I’m still recovering from the fact that I would have won my Week 4 match-up to move to 3-1 in my main dynasty league had it not been for Mike Vick getting sandwiched between two Redskins defensive backs and leaving the game early with rib and chest injuries that could keep him out for who knows how long.
I mean, when guys like Shaun Hill and Ryan Fitzpatrick outscore your guy, it really stings, but at least I made some solid predictions to help readers in Week 4 — which, of course, is way more important anyway.
Here’s what I mean...
We Were Right About…
Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller, Jets — How good did the Jets offense look against the Bills? That’s three straight weeks now in which the “San-chize” has been fantasy-worthy, with his main target being third year TE Dustin Keller. I said they’d be great fantasy starts, and with two more TDs for Sanchez, and two more for Keller, I was right on the money. Beware of both though against a tough Vikings defense on Monday night next week. The good news is, Santonio Holmes returns from suspension, which gives Sanchez another top target, and opens up the middle of the field for Keller.
Bills RBs — Despite the decent play of Marshawn Lynch and C.J. Spiller in Week 3, I told fantasy owners to bench all Bills RBs in Week 4 against the Jets. Lynch answered my call with just four carries for eight yards, while Spiller had 11 yards on two carries and Fred Jackson gained 21 yards on three carries. In fact, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was the team’s leading rusher with 74 yards on seven carries.
Bengals Offense — Sometimes you need to cast aside what has happened in previous weeks and strictly look at the week in front of you. Despite the horrible play of Cincy’s offense during the last two weeks, I recommended Carson Palmer, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco against the Browns in Week 4. T.O. blew up for 10 catches, 222 yards and a score, likely winning matchups for those owners who started him.
Kyle Orton, Broncos QB — Then, there are other times when you must disregard the matchup and start the hot hand regardless. Despite playing one of the toughest pass defenses in the NFL thus far, Orton threw for 341 yards and two scores, leading the Broncos to a win over the Titans, and likely helping many fantasy owners to victory as well. Orton remains a solid start in Week 5 against the Ravens.
Kenny Britt, Titans WR — Easy to overlook after a horrible offseason, Kenny Britt is starting to show his true talent, having hauled in 10 balls for 90 yards and two scores in his last three games, having been targeted seven times in Week 2 and Week 4. I said he’d be a solid sleeper WR3 in deep leagues against the Broncos, and a beautiful TD catch in the back of the end zone made me right about him.
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers RB — I recommended that owners start Mendy in spite of the matchup against Baltimore, and hopefully you listened, as he racked up 79 yards and two scores on 25 carries. On a bye in Week 5, he’s a must start in all formats from Week 6 and beyond.
Shaun Hill and Calvin Johnson, Lions — Owners of Calvin Johnson considered benching him in Week 4. Don’t believe me? An owner in one of my leagues went with Malcom Floyd and Mark Clayton over Megatron. Come on, folks. I told you to go with him despite the matchup against the Packers, and he delivered to the tune of six catches for 86 yards and two scores. I even touted Shaun Hill as a solid bye-week fill in, and he lit up the Packers for 331 yards and two TDs. He even rushed for 53 yards. With Hill having thrown for more than 300 yards in two of the last three weeks, owners of Matthew Stafford should be excited about the fantasy prospects when their guy returns to health.
Michael Crabtree, Niners WR — After catching only six balls for 81 yards in the first three weeks of the season, even PPR owners were skeptical of Crabtree heading into Week 4. My prediction was that he’d return to fantasy relevance, and after catching five balls for 58 yards against Atlanta, I’d say he did just that.
Sam Bradford, Rams QB — The rookie looked great against Seattle, throwing for 289 yards and two TDs, making him the solid bye-week fill-in I thought he’d be.
We Were Wrong About…
Ray Rice, Ravens RB — Well, you win some and you lose some, but playing Ray Rice wasn’t necessarily a bad call. You drafted the guy to play him, and should have expected more than eight carries for 20 yards under any circumstances.
Maurice Morris, Lions RB — Just a bad call here. I thought maybe Jahvid Best would miss time, allowing Morris to see some work and catch a few balls, but Kevin Smith saw time behind Best, taking Morris’ chances of being a solid flex option away in Week 4.
Jeremy Maclin, Eagles WR — After catching four TDs in his first three games, I predicted “another huge game” for Maclin, but the injury to Mike Vick in the first half all but sealed his fate, as Kevin “Check Down” Kolb only had eyes for Shady McCoy all day.
Jay Cutler, Bears QB — I thought Cutler would be a solid start against the G-Men, but nine sacks and a concussion later had many owners fielding negative points from the QB position in Week 4 — sorry. But who saw that coming?