Fantasy Attack: Week 4
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It’s Week 4! How are your fantasy teams doing?
Those of you with any familiarity with my work know that I’m the last person to advise giving up on a yearly fantasy team early in the season. Even if you’re sitting in an 0-3 hole & looking up at the rest of the league, I always say to hang in there. Moves can be made. People that have done very little early will come around sooner or later. Three weeks don’t determine the fate of a whole season.
Unless you have a team like the one I’m looking at in the league I do a podcast about.
It’s a fourteen-team league, so the talent is theoretically spread pretty thin. Somehow we always end up with teams that are stacked & teams that aren’t. The NFL is funny like that. I had the first pick, which I was pretty excited about because Saquon Barkley was a pretty easy choice. The downside of having the first pick in a fourteen-team league…you don’t get another pick pretty much until the end of time. You watch people fly off the board for ages until it’s finally your turn. Then you take another running back you’re high on & a wide receiver. If you don’t nail these picks, you’re in trouble.
Fortunately, first overall picks tend to do well. They don’t always end up with the most points in the league, in fact they usually don’t, but they’ll at the very least finish in the top five in their position and not embarrass you. Barkley seemed on pace for that type of the season until…
Barkley has a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss 4-8 weeks. Now, that might not be the end of the world if you picked him in an 8-team league or a 10-team league. Maybe not even a 12-team league. But a 14-team league, filled with the types of players that will pick Barkley’s backup up seconds after the dude gets hurt while you’re driving home from work blissfully unaware of the whole situation…things aren’t good. Especially looking at the rest of my roster.
QB: Jared Goff has been a big load of blah, but it’s not like Derek Carr’s doing anything to make me consider changing horses there.
WR: Amari Cooper’s been everything I hoped for. Tyler Boyd, not so much. I got John Ross hanging out on my bench because I really need more Bengal WRs. Then there’s Corey Davis, who Yahoo keeps projecting for more points than he’s scored all season. Not sure what they’re smoking on that account.
TE: O.J. Howard has been a disaster. Delanie Walker had a big Week 1, but has just kind of been there since then.
Kicker & Defense have been nothing special. Jacksonville had a good week against Tennessee, my other streams have been kinda meh.
RB: Oh boy. Kerryon Johnson has been delightfully mediocre. I decided to wait awhile on RB afterwards and the next guy I got was…Peyton Barber. Yeah. I’ve picked up Raheem Mostert & Darrel Williams since, but neither inspires too much confidence.
So other than Amari Cooper, this whole team is a dumpster fire. You can guess who people want to come to my rescue and trade me a RB for. To say things aren’t looking good would be an understatement, and I’m really not looking forward to talking about my destruction every week for the next three months.
That’s what’s going on with me, hope things have gone better for you!
Keenan Allen: Expect to see a lot of people that are playing against the Miami Dolphins in this column every single week until Miami proves they can do anything of value on the football field. They haven’t yet, so if you have any Chargers you better put them in your lineup this week. Maybe wait a week on Melvin Gordon since he probably won’t play, but everybody else. Start them all. Allen, of course, goes without saying whenever he’s healthy, and he still is. 183 yards & 2 touchdowns against the Texans last week…I’d expect something similar this week.
Dak Prescott: Cowboys are gonna have to pay Dak some big money if he keeps things up. He certainly should in the SuperDome against a Saints team that’s given up the second-most points to fantasy quarterbacks so far. In that league I was talking about up top, I picked Jared Goff thirty-one spots ahead of where Prescott went off the board. What a disaster.
James Conner: Conner and the rest of the Steelers have had a rough start to the 2019 season. What better chance to get right than a game with the Cincinnati Bengals? Conner had 19 rushes for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Bengals back in Week 3 of 2018. His numbers in Week 17 weren’t as hot, but it was Week 17. Expect the Steelers to get somewhat back on track this week with their favorite punching bag.
Greg Olsen: It wasn’t so long ago that we all thought Olsen would be heading into a broadcasting career, but instead he’s out here still putting up numbers with the Panthers. The last two weeks have seen Olsen get 110 yards against Tampa Bay in a game where he was the only Panther accomplishing anything of value, and 75 yards & 2 touchdowns against Arizona from the golden arm of Kyle Allen. We know the youngsters love their tight ends, and a veteran like Olsen is the perfect safety valve to make people wonder whether Cam Newton will keep his job or not. (He will. Most likely.)
Will Dissly: Let’s go back to Week 1, the last time Mr. Dissly was mentioned in this space:
Will Dissly (3% Yahoo-owned): I talked about the Bengals defense going against Seattle being a boon for fantasy owners with Seahawks earlier, and there’s no better example than a tight end owned in 3% of Yahoo fantasy leagues. Also keep in mind: Dissly had three catches for 105 yards & a touchdown in Week 1 last season. Some guys do well at certain times of the year.
OK, so I was wrong about Week 1. One catch for twelve yards against those pesky Bengals. He’s been better since, getting fifty yards & two touchdowns in Week 2 & following it up with sixty-two yards & one touchdown in Week 3. If you followed my advice, then didn’t ditch him in disgust after Week 1, you’re sitting pretty in Week 4. Especially since he’s facing an Arizona defense that can’t stop much of anything at the moment.
Baker Mayfield: Remember when the Browns were back? Turns out that they certainly are! People were telling us that Mayfield was going to be a top five fantasy QB this year, and he’s been nowhere close to that so far. The boy will get back on track and have the Browns humming by the end of the season…but right now with no David Njoku available against a Ravens defense that is still ok when not up against Patrick Mahomes? I don’t like it.
Stefon Diggs: It’s not a good season to own Minnesota Vikings wide receivers. The Vikings are all about the running game right now, as Dalvin Cook is currently healthy and Kirk Cousins is currently the quarterback. Diggs has been particularly disappointing…with the exception of a touchdown catch in Green Bay, he’s not gotten much of an opportunity to even bring anything to the table. Don’t expect anybody to bring much to the table against that Chicago defense.
Aaron Jones: I’ve never been a big fan of people in Thursday night games. Jones is coming off of two productive weeks, but the dude only had 19 yards in 10 rushing attempts on Week 3 and faces a stout Philly D-line on Thursday night. He also got 3.9 points on his most recent Thursday night game, so I’d stay away.
Dallas DEF: We all added them last week because they were playing the Dolphins. They’re playing the Saints in the SuperDome this week. It might be tempting to keep them because Drew Brees isn’t the QB, but the Saints still have Alvin Kamara and all the other weapons. I wouldn’t expect too much here.
Three monkeyknifefight.com Sleepers
Mason Rudolph (12% owned in Yahoo! leagues): The Bengals excel at making the Steelers look good. They also make young QBs look good. If Mason Rudolph is going to have a breakout week, now is the time.
Ronald Jones II (26%): It’s only a matter of time before Jones is the official RB1 in Tampa Bay. He’s outperforming Peyton Barber by a comfortable margin. If he gets the most looks this week, it’ll be in a high-scoring matchup with the Rams.
Gus Edwards (4%): Gus the Bus is the second-most targeted running back in the Ravens scheme and getting more looks every week. Think that’s worth keeping an eye on? Guy did some stuff last year and got swept under the rug in the off-season for unknown reasons. He’s looking less like a flash in the pan by the week.