Will we actually see NFL players hug and embrace the genuine article in regards to officials this weekend? It definitely could be worth having your camera ready, because it is something you are unlikely to ever see again, especially after that first Week Four questionable call.
It was due time after the spectacle that took place over the first three weeks of the NFL season, culminating in the Monday night debacle that is still being discussed days later. Just a few observations though. Firstly, the Packers should have NEVER been in the situation to lose to the Seahawks on the last play of the game in the first place. They are sadly being exposed, with an average of 19 points per game in 2012, down dramatically from 35 points per game in 2011. Something is awry in Green Bay, without question. Secondly, for those berating Seahawks WR Golden Tate – did you really expect him to admit negatively on the play? Why yes, in addition to pushing off, I truly never caught that pass. Please. While he may miss a minute or two of sleep over the guilt, I am sure he’s over it, and everyone else should follow his lead.
It’s Week Four People and the Real Referees Are Back!!! Because of course, they have never made the wrong calls in the past.
Thank goodness for elite perfectness!
Let’s look at some players who may take a departure from elite perfectness with some Week Four Fantasy Busts!
QB Eli Manning, New York Giants – Simply put, the Eagles secondary is not the Carolina Panthers secondary. While I have concerns over TE Martellus Bennett, as the Eagles historically struggle defending big, physical tight ends, I think Philly will give Manning and the Giants receivers fits. This is a huge NFL East rivalry, one that the Eagles are enjoying at home on the evening they are retiring S Brian Dawkins #20. Look for the Eagles to be more than up for the task on Brian Dawkins Night. Congrats, B Dawk!
QB Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers – He has become an efficient game manager and while not spectacular, solid at getting the job done. The issue with Smith this week is the fact they are traveling cross-country to face a New York Jets defense that has heard all week that the loss of All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis has basically rendered the entire unit useless. Wouldn’t you have a chip on your shoulder? Head coach Rex Ryan is a defensive guy, so look for them to be ready to face Smith and the Niners this weekend.
QB Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans – The Houston Texans possess a pretty solid pass defense, and with their prolific offensive attack, putting Locker in catch up mode is not overly favorable for the young Titans signal caller. Take into account the running game has been beyond terrible thanks to RB Chris Johnson and an offensive line incapable of opening running lanes, the necessary balance is just not there. While Locker’s development is nice to see, this weekend could be a dip in the road.
RB Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams – Aside from the Arizona Cardinals defense, the Seattle Seahawks have to boast one of the hottest defensive units in the NFL. Jackson is an enigma of epic proportions. The guy is a freight train, yet cannot get into the end zone and that severely diminishes his value. He is still battling the groin injury, or is it the hamstring injury, or is it end-zone phobia? I’d like to see Jackson get back into form, but this week I am not so sure. His trade value is in the gutter with the aforementioned Chris Johnson. Sit tight and hope for a resurgence.
RB Ryan Williams, Arizona Cardinals – With RB Chris Wells on the IR and not available for the foreseeable future, it is Williams time in the spotlight for one of the hottest teams in the NFL. However, one of the hottest teams at defending the run would be the Miami Dolphins. This will undoubtedly be a great test for the young player, but one I am not overly confident he’ll succeed in to be quite honest. He may end up being a player, but this is a tough matchup. On a bright note, he’ll be much better than RB Chris Wells just BY PLAYING. Go figure.
RB Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins – Of course it could be because the Buccaneers defense has allowed on average over 350 yards passing per game, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that opponents have rushed for under 50 yards per game. On a team were the dynamic focal point is at the quarterback position anyway, it doesn’t bode well for Morris to have a head-turning day for the Redskins.
RB Shonn Greene, New York Jets – We are hearing RB Bilal Powell, but regardless of whether it’s Powell or Greene, I’d turn around and walk away, quickly. The San Francisco 49ers are coming off of an upset loss against the Vikings, and they’ll be ready to go. Their strength is run defense and rest assured it will be on full display this weekend.
RB Tashard Choice, Buffalo Bills – What a situation! RB CJ Spiller is out, and while early rumors were starting RB Fred Jackson was ahead of schedule, he’s not that ahead. So that leaves the Bills with a Choice, literally. He is the 3rd option at running back on the Buffalo Bills and frankly he should be the 63rd option for you at the position for you this weekend. Look for him to be completely neutralized by the Patriots rush defense on Sunday. Safe to say the Pats are probably itching to get going after last week’s last second disappointment at the hands of the Ravens. Yes, Choice is the Bills starter at running back, but he shouldn’t be yours.
WR Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears – Until the Bears and QB Jay Cutler specifically get their act together on offense, it’s rough to be high on any of their wide receivers. Since he is their highest profile talent and the one that most fantasy owners rely on, Marshall makes the list. You can expect that things will get better in Chicago (that is if J’Marcus Webb doesn’t shove Cutler’s head in his own rear end) but for now I would keep expectations low. Kind of stinks for a guy like Marshall who was drafted relatively high by most fantasy owners.
WR Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans – Every time he is mentioned in this weekly article, Washington seems to be headed for a modest day and then grabs a deep ball for a 70+ touchdown. However, I just can’t see that happening this weekend against the Texans who are allowing less than 190 passing yards per game in 2012. Washington is maddening inconsistent, and this matchup spells trouble.
WR Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints – You will want to keep an eye on his playing status, as the foot injury has him questionable this weekend against the Packers. That said, the foot aside, he doesn’t seem to be in sync with QB Drew Brees thus far in 2012 and that in itself is a problem. Until that foot completely heals and he gets on the same page with his quarterback, the surprisingly ineffective Colston is a risky start.
TE Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers – For what it is worth, the Chargers receiving corps has more than underwhelmed thus far in 2012. Coming off an injury-riddled season many expected more from Gates in 2012 and it has yet to materialize. While Gates is a big name and the match up looks decent, there are other TE’s that were drafted as secondary or bye week options that are putting up consistent fantasy points right now. Flying in the face of the “Start Your Studs” rule, buck the trend and sit Gates down this week.
TE Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers – I mention Davis here because if I am going to drag Alex Smith into the mud this weekend, I might as well pull his top receiving option in as well. As Smith could struggle this weekend, look for Davis to follow suit. While the Jets are without CB Darrelle Revis, they are still a dangerous defensive team. You really can’t sit Davis if you have him, but get ready for a marginal day.
TE Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles – With Eagles QB Michael Vick running for his life on every play, reminiscent of poor Archie Manning with the New Orleans Saints (if you are old enough, you’ll know exactly what I am referring to) look for Celek to be called into more of a blocking role. News alert – if he’s blocking, he’s not catching.
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