Oct 3, 2012
With four weeks in the books and a fourth of the season now complete, I thought it would be fitting to provide my first quarter awards for top performers and biggest busts.
Rookie of the year to be Robert Griffin III is the early season MVP award winner. In addition to passing for 1070 yards and four touchdowns, RG3 is tied with Arian Foster and Alfred Morris for the league lead in rushing touchdowns with four.
Although he has been dominant, I am a little worried that he will not be able to play a full season if he continues to take hits while rushing the ball.
The early season breakout award goes to fellow Redskin tailback Alfred Morris. The butler emerged as the latest in a long line of Mike Shananhan late round picks to become a fantasy stud. Morris is on pace for 1200 and 12 touchdowns this season, and is clearly the steal of the draft so far.
The oft-injured Ryan Mathews is my fantasy bust of the first quarter after missing the first few games due to a broken clavical. Mathews fumbled the ball in the red zone against the Falcons in his first game action of the season, prompting GM AJ Smith to intimate that Mathews could be benched or traded if his fumbling issues continue.
Week 4 Top Performers
Quarterback: Tom Brady
340 Yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 4 Rushing Yards 1 Rushing TD
Brady earned his top performer award after erasing a 21-7 deficit on the road against the Bills. In addition to throwing for 340 and three touchdowns, Brady added a rushing TD to give him the most fantasy points in week 4.
Honorable Mention: Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers
Running Back: Stevan Ridley
106 Rushing Yards, 2 Rushing TD
It is somewhat of a rarity for a quarterback and running back on the same team to win top performers on the same week. The potent Patriots offense allowed Ridley to complete the feat against a Buffalo team that was gashed for 52 points on Sunday. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Brandon Bolden also ran for 100 yards on Sunday, giving New England two 100 yard rushers and a 340 yard quarterback.
Honorable Mention: Jackie Battle, Michael Turner and Marshawn Lynch
Wide Receiver: Brian Hartline
12 Catches, 253 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving TDs
Brian Hartline has emerged as Ryan Tannehill’s number one target with a second consecutive solid performance. Hartline caught 12 balls for 253 yards and a touchdown against one of the stingiest defenses in the league.
Honorable Mention: Roddy White, Andre Roberts and Marques Colston
Tight End: Scott Chandler
4 Catches, 62 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
Chandler continued to provide fantasy owners with excellent tight end production as the Bills lost a shootout against the Patriots on Sunday. Chandler’s two-touchdowns just beat out Jason Witten for top tight end honors.
Honorable Mention: Jason Witten, Greg Olsen and Owen Daniels
Defense/Special Teams: San Francisco
0 Points Allowed, 3 Sacks, 3 Fumbles, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 blocked kick
The 49ers took out their frustrations on the Jets on Sunday, limiting Mark Sanchez to just 103 yards on 29 attempts. San Francisco added three sacks, a blocked kick, and a defensive touchdown to make them the top defense in week 4.
Honorable Mention: Chicago, Houston and Minnesota
Santonio Holmes is likely done for the season after sustaining a Lisfranc foot injury against the 49ers. Holmes sustained the injury in a non-contact play while trying to turn up field after making a catch.
Other Notable Injuries
1) Mike Vick – Knee (day-to-day)
2) Hakeem Nicks – Knee(day to day)
3) Julio Jones – Hand (day to day)
Working the Wire
Brian Hartline’s career day against the Cardinals makes him the top fantasy waiver wire target for week 5.
Other Players to Target
1) Greg Zuerlein – K STL
2) Jackie Battle – RB SD
3) Domenik HIxon – WR NYG
4) Brandon Bolder – RB NE
Plug & Play Defense: Week 5
The following defenses are above average plays this week for owners who opted to utilize a matchup-based strategy.
1) Rams at home against Cardinals
Start of the Week: Aaron Rodgers vs. Colts
Aaron Rodgers returned to form last week against the Saints and should continue his solid play as the Packers head to play the Colts.
The Colts have managed only one interception, while giving up two touchdown passes to Christian Ponder in week 2.
Fantasy Dud: Darren McFadden
34 rushing yards, 0 TD, 1 Catch, 4 receiving yards
Darren McFadden has the physical tools to be the most explosive fantasy player on the planet. Unfortunately, he plays on a team with a weak supporting cast and he is very streaky. Fantasy owners that started him against the Broncos on Sunday were burned by DMAC to the tune of just two fantasy points.
Honorable Mention: Tony Romo, Julio Jones and Christian Ponder