What’s good amigos? Honcho’s back for some Week 4 action, so buckle up and let’s do this. Before we get started, I wanted to treat you all to some of my magnificent poetry. I bet you weren’t aware that Honcho was the official Poet Laureate of Razzball. Were you? It’s true. I just have a way with words. You can check out some of my best work over at Christian Mingle. The ladies just love my renderings on that site. Anyway, I wanted to start this week’s By The Numbers off with something I’ve prepared especially for this occasion. Here it is: Roses are red. Harambe is dead. The Oakland Raiders defense Flacco shall shred. So… How was it? Inspiring? Beautiful? Both? I’ll take it! Okay, enough of that. Let’s get down to some numbers. Obviously I’ve placed Joe Flacco in the introduction for a reason. He has an absolutely delicious matchup this week. I mean, what’s not to like about the worst pass defense in the NFL traveling East for a 1:00 PM EDT start? The Raiders have been brutal against the pass in their first three games. How bad? Well, they’re averaging 340 passing yards allowed per game and they’ve yielded seven scores through the air against just three interceptions and three sacks. Oakland is allowing opposing QBs to score an average of 26.5 (3oth) fantasy points per contest this year and they’re giving up 32.5 (32nd) fantasy points to WRs. That’s bad. No, actually that’s awful. The forecast is calling for clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70’s so sit back and watch Flacco air-raid the Raiders.
Here’s a look at a few of my favorite passing and rushing matchups for Week 4:
Cam Newton – The Falcons are a mess when it comes to defending the pass. They allowed Drew Brees to complete 36-of-54 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns last week to push their average to 313 yards passing allowed per contest this season – that’s good for 29th in the league. Over the first three games of the season Atlanta is yielding 29.3 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.
Phillip Rivers – The New Orleans defense is an absolute train-wreck. It’s almost hard to describe how bad it is unless you’ve spent a few minutes watching it this year. Highlights do not do it justice. They gave up 45 points to Atlanta last week, which included with five offensive TDs with zero interceptions generated. They’re allowing 299 passing yards per contest through the first three games. Rivers has racked up 11 completions for 20 yards or more and has hooked up for a 40+ yard completion 4 times this year.
Drew Brees – Make that two weeks in a row the diminutive signal caller has appeared in this article. Brees’ will face a San Diego defense that’s giving up 322 passing yards per game while yielding 11.3 fantasy points per week to opposing TEs. The great thing about playing Brees’ each week is that he’s forced to go to the air early and often due to the Saints’ injury riddled defense. Through three games the Canton bound quarterback has thrown for 1,062 yards and 8 TDs while throwing just one interception.
Kirk Cousins – Even with a shaky QB like Cousins’, picking on Cleveland seems like low-hanging fruit. I mean, they gave up over 300 yards and 3 TDs to Ryan Freaking Tannehill. So yeah, I really like the Sparty alum this week. The Browns rank 24th in passing yards allowed and they’ve given up 7 passing scores through three games. They’ve also been brutal against opposing WRs, allowing 31.8 fantasy points (3rd-most) this year.
Trevor Siemian – After being ultra-conservative the first two weeks, Siemian was taking names against the Bengals’ secondary last week. He averaged a robust 8.9 YPA and completed two passes for over forty yards and connected three times for at least twenty. Tampa Bay has allowed 23.4 fantasy points to opposing QBs, while allowing 272 passing yards and 7 TDs through the air this season.
Justin Forsett and Terrance West – Before you throw up in your mouth, hear me out….Honcho’s feeling the Baltimore running back committee this week. Oakland has allowed 136 rushing yards per game this year and they’ve given up the six-most (22.5) fantasy points to opposing RBs. Remember, this unit was gashed by Tennessee two weeks ago for a 29/181/1 line, so they know a thing or two about accommodating opposing backfields.
Melvin Gordon – He put up a dud against Indy last week, although he did find the end zone and had 43 yards receiving. That was enough to overshadow his 16/35/0 rushing line against the 31st ranked run defense. But hey, this is a new week and we’re all about new beginnings here, so let’s roll with Melvin. After what the Falcons did to New Orleans on the ground last week (31/217/3) I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Gordon in Week 4. He’s bound to produce. He’s averaging 95 yards per game on 23.5 touches since Danny Woodhead went down.
Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell – The Cleveland ground game might induce a bevy of yawns among most fantasy owners, but with a rookie signal caller under center there’s plenty of fantasy goodness to be harvested. Washington has allowed an average of 123 rushing yards per contest this year and they’ve handed out seven rushing touchdowns as well. In Week 3 they coughed up a 21/120/2 line to the Giants and have given up 28.3 fantasy points to opposing RBs this season.
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