Rich Kane/US Presswire
Favre had already established himself as a New York Jet with six touchdown passes the first three weeks, and he was ranked 10th among quarterbacks in fantasy points. What he did Sunday -- helping to push 56 points onto the scoreboard against what appeared to be a rejuvenated Arizona Cardinals defense -- was prove a few things.
For one, there's nothing wrong with Favre. If you sit him in fantasy, you're probably overmanaging. His 33 fantasy points are a season high for a quarterback, topping Jay Cutler's 30 points from Week 2. While Favre might not do this again all season, the gunslinger in him is always capable of it. The Jets really opened up what had been a conservative offense, and Favre was eager to make it work.
Two, Favre can -- and did -- make Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery very fantasy-worthy, and he's not really playing favorites. This is not like Greg Jennings-Donald Driver from last season. Coles was his main target this week, finally, but that appeared to be due to a favorable matchup with Arizona's overmatched Antrel Rolle. Cotchery got his love with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Chansi Stuckey did very little, but that doesn't mean he won't rejoin the fun next game.
Three, those are the Cardinals we're used to defensively, but giving up 56 points to prove the point is a little overkill, no? I guess that's what happens when the team finally faces a top-10 quarterback. Trent Edwards and Tony Romo are licking their chops next.
Favre downplayed his accomplishments after the game, noting we shouldn't "expect six touchdowns every week" and how "it was one of those games," but fantasy owners should expect a lot more good than bad from him this season. For one, the schedule is extremely favorable. After a bye this coming week, the Bengals, Raiders and Chiefs are up next, and these aren't even close to playoff teams. There's no reason to worry about Favre, a safe top-10 quarterback.
Note to myself: when Larry Johnson whines about being phased out, look for a big game soon after. Or just play all running backs against the Broncos. Johnson broke off a 65-yarder on the second play of the game, a pretty good harbinger that big things were ahead. He finished with 198 yards and two scores. The Broncos clearly have problems on defense, and Johnson remains a bit of a sell-high due to his schedule and his quarterback, but one who should continue to roam in the top-10 running back arena.
Good thing they played the fourth quarter, or a lot of LaDainian Tomlinson owners -- and San Diego Chargers fans -- were going to be quite perturbed. LT entered the final 15 minutes with a lame 31 yards, and the Raiders up 15-3. Then Tomlinson found holes and gained another 75 yards and scored twice. Tomlinson still didn't look quite like himself, and his 41-yard jaunt with a minute left is what really saved his statistical day, but he remains someone you never sit.
They didn't really get much O from the Ohio matchup Sunday, as the fantasy owners who counted on big games from the Bengals' and Browns' offenses were disappointed. Carson Palmer didn't even play, as his sore elbow counted him out an hour before game time. Derek Anderson looked terrible, but got the win and held off Brady Quinn -- for now. Braylon Edwards and Chad Ocho Whatever each caught 4-yard touchdown passes in the final quarter, but combined for six catches for 50 yards. Yuck. It's gonna be a long season in Ohio, folks.
|This Week In Fantasy Football History|
By Neil Tardy
2002: Most fantasy owners remember the night Shaun Alexander scored five touchdowns in one half against the Vikings. But do you recall that going into that game, Alexander was looking like a gigantic draft bust? It's true. Through the first three weeks of the 2002 season, he totaled 110 rushing yards and one score. But only 30 minutes into Week 4, Alexander had smashed those meager numbers by scoring on runs of 2, 20, 3 and 14 yards and catching an 80-yard touchdown pass. Speaking of busts and smashing, Fred Taylor owners probably broke a few possessions out of frustration while watching Stacey Mack vulture touchdowns away from their guy. This week was particularly painful, because even though Taylor amassed 237 total yards and one touchdown, Mack plowed in from short yardage three times against the Jets. Despite only 98 carries in '02, Mack finished with nine touchdowns. Taylor -- he of the 346 touches, good for 1,722 rushing and receiving yards -- wound up with eight TDs.
Matt Schaub, Texans
Matt Schaub didn't look like a very good play against the Jaguars, and why would he? One of the most dropped players in ESPN leagues, Schaub was started in 15.3 percent of leagues, then dropped three touchdowns and 307 yards on Jacksonville, the No. 2 QB day in fantasy. And he did this with Andre Johnson pretty much invisible? Stunning.
Reggie Bush, Saints
Just when you want to trust Reggie Bush, he takes a major step backward. Bush was given the most points by the ESPN projections, in large part for all the passes and yards he was sure to accrue on defenseless San Francisco. Then he caught seven yards' worth of passes. Maybe he heard those Deuce McAllister footsteps coming. What a shame.
Earnest Graham, RB, Buccaneers: Coming off a one-point effort in Chicago, Graham bounced back with 111 yards and a score -- though like Tomlinson, it took a late game-breaker (47 yards on the final drive, then a short TD) to save him. It all counts to us.
Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: The Vikings are tough to run on, and Johnson didn't have his best day, but the rookie did score his first two rushing touchdowns (including a one-yarder). If he can run on Minny, we'll trust him against most teams. Plus, LenDale White averaged 1.2 yards per carry.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles: OK, even I'm a believer now, though a few mental mistakes hurt the team. This was his first touchdown, by the way. The key is for Donovan McNabb to throw it in the end zone first, so he can't lose the ball at the goal line.
Lance Moore, WR, Saints: There's opportunity here, and Moore stepped up with another seven-catch game, and his first two scores. Even when Marques Colston returns, other Saints wideouts can be productive.Trent Edwards, QB, Bills: Hey, he got the win, and it's the third consecutive game in which the potentially emerging Edwards reached precisely 11 fantasy points, but against the Rams, he should have had double. We forgive Marshawn Lynch, but maybe Edwards is just average.
Michael Turner, RB, Falcons: One hates to think The Burner can run solely against bad defenses, at home, so the jury remains a little out. Oh, he might end up with top-10 running back numbers, but if he's inconsistent week to week, it'll be tough for him to carry your team.
Ryan Grant, RB, Packers: His second 15-carry, 20-yard game in three weeks has to make us wonder if Brandon Jackson starts getting chances soon. Blame the hamstring, maybe, but Grant has not run well all month.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: A week after getting 19 rushes at Indy, Jack Del Rio messes with his value again, giving him seven carries. What gives? Fred Taylor was worse, but the MJD trend of few touches is more worrisome. The Texans should be run on. MJD should have done it.
Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns: Don't view his late touchdown as a harbinger of good things. Cleveland's schedule gets a lot worse, and whomever the quarterback is will have trouble. Edwards still hasn't topped three catches in a game. Sell fast.
The scary helmet-to-helmet hit suffered by Anquan Boldin could have been a lot worse. Early indications are Boldin escaped major injury, though he probably has a concussion. His Week 5 status remains up in the air.
Aaron Rodgers thinks he might have separated his throwing shoulder in the third quarter, though he did return to the game a few drives later. Matt Flynn was the backup. If Rodgers can't play the next few weeks, Greg Jennings won't be a No. 1 fantasy wide receiver, and Ryan Grant certainly won't be helped, either.
After teasing fantasy owners all week, Brian Westbrook and his sore ankle were not active Sunday night against the Bears. With the division rival Redskins up in Week 5, expect Westbrook to be ready.
Fantasy owners suffered with six teams on bye in Week 4, including both Mannings and other fantasy goodies. Things should be easier in Week 5, with the Browns, Raiders, Rams and Jets, featuring three struggling offenses. And you can live without Favre for one week, can't you?
Brian Westbrook fantasy owners would love to see their guy return, as his worst game against the Redskins his past four games was 126 total yards. Clinton Portis ran for 206 yards against Philly in 2007.
Jon Kitna really hasn't struggled against the Bears, so don't assume he's a sit. Kitna has five touchdowns and nary an interception the past four meetings, with an average of 257 passing yards per.
Also coming off a bye week is Matt Hasselbeck, and he faces a Giants team he scorched for five touchdowns in their last regular-season meeting. Of course, he had decent wide receivers then. Don't assume he's a sit, either.
Joseph Addai comes off the bye to face the Texans, a team he has scored four touchdowns against in four career games. Of course, Steve Slaton against the failing Indy run defense might be just as strong a play.
The Steelers lost to the Jaguars in the playoffs in January, and Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions. In three regular-season meetings, Big Ben has averaged 169 passing yards. And Willie Parker might not be back for this one.