Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Week 4 stats: 103 rush yards; 68 rec yards, TD (23.10 fantasy points)
Before the season, I lamented the potential downfall of Turner as a fantasy option. For the past couple of weeks, at least, he's staved off extinction with a couple of solid games -- including Sunday's big one against the Carolina Panthers. So after one month of the season, I'm revising Turner from a big fantasy worry to a guy who's a great matchup-based option. As long as the matchup is in his favor, he's a great start. When it's not, he isn't.
Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots
Week 4 stats: 137 rush yards, TD; 11 rec yards (20.80 fantasy points)
The apparent demise of #Shanahanigans in Washington has led to the rise of Belitricks in New England, much to the delight of Bolden. The rookie from Ole Miss looks like he's fighting to create a timeshare with Stevan Ridley after scoring his second touchdown in as many games. All signs point to Bolden being a contributor in the weeks to come, but you never know with Belichick. For the time being, I like what I see from Bolden.
Jackie Battle, RB, San Diego Chargers
Week 4 stats: 39 rush yards, TD; 42 rec yards, TD (20.10 fantasy points)
Battle getting the start over the fumble-prone Ryan Mathews was the big story early on Sunday. By the end of the day, Mathews had out-rushed Battle, 61 to 39. On the fantasy scoreboard, Battle was the winner, tallying more than 20 points thanks to 42 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns, but it's hard to imagine that Mathews has completely lost his starting gig. As long as Mathews can hold on to the ball, Battle becomes an afterthought.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers
Week 4 stats: 56 red yards, 2 TD (17.60 fantasy points)
Jones has been the model of inconsistency this year, but it's not for lack of opportunity. The San Jose State product has been targeted nearly as often as fellow Packers receivers Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, and that number could go up if Jennings' groin injury keeps him out for any length of time. It also helps that he plays in a pass-happy offense helmed by one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Week 4 stats: 30 rec yards (3.00 fantasy points)
Plenty of people (myself included) were ready to anoint Jones as the new fantasy hotness at the start of the season. That hasn't quite happened since the second-year receiver has been more up and down than a bungee jumper. Still, he's too talented to stay down for long. And the Falcons throw the ball far too often for him not to produce. Yes, it's been two weeks this season that fantasy owners have had to take it on the chin, but there will be better weeks.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
Week 4 stats: 89 rec yards, TD (14.90 fantasy points)
In the preseason, the Panthers talked about Olsen having an elite tight end season. He finally delivered on some of that promise in Week 4 with a nice game against a tough Falcons defense. While Olsen's fortunes rest somewhat upon the inconsistent arm of Cam Newton, the man from "The U" is fifth in the league in TE targets. He may not finish as a top-10 option, but he's certainly a low-end TE1.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
Week 4 stats: 253 rec yards, TD (31.30 fantasy points)
So ... that happened. Every week, there's always one player that throws a monkey wrench in everyone's waiver wire plans. This week, that man's name is Brian Hartline. Until Week 2 of this season, Hartline has never had a 100-yard receiving game. Now he has a 200-yard receiving game -- and it came against the much-hyped Arizona Cardinals defense. It's understandable for fantasy enthusiasts to get excited, but was this a Cards defense primed for a letdown after a big win over the Eagles the week before? Plus, Hartline's other big game came against a wretched Raiders defense. Call me a skeptic, but I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet.
Steve Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills
Week 4 stats: 23 rec yards (2.30 fantasy points)
In a game that featured a combined 80 points and 11 touchdowns, you'd imagine Buffalo's top receiver to have more than two catches for a barely-registering 23 yards. Yet that was the case with the dynamic, but enigmatic Johnson. He is still seeing plenty of targets (10 in Week 4) so it's just a matter of making the connection with Ryan Fitzpatrick. This week's matchup against the 49ers isn't encouraging, but over the course of the season, he's still a WR2 in most formats.