Week 4 is when fantasy coaching really begins as bye weeks come
into play. Green Bay and Philadelphia will be sitting on the sidelines
this weekend and team depth and waiver wire expertise begin to
factor into fantasy results.
Golden Tate is off to a slow start, being
overshadowed by Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron and Anquan Boldin.
“You can be standing right in front of the truth and
not necessarily see it, and people only get it when they’re
ready to get it.” - George Harrison
1) Not only has Marvin Jones taken
over the No. 1 wideout role in Detroit, but Anquan Boldin is a
better second option than Golden Tate.
Jones is doing everything (team-leading 29 targets, 18 receptions,
408 yards, 2 TDs, 17.6 fantasy ppg), Boldin (7.5 ppg) and tight
Ebron are Matthew
Staffordís ďgo-toĒ guys in the red zone and Tate (2.9) is
unfortunately the mid-field possession receiver. Tate should be
on your bench.
2) Jameis Winston has become a top-five
fantasy quarterback option.
True. Despite a horrible four-interception game in Week 2 against
the Cardinals, Winston confirmed his status as an elite quarterback
by rebounding with a 405-yard, three-touchdown game in Week 3.
The confirmation isnít just that he had such a big game, but that
the coaching staff still let him throw 58 times after the disaster
in Arizona and knows the ďteam goes as Winston goes.Ē Heís thrown
a league-high 143 passes, three more than Drew
3) I am now a full-fledged, card-carrying
member of the Carson Wentz fan club.
True. That doesnít mean, however, that I think heís a fantasy
stud in redraft leagues. Despite his teamís early success, Wentz
ranks 19th in fantasy points per game (20.2) and plays in a balanced
offense. New Eagles head coach Doug Pederson will continue to
protect his young quarterback by running the ball as much as he
lets his talented rookie throw it (through three games the team
has passed 102 time and run the ball 96 times).
4) Russell Wilson is one of the worst
fantasy quarterbacks through Week 3.
True. Wilson ranks 30th among fantasy quarterbacks averaging just
16.4 ppg. The only QB ranked lower and also played three games
Keenum. Itís a two-part problem. Wilsonís offense doesnít
have the threat of Marshawn
Lynch in the backfield to pull linebackers and safeties close
to the line of scrimmage and Wilson hasnít run the ball due to
injuries. The Seahawks quarterback is currently dealing with a
knee issue which means he probably wonít be running anytime soon
and thatís a big part of his game (averaged 607 rushing yards
and three TDs from 2012-15). The other issue, that Thomas
Rawls or Christine
Michael donít scare defenses as Lynch did, isnít going to
5) Three of the current top-5 fantasy
running backs wonít be in the top-15 by mid-season.
Johnson (18.9 FPts/G) and DeMarco
Murray (18.6) should stay near the top, while LeGarrette
Blount (17.9), DeAngelo
Williams (17.6) and Tevin
Coleman (17.3) are at their peak value right now and headed
for a significant fall. When Tom
Brady returns in Week 5 the Pats offense goes back to being
short-pass oriented and Blount ends up being a short-yardage and
red-zone specialist. LeíVeon Bell returns from suspension this Sunday
sending Williams to the bench and Coleman and the Falcons hit the
hardest part of their schedule beginning in Week 4.
“The truth is messy. It's raw and uncomfortable. You can't
blame people for preferring lies.” - Holly Black
1) The RBBC in Atlanta is working perfectly as Devonta Freeman is
averaging 13.3 FPts/G and Coleman has put up 17.2 FPts/G.
False. The numbers look a lot better after the pair demolished the
Saints for a combined 53.6 fantasy points, but they wonít
get to play New Orleans again until Week 17 when many fantasy seasons
are already completed. With Carolina, Denver and Seattle next up
on the schedule and the Eagles, Cardinals and Rams later this season,
Week 4 appears to be the perfect time to ďsell high.Ē
2) Big Eddie Lacy (23 rushing TDs 2013-15) is tough to stop in the
False. Apparently heís less effective in 2016 as heís
an ugly 0-for-9 in scoring from the red zone. Perhaps thatís
why teammate Jordy Nelson leads the league in red zone targets (9),
red zone completions (6) and red zone touchdowns (4).
3) Washington tight end Jordan Reed,
currently ranked 14th, should no longer be considered an elite fantasy
Itís too soon to write off Reed who has caught 16 balls for
190 yards. Heís still leading the Redskins in targets (25),
but he hasnít been Kirk Cousinsí No. 1 guy in the red
zone - thatís been Jamison Crowder (7). Last season Reed converted
23 red zone targets into 11 touchdowns, but this year heís
0-for-3. Too small a sample size.
4) Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant,
currently ranked 44th, should no longer be considered an elite fantasy
As with Reed, Iím not ready to give up on Bryant, but I will
say that he wonít return to stud status until Tony Romo is
under center. With rookie quarterback Dak Prescott at the controls,
Bryantís value is greatly reduced. Prescott makes a quick
read and either checks down to Cole Beasley or tucks it under his
arm and runs with it. That trend allows defenses to take Bryant
out of the offense by doubling him and forcing Prescott to look
for a better option. Romo would still throw it to Bryant because
he has the confidence in his receiver on any 50-50 ball.
5) Dustin Hopkinsí appearance at the
top of the kicker stats is a fluke.
False. He may not beat out perennial favorite Stephen Gostkowski,
but he appears to be capable of posting top numbers. Kirk Cousins
isnít getting the Redskins into the end zone, but Washington
has moved the ball well in each of the first three games - ranking
third-best at 6.5 yards per play. Hopkins leads the NFL with 11
field goal attempts and heís been successful on all of them.
Hopkins may finally break Washingtonís 10-year string of not
producing a top-12 kicker.
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.