Before I jump into Week 4’s “The Dive,” I’d like to mention the birth of my son “Dexter Manning Griffis” who arrived several days ago. “Dex” and I arrived home from the hospital just in time to catch the end of NFL RedZone and Sunday Night Football last Sunday, which was an amazing, priceless memory. [Editor’s Note: Marc, congrats to you and your wife on Dex’s arrival! Hope everyone is doing well.]
Week 3 was highlighted by several breakout performances from A.J. Green, Steve Smith Sr, and Devonta Freeman. As usual, Aaron Rodgers and Julio Jones continue to be the “usual suspects” as they dominated their positions and generously rewarded their owners. Let’s take a look at several names that may help you get your team back on track! Take a dive with me.
QB Andy Dalton
The Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback has displayed glimpses of stardom in previous seasons and has peaked into QB1 conversations. However, Dalton’s lack of constancy and performance decline in the playoffs has hindered his rise. Through three weeks, Dalton has thrown for at least 214 yards along with at least two scores in each game. In fact, he threw a pair and ran for a third touchdown in Cincinnati’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. His success will continue in Week 4 as the Bengals welcome the Kansas City Chiefs to town who just allowed five touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers in Week 3 and have given up the most points to opposing quarterbacks.
Week 4 project: 250 passing yards; 2 TD
Don’t count CJ2K out yet! Chris Johnson may not be the dynamic back from 2009 when he ran for over 2,000 yards, however, Johnson totaled 150 yards with two touchdowns in Week 3 and will earn another start against the St. Louis Rams in Week 4. The Rams defense has not been as stout as anticipated which may be partially due to their struggling offense. They have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In two career games against St. Louis, CJ has averaged 178 total yards. Cardinals’ starting back Andre Ellington is currently listed as “50-50” to play by Coach Bruce Arians, so expect a healthy dose of Johnson no matter what!
Week 4 projection: 100 total yards; TD
WR Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones is no threat to A.J. Green as Andy Dalton’s favorite target, but he seems to have surpassed Mohamed Sanu on the depth chart. Jones has increased his performance in each of the season’s first three games. Jones faces the Kansas City Chiefs’ secondary who have surrendered the most points and touchdowns to opposing wideouts. Look for another solid game from Jones in Week 4.
Week 4 projection: 75 receiving yards; TD
TE Charles Clay
Charles Clay was a solid TE2 in 2014 with the Miami Dolphins and continues to progress in 2015 with the Buffalo Bills. Clay has scored in each of the last two games and posted a nice line of 5 receptions for 82 yards in Week 3’s contest against his former team. With a matchup this week against the New York Giants, who have surrendered the fourth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Clay is in store for another strong game.
Week 4 projection: 75 receiving yards; TD
Defense/Special Teams Oakland Raiders
When was the last time you saw an analyst recommend the Oakland Raiders defense? With a matchup against the struggling Chicago Bears offense which will likely be led again by Jimmy Clausen if Jay Cutler is still sidelined. Alshon Jeffery also may not be available as his status has not been disclosed yet by Chicago. Oakland has averaged 5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries this year and performed better as the Raiders offense becomes more sound.
Week 4 projection: 12 points
Week 3 Results
QB Nick Foles
Week 3 Projection: 200 passing yards, 2 TD
Week 3 Results: 197 passing yards; 10 rushing yards; 1 INT (bad call)
RB Lance Dunbar
Week 3 Projection: 100 total yards, TD
Week 3 Results: 105 total yards (good call)
WR James Jones
Week 3 Projection: 80 receiving yards, TD
Week 3 Results: 139 receiving yards; TD (great call)
TE Eric Ebron
Week 3 Projection: 60 total yards, TD
Week 3 Results: 61 total yards (ok call)
Defense/Special Teams – New York Jets
Week 3 Projection: 13 points
Week 3 Results: 3 points (bad call)