While the NFC boasts a mighty impressive defense from the Pacific Northwest, the most spectacular unit in all of football is the Denver Broncos offense and the debate is not close. Peyton Manning is off to an incredible start to the 2013 season and Week 4 was just another clinic as the heap of offensive weapons at Manning’s disposal shredded the Philadelphia defense. Although the Eagles defense used primarily the “two-hand-touch” defensive scheme on Sunday, Manning and his crew were downright unstoppable once again. Let’s scroll down and check out some highlights and lowlights from Week 4:
Peyton Manning: The 2013 “I Am Way To Good At This Game” Tour continued for Eli’s much cooler big brother on Sunday, as the Broncos quarterback chucked the rock around for another 327 yards and four touchdowns. Through four games, Manning has 1,470 passing yards and 16 touchdown passes. Manning’s WORST fantasy game of the season was 307 yards and two touchdowns, which is a stat line that Eli Manning will accumulate by roughly week 9. Hopefully you fine folks forked out the big dough for Peyton in daily leagues this week.
Torrey Smith: While the Ravens were busy coughing up a game to the Buffalo Bills, Torrey Smith continued his strong 2013 season and finally found the end zone. Smith now has 435 receiving yards through four games and is showing no signs of slowing down. With Baltimore showing little interest in feeding Ray Rice in the ground game, Smith should continue to tear up the league.
Jordan Cameron: Week 4 was another big one for Cameron, as he reassured fantasy owners that Week 3’s performance with Brian Hoyer at the helm wasn’t a fluke. Cameron has now topped 90 yards in three of four games in 2013, and he was nice enough to squeeze three touchdowns in the lone game he didn’t hit that mark. 10 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown was the final line for Cameron this week and he is firmly among the tight end elite.
Reggie Bush: After sitting out Week 3 with a bum knee, Bush broke out the USC afterburners once again and racked up 173 total yards and a score. Bush is thriving in the Detroit offense and will continue to be a top running back option as long as he is healthy. His 11 catches in three games are just sprinkles on your PPR sundae.
Victor Cruz: The entire New York Giants may be rotting to the core, but Victor Cruz has managed to withstand the nauseating stench and continued to produce solid fantasy numbers. Week 4 was Cruz’ third game over 100 yards (164 to be exact) this season and he scored his fourth touchdown to boot. Cruz is the only, and I mean only, Giants player worth starting in fake football land at the moment.
Antonio Brown: Brown caught 12 of his 13 targets on Sunday and now has 21 catches for 284 yards over the last two weeks. Much like Victor Cruz, Brown is benefitting greatly from a crusty team that is forced to throw the ball constantly to keep up with opposing offenses. Brown and the Steelers have a bye in Week 5 and then the Pittsburgh playmaker will look to continue his eight catch per game average.
Doug Martin: With new quarterback Mike Glennon in the mix for the Bucs, Martin found zero running room on Sunday, as he averaged a dismal 1.7 yards per carry on 27 rushes. The good news is that Martin is still receiving monstrous workloads (averaging 25 carries per game) and the SUPER good news is that he gets to destroy the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6 after Tampa Bay’s bye.
Arian Foster: While his pal Matt Schaub hand delivered a victory to Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks, Foster recorded his biggest effort of the 2013 season with 102 yards rushing and 69 yards receiving and a score. Foster looked fantastic in all areas of the game and his passing game involvement was nice to see after only two catches in Weeks 2 and 3 combined. Most importantly, Foster emerged from Week 4 and his largest workload of the season with no injury issues, as the only major injury in Houston was to Matt Schaub’s self-esteem.
Jake Locker: In the midst of putting up his finest effort of the young 2013 season, Locker fell awkwardly in the pocket and immediately left the game with a hip injury. The MRI results of the injury have not been released yet, but stay tuned this week for more information. This is very unfortunate, as Locker seemed to finally be emerging into the quarterback that Tennessee (and fantasy owners) had hoped for. Us fantasy footballers always get the shaft!
Antonio Gates: Along with his quarterback Philip “Shotput” Rivers, Gates is winding back the dial on his Rolex and putting up big numbers. This week, Gates pumped out 10 catches for 136 yards and a score while his pal Phil threw for 401 yards as the Bolts beat the ‘Boys. Gates now has 364 receiving yards on the year and his next four opponents are Oakland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Washington (that is a good thing). Expect more big things from the Rivers/Gates combo as the Chargers pretend it’s 2009.
Darren McFadden: Come on. You KNEW this was coming. In the most unsurprising news of the millennium, Darren McFadden left Oakland’s Week 4 game with an injury. This time, DMC’s hamstring buzzed loudest in his own personal Operation game and more news will be released this week on the severity of the injury. Fellow backfield mate Marcel Reece also sustained an injury, so it appears that Rashad Jennings will be this week’s waiver bate for the running back hungry sharks out the in the fake football ocean.
Stevan Ridley: We finally have signs of life from Ridley, as he recorded 79 total yards on Sunday night. While this performance doesn’t quite live up to his 2nd/3rd round ADP, it is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, Ridley will still be forking over carries to other New England backs including notorious slug LeGarrette Blount, so we will keep our expectations low and hope for the best next week as the Pats travel to Cincinnati.
Le’Veon Bell: The 2013 debut of the Steelers’ prized rookie was very successful from a fantasy standpoint, as Bell totaled 57 yards on the ground, 27 yards through the air, and punched in two touchdowns. The passing game work (four catches on five targets) was especially encouraging, as Bell appears to be in line for a healthy workload going forward.