Forte and Slaton Finally Show Up
Fantasy owners finally got solid performances from their first round RB’s. Forte put together his first 100 yard rushing game of the season as he went for 121 yards on just 12 carries. He also scored his first TD of the year and the Bears crushed Detroit 48-24. Forte does have a bye next week, but then comes back to a few favorable matchups in Atlanta, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Slaton also found pay dirt for the first time in 2009 as he ran the ball 21 times for 65 yards with a score and caught two passes for 24 yards and another touchdown in a 29-6 romping of the Raiders. It’s good to see the young RB get on track after such a great rookie campaign last season. Slaton is a duel threat and he showed that on Sunday. If Houston can continue to find ways to get him the ball, he will deliver.
Mendenhall Huge for Steelers in Week Four
Pittsburgh RB Rashard Mendenhall had a monster day against San Diego on Sunday night as he got the nod for injured starter Willie Parker and did not disappoint. The third year back out of Illinois rushed the ball 29 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two receptions for 26 yards and no turnovers. This was exactly the kind of start Mendenhall needed in his career a week after getting benched for not knowing some of the team plays in practice. He had more yards in the Steelers 38-28 victory than Parker has had in three weeks combined so let the RB controversy begin! I would hope that Mendenhall is already owned in your league by whoever has Parker, but in the case that he’s a free agent please go grab him.
No, the Other Steve Smith
It is Steve Smith, the third year wideout from USC and current No.1 WR on the Giants, not the Panthers Steve Smith that is the leading receiver in fantasy after four weeks! Smith had another monster day on Sunday against Kansas City, catching 11 balls for 134 yards and two touchdowns. He was simply incredible, has been all season and should continue to put up stellar numbers in 2009, his breakout season. Eli Manning has complete trust in Smith and it’s clear that whenever the Giants need a first down or a clutch play, they throw the ball Smith’s way. Continue to start him with confidence even though New York’s schedule will begin to get a little tougher in the coming weeks.
Ochocinco on the Rise
Chad Ochocinco scored two TD’s Sunday against the Browns, including the game-tying one late in the fourth quarter. The Bengals ended up prevailing in overtime 23-20. I’m sure plenty of you aren’t completely sold on Ocho yet as he just had three catches for 24 yards in Week Four and has just 17 catches on the season, but be patient. It is just a matter of time before he starts to put up bigger numbers. It is evident that Carson Palmer looks to him in the red zone before anyone else and he did have 11 targets on Sunday, which is a very good sign.
Edwards Falling Fast
Browns WR Braylon Edwards on the other hand is struggling. It’s not even so much Edwards as it is Cleveland as a whole. The quarterback situation is a mess and it is directly affecting Edwards. Fantasy owners had to be happy to see Derek Anderson get the start on Sunday because he has always had great chemistry with Braylon, but for one reason or another Edwards was shut out against Cincinnati on Sunday. This has to worry owners going forward, but I wouldn’t give up on him just yet as he has lowly Buffalo in Week Five so maybe he can get his season going.
Vikings Take Care of Packers Behind Favre, Allen
Brett Favre beat his old team in convincing fashion Monday night, 30-23. The score really isn’t indicative of just how much Minnesota dominated the game as Green Bay scored nine points in the last four minutes of the game. Favre threw for 271 yards and three TD’s and keeps getting done week in and week out. This is just amazing to me because I thought he would struggle all season, but it just shows what a stud running back can do to the passing game. The other story in this game was the play of Pro Bowl DE Jared Allen, who racked up 4.5 sacks, seven total tackles, a forced fumble and a safety. He was simply a beast the entire game and will continue this trend all season long.
Saints Defense Welcomes Rookie Sanchez to the NFL
In a battle of unbeatens, the Saints came out victorious over the surprising Jets 24-10 in New Orleans on Sunday. It was the first bad game for New York’s rookie QB Mark Sanchez, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble. He was responsible for two of the Saints three touchdowns on the day as he threw an interception at the goal line that resulted in a 99-yard return for a TD and also lost a fumble which New Orleans recovered in the end zone for another score. It was definitely one to forget as Jets fan and for Sanchez, but if anything positive can be taken out of this game, it’s that New York’s defense was once again solid, only allowing 10 points to arguably the best offense in the NFL. Look for the Jets to get back on track Monday night in Miami, while the Saints enjoy a week off.
49er Defense Puts Up Three Scores in Thrashing of St. Louis
San Francisco shut out the Rams 35-0 on Sunday behind the stellar play of their defense. The 49ers scored touchdowns on an interception return and two fumble returns and also had five sacks on the day. Don’t expect this kind of outing from the 49ers too often as St. Louis is one of the worst teams in the league, but they have proven to be a useful defense if they get the right matchup.