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Four Quarters: Plenty of empty scores in Week 4

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
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Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed.

No, this is not the Ballad of Jed Clampett. It's the story of Jed Collins.

Up until Week 4 you knew nothing of Collins, who entered the NFL out of Washington State as an undrafted free agent in 2008. Collins has made stops in Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Arizona, Cleveland, Tennessee and now New Orleans.

But up until Week 1 of this season he never appeared in an NFL game, and up until Sunday he never recorded an offensive stat in an NFL game until the Saints called his number at the goal line in the first quarter against Jacksonville. And wouldn't you know ol' Jed cashed in with his first career score.

However, instead of serenades and congrats on a career achievement, Collins' name was mostly cursed throughout the Fantasy realm as he stole points from the myriad of offensive stars on the Saints.

Sunday brought what seemed to be an unusual amount of marginal Fantasy options stealing much-needed touchdowns from players who usually make a difference on a weekly basis.

Check out the list of unusual suspects that hit pay dirt Week 4. There was Collins (owned zero percent of leagues), Stevan Ridley (started 1 percent of leagues), Lex Hilliard (owned zero percent), Josh Morgan (owned 1 percent), James Jones (started 1 percent), Devin Aromashodu (owned zero percent), Ben Obomanu (owned zero percent), Damian Williams (owned 1 percent), Michael Jenkins (started 3 percent), Jared Cook (started 3 percent), Clay Harbor (owned zero percent), Jake Ballard (owned zero percent), Craig Stevens (owned zero percent), Jacksonville's Zach Miller (owned 1 percent) and Daniel Fells (owned 1 percent).

And the worst part of all -- all these guys now have more touchdowns in 2011 than Titans running back Chris Johnson, who was a consensus first-round draft pick in Fantasy. Sigh.

First Quarter -- Surprises of the Week

We knew Aaron Rodgers was good, but six touchdowns and 53 Fantasy points was totally unexpected ... Tarvaris Jackson ended up as a Top 5 Fantasy scoring quarterback (27 points) in Week 4. He had all of 33 Fantasy points through his first three games with Seattle ... 49ers quarterback Alex Smith matched Tom Brady in Fantasy points (21) and the most impressive part was that he did it against the vaunted Eagles secondary ... Browns quarterback Colt McCoy attempted as many passes (61) Sunday against Tennessee as his ownership percentage in CBSSports.com leagues ... Beanie Wells' three-touchdown performance now gives him more Fantasy points on the season than Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and that includes one less game due to injury ... I don't think anybody would have guessed that Matt Forte would be the first running back in 2011 to eclipse 200 rushing yards in a game. His previous high for a game was 166, which also came against Carolina last season. ... It was surprising that Frank Gore had his breakout performance of the season on Sunday, considering he was hobbled and being pushed for reps by Kendall Hunter ... Eric Decker's second two-touchdown performance through four weeks now puts him as a Top 10 Fantasy wide receiver and gives him 12 more Fantasy points than Roddy White, who was a consensus Top 3 Fantasy wide receiver coming into the year ... Darrius Heyward-Bey and Laurent Robinson both broke double-digit Fantasy points in Week 4 thanks to 100-yard performances ... Ryan Succop broke out with five field goals Sunday against the Vikings after opening the year 2 for 5 on field goals.

Second Quarter -- Duds of the Week

We didn't expect a stellar performance from Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez against the Ravens, but minus-4 Fantasy points is just brutal ... Knowshon Moreno has been active the last two weeks despite dealing with a lingering hamstring injury, but he has just two carries for 4 yards in those games, while Willis McGahee has paced the rushing attack. Clearly, Moreno is not the Denver back to start in Fantasy right now ... Redskins starting running back Tim Hightower went up against Rams, who came into Sunday allowing 25 Fantasy points per week to running backs, which was fourth highest in NFL. Sadly, Hightower got outproduced by both of his backups -- Ryan Torain and Roy Helu ... After all the talk about how Adrian Peterson was underutilized in Week 3 against the Lions we thought he would run wild against the Chiefs, who were allowing 29 Fantasy points per week to running backs, which was second highest in NFL. Sadly, Peterson totaled eight Fantasy points and averaged 3.5 yards per carry ... Devery Henderson laid a goose egg Week 4 as he was targeted one time against Jacksonville ... Ravens rookie Torrey Smith was a huge letdown after his breakout outing in Week 3. He produced one catch for 1 yard ... The Giants welcomed back Mario Manningham from injury in Week 4 and he drew a favorable matchup against the Cardinals. But he produced just one catch for 10 yards and ended the game in the doghouse as Victor Cruz replaced him in two-receiver sets opposite Hakeem Nicks ... Jacoby Ford also had a disappointing return from injury as he faced the worst pass defense in the league in New England. Ford produced no catches on two targets ... Fantasy owners finally began to trust Bills tight end Scott Chandler (started 45 percent), and he rewarded that confidence with no Fantasy points in Week 4 against a team allowing tight ends to average 11 points per week, which was tied for fifth highest in the NFL ... Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski couldn't take advantage of a Raiders secondary that was missing starting safety Michael Huff, as he produced one catch for 15 yards ... Randy McMichael entered Week 4 as everyone's favorite tight end sleeper as he replaced Antonio Gates and was going up against the worst team vs. tight ends, but the Dolphins bottled up McMichael for 25 yards on three catches.

Third Quarter -- Injury Report

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson was in a lot of pain Sunday when he went down with an apparent hamstring injury. Fantasy owners need to start planning to have a healthier alternative available for Week 5 in case Johnson can't take the field against the Raiders ... Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is also questionable heading into Week 5 after suffering a foot injury Sunday ... Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne left the stadium Sunday sporting a sling after hurting his non-throwing shoulder against San Diego, and he remains optimistic he will return in Week 6 after his team's bye in Week 5 ... Patriots running back Danny Woodhead dinged up his ankle Sunday against the Raiders ... Texans running back Ben Tate couldn't finish the game in Week 4 due to a groin injury, but the team's concerns were eased a bit thanks to the re-emergence of Arian Foster, who was hobbled through the first three weeks with a hamstring injury ... Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall joined the walking wounded with a hamstring injury ... Vincent Jackson had a productive day for the Chargers in Week 4 before being hobbled by a leg injury. He has been declared day-to-day leading up to Week 5.

Fourth Quarter -- Early Look Ahead

It's the first week teams are off, so fire up those bye-week replacements. Baltimore, Dallas, Miami, St. Louis, Washington and Cleveland are all on byes in Week 5 ... At the beginning of the season you would have overlooked Philadelphia at Buffalo, but the Week 5 matchup now features two teams averaging 25.2 or more points per game ... New Orleans at Carolina could produce a lot of Fantasy points as well, as both teams rank in the Top 3 in total offense, averaging 440 yards or more per game. They are also both challenged defensively ... It could get ugly between Kansas City and Indianapolis in Week 5 as both teams rank in the bottom five in the league in scoring offense ... If Tampa Bay wins Monday as expected, then the Bucs/49ers showdown will be a surprising battle of 3-1 teams ... Last but not least, Week 5 brings us the latest installment of Jets coach Rex Ryan vs. Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Now that's just good drama.

Overtime -- Q and A

Should I add Sidney Rice and drop David Nelson? -- David Chuah (Facebook)

MH: Yes. Even though Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is better than Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, Rice is his team's top receiver and Nelson is considered his team's second-best receiver behind Steve Johnson. Also, Rice has enjoyed two productive games since returning from a shoulder injury, so I have no problems with adding him to a roster despite his injury-prone ways.

Who should I try to trade away: Matthew Stafford or Cam Newton ? Both players have same bye and I'm leaning toward Stafford because of injury concerns -- Maestro25 (Twitter)

MH: I wouldn't trade either player. There has to be someone else on your roster you could drop, a handcuff running back or low-end receiver, to clear a roster spot come Week 9 for a bye-week replacement at quarterback. I would keep both quarterbacks just based on the fact you mentioned -- Stafford is injury-prone. You never know what's going to happen. However, if you are really set on dealing one of your high-end quarterbacks, make sure to pull a 2-for-1 deal at least so you can get a quality backup not on a bye in Week 9. And the quarterback I would deal would be Stafford, but not because of his checkered past. I would keep Newton because he appears to be unfazed by competition and his ability to run the football sets him apart from Stafford.

Who has better value moving forward: Kendall Hunter or Stevan Ridley? -- Terry Anderson III (Twitter)

MH: I like Ridley. The guy is averaging 8.2 yards per carry and it might only be a matter of time before Patriots coach Bill Belchick realizes Ridley has the potential to be the every-down back he needs to take some pressure off the passing game. Ridley is proving that his stellar preseason doesn't appear to be a fluke. Hunter is going to need a long-term injury to Frank Gore to become a significant Fantasy option.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow us on Facebook. You can also follow Michael via Twitter @CBSHurc

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Player News
Report: Broncos TE Jeff Heuerman undergoes knee surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, reports 9News.com.

He is expected to miss the entire 2015 season. Heuerman was drafted in the third round during the 2015 draft.


Cowboys RB Joseph Randle confident he can replace DeMarco Murray
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:19 pm ET) With last season's leading rusher no longer on the team, Cowboys running back Joseph Randle said he can replace the 1,845 rushing yards DeMarco Murray produced last season, reports The Dallas Morning News.

"He had a good year last year, and I got to sit back and watch a lot," Randle said, "and I felt like there was a lot of meat left on the bone."

Randle did get first-team reps during Wednesday's OTA session and he said he's ready to handle a heavy workload this season.

"I'm going to try to go out there and grind as hard as I can and see which role I end up in," Randle said. "If they ask me to do that, I'm ready for it. And if they believe in me, I believe in myself, that’s for sure."

Randle has been arrested twice in the last year, but he said he's learned from his mistakes.

"Everything you go through in life you learn from it and I learned from it and I've moved past it. I've grown up," Randle said. "I've made some young and silly mistakes, but I'm moving forward."


Jets' Brandon Marshall on ability: 'I'm better now than I've ever been'
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:57 pm ET) Despite being a five-time Pro Bowl selection, Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said Wednesday he can still be a better player than in his previous nine seasons, reports ESPN.com.

"I really feel like I'm better now than I've ever been," Marshall said.

Marshall added that his improved health and more knowledge of the game has him prepared for a productive 2015 season.

"There's the physical part, feeling healthy, and our medical staff here is probably the best in the league," Marshall said. "I feel great, and now I'm starting to see the game differently, being older and having a lot of experience. So having all of that working for me, and going against those guys every single day, I'm excited about doing my job this year."


Bills DT Marcell Dareus in wait and see mode over contract talks
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:49 pm ET) Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said he is eager to work out a contract extension with the Bills, but he knows he must perform on the field regardless of his contract status, reports the team's official website.

"We'll wait and see what the Bills do," Dareus said. "It weighs on me heavily. Heavily. I've got to go out there and really perform and do what I have to do, which I always do—really have fun with it. Whatever the outcome is, is the outcome. However they want to play it is how they play it. I'm excited. I'm excited for the upcoming year."

Dareus will be suspended for the season opener as a result of an off-field incident last year and he said he's ready to move on.

"I'm happy we can finally move forward. It's been hanging over my head for a while," he said. "Just happy we can move forward and I can prepare myself for the season and just happy to be with my friends, my guys, my real family. Just really feeling a lot better right now."


Bears TE Martellus Bennett misses Wednesday's OTA
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:42 pm ET) Bears tight end Martellus Bennett did not attend the team's voluntary organized team activity Wednesday, reports ESPN.com.

Bennett has not attended any of the team's offseason workouts as he waits for a new contract.


Ravens WR Michael Campanaro suffers quad injury Wednesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:28 pm ET) Ravens wide receiver Michael Campanaro sustained a quadriceps injury during Wednesday's OTA session, reports The Baltimore Sun.

The severity of the injury is not known, according to sources. In 2014, Campanaro caught seven passes for 102 yards in four games.


Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) remains on schedule
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:43 pm ET) Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said Wednesday his injured knee is about 80 percent healed and he remains on schedule to play in Week 1, reports the New York Post.

Cruz has been able to run routes and cut on his surgically-repaired knee, but he did not participate in team drills Wednesday. Cruz missed the final 10 games of the 2014 season after he tore his patellar tendon.


Seahawks sign second-rounder Clark, third-rounder Lockett
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(2:40 pm ET) The Seahawks signed a pair of draft picks Wednesday, reaching deals with second-round pick, defensive end Frank Clark , and third-round selection, wide receiver Tyler Lockett , per the National Football Post. 

Clark receives a four-year, $3.7 million deal despite the controversy regarding his selection. Clark was kicked off the team in Michigan after being arrested for domestic violence. 

Lockett's deal is reported to be four years and $3.3 million. 


Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles says he wants to play six more seasons
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:33 pm ET) Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is gearing up for his eight season in the NFL and he knows the pessimistic perception on the career length for running backs, reports the team's official website.

"The game has changed," Charles said. "They've got all kinds of technology now, all kinds of medicine people have come up with to stay healthy. At the end of the day, an ACL you couldn't play [with], it was the end of a career."

Charles hopes by maintaining his body, avoiding big hits and not trying to run over people, the subtle changes will provide longevity to his career.

"I want to play another six years so, my form is to keep on taking my diet," he said. "I'm seeing guys at 37 or 38 still playing football in the trenches and that's somewhere where you don't want to play. So I just want to change the game with the running backs. I want this to last longer and then when I retire, I'll be happy with where I end my career at."


Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson participates in Wednesday's OTA
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:20 pm ET) For the first time since suffering a torn Achilles last season, Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson was able to participate in team drills during Wednesday's OTA practice, reports the team's official website.

"It means a lot," he said. "Even though it's just OTAs, I'm a veteran, I've been to OTAs a lot, but at the same time, after being out a year, I need this time. This is going to help me get back to form and when the 2015 season comes around I'll be going."

Despite getting on the field for the first time since suffering the injury in the first game of last season, Johnson said he was more concerned with how he performed than the injury.

"A lot of people asked me, 'You ready to go today?' and I was more worried about dropping the ball when I jumped a route—that's what I was worried about."


 
 
 
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