With every week that comes and goes throughout the NFL fantasy season, there are several weekly performances worth mentioning. Some performances are mentionable given the outstanding statistics a particular player produced and others well, not so much.
The following is a list of those players worth mentioning
QB- Eli Manning, New York Giants – Manning was off to a less than desirable start to his 2014 campaign. During the first two weeks of the season, the Giants quarterback went 44 of 72 for 440 yards, 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Needless to say they lost both of those contests. However the past two weeks, Eli has been playing great. This week in particular was his best game of the year by far. Peyton (oops I mean) Eli Manning went 28 of 39 and threw for 300 yards with 4-touchdowns against the Washington Redskins. He did have 1-interception in the 45-14 win.
QB- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – He told us all prior to this past weeks contest against the Chicago Bears that we all needed to R-E-L-A-X when it came to our outlook on the Packers season. Well, finally Rodgers gave his fantasy owners a reason to do just that. Rodgers threw for 302 yards on the afternoon and had 4-touchdown passes against their division rivals.
QB- Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts – Worst defenses in the league, best defenses in the league, the 1985 Chicago Bears defense, it really doesn’t matter who the third year quarterback out of Stanford plays. I had a feeling at the beginning of the season this was going to be the year of Luck. It’s his third season in the NFL, he has plenty of weapons around him and an offensive line who can keep him upright all game. The Tennessee Titans had one of the best pass defenses in the NFL through the first three weeks. That changed when Luck got a hold of them. Luck threw for 393 yards and 4-touchdowns against the Titans.
RB- Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings – taking the place of the suspended Adrian Peterson, these two backs did a phenomenal job in week four against the Atlanta Falcons. The rookie, McKinnon was used as the shifty, speedster and Asiata was the bull dozier at the goal line. McKinnon carried the ball 18 times for 135 yards for a whopping 7.5 yards per carry. Asiata carried the ball 20 times and had 78 yards on the day. Where Asiata made it count was at the goal line where he was able to take it in three times. Imagine the numbers that could have been if these two backs didn’t share time.
RB- Matt Forte, Chicago Bears – Although the 28 year old running back out of Tulane couldn’t find his way in to the end zone in week four, he was still able to get the job done for his fantasy owners. Forte racked up 122 yards on the ground. He was also able to reel in 5 catches for 49 yards which made it an even nicer day in PPR formats. Look for Forte to put one in the end zone next week when he faces the Carolina Panthers.
RB- Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis, Kansas City Chiefs – Yeah so, how about that new and improved New England Patriot defense huh? Holy Cow! I’ve seen cigar store Indians do a better job at defending the run. Anyway, Charles and Davis combined for 199 yards on the ground. Charles scored the loan rushing touchdown of the game but also had 3 receptions for 16 yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. I’m already penciling in Cincinnati’s Giovanni Bernard for next weeks running back outstanding performer when he faces the Patriots defense.
RB- Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers – 31-years old, 10th season in the league and the guy still produces at one of the highest levels in the NFL. Gore came in to his week four match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles with a stat line of 35 carries for 139 yards and one score. In this weeks game, the 49ers decided to give the veteran back a bit more of a workload which proved better results. Gore carried the ball 24 times for 119 yards. He also caught a 55-yard touchdown pass out of the backfield making his fantasy owners even happier.
WR- Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers – Just another day at the office for the 26 year old wide receiver. Here’s a guy who was more than likely taken in the fourth or fifth rounds of your fantasy drafts. Bonus for you if you have him because he’s produced nothing but first round fantasy numbers since the start of the season. Although the Steelers couldn’t get the win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brown owners won in a big way. The wide receiver had 7 receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns on the day. That’s what I call Fantasy-tastic!
WR – Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore Ravens – We all new this was going to happen, right? Good ole Smith Sr. showing his former team, the Carolina Panthers what they gave up this off season when they failed to sign the 35 year old receiver. I’m not sure what’s in the water in Baltimore but whatever it is Smith needs to keep drinking it. Showing the NFL that he still has plenty left in “his tank”, Smith pulled in 7 catches for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns. In 2013, Smith started 15 games for the Panthers. During the entire season, he was able to total 64 receptions for 745 yards and 4-scores. This season the veteran is on pace to shatter those numbers. If he keeps this pace up, Smith is projected to have near 100 receptions for 1700 yards and 12 touchdowns which would trump any of the years he played in Carolina.
WR- Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers – Fantasy owners have been waiting three weeks for this to finally happen and in week four it finally did. The Green Bay Packer offense was finally able to get things going when they faced the Chicago Bears. Aaron Rodgers and Co. were firing on all cylinders Sunday. Randall Cobb led the way with 113 yards on 7 receptions and 2 touchdowns. Nelson was a close second with 108 yards and 2 touchdowns while pulling in 10 receptions. This is hopefully a sign of good things to come for the receiving duo.
TE- Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears – Okay, okay. I promise never to put this guy on my bust list ever again! Going into this weeks game, Green Bay had the best pass defense in the NFL against opposing tight ends. It was something like a 2-point per game average through three weeks. Well obviously they hadn’t faced the likes of a Mr. Bennett yet. Bennett was able to hook up with quarterback, Jay Cutler seven times on the day. Although the 6’6″, 265lb tight end couldn’t find the end zone this week, he still managed 134 yards receiving. Bennett is now second in the league behind New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham in receptions. Have Bennett in your line-up from this point forward no matter what the match-up is. I sure will.
TE- Larry Donnell, New York Giants – What a pleasant surprise for Giants fans and fantasy owners alike. This second year tight end out of Grambling State has produced quite nicely through the first four games of the 2014 NFL season. With the emergence of Eli Manning in this past Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, Donnell was the major contributor in the red zone. Donnell accounted for three out of the four receiving touchdowns Eli threw on the day. He also had 7 catches for 54 yards. Given the injuries that have occurred to tight ends throughout the league this season, Donnell is definitely worth a spot in your line-up.
Keep an eye out shortly for my “Not so outstanding performances”