doubs dropped a sure touchdown that would have avoided the need for overtime. The 3-1 Packers at home almost lost to a lesser team but pulled through in overtime. They host the Giants on Sunday.
Denver 23, Las Vegas 32
The difference in this game was that the Broncos couldn’t run and lost Javonte Williams while the Raiders got a monster performance from Josh Jacobs (28-144, 2 TD) who also added five receptions for 31 yards. Derek Carr only passed for 188 yards and no scores while Davante Adams (9-101) was the only receiver of any consequence. The Raiders’ defense played a great game and even returned a fumble for a 68-yard touchdown in the second quarter. The 1-3 Raiders finally get their first win and head to Kansas City this week.
The Broncos lost Javonte Williams (10-28) to an ankle injury and Melvin Gordon (3-8) wasn’t any help. Russell Wilson threw for 237 yards and two scores between Jerry Jeudy (4-53, TD) and Courtland Sutton (5-52, TD). The Broncos were unable to keep up in the second half and suffered when the run wasn’t working. Wilson gained 29 yards and scored once as the lead rusher for the 2-2 Broncos. They host the Colts this week.
Kansas City 41, Tampa Bay 31
What a beautiful way to end Sunday. The Chiefs led 21-3 at the start of the second quarter and then went tit-for-tat the rest of the way. Patrick Mahomes threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns but they held the lead and only passed 37 times compared to 52 for the trailing Buccaneers. Travis Kelce led the receivers with nine catches for 92 yards and a score but the next best wideouts were Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3-63) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (5-46). The lead meant the Chiefs were content to run the ball and it was a banner day for Clyde Edwards-Helaire (19-92, TD) who added a second touchdown on his only catch. Even Isiah Pacheco ran for 63 yards on 11 carries. The win sends the 3-1 Chiefs home to host the Raiders.
The Buccaneers run game disappeared. Leonard Fournette ran three times for a net three-yard loss. Rachaad White ran in a score but only gained six yards on three rushes. Tom Brady had his full complement of receivers back and a burning need to throw the ball. He ended with 385 yards and three scores that ended up with Mike Evans (8-103, 2 TD) and Leonard Fournette (7-57, TD). Chris Godwin caught seven passes for 59 yards and left the field injured for a time but returned. Julio Jones was limited to just one catch. The Buccaneers fall to 2-2 and host the Falcons for Week 5.
GAME-O-THE-WEEK: Seattle 48, Detroit 45
Nothing wrong with a game that contains 93 total points. You know that a game was a fantasy bonanza when the two quarterbacks were the top fantasy scorers for the week. Geno Smith threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns, plus rushed for 49 yards and a third score. D.K. Metcalf (7-149) and Tyler Lockett (6-91) were the top receivers while Rashaad Penny gained 151 yards and two scores on 17 rushes. Kenneth Walker tacked on 29 yards on eight carries but Penny took the clear hot hand in the offense this week. The 2-2 Seahawks head to New Orleans this week.
Jared Goff was the top fantasy quarterback this week with 378 passing yards and four touchdowns, despite being without Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark. T.J. Hockenson had a career-best eight catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns while Josh Reynolds caught seven passes for 81 yards and a score. D’Andre Swift was out, so Jamaal Williams became the workhorse with 19 rushes for 108 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions were without their normal starters and yet never looked better. The loss drops them to 1-3 and they’ll play in New England for Week 5.