Week 4 Recap: Hat Trick For Asiata
September 29, 2014 | Jeff
Week 4 is just about wrapped up, with the Patriots and Chiefs set to put a bow on the week on Monday Night Football. We are now roughly one third of the way through the fantasy regular season and although the injury bug didn’t rear it’s disgusting head on Sunday, under-performing early round draft picks made their presence felt once again. On the positive end of the fantasy spectrum, the Minnesota Vikings showed all sorts of promise on Sunday as they defeated the Atlanta Falcons. Not only did Teddy Bridgewater turn in a better fantasy outing than Matt Ryan, but our favorite slug Matt Asiata led all fantasy running backs in points. Asiata scored not one, not two, but three touchdowns on the afternoon to go along with 100 total yards. It was a fine performance for the Vikings back, but he wasn’t the only bright spot behind Teddy Bridgewater as rookie Jerick McKinnon ran for 135 yards himself. It was a Minnesota backfield bonanza on Sunday and it appears that the young McKinnon’s role will only continue to increase in Norv Turner’s offense.
Now, enough about the Vikings. Let’s jump in and check out other highlights and lowlights from Sunday’s fantasy football action:
Jordy Nelson: Jordy continued his studly season on Sunday, catching 10 of 12 targets for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson is now AVERAGING 12.3 targets per game and is just about as reliable as fantasy receivers come. He is firmly in the Megatron/Dez/Julio class of WR1’s, so if anyone who owns him in your leagues thinks otherwise, get to wheelin’ and dealin’, pronto.
Martellus Bennett: The self-proclaimed “Black Unicorn” had a majestic day on Sunday, catching nine of 11 targets for 134 yards. Bennett is having a fine season so far under the watch of passing game wiz Marc Trestman and is quickly closing in on the Grahams and Gronks of the world along with fellow tight end breakout artist, Larry Donnell. If you waited until late to grab a tight end and ended up with Bennett, give yourself a round of applause. If you have Bennett in addition to another TE1 type player, then click that mouse on the “trade block” on your league homepage and upgrade your team elsewhere.
Andrew Luck: Andy Luck’s 2014 season is getting better by the week and the Indianapolis QB is now averaging an absurd 326.3 passing yards per game after tossing the rock for 393 yards and four scores (Abe Lincoln) on Sunday. That makes three of four games at 370+ yards of passing so far this season and with a less than exciting running game in Indy, I would bet that Pep Hamilton finally gets the picture here and keeps Luck throwing at a high clip. Luck and the Colts host Baltimore next week.
Bernard Pierce: Pierce was held out of Baltimore’s thrashing of Carolina on Sunday with a quad injury, which was unfortunate because we didn’t get a ton of information on his condition prior to the game. OC Gary Kubiak insisted that all three of his running backs would play, but it was only Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro who touched the field. Forsett (14 att, 66 yards, one TD) and Taliaferro (15 att, 58 yards, one TD) split the backfield carries but Forsett added his usual passing game work as well (three rec., 31 yards). It appears that his backfield will turn into a complete mess once Pierce is healthy so I would hold onto Forsett if you’re in a PPR league, Taliaferro if you’re looking for someone with upside down the stretch this season and Pierce if you enjoy paper cuts and stubbing your big toe.
Steve Smith Sr: The old-timer Steve Smith Sr. has now registered over 100 receiving yards in three of four games this season after terrorizing his old Carolina squad for 139 yards and two touchdowns including a 61-yard touchdown on a tipped-ball assist from tight end Owen Daniels. Smith is now averaging over ten targets per game and now that tight end Dennis Pitta is gone for the season with a hip injury, Smith is going to keep getting this workload. Enjoy it while it lasts and keep starting him and raking in the points.
Calvin Johnson: The Detroit Lions pulled the ultimate fantasy football killing maneuver on Sunday as they suited up Calvin Johnson simply to use him as a “decoy.” The Great ‘Tron caught only two passes for 12 yards and wasn’t close to 100% with an ankle injury. Thankfully there was no news of an aggravation so hopefully a slow week of practice will have Johnson ready for Detroit’s Week 5 game at home against Buffalo.
Arian Foster: Foster suited up on Sunday despite a sore hamstring and his performance wasn’t quite what his fantasy owners have come to expect in 2014. A LeSean McCoy-like (I am sorry, that hurts) eight carries for six yards was Foster’s final line, but luckily he chipped in with seven catches for 55 yards as well. Rookie Alfred Blue (nine carries, nine yards) didn’t look any better against Buffalo, so Foster should be able to ease back into his workhorse role next week when the Texans travel to Dallas to do battle in the Super Kings of all Sweet Texas Stuff Bowl.
Heath Miller: Large Ben’s buddy Heath Miller had a big game on Sunday as he caught 10 of 11 targets for 85 yards and a touchdown. This was Miller’s first score of the season, but you can expect many more as the season moves along, as Miller is a trusted and reliable red zone target for Roethlisberger. Miller will make a great low-end TE1/high-end TE2 during the bye weeks so keep his name in mind if you’re scrounging around on your waiver wire or are having bye week troubles. The Steelers travel to Jacksonville in Week 5 so I expect Miller to post another top-10 fantasy week at his position.
Keenan Allen: Fantasy owners who stuck with Allen were finally rewarded on Sunday as the second-year receiver snagged 10 passes for 135 yards as the Chargers beat the Jaguars. Allen had some difficult secondaries to deal with to start the year (Arizona, Seattle, etc..) but finally got his groove back this week. Expect Allen to keep moving in this direction as the season wears on. Now, if only we could get rid of that pesky, touchdown thieving Eddie Royal…
LeSean McCoy: The latest disappointment for LeSean McCoy’s fantasy owners was Sunday’s 10 carry, 17 yard performance at San Francisco. That makes 29 carries for a whopping 39 yards for Shady over Philadelphia’s last two games, which is undoubtedly sinking fantasy teams everywhere. Coach Chip Kelly mentioned the struggles of the offensive line after the game on Sunday, so perhaps this is simply an issue of run blocking with the Eagles. The good news is that McCoy is not injured and if there is any coach who can create a way to get his best weapon moving again, it’s Chip Kelly. McCoy and the Eagles will host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Let’s hope for more positive results.
DeMarco Murray: If there was any question who the top running back in the fantasy world is, it was certainly answered on Sunday Night Football as the Cowboys handled the Saints. Do you like touchdowns? DeMarco Murray has five in four games and has crossed the goal line in each contest. Oh, you like rushing yards? Murray has topped the 100 yard mark in all four Dallas games and is averaging 133.5 yards per game on the ground. The only question is if Murray can handle the monstrous workload he has been handed, but so far he has looked outstanding and is the safest bet in the murky, war-torn land of running backs.