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NFL Fantasy Football, Week 4 Review: Positional reviews and Chicago Bears updates

Devonta Freeman doubles down on his breakout performance, Philip Rivers gets his groove back, and Tavon Austin (yes, Tavon Austin!) leads all WRs in a buzzkill of a week in FFB.

The new face of your virtual franchise? Cutty comes back into the conversation.
The new face of your virtual franchise? Cutty comes back into the conversation.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 reminded me of The Cooler, the 2003 movie with William H. Macy, Maria Bello, and Alec Baldwin. The premise is that William H. Macy's character is such bad luck, all he has to do is sit down at a table that is running hot to cool it off, thereby saving the casino money. The first three weeks of FFB were filled with big time performances from big time players. In week 4, we were visited by the Cooler, and unless you had our favorite diminutive back Devonta Freeman or Chris Ivory, your point total was almost certainly in the dumps. Share your woeful output below in the comments.


- Philip Rivers led the way this week with 358 yards, 3 TD and no interceptions. I'm curious how many benches he played on this weekend as he posted poor numbers against the Bengals and Vikings. That may just be a reflection of two good defenses that we maybe weren't giving enough credit to at the start of the year. Rivers gets his old friend Antonio Gates back this week and I'm expecting big things from them against Pittsburgh on MNF.

- For the second straight week, Josh McCown gave us a usable fantasy line (356-2-0). I can't say I'd be excited to roll with the Browns passing offense but I know McCown is a class favorite on this site.

- It seemed obvious that Cam Newton would light up the Buccaneers this weekend but his numbers were Tebow-esque: 11-22 for 124 yards and 2 TDs adding 51 yards on the ground on 12(!) attempts. Newton is a personal favorite but his variability week to week is infuriating. Cam rolls into his bye this weekend and on the other side is Seattle. It might be good to kick the tires on the waiver this week to see if you can find a new starter.

- If you drafted Russell Wilson this summer, you probably paid too much for him. That offensive line is some kind of terrible and Wilson hasn't been able to put up great numbers through the quarter pole of the season. I love watching him play, and he's clearly better than Colin Kaepernick (finally, something I can agree with Clay Matthews), but I don't see a lot of big days in this offense.


- Friend of the column Devonta Freeman torched the JJ Watt's for 149 total yards and 3 scores. Freeman is trying his best to make Atlanta forget about Tevin Coleman and it will be very interesting to see what kind of battle ensues for carries once Coleman returns from injury. My guess is that Coleman will play the #2 back as Freeman has surpassed even the wildest expectations.

- The Rams unlocked Todd Gurley this week and the fantasy world rejoices. He was on my bench, of course, but I'll go on a limb and suggest that's the last he's seen of the virtual pine this season. Gurley projects as a top flight talent but may struggle at times behind his rather suspect offensive line. It might be worth sending out a feeler to the Gurley owner to see if they value him as high as you do.

- Jamaal Charles is an otherworldly talent who can disappear in the Chiefs game plan. He has received 16, 21, 11, and 11 carries in the first 4 games. I understand the Chiefs were playing catch up but every time Alex Smith drops back to pass, the defense wins a little bit. Charles will likely see more carries this weekend against the Bears.

- It was great to see Justin Forsett get on the board with a good game (27 carries for 150 yards). He still hasn't found the stripe, but hey, we'll take it. Forsett was a prime candidate for regression this season but his start was surprisingly bad. The Baltimore offense needs to hit its stride and, hooray, the Browns come to town this weekend. Start Forsett with confidence.


- Tavon Austin led all wide receivers in scoring this week. Wait, go back and read that sentence again please. Tavon freaking Austin! I want to know the guy that knew to start Tavon Austin and expected 98 yards and 2 TDs.

- DeAndre Hopkins is really good. His quarterbacks aren't that great, but it is nice to see that Hopkins is getting obscene target numbers. Hopkins was targeted 22 times on Sunday, catching 9 for 157. Hopkins hasn't had a splash game yet but it's coming. It might be worth sending out a feeler for Hopkins if you agree.

- I was going to recommend Ted Ginn Jr. last week and even though he put up a respectable 13 points, I wouldn't have felt good about 2 catches on 3 targets for 18 yards...and 2 TDs. Ginn isn't a great option but he's also just about all Cam Newton has right now.

- Amari Cooper grabbed a score and 49 yards but the damage was done in the first half. Carr couldn't find the talented Cooper after intermission and that's a bit concerning going forward. He might be swallowed whole by that Denver defense next week.


- We should just skip the TE section this week since we're Gronk-less. In fact, Rob Gronkowski may have actually been the aforementioned Cooler. Hurry back Gronk!

- The leading TEs this weekend were Martellus Bennett and Coby Fleener. They were followed by Charles Clay, Gary Barnridge, Ladarius Green, and Richard Rodgers. Certainly, Bennett started for you this weekend and maybe Charles Clay but otherwise, throwin' darts, man.


- Matt Forte - I will forever cheer for this guy and I completely disagree with some on here who want to ship him out for whatever we can get. I also wouldn't trade him virtually for anything less than another elite player. Forte racked up another 155 yards from scrimmage to give him an even 500 on the year. Yes, math majors, that projects out to 2,000 yards from scrimmage. #Forte4Life

- Martellus Bennett - With Sunday's effort, Martellus has 30 fantasy points on the year, good for 8th place. I would think Bennett could climb a bit in those rankings but overall that's about what we expect from the uniquely verbose Bennett.

- Jay Cutler - Cutty came back and delivered a respectable line for your virtual squad (281 yards, 2 scores, 1 brutal pick). If fantasy were to account for just how bad interceptions were, Jay might have cost you 10 points for that one but alas, Jay's one-per-game pick thus far in the season won't kill his value. Cutty is widely available and should get Alshon Jeffery back. If you were struck with an injury this year, kick the tires and give him a whirl. There are few things more fun than having Cutty in the lineup - it's like a roller coaster set up by sketchy carnies - there's a real risk it goes off the rails but it might be the most fun you ever had.

Alshon Jeffery - Injured and did not play.

How'd your week go? Anyone sitting at 4-0? 0-4?