NFL Real Talk: Week Four

Be ready to sweat Dez nuts
Photo Credit: JovieG

Dez Bryant came into the season with a shit ton of hype, but has amassed just 13 catches for 164 yards and no TDs through three games. There isn’t a lot of optimism surrounding his value thanks to Dallas’ depth of weapons and the balance they are showing with the run game, but don’t get it twisted, Dez is on the cusp of greatness. Savvy fantasy heads would be wise to send out offers for his services during this buy-low opportunity.

One of the most explosive big WRs in football, Bryant has stupidly been underused by the Cowboys up until this point. That shouldn’t continue. Bryant was shown on the sideline jawing at receivers coach Jimmy Robinson over a lack of chances to make plays. He then recorded 47 yards in the second half after that display (in the first half, he had just 15). Normally, people would consider this a total diva act by a crybaby WR whining about not getting the ball enough. Well, if those antics lead to more opportunities, then cry me a goddamn river.

Sure the Cowboys are 2-1, but they are in the tough NFC East and will need to play at a much higher level the rest of the season just to keep pace. DeMarco Murray needs to be involved, but in the passing game, Bryant will be the focus. Jason Witten ain’t what he used to be and Miles Austin is one tweaked hammy away from a set of crutches. Even if Austin stays healthy, Bryant is by far the best playmaker on this team and offensive guru Jason Garrett will find ways to get the ball in his hands.

This may be your last chance to get Bryant on a discount, so even if you have to backhand your own mother to get him, make it happen. Dez would be proud.

More after the jump:

Don’t go popping bottles yet Jamaal Charles owners. Though the RB finished with 288 total yards, it should be noted that the performance came against the Saints (who gave up TDs to three different Carolina backs the week before. Peyton Hillis also got hurt during the game, which helped pave the way for a healthy dose of touches for Charles. While Charles’ fantasy prospects look a hell of a lot more promising now than they did a week ago, things could quickly turn sour again. This isn’t a bad time to move Charles to a RB-needy team if you have the depth.

I wouldn’t start Jacob Tamme this week, but there’s no need to drop him either. While the Peyton Manning-era in Denver has been underwhelming at best, Tamme was targeted 10 times in Week Three and the Broncos have been going heavy with two-TE sets. It doesn’t help that Joel Dreessen’s blocking skills are similar to that fat chick who is always hanging around her hot friend, getting in the way of defenders the way the chubby girl puts up a cock-blockade. It keeps Dreessen on the field often, but if Manning improves as the season goes on, so should Tamme. Keep him rostered for the time being.

Last week on “NFL Real Talk,” we shouted out Golden Tate as a WR on the cusp of stardom. After his two-TD performance, fantasy owners are now on notice. Tate has always possessed a ton of talent and he finally has a competent QB in Seattle to get him the ball. He’s always an injury-risk, but the upside is similar to my cock… huge.

Though he has a 3:4 TD-to-INT ratio, Philip Rivers is a solid buy-low target right now. Yes, he was all over the place against Atlanta and was out of sync with most of his receivers. However, Ryan Mathews is back and the return of a legitimate run game should help open passing lanes for the Chargers. Rivers is still one of the most gifted QBs in the game and is capable of carrying owners any given week. Due to his struggles last year, you can likely net Rivers for a relatively low price.

It’s just not happening for Steven Jackson this year. He doesn’t look “finished” per se, but between a weak offensive line and a bevy of tough matchups, it’s hard to find much to be positive about. Unfortunately, you have to start him in most cases as he is still guaranteed 15 touches per week and unless you have crazy RB depth, he’ll be glued to your lineup. Just pray that the Rams keep things close in their games so the ground attack will remain viable.

A lot of Kenny Britt owners are feeling optimistic after he caught six passes for 55 yards in Week Three, but don’t get fooled. Britt is coming off major knee surgery and simply will not have the explosive playmaking ability we all saw from him last year. This is the perfect opportunity to sell-high as owners think he will only get better… he won’t.

Somehow available in 47 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Kyle Rudolph is no joke. The athletic TE is already a favorite target of Christian Ponder, especially in the red zone. If he is sitting on waivers in your league, pick him up (particularly if you can play a TE at the flex).

Fantasy owners probably feel as though they found fool’s gold when they picked up Kevin Ogletree after his Week Three performance, but I’m not so sure. He almost had a TD in Week Three and saw seven targets that game. While he had just one pass thrown his way in Week Two, we can throw that number out the window as the Dallas offense as a whole struggled mightily against Seattle. I’m not saying Ogletree will be an every-week WR3, but I think he has value as a bye-week replacement and may develop into a more reliable weapon as the season moves on. Don’t put him on waivers just yet.

Ben Roethlisberger stated that his goal is to get Heath Miller to the Pro Bowl, and so far he’s making good on that promise. In the past, Miller has been used primarily as a blocker as Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been a wreck. This season, the O-line is much improved and the Steelers TE is able to run a lot more routes. Miller has scored in every game and was targeted 10 times in Week Three. While his target total will probably settle in the five-to-seven range week-to-week, the red zone looks should be there.

Though he scored another TD in Week Three, I still think you have to sell-high on Andrew Hawkins. He’s been targeted just seven times over the last two weeks and the Bengals have a slew of young WRs that they like who they can throw to. Hawkins is a talent for sure, but you can’t expect him to be a reliably consistent fantasy option. Sell now while the overall numbers look dope.

T.J. Graham was mentioned as a player to keep on your radar after Week One here on “NFL Real Talk,” and this is just a reminder. He’s not worth owning in 12-team leagues just yet, but deeper league owners looking for some WR depth might want to make a preemptive strike on the Bills WR. He only had one target in his first two weeks, but saw five Sunday and turned one of them into a score. Graham is the most explosive receiver in Buffalo and you can expect the creative Bills to find ways to get the ball to him.

Deep sleeper of the week: Jordan Cameron. Though he’s the second TE in Cleveland, he saw seven targets in Week Three and is talented as fuck. Granted, he had zero catches in his first two games and is a bit of a project, but lord knows the Browns need all the offense they can get, so this might be the beginning of an expanded role.

While the return of Hakeem Nicks will obviously sap Ramses Barden’s fantasy value going forward, he shouldn’t be disregarded completely. The 6’6” Barden brings the kind of size at WR the Giants have lacked since Plaxico Burress. It would not be surprising at all to see Barden become a favorite red-zone target of Eli Manning. He shouldn’t be started in Week Four, but he deserves a spot on the bench of fantasy rosters as a wait-and-see option.



About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.