In an ongoing series, PointAfter will break down both the highest-scoring and all-bust fantasy football lineups in the NFL from week to week. If you started the perfect lineup from Week 4, or were unlucky enough to play all of the week’s biggest busts, this is what it looked like.
Note: Each lineup will be updated if a Monday Night Football performer puts up more points or busts more egregiously than the players from Thursday and Sunday. The fantasy scoring system used is from Yahoo Sports leagues.M/em>
Versions of this article also appear on Yahoo Sports.
Highest-Scoring QB: Philip Rivers
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 26.22
In 2014, Rivers played well enough early in the season to garner MVP consideration. That hasn’t been the case a year later, but the 33-year-old veteran had himself a pretty solid fantasy showing in Week 4. In a 30-27 squeak-by win over the Cleveland Browns, Rivers threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns. He also avoided throwing an interception for the first time this season.
Highest-Scoring RB1: Devonta Freeman
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 32.90
Atlanta’s running back situation was a mystery to start the season, but it’s fair to assume Devonta Freeman has taken over the starting job for the foreseeable future. The second-year runner out of Florida State topped his running back brethren for the second straight week on the highest-scoring fantasy lineup. In a 48-21 shellacking of the Texans, Freeman ran for 68 yards and three TDs. It was Terron Ward, however, who led the team with 72 rushing yards—most of which were amassed in garbage time of the blowout win.
Highest-Scoring RB2: Jeremy Hill
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 24.00
If you’re a Jeremy Hill fantasy owner who decided to stick with the LSU product after he had back-to-back dreadful performances in Weeks 2 and 3, you were rewarded for your faith in Week 4. Hill was one of fantasy’s biggest busts over the past two weeks, but he came alive with three touchdowns on just nine touches in Cincy’s win over the Chiefs.
Highest-Scoring WR1: Tavon Austin
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 23.60
After catching just eight passes for a combined 42 yards through the first three weeks of the 2015 season, Tavon Austin provided his fantasy owners little reason to start him in Week 4. Going up against a stout Arizona Cardinals defense, Austin hauled in six of his seven targets for 96 yards and two touchdowns. He also added two rushing attempts for 20 yards.
Highest-Scoring WR2: Vincent Jackson
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 20.70
The Bucs dropped to 1-3 on the season following their home loss against Carolina, but even though Jameis Winston struggled by throwing four picks, Tampa Bay’s veteran wideout was able to cobble together a great fantasy showing. Jackson was targeted a game-high 15 times. He caught 10 of those throws for 147 yards and a touchdown. Even with Winston’s inconsistency, Jackson can be a reliable fantasy option.
Highest-Scoring TE: Martellus Bennett/Coby Fleener
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 14.30
Tight ends for the Bears and Colts, respectively, Bennett and Fleener had nearly identical stats in Week 4. Both caught a touchdown and amassed 83 yards through the air. Bennett ultimately would have been the better start in PPR leagues, though, as he hauled in 11 receptions compared to Fleener’s nine.
Highest-Scoring Flex: Chris Ivory
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 22.60
After being listed as active for the Jets’ Week 3 contest against Philadelphia and not seeing the field, Chris Ivory was back healthy for Week 4 against the Dolphins. The talented runner put on a show for the fans at Wembley Stadium in London, rushing for 166 yards (tops among running backs for the week) and a TD. New York’s early strength of schedule isn’t anything to write home about, but at 3-1 behind the exploits of Ivory, it would not be wise to overlook the Jets this year.
Highest-Scoring D/ST: Falcons
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 21.00
Arian Foster’s 2015 debut got out to a rough start against Atlanta’s defense. The four-time Pro Bowler finished with eight carries for just 10 yards. A fumble he coughed up in the second quarter was returned for a touchdown by Desmond Trufant. ATL would add an interception and return yet another fumble 84 yards for a touchdown at the end of the game.
Highest-Scoring K: Cairo Santos
Fantasy Points (Yahoo Sports Leagues): 27.00
With 27.00 fantasy points in Week 4, Cairo Santos of the Kansas City Chiefs had the highest output of any kicker in a week so far this season. The 23-year-old out of Tulane didn’t make much of an impact in the first three weeks, making three of his four field-goal tries. In Week 4, however, he cashed in on all seven of his attempts—including two from 50-plus yards.
Final Tally: Highest-Scoring Lineup
Here’s the final recap of the perfect fantasy lineup from Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season:
Philip Rivers: 26.22
Devonta Freeman: 32.90
Jeremy Hill: 24.00
Tavon Austin: 23.60
Vincent Jackson: 20.70
Martellus Bennett/Coby Fleener: 14.30
Chris Ivory: 22.60
Falcons D/ST: 21.00
Cairo Santos: 27.00
Final Score: 212.32 points
All-Bust QB: Peyton Manning
Projected points (position rank): 16.8 (5th)
Actual points (position rank): 10.3 (27th)
The Broncos are still undefeated despite the surprising struggles of their offense. Peyton Manning’s fantasy owners likely can’t say the same thing.
Manning has appeared in this column twice in the season’s first four weeks. The 39-year-old’s owners likely expected him to continue to age gracefully, but that hasn’t been the case. He’s thrown for less passing yards per game (242.0) than he has in a decade, and after averaging 66 completions of 20-plus yards during his first three years in Denver, he has just nine such completions so far in 2015.
Manning’s struggles could be attributed to Denver’s injury-ridden offensive line. After the unit was a top-six unit last year, according to Pro Football Focus, it was ranked 18th by PFF going into Week 4. Maybe Denver’s offense is missing Julius Thomas, a human safety valve, a little more than we expected it would.
All-Bust RB1: Arian Foster
Projected points: 13.2 (8th)
Actual points: 1.5 (56th)
The giddy folk who drafted, stashed and likely started Foster this week had to be disappointed with his return to the gridiron Sunday.
Foster only had eight rushing attempts for 10 yards against Atlanta, which came into the week allowing the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Matters weren’t helped when one of Houston’s offensive linemen bumped into Foster in the backfield on a second-quarter carry, forcing a fumble that the Falcons returned for a touchdown.
Fortunately, this is likely the worst it’s going to get for Foster this season. Bill O’Brien likely didn’t feel comfortable pushing Foster to his limits Sunday — there wasn’t much point, as Houston was down 28-0 at halftime and 42-0 after three quarters. Alfred Blue didn’t exactly light it up will Foster was sidelined, and the latter should resume his regular workload in due time.
All-Bust RB2: Carlos Hyde
Projected points: 12.5 (10th)
Actual points: 2.2 (48th)
After a monster season debut, Hyde somewhat disappointed with 6.6 fantasy points in successive weeks before fully crashing back to Earth on Sunday with just 20 yards on eight attempts.
The 49ers have scored just 28 total points in their last three games. Accordingly, Hyde hasn’t scored during that span, and just seven of his 64 carries this season have come in the red zone.
Until the Niners work through their offensive woes, Hyde’s ceiling is limited.
All-Bust WR1: Julio Jones
Projected points: 13.7 (1st)
Actual points: 3.8 (64th)
Houston didn’t do much right in their 48-21 loss to Atlanta, but at least they contained Julio Jones.
On the day the Falcons scored the most points in a game since their 56-14 laugher over Tampa Bay in Week 3 last year, their best offensive weapon had just 38 receiving yards on four receptions.
Of course, Jones’ owners have no reason to worry. He still has the most receptions (38) in the NFL, is tied with Antonio Brown for the league lead in receiving yards (478), and is second to only DeAndre Hopkins in targets (52).
All-Bust WR2: Randall Cobb
Projected points: 13.6 (2nd)
Actual points: 4.4 (57th)
Green Bay actually had more rushing attempts (33) than thrown passes (32) on Sunday, a surprise given they employ the reigning MVP at quarterback. So even though Cobb led all Packers with eight targets on Sunday, he was held out of the end zone while recording a pedestrian five catches on 44 yards.
Don’t expect that to happen too often going forward. Cobb has nine of Green Bay’s 20 red zone targets this season, six more than the next closest Packer. Even though the James Jones Reunion Tour has been a nice story, Cobb is the No. 1 wideout in the land of the Cheeseheads.
All-Bust TE: Kyle Rudolph
Projected points: 6.3 (10th)
Actual points: 0.7 (37th)
Rudolph had seen his receptions and yardage decrease through each of the first three weeks, so it’s no surprise he was held in check against Denver’s top-ranked pass defense.
Still, Rudolph was started in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues this week (11th among tight ends), and those owners were undoubtedly expecting more than seven yards on two receptions.
All-Bust Flex: Latavius Murray
Projected points: 14.3 (4th)
Actual points: 4.1 (41st)
It’s probably been a long time since any Raiders skill player was projected to be in the top five scorers among his position for any given week. And after Murray (and the entire Oakland offense) wasted a prime opportunity for a monster day against Chicago’s defense, which saw two of its contributors traded away mid-week, it likely won’t happen to Murray again for a while.
Murray’s fantasy output (16 carries, 49 yards) worsened when he fumbled a pitch in the fourth quarter and was subsequently benched for the rest of the game. He should still be regarded as Oakland’s bellcow, but that moniker doesn’t carry as much promise as it did at this time last week.
All-Bust D/ST: Texans
Projected points: 6.8 (14th)
Actual points: -2.0 (26th)
The Texans actually didn’t have the worst fantasy output of the weekend. That dishonor goes to the Chiefs, who accounted for -4.0 points while not recording a single sack or turnover against Cincinnati.
But we have come to expect better from Houston’s defense than what we saw Sunday. The Falcons had one of the worst offensive lines in football last season, but most of that same cast absolutely manhandled Houston’s vaunted defensive front.
Atlanta scored four rushing touchdowns on the day — three from new fantasy superstar Devonta Freeman and one from someone named Terron Ward, an undrafted 23-year-old rookie who led Atlanta with 72 yards on the ground.
The Texans probably would have rather had Julio Jones just rip their defense apart. At least that’s a feeling most teams can sympathize with.
All-Bust K: Nick Novak
Projected points: 9.3 (1st)
Actual points: 3.0 (T-25th)
Welcome back to the NFL, Nick Novak, and welcome to the All-Bust team!
Novak made his season debut Sunday after taking over for Randy Bullock in Houston. While other kickers experienced weekends that had worse implications for their careers (cut to Josh Scobee sighing), no others underplayed their fantasy projections more than Novak. He only left the sidelines for three meaningless extra points, all of which came in the fourth quarter during the Massacre at the Georgia Dome.
If you’re counting, that’s four entries on the All-Bust team from the same game, with three coming from Houston. That’s a new season high in both regards.
Until next week, this has been your weekly All-Bust recap. Now wash all of this disappointment off your hands, and start looking forward to next Sunday.
Final Tally: All-Bust Lineup
Here’s the final recap of the most disappointing lineup from Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season:
Peyton Manning: 10.30
Arian Foster: 1.5
Carlos Hyde: 2.2
Julio Jones: 3.8
Randall Cobb: 4.4
Kyle Rudolph: 0.7
Latavius Murray: 4.1
Texans D/ST: -2.0
Nick Novak: 3.0
Final Score: 28.00 points