SLEEPERS AND BUSTS - WEEK 4

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FREAKS, GEEKS, AND THE GAME OF THE WEEK - Week 4

Week 3 has come and gone, and what did we learn?

We learned that our concerns about Cam Newtown are completely warranted. We learned that TY Hilton is still a top talent at WR. We are learning that despite all the offseason hype, Isaiah Crowell cannot be counted on to be a RB2, let alone a RB1. And, we learned that Murray might not have as much of a stranglehold on the Tennessee backfield as many may believe. That duo might be shaping up to be a Freeman/Coleman 2.0. I think I learned that Henry is the guy I want rest of season.

So, how did we do in Week 3? Jay Cutler went Jay Cutler on us, but DeVante Parker still put up a solid Fantasy outing.  Derrick Henry had one less touch then DeMarco Murray. Murray killed fantasy analysts last week by 1) looking awful through the first 2 games, 2) tweaking his hamstring, and then 3) despite 1 and 2, torching a stout Seattle defense. LeSean McCoy geeked out in standard leagues, but thanks to 7 receptions for 44 yards, had a mediocre PPR performance. Again, Fournette was bottled up for 95% of the game, and again, a late, meaningless touchdown brought his day back from the brink of fantasy oblivion. Doyle failed to impress against.. the Browns... and he fumbled the ball. On the other hand, Graham had his best TE performance to date. But quit bringing up old shit, lets get moving on Week 4.

FREAKS - SLEEPER STARTS AND OVERACHIEVERS

QUARTERBACKS

Sleeper: Andy Dalton /CIN

Dalton had looked pretty bad this year, until he put up a respectable fantasy performance against the Packers. Now, Dalton gets the Browns. AJ Green will torch the Brown's secondary, that allowed AB and TY Hilton to both tee off on them. In doing so, he will drag Dalton with him into a top-7 QB fantasy performance - kicking and screaming if he has to.

Other QB Sleeper Starts: Tyrod Taylor / BUF; Deshaun Watson / TEN

Freak: Russell Wilson / SEA

There is some voodoo curse that prevents Russell Wilson from performing in the first few weeks of the season. He has historically struggled to start the year. Wilson broke out in Week 3 against the Titans, and he will continue that moment Week 4 against the Colts. Even if Vontae Davis plays, Wilson has top-3 QB upside.

RUNNING BACKS

Sleeper: Duke Johnson  / CLE

Johnson has been one of the few bright spots for the Browns. Corey Coleman broke his hand again, and Crowell has been an utter disappointment. The Bengals have a pretty decent run defense, and I expect they keep the Crow in his cage. Johnson has impressed in the pass game, and has looked much better than Crow in the run game. He gets more touches this week, and he does something with them.

Other RB Sleeper Starts: Bilal Powell / NYJ; Alex Collins / BAL

Freak: Chris Carson / SEA

CJ Prosise got hurt, again. Rawls and Lacy have been non-factors (although we expect Rawls to get some more touches going forward). Seattle plays the Colts at home. This is the week Carson puts it all together. He is a solid RB2 play this week, and I think he gives his owners a RB1 performance.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Rishard Matthews / TEN

Last season, Rishard Matthews quietly put together a #13overall WR fantasy performance in standard leagues, and a #19 overall in PPR. Then, the Titans drafted Corey Davis and signed Eric Decker. Most assumed this would lead to a regression for Matthews. Well, Matthews is showing that he will not go quietly into the night. Last week against the Seahawks, Matthews had 6 receptions for 85 yards and a TD against the Seahawks. The Texans should let him put up a similar line.

Other WR Sleepers: Will Fuller / HOU; Devin Funchess / CAR

Freak: AJ Green / CIN

The Bengals started the season 0-2. They fired their OC. Green went public and demanded the ball more. Bill Lazor, the Bengal's new OC, and Dalton listened. Against the Packers, Green was targeted 13 times, he turned that into 10 catches for 110 yards and 1 TD. The Bengals get their first win of the year, compliment of a #1 overall WR performance from Green against the Browns.

TIGHT ENDS

Sleeper: Charles Clay / BUF

There may be no position more frustrating this year than TE. Even top guys like Travis Kelce have been rewarding their owner's with useless fantasy performances. Clay has been a little up and down (what TE hasn't?), a little TD dependent (which TE isn't?), but I like him this week. Buffalo will have to score, Tyrod loves Clay, and Buffalo's WRs seem to stay in the locker room on game days.

Other TE Sleeper Starts: Benjamin Watson / BAL; Ryan Griffin / HOU

GEEKS - BUST STARTS AND UNDERACHIEVERS

QUARTERBACKS

Ben Roethlisberger / PIT

Big Ben struggles on the road. The Ravens' defense is better than they played in London. One interesting thing to monitor is that this is the first time ever that teams playing in London don't come home to a bye week. Will that affect an older Ravens' defense. We will find out on Sunday.

RUNNING BACKS

Lamar Miller / HOU

Miller has had a completely forgettable start to the season. Tennessee's run defense is nothing to sneeze at and I expect the Houston back will find tough sledding again this week. He needs to be used in the pass game to return any respectable value (he wasn't last week).

Mike Gillislee / PAT

Panthers are a pretty stout rush defense. Gillislee's production is completely TD dependent. I foresee a 14 carry 57 yard game where Gilli doesn't get into the end zone and Tom Brady beats them up through the air.

WIDE RECEIVERS  

Mike Evans / TB

Evans has another tough matchup this week. WR's fantasy production, more so than other positions, is completely dependent on the talent of one or two defensive players they line up against each week - the CB. Evans, even though playing at home, will find himself shadowed by Janoris Jenkins most, if not all game. He will be held in check. Expect low WR2 or even WR3 numbers this week.

TIGHT ENDs

Jack Doyle / IND

Doyle firmly supplanted his place in this spot last week when he completely flopped against a porous Cleveland defense. Now, he gets the Seahawks in Seattle. The entire Colts offense is in for a long game.

 

 

GAME OF THE WEEK

Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs

The Browns and the Colts did not disappoint last week, but there were two other games that lapped them in entertainment factor. Watching the Eagles kick a 61 yard field goal to keep the Giants at an 0-fer was great. And, then watching the Refs make a bad call, review the call and steal a game winning touchdown for the Lions, and then rub salt in the wound by running off 10 seconds for their own mistake was... certainly something to see.

This week, it is the MNF game between the Chiefs and the Redskins that has caught my eye. It has two superb defensive secondaries. A struggling pre-season fantasy "superstar" in Terrelle Pryor. A rookie sensation in Kareem Hunt. And, arguably the best team in football this year. I am looking forward to this one.

I AM PAIRING IT WITH... 21st Amendment - Bitter American. A hoppy session ale that captures the current amalgamation of sports and politics that has taken hold in our country. Plus, its got a monkey astronaut picture on the can - can't beat that.

 

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