Week 4 Fantasy Football Awards
By Guest Writer John Belaska:
Another week is in the books. By now some owners are feeling pretty good about themselves and others are hurting to make some quick moves to put themselves in a position to save their season. No matter how you look at it, the season has brought us lots of excitement so far. This is the cream of the crop from week four.
Quarterback of the Week- Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)
It was another great night for Drew Brees and the Saints. His start to the season was not as epic as Peyton Manning, but he is definitely starting to come alive now. The previously unbeaten Dolphins surrendered 413 passing yards and four touchdown passes, allowing Drew Brees to take the top quarterback prize for the second week in a row. Next up is a road matchup against the Bears. There is no reason to doubt Brees’ ability to put up another monster week.
Running back of the Week- Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)
The consensus number one overall pick in fantasy football put on a show against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Peterson ran for 140 rushing yard and two touchdowns, including a 60 yard dash into the endzone. This is what Peterson owners expect every week. Week four proved fantasy owners made a good investment when they spent the highest pick to get him. Peterson and the Vikings are on a bye for week five, but be ready for a big week six.
Wide Receiver of the Week- Victor Cruz (New York Giants)
After earning the Bust of the Week Award in week three, Victor Cruz came out and showed fantasy owners that he is the real deal. He hauled in ten balls for 164 yards and a score against the undefeated Chiefs. Looking back, week three was an anomaly. This is what we expect for Victor Cruz and there will be more games like this. Up next is a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, so expect another huge week.
Tight End of the Week- Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons)
Tony Gonzalez is like a fine wine. He just keeps getting better. Week four of the 2013 season was no different; as the ageless wonder went on to post 12 receptions for 149 receiving yards and two scores. Gonzalez will continue to get a good amount of looks going forward, as it seems that Julio Jones is drawing double coverage anywhere he goes. He will have another great week in week five against the Jets. I would not expect him to score twice again, but I am sure he will be able to find the endzone at some point during the matchup.
Kicker of the Week- David Akers (Detroit Lions)
David Akers has been one of the best for a long time now. Year in and year out fantasy owners can count on him to always come through with consistent stats. In week four, Akers kicked four field goals and four point-after attempts. For those owners in leagues who award extra points based on the distance of a field goal, it should be noted Akers sent two of his four in from beyond the 40 yard line. There is never a reason not to trust Akers. Keep him in the starting line-up every week.
Team Defense of the Week- Indianapolis Colts
The Colts put up solid numbers this week. The defense collected four sacks and three interceptions, one of which went for six points. Best of all, the Colts only allowed only three points the whole game. However, fantasy owners need to keep in mind this happened against Jacksonville. A trend is quickly starting in which you can count on the Jaguars to give your fantasy defense a great game. The Jags are getting Justin Blackmon back this week after his four week suspension, so be careful this week. If Blackmon busts in week five, it is officially safe to start any defense going against the Jaguars. Next week the Colts are going up against the Seahawks. It is a safe bet to say Indy is not a team you want in your starting lineup.
Rookie of the Week- Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Steelers’ fans caught a glimpse of the future with the debut of Le’Veon Bell in week four. After spending the first three games on the bench with an injury, Bell rushed for 57 yards and scored twice on the ground. He also added four receptions for 27 yards. Bell’s numbers should only get better as he proved he is the only true option in Pittsburgh’s backfield. The most impressive number is the rookie runningback played 60 snaps during the game. This proves the Steelers trust this kid to help them get back on track. Bell will continue to get the touches needed to put fantasy owners in a position to win. The Steelers have a bye week in week five, but expect Bell to come out firing against the New York Jets in week six.
Sleeper of the Week- Danny Woodhead (San Diego Chargers)
Danny Woodhead had a big game in week four. He only posted 32 yards on the ground, but his numbers catching the ball out of the backfield were amazing. Woodhead posted five catches for 52 yards and two scores against the Dallas Cowboys. He was a big time sleeper candidate coming into the 2013 season and he is not disappointing. If this continues, Ryan Matthew owners are going to have a good reason to worry. Woodhead should prove to be a decent flex starter this weekend against the Oakland Raiders.
Bust of the Week- Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens)
The Ravens are just not the same team they were last year. Ray Rice is the Bust of the Week for week four and it really is not his fault. The Ravens are not getting him the ball the way they used to. This is concerning for fantasy owners who were counting on the Ravens’ best offensive weapon to come up big for them. Rice posted a horrifying 17 rushing yards on just five carries against a Buffalo defense that has not been very good against the run. If the Ravens continue to short Rice on carries they will find themselves sitting and crying at home come playoff time. Unfortunately, Rice owners will find they are in the same position. Next week the Ravens travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins. The Fins will look to correct the mistakes they made against the Saints. Do not expect Miami will let Ray Rice have the type week Darren Sproles just had.
Comeback Player of the Week- Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers)
Before discussing Frank Gore’s week, we should give some credit to Victor Cruz. Cruz was the Bust of the Week in week three and came out and was the top receiver for week four. That being said, Frank Gore made a bigger comeback. Gore ran all over the Rams defense. His 20 carries were good for 153 rushing yards and a touchdown. These numbers are good, but he was not the best runningback of the week, so why is he the comeback king this week? Before this past weekend, the 49ers’ all time leading rusher had only ran for 142 yards and a touchdown. In one week he doubled his totals across the board. His comeback was not from one bad performance, but from three lackluster outings. Look for Frank Gore to keep having good games like this one against the Rams. Jim Harbaugh goes with what is helping his team win and the running game helps the 49ers win. As a result, Frank Gore will start helping fantasy owners win.
And the best of the best for week four…
Fanspeak.com Most Valuable Player of the Week- Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons)
Like I said earlier, Tony Gonzalez is a fine wine. This week he outscored Jimmy Graham by five points or seven points if your league awards points for receptions. Gonzalez also came a lot cheaper in the draft than the Saint’s star tight end. Week four was the first week where tight ends did not make the same massive impact that they had been making in the passing game. Only Gonzalez, Graham, and Gates posted over the century mark in receiving yards. Tony is a man on a mission this year. Expect more big games to come from Atlanta’s superstar. Getting the type of game Gonzalez had out of a tight end is what bring a W to the win column for fantasy owners, which is why he is at the top of the fantasy mountain for week four.