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Welcome to the Week 4 Fantasy Football Recap: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly! Every week you will get a mostly fantasy football oriented recap from my point of view. If I deviate a bit from football, there is probably a good reason, bear with me and thanks for taking the time to stop by.
By Tom Schriner, The Fantasy Football Junkie
Today was the big day.
It all started with a five-dollar bet.
Twice a year, my Detroit Lions take on my Father In-Law’s Chicago Bears. Generally I despise this day as the Bears have absolutely owned the Lions since I started dating his daughter, whom I eventually married. As a fun Christmas gift way back in 2001 I created these two plaques. One for him, one for me, something I’m sure would be on Pinterest today. Above where the five-dollar bill goes it says, “Here lies the coveted five-dollar bill. If missing, pray your team wins, for shame will encroach upon this playing field of couches and lazyboys.” And on the bill we write down the date and who won.
Seventeen. That’s the number of times that the Bears have beaten the Lions since then. Seven is the number of times the Lions have won. Nine is the number that Chicago has won out of the past ten matches. Since 2001, twice the Bears have won four in a row. Twice, the bill hadn’t even been to my house for two years, save for a couple of times when my Father In-Law brought his plaque over ‘just in case’ they lost. Like I said, generally I despise this day.
But recently there has been more optimism for us Lions fans. And not the delusional optimism of years sans Barry Sanders, but honest-to-goodness glass half-full optimism. We have the best wide receiver in the league. A real quarterback, something the Raiders, Jaguars, Bills, Jets, Browns and Vikings wish they had. And now we have Reggie Bush to complete the offense. On the defensive side, we have a dominant interior line, genuine freak of nature defensive end Ezekial Ansah and a healthy secondary for the first time in years. Of course it could all crumble down the road, but for now, it all seems to be there.
And for today, it was. The Lions won. And for the first time since 2007 I have a chance to hold onto the coveted five-dollar bill for more than just a month.
The important thing to note is that I knew even then, that when I created this gift, that it was going to be something that would go on for a long time.
• Oh Peyton Manning, can you possibly keep up this pace? You have 16 touchdowns thru four weeks and no interceptions. Just ridiculous.
• How about my lovely wife whom I mentioned briefly above. If you didn’t know already, the FFLockerRoom had their first ever FreeRoll sponsored by our pals at FanDuel. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a fantasy sports gambling site where you play other people by picking lineups using a salary cap system. Most points wins. Our first ever freeroll was capped at 300 players which I’m happy to tell you, we filled! I’m hoping that will parlay into a bigger game for week 5 but we’ll have to wait and see. Currently, with only one-quarter to go in the Sunday night game and the Monday night game, she is first place! That’s my wife, in first place. Don’t ask about where I’m at… I thought Ryan Broyles was a sneaky pick. She chose to go with Greg Jennings, Reggie Wayne and Torrey Smith. Who knew?
• Danny Woodhead had been steadily getting more and more work for the Chargers and he broke out this week in a big way. He caught 5 passes, totaled 86 yards and scored twice. He should be owned in all PPR leagues and probably in all leagues with 14+ teams.
• I really wasn’t sure if I was going to do this but Eli Manning. You are good sir. Thank you for at least making the one player people started on the Giants offense relevant. You managed to find Victor Cruz ten times for 164 yards including your only TD. So thank you. And hopefully the fantasy gm’s are listening when I say do not start any Giant not named Cruz till they earn it.
• Philip Rivers threw for another 3 touchdowns against the Cowboys and is now on pace to finish with 44. He’s never thrown more than 34 in any given season. Who knows if he can keep up the pace but he’s been one of the more outstanding surprises through the first quarter of the season.
• With two more touchdowns and another win, Brian Hoyer is likely to be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns for the foreseeable future. Don’t expect Brandon Weeden to be healed from his injury anytime soon.
• Is it 2009? Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates each had monster games. I mean, like crazy, what did they eat for breakfast, must have been Wheaties, kind of games. It was fun to see these two future HOF’ers dominate on the same week. May never happen again.
• I have absolutely destroyed Brandon Pettigrew the past couple of years in my writing. For good reason I might add. But for today, he gets to make it on the good list. Watching the game live, I almost couldn’t believe it, he just kept doing what a TE is supposed to do… catch the ball. In fact, he caught all seven of his targets! I’m sure next week, he’ll mess up but for now, good job Brandon.
• Nate Washington has been the steadiest receiver for the Titans from day one this season and on Sunday he was rewarded with 105 yards and two scores. At the time of this writing, he was the #1 receiver in standard fantasy.
• In what could be the biggest garbage time game of the year, Alshon Jeffery went crazy for the Bears with easily his best fantasy game ever. He finished with 27 rushing yards, 107 receiving yards, a TD and a two-point conversion.
• Rookie receiver, Kenbrell Thompkins, had his best game of his young career snagging 6 balls for 127 yards and a TD. Two of those catches were of the highlight reel variety, I suggest you find it on YouTube.
• The Pittsburgh Steelers are just not very good. I thought they were good enough to beat the Vikings, but boy was I wrong.
• Even though the Ravens D kept them in this game, there were no thank you’s to QB Joe Flacco who finished the day with 5 interceptions. That gives him seven on the year while he’s never had more than 12 in any one season.
• For a guy that was generally drafted as one of the top ten TEs in drafts, Kyle Rudolph has been brutal. He caught two passes for 6 yards against the Steelers.
• I didn’t watch the game so I can’t say for sure if it was entirely his fault or not, which I’m sure it’s not, but Vincent Jackson caught two of his eleven targets for just 27 yards.
• Just stop it Blaine Gabbert. Just stop trying. It is painfully obvious that you are not going to be a starting QB in this league for much longer. When is Tim Tebow coming in for a workout Jaguars?
• Who was I kidding. Eli Manning that was plain UGLY!
• From about the middle of the third quarter during the Sunday night game with the New England Patriots playing the Atlanta Falcons, you started to notice the stands emptying. And not like a little, I mean emptying. It was to the point that by the middle of the fourth, when the Falcons were starting to make it interesting, only about a quarter of the fans were still present, most likely rooting for the Pats. I thought for a second we had switched to an Atlanta Braves game… ouch.
• Stevie Johnson, heading into week 4, had been a solid PPR contributor this season and was probably started on every team that rostered him. Unfortunately for his owners, he finished with 1 reception for -1 yard. Now that’s UGLY.
• BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball 6 times for 13 yards. It’s time to dump the Law Firm. Just pull the plug and get it over with.
I’m sure that I forgot something or someone that should have been included. If you think it’s worth mentioning, just leave a comment below!