Week 4 of the NFL is all wrapped up and the Kansas City Chiefs are the lone remaining undefeated team. This is why we all love the NFL. Expect the unexpected.
The all-out suck fest continues for the 49ers, Lions, Bills and Panthers. At 0-4, the chance any of these teams makes the playoffs is less than having a one-nighter with Paris Hilton and avoiding the clap. The 49ers continue their pace of bad game/good game as they nearly defeated the Atlanta Falcons. Roddy White saved the day by forcing a fumble after a Nate Clements interception, which led to a 43 yard game winning Matt Bryant FG for the second week in a row. The Lions came roaring back after falling behind early to the Packers but lost in typical “close but no cigar” Detroit fashion. The Bills should change their name to the Doormats, and the Panthers just can’t seem to get it going. I don’t blame rookie QB Jimmy Clausen, he’s actually looked OK for being thrown to the wolves about a year and a half too soon. The inability for this team to establish the running game is their main problem, and until they get that going you’ll see the losses pile up.
I expected to see several blowout games this week and that’s exactly what we got. The Jets Pauly D’d the Bills in a 38-14 rout. LT came out of the hot tub time machine to rack up 133 yards and 2 TDs a la 2006, while Shonn Greene added 117 rushing yards of his own. Mean Green looks to be back on track as they have put together their third consecutive win. Bandwagon fans everywhere in New York are dumping the Cowboys and other childhood favorites for the New York Jets. If you were born in New York in the mid to late 1980’s, there’s a good chance you called your self a Cowboys/49ers fan, you loved the Chicago Bulls and your Jets/Knicks loyal father hated you. You ditched the Bulls when Jordan hung em up and your father has forgiven your front-running ways and is glad to have you back.
The other two blowouts came as a result of extraordinary defensive/special teams performances from the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots. The Chargers D tallied 9 sacks while the Patriots scored 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns. Arizona looks like they’re in for a long season, and Chad Henne singlehandedly took the Dolphins out of the game Monday night. While there’s still hope for the Phins, Arizona needs a QB desperately. How much do you think it’d take to coax Kurt Warner out of retirement?
The biggest upset of the week came as a result of a last second 59 yard field goal from Josh Scobee of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags looked like the worst team in the NFL in Weeks 1-3 but managed to knock off one of the league’s best as the Colts fell to 2-2. Hats off to Jack Del Rio for doing his homework, recognizing the Colts can’t stop the run even when they stack 8 guys in the box. Indianapolis needs to figure something out quick, as the league has taken notice of this HUGE defensive inefficiency.
Now for the 4 of you who are loyal readers of Hook’s NFL Weekly Wrap-Ups, you may be asking yourself why I haven’t talked about the Eagles vs the Redskins and the G-Men vs Chicago. These highly anticipated matchups were possibly the worst 2 games of the week, maybe even the season. I’m pretty sure I saw Michael Vick’s soul momentarily leave his body when he got sandwiched in the first quarter. I was literally waiting for the Madden ’96 ambulance to drive on the field and run him over. He got up on his own power, but was out for the game and possibly the next few weeks. I thought to myself, OK now we’ll see what Kevin Kolb’s got. Aside from a strike in the end zone to Brent Celek, we saw a QB who was out of touch and unprepared. Analysis: Good for fantasy owners who burned a 6th round pick on Celek, bad for Eagles fans expecting to have a chance on Sunday. Without Vick, the Eagles are a mediocre team and all is not well in The City of Brothers with Guns. You can go back to feeding bottles of beer to infants and puking on cops and their children, Filthadelphians.
As for the Giants vs Bears Sunday night showdown, the stage was set for a great game that looked to answer a few burning questions. Are the Bears for real? Can the G-Men turn around a lackluster start by beating an undefeated team? Is Eli Manning the best QB with Down Syndrome of all time? After 3 hours of hard to watch football, we got our answers to the first two questions, and the jury is still out on the third. The Bears are NOT who we thought they were, with a porous offensive line that allowed a total of 10 sacks. Jay Cutler hurt his pride dome after the 9th sack of the first half and decided to stay in the locker room after the intermission to nurse his concussion. The Giants season is not over and Coughlin can tell Tiki Barber (who was booed INTENSELY during the Ring-of-Honor ceremony) to suck it. If you fell asleep before this one was over like the majority of viewers, the final score was 17-3 and no one provided any significant fantasy value.
There were several fantasy studs throughout the league this week as we had 6 players score multiple touchdowns and several 100+ yard performers. TO must have been in that hot tub with LT as he had his best performance in years with a 222 yard 1 TD day. Arian Foster is looking like a 2011 fantasy first rounder with 187 total yards and 2 scores. Joseph Addai owners finally got some production out of the RB2 as he found pay-dirt twice on Sunday. Peyton Hillis and Brandon Lloyd proved they are for real (told you so) and MJD owners finally got what they paid up for. As much as it pains me to say it, Darren McFadden has turned into a viable fantasy player after another productive week.
With studs there are always duds, and boy were there some duds this week. Unanimous overall #1 pick Chris Johnson had 64 total yards and a fumble. With his 3 receptions, that’s 5.9 points in most formats. I’m still not convinced that it wasn’t black magic, but if you listened to this week’s sit-em/start-em portion of the Fantasy Football Podcast and benched Michael Vick like Scott told you to, you avoided his 4 point performance due to injury. With a dead Vick came a DeSean Jackson on life support, as 3 receptions for 19 yards just won’t cut it in any format. Jeremy Maclin was even worse with 1 reception for 15 yards. We collectively told you to bench Ray Rice, and if you did you made the right move. Andre 3k didn’t play due to the ankle injury (67% of owners started him, I was in the 33% minority who sat him). Pre-season highly ranked wide-out Mike Sims-Walker was also left without a catch. Marques Colston disappoints again, and the dud of all duds, late first/early second rounder Randy Moss was held without a reception on Monday night.
While I wouldn’t panic on most of these guys, it’s a great time for buy low/sell high/cut ties. Trade Chris Johnson for AP or a Frank Gore + WR combo. Do it now, thank me later. Get anything you can for Marques Colston. I avoid that guy like the plague in drafts, simply because New Orleans spreads the ball around way too much. One week he’ll get you 20 points, the next week 2. See what other receivers were drafted in the 3rd or 4th round in your league and try to make a deal- DeSean Jackson, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker. Propose a trade for any of those guys and hope the owner bites. I’m calling the low on Ray Rice. Trade whoever you got in the 2nd round for him. I’m losing confidence in Randy Moss, but I’m not giving up on him yet. I think this is a great buy low opportunity for a guy that will get 10 TDs this season (just don’t expect huge yard totals if your league gives bonuses for 100+ outings). Sims-Walker might as well be Sims-Waiver. He should be on your bench til further notice. It’s also time to play the numbers game and try to catch someone sleeping. Try to trade for a player who had a Week 4 bye, like Jamaal Charles, Miles Austin or Tony Romo. Send the owners of these guys a trade for a player of slightly lesser caliber with 10 or more points on the season. If you can land Charles for Addai or Matt Forte, you’ll be in business. Trading Welker for Austin would be a huge upgrade. One of the best ways of improving your fantasy team is trading your guys who haven’t had byes yet for players who have. A strategy often overlooked by many.
That’s all I’ve got for Week 4. There aren’t many gems left in the waiver pool, but here are Hook’s Must Adds, Must Drops, and other players to keep an eye on going into Week 5:
Must Adds: Kyle Orton (QB DEN, probably no longer available), Mike Tolbert (RB SD, also likely gone), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RB NE), Davone Bess (WR MIA)
Must Drops: Felix Jones (RB DAL), Owen Daniels (TE HOU), Robert Maechem (WR NO), Devin Aromashodu (WR CHI)
Keep an Eye on: Kevin Kolb (QB PHI), Marshawn Lynch (RB SEA, very close to a must add)
Keep a Stankey Eye on (almost droppable): Mike Sims-Walker (WR JAX), Brandon Jacobs (RB NYG), Beanie Wells (RB ARI), Brett Favre (QB MIN), Michael Bush (RB OAK), Jerome Harrison (CLE RB)