As you gear up for this weekend’s upcoming games by realigning your fantasy rosters to optimize matchups, let’s take a quick look back at last week’s studs. (Note: Points listed are directly from the First and Goal Fantasy League and may not represent point totals in your individual leagues)
QB: David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars — A product of good fortune, Garrard had the best fantasy performance amongst quarterbacks in week 4, a week in which his opponent, the Tennessee Titans, were fairly depleted due to injury. Garrard capitalized on his opportunity by completing 27 of 37 passes for 323 yards and a career-best tying 3 touchdowns. Add in 38 yards rushing and even deduct 1 lost fumble, and Garrard still put up 25 fantasy points last week. It is no suprise that the percentage of leagues in which Garrard is owned just jumped 16%.
*Fantasy Stud of the Week*
RB: Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers — Another bearer of good fortune, Mendenhall shined after taking the starting position from injured Willie Parker. Mendenhall racked up 165 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, and 26 receiving yards, impressive numbers even in a Pittsburgh run-first scheme. His 30 fantasy points were tops last week, earning him Fantasy Stud of the Week Honors.
WR: Steve Smith, New York Giants — Hauling in 11 receptions for 134 yards, both personal records, Smith impressed many fantasy owners in week 4. Smith also caught 2 touchdown receptions to bring his total fantasy output to 25 points. Smith currently leads all receivers with 411 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season.
TE: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers — Returning to his prior, pre-injuried self, Gates proved he is once again a force to be reckoned with. Gates caught a game-high 9 receptions for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns last week against a normally stingy Pittsburgh defense. Although his real-life team lost, his 24 fantasy points may have helped carry a lot of his fantasy teams to victory in Week 4.
K: Josh Scobee, Jacksonville Jaguars — Last week, Scobee booted 3 field goals, including one of 50+ yards, and tacked on 4 PATs for 15 fantasy points, a league best amongst kickers. Scobee has missed three field goals this season, but the shortest was a 46-yarder. Just like his teammate David Garrard, it is no surprise his fantasy stock jumped a whopping 37% after such a strong performance.
D/ST: San Francisco 49ers — One of the biggest surprises of Week 4 was the offensive power of the 49ers defense. Yes, they were playing the St. Louis Rams, currently the worst team in the league. However, 5 sacks, 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries, and a mind-boggling 3 touchdowns all lead to a very impressive 39-point fantasy week for the unit. If I hadn’t already decided to only award Fantasy Stud of the Week to individuals (in part so I could show a football card for that person each week), the 49ers would have won it hands down this week.
ROOKIE: Johnny Knox, Chicago Bears — If you are a rookie and want to be a valuable fantasy asset, make sure you are a wide receiver that returns kicks. In Week 4, Knox only had 5 receptions (a game-high) for 31 yards, but compiled 147 return yards, including a 102-yard touchdown return, earning him 15 fantasy points. This is the second time Knox has been recognized as the best fantasy rookie after his breakout performance in Week 2.
Check back next week for another edition of Fantasy Focus as we recognize the week’s best fantasy performers. Best of luck to you in your respective fantasy football leagues!
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