FANTASY BLITZ: Under The Radar in Week 4

Fantasy FANTASY BLITZ: Under The Radar in Week 4

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After completing 30 passes and throwing for three scores on Sunday, Brian Hoyer imitated Brian Sipe in the Browns’ 31-27 victory over the Vikings. Hoyer will be the starter with Jason Campbell backing him up and with Josh Gordon coming back along with the emergence of Jordan Cameron, do not be surprised to see Hoyer’s name in this article in the coming weeks. Rookie Mike Glennon will be the Buccaneers starting quarterback after the benching of Josh Freeman. Barring a huge surprise, Freeman started his last game for Tampa Bay last Sunday.

Matt Flynn is taking the first team snaps this week in Oakland as Terrelle Pryor has been cleared for just meetings— not practices. Flynn should be getting the start against the Redskins this week. In London, expect to see Matt Cassel under center against the winless Steelers in the battle of the 0-3 teams.

The biggest developing story of the week is coming from Houston where offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said speaking of Matt Schaub, “Matt has got to take care of the football better, and we hope he can do that”. Schaub has thrown four interceptions this year, two of which were returned for touchdowns. This week they face the top pass-defense in football, the Seahawks.

Luckily for Houston, the game will be played at Reliant Stadium and Seattle is a much different team on the road than at home. If Schaub turns the ball over again on Sunday and they do not move the ball, Gary Kubiak may turn to third year quarterback TJ Yates. If he does that, Schaub will be facing the same situation as Josh Freeman and Brandon Weeden. Stay tuned… In two quarterback leagues, Yates is a must pick-up.



Ben Roethlisberger— Steelers vs. Vikings in London

The returns of Heath Miller and Le’Veon Bell should help the Steelers offense and give Roethlisberger better balance. They probably still won’t be able to run the ball much against the Vikings, so he’ll need to throw a lot to move the ball against the Viking defense. Even Brian Hoyer looked pretty good against Minnesota this week, throwing for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns. (Even if he threw three interceptions and it took 54 passes to get there.) Roethlisberger will probably throw 40+ passes this week for around 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Alex Smith—Chiefs vs. Giants

Smith has been as steady as she goes through three games, which is about what you should expect for him this week too. He is matched up with a Giants defense that has been torched by Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, and Cam Newton, allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. The Giants lost SS Steve Brown for the season, top corner Corey Webster (hip) didn’t play last week, and Antrel Rolle played through a preseason ankle injury that he’s still dealing with. The Giants are also playing their third road game of the year after getting annihilated by the Panthers on Sunday. Andy Reid will have the Chiefs ready and Smith will have his customary 35 throws for about 250 to 275 yards with a couple of touchdowns and another 20-30 yards rushing.


Running Back

Lamar Miller— Dolphins at Saints

After a dreadful opener against the Browns, Miller has looked much better in the last two games. He’s up to a healthy 4.2 yards per carry and he faces a Saints 3-4 defense that has been disruptive but below average against the run allowing 5.3 yards per carry. The biggest concern for Miller is sharing the backfield with Daniel Thomas who has scored in two of three games. His speed makes him the more attractive fantasy back compared to Thomas and as the season moves along, Miller will get more touches.

Ahmad Bradshaw— Colts at Jaguars

The Jaguars enter this week allowing a league-worst 168 yards per game on the ground, 5.2 yards per carry and a league-high eight runs of 20+ yards in only three games. It’s baffling how Marshawn Lynch came out of Sunday’s game with just 69 yards and no touchdowns against them. Of course, Bradshaw is giving away carries to Trent Richardson, but in the Colts new run-heavy attack it was Bradshaw who outperformed Richardson in his Colts’ debut by combining for 111 yards and a touchdown to Richardson’s 35 yards and a score. Head Coach Chuck Pagano said he expects to use a similar rotation this week and it wouldn’t be a stretch for each back to get 15+ carries, 60+ yards and a touchdown against the worst team in football.


Wide Receiver

Ryan Broyles—Lions vs Bears

Nate Burleson will be out until November after breaking his arm in a single-car accident late Monday night, opening the door for Broyles to start opposite Calvin Johnson. Broyles has been brought along slowly after recovering from his second ACL tear in almost as many years. He performed well during the team’s offseason workouts and he is now rounding into shape at the right time. The Bears top corner, Charles Tillman (knee) is also day-to-day and could be somewhat limited against the Lions. It’s hard to know what we might expect from Broyles as the Lions No. 2 receiver is often a running back; and with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell back there it wouldn’t be surprising if they were No. 2 and No. 3. That said, Broyles is prepared for a bigger workload and there’s no question that the Lions hope they can lean on him as their primary slot receiver with Burleson out of the picture.

Dwayne Harris—Cowboys at Chargers

Miles Austin’s hamstring strikes again, leaving Harris as the likely No. 3 receiver for the Cowboys if Austin is unable to go on Sunday. Rookie Terrence Williams will probably draw the start ahead of Harris as it was the rookie who replaced Austin after he left last Sunday’s game. However, Harris outplayed Williams and will probably continue to do so given his familiarity and understanding of the offense. Remember that Williams had a difficult time grasping the playbook and he’s still not performing at a consistently productive level. The Chargers have been a top-seven matchup for receivers so far with Nate Washington being the latest to hang a 100-yard game on them after DeSean Jackson and Andre Johnson did previously.


Tight End

Rob Housler— Cardinals at Buccaneers

It’s not a great week for “Under The Radar” tight ends with the bye week taking Jermichael Finley and Greg Olsen off the board. Several others have tough matchups. The best is Rob Housler of the Cardinals who is back in the lineup now that he’s healthy again. Housler was a popular sleeper during the summer, but his stock fell through the floor during the preseason. He faces a Buccaneer defense that allowed big numbers to Jimmy Graham and Kellen Winslow this year.

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Kurt Backert

About Kurt Backert

Kurt's passion for the game began in the 60's watching the Colts on TV and at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. He began following the statistics of not only his beloved Colts but also those of the Colts opponents, with a keen eye on Vince Lombardi's Packers. His thirst for and attention to statistical detail would eventually lead Kurt on a journey to the world of fantasy football in the late 1980's where he's captured more titles than John Wooden's UCLA Bruins   Kurt carries a distinction that no other fan of the NFL can boast about.  He is the reigning NFL National Trivia Champion and he credits his Dad for passing on such passion for the game, something Kurt also hopes to pass along to his 9-year-old son. More from Kurt Backert


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