Fantasy 101: Studs and Duds from Week 4

With the Steelers vs. Titans match-up postponed due to a few players contraction of COVID-19, this was the first real challenge for the NFL this season in combating multiple positive tests across different teams. Fortunately, the rest of the NFL went on without a hitch.


Here’s some fantasy winners and losers from all of Week 4’s action. 



STUDS:  


QB Dak Prescott


I mean what more can you say about the Dallas Cowboys QB? After back-to-back 450+ yard passing games in Week 2 & 3, Prescott continued the hot streak on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns with an insane stat line of 502 passing yards and 4 TD’s.


Despite the great stat line, it was a Prescott INT that sealed the Browns 49-38 win after a crazy offensive explosion from both teams. Despite the team’s 1-3 record, Prescott will continue to be a top-3 option at the position including a great matchup next week against the New York Giants. 


WR Odell Beckham Jr. 


Speaking of that 87 point outburst, what about the other side of the ball and WR Odell Beckham Jr? After another slow start to the season for the second straight year, Beckham found the endzone three times on Sunday, the first time he’s done that since November 1st of the 2015 season when he was a member of the New York Giants. The most memorable play of the game was by Beckham when he took an end around 50 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to put the Browns ahead for good 49-38 with less than four minutes remaining. 


RB Joe Mixon 


The other player with a hat trick of touchdowns on Sunday? That would be one Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon. Mixon did it on the ground and in the passing game as he finished with 31 total touches (25 CAR, 6 CTH catches) 151 rush yards, 30 yards receiving, and had 3 TD's (two rushing, one receiving). This was a huge sigh of relief for fantasy managers as Mixon only 164 yards rushing, 58 receiving yards, no touchdowns and two fumbles through the first three weeks of the season. 


TE George Kittle 


After leaving week 1 with a knee injury forcing him to miss weeks two and three, Kittle said he was ready to “let it loose” after practicing in full late last week. And boy did he stick to those words. Kittle posted a mind-boggling stat line of 15 catches for a whopping 183 yards and a touchdown on Sunday night. The 15 catches were a career-high for Kittle while the 185 receiving yards were the second highest he’s ever recorded in a single game dating back to 2018 when he had a massive 210 yards against the Denver Broncos. Kittle should keep it rolling next week in a matchup with a vulnerable Miami Dolphins defense. 



DUDS: 


QB Drew Brees 


Sunday was another ho-hum game for long-time New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees. Despite being without two of his top weapons in superstar receiver Michael Thomas and TE Jared Cook, Brees still threw for 246 yards and tossed two touchdowns in a come from behind 35-29 win against the Detroit Lions. While it was encouraging the way Brees was able to move the ball down the field throughout this game, fantasy managers have to wonder if Brees is still the guy to roll with going forward. Outside of the matchup with the Green Bay Packers where he finished with 22.52 points in half-PPR (points per reception) leagues, Brees has put up a pedestrian 15.5 points per game. This was not what fantasy managers (including myself) were expecting from Brees from where he was drafted usually around the 7th or 8th round of fantasy drafts. Hopefully Brees will look back to normal once he has his full arsenal of weapons back potentially as soon as next week but it could be time to move on from the 41-year-old QB if he continues to put up mediocre numbers. 


RB Josh Jacobs 


After an explosive week one where he scored three rushing touchdowns and recorded 139 total yards (93 rushing and 46 receiving), Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs has come back down to earth in recent weeks. This trend continued on Sunday when Jacobs finished with a disappointing 48 rushing yards and 25 receiving yards on 18 total touches (15 carries and three catches) in a 30-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Coming into the season, this was one of the issues with the second year running back as when the Raiders trail on the scoreboard, Jacobs is less effective as other top backs. While there’s no question about Jacobs’ ability as one of the best young running backs in the league, this issue could continue next week when the team travels to Kansas City to play the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. 


WR DJ Moore 


Carolina Panthers receiver DJ Moore struggles continued on Sunday as the third year receiver only posted a mere four catches four 49 yards on six targets in the Panthers 31-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. After posting a season high in targets, catches, and yards on in week two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (eight catches for 120 yards on 13 targets), Moore has consistently played second fiddle to free agent signee receiver Robby Anderson who had eight catches for 99 yards on 11 targets on Sunday. While there’s still plenty of time for Moore to turn it around, it could be time for fantasy managers who drafted Moore with either their third or fourth round pick to worry if he can’t get on track against the Atlanta Falcons horrendous defense next week. 


TE Zach Ertz 


Speaking of another 3rd/4th round pick who continues to struggle, we go to Philadelphia with Eagles TE Zach Ertz. The long time Philly TE caught four passes for an abysmal nine total yards in Sunday night’s 25-20 win over the 49ers. With multiple starting receivers out for the team and 49ers defense heavily banged up, you expected a way better performance from Ertz who used to be QB Carson Wentz’s go to guy whenever and wherever on the field. Ertz’s play through four weeks has been concerning to say the least and it doesn’t help that the soon to be 30 year old TE is having with the team signing a long term contract. Don’t be surprised if Ertz is out of Philadelphia next year with 2018 2nd round pick Dallas Goedert under contract for the next few years. 




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