I deeply apologize for my not-so-brief hiatus from writing. I know without my wit, humor, and obviously knowledge being shared with you all, there is no real point to life. That is why I have come back. This is for you, America. While the government is shut down, I’m hard at work. Yet somehow, they are still the ones being paid. But I digress…let’s talk some football!
Does anybody know what is going on the National Football League? Let’s start right down the street in Foxboro.
I cannot remember the last time I said “who?” when a Patriot receiver made a catch. I said it twice on Sunday night. One of them went for a touchdown. For a second, I thought it was fellow Sports Talk writer Mike Uva himself making that catch in the endzone. Then I realized the receiver had a solid 18 inches and 150 pounds of muscle on Uva. Despite hosting a raffle each week to decide who will get to play wide receiver, the Patriots are 4-0 and winning football games with their defense.
From 4-0 to 0-4, how ’bout them Giants? I almost want Eli to play well so I don’t think “we lost to HIM??” every time I watch the G-Men play. Eli is competing with his brother. He wants to see if he can throw as many interceptions as Peyton can touchdowns. Don’t count Eli out in that one.
Speaking of Peyton, why didn’t I set him as one of my keepers this year? Instead I kept Ray Rice. (Anybody reading this that is in the league with me, I need a running back. I have plenty of receivers to trade.) Peyton has been nothing short of spectacular this year, so cue the Brady-Manning debate. For the record, I think Brady right now is more valuable to the Patriots than Manning is to the Broncos. Just compare the weapons each have. Brady is doing more with less.
More with less? How about the Browns! Trent Richardson who? The Browns had 112 rushing yards on 33 carries during the first two games combined. They then went for 103 yards on 17 carries in a win against the Vikings that knocked out everybody who was still alive in a Survivor League, and then 89 yards in a win versus a very good Bengals defense. They also have Brian Hoyer under center now. Remember who he learned under? Just some guy named Tom Brady, maybe you’ve heard of him.
The Bucs are so bad they throw it with a lead and three minutes to go, the Jets have to throw it non-stop to keep up, and the Jaguars are still trying to learn how to throw it.
There are only two quarterbacks who have started all four games that have yet to throw an interception: Peyton Manning and Jake Locker. Wait, is that right? You betcha. Unfortunately, Locker is now out 4-8 weeks with a hip injury and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has thrown 54 interceptions over the past three seasons, will now quarterback the 3-1 Titans.
While we’re on the topic of surprisingly good quarterback play, has anybody else seen what Philip Rivers is doing? He is completing 74% of his passes including an impressive 83.3% (35 of 42) to beat America’s team on Sunday. His TD-INT ratio is at 11-2. You know who I think has something to do with that? A 5’8″ (yeah, right) running back who hauled in two receiving touchdowns in week four. Danny Woodhead. He is a great receiving back and knows how to avoid defenders. I mean, I guess Antonio Gates playing like it is 2009 again probably has something to do with it too.
The Chiefs are still undefeated, the Steelers look defeated, and my fantasy team is no longer undefeated. Just kidding, I actually just picked up my first win. Shout-out to Tony Gonzalez and Darren Sproles showing up to put on a show on national television and completing the big come-from-behind-victory for me.
Now that we’ve recapped week four, let’s take a look forward…
Bills vs. Browns -4
How can you not go with the Browns?!
Chiefs -3 vs. Titans
Ravens vs. Dolphins -3
Jaguars vs. Rams -11.5
I don’t think the spread really matters here, the Jags will never be picked by anybody ever.
Patriots vs. Bengals -1
Anyone else surprised the Patriots are still underdogs? Bill must have made the spreads.
Seahawks -3 vs. Colts
Lions vs. Packers -7
Packers coming off of a bye week should be able to handle the Lions, but this will be a shootout for sure.
Saints vs. Bears -1
Eagles vs. Giants -2.5
Need to see that the Giants can, you know, play football, before I pick them.
Panthers -1.5 vs. Cardinals
Chargers -6 vs. Raiders
Divisional matchups are never easy. Pryor should be back but will McFadden be healthy enough to be a factor?
Broncos -6.5 vs. Cowboys
Texans vs. 49ers -6.5
Jets vs. Falcons -8
Now for everybody who needs fantasy help, waiver wire suggestions, or need to fill a bye week, let’s see what we can do about helping you out!
Ok, the biggest players being lost to byes this week are Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, and Vincent Jackson.
Let’s start with the easy part. If you have RG3, or even Big Ben if it is a deeper league, I go out and get Brian Hoyer. Hoyer has 590 yards and five touchdowns in two games. Not to mention he is going against a Buffalo defense who is giving up an average of 21 fantasy points per game.
Alex Smith is another option. Not only does he rarely turn the ball over but he is putting up legitimate fantasy stats this year.
Running back is the most difficult position to fill. It is tough coming out of the draft to have two viable starters, never mind having to find one good enough midseason to fill in for your starters. Two guys that are worth taking a look at this week are Rashard Jennings and Brandon Bolden. Bolden is more valuable in a PPR league, given he is the passing down back in New England, not so much in a standard scoring league seeing that he splits time with Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount.
In a standard scoring league, Rashard Jennings may not be a bad call if you are desperate since both Raiders running backs (Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece) both got hurt last week.
If you are in need of a receiver off the waiver wire, take a look at Terrence Williams of the Cowboys. Miles Austin can be counted on as much as Danny Amendola to stay healthy and the Cowboys are sure to be playing catch-up come Sunday. If Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie follows Dez Bryant around, Williams could be getting a lot of targets.
Michael Floyd of the Cardinals should be another waiver wire target. He has seen his receiving yards just about double each week (22-49-87) over the last three games and has seen only five less targets than Larry Fitzgerald.
Although the Vikings have a bye week, monitor the whereabouts of Jermone Simpson. He has posted 342 yards through four games, good for 13th in the league.
If by chance you have Kyle Rudolph or Heath Miller as your tight end, first I would like to congratulate you on being smart enough to snag Miller. But you need a replacement this week. Brandon Pettigrew may see a lot of targets as the Lions, like the Cowboys, will be playing catch-up on Sunday. Speaking of which, I have a great joke. Why do the Steelers play at Heinz Field? Because they’re always playing Ketchup! *Slaps knee*
Pettigrew has only had more than 27 receiving yards against the Packers twice over the past three years. However, on those two occasions, he posted 91 and 116 yard receiving games. Plus, with Nate Burleson risking his life to save pizzas, there should be more targets headed the big tight end’s way.
Now if you’re like me and pick up a new defense every week, see if the St. Louis Rams are available. Most likely they are not, but put in a waiver claim if they are. They may be giving up an average of 30 points per game and only have forced five turnovers in four games but they’re playing Jacksonville…’nuff said.
Other ones to think about include the Eagles, who could feast upon the Eli picks and Wilson fumbles, Cleveland against Buffalo and even Miami against the defending champion Ravens. Didn’t the Dolphins just get disected by Drew Brees. Yup, they sure did. But they still have a pretty good defense and Joe Flacco is no Drew Brees. They throw the ball way too much for a team with good running backs. They ran the ball nine times against the Bills. NINE TIMES. That is absolutely absurd for a team with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Ok, I need to stop. I could go on for days about how horrible the Ravens play calling is. Just consider picking up the Dolphins defense versus the Ravens.
There you have it everybody. Covered last week, next week, and fantasy football for all you fantasy geeks like myself. See you all next week!