We’re back again, here at NFL Soup, to talk about the top Week Four fantasy football surprises. Week Four was all about defense, as there were quite a few team defenses that really helped out fantasy owners. Sunday night football surprised a lot of people (well, not me) when the Chicago Bears offense looked anemic after being sacked nine sacks in the first half courtesy of the New York Giants.
Chris Johnson got shut down for the second time in four weeks and is starting to scare some fantasy owners, after being held to just 53 yards on 19 carries. On the flip side, Maurice Jones-Drew rebounded from a disappointing start to the season and scored his first touchdown against the Colts.
For you AFC North fans, the Browns pulled out their first victory of the season defeating Carson Palmer and the Bengals 23-20. The Baltimore Ravens scored a late touchdown with 36 seconds left to take a three-point lead on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers defense crumbled at the end of the fourth quarter.
Perhaps the most surprising happening, or non-happening, was Randy Moss and the Patriots. The Patriots managed to score 41 points on the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, and Randy Moss did not record a single catch. Perhaps that’s just the reason the Patriots need to deal Moss to the Vikings.
But that’s about enough news. Let’s get back to the fantasy discussion. Without further haste, I give you the top 10 fantasy football surprises for Week Four.
10. Zach Miller, TE, Oakland Raiders
Personally, I’m not surprised about this game, as I’ve been a huge Miller supporter from the beginning of the season. But any of those who started him go a huge day from the young tight end and received anywhere from 26-36 points. I suggest you keep sticking him in the lineup.
9. New York Giants Defense/Special Teams
Many were scared to put the Giants defense in against Jay Cutler and the Bears who recently upset the Green Bay Packers. However, the Giants' nine sacks on defense kept Chicago’s offense shut and even put Cutler on the bench with a concussion. They held the Bears to three points and got fantasy owners around 25-30 points.
8. Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets
This is surprising because Greene looked to be getting limited carries with LaDainian Tomlinson running so well. The Jets took a big lead and started giving Greene reps, and he ended with 117 yards on 22 carries. Zero touchdowns kept his fantasy production down under 15, but many were probably frustrated when they saw those 15 points on the bench.
7. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo
Fitzpatrick had a decent game against the Jets secondary thanks to two touchdowns. He only threw for 128 yards on 27 attempts, but those two touchdowns made fantasy owners happy if they started him as a QB2. On top of the two touchdowns, he had 74 rushing yards on just seven carries. Fitzpatrick has been somewhat of a positive for Buffalo, at least compared to Trent Edwards.
6. Joel Dreessen, TE, Houston Texans
After having just two receptions in his first three games with the Texans, veteran Joel Dreessen caught five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s win over the Oakland Raiders. This is surprising considering he’s not known for his ability down field and plays behind Owen Daniels, who has had a disappointing start to the season.
5. Shaun Hill, QB, Detroit
Hill owners were rewarded with two touchdowns and 331 yards in the passing game, as well as 53 more yards on the ground. His two interceptions kept him from getting closer to 30 points in standard leagues, but what’s most surprising is who he did it against. The Packers defense is one of the best in the league, and he did a great job finding Calvin Johnson who was up against 2009’s Defensive Player of the Year, Charles Woodson.
4. Mike Tolbert, RB, San Diego
If you were skeptical of Ryan Mathews’ injury and started Tolbert just in case, you were rewarded heavily. Tolbert carried the ball for 100 yards on just 16 carries and had a touchdown. It’s not his ability that’s surprising after his previous two weeks, but the fact that Ryan Mathews was slated to get majority of the carries. The Chargers dominance allowed the Chargers to limit Mathews and save him for Week Five and get Tolbert in.
3. San Diego Chargers Defense/Special Teams
What a game for the Chargers defense. They intercepted the Cardinals twice, returning one for a touchdown, as well as recovering a fumble after forcing two. On top of that, they had nine sacks. Shaun Phillips had the biggest day individually with four of those sacks and returning the interception for a touchdown. They held the Cardinals to just 10 points.
2. David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Garrard didn’t throw for 300+ yards or complete 30 passes, but he did just enough to get fantasy owners nearly 30 points by throwing for two touchdowns on 163 yards and rushing for another 44 yards and one more touchdown. He didn’t turn the ball over at all and led the Jaguars on the AFC South upset over the Indianapolis Colts. Garrard had a very rough start to the season and but rebounded nicely.
1. New England Patriots Defense/Special Teams
As mentioned above, the Patriots managed to put up 41 points on the Miami Dolphins with Randy Moss not catching one pass. Tom Brady just had 153 yards and a touchdown. They didn’t need any offense because the Patriots defense and special teams did all the work.
Brandon Tate started it off with a 103-yard return touchdown. Patrick Chung had a blocked field goal in which Kyle Arrington returned for a touchdown. Chung finished it up with a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown, as the Patriots rolled and gave fantasy owners 30+ points, which is better than every running back in the league, except for Arian Foster.
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