Week 4 is just about wrapped up, and Sunday’s action saw a few things actually go right for fantasy owners, particularly at the quarterback position. The list of week 4’s highest scoring fantasy QB’s reads: Brady, Newton, Brees, and Rodgers. The start of the 2012 season hasn’t gone precisely as planned, but at least the big money quarterbacks showed up to the week 4 party ready to play (Matt Stafford’s invitation must have been lost in the mail). The most noteworthy of Sunday’s performances are below, headlined by, yes, a Dolphin!
Brian Hartline: Aaaaaaaand week 4’s leading fantasy wide receiver, ladies and gentlemen, was Brian Hartline. The Tannie Man (do people call him that? No?) was looking for his favorite receiver often as Hartline’s 19 targets turned into 12 catches for 253 yards and a touchdown. The tricky part with Hartline is the consistency of Miami’s offense. Hartline now has alternated great games and clunkers through 4 weeks and will remain a worthwhile but semi-risky PPR play.
Marques Colston: Colston seemed to be completely over his foot troubles on Sunday, as he dominated the Pack for 9 catches, 153 yards and a score. If Colston is indeed finally 100%, his reception volume should stay at this level as he, Moore, and Graham split up Brees’ 50 weekly passes.
Roddy White: Roddy went over 100 yards for the 2nd time in 2012 and caught his 2nd and 3rd touchdowns of the season. White was the recipient of 12 Matt Ryan targets, the two most noteworthy of which were the 49 yard strike for his first score and the bomb from the Atlanta end zone that led to the Falcon’s winning field goal. Despite the world waiting for Julio Jones to bloom into Megatron, Roddy is still the man in Atlanta.
Leonard Hankerson: After being named a starter at WR for the ‘Skins, Hankerson turned in a nice effort on Sunday catching 7 passes for 57 yards. Most importantly, Hankerson was targeted 11 times by Mr. RGIII, and seems to be developing into a solid target. If he is still marinating on your waiver wire, put an end to that.
Julio Jones: Julio pulled a disappearing act this week, registering 1 catch for 30 yards. Don’t get too crazy about this one, as Julio was still targeted 8 times, and was a toe nail away from hauling in a big gainer from Ryan that would have salvaged his day. Roddy isn’t going away, but Atlanta has some nice matchups coming up so keep rolling Jones out with confidence.
Rob Gronkowski: The Gronk bounced back nicely from his week 3 stinkfest with 104 yards and a touchdown. The big doofus is still awesome, do not fret.
Scott Chandler: Playing the role of “surprise tight end of the week” was Buffalo’s Scott Chandler. Chandler did what he does best, making sure 2 of his 4 catches went for touchdowns. The Bills TE is now the proud owner of 12 catches and 4 touchdowns in 2012, and makes a decent but very risky bye week fill in.
Jake Locker: After Locker enjoyed a huge week 3, he was knocked out of week 4’s contest with another shoulder injury. Locker will have an MRI on Monday, so stay tuned for details. The Titans now turn to Matt Hasselbeck (author of 2 pick-six’s on Sunday) as they travel to Minnesota.
Michael Turner: Just when you thought you could stick a fork in the burner’s enormous backside, he produces a game like this, highlighted by a 60 yard touchdown RECEPTION. Yes, Turner and reception together in one sentence. In 4 seasons in Atlanta, Turner’s season receiving yardage totals have been 41, 35, 85 and 168…and the guy busts out a 60 yarder. Makes perfect sense. Turner looked decent enough for the 2nd straight week but I would be looking to trade him while others forget that his 13 carries for 46 yard games aren’t so fun.
Stevan Ridley/Brandon Bolden: Ridley had a monster game as he racked up his 2nd 100+ yard rushing performance this season, but what sticks out of this box score is the 16 carry 137 yard performance by Brandon Bolden. This situation smells an awful lot like “Everybody runs and picks up Bolden and he has 5 carries for 11 yards in week 5.” Either way, he’s worth a snag if you’ve got space. Just don’t expect the Pats to forget about Ridley.
Chris Johnson: Perfectly timed with his universal fantasy benching, Chris Johnson erupted for 141 yards rushing against the stout Texans defense. Whether it was the weather, the calming influence of Matt Hasselbeck’s bald dome, or pure hatred for his fantasy owners that tossed him to the bench, CJ was back for a brief moment in time. Back-to-back rough matchups await the Titans in weeks 5 and 6, so let’s just see what Chris Johnson does for an encore.
Ryan Mathews: Mathews was locked into an evenly divided committee in week 4, which was baffling to the fantasy universe. How the Chargers decided that Jackie Battle and his 2.6 yards per carry was deserving of 19 touches is ridiculous, even if Mathews has a penchant for fumbling. After the game, Norv admitted that Mathews still has his trust, so hopefully this is just a minor speed bump. San Diego gets New Orleans in week 5, which means mucho points are on the horizon as long as this Battle character keeps his grubby mitts of Mathews’ touches.
Darren McFadden: DMC gave his best Chris Johnson impersonation this week, taking 13 carries and turning them into a robust 34 yards. The Raiders were getting smoked by Denver in this one, so the Raiders seemed to scrap the run game. The Oakland offense is not good (to be polite) so we may have to sit through a few of these type of games, but please don’t give up on McFadden yet.
Cam Newton: Cam was the fantasy beast we all know and love in week 4, throwing 2 touchdowns and adding a beefy 86 yards and yet another score on the ground. Carolina has a tough defensive slate ahead (SEA, DAL, CHI), but Cam will continue to do his thing. This is why we drafted him…enjoy!
Aaron Rodgers: In the least surprising fantasy breakout in human history, Rodgers dumped 319 yards and 4 touchdowns on the Saint’s horrendous defense. If you traded Rodgers after his slow start, you need to do a discount double-check on your brain because you got hosed. Rodgers has Indy up next, you know what that means.