Before this season, in his three year career, the most receptions and yards Brian Hartline had in a game was five for 98. He had shown some promise off and on, but never more than a fleeting glimpse on fantasy waiver wire articles and then back to obscurity. That is until Week 2 of this season when he caught nine passes on 12 targets for 111 yards against the Raiders. Of course, that was at home against a Raiders defense that has been the perfect picture of an awful defense.
So when Hartline caught one pass for 41 yards against a Revis led, Jets defense, the thoughts of his previous mediocrity flooded our fantasy football minds and shot Hartline right back into the free agency field. But even when he just had one catch against the Jets, he still had nine targets from Ryan Tannehill. The precedent had been set. No matter what, Hartline would get his targets.
But this Arizona Cardinals pass defense has been strong. They had only given up 156 yards a game to wide receivers and one touchdown coming into Sunday. That is until Hartline caught 12 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown!
Those 253 yards broke the previous Dolphins record of 238 yards receiving by Chris Chambers and tied for 17th best all time. The big question of course is, can he continue to put up week in and week out WR1 or 2 numbers? Well, that will depend on Ryan Tannehill, who made some very nice throws in setting the Dolphins rookie record for most passing yards in a game with 431, besting Dan Marino’s old record of 322.
Tannehill made plenty of great throws and a few boneheaded plays as well, but with an average of 12 targets a game, it is going to be tough to keep Hartline from putting up startable numbers. Of course if you can get a legitimate top-tier receiver for him, I’d make the trade, but I don’t see this game as a fluke.
Tom Brady – As far as fantasy football goes, it’s good to get the, destroy and humiliate the opponent Patriots, back. Brady’s 340 yards was his third 300-plus yard game of the season, but his three touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown, put him into the realm of great fantasy day.
Even with the Patriots running at will, he still had two receivers top 100 yards. The extra dimension of a running game might hurt his overall touchdown numbers, but we knew the Patriots’ offense wasn’t going to be held down for long.
Peyton Manning – This was the game where we all knew the old Peyton Manning (i.e. the young Peyton Manning) would have put up elite numbers in his sleep. So it was nice to see him do just that.
Manning went a remarkable 30 of 38 for 338 yards and three touchdowns (love those round numbers) and easily could have kept on scoring if they weren’t already destroying the hapless Raiders defense.
He’s not going to consistently dismantle teams, but he’ll put up big numbers on bad teams and good enough numbers on good teams.
Roddy White – Mr. White outdueled Mr. Jones by a wide fantasy margin this week and the old man has now taken the lead in fantasy points after Jones only had one reception for 30 yards, while White had eight receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns. The extra coverage on Jones is helping White out a ton this season and should continue against teams with middle of the road pass defenses.
Andre Roberts – If I would have told you that Roberts would lead all wide receivers in touchdown catches after Week 4 you might have punched me in the gut, or not, but you wouldn’t have believed me.
Roberts’ two touchdowns and 118 yards put him in elite company on the season, but he’s still not getting the number of targets per game you’ll want for a top fantasy player. His 15 receptions put him tied for 50th overall. He’s worth an add to see if he can keep getting into the end zone with the right matchups, but I’m still wary.
Michael Turner – Well, I’ve referred to him as fat and pug-like and recommended you sell him about every week possible and he of course goes off for 171 total yards and a touchdown.
According to Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well, I may be insane, but I just didn’t see much in all those yards to be hopeful.
He went 60 yards on an inside screen pass for his first receiving touchdown ever. He had more targets than he’s ever had in his career, with five. Of course these are good things, but has his game all of a sudden changed? Jacquizz Rodgers looked much more comfortable in the hurry-up offense catching passes than Turner.
The Panthers defense and Falcons’ offensive line also teamed up to give Turner, Moses meets the Red Sea running lanes, and well, he still looked similar to a roly-poly.
Stevan Ridley/Brandon Bolden – The Bills gave up 243 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 38 carries, split between Bolden and Ridley. Before this week they had given up a total of 265 yard rushing and two touchdowns.
Ridley won the fantasy battle with two of the three touchdowns, but Bolden had a higher yards per carry, with 8.5 to 4.8. Knowing Bill Belichick as I do, which is not at all, they both could get three carries next week. But there is no doubt, that both Bolden and Ridley have ability. Just be ready for their playing time to be all over the map.
Marshawn Lynch – The leader in rushing yards through four weeks is none other than Beast Mode Skittle Shoes. Is that what we are calling him now? Well, whatever his name, he’s kicking some arse week in and week out.
This week he totaled 155 yards with four receptions and a touchdown. It’s good to see him used in the passing game a little more. If that keeps up, he will be extremely difficult to hold him down, even if the Seahawks get behind.
Willis McGahee – Old man McGahee is still kicking and kicking hard. He had 112 yards on 19 carries and six receptions for an additional 23 yards. Those six receptions are the most he’s had since 2007.
In his last 18 games he has nine 100 yard rushing performances. That number is the best in the NFL during that stretch. And Peyton Manning is going to continue to get him into good running and scoring positions. So as long as he can go without the aid of a walker, he’ll help your team.
Scott Chandler – Chandler has a whopping 12 receptions on the season, but is tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns with four.
His 8 targets are his high for the season, and since he scored two touchdowns on Sunday, maybe he’ll continue to be the number two target on the team. If so, he could hit TE1 status.
Greg Zuerlein – He has been the Rams MVP so far this season, especially in their win over the Seahawks. He hit field goals of 24, 48, 58 and 60 yards, the latter two both setting Rams ‘ records.
He has yet to miss a field goal and as long as he’s hitting from 50 yards out with consistency, even the Rams poor offense shouldn’t keep him from getting his fantasy points.