Fantasy Football Fun: Week 4

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Now that's a little more like it.

I'm not particularly proud to be bragging about moving up to ninth place in a 10-deep competition, but you've got to start somewhere. A third-place finish for the week is a step in the right direction and really reduced the steepness of my inevitable climb the top, where Bill Voth still resides (but barely, ahead of Week 3 leader Josh Klein of the Riot Report). After Week 2, I was 40 points out of middle-of-the-pack fifth place; in Week 3, I cut that deficit in half.

And I, like everyone else who had a good week, have the NFC South to thank.

Three of the seven NFL teams to reach 30 points last week reside in the division, and the Buccaneers weren't far behind with 27 points. Everyone in our little contest had a least one NFC South player in their lineup (a given since you must pick one Panther each week), but everyone in the top five in Week 3 also had at least one additional NFC South player.

No one actually picked any of the top three players in the NFL.com scoring system last week – Drew Brees of the Saints and Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley of the Falcons – but half had the fourth-best scorer in Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was close behind in ninth overall, while Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara were both top-five backs and Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans missed the top five at his position by one spot.

Bryan Strickland
Max Henson
Bill Voth
Jordan Gross
Jim Szoke
Total Pts (rank) 193.00 (9th) 223.62 (3rd) 255.60 (1st) 173.46 (10th) 208.24 (8th)
Last week 90.44 (3rd) 83.40 (4th) 81.56 (5th) 67.30 (7th) 58.16 (9th)
QB P. Rivers D. Watson P. Rivers J. Goff A. Dalton
RB A. Kamara E. Elliott T. Coleman A. Kamara E. Elliott
RB G. Bernard D. Johnson G. Bernard M. Lynch C. Hyde
WR J. Jones O. Beckham A. Callaway A. Thielen W. Fuller
WR K. Allen Smith-Schuster T. Boyd C. Ridley M. Williams
TE E. Ebron T. Kelce E. Ebron T. Kelce Z. Ertz
Jourdan Rodrigue
Mike Solarte
Kelsey Riggs
Josh Klein
John Halpin
Total Pts (rank) 222.86 (4th) 213.92 (6th) 209.68 (7th) 244.26 (2nd) 215.24 (5th)
Last week 99.74 (2nd) 73.56 (6th) 54.60 (10th) 103.00 (1st) 59.20 (8th)
QB P. Mahomes T. Brady A. Dalton D. Brees E. Manning
RB K. Johnson S. Barkley M. Lynch D. Johnson E. Elliott
RB C. Hyde G. Bernard C. Hyde P. Lindsay G. Bernard
WR J. Jones O. Beckham T.Y. Hilton A.J. Green T.Y. Hilton
WR T. Boyd B. Cooks M. Williams C. Hogan E. Sanders
TE Z. Ertz K. Ruldolph T. Burton D. Njoku T. Burton

In Week 4, the combatants can still pick a Panther, though I wouldn't really recommend it since Carolina is on a bye. That means for the lone time all season the six-player lineup is a free-for-all, but I'm going to stay in the NFC South with some more southern spiciness mixed in.

This is the last week of Saints running back Mark Ingram's suspension, so I'll join the majority who have already used Alvin Kamara and take my chances against the Giants (if your year-long league collectively passed on Ingram, grab him now before it's too late). I'm also banking on Falcons receiver Julio Jones being inspired by the rookie Ridley's three-touchdown game and trying to answer against the Bengals.

The rest of my lineup has a southern flair, with the rest of my players having North Carolina ties. Former Tar Heel running back Giovani Bernard played well for the Bengals against Carolina and could get another start against the Falcons, and fellow Tar Heel Eric Ebron of the Colts could have a nice day against the Texans with running mate Jack Doyle potentially out again. I'm also banking on a big day from the West Coast combination of quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Keenan Allen of the Chargers. Rivers starred at N.C. State while Allen grew up in Greensboro, N.C.

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