No Guts, No Glory  

Ram Trucks  

Going big or going home with C.J. Spiller

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So you went through your fantasy football draft. You made a trade or two, picked up a guy off the waiver wire. But then before everything went live ... something didn't feel right. Maybe you had a player who was a game-time decision. Or there was a matchup that wasn't in your favor. Whatever the reason, you decided it was time to make a bold choice. You know what they say ... No Guts, No Glory. So this column is for you. Every week here, we'll salute the outside-the-box thinking that was rewarded with big fantasy production. Fortune favors the bold, so here's to you. We sent out the call early Monday morning, and here's what you came back with. Congratulations to those of you who are looking at a Week 4 win!

Prior to Sunday night, Spiller had just 5.2 total fantasy points on the season. And to be honest, if the Week 4 game against the Cowboys didn't go into overtime, he would have finished with another disappointing stat line. But his big play ability proved to be the game changer for both the Saints and fantasy owners who started Spiller. The move to start him definitely took guts, but there were some reports before the game that New Orleans was looking to get him more involved which may have swayed lineup decisions. While "increased carries" wasn't exactly the case with Spiller, quarterback Drew Brees relied on him in a clutch situation which could be a sign of things to come for the speedy pass-catching back. It's just what the Saints needed to secure their first win of the season, and just what some brave fantasy owners needed to cap off a potential Week 4 victory.

While we can't say benching Lynch was a gutsy move since his status had been in question all week, starting Duke Johnson, Allen Hurns and C.J. Spiller (see above) was definitely audacious. Johnson's role has been increasing in the Cleveland backfield, but until Week 4 he had yet to really make a splash. But his 116 total yards and a score was enough to place him as fantasy's RB6 for the week at the end of Sunday. As far as Hurns is concerned, now that really paid off as he was the WR3 for the week! That's what we call bold, but great fantasy roster management.

Hurns and Hankerson were both unexpected top-5 options for the week. Funny how fantasy works sometimes. Julio Jones and Allen Robinson were not the best performing WRs on their respective teams. But hey that's why it takes some guts to get a mention here! And with a big day for Doug Martin, we definitely didn't see another productive day from Charles Sims coming, but he delivered. Sims scored a touchdown for the second week in a row and is looking like a reliable option in PPR leagues, even with Martin leading the way in carries.

I'm willing to assume that this guy had Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski on a bye, and slotted in Blake Bortles and Gary Barnidge, a.k.a. The Barnyard Dog, as one-week spot starters. Well that worked out nicely didn't it? Bortles finished as the week's QB6 while Barnidge was the week's TE3 and scored for the second straight game. Gotta love when your bye-week fill-ins produce, but these picks definitely took some guts, so kudos to this guy.

A lot of Andrew Luck owners looked to the waiver wire for help this weekend, and many of the signal-callers that were available produced better than Luck has in any game all season long. Players like Nick Foles, Blake Bortles (see above), Josh McCown and Kirk Cousins posted 18-plus fantasy point days. But none of them had a better day than Sam Bradford (24.20 points). It's not out of the question that he was available in a lot of leagues after struggling for the first few weeks. If you took the risk here, you were rewarded very nicely. An even gutsier play would have been to start Riley Cooper or Miles Austin, but I'm almost certain nobody was that bold this week.


Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. He's been jamming for days to the brand new record from Moon Taxi called Daybreaker. Hit him up on Twitter @MattFranchise for music recommendations and fantasy advice.

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