Week 4 of the fantasy season was filled with big-time performances, including some eye-popping numbers by the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill played pitch-n-catch with Brian Hartline (12 catches for 253 yards and a TD) and Davone Bess (7 catches for 123 yards) and torched the Cardinals defense for 431 yards, a TD and a 2-point conversion. Our fantasy team of James Morris and Jon Cope recap all of the fantasy news from an eventful week, and let you know which players might be available to help your team in week 5.
Winners (by James Morris)
Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB Bills: It wasn’t pretty, and Fitzpatrick wasn’t the best QB in this game, but his horribly wonderful fantasy day ends with 350 yards passing, 4 INTs and 4 TDs. The only reason he had so many yards and TDs was due to the game being out of hand about in the 4th quarter, but as the old adage goes: a win is a win is a win.
Cam Newton – QB Panthers: Cam I Am didn’t wow you with the arm, but he came through for fantast owners nevertheless. Newton finished with just 215 yards passing, but he was able to run for 85 yards, throw 2 TDs, and run for a TD.
Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden – RBs Patriots: Ridley and Boldin combined for 243 yards and 3 TDs (Ridley: 106 and 2 TDs, and Bolden: 136 and a TD). The game was in doubt until the second half when the Patriots come out firing on all cylinders and then the ground game took over once the game was out on control.
Jackie Battle – RB Chargers: Battle was able to rumble his way to 39 yards rushing, 42 yards receiving and 2 TDs on Sunday. Coach Norv Turner was trying to send a message to Ryan Mathews after his week 3 fumble, but this game was never in any real danger of getting away from the Chargers and the coaching staff knew it. Don’t rush to pick him up this week unless you’re desperate, Mathews will start next week.
Brian Hartline – WR Dolphins: And the #1 fantasy WR for week 4 is… BRIAN HARTLINE! Those in PPR leagues did even better with the 12 receptions, but the 253 yards and a TD is sure to lead the way in any format.
Andre Roberts – WR Cardinals: Roberts is owned in just 1.2 percent of NFL.com leagues, yet he finished in the top 5 for fantasy WRs. The little known WR hauled in 8 passes for 118 yards and 2 TDs. He is going to be a rollercoaster ride for anyone brave enough to own him, so you will have to pick and choose when and where you play him going forward.
Scott Chandler – TE Bills: Chandler is a big redzone target for Ryan Fitzpatrick, and he came through on Sunday with 62 yards and 2 TDs. TE is an all-or-nothing position in fantasy football, but Chandler is going to be too erratic to start in standard size leagues.
San Francisco 49ers defense: The 49ers defense showed up on Sunday and held the Jets scoreless, while adding 3 sacks, 3 fumbles recovered, 1 INT and 1 defensive TD. That equals 27.00 fantasy points in Dolphins NFL.com fantasy football league, and they take him the #1 defensive ranking in week 4.
Losers (by James Morris)
Christian Ponder – QB Vikings: The Vikings scored of the opening kick-off, and ran a punt back in the 3rd quarter, so this is not so much as what Ponder didn’t do, just that they simply didn’t need him in this one. After back-to-back weeks of throwing 2 TDs, Ponder finished the day with just 111 yards passing and no TDs.
Mark Sanchez – QB Jets: Jets fans are hating life right about now, which brings a smile to every Dolphins I know. The Jets got absolutely embarrassed by the 49ers defense on Sunday, and Sanchez finished with just 103 yards passing, 1 INT and 1 lost fumble. That equates to 0.12 fantasy points for those in NFL.com leagues (and a 0 for those in Yahoo standard scoring leagues).
Ryan Williams – RB Cardinals: You would be surprised by the sheer number of people I had asking be if they should start Williams over people like Matt Forte, Alfred Morris and Darren Sproles. My answer was unequivocally NO. I would rather miss one good game from an unproven RB like Williams, than sit someone like Morris or Forte and miss out on what we know they can provide. I was right by the way, as Williams ran for just 26 empty yards on Sunday.
Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown – RBs Giants: Just as many people who asked me about Williams, also asked about Bradshaw and Brown. My advice was essentially the same, sit them both down until we know how the workload shakes out. Bradshaw ended up with 13 carries for 39 yards, while Brown ended up with just 5 carries for 14 yards.
Julio Jones – WR Falcons: Every NFL player is going to have his bad games, and this was sure one of the bad ones for Jones. He caught just one ball for 30 yards, and that catch didn’t come until late in the game. The good news is that he did get targeted 8 times, but you also have to wonder how much his right hand hindered his game this week. Either way, he is an elite WR and should be played as such.
Jeremy Maclin – WR Eagles: For those who asked me about Maclin and I told them to go ahead and stick him in their line-up, sorry. He finished with a single catch for a whopping 7 yards. The Eagles are 3-1 this season, but the offense is all over the map in terms of fantasy production. I would sit Maclin until he proves he is back in Vick’s good graces (3 targets in week 4).
Martellus Bennett – TE Giants: Bennett has shot up the TE depth charts in every league out there, but this week he failed to deliver on the lofty expectations we all put on him. Bennett had scored in the Giants first three games, but was targeted just 3 times in this one. This is precisely why more leagues are shying away from a traditional TE roster position and instead opting for a WR/TE flex spot.
New York Jets defense: This is exactly why I advised you all last week to jump ship on the Jets defense. They held the 49ers offense to just 28 points while racking up 2 sacks. Yes, I am being sarcastic. The Jets were the worst fantasy defense this week and I cut bait and pick up whoever plays the Browns or Jaguars each week.
Week 5 Waiver Wire Additions (by Jon Cope)
Brian Hartline- WR, Dolphins (owned in 2.3% of NFL.com leagues)- we’ve been telling you about Hartline for weeks, but now even your buddies who aren’t Dolphins fans will be rushing to pick up Hartline after his 253 yard, record setting performance on Sunday. After a quarter of the 2012 NFL season, Hartline leads the NFL in receiving yards with 455! Hartline has proven he can win one-on-one matchups on the outside against elite corners like Patrick Peterson, and should be Ryan Tannehill’s top target moving forward. Former Dolphins Pro Bowl Guard Keith Sims was smart enough to have Hartline on his team, but unfortunately for Keith in his Finsiders league with Dolphins fans, Hartline and his 43.30 points were left sitting on the bench.
Rashard Mendenhall- RB Steelers (owned in 47.9% of NFL.com leagues)- Mendenhall is expected to see his first action of 2012 on Sunday when the Steelers battle the Eagles. After three weeks of uninspiring performances from Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, Mendenhall should easily resume his role as the #1 running back in Pittsburgh.
Jackie Battle- RB Chargers (owned in 8.2% of NFL.com leagues)- Battle got the start for the Chargers on Sunday and rushed for two touchdowns in their win over the Chiefs. Although I see Ryan Mathews as the guy that will eventually win the war for the #1 running back job in San Diego, I think Jackie can help you win a battle or two in the interim. I would expect Battle to at least have a goalline role moving forward, similar to the one that Mike Tolbert had last year in San Diego.
Randall Cobb & James Jones- WRs Packers (owned in 17.2 & 9.5 % of NFL.com leagues respectively)- Greg Jennings re-injured his groin on Sunday, meaning there should be a few more targets for Cobb and Jones in the weeks ahead. If I were in a PPR league, Cobb would be the guy I would want, but in a touchdown-driven league I would lean to Jones because of his ability to play out the outside in place of Jennings and create big plays. Either way, both of these receivers should be even more productive in the weeks ahead with Jennings’ uncertain status.
Andre Roberts- WR Cardinals (owned in 1.3% of NFL.com leagues)- as Dolphin fans unfortunately saw on Sunday, Roberts has become a big part of Arizona’s passing game. With defenses continually focusing on Larry Fitzgerald, Roberts has plenty of opportunities against single coverage, and the young wideout has delivered with 4 touchdowns in 4 games.
Other names to note:
Leonard Hankerson- WR Redskins (owned in 1.2% of NFL.com leagues)
Davone Bess- WR, Dolphins (owned in 2.2% of NFL.com leagues)
Chaz Schilens- WR Jets (owned 0.1% of NFL.com leagues)
Owen Daniels- TE, Texans (owned in 27.0% of NFL.com leagues)
Vikings Defense/Special Teams (owned in 3.4% of NFL.com leagues)
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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.