Found October 03, 2013 on Fantasy Sports Locker Room:

Philip Rivers, QB I could sit here and rant about how Peyton Manning is leading what is speculated to be the most incredible season in history, but then I would be regurgitating the same topic you’ll find on the front page of absolutely every sports circulation out there this week. That said, I’ll surely save you the trouble of dragging your tired fantasy obsessed eyes through another. Yes, Manning was the outstanding QB story of the week, but he wasn’t the only one. Philip Rivers is beginning to look like the Philip Rivers that the San Diego Chargers decided to leave Drew Brees for. It’s about time too. Last season, Rivers barely topped 20 fantasy points twice during the season, and now with week 4 in the books he’s done it three times already and currently sits as the #3 QB in fantasy. Rivers’ completed 35 of 42 passes for 401 yards, 3 TDs and 1 Int this week. San Diego’s “electric” signal caller is throwing everything but electricity downfield so far this season. His 1,199 yards, 11 TDs and 2 INTs have him on track for a 4,500 yard season with 44 TDs. While I don’t expect Rivers to go over 40 TDs this season, the QB is no stranger to 4,000+ yard seasons – he’s done that in four out of his last five. Did I mention he’s even setting records? Rivers set the single game record for completion percentage (83%) for a QB throwing for over 400 yards. He even reached a personal milestone with his 200th career TD (hauled in by Antonio Gates) in the team’s win over Dallas this weekend. This was a pretty big day for a guy who let down a lot of angry fantasy owners last season. Bottom Line: So what does this mean for his fantasy value? Is Rivers back to QB1 status? The plain and simple answer is… well, there is no plain and simple answer. Week 3 showed us Rivers can still have off games in fantasy. Against the Titans, Rivers didn’t throw any interceptions, but he also didn’t throw many passes and only one TD. He didn’t make many mistakes but he didn’t ‘wow’ us either. So far he’s alternated having sub-200 yard games with 400+ yard games (the only thing that saved week 1 was the 4 scores he had through the air). He took the waiver wire by storm and has added great depth to the QB position in all formats. Even I traded for him to supplement Alex Smith in my 16-team league. However, I have some fantasy trust issues and I’m not going to drop Alex Smith after the bye week just because Rivers is on a hot streak. The old Philip Rivers could still be in there, so until I see this streak continue with some consistency, I view him as a low-end QB1 that is definitely start-worthy. If you can somehow buy low on him still, Rivers is definitely worth a spot on your roster because at this point it seems he could keep this spark of brilliance alive, especially next week when he faces division rival Oakland Raiders in their own house. Victor Cruz, WR Let’s face it, the New York Giants look like a Dane Cook punchline. Their running game is nonexistent, their defense is abysmal and I’m surprised Tom Coughlin’s poor ol’ heart hasn’t literally started attacking him yet. They’ve only scored three touchdowns in the past three weeks. I don’t even know what to say. This is the reason why I’ve decided to feature Victor Cruz here instead of Nate Washington. On an offense that just can’t seem to catch a break, Victor Cruz is most literally a diamond in the rough. Of course he is, he’s Victor Cruz, but even superstars like Larry Fitzgerald can’t get anything going on a dreary offense sometimes (see: 2012 Arizona Cardinals). Cruz managed 10 catches on 16 targets for 164 yards and one score this week which gives him three 100+ yard outings through four weeks. Despite being on an offense that is barely a step above the Jags at this point, Cruz has racked up more yards than any other receiver with 425. One could say – and I will – that he is essentially the whole offense of the New York Giants. I’d like someone to name one other player they currently would start confidently on the Giants other than the salsa instructor himself. Hakeem Nicks has disappeared since week 1, David Wilson is a shell of what any of us thought he could be, and Eli Manning has cost countless fantasy owners their weekly match-ups so far. Bottom Line: Cruz makes this list because he is leading the league amongst fantasy receivers despite being the only ‘must start’ on a team of ‘don’t starts’ and is on pace for the season of his life. Do I think Cruz can keep this up? I’ll take it one step further. I think he’ll be one of the elite options we look back on at the end of this season. I think he’ll finish in the top 5. I think you’ll be taking salsa lessons before the end of the year. Tony Gonzalez, TE Aside from the single TD he scored in week 1, Tony Gonzalez had not shown fantasy owners the side of him that almost tallied 1,000 yards and 8 TDs last year. However, this past week against the Patriots, the 37-year-old tight end reminded us that not only is he the most durable offensive weapon on the Falcons roster, but quite possibly the most dynamic. Gonzo controlled the air for Atlanta drawing 14 targets and bringing down a hefty 12. His 149 yards and 2 TDs were enough to propel him past Antonio Gates’ perfect 10 target/10 catch game as the #1 fantasy tight end this week. What a lot of fantasy owners are wondering is whether or not the senior tight end can keep these numbers consistent moving forward. If Sunday vs New England is any indication, then Gonzalez has finally found his rhythm this season. He was all over the field making spectacular grabs in a desperate attempt to prevent the wily Patriots from going 4-0. While his attempts may have proven somewhat futile, for many fantasy owners it may have meant the difference between a W or holding your thumb and index finger up to your forehead. Bottom Line: Tony Gonzalez is not afraid to remind us that this is his last season in the NFL. Had the Falcons won the Superbowl last year, I wouldn’t even be uttering his name here. Tony makes my list because not many 37-year-old receivers (or possibly any) can still make plays like this or even stay healthy for that matter. With Steven Jackson still out and defenses having figured out Roddy White is a decoy, it’s been hard for Gonzo to get going as one of the only passing targets to compliment Julio Jones – who seems to be getting banged up a bit himself. If Roddy and Jackson can get healthy and productive after the bye in week six, I predict more consistent stats from the future hall-of-famer when defenses have a full roster of offensive weapons to worry about again. Danny Woodhead, RB Danny Woodhead, you say? You mean that scrappy guy from the Patriots? Well, he’s at the opposite end of the country now playing with the aforementioned Philip Rivers and we can thank him for Woodhead’s success this week. Danny was one of my FLEX sleeper/handcuff predictions in the offseason from my very poorly updated personal blog (Not So ‘Fantasy’ Football) and this week he gave validity to my metaphorical crystal ball work. On the ground, Woodhead doesn’t get many opportunities – averaging around 5 carries per game – but through the air he draws targets like a receiver – averaging almost 8 per game. It seems that four weeks is all it took for him to get on the same page as Philip Rivers because he accounted for 2 of Rivers’ 3 TD passes on 5 receptions for 54 yards. Add that in with his 5 carries for 32 yards and Woodhead put together the 5th best fantasy outing among RBs in week 4, producing 20 points for owners. Woodhead is a great change-of-pace back and proved that Tom Brady wasn’t the only reason he was able to put up impressive #s in a three-RB system. Another great upside to the former Patriot is that if the fragile Ryan Matthews gets injured – who hasn’t played a full season in his three years as a pro – then Woodhead will definitely see more playing time. Furthermore, as long as Rivers keeps his passing attempts high – which happen to be his more successful games this year – Woodhead will keep seeing targets which is a PPR owner’s dream. Bottom Line: Woodhead catches our eye this week as a standout player because it’s not too often you see a second or third-string RB as a top 5 performer and I can’t remember off the top of my head the last time a Chargers back was in that mix, period. Can Woodhead keep this up weekly? Probably not, but he will get you at least 6 points in standard leagues and has great upside in PPR leagues with the potential to average you 10 points as a solid FLEX player. If you need a good flyer this week for your FLEX, Woodhead is your man. It’s a long shot, but he could even evolve into a poor man’s Darren Sproles by the end of the season. Adam Vinatieri, K Speaking of aging football players (see: previously featured Tony Gonzalez, 37) Adam Vinatieri finally got on track this past week by posting his first game without a missed field goal this season. He really showed fantasy owners what he can do by hitting all 3 of his field goals and 4 XPs in a beatdown that made some of us wonder if the Jacksoncille Jaguars owed the Indianapolis Colts money. Bottom Line: This is the first week the 40-year-old kicker was able to sink double-digit points into your lineups and it was about time. Nine other kickers also shared this same quality in week 4 but Vinatieri stands out because of his age, legacy and first perfect performance of the year. Denver Broncos, D/ST What can’t the Denver Broncos do? Sure, they might be giving up a little over 20 points per game but save for a meager week 3, they’ve been making enough plays to give fantasy owners a reason to keep them on their roster. A major factor to this success is their special teams which enjoyed two returns for TDs against the Eagles in Mile-High. Through four weeks, the Broncos have had three returns for a TD while no other team (only 4 for that matter) has more than one. Throw in their 3 sacks and the Broncos DST got you well over 10 fantasy points despite allowing Philadelphia to score 20 points. Bottom Line: The Denver Broncos DST face a lot of disadvantages week to week. One of the main ones being the absence of defensive play-maker Von Miller and veteran cornerback Champ Bailey. Many thought this would cripple their defensive production but between the fast paced offense granting the Broncos D many opportunities to make plays on the field and the attacking 4-3 strategy of Jack Del Rio, they seem to have found a way to produce enough turnovers and scores to make some fairly decent weeks so far. That fast paced offense is a double-edged sword, however. Defensive lineman Kevin Wolfe told media after the game that he had never been so exhausted in his life during their win over the Eagles. The fact that they spend so much time on the field is a direct correlation to the amount of points they give up as well as their opportunities to force turnovers. This is exactly why they made the list for week 4. Denver is a safe week to week option but for very different reasons than shutdown defenses like Kansas City and Seattle. Wes Welker is enjoying his new surroundings in Denver and is on pace for a career high in TD catches (Photo: Joe Mahoney/AP). Hot Streak: Wes Welker, WR In 2012, Wes Welker caught 6 TD passes from the bad man himself, Tom Brady. Now through only four weeks, Welker has already matched his TD total from last year. We thought Peyton Manning was off to a legendary start? Let’s not forget about his receivers. Someone’s got to catch his 16 TDs after all and Wes Welker has over 1/3 of them already. He’s not on track to break any yardage records but Welker can surely get close to 100 receptions this year. What’s even more incredible is that he’s on track to haul in 24 TDs at this rate. That’s not likely but if his streak doesn’t die we could be looking at a potential 15+ TD season for the agile slot receiver because it’s not looking like Peyton is going to slow down anytime soon and historically he only gets better toward the second half of the season. Welker is absolutely on fire despite the thin air in the Mile-High City. Sleeper to Watch: Jerome Simpson, WR If it’s one thing Matt Cassel proved to us, it’s that he is inescapably more successful as a backup QB than he is as a starting QB. Lucky for Jerome Simpson, Cassel was signed by the Vikings in the offseason to back up the floundering Christian Ponder. Over the weekend, Cassel completed 16 of 25 for 248 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. Greg Jennings may have been lucky enough to snag both of those scores but Simpson easily proved himself to be Cassel’s go-to guy by attracting 11 targets to Jennings’ 4. He also led the team in receptions and yards by snagging 7 of those targets for 124 yards. Simpson has shown flashes of this kind of brilliance before but has never been able to keep it consistent. His early rapport with Matt Cassel could prove to be a great opportunity for the athletic pass-catcher. If you’ve got a spot on your bench to spare, take a flier on Simpson; he’s a sleeper with the potential to wake up doing front flips into the endzone again now that there’s a QB change in Minnesota. For more insight and analysis from Ryley Henry, follow him on Twitter: @ryleyhenryff The post Standout Fantasy Performers: NFL Week 4 appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Rivers prospering in no-huddle, no-hurry offense

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By BERNIE WILSON AP Sports Writer It turns out that Philip Rivers didn't need to be fixed after two tough seasons. He just needed to be plopped into the no-huddle, no-hurry offense that rookie coach Mike McCoy and his top assistants drew up. Rivers has thrown for 400 yards twice in four games after doing it three times in his...

Sit Em. Start Em – Week Five

Sit Em. Start Em – Week Five Start Em Philip Rivers – Rivers continues to impress this season and is looking like a must-start against the lowly Oakland Raiders. He is making the most out of the weapons at his disposal and has already resuscitated the fantasy values of Eddie Royal and Antonio Gates. Rivers comes in as a top-six option this week after putting up top-five numbers...

Week 4: Fantasy Football Studs and Duds

  Studs Philip Rivers (SD) – 401 YDS / 3TD On the heels of an impressive 401-yd/3TD performance, Philip Rivers helped his Choke Artist Chargers avoid yet another last-minute comeback.  His one interception was part of only 7 incompletions versus 35 completed passes. With his dime to Antonio Gates fresh in our memories and an [...]

San Diego Chargers: 2013 Week 5 NFL Power Rankings (#19)

Last week: 26 (+7) Record: 2-2 The job Head Coach Mike McCoy has done with the offense in his first season with the team is amazing. Despite a largely replacement level supporting cast around a declining Philip Rivers, McCoy has the Chargers moving the ball at an incredible rate, moving the chains on 82% of opportunities, only behind Denver and Indianapolis. The resurgence of Philip...

Web Run: Trying to win at Wake

Former N.C. State quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon have one thing in common.

Fantasy Football Week 5: Start ‘em, Sit ‘em

It’s the first week of the season that four teams will be on a bye  - Minnesota, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay – but there are few players that are universally started across those four squads. Regardless, here’s a look at who you might want to tinker with within your lineup. QUARTERBACK Philip Rivers has a 11-3 career record against the Oakland Raiders. Photo credit...

Fan Duel Values For Week 5

If you are not familiar with Fan Duel it is a daily game for fantasy football where you get to pick a different team each and every week.  You are given 60K to pick a QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DF/ST.  Here are some of the value picks for week 5: Philip Rivers ($7,400) Phil has been on a tear and his value still hasn’t caught up to his production.  He may go off again this...

Malcom Floyd Placed On Injured Reserve

The Chargers have placed receiver Malcom Floyd on injured reserve.Fantasy Spin:Floyd took a hit to the head in Week 2 against the Eagles and was taken off the field on a stretcher. He'll miss the rest of the season with a neck injury. Despite Philip Rivers' resurgence, no Chargers receiver has emerged as a reliable fantasy option as Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead are Rivers...

Week 5 Fantasy Football Stock Report

Week 5 Stock Report Each week I will highlight players and teams who have seen their value rise or fall during the previous week.  I will also try to highlight players that have favorable schedules coming up that could give them a boost in value.  Remember that you always want to sell high and buy low! Stock Up San Diego Super Chargers Philip Rivers continues to show that you don’t...

2013 Fantasy football start em’ sit em’ week 5

Look at some of the big performances just last week. Danny Woodhead? Really? This third down guy is becoming a stud. New TE's pop up every week, and WR's, well anyone any week can get hot. Yes, this years draft is long gone, but maybe a glimpse into the future?

Chargers-Raiders Preview

While the San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have turned back the clock in coach Mike McCoy's up-tempo attack, the Oakland Raiders aren't certain what their offense will look like this weekend. The AFC West rivals are dealing with major injury concerns as the Chargers look to move above .500 by beating the Raiders for the 17th time in 20 meetings Sunday...

The Fantasy Best of Week 4

Hello gamers, we’re back again, and this time to recap a high scoring week 4. After some duds the NFL gave us in week 3, most ships were righted, and we’ve got plenty of players to talk about in our best of. So, let’s get to it, you know the drill by now.   The Quarterbacks: Bronze: Philip Rivers Its amazing what we’ve seen from Rivers so far this season. Setting last year...

Kiffin Report: Finding the Defense's Weak Links

If there is one thing that makes football special, it is the individual components that add together to create team results. It is a team game - maybe the best team game ever created - but, it relies on each member of the team to carry out his assignment in his particular area of expertise to assist in the greater goal. When there is a weak link, a smart opponent will continue to...

The Bait and Switch: Players to Trade and Trade For

Time to take a look at players that we should look to be moving and players that we should be trying to acquire.  It’s time to bamboozle these fools with the Bait and Switch: Bait Mike Vick You know it’s coming.  One hit and this dude is out.  Now is the time to get the most value out of him.  He most likely is your 2nd QB, or maybe you grabbed Rivers off waivers...

Full Court Press: Early Look at Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings, Underrated MLB Offseason Moves, Drake is Now a Raptors Executive

Click on photo to read more about Week 5 Rankings If it wasn’t for Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers would be running the Fantasy Football quarterback game. I don’t think anyone saw this one coming. What we did see coming was Darren McFadden getting hurt. That was tough to call! The Press This kid is giving Olympian Gabby Douglas the full-court press on YouTube for a date [WithLeather...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.