Fantasy Football: Cam Newton Leads NFC 'Random Thoughts' from Week 4

Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterOctober 1, 2012

Carolina's Cam Newton (301 total yards, 3 TD vs. Atlanta) has reached the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three TDs three times this season. (US PRESSWIRE)
Carolina's Cam Newton (301 total yards, 3 TD vs. Atlanta) has reached the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three TDs three times this season. (US PRESSWIRE)

Here are 20 random and NFC-based deep thoughts about the action from Week 4.

To view the AFC revelations from Sunday, click here.

1. Unless you've got Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Robert Griffin III waiting in the bullpen, there is no tangible excuse for benching Cam Newton (301 total yards, three TD vs. Atlanta). Not in a six-team league. Not in a highly competitive 12-teamer that penalizes quarterbacks for costly turnovers.

2. Is it too much to ask Drew Brees (446 yards passing, three TD) to amass 500 yards on a beautiful football afternoon in Green Bay? Or what about begging Aaron Rodgers (332 total yards, four TD) to wear protective eyewear on game day, maybe some Kareem Abdul-Jabaar-esque goggles?

3. Welcome back to the strata of elite fantasy wideouts, Marques Colston. Your nine-catch, 153-yard, one-TD performance came at a time when nervous-nelly owners were soliciting trade bids on the open market. Whew!

4. I'm done apologizing for ranking Roddy White (eight catches, 169 yards, two TD vs. Carolina) ahead of Falcons teammate Julio Jones every week. Yes, Jones (one catch, 30 yards) may be a physical freak who's on the path to real-world and fantasy greatness...but he's simply not in White's class with catches, yardage or targets. At least not yet.

5. I'm serious about ignoring start-or-sit questions that involve a blue-chip veteran quarterback and Robert Griffin III (366 total yards, one TD vs. Tampa Bay). If you don't have the good sense to trade one of 'em before Thursday, you're just wasting elite-level production on the fantasy bench.

6. So much for Philly coach Andy Reid's springtime proclamation of restricting LeSean McCoy's touches. Through four games, McCoy (140 total yards in Week 4) has registered 14 more touches than this point last year. And that figure will increase if Jeremy Maclin (hip pointer) isn't his typically stellar self.

7. I wasn't surprised to see Michael Turner pound the Panthers for 171 total yards. But the three catches for 68 yards and one touchdown was an absolute shock to the system.

8. It's getting to the point where Adrian Peterson (122 total yards vs. Detroit) should be considered a weekly lock for 20-plus touches and 100 total yards. Not bad for a guy who's only at 85 percent capacity with his surgically-repaired knee—or something like that.

9. I spent a good chunk of Sunday morning rejecting trade overtures from two friends, with each proposal (and subsequent counter) targeting Frank Gore. My hard-line stance: Gore (75 total yards, one TD in Week 4) is an elite running back whose trade price far exceeds that of one sluggish receiver (Dez Bryant/Brandon Marshall/Jeremy Maclin) or assets stuck within non-essential tailback committees.

10. For blind-bidding auctioneers, don't go crazy trying to land Cardinals wideout Andre Roberts (six catches, 118 yards, two TD) on Wednesday. In two-plus NFL seasons, Roberts has never notched 70-plus yards in consecutive outings. Plus, it's important to remember that Arizona rookie Michael Floyd collected a season-high eight targets against the Dolphins.

11. I like Kevin Kolb's chances of racking up 250 total yards and/or two touchdowns for the next three weeks (Rams, Bills, Vikings). My rationale: Even at 4-0, Kolb (324 yards passing, three TD vs. Miami) and the Cardinals will likely encounter two second-half deficits in that period.

12. It was only a matter of time before Jordy Nelson (eight catches, 93 yards, one TD) busted out of a mini-slump, especially with Greg Jennings sidelined to injury. Guys with 15-touchdown potential seldom disappear the following year. On the flip side, my confidence level in James Jones (five catches, 56 yards, two TD) has yet to upgrade from a week-to-week variance.

13. As a Packer, Cedric Benson (106 total yards vs. New Orleans) has proven himself to be a reliable fantasy asset in 12-team leagues, on par with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Darren Sproles. As a result, Benson's a must-start in standard-scoring leagues for the time being, either at the RB2 or flex spot.

14. It's a shame that Sidney Rice (four catches, 41 yards vs. St. Louis) has to pay the toll for the Seahawks starting a rookie quarterback. Conversely, Marshawn Lynch (155 total yards, one TD) and rookie tailback Robert Turbin (58 yards on eight touches) must be loving Seattle's extended commitment to the rushing attack.

15. So, the Rams dumped Danario Alexander for the chance to develop receivers Brandon Gibson, Austin Pettis, Brian Quick and Chris Givens (combined Sunday output: six catches), huh? Thank goodness Danny Amendola is a whiz on special teams.

16. I applaud the Buccaneers for attacking the Redskins through the air. Doug Martin may be a first-rate rushing prospect, but at this point, the Bucs' two best playmakers are receivers Vincent Jackson (six catches, 100 yards, one TD) and Mike Williams (four catches, 115 yards).

17. Don't read too much into Joique Bell's 74 total yards and crunch-time touches in Detroit's home loss to Minnesota. The Lions have waited a long time to possess a power-speed tailback like Mikel Leshoure (63 total yards), and one so-so day that included his first fumble since pee-wee football won't dampen the club's long-term enthusiasm.

18. It's scary to think of how good Detroit's Brandon Pettigrew (seven catches, 67 yards vs. Minnesota) would be in fantasy—if he didn't drop ready-made balls in the end zone.

19. I'm actually OK with Ahmad Bradshaw collecting only 77 total yards on Sunday. To be honest, I thought Andre Brown would garner the majority of touches against the Eagles as a reward for his 130-yard, two-TD effort from Week 3. But Bradshaw (16 touches) logged 13 carries for the Giants, laying the groundwork for a fantasy bonanza in Week 5 (against Cleveland).

20. On the flip side of stars returning from injury, I'm not sure how to assess Jeremy Maclin's fantasy prospects from this point forward. Nothing good comes from one catch, three targets and seven measly yards.

Jay Clemons
can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.