I’ll be quick about this: TEs sucked again (seriously!), Brandin Cooks once again proved his unpredictability, and the Titans gave up 57 points to the Houston Texans (don’t worry – we’ll talk about that MUCH more later). Here are my Winners and Losers from Week 4 of the 2017-18 NFL season.
Am I the only one who thinks that DeShaun Watson looks like an exact replica of Dak Prescott from last season? He is number 4, plays for a Texas team, is mobile, and can crush defenses he has no business in crushing. Watson is now my early pick for Rookie of the year behind only Kareem Hunt. The QB deserves a pat on the back for what he managed to do this week versus the Titans, as he threw for close to 300 yards and four touchdowns. Tom Savage is never getting his job back from this winner.
MVP! MVP! MVP! Is this an overreaction? Probably. Look at the numbers though! Alex Smith is having an undeniably great start to his season, and his production continued vs Washington on Monday night, showing his true leadership skills on the Chiefs’ way to a HUGE win. The Chiefs are 4-0, and they have Alex Smith to thank! To quote Travis Kelce after Monday’s game, “That’s my quarterback!”. Unless the Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl in February, I think we’ll be seeing Smith at NFL honors this year.
Finally! Le’Veon Bell finally had the game many of his owners have been waiting for since they took him in the first round! With 144 yards and two touchdowns to go along with another solid game receiving wise, Bell earned a spot as my top running back of the week and my easiest pick as a winner on Sunday.
Powell set the Jets record for the longest run in franchise history, and while I don’t think that 75 yards is much of a record, it was just part of his huge day Sunday vs the Jaguars. Powell has surfaced as the Jets top running back, and he doesn’t look to be slowing down. If he is still available in your league, he’s a must add after all these solid and high-scoring performances. Winner!
I bet you didn’t think Tyrell Williams would be one of my winners of the week before his game on Sunday. However, Williams had 115 yards and 1 TD versus the Eagles, so how could I refuse him a spot on this week’s list? This is a surprise performance by all means, and I don’t expect the output to continue, but hats off to Williams for getting his first 100-yard game of the season on a reeling Los Angeles team. Someone had to be my top winner of the week, and Williams easily takes first prize.
Will Fuller V
I saw something interesting that said that if you had had a lineup this week of just Texans, then you would have scored 144 points. Fuller would clearly be a big part of that scoring output, as although he only had 34 yards (and I know that’s small), the second-year receiver had two touchdowns versus the Titans! Watson clearly loves throwing to this guy, so that is something to keep an eye on following this week.
Cameron Brate is my top sleeper tight end, and he really gets no respect. I love this guy, and Jameis Winston clearly does too, as Brate is his top target in the red zone. Let me say this one more time, don’t sleep on Brate! He scored 16 points in 1/2 – PPR leagues this week with his 80 yards and a touchdown, and that should not be minimized. DON’T SLEEP ON BRATE!
Kroft filled in very nicely for Tyler Eifert this week, and although once again this week was filled with non-exciting tight end performances, Kroft still managed to stand out. 68 yards and 2 TDs is enough to get your team a win and more than enough to make yourself a winner for Week 4.
“Greg The Leg” hit 7 field goals vs the Cowboys this week. That’s three touchdowns (with PATs) worth of points that a kicker scored this week. That is unheard of, and yet Greg Zuerlein managed to do it. I normally like to make a comparison to a WR or RB when a kicker scores as many points as Zuerlein did Sunday, but I don’t really feel the need to. 23 fantasy points speaks for itself. Great game from a great kicker.
This week’s “Gruden Grinder” replaced Cairo Santos, who I still believe is one of the best kickers in the game. It doesn’t look like the Chiefs will be needing Santos however, as Butker lit the Redskins up, hitting the game-winning FG in the process. Going from being on the Panthers’ practice squad last week to being a winner for Week 4 is a big step for the kicker, so a big congratulations to Harrison Butker on his performance this week!
While the Titans were busy giving up 57 points on Sunday, the Texans only gave up 14 and also got (oh, I don’t know) 4 INTERCEPTIONS, 1 FR, 2 SACKS, and 1 TD! Need I say more? Definitely not.
The Bills are legit. I don’t think I’ve ever said those 4 words in a sentence before, but it’s always a good time for firsts. The Falcons are no longer undefeated after facing this defense, and I’d like to point out Tre’Davious White for getting that long fumble recovery for a touchdown off of Matt Ryan early in the game. It was a smart, instinctive football play from the rookie, and it comes from a player who has already been playing out of his mind these first four weeks. DROY anyone?
Carr has made this list now in two straight weeks! The Raiders QB is going to be out for 2 to 6 weeks, and that fantasy impact is going to be killer for his owners. Derek Carr had no luck putting up fantasy points before he hurt his back vs the Broncos, so if you started him, your team really took a hit. It might be time to look for a better option on the waiver wire and put Carr on your bench while he recovers from his spinal fracture. Big loser this week.
Isn’t it funny how two of the 3 B’s are losers on this week’s list? The Steelers killed the Ravens on Sunday, and yet two of their stars failed to shine in the victory. Ben Roethlisberger is far from the reliable fantasy quarterback he used to be, and that showed through how even in a dominant win, he managed such low numbers. Most of his struggle came because Le’Veon Bell had such a great game, but that doesn’t save Big Ben from being a loser this week.
The Dolphins look terrible. Clearly Jay Cutler isn’t the answer in Miami, and it isn’t just the passing game taking a hit. In fact, with the passing game as a consistent struggle, defenses have been focusing more on shutting down Ajayi, much to his fantasy owners’ chagrin. This week was no different with the Saints holding Ajayi to just 46 yards in a Dolphins shutout. This is Ajayi’s second straight week as a loser, something that better change, or he might just be the fantasy bust of the year.
Gordon’s injury is clearly lingering, as on 10 attempts vs the Eagles on Sunday, “Flash” only managed 22 yards in an extremely sub-par performance. The injury is going to be a problem going forward, and I just don’t see how through it, Melvin Gordon is going to be anything but a loser.
Brown was screaming on the Pittsburgh sideline on Sunday when another one of my losers, Ben Roethlisberger failed to find him wide-open down the field. This was a trend Sunday, as Brown was held to just 5 fantasy points, a total that is rare for the average #3 overall pick in most drafts. I never thought Brown would make this list as a loser, but the way he performed on Sunday was detrimental to fantasy teams everywhere. So as they say in “IT”, “Welcome to the Loser’s club”.
Brandin Cooks deserves the award for most unpredictable player of the season. That’s not a good thing, as has been the case the last 3 weeks. This week, Cooks had his third bad game of the season, landing him once again on this list as a loser. There’s nothing I can really say about his future because he is so unpredictable with Tom Brady throwing him, so I’ll say this, “ Wake up Brandin! Your fantasy owners need you!”
When reports came out saying that Reed was going to play against the Chiefs on Sunday night, I thought Kirk Cousins was going to have a fun time throwing to his favorite target in the Red Zone. I was wrong however, as Reed only managed 5 fantasy points with just 21 yards on three receptions. Horrible game from a guy I have high expectations for. Even with his injury, Reed really surprised me with his performance, so he is my top loser at TE for Week 4.
I actually expected some pretty good things from Fleener this week, but even though the Saints won against the Dolphins, Fleener had a relatively slow day. The big man only hauled in two catches for 21 yards against a pretty bad Dolphins D. Many other experts are saying that Fleener is a good tight end to have on your team, but I haven’t seen any production from him that shows me that that is true.
Second straight week that my top ranked kicker has made this list as a loser. Tucker made one FG and missed another. Wait! Justin Tucker missed a Field Goal?! Unacceptable. Just kidding, but that is actually pretty rare for the Raven’s star. Anyway, his small point output needs to get better or he will be on this list next week too.
A kicker’s fantasy output pretty much depends on his offense’s ability to move the ball downfield. The Broncos halted the Raiders’ offense even before Derek Carr went down, and things got much easier once he did. Imagine what Tavecchio’s numbers are going to look like with EJ Manuel running the offense. He only scored 4 points this week, and if that number stays steady, he is not going to be a worthwhile fantasy kicker.
I’ll be honest. I thought the Titans were going to crush the Texans, but DeShaun Watson put on a show! They gave up 57 points. 57. I’ll say it again. FIFTY SEVEN! Just that point total alone is way more than enough to make any team a loser.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you still had the Buccaneers in your lineup from when they played the Bears, then you were treated to a 0 point performance this week against the Giants. Not to say that the Bucs didn’t play well against the New York, but this is about fantasy output, and the points were just not there this week. I guess this list is the only L the Buccaneers took in Week 4.
Check back tomorrow and Thursday for this week’s position rankings, my weekly “Start Em, Sit Em”, and this week’s game picks.