4th and Inches

With the fourth round out of the way in the NFL season, we incredibly still have four teams undefeated and sitting on 4-0, being the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers. Tom Brady’s New England Patriots are also on 3-0 after having the bye last weekend. As for our players to watch from last weeks article, we had some solid results with TAYLOR (14.46pts), JOHNSON (9.4 pts), and BENJAMIN (7.9pts) all scoring okay – out only failure was TE Jordan REED, who was knocked out and only managed 1.7pts for the game. Let’s see if we can keep it up for round 5.

The surprise star from last weekends round of NFL was Philadelphia QB Sam BRADFORD. Selected in an amazingly low 28% of leagues, BRADFORD managed 24.2pts in round 4 on the back of 15 of 28 passes for three touchdowns. Easily his best game of the year, Philly have had some offensive issues but if they start to come good BRADFORD could be a huge bargain.

The one to watch from the signal callers side of things is – again surprisingly, but for different reasons – Cleveland’s Josh McGOWN. With Johnny MANZIEL breathing down his neck McGOWN has been very respectable in the last two rounds, this time putting together 22.24 pts after 19.64 the weekend before. 356 yards, 2 touchdowns and no picks is a pretty good stat line. Sure he won’t keep those numbers up, but selected in only 0.7% of leagues McGOWN could be a very handy backup, especially with byes now on the table.

I know he was our RB hero last weekend, but how can we go past Atlanta’s Devonta FREEMAN again this week? He score 8 pts more than the guy in second place, amassing a huge 32.9pts on the back of 68 yards and 3 touchdowns – the second week in a row he has scored over 30 pts. Massive. He could quite easily make it 3 in a row this week against the Redskins too.

At the risk of – unintentionally – recommending way too many Cleveland players (never thought I’d see that sentence actually written) the RB to watch this week is the Brown’s rookie Duke JOHNSON. Talked up during preseason JOHNSON finally took a big step this week, scrounging up 17.6pts after a nice long TD reception – more pts than he has totalled in his other three games combined. Hopefully the switch has been flicked – he’s only selected in 38% of leagues, snap him up if you can.

Houston’s DeAndre HOPKINS is selected in virtually 100% of leagues, and its not hard to see why. Ranked 4th in his position, HOPKINS scored 15.7 pts this past weekend – without even a TD! 157 yards in total gain – his third 15-plus point game for the season already. What a star.

The receiver to keep an eye on going forward is St Louis’ Tavon AUSTIN. After a mediocre start to the year, AUSTIN smashed out 23.6pts in round 4, after catching for 96 yards and scoring 2 touchdowns. That total was also more than his first three games combined. Owned in only 6% of leagues, he could be another to bid on this week.

It was time for the old guard to have a crack this week, with Chicago’s Martellus BENNET leading the way with a very tidy 14.3pts on the back of 83 yds and a TD. BENNETT is understandable owned by 96% of leagues and is currently ranked 8th for his position, already having amassed two games over 10 pts for the year.

Uh oh, time to do it again. Ironically the TE to consider this weekend is also from the Cleveland Browns – the improving Gary BARNIDGE. Ranked 7th from all TE so far despite being owned in only 5% of leagues, BARNIDGE put together his second strong game in a row, adding 13.5pts to his 16.5 from round 3. BARNIDGE totalled 73 yards and a touchdwon, and he is sneaking along nicely – again, his output will very greatly but as a stop-gap over the bye periods he cold be just the man for the job.

Time to look at the Moneyball gifts for round 5 of the NFL, and the players below seem to be great value given their recent output. QBs Josh McCOWN ($6,300) and Carson PALMER ($7,700), RBs Ronnie HILLMAN ($5,400) and Devonta FREEMAN ($6,500), WRs Julian EDELMAN ($7,700) and Larry FITZGERALD ($6,000) and TEs Delanie WALKER ($5,400) and Coby FLEENER ($5,100).

Good luck and remember to always gamble responsibly.

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