Every Sunday we’re featuring the Sunday Six Pack that covers the day’s biggest storylines. We’ll be following this up each and every Monday with the Monday Hangover, which will look back on those stories and cover what we learned. These back-to-back articles are sure to get you primed, pumped and informed throughout the entire season. In addition, reading these articles will ensure you understand the dangers of not paying attention or drinking too much on Sundays.
Let’s get to it!
Can #1) Yes We Cam?
While Newton didn’t post staggering yardage totals through the air, he did throw for 215 yards and two scores while rushing for 86 and another one. His week four performance will go a long way toward restoring confidence in fantasy owners that have been holding their breath. Newton remains a dynamic quarterback that is likely starting every week in fantasy. His potential to pile up fantasy numbers through the air or on the ground is just too great to leave on the bench unless you have the good fortune to possess one of the other big names at the position.
Looking ahead, Carolina hosts a tough Seattle defense in week five before their bye in week six. Things don’t get much easier with Dallas coming to town followed by a a road trip to Chicago, a team that has been anything but kind to quarterbacks. With three of the next four weeks likely to result in a less than ideal scoring environment, coaches that rely on Newton as their primary scorer will need greater balance. But, at least for now, we’re happy to see Cam looking like the 2011 version of Cam.
Can #2) JC’s Super Workload
In week four, Jamal Charles showed once again that when healthy, few in the game have the same level of dynamic. True to the desires of many of his owners, Charles carried the ball 17 times for 92 yards, one of them resulting in a 37 yard touchdown. He also netted three receptions on four targets and an additional touchdown.
On a team that hasn’t yet shown the ability to stop opposing offenses, Charles will continue to see a lion’s share of the touches as the Chiefs attempt to simply outscore their opponent. With a passing attack featuring only Dwayne Bowe as a consistent threat, you can expect Charles, now obviously healthy, to garner greater defensive attention as Matt Cassel is challenged to beat teams with his arm. The injured Peyton Hillis may return in week five but shouldn’t represent a material decline in touches for Charles. In Hillis’ absence, Shaun Draughn only carried the ball for four times for a meager 12 yards. While Draughn did chip in with four receptions for 34 yards, it’s obvious where the Chiefs will be looking for offensive play-making. We’ll just continue to hope that they strike a balance that allows Charles to stay healthy.
Can #3) The Grass is Not Always Greener…
Not only is the grass not greener, it appears to be completely dead. The Jets were embarrassed on Sunday, failing to score even a point against an impressive 49’er defense. One can’t place the blame on Shonn Greene because on this day, misery most certainly loved company. But as anyone with a pulse has come to expect, Greene’s 34 yards on 11 carries did little to provide any hope for the future.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez was completely outclassed and finished with a 39.9 quarterback rating and less than a fifty percent completion percentage. Let the chant of “Tebow” begin … again. Making matters worse, Santonio Holmes fell to injury. While there is yet to be any conclusive news about the severity of his injury, word is that it may be Achilles or Lisfranc in nature, both of which could sideline him for many weeks, or the remainder of the season. As for Shonn Greene, his days are numbered as the Jets’ starter in the backfield, and it’s worse than that in fantasy.
Can #4) Ryan Williams’ Big Adventure
If Williams were to pick a week to become the full time starter in the backfield for the Cardinals, rest assured that week four vs. the Dolphins, ranking third against the run, would not have been his first choice. Not surprisingly, Miami held Williams to 26 yards on 13 carries, good for a 2.0 ypc. average. More surprisingly was that the Cardinals have advanced to a 4-0 record.
For Williams and the Cardinals, things get somewhat better with the Rams, Bills and Vikings upcoming over the next three weeks. None of these opponents represent a “tasty” match-up, but as Williams gains confidence as a starter, these opponents do represent greater opportunity. Ryan Williams isn’t running with confidence nor has his offensive line been impressive. Remember that Williams is only 22 years of age, is coming off of a serious injury and will need time to grow into the starting role. We still like his potential going forward and he may be a good buy-low candidate coming out of week four.
Can #5) The Stoppable Force vs. The Movable Object
The match-up between the Saints and the Packers didn’t disappoint. With a combined 55 points scored and arguably featuring the NFL’s two most prolific offenses and quarterbacks, the game was a shoot-out and came down to the wire, ultimately finding the Packers on top. The Saints, however, fall to 0-4 on the season and will have to match history in order to make the playoffs.
Neither Brees nor Rodgers disappointed in this game. Rodgers had yet to find his groove in 2012 but used the Saints’ “movable object” defense to get back on track, ending the day with a nearly 320 yards passing, four touchdowns and even 13 yards on the ground. He’s back! Looking into the near future, Rodgers and the Packers find themselves on the road over the next three weeks at Indianapolis, Houston and St. Louis. Look for the Packers to emerge at a record no worse than 4-3 following this stretch. With an offense that has seemingly now found its rhythm, it’s safe to start playing all of your Packers again.
For those of you holding Saints players, nothing has changed here. Outside of the enigma that is their running game, most of your players are playable week-in, week-out.
Can #6) Fumbelina
The good news here is that Ryan Mathews didn’t fumble on Sunday. The bad news is that Jackie Battle scored once on the ground and once in the passing game, rendering Mathews as a “dud” in week four and leaving owners wondering just what to expect going forward. While Mathews only saw 14 carries, he did manage to amass 61 yards, good for a 4.4 ypc. average, showing that his confidence is returning. But with the Chargers putting up 37 points, those seeing the score likely had to be giddy about the prospects of Ryan Mathews.
We continue to believe that Mathews will be the primary ball carrier for the Chargers as he develops confidence in his collar bone and reestablishes his game conditioning. The emergence of Jackie Battle as a trusted resource will need to be monitored and there is no guarantee that Mathews won’t lose a material number of touches, especially if Battle’s success continues. In the near term, we’re continuing to watch Mathews’ ball security issues in hopes that A.J. Smith’s shot across the bow has hit home.