Five fantasy stars of week 4

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws against the Tennessee Titans during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Houston. AP/Eric Christian Smith

Week four of the NFL season was full of surprises. Running backs completely dominated the field this week while wide receivers were mostly average. Let’s take a look at which players had breakout games, who helped lead their teams to victory.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans: 33 points standard, 33.7 points PPR

For the second week in a row, Deshaun Watson stood out. In Houston’s 57-14 win over the Tennessee Titans, it is no surprise that Watson accounted for much of the Texans’ offense. This week, Watson threw for 283 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. He also tacked on 24 yards and another touchdown with his legs.

After being thrust into the starting job midway through the week one game against the Jaguars, Watson has taken a step forward each game. It looks like Watson will be the franchise QB that the Texans desperately need, as they have lacked consistency since Matt Schaub made his last start for them in 2013. If you have Watson on your fantasy team, you should feel very good right now.

Honorable Mentions: Cam Newton and Andy Dalton

Running Back Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers: 30 points standard, 34.6 points PPR

Through the first three weeks of the season, Le’Veon Bell had been pretty average. That is not something that was expected from someone who was, on average, being drafted second overall in fantasy drafts. Then on Sunday he finally did what fantasy owners drafted him to do: explode. Bell totaled 186 yards from scrimmage, 144 yards rushing and 42 yards receiving, as well as two rushing touchdowns.

Bell has a good matchup next week as well, facing a Jaguars defense which was surprisingly torched for 256 rushing yards by the Jets. While it may have taken him a few weeks to really get going, there is no reason to think he will stop now. Fantasy owners should now finally be able to take a deep breath and stop worrying about what was wrong with their first round pick.  

Honorable Mentions: Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott

Wide Receiver Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers: 19 points standard, 26 points PPR

In a week when there were really no wide receivers who exploded, Funchess was one of the best. He pulled in seven receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns, making him the most productive wideout across standard and PPR scoring formats. Cam Newton absolutely torched the New England Patriots defense and Funchess was his favorite target as they won 33-30 to drop the Patriots to a surprising 2-2 on the season and third in the AFC East behind the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets.

Even though the Panthers are 3-1, it has been an up-and-down season for the offense which makes it uncertain how Funchess’ future production will be. This will most likely be one of his best games of the season, if not his best. However if you took the risk and started him this week, kudos to you−it paid off.

Honorable Mentions: DeAndre Hopkins, Tyrell Williams

Tight End Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals: 18 points standard, 24.8 points PPR

There is something about 6-foot-6, touchdown-catching tight end for the Cincinnati Bengals named Tyler that seem to produce big fantasy numbers. Tyler Eifert finished sixth in fantasy points among tight ends in 2015 and had four games with at least two touchdown receptions. Now, a quarter of the way through the season, Tyler Kroft has added his first such game.

Eifert is still on the roster but has been plagued with injuries for the past two years, including one which is currently keeping him sidelined. It also helps that Andy Dalton has finally started playing like how he is capable of playing. Both of these facts should add to Kroft’s value going forward. While this is Kroft’s first game of any real production, it will be interesting to see if he produces the same type of season Eifert did in 2015.

Honorable Mentions: Travis Kelce, Cameron Brate

Kicker Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams: 27 points standard, 27 points PPR

It is not very often that a kicker is tied for the fourth-most fantasy points in standard leagues and the twelfth most in PPR leagues. However, going 7-7 on field goals and 2-2 on extra-points will accomplish that feat. Zuerlein hit four of those field goals from 40-49 yards out, each time worth one more point than a short yardage kick. Zuerlein has been perfect this year so far with 14-14 on field goals and 14-14 on extra-points.

So far, Zuerlein has broken double digit fantasy points in three out of the four games so far this season, and scored nine points the only time he did not. It is not often that a kicker has a memorable fantasy performance, and they are usually drafted last in fantasy drafts. However, this week “Greg the Leg” made sure to change that and put forth an incredible game, helping to increase the value of a good kicker.

Honorable Mentions: Jake Elliott, Ka’imi Fairbairn


Jorge EckardtJorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.