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Fantasy Game Recaps: Week 4
Fantasy Dream - Or Is It A Nightmare?
9/29/08

Every year there seems to be one game that just has fantasy owners saying either: “I wish I had someone in that game” or “Why me?” The Cardinals-Jet game was the site of this year’s fantasy bonanza and if you had a player in this game you likely got some pretty good scoring out of them.

Jets 56 - Cardinals 35

Fantasy Superman: Brett Favre, Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston, Edgerrin James, Kurt Warner
Fantasy Performers: None
Fantasy Hens: Kurt Warner (?), Thomas Jones, Defense

I laughed this week when I saw I was going up against Brett Favre in one league and Laveranues Coles in another and could not understand why these guys werenít getting benched. Iím not laughing anymore. Brett Favre had the fantasy performance of the year only behind Ronnie Brown, with 289 yards, 6 TDs and 1 interception. Only two players on the Jets really benefited and those were Laveranues Coles with 8 catches for 105 yards and 3 TDs and Jerricho Cotchery with 4 catches for 67 yards and 2 TDs. Thomas Jones had his second straight poor performance with 46 yards and no scores.

Even Kurt Warnerís 6 turnovers could not stop him from being a fantasy superman with his 472 yards and 2 touchdowns. And everyone in the Cardinal offense benefited from their being forced to air it out. Steve Breaston, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin had great games in a ppr league, averaging 9 catches each (with a standard deviation of 1) for 120.5 yards (with a standard deviation of 1.5 yards). Only Boldin however crossed the goal line. Boldin was later carted off the field and taken to the hospital, making Breaston look like a valuable waiver wire gem this week. Edgerrin James finally realized that he was more helpful to his owners if he stopped rushing for yardage and limited himself to only 29 yards on 9 carries, two of which ended up in touchdowns. Even Tim Hightower got into the picture with another red zone TD.

Panthers 24 - Falcons 9

Fantasy Superman: Muhsin Muhammad, Steve Smith
Fantasy Performers: Jonathan Stewart, Jake Delhomme, Roddy White
Fantasy Hens: Michael Turner, Matt Ryan

The Panther passing game kicked it up this week with the primary beneficiaries of Jake Delhommeís 294- yard 2-TD performance being its starting wide receivers. Muhsin Muhammad had a monster day of 8 receptions for 147 yards and 1 TD, while Steve Smith got on track going 6 for 96 and 1 TD. The running attack was a virtual split down the middle, with each running back toting the rock approximately 15 times for 50+ yards. Jonathan Stewart paid off in a RB2/RB3 position by punching it in for a touchdown.

The only Falcon who rewarded fantasy managers was Roddy White with his 7-reception for 90-yard performance. Unlike Carolina, Michael Turner ran the ball 6 times more than Jerious Norwood, but like the Panther running backs, they each ran for only 50+ yards, neither scoring a touchdown.

Browns 20 - Bengals 12

Fantasy Superman:
Fantasy Performers: Jamal Lewis, Braylon Edwards, T.J. Houshmandzadeh (only in ppr)
Fantasy Hens: Kellen Winslow, Chris Perry, Chad Johnson

Last yearís Cardinals-Jets game turned into a relative fantasy nightmare. Derek Anderson finally won a game, but 1 TD on 138 yards and 1 interception makes it 4 consecutive weak fantasy performances for this 5th/6th round draft choice. Braylon Edwards finally notched his first TD on his 17-TD prediction belt, but he still only caught 3 balls for 22 yards. Kellen Winslow caught 5 for 54 yards. Only Jamal Lewis made fantasy owners happy with his 79 yards rushing, 15 receiving, and 1 TD.

Carson Palmerís elbow concerns trickled down. Chris Perry averaged a little over 2 yards per carry on 12 for 28 and 5 catches for 15 yards. In leagues awarding negative points for turnovers, Perry virtually neutralized his positive points with a fumble. T.J. Houshmandzadeh only gained 50 yards on 6 catches and Chad Johnson only pulled in 3 for 28 yards, but at least crossed the goal line for the first time. Ryan Fitzpatrick turned the ball over 4 times, devaluing the positive points he would have earned from 156 yards and 1 TD.

Titans 30 - Vikings 17

Fantasy Superman: Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson
Fantasy Performers: Bernard Berrian, Gus Frerotte, Bobby Wade, Justin Gage
Fantasy Hens: LenDale White

So far All Day Adrian Peterson has not had that breakout game. But you canít ask for more out of your number one running back with 101 combined yards, 2 TDs and a fumble. The passing game showed some improvement and if you were forced to start Gus Frerotte, while he did not throw for any TDs, his 266 yards and 1 interception are not a huge disappointment. Bernard Berrian had an okay day with 5 catches for 78 yards and he was only outperformed in ppr leagues by his teammate Bobby Wade with 7 for 75 yards.

Chris Johnson put up similar numbers to Peterson, with his 2 TDs of his own and 75 combined yards. LenDale White may be scoring touchdowns, but he is doing little else with 11 carries for 13 yards and 1 TD. Justin Gage caught 5 for 92 yards.

Buccaneers 30 - Packers 21

Fantasy Superman: Greg Jennings, Earnest Graham
Fantasy Performers:
Fantasy Hens: Ryan Grant, Brian Griese, Antonio Bryant, Jerramy Stevens
The battle of the Bays was a feast or famine game, mostly famine. The two teams posted similar fantasy numbers, with each having one star. Tampa Bayís star was on the ground with Earnest Graham rushing for 111 yards and 1 TD. Managers who were hoping for a repeat of last weekís air attack were left struggling for air with Brian Griese only 30 times for 149 yards, 1 TD and 3 picks. Antonio Bryant was the number one receiver for the Bucs, with 4 catches for 39 yards. Meanwhile Stevens was a huge bust for anyone thinking they picked up a waiver gem, grabbing no catches.

Greg Jennings is holding strong as the number one wide receiver in the NFL with 6 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. No other receivers in Green Bay put up any respectable fantasy numbers and Aaron Rodgers threw 3 interceptions to his two TDs. Ryan Grant showed just enough sign of life against Dallas the week before that most fantasy managers probably kept him in the line-up this week. Much to their chagrin he had his second 15 carry for 20-yard performance in three weeks.

Saints 31 - 49ers 17

Fantasy Superman: Drew Brees, Lance Moore
Fantasy Performers: Frank Gore, Arnaz Battle, Isaac Bruce, Deuce McAllister, Robert Meachem
Fantasy Hens: Reggie Bush

Drew Brees apparently likes the home cooking in New Orleans (and anyone who likes good food could hardly fault him). Where he averages only 1 TD on the road, at home things are quite different. For the second time in New Orleans, Brees passed for over 300 yards (363) and 3 Tds (he has remained consistent with throwing his 4th pick in his 4th game). The return of Deuce McAllister was quite good, with 83 combined yards and a touchdown. However, Reggie Bush did not fair well, even in ppr leagues, where he only gained 38 combined yards and had 5 catches. Lance Moore had a huge game with 7 catches for 101 and 2 TDs, while Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson respectively had 2 and 1 catches, but made them count with Meachem going for 99 yards and a score and Henderson going 81 yards. Moore should be considered as a waiver wire pick up if not already grabbed.

Expecting this to be more like the Cardinals-Jets game, San Francisco let down many owners this weekend. J.T. OíSullivan neutralized is 1 TD with 2 interceptions, while throwing for 257 yards. Frank Gore had a combined total of 113 yards, but was of little help in bonus leagues as he only had 2 catches, no scores and did not have a big day individually on the ground or in the air. Arnaz Battle caught 7 for 120, which likely were wasted in most leagues, while Issac Bruce caught 5 for 54 yards and a TD.

Jaguars 30 - Texans 27

Fantasy Superman: Matt Schaub, Kevin Walter, Steve Slaton, David Garrard
Fantasy Performers: Owen Daniels, Matt Jones
Fantasy Hens: Andre Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Fred Taylor

The Jaguar running back tandem is going to cause their owners nightmares. Sit them down for a game and they each go off for 100 and a TD. So the next week, you canít possibly bench them against the 0-2 Texans. Neither Jaguar running back could do much. Maurice Jones-Drew had 32 yards rushing and 17 receiving. Fred Taylor gained 25 yards rushing and 21 yards receiving. David Garrard finally showed signs of last yearís numbers, passing for 236 yards, 1 TD, and no interceptions and ran for 41 yards and a TD. Matt Jones was his number one wide receiver, catching 5 for 71 and 1 TD.

Matt Schaub saved his job with 307 yards passing, 24 yards running and 3 TDs. Only problem for most Schaub owners are that he was on their bench. Steve Slaton is rewarding Gary Kubiak for his decision to anoint him the starter for the rest of the year, with a combined 113 yards and Reggie Bush-like numbers of 8 catches for 83 yards and 1 TD. The Texan receiving corps seems to be highlighting Kevin Walter (8 for 76 yards and 2 TDs) and Owen Daniels (7 for 87 yards) instead of Andre Johnson who only reeled in 3 catches for 38 yards.

Chiefs 33 - Broncos 19

Fantasy Superman: Larry Johnson
Fantasy Performers: Dwayne Bowe, Tony Gonzalez, Eddie Royal, Brandon Marshall, Michael Pittman
Fantasy Hens: Selvin Young

On any given Sunday, especially in Arrowhead, a nine-point favorite can get manhandled. And donít look now, but Larry Johnson just had his second consecutive 100+ performance with 198 yards and 2 TDs. Dwayne Bowe had another decent day for ppr leagues, catching 7 passes for 85 yards and Tony Gonzalez hauled in only 3 catches for 47 yards, with 1 TD.

The Denver passing game was still good, although coming slightly back down to earth, with Jay Cutler throwing for 361 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions. Eddie Royal did well, especially in ppr leagues with 9 catches for 104 yards. The two Brandons, Marshall and Stokely, each caught 7 passes. Stokely had 80 yards and Marshall had 77 yards and 1 TD. Owners who bought high on Selvin Young are officially circling the wagons as Selvin Young had another 11-carry performance for only 49 yards. Michael Pittman did not cross the end zone, but he did gain 81 combined yards.

Bills 31 - Rams 14

Fantasy Superman: Steven Jackson,
Fantasy Performers: Fred Jackson, Lee Evans, Donnie Avery
Fantasy Hens: Marshawn Lynch, Scott Linehan

No big surprise that this game would turn into a news story with little fantasy impact. Oddly, a game where the Bills scored 31 points would seemingly be joined by some big fantasy numbers, but this was the Rams defense the Bills were playing against and fantasy number should have been clicking faster than calendar pages in a fast forward sequence.

Marshawn Lynch should have multiple touchdowns and 100+ performance - he had neither. Lynch only ran for 57 yards, caught 4 for 24, and had no TDs. IN fact, he was outperformed by his back-up Fred Jackson who rushed for 46 yards and 1 TD. Trent Edwards should have thrown for over 300 yards and multiple TDs. Instead, he only had 197 yards, 1 TD and 1 pick. Lee Evans may have had 1 TD and 88 yards, but 49 yards came on 1 catch on the first drive of the game and he did not catch another until he hauled in a 39-yarder on a 4th quarter catch. While Evans numbers cannot be criticized, the Bills do not face an easy defense again until...oh wait arenít they playing the Cardinals next week? Nevertheless, most fantasy managers with Bills are on their team was licking their chops this week, only to be disappointed.

On the opposite side of the ball, no managers with Rams on their squads could have had any expectations this week given how tough the Bills defense has been, the Linehan drama, and the negative comments of Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, and Steven Jackson. Yet Steven Jackson put up great numbers in any format with 110 rushing, 5 receptions for 78 yards and 1 TD. Torry Holt did not blaze but he still caught 4 for 65 yards, which was better than quite a few number one wide receivers. The Rams moved Donnie Avery into the starting position and it paid off with a 37-yard run for a TD and 3 catches for 22 yards.

Chargers 28 - Raiders 18

Fantasy Superman: LaDainian Tomlinson (garbage TDís count in fantasy), Zach Miller
Fantasy Performers: Antonio Gates, JaMarcus Russell, Michael Bush
Fantasy Hens: Philip Rivers, Darren McFadden, Chris Chambers

I had a momentary lapse this afternoon and forgot about fantasy football as my Chargers were down to the Oakland Raiders 15-0 at halftime. But it passed. LaDanian Tomlinson broke 100 yards for the first time this year and ran for 2 TDs for the second consecutive game. LT2 owners can be optimistic, but letís face it, with 1:17 left in the game Tomlinson had only 62 yards rushing, 9 receiving and 1 TD and LT2 still does not appear to be the old LT2. The 4th quarter was also good to Antonio Gates who caught a total of 5 catches for 58 yards and 1 TD. Philip Rivers passer rating took a hit with him throwing 2 picks to his 1 TD and only 180 yards. Chris Chambers failed to score for the first time this year and only reeled in 2 catches for 42 yards.

JaMarcus Russell broke the 200-yard barrier for the first time with 277 yards, 1 TD and his first interception. Michael Bush took control of the ground game with 48 yards rushing and 80 yards receiving on 7 receptions. Darren McFaddenís turf toe may have hindered him to a 20-yard rushing and 17-yard receiving performance. The Charger defense continues to be a feeding frenzy for tight ends with Zach Miller grabbing 5 catches for 95 yards and 1 TD.

Redskins 26 - Cowboys 24

Fantasy Superman: Santana Moss, Clinton Portis, Tony Romo, Jason Witten
Fantasy Performers: Jason Campbell, Antwaan Randle El, Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin
Fantasy Hens: Chris Cooley, Marion Barber, Felix Jones

Neither Santana Moss nor Clinton Portis had touchdowns, but they seemed to have their way with the Cowboy defense today. Moss caught 8 balls for 145 yards and Portis ran for 121 yards on only 21 carries (he also caught 2 for 14 yards). Jason Campbell also hooked up with his other receivers throwing for 231 yards and 2 TDs. Antwaan Randle El caught 4 for 36 and 1 TD. However, Chris Cooley would not have wanted to own himself in fantasy leagues after going 4 for 28 yards.

The model of consistency this year, Marion Barber, had a real let down performance with 26 yards rushing and 11 receiving yards. However, the Cowboys passing game was consistent. Tony Romo threw for 300 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception. Jason Witten caught 7 for 90 yards and 1 TD. Terrell Owens had similar numbers going 7 for 71 and 1 TD. Patrick Crayton returned from a zero reception performance with 7 catches for 87 yards. Even Miles Austin made me eat crow with a second consecutive TD receiving game and 45 yards.

Bears 24 - Eagles 20

Fantasy Superman: DeSean Jackson
Fantasy Performers: Correll Buckhalter, Reggie Brown, Greg Olsen, Matt Forte
Fantasy Hens: Hank Baskett, Brandon Lloyd
Matt Forte only rushed for 43 yards and had 5 catches for an almost equal 42 yards, without a score, but for an RB3 you cannot ask for much more, especially in a ppr league. After a big week from the waiver wire, Brandon Lloyd only caught 2 balls for 33 yards. Kyle Orton threw for 199 yards and 3 TDs, but a couple of picks made it only a mediocre performance.

Brian Westbrook was seriously missed when the Eagles had 4 shots at the one-yard line in the 4th quarter. Correll Buckhalter could not make it, but his fantasy numbers were not all too bad. He had 66 yards rushing and 24 receiving, with 1 TD. DeSean Jackson had a great first half, but did little more in the second, ending the game with 5 catches for 75 yards and 1 TD, and 35 yards rushing. Reggie Brown in his first game back had 6 receptions for 79 yards. Donovan MacNabb was no Brian Griese against the Bears D, going for 262 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception.

Week 5 Waiver Wire Players

QB: JaMarcus Russell
RB: Ryan Torain
WR: Lance Moore, Steve Breaston, Donnie Avery, Arnaz Battle, Miles Austin
TE: Zach Miller