Top 5 Fantasy Surprises of Week 4
All projections and results are based on ESPN Standard PPR scoring
1. Mitchell Trubisky
ESPN PPR Projected Points: 16.6 Actual Points in Week 4 PPR: 43.5
After scoring just 5.6 points against the now 0-4 Arizona Cardinals in week 3, Trubisky went off for a whopping 43.5 fantasy points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Trubisky led all players in total fantasy points and became the 13th-best ranked quarterback of the first four weeks of 2018. Although the Bucs have a garbage defense (allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs thus far), Trubisky consistently made plays that showcased his athleticism and arm strength.
Trubisky’s first touchdown came courtesy of a pretty wide open Trey Burton, but it was Trubisky’s impressive arm strength that dazzled on the play as he wound up and chucked the ball nearly 50 yards in the air.
Trubisky continued finding open recievers and touchdowns as he moved the Bears up and down the field by firing strikes and lofting passes over defenders’ heads along the sideline to the likes of Taylor Gabriel and Tarik Cohen. The route was on as the Bears found themselves up 34-3 at halftime.
Trey Burton for a 39-yard TD pic.twitter.com/665u1MD9YG
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 30, 2018
The Bears franchise QB ended up throwing for 354 yards and six touchdowns while adding 53 yards on the ground. Trubisky also averaged an impressive 13.6 yards per attempt, per Rotowire.com. Trubisky and the Bears are on a bye in week five, but they will return to face the Dolphins in week six who just got smoked 38-7 by the Patriots but actually have the 4th-best defense against fantasy QBs in 2018.
The 19 points they gave up to Tom Brady and co. was the most the defense has given up all year. So while it is quite difficult to bench a player who just scored six touchdowns, I would not recommend starting him against the Dolphins in week six unless your QB situation is in a real dire state. Consider Trubisky a low-floor, high-ceiling QB2 for his week 6 return.
2. Corey Davis
Projected: 13.4 Actual: 31.1
Another bounce back week with a soft matchup is the story here again, as Titans receiver Corey Davis scored 31 fantasy points in week four after scoring just 28 total points over the prior three weeks combined. Davis scored just 5.4 points the week before, but he was able to find some open gaps in a Philly defense that so far has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing receivers.
Davis finished the day with nine catches on a whopping 15 targets for 161 yards and his first career TD. Davis’ 161 yards were third in the NFL to only Julio Jones’ 173, DeAndre Hopkins’ 169, and Cooper Kupp’s 162.
Drafted fifth overall just last year, the Titans believed in Davis due to his perceived remarkable athleticism and his size/speed combination. Thus far into his career Davis has disappointed somewhat, as he did not score his first career touchdown until this week. Last season, he totaled a mere 375 receiving yards.
Although, so far this season Davis has almost already eclipsed that number as he has 312 yards through four weeks. His first career TD was a leaping 10-yard grab in the final seconds of overtime to that capped the Titan’s comeback. The second-year receiver made multiple clutch catches during the contest, including a 51-yard bomb in the waning moments. Sunday was also the first full game for Davis and a somewhat healthy Marcus Mariota under new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.
LeFluer has been the architect of some of the most potent offenses of late has he was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons and the 2017 Rams. For Titans fans, this game undoubtedly provides hope that Davis has turned a corner and is finally tapping into his potential—or the team now knows how to use him correctly.
Davis will look to test these theories against the inconsistent Bills defense in week five, and he is currently an entrenched starter in the Titans offense. As such, Davis should be considered a solid WR3/flex option with WR2 potential in week five.
3. Jared Cook
Projected: 9.7 Actual: 31
For anyone who has been following Cook’s career, this game might not be considered as much of a “surprise” as Trubisky’s performance or Davis’. Cook has always been known as a size/speed versatile freak who simply lacks consistency. His 40 time and his versatility are the main reasons the nine-year vet keeps getting jobs as he is now on his fourth team.
In week one Cook went off for nine catches and 180 yards, but he had managed just nine more catches and 80 yards total through weeks two and three. He preceded to shred a pretty good Browns defense as he finished the game with eight catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Going into week four the Browns had held every TE they faced to 60 yards or less with zero touchdowns.
Cook led all fantasy TEs in points in week four and is now the #1-ranked fantasy TE in ESPN standard PPR scoring. Rightfully so, the talented but inconsistent Cook should be considered a top-tier TE1 against the Chargers in week five (who 49ers TE George Kittle just dismantled for 125 yards and a TD), and will likely be considered a TE1 the rest of the way.
4. Mike Davis
Projected: 2.6 Actual: 28.4
Who the fuck is Mike Davis you might ask. Why the hell didn’t Rashaad Penny get the start in Chris Carson’s absence you might ask. Well I don’t know but what I do know is that after totaling just 10 yards leading into week four, Seahawks RB Mike Davis rattled off two touchdowns and 124 total yards.
Drafted by the 49ers in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, almost no one had heard of Davis prior to this game. But he broke out as he constantly ran hard and forced multiple defenders to tackle him on seemingly every play on his way to scoring Seattle’s only touchdowns of the day.
.@DangeRussWilson lead blocks.@MikeDavisRB takes it home! #SEAvsAZ pic.twitter.com/mv1bOOrPGE
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 30, 2018
While Davis looked like perhaps the second coming of Marshawn Lynch that ‘Hawks fans have been hoping for, fantasy owners should temper expectations before putting Davis in your lineup, or even picking him up off waivers. The Cardinals have allowed the second-most points to opposing fantasy RBs, and next week the Seahawks face Aaron Donald and a tough Rams defense that has allowed opposing RBs to rush for over 85 yards just once this season.
Additionally, even if the Seahawks were significantly impressed with Davis’ play, their backfield is still crowded for the time being between starter Chris Carson, rookie phenom Rashaad Penny, and Davis. In a Monday interview with Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio 950 KJR Seattle, the most positive thing Pete Carroll could say about Davis’ role is that he will “fit in somewhere” in the backfield mix, even once Chris Carson (hip) is healthy. In all honesty, unless Carson is still out next week and it is apparent Davis will start over Penny too, there is no reason to even pick Mike Davis up off the waiver wire for now. Although, it is worth noting that on Wednesday Carroll went further and said Mike Davis “Needs to play. Needs to be a part of it”, per ‘Hawks reporter Chris Cluff. Keep an eye on the crowded Seattle backfield for now, if the team decides to roll with one of their backs as the primary workhorse, whichever back it is will undoubtedly have fantasy value.
5. Nyheim Hines
Projected: 10.3 Actual: 28.3
Against an elite Houston defensive line that contains J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, Colts rookie RB Nyheim Hines had the best performance of his young career. In week four Hines basically doubled his point total for the 2018 season as he had 28 fantasy points going into the contest and emerged with 28.3, although only one of those points came on the ground as the receiving back had nine catches for 63 yards and two TDs.
As the primary receiving back in an offense that struggles to run the ball, Hines might actually have some value as the season wears on. So far, he averages 5.5 catches per game and will look to keep building on his impressive start.
WOW.@TheNyNy7 with an amazing TD grab! #HOUvsIND
?: CBS pic.twitter.com/3wA4sGzWc9
— NFL (@NFL) September 30, 2018
For now though, Hines should be considered nothing more than a low-level flex option when he takes on the Patriots in week five due to the combination of him being a rookie, the Colts’ overall inconsistency and lack of offensive potency, and the fact that the most fantasy points he accrued in a single week prior to his 28-point performance was 12.