This might surprise you, but I'm a "Star Wars" fan. I know, weird right? You probably would have never known when you consider my daughter's name is Ahsoka. So it's safe to say I enjoy the movies. "Empire" (Episode V) is obviously the best and we will not have this discussion when you consider it's both my lunch box and I'm literally (not figuratively) wearing this shirt as I pen this. (I'm not using a pen. In fact, I prefer pencil which is way better. But I mean, I'm writing this on a computer.)
Quick aside, my wife texted me one time and asked, "Do you like 'Star Wars' or 'Empire' better?" to which I retorted, "Get this answer wrong and we're through." She nailed it. So I got the lunch box and T-shirt for Christmas. My favorite part of this shirt is that it has three bounty hunters on it. Now, to most of us, the characters are obvious. But you'd be surprised at the number of purported Star Wars fans who can't identify the other two. (I'll give you Boba Fett.) You can cheat and go look them up online right now. But you know in your heart if you're lying.
(And yes, I'm that "Star Wars" person. Annoying; I'm quite aware. But I say you look at it this way. You're a fan of an NFL team, right? Let's say it's the Steelers. And you're wearing a Steelers T-shirt out in public. Then some dude walks up to you at Buffalo Wild Wings and says he's a Steelers fan. He starts in on the team, says they are terrible. They should fire the coach and the team is never going to win another Super Bowl. And then you say, 'the team is going to be better when Ryan Shazier gets back.' Now imagine how enraged you'd be if the guy replied with, 'Who the [expletive] is Ryan Shazier?' You'd be upset, right? So this is why I have to be the annoying "Star Wars" fan. Because I don't want to hear your opinion on Rey if you can't identify Bossk and Dengar on that T-shirt. Oh yeah, spoiler alert on the other two bounty hunters. Yoda love you if you got that right.)
But I digress and will say the best shirt you could get would be a "Revenge of the Jedi" shirt. I know the movie was eventually called "Return of the Jedi" but the first title was "Revenge" but it was changed because it was too un-Jedi like. (I have some strong feelings on the Jedi, but I've gone down a deep path already.)
Speaking of revenge, one of our favorite things here in the Fantasy Stronghold (I'm Stronghold adjacent. I'm like the cousin in the double-wide on the outskirts of town who brings down the property values) is the "REVENGE GAME!"
But think about this. Most coaches don't really care about the revenge game factor. But if there was one, who do you think it would be? Bill Belichick, right? I mean, he might not normally care about a simple revenge game. However, Rex Ryan has run his mouth once again. Enraged Darth Sidious if you will. (Whoa, Sidious doesn't get the red squiggly lines from Microsoft Word!)
You could reason Belichick is going to take great delight in not only beating Rex again but giving Chris Hogan 20 targets. We are starting to make some sense, right? I know, I know. I shouldn't think about this too much. But if you're in a deep league, perhaps fooling around with a daily league, it is worth considering. And by worth considering, it means I will be doing it.
Rank's 11 Sleepers, Week 4
QB: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
QB: Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
RB: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
RB: Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions
RB: Paul Perkins, New York Giants (stash)
RB: Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (stash)
WR: Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers
WR: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins
WR: Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns
WR: Chris Hogan, New England Patriots (revenge game)
TE: Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
This is the point where I should really know better because I fell into this trap with Marcus Mariota last week. He scored 4.76 fantasy points against the Raiders in Week 3. But they still have allowed the third-most points to fantasy quarterbacks this season. The Raiders are also making back-to-back trips to the East Coast in the 10 a.m. slot. I mean, if Tennessee counts as the East Coast, right? Look, I consider just about anything east of Vegas to be the East Coast. But if you go by last week's stats, Flacco wasn't great. He completed more than 70 percent of his passes, but his 5.4 yards-per-attempt were lackluster. Still, he's my top option if you have to sit Aaron Rodgers (bye) this week.
Injuries have elevated Howard to the top slot of the Bears running back depth chart. But that's only a matter of formality because he clearly was the best-looking back for the Bears this season. The Lions have been pretty good against the run, with more of their struggles coming in the passing game. Howard exists as a pure volume play. And in case you're worried, he did have six targets (four receptions) against the Cowboys in Week 3. So it's not like he's going to disappear if the game starts to get out of hand.
I fear a bunch of you added Washington at our suggestion and came away unimpressed with his first game against the Packers. The Lions rushed for just 50 yards against the Packers after they had gained more than 115 rushing yards in each of their first two games. So I get it if you weren't blown away by Washington. Similar to the way a novice would be unimpressed if you introduced them to "Star Wars" but started with the "Phantom Menace." (I had originally typed in Episode I, but a bunch of you Millennials sometimes believe "New Hope" is Episode I. It's not. "New Hope" is Episode IV.) However, that was all game script. The Lions fell behind early and had to pass the ball a ton. That might not happen against the Bears. The Bears defense is also banged up, so if the Lions pull ahead early there could be a call for a lot of Washington touches.
Williams led the Chargers in targets and he currently ranks third in the NFL with six red-zone targets through three games. He fills that traditional role of long Chargers receiver and I like his matchup this week against the Saints, who are top-10 in points allowed to receivers. This is an interesting note here. The Cowboys play in that late window on Sunday. Dez Bryant might be somebody who comes down to the wire, injury-wise. It would be good to have a player like Williams at the ready just in case you need to sneak him into your lineup.
Last week was not a fluke. It was just his time and a correction to get him more involved in the offense. Miller was second on the team with nine targets against the Cowboys, two more than Alshon Jeffery. Plus we're going to invoke the Jack Doyle Rules here: Start your tight ends against the Lions. Last week it was Richard Rodgers (not Jared Cook as we had projected here) for the Packers. This week Miller should be heavily involved in the passing game and he led the team with four red-zone targets against the Cowboys.