Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 4. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!
Still Hate Thursdays
I love football, but when it comes to fantasy football, I hate Thursday Night Football. It’s like the DH in baseball or pineapple on pizza: there is something unnatural about it, and I don’t like it.
Take this past Thursday’s game: not only was the game poorly played by the visiting team (the Bears), but in one of my leagues, I had to start Tarik Cohen, despite knowing he’d have a tough go of things. See, my other two running backs are Dalvin Cook and Carlos Hyde; Cook and Hyde were the plays this week, but heading into TNF, Hyde was listed as questionable. I couldn’t afford to risk Hyde missing his game, even though I was 75% sure he’d start this weekend– so I benched him in favor of the “safer” player. Of course, Cohen had his first sub-par game.
Love the Thursday Night games? No, no I don’t. Not that the NFL cares.
Interesting Players for This Week
Not necessarily the players in line for the biggest games this week, but rather some players that caught my interest and upon whom I shall cast my gaze…
1. Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. IND) – 40.47
2. Trevor Siemian, DEN (vs. OAK) – 38.86
3. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. NEP) – 38.34
4. Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. MIN) – 38.17
5. Jay Cutler, MIA (vs. NOS) – 37.75
6. Tom Brady, NEP (vs. Car) – 37.74
7. Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. TEN) – 37.26
8. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. TBB) – 36.72
9. Drew Brees, NOS (vs. MIA) – 36.51
10. Blake Bortles, JAC (vs. NYJ) – 35.83
You know what a good rule of thumb is for fantasy football? No matter how crappy a quarterback may be, he instantly becomes a Top-10 play if he’s going up against the Saints’ defense– so that explains why you see Jay Cutler on this list. I loved DeShaun Watson’s game last week, and I’m hoping that we can look back at that game and identify it as the moment when Watson made the Texans’ team his own.
1. Kareem Hunt, KCC (vs. WAS) – 51.01
2. Todd Gurley, LAR (vs. DAL) – 49.86
3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. LAR) – 47.71
4. LeSean McCoy, BUF (vs. ATL) – 47.06
5. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs. NEP) – 46.64
6. Leonard Fournette, JAC (vs. NYJ) – 43.10
7. Dalvin Cook, MIN (vs. DET) – 42.77
8. Terrance West, BAL (vs. Pit) – 40.02
9. Le’Veon Bell, PIT (vs. BAL) – 38.17
10. C.J. Anderson, DEN (vs. Oak) – 37.52
Kareem Hunt is in the middle of an amazing start to his NFL career; his explosiveness is the real deal. I’m looking forward to the Cowboys vs. the Rams, to see what should be a great battle between Zeke Elliott and Todd Gurley; regardless of the outcome, it should be a great game to watch.
1. Odell Beckham, NYG (vs. TBB) – 69.96
2. Golden Tate, DET (vs. Min) – 58.83
3. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. TEN) – 56.55
4. Keenan Allen, LAC (vs. Phi) – 56.37
5. Stefon Diggs, MIN (vs. Det) – 56.29
6. Sammy Watkins, LAR (vs. DAL) – 53.32
7. Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs. NOS) – 52.74
8. Pierre Garcon, SFO (vs. Ari) – 52.63
9. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs. SFO) – 52.63
10. Brandon Marshall, NYG (vs. TBB) – 50.95
This is a banner week for high-reception possession receivers: Golden Tate, Jarvis Landry, Larry Fitzgerald, and Keenan Allen. It is not likely that you’ll see a bunch of touchdowns out of this group, but they should make all your lineup due to their propensity to reel in, say, 8-10 balls a game… Stefon Diggs is some sort of player, isn’t he? Now imagine if he had a real NFL quarterback tossing him the ball.
1. Jesse James, PIT (vs. BAL) – 28.52
2. Cameron Brate, TBB (vs. NYG) – 28.35
3. Travis Kelce, KCC (vs. WAS) – 28.06
4. Coby Fleener, NOS (vs. MIA) – 27.18
5. Jared Cook, OAK (vs. Den) – 26.19
6. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. LAR) – 23.23
7. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. LAC) – 23.15
8. Rob Gronkowski, NEP (vs. Car) – 21.73
9. Charles Clay, BUF (vs. ATL) – 21.50
10. Ryan Griffin, HOU (vs. TEN) – 21.18
The sneaky play in this collection of TEs is Ryan Griffin, who is the next man up after the injury to C.J. Fiedorowicz.
Teams on Bye this week: None.
Bending the Knee
I don’t want to get too deep into this here, but why is anyone giving any attention to these knee-bending NFL players? I really can’t understand why fans are upset– if you belong to the “don’t want politics in my sports” crowd, then why were you OK with the government paying the NFL millions since 2009 to make its players seem “more patriotic”? On the other side of things, why does our President feel the need to comment on this? Doesn’t he have enough stupid things to Tweet about, without getting players all riled up?
Here’s something else to consider: before Trump started flapping his gums on the issue, less than 10 NFL players were kneeling in protest; now it’s seemingly every NFL player is participating is this rather poorly thought-out protest.