Week 4 Fantasy Waiver Wire Targets

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Hers is some week 4 Fantasy Football talk presented by NFL.com Youtube! Do you agree with Senior fantasy editor michael fabiano?

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Ravens vs Steelers came down to who had the better kicker:

Saints at Ravens 8/13/15

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

The quarterback position is the most important position on the team. The position gets all the glory when the team wins, and takes on all the pressure when the team loses. The polar opposite position is the kicker. Not because kickers are the least important player on the team. They certainly can decide games. But the polar opposite because they are treated often like less than players. Sometimes even disrespected a little bit by teammates. Well if you watched the Ravens and Steelers match up in Thursday night football, you have a new found respect for place kicking. In a game that went to overtime in which the Ravens won 23-20. Kicking was the difference maker. The Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was 3 for 3 making every kick he took of the night. While the Steelers kicker Josh Scobee was 2 out of 4 in his kicking attempts, missing out on a potential 6 points for his team. Scobee missed from 49 yards and 41 yards leaving points on the table when his team needed him the most. This isn’t the first time Scobee has had woes in Pittsburgh either, he is 6 for 10 on the year. On the other sideline though Tucker would ultimately be the deciding factor. He was able to hit a 42 yard field goal to send the game into overtime. That is when the Ravens were able stop the Steelers offense on a 4th down attempt. Get the ball back in their offenses hands. Lead the team down field and let Justin Tucker boom a 52 yard field goal home for the win. The game was a winnable match for the Steelers but they just didn’t have the kicking to get it done. Justin Tucker and the Baltimore Ravens did. The Ravens improve to 1-3 on the season while the Steelers fall to 2-2.

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The Team That Has Been Most Impressive So Far

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Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Joey Carr

This should come as no surprise, but the NFL’s offseason punching bag is outshining the rest of the league. The moment Judge Richard Berman overturned the 4 game suspension handed down to Tom Brady, I think everyone knew what was on the horizon: A Revenge Tour. However, it’s safe to say no one expected this kind of offensive and defensive explosion from the New England Patriots. The start to the season is reminiscent of 2007, where New England crushed every team in their path until David Tyree made the catch that will live in infamy in the hearts of the Foxboro Faithful. So far in 2015, Bill Belichick and the Pats have manhandled two high caliber AFC teams in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, who both were considered some of the Patriots top competition for this year, and embarrassed Jacksonville by 34 points. The rest of the NFL, with the exception of maybe Green Bay, doesn’t compare to New England this year, and they should expect to keep on chasing the Pats all the way to Santa Clara, where they will try to make sure this Revenge Tour ends the right way, and 2007 doesn’t repeat itself.

Approaching the first game of the season, people didn’t know what exactly to expect from Tom Brady and the Patriots. They were facing a strong and dangerous opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers and had just undergone one of the more mentally trying off-seasons in recent history. Sure, many thought Tom Terrific would come out more terrific than ever due to being vindicated from Goodell, but there was always the frantic worry that Deflategate would take it’s toll on the future Hall of Famer. However, in true Patriots fashion, any doubt they may have had was set to rest completely by the end of the first half. Brady came out with fire in his eyes and a chip on his shoulder and the rest of the team followed suit, as they overpowered Big Ben and the Steelers. The tone set that night is the tone the Pats have been humming to all season long, and there is no expectation that that humming will be stopping anytime soon. The defense has been wobbly at times, but they have remained consistent enough to allow the offense to demolish the opposing defense. The Bills had no answer for Gronk and Julian Edelman as they combined for 210 receiving yards and the Jaguars had no answer for the Patriots offense as a whole, as they scored on every possession with the exception of the kneel down at the end of the game. They’ve dropped consecutive 40-point games, one of them against supposedly the best defense in the league in the Bills. In fact, the only time they’ve really been in danger of losing was when Buffalo stormed back from 17 down and could’ve tied the game on the final drive if not for cornerback Logan Ryan picking off Tyrod Taylor. Not a whole lot of other teams in the league can say that.

The only other team that could be considered in this conversation would be the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is kind of on his own Revenge Tour due to the devastating loss he and the Pack suffered in the NFC Championship game. With the exception of a close game in week 1 against Chicago, the Pack have been on a tear. Rodgers is having another MVP type season and the defense hasn’t looked as bad as they were projected to be. The only reason the Patriots have been more

impressive is because one, they’ve been better offensively and defensively as a whole, and two, have had more impressive victories. And, yes, one could say that Green Bay has played Seattle and Kansas City, but the Seahawks have looked awful to start the year and the Chiefs have one of the worst offenses in the league. Also, they were at Lambeau for both of those games. The Patriots played an explosive Steelers team, beat a Buffalo squad that would’ve given an arm and a leg to beat them, and scored on every offensive possession against the Jags. I’m not saying it’s a landslide in terms of which team has been superior between Green Bay and New England, but in the end, the Defending Champs are the most impressive team through the first 3 weeks of the season.

 

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Thursday night football picks:

Thursday night football picks from Endzoneblog.com

Falcons at Ravens 10/19/14

Photo credit: Keith Alison

Jon           Tammy       Joey           Chuck

Steelers   Steelers      Ravens      Ravens

Adrian Peterson: Return to Greatness

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Photo credit: Joe Bielawa

Author: Jon Kuzma

Adrian Peterson is slowly but surely resurrecting his National Football League career. After spending all of last season off with a suspension. Peterson has returned to the Vikings and helped lead the team to a 2-1 record. The pairing of Peterson along side of Teddy Bridgewater has been a favorable combination for the Vikings this far. However the ground game has been clearly the reason for the Vikings overall success this year. The team ranks 3rd in total rushing yards with 144 yards per game. Adrian Peterson who Endzoneblog said was a great candidate for the M.V.P award is leading all NFL rushers with 291 yards. Validating Peterson’s claim that he is best rusher in the NFL. The Vikings were missing that big play capability that Peterson brings to the table all of last year. Now Peterson is on a mission to carry out his own personal justice for that suspension that kept him out of NFL action for all of 2014. He can do that by winning the rushing title and challenging Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady for the M.V.P award. It feels like it is almost certain that it will come down to those 3 finalist for the award. If Peterson is able to keep up this pace of 97 yards a game. He will finish the season around 1,552 yards rushing for the year. A great season for most backs but mediocre for Adrian Peterson’s standards who once rushed for 2,097 yards in a season. With Aaron Rodger looking to reclaim his M.V.P award it is up to Peterson to defy the odds and out perform Rodgers. To do so he will have to put up compelling numbers in either yards gained or touchdowns produced. On top of that Rodgers has maintained a clean image, and Adrian Peterson’s image has taken a shot over the last year. He will also have to overcome all of that in the voting to win those awards. If there is any football player to bet on though, it’s Adrian Peterson. He’ll surely return to greatness.

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Pass happy Ravens need to be more balanced in their approach:

Falcons at Ravens 10/19/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Baltimore Ravens have struggled this season stumbling to an 0-3 record on the year. In those 3 games the thing that stands out most when watching this Ravens team, is they are getting away from the fundamentals of successful football. In order to be successful in football you must first and foremost play effective defense. The Ravens are 27th in points surrendered on defense allowing 28 points a game. Which is completely different than the identity this team has established for itself since moving to Baltimore. The other noticeable problem seems to be the teams rushing attack or lack thereof. The team is rushing the ball for only 72 yards a game. Justin Forsett and company need to step up and make the most of every touch they get. Because the team has been falling behind in games the Ravens have had to pass more often to make up for the deficits they’ve faced. It’s up to those running backs to make this team want to run the ball again. As a running back if you make an impact that your team can’t ignore, the team will have to acknowledge your efforts and run the ball again. Even though this offense has got more production out of relying on Flacco’s arm. They have to get back to a run first mentality not only to become more balanced, but also to improve in the time of possession category. By having a better time of possession it keeps opposing offenses off of the field. It also give the Raven’s defense more time to rest and allows them to preserve more stamina when they do take the field. While it’s easy to say the line isn’t blocking upfront and the team has to pass. It is really up to the coaching staff to commit to running the ball and establishing that three yard and a cloud of dust mentality. Coach John Harbaugh finds himself on the hot seat for the first time in his career. It will be interesting to see if this team can over come the loss of Terrell Suggs. And whether or not they can get back to a more balanced attack. It’s the key to their success out there in Baltimore.

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Pettine and the Browns dropped the ball by sitting Manziel:

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Photo credit: Erik Drost

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Cleveland Browns had a chance to go 2-1 this past Sunday when they took on the Oakland Raiders. They had just beat the Tennessee Titans 28-14 a week before and the Raiders were another winnable game on the schedule. That was before the Browns made the poor decision of starting Josh McCown as their starting quarterback for the week. The Browns have been 0-1 this season when starting Josh McCown at the quarterback position. While Manziel had just led the Browns to a 28-14 win over the Titans. It was clear who the better choice was to lead this team after last week, yet Mike Pettine has remained firm in his flat out dislike of Johnny Football. While all last year and even in the preseason this year it was clear Pettine didn’t like Manziel. This past Sunday marked the first time that Manziel had produced enough where it was undeniable that he was the better option. Pettine showed his stubbornness by neglecting to realize the situation and ultimately deciding to stick with McCown. That decision single handedly cost this Browns team a win. Putting the team at 1-2 with their backs against the wall, rather than 2-1 and feeling optimistic about the rest of the season. While Pettine has made it clear that he wants to put a lot of emphasis on leadership. It’s his poor leadership in the end that has the Browns playing below the level they are capable of. While all offseason and in the preseason it was discussed whether or not this team needs to make a quarterback change. It is clear now that the only thing the Cleveland Browns need is a head coaching change. The most important form of leadership in football. Browns fans deserve better and so does Johnny Manziel.

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Why the Cardinals have the Best Shot to Win the NFC West:

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Photo credit: Todd Jones

Author: Joey Carr

For the past few years, the NFC West has been one of the better divisions in all of football, sending a team to the Super Bowl the past three seasons. Since the early 2000’s with the “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams, to the recent dominance of The Legion of Boom in Seattle, the NFC West has always been one of the more fun and competitive divisions to watch. However, the trend for the past decade in the NFC West has been a change in first place every few years, and with the Seahawks at 1-2 and the Cardinals at 3-0, Arizona has a prime opportunity to capture their first division title since 2009.

In the past, the Cardinals have been known as a “fluke” team, which is a team that has a respectable record but only because of luck and/or a favorable schedule. Last year was a great example of this: Arizona did do some damage against legitimate teams (Cowboys, Eagles, Chargers), but for the most part got pummeled by squads with some real talent. They put up a combined 9 points in two games against Seattle, and got shook up by Denver, allowing 41 points. They did manage to make it to the playoffs but only by a slim margin due to the fact that Carson Palmer was sidelined with an ACL injury. The 7-9 Panthers destroyed them in the first round, however, and that was the telltale sign indicating the Cardinals were nothing more than a fluke team. Sure, with Carson Palmer maybe they could’ve beat Cam Newton and Carolina and added to their win column in the regular season, but that question will always remain a distant thought in the minds of the Arizona faithful. This year, however, Arizona is the real deal. It might be hard to accurately judge them based on their schedule thus far (San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans), but they’ve shown on offense and defense that this year is their year to create some pandemonium in the NFL rankings . Since 2008, when they lost the Super Bowl to Santonio Holmes and the Steelers, they’ve managed to skate by because of a few talented players on both sides of the ball, but didn’t have much else to complement those playmakers. This year, they’ve got more weapons than they know what to do with. Let’s start with the leader and play-caller, Carson Palmer. Besides Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, it’s hard to argue against the fact that this quarterback is the most valuable player to his team. Without him last year, they went 3-4 down the stretch, getting outscored 129-87 and eventually getting embarrassed in the first round of the playoffs. In 2015, they’re 3-0 and have scored 126 points in three

games, which is tied for the fourth most points in NFL history through three games. There’s no denying that Palmer is vitally important to the Cardinals, and with the talent he has surrounding him, you better believe the Cardinals are going to give Seattle a run for their money.

One of the main reasons Arizona has done so well to start the season is due to the amount of playmakers they have, both on offense and defense. Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson lead the defense while Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, and now, surprisingly, Chris Johnson head the offense. It’s safe to say that no one thought CJ2k would have the kind of impact he’s having on this Arizona rushing attack after being released by the Jets last season. While Andre Ellington has been out with a leg injury, Johnson has proved he can still be the workhorse that he used to be in his hay day, tearing up the field with 182 yards rushing over two games, along with two touchdowns. With him running the ball so effectively and Palmer making crisp passes, there’s no telling what that offense can do. Adding to their high-powered offense is rookie running back David Johnson, who surprised everyone in week 1 after he sprinted for a 55-yard touchdown. He was a bit subpar in week 3, but in the first two weeks combined he accumulated three total touchdowns, including a 108-yard kickoff return. His speed is something to marvel at and if Arizona can use him correctly, they will have a deadly weapon at their disposal.

However, maybe the key reason for their success so far has been the reemergence of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is on pace for a monster season. After Kurt Warner retired in 2010, Fitzgerald didn’t have a quarterback that was able to get him the ball like he had become accustomed to with Warner, downgrading to his numbers to average at best. Fast-forward to today and it’s like those 5 years never happened. Number 11 for Arizona has 5 receiving touchdowns on the season (1st in the NFL) and 333 receiving yards (5th in the NFL), and he doesn’t seem to be pushing the brakes anytime in the near future. He’s running and catching like he did back in 2009 and his connection with Palmer is only getting stronger by the week, which should definitely frighten the rest of the NFL.

Every team knows, however, that to go along with a number one receiver, you need a couple of other pass catchers to make some plays when the main target is double teamed or jammed at the line of scrimmage. The Cardinals have three speedy, great handed receivers in John Brown, Michael Floyd, and Jaron Brown to complement

Fitzgerald. They haven’t made too much of an impact in the passing game yet, only combining for two touchdowns thus far, but they provide solid and reliable options when Palmer is scrambling of the pocket and looking for a receiver down field. Also, in addition to the depth at wide receiver, Arizona has equipped themselves with running backs that can catch the ball almost as well as they run the ball. For example, David Johnson caught a 55-yard touchdown in week 1, but it wasn’t a lengthy wheel route along the sideline or a blown coverage play; it was a pass that traveled maybe 5 yards before Johnson hauled it in and took off like a mongoose down the field, blowing by the secondary of New Orleans. In week 3, Chris Johnson caught a 40 yard pass that was almost a touchdown if not for a speedy cornerback. On that pass, Johnson was knocked down a couple times by defensive lineman before looking up to find the ball in the air half way to him after Palmer was chased out of the pocket. He sped down the sideline and made a classic old school Chris Johnson cutback move before being tackled near the goal line. To be able to have those kinds of weapons and that kind of depth on offense is a rare and valuable asset, and Arizona will continue to take advantage of those playmakers at the expense of the opposing defense all season long.

While the Seahawks are at 1-2, they look to be on the rise again, at least defensively. Kam Chancellor is back at strong safety after a two-week holdout, shoring up the defense for the time being. But Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson can’t seem to find a steady rhythm on offense, as they are ranked 18th in the league in total yards. Their offensive slump really showed last week, when they had a hard time getting capitalizing in the red zone efficiently, something like the Cardinals did with ease in week 2. Seattle needs to start gelling sooner rather than later or else the Arizona Cardinals will become the new NFC West champions, which won’t make the 12’s too happy. Arizona has the arsenal of talent to make a deep playoff run, especially with so few good teams in the NFC this year. The number one priority is health, shortly followed by the second priority of not taking their foot off the gas. Head Coach Bruce Arians has this team hungry and if they can manage to accomplish both of those things, the NFC Championship game is not off the table.

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Incredible plays of Week 3

Seahawks at Redskins 10/6/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Here are some really incredible plays featured on NFL.com’s Youtube Channel, Which plays were your favorite of an insane week 3?

[embedyt]https://youtu.be/uaTfi45608I[/embedyt]

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The Bengals are the team to beat in the AFC North:

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Photo credit: Trevor Navin

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Cincinnati Bengals looked like they were going to be a team with struggles in the preseason. Fortunately for the Bengals the preseason doesn’t matter much. In the regular season entering week 4 the Bengals find themselves 3-0 sitting atop of the AFC North standings. Marvin Lewis has the team looking poised and disciplined, while the players on the field have executed their assignments. Andy Dalton whether you like him or not has been phenomenal for this team consistently making the big play when needed. Right now he has 8 touchdowns and just 1 interception on the season. Passing for a total of 866 yards over that three game span. While Dalton has been impressive throwing the ball, AJ Green has been outstanding at hauling in those throws. He has recorded 335 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns this far. Showing that he still has what it takes to be the Bengals number 1 receiver. An honor he has had since he arrived with the team in 2011. In fact Green has been so good he has been able to produce a 1,000 yards receiving in every season he has been in the National Football League. A testament to Green’s consistency as a pro football player. Defensively Adam Pacman Jones has led this team. He currently has the most combined tackles on the team with 25. He also has added an interception and a forced fumble on the season. Showing that he can be a factor for this Bengals defense in a number of different ways. Upfront for the Bengals defense Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap have done a great job of getting sacks and recording a number tackles for losses for this front 7. The collectively is clearly the team to beat in the AFC North and it will be interesting to see how they finish the season.

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