Football is in full effect with fans obsessively immersing themselves in weekly fantasy mayhem. A quarter of the NFL season is already in the books, but luckily there is still plenty of football ahead for fantasy aficionados.
There were a few Cal Alumni in action during Week 4 with some showing out, others disappearing and a few enjoying the glory of an early-season bye. Let’s take a look at some of their performances and outlooks heading into Week 5.
Bears on the up:
CJ Anderson, running back Denver Broncos
Week 4 stats: 49 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, one reception and three receiving yards
Week 5 matchup: Atlanta Falcons
Anderson was solid in his Week 4 matchup against the Buccaneers, scoring a touchdown but unfortunately rushing for minimal yardage. This is the second week in a row that Anderson has rushed for fewer than 50 yards, which is a slight concern since he was expected to have a big year in this new Broncos offense. He has, however, scored a touchdown in three of the first four weeks, which is a silver lining that can lessen fantasy owners’ unease. In addition, he is clearly the most experienced Denver running back, getting a bulk of the touches. He will remain an integral part of the Broncos’ offense and is primed for a strong showing against a shaky Atlanta Falcons defense, which has surrendered 4.5 yards per carry. Moving forward, Anderson should continue to produce in an offense in which he is a key piece.
Marvin Jones, wide receiver Detroit Lions
Week 4 stats: five receptions and 74 receiving yards
Week 5 matchup: Philadelphia Eagles
Jones cooled off quite a bit in Week 4 after his 200-plus yards receiving and two touchdowns versus Green Bay. Chicago held him to fewer than 100 yards receiving — a surprise considering the Bears’ up-and-down play. This shouldn’t come as a concern since Jones is clearly the Lions’ lead receiver. Golden Tate, a fellow Detroit receiver, has fallen out of favor, posting another mediocre performance in Week 4. Jones has set the standard and will continue to be a catalyst for Detroit’s offense. Though he has a tough Week 5 matchup against a stingy Eagles defense, Jones should still put up solid numbers in a pass-happy team that targets him heavily.
Bear on the Down:
DeSean Jackson, wide receiver Washington Redskins
Week 4 stats: one reception and five yards
Week 5 matchup: Baltimore Ravens
Jackson was held to a meager one reception against a struggling Browns team in Week 4 after a huge performance against the Giants last week. The inconsistencies with Jackson are continuing — a truly puzzling fact. He is no doubt the most explosive playmaker in the Redskins’ offensive arsenal, but the sporadic play persists. Jackson seems to be a boom-or-bust player, based off his production over the first four weeks. He is still going to have plenty of chances in this Washington offense, but it is unclear what he will do on a weekly basis. In Week 5, Jackson is a risky play against a stout Ravens pass defense. He is a player that fantasy owners should keep on their fantasy rosters, but proceed with caution, as he is not a locked-in weekly start.
Bears Back (players with Week 4 byes):
Aaron Rodgers, quarterback Green Bay Packers
Week 5 matchup: New York Giants
Rodgers enjoyed a much deserved bye week after his impressive four-touchdown outing against the Lions. He seemed to be locked in and looking like the Rodgers of old in Week 4. There was never really anything to be worried about with him, since he is one of the league’s premier players. Rodgers matches up against a much improved Giants’ defense in Week 5 that has only gave up four passing touchdowns on the year. Yet the Minnesota Vikings handily beat the Giants 24-10 on Monday night, making their upcoming matchup with the Packers even more intriguing. Rodgers is locked in as a solid start for fantasy owners this weekend.
Richard Rodgers, tight end Green Bay Packers
Week 5 matchup: New York Giants
Rodgers is still a fantasy football mystery. There was a great deal of optimism surrounding him coming into this season, as he emerged as the Packers starting tight end. Rodgers, however, is beginning to compete with fellow Green Bay tight end Jared Cook for snaps, leading to a lesser fantasy value. He should still receive some shots in a prolific offense helmed by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but the amount of opportunity is extremely unclear. He is a player for fantasy owners to keep in mind, but not add to their rosters at this point. He faces a solid Giants’ defense in a fun Week 5 matchup.