Fluke or Truth: Week 4 Underperformers
Author: Jair Oglivie
Okay this was a weird week. The Bucs go to LA and drop 55 (!!!) on the Rams (Godwin i am never benching you again). The Falcons got dunked on at home by a team who feels like the most mediocre group in sports, the Tennessee Titans. We even had a Matt Barkley appearance (lol). All that and here we are again, another week of underperformers, though it might not be the ones you imagined. Even in matchups where it was easy to foresee greatness, looking at you juju, there were flops. You know the drill, Week 4, let’s go.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
22/33, 233 yards, 1 INT. 1 carry, 7 yards. 8.62 points.
As a Cowboys fan, this one was tough to watch. As soon as I thought we had gotten away from the dark play-calling days of Scott Linehan and entered a bright new era under golden boy Kellen Moore, we got this. A primetime performance full of stuffing Ezekiel Elliot straight down the middle on first down. facepalm. Anyway, my heartbreak aside, this wasn’t the Dak that we had gotten the previous three weeks. No touchdowns and not much production in general on the road against a, granted, very talented Saints defense. It is easy to see the Packers on the schedule up next and be afraid to send Dak back out there in your starting lineup, but I would think twice about benching him. Home-cooking is proven to be a good thing for Dak posting career splits in Passer Rating of 105.4 vs 96.025 home vs away, respectively.
Yeah duh Jair, a quarterback is better at home vs away who would’ve thought it.
Hold on hold on, I’m not done.
This season alone (2 games home, 2 away), Dak has posted ratings of 126.5 vs 100.8, respectively. The Packers defense awaits, a unit initially thought to be elite but is coming off a thrashing by the Carson Wentz-led Eagles on the latest edition of Thursday Night Football. Wentz exposed the Packers in Green Bay even without deep threat Desean Jackson and a less-than 100% Alshon Jeffrey. Now on the road in Jerry’s World, the Packers shouldn’t take Dak and the Dallas offense lightly as they are probably pretty pissed about being shut down most of the night with the world watching on Sunday Night Football’s highest rated Week 4 game ever. Dak still appears poised to have his best fantasy season yet, even with previous finishes of 9, 10, and 10 respectively. It will take two weeks of struggling to convince me that he is no longer a set it and forget it option. (Don’t forget it’s the Randall Cobb revenge game).
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
21/33, 160 yards. 3 carries, 12 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble. 10.6 points.
I don’t care if this was a dud performance, this guy is a stud. A couple things stand out. FIRST, if you somehow missed this postgame interview explaining how the Carolina defense was playing, you should watch it. Rarely do you see players go into that much depth for an answer, it reminds me of the Terry Mclaurin interview from training camp. Really great stuff. Anyway, in my opinion, this performance was more indicative of the Carolina defense being legit than it was of any concern we should have for Deshaun Watson. Coming up for the Texans is a Falcons team that just got bullied by Marcus Mariota, a potential shootout with KC, a depleted Colts secondary, and the Raiders. Keep Watson locked and loaded for the forseeable future. (Also, the Will Fuller breakout is coming).
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
3 receptions, 15 yards. 4.5 points PPR.
This one was painful. It’s beginning to be worthwhile to question how valuable JuJu is on your team with Mason Rudolph as the Quarterback. Monday night was everything we didn’t want to see. Wildcat formations and tap passes, emphasis on James Connor and Jaylen Samuels running the offense. There was one deep play that gave some hope, but it was Diontae Johnson who came down with it for a score. For now, you keep running JuJu out there unless you’ve got clearly better options but i dont know that you do considering the draft capital spent on him. If he duds again against the Ravens we could be in some trouble here.
TRUTH (for now)
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
4 catches, 52 yards. 1 carry, 1 yard. 9.3 points PPR.
This entire team is looking very questionable right now but this performance should not keep you from starting Julio on a weekly basis. Houston, Arizona, LA Rams, and Seattle all await before a bye, all teams that can be had through the air. There is no situation where you have Julio and you don’t play him, barring injury. Look for him to return to stardom as early as this weekend.
Short , sweet, and on to next week! As always, thanks so much for reading, and be sure to check out our other weekly content, including the sister series to this one: Fluke or Truth: Overperformers by Matt (@MattGiffordFFA). Bye for now, and keep the faith in your stars!
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