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Fantasy Football Week 4 – Bouncing Back

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

As we start Week 4 of the NFL season some players are finding their stride and some continue to struggle. Week 3 provided bounce back performances for some of fantasy football’s big names.  Jamaal Charles exploded for 233 yards and a touchdown. Maurice Jones-Drew paid back those who still had the faith to draft him, despite his holdout, by racking up 177 yards and a touchdown. Calvin Johnson finally found the end zone for the Lions this season as he hauled in 10 catches for 164 yards. Torrey Smith, another wideout fantasy owners have been waiting to show up, finally has. Smith bounced back with 224 yards and 3 TDs in his past 2 games.

Then there are those who continue to struggle. Chris Johnson looks nothing like the player he was 2 years ago. Tennessee has struggled in run blocking and Johnson has been less than stellar, especially considering where you likely drafted him. Dez Bryant is another player who’s slow start continued in Dallas. He hasn’t found the end zone so far this season. Michael Vick continues to struggle to protect the football, fumbling twice in Arizona. It’s still too early to give up on these players, especially considering what little value they currently have. Hang on to these guys and stay patient.

Chris Johnson owners likely spent a first round pick to draft him and trading him now wouldn’t get much in return. Things certainly don’t get any easier as Tennessee heads to Houston, home of one of the NFL’s best defenses. However, the Titans passing game showed some life in their win over the Lions. If Jake Locker can find some consistency throwing the football it may just open up some holes for Johnson in the running game.

Dez Bryant faces the Bears Monday night, a team that has struggled against the pass at times. Bryant showed some signs of life as he almost returned a punt for a touchdown against the Bucs last week. Despite the Cowboys facing the Bears and Ravens in the next 2 weeks owners shouldn’t sell low on Bryant.

Michael Vick and the Eagles host the Giants Sunday night. The same Giants who shut Cam Newton down last week. Owners with better options may want to sit Vick until he shows some improvement. New York has one of the best defensive lines in football and their secondary is getting healthier. Vick can still bounce back from his slow start, he has the potential to make plays in the passing game and with his feet. However, this week against the Giants may not be the week we see Vick return to his old form.

Here are a couple of potential breakout candidates for the week.

Brandon Lloyd (Patriots WR) – Lloyd has shown the potential to be a true #1 fantasy receiver. I think Lloyd and Tom Brady are starting to build some chemistry as Lloyd went for over 100 yards last week. They have just missed on a few big plays down the field. Look for a good game out of Lloyd as New England heads to Buffalo.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals RB) – Green-Ellis has had a couple of up and down weeks to start the season. This week the Bengals head to Jacksonville, home of the 30th ranked rushing defense, potentially a big game for Green-Ellis.

Ryan Mathews (Chargers RB) – Mathews’ preseason injury scared off a lot of owners. His return last week didn’t yield big numbers, however Mathews looked like the player we expected to see, exploding through the line on a few plays. The Chargers’ could be boosted by the return of offensive tackle Jared Gaither this week as they travel to Kansas City, the 23rd ranked run defense.

 

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