Derek Dimino, Staff Writer
|Quarterback||Brian Hoyer –
Hoyer has once again finagled his way into a starting position on yet another team. How is he doing it? I have absolutely no idea. He is performing better than Jay Cutler was, however. Bears Head Coach, John Fox, eluded to the fact that Hoyer has had solid production and there’s no need to change. It’s likely Hoyer is going to get to start even though Cutler is healthy. Through two starts, Brian Hoyer has 619 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, though he did lose a fumble against Dallas. As long as Hoyer gets the start, he should hit the 300-yard mark passing as well as an additional two touchdowns against the Colts in week five.
|Matt Stafford –
In his first three games, Stafford averaged 328 yards passing, just over two touchdowns, and less than an interception a game. In Stafford’s week four matchup against the Bears, he was held to 213 yards through the air and no touchdowns, while turning the ball over twice in appalling fashion. Stafford’s passing productivity has directly correlated with how difficult the oppositions defense is. The better the defense, the worse he’s done. In week five, Stafford takes on the Eagles, arguably one of the best performing defenses in the league. In the Eagles last game, they held one of the most productive offenses, the Pittsburgh Steelers, to just three points. If his production continues to correlate with the defense’s talent, then Matt Stafford will be in a world of hurt this Sunday.
|Running-back||Jordan Howard –
Yes, I picked two players whom are replacing their injured predecessors on possibly the worst team in the league, the Chicago Bears. After putting up 111 yards on 23 touches, and another 23 yards receiving against the daunting Detroit defense, Howard looks to further cement his role in the Bears’ offense against the weak Colts run-stoppers. With starting tailback Jeremy Langford out for at least another three weeks with an ankle injury, Howard has the opportunity to win over the starting role, and make it a season long commitment. Through two-starts he’s rushed for 166 yards and has 68 receiving yards on seven receptions. Howard is equipped to put up another 75+ yard game, and will receive plenty of dish offs from Hoyer or Cutler, as a fantasy PPR treat. A touchdown will be the icing on the cake.
|LeGarrette Blount –
Through the first four weeks, LeGarrette has been a workhorse for the Patriots, averaging 88 yards and a touchdown each game. Although Blount has been nothing short of impressive and will continue to be the go-to guy on the ground, the mythical Tom Brady is awakening from his slumber. With Brady’s return, look for the Patriots to have much more confidence in letting the pigskin fly, getting Edelman and Gronk more involved in the game. This might also open up more of a role for James White as the passing down back. Expect the Patriots to be relentless in the passing game against the identity-less Browns.
|Wide-receiver||Julian Edelman –
The fantasy Cosmos have aligned, and the genetically modified Tom Brady is coming back after a four-game suspension against the “Believeland” Cleveland Browns. Sure, Edelman hasn’t hit the numbers expected, but he’s been playing with a second and third string quarterback for the last four weeks. Expect him to be the one-two punch with Rob Gronkowski in the passing game. After only receiving 196 yards and no touchdowns in the first four-games, to say he hits 100 yards receiving and a touchdown isn’t the slightest bit crazy against the atrocity that is the Browns in week five.
|Cole Beasley –
In week four, Beasley saw significantly less targets than any other game prior, hauling in three-of-four targets for 66 yards. Although he was close to his fantasy projections, most of his yards came off of one play in the fourth quarter. This was disappointing to all fantasy owners expecting him to pick up the slack for the injured Dez Bryant. Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott is also becoming more used to the offense, allowing him to spread the ball out more, compared to the first game when the majority of his completions were to Beasley and Jason Witten. That combined with a hungry rookie running-back, Beasley’s target should remain low going forward. With the Bengals fighting to stay in the hunt, expect a tough secondary in week five.
|Tight-End||Zach Ertz –
Zach Ertz is coming back to the Eagles after two games and a bye week off, due to a rib injury. With the red-hot Wentz wagon, conducted by rookie Carson Wentz, tearing up any defense that gets in its way, it won’t be hard to picture Ertz not only reaching his week one numbers, but surpassing them. Against the Browns in week one, Ertz had six receptions for 58 yards. As long as Wentz continues to take-care of the football, expect Ertz to be an intricate part of their passing attack going forward, especially against the Detroit defense.
|Dennis Pitta –
With Steve Smith Sr. and Mike Wallace as the clear cut number one and two receivers, Pitta’s opportunities have been diminishing. After a season high nine receptions for 102 yards in week two, his receptions and yards have gradually decreased each week, ultimately finishing with three catches on five targets for an insignificant 17 yards in week four. Also, Pitta has not only been held scoreless this season, but Joe Flacco hasn’t even targeted him in the end-zone. With positive production from his wide-outs, it looks like Flacco will continue to target his playmakers instead of Dennis Pitta. It would be surprising if he surpassed four receptions and 50 yards, let alone score a touchdown.
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