FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Fantasy Impact: Week 4
Ken Pomponio
September 30, 2013
 

Broncos 52, Eagles 20
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver

The offensive onslaught rolls on in the Mile High City as the Broncos hit a franchise single-game high by hanging more than half a 100 on the Eagles. Peyton Manning (4 TDs to up his league-leading total to 16) threw two apiece to Demaryius Thomas (9-86) and Wes Welker (7-76), with Eric Decker (5-88) and TE Julius Thomas (4-43) on the outside of the end zone and looking in this week.
Extra points: Knowshon Moreno (91 yards on 13 touches) remains the Denver back you want, while rookie Montee Ball (8-24) didn't play until garbage time. ... Don't forget about the Denver D/special teams (2 TDs Sunday) which features diminutive speedster Trindon Holliday, whose 105-yard kickoff return was his fifth return score in 15 games with the team, including a postseason tilt. ... Philly QB Michael Vick (248 passing yards, 41 rushing) and RB LeSean McCoy (94 total yards on 17 touches) put up semi-decent yardage totals, but the Eagle TDs were scored by seldom-used reserves RB Chris Polk (3-33) and WR Jeff Maehl (2-43).

Bills 23, Ravens 20
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, N.Y.

A textbook quarterback exhibition this wasn't as Buffalo first-round pick EJ Manuel and reigning Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco combined for eight turnovers -- with, surprisingly, the veteran accounting for two more (5-3) than the rookie. Flacco, though, did finish with 347 passing yards and two scores, while Manuel had only 167 passing yards, a TD and 1 rushing yard on 11 carries.
Extra points: The Bills' RB situation remains a mixed fantasy bag with Fred Jackson (16-87-1) outperforming C.J. Spiller (23-77) yet again. Both backs, however, left in the second half with what's being called an MCL sprain (Jackson) and an ankle sprain (Spiller). ... Rookie wideout Robert Woods (4-80, TD) was Manuel's top target, while Stevie Johnson was held to a catch for a 1-yard loss on six targets. ... WRs Torrey Smith (5-166) and Marlon Brown (4-34) both caught TDs for the Ravens, who did not run the ball once from late in the second quarter to late in the fourth. The final rushing numbers for Ray Rice (5-17) and Bernard Pierce (4-7) sort of reflected that.

Cardinals 13, Buccaneers 10
Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.

After enduring a six-quarter scoreless stretch, the Arizona offense direly needed a lift, and CB Patrick Peterson provided just that, intercepting Bucs rookie QB Mike Glennon (24-43-193-1 TD, 2 picks, fumble) twice in the fourth quarter to spark the Cards' comeback.
Extra points: Carson Palmer (21-38-248-1-2) was sub-par for the Cardinals with WRs Michael Floyd (5-87) and Larry Fitzgerald (6-68, TD) serving as his top targets. ... Meanwhile, the Arizona RBs continue to be uninspiring at best behind Rashard Mendenhall (34 total yards, fumble) and rookie Andre Elllington (51 yards). ... Bucs' RB Doug Martin carried 27 times, but gained less than 2 yards a pop, finishing with 45. ... Mike Williams (4-38, TD) was the most productive Tampa pass-catcher.

Chiefs 31, Giants 7
Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.

Two teams going in different directions met up here, and the final fantasy figures of the two QBs reflected that, with Alex Smith (288 passing yards, 3 TDs, 2 interceptions) outduelling Eli Manning (217, TD, pick, 2 fumbles). 
Extra points: Jamaal Charles (23 touches-127 total yards, TD) was his usual solid self, while WR Dwayne Bowe (4-58) avoided a dud of day with a 34-yard catch-and-run TD with 3 minutes and change to play. ... For Manning's targets, WR Victor Cruz (10-164, TD) easily outdistanced all of his pass-catching teammates combined (8-53). ... RB David Wilson finished with a season game-high in yardage, but to show how dismal it's been, it was all of 55 yards on 13 carries.

Colts 37, Jaguars 3
EverBank Field, Jacksonville

The ongoing lesson here: Start anyone and everyone against the toothless Jags, especially your team defense. Indy was the latest to take advantage, posting four sacks and gathering in three interceptions -- including one that went back for a score -- while limiting J'ville to a 53-yard field goal and 205 total yards.
Extra points: Colts QB Andrew Luck (260, 2 TDs, 26 rushing yards) was productively efficient, with WR Reggie Wayne (5-100) and TE Coby Fleener ((5-77), predictably, on the receiving end of his scoring passes. ... Trent Richardson got 21 touches and scored for the second straight week, but he was actually outgained (76-66) by Donald Brown, who had only five touches. ... The Jags? Blaine Gabbert returned to the starting QB role, but continues to, well, stink it up with 179 yards and the three picks. ... Even Maurice Jones-Drew (28 total yards on 14 touches) can't find traction in this quagmire, while WR Cecil Shorts (7-61) continues to be semi-decent in PPR leagues.

Seahawks 23, Texans 20 (OT)
Reliant Stadium, Houston

Winning Seattle QB Russell Wilson (123 passing yards, interception, 77 rushing yards) was better in reality than fantasy while the opposite was most certainly true for the Texans' Matt Schaub (355, 2 TDs, 2 picks), who threw a pick-six for the third straight week, resulting in the game-tying TD in the fourth quarter.
Extra points: Now this is why -- 171 total yards, TD -- you drafted Arian Foster in the first round, while running mate Ben Tate only had eight touches and 45 total yards. ... WR Andre Johnson (9-110) and TEs Garrett Graham (5-69, TD) and Owen Daniels (6-72) were surprisingly effective against Seattle's stud secondary. ... For the 'Hawks, RB Marshawn Lynch (143 total yards, TD) was the clear fantasy standout, while WR Doug Baldwin paced the team's WRs and TEs with all of three catches for 39 yards.

Browns 17, Bengals 6
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland

Don't look now, but a pair of Cleveland pass-catchers are suddenly in fantasy demand as TE Jordan Cameron (10-91, TD) and WR Josh Gordon (4-71) showed they're legit, teaming up with QB Brian Hoyer (25-38-269 yards-2 TDs) to get the best of a solid Cincy defense.
Extra points: Speaking of stout defenses, check out the Browns, who held the Bengals' Andy Dalton (206 yards, 2 turnovers) A.J. Green (7-51) and Giovanni Bernard (75 yards on 16 touches) in check and out of the end zone. ... On the other side of the ball, the Browns' ground game remains a work in progress with Willis McGahee (15-46) leading the way in his second game with the squad.

Lions 40, Bears 32
Ford Field, Detroit

Reggie Bush was back after being held out in Week 3, and his fantasy owners are rejoicing after he gashed the usually-stout Bears for 173 yards and a score Sunday. That, however, came at the expense of Joique Bell, who was limited to 42 yards on 11 touches.
Extra points: Meanwhile, the Lions' passing game was anything but predictable with WR Kris Durham leading the squad with 58 receiving yards and TE Brandon Pettigrew pacing the squad with seven catches. What was predictable though, was Calvin Johnson (4-44) hauling in the lone TD pass from Matthew Stafford (242, pick, rushing TD). ... Chicago QB Jay Cutler threw for a season-high 317 yards and and 2 TDs, but turned the ball over four times, including 3 picks. ... The tide may be turning somewhat in terms of the Bears' pass-catchers, though, as second-year WR Alshon Jeffery (5-107, TD) and TE Martellus Bennett (8-90) outperforming WR Brandon Marshall (7-79 on 14 targets).

Vikings 34, Steelers 27
Wembley Stadium, London

It took a trip across the pond and a new QB, but Minnesota WR Greg Jennings finally found the end zone with his new team, hauling in 70- and 16-yard scoring passes from Matt Cassel (16-25-248, 2 TDs), who did not commit a turnover in his first start in purple.
Extra points: Wideout Jerome Simpson (7-124) continues to produce, while TE Kyle Rudolph (2-6) continues to underwhelm. ... Adrian Peterson proved he's just as super-human overseas, rushing for 140 yards and two scores, the first a 60-yard romp -- his 12th career 60-yard-plus scoring run. ... In the meantime, the Steelers don't have a win, but they had plenty of fantasy standouts Sunday with Ben Roethlisberger (387 yards, TD), rookie RB Le'Veon Bell (84 total yards, 2 TDs) and WRs Antonio Brown (12-88, 10 rushing yards) and Jerricho Cotchery (5-103, TD) all producing. ... If anyone still cares, Pittsburgh RB Isaac Redman was a healthy scratch.

Titans 38, Jets 13
LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.

Any joy over the Titans' rout and 3-1 start was muted by the third-quarter hip injury that sent starting QB Jake Locker to the hospital. Prior to leaving strapped to a stretcher, Locker was showing strong fantasy breakout signs for the second straight week, throwing for a career-high three TDs and 149 yards.
Extra points: The Titans' D figured to have a favorable matchup against rookie QB Geno Smith (23-34-289, TD, 2 picks, 2 lost fumbles) and it delivered with five sacks, four turnovers and a TD. ... Despite the lopsided win, RB Chris Johnson (15-21, 2 catches for 10) was held in check, leaving Jackie Battle (11-42) to lead the team in rushing ... RB Bilal Powell (108 total yards on 56 touches) and TE Kellen Winslow (6-73) were the Jets' top fantasy performers while WRs Santonio Holmes (1-25) and Stephen Hill (0-0) did next to nothing while suffering hamstring and head injuries, respectively.

Redskins 24, Raiders 14
O.Co Coliseum; Oakland, Calif.

Running backs were going down left and right in this one, as the Skins' Alfred Morris (16-71, ribs) and -- surprise! -- the Raiders' Darren McFadden (5-29, hamstring) and Marcel Reece (0-0, knee) all left early. The two fill-in backs put in some decent work, with the Skins' Roy Helu (84 total yards, TD on 15 touches) and Rashad Jennings (116 total yards on 23 touches) both finishing in fantasy double digits.
Extra points: Oakland's Matt Flynn -- remember him? -- started for the concussed Terrelle Pryor and was 21-of-32 for 227 yards, a TD and an interception. ... RGIII also threw for 227 yards and a TD -- his first sub-300-yard passing game of the season. ... Washington WR Pierre Garcon (6-59) and Silver & Black TE Mychal Rivera (2-44) caught the game's two scoring passes.

Chargers 30, Cowboys 21
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

This Philip Rivers fantasy comeback thing is beginning to look like it's for real. Sunday, the QB was an impressive 35-of-42 for 401 yards and 3 scores in rallying the Bolts past the 'Boys. He's now has 11 TDs and only 2 interceptions on the year.
Extra points: Just like old times, Rivers' top target was TE Antonio Gates (10-136, TD) who has had as many 100-yard receiving games (2) in the past three games as he had in the previous 32. ... Ryan Mathews (19-62) was the Chargers' leading rusher, but Danny Woodhead was far more productive, adding five catches for 54 yards and two scores to his 32 rushing yards. ... Tony Romo couldn't keep up with Rivers, throwing for only 244 yards and two scores -- both to Dez Bryant (6-81). ... Rookie WR Terrance Williams (7-71) looked decent stepping in for the injured Miles Austin.

Patriots 30, Falcons 23
Georgia Dome, Atlanta

With 11 receptions for 93 yards and a TD through three games, the Tony Gonzalez-is-done talk was starting to pick up, but the Atlanta TE effectively silenced the doubters with a 12-catch, 149-yard, 2-TD night.
Extra points: Speaking of season-best outings, Tom Brady threw for 316 to top 300 passing yards for the first game this season, with WRs Kenbrell Thompkins (6-127, TD) and Julian Edelman (7-118) pacing the pass catchers. Who needs Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola, anyway? ... Stevan Ridley had the most touches (13 for 79 yards) of the N.E. backs, but LeGarrette Blount (9-64) was the most productive, thanks to his 47-yard TD burst. ... The Falcons, meanwhile, definitely missed Steven Jackson (quad) this week as Jacquizz Rodgers (7-32) and Jason Snelling (8-26) were non-factors on the ground. ... Julio Jones (6-108) had his third straight 100-yard game, while Roddy White (3-28) actually hit a season high in yards as he continues to be slowed by a high-ankle sprain suffered in the preseason.


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