NFL Week 4 Fantasy Analysis

Beast: Stevie Johnson – Johnson burst onto the scene last year with an unexpected 82 receptions, 1,073 yards, and 10 touchdowns. With the departure of Lee Evans to Baltimore, Johnson is now the number one target in Buffalo and has averaged ten targets per game through the first three weeks of the season. Although the Bengals have been stingy with their passing defense thus far, 5th in the league with 188.3 YPG, they have yet to play an offense quite like the Bills will bring to Cincinnati. Look for Johnson to get plenty of looks and haul in a touchdown as the Bills keep rolling.

Bust: Cam Newton – The number one pick can’t continue to put up gaudy numbers can he? Not this week at least, with a tough matchup against a Chicago Bears defense that is very aggressive. Look for Cam to get rattled early and often, forcing him into a few costly mistakes. Although the Bears have given up 277.3 ypg in the air, 7th worst in the league, that number is inflated having played against two of the best QBs in the league in Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Cam will get his chances with the Bears taking control of the game early, but whatever success he does have will be negated by turnovers. Since Newton wasn’t drafted in most leagues, all you owners riding high from the astronomic passing totals should come back down to earth and have Cam ride the bench.

Beast: Darren McFadden – The leading rusher in the NFL is an obvious choice right? Yes, but not for the reasons you think. Although the Patriots only give up 91.7 rushing YPG, teams only run the ball 21.3 times per game against them for a 4.3 average. The Raider’s bread and butter is running the ball averaging over 33 rushes and 185 YPG, and McFadden is the center of the offense with around 20 carries and 131 YPG. Look for RunDMC2K (the 2K is an ode to Geoff’s prediction that McFadden will eclipse the 2,000 yard mark this season) to fall somewhere in the middle with his norm of 20 carries and about 110 yards on the ground, not to mention what he will do in the passing game. The game against the Patriots could be another fantasy performance north of 25 points for McFadden.

Bust: Torrey Smith – After a breakout game in week 3 Smith will be riding sky high with confidence and shooting up the most-added list in all leagues. Not only will he be on the big stage Sunday night, but he will be up against one of the stingiest pass defenses in the league. The Jets have given up only 189 YPG in the air and a total of only 2 touchdowns, less than Smith hauled in last week.  That was a once in a lifetime game for the rookie and with expectations unrealistic, Smith surely will let a lot of fantasy owners down this week. He shouldn’t sniff your starting lineup in week 4.

Beast: Maurice Jones-Drew – Jones-Drew is healthy and back to being the workhorse for the Jaguars, which is good news for his fantasy owners that he cares so much about.  Averaging 22 carries and 102 yards through three games, MJD will be going up against a New Orleans defense that has the propensity for shootouts and could be primed for a huge game.  With a rookie quarterback at the helm, the Jaguars will run, run and run some more, meaning MJD could surpass his season averages and also find the endzone a time or two.

Bust: Javhid Best – Best is averaging a pedestrian 2.9 YPC being the featured back for the high flying Lions and the Cowboys have only given up 3 YPC so far this season; this is a recipe for disaster for the second-year back. Detroit seems committed to running the ball with 84 attempts, good for 7th in the league, but they just aren’t getting the production. The Lions also seem steadfast on the Stafford/Megatron connection in the red zone, reducing the number of touchdown chances for Best. Although he is a great option in the passing game out of the backfield, that won’t be enough to boost his value this week. Bench him if you have better options at your #2 RB or flex spot

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