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1st Quarterly Report (Week 4) – Early Season Trends

By on October 6, 2015

There’s no way to describe

what has happened in the NFL in the first four weeks of the 2015-16 season:  QB injuries, rookie breakouts, and the Raiders going 2-2?!  Okay, maybe you could’ve predicted the Raiders doing better than they did last season (they had three wins total last year), but it is hard to predict the early season trends that have unfolded before our eyes this season.  @NFLRTFantasy brings you the very first “Quarterly Report.”




  • QB Injuries – Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, & Tony Romo


Last season, they scored 1,179 fantasy points combined, but in the first quarter of the season they’ve missed a combined 5 games.  Andrew Luck had the first miss of his 51-game career.  Drew Brees missed his first game since joining the New Orleans Saints in 2006.  However, for Big Ben and Tony Romo, injuries aren’t exactly uncommon.


ben roethlisberger injured rams via NFL youtubeFor Ben Roethlisberger owners, his recent MCL injury should not have been a surprise to you if you have been following his 11-year career.  Although he is expected to be out 3-4 weeks, Big Ben is known for playing through the pain.  Big Ben was on track to have a prolific fantasy season, averaging 24 points/game before Week 3’s game vs. the Rams where he had left early.  Expect Roethlisberger to continue where he left off with Martavis Bryant also coming off his four-week suspension.


Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

Besides Andrew Luck’s sudden absence, his lackluster play has been rather shocking to many, including myself.  His stats have been tremendously lower than what has been expected ( 5 TDs – 7 INT – 1 FUM).  Nicknamed “The Greatest Shoe on Earth,” given because of the all-star cast of T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Frank Gore, Dwayne Allen, and the newest addition of speedster Phillip Dorsett, one would think that the fantasy points would be coming in by the dozens.

If you drafted Luck in the early rounds, you have our pity, but have no worries.  Andrew Luck is still one of the most brilliant QBs playing today, and, by the end of the season, he’s destined to be a top-5 fantasy QB again.  While the next 5 match ups are a doozy (Houston, New England, New Orleans, Carolina, & Denver), the Colts schedule is fairly easy after their Week 10 bye.  In the middle of the fantasy playoffs, Luck will have his greatest games.


drew brees injured via nola

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 20: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is hit by Jacquies Smith #56 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 20, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Drew Brees’ injury was a shock to many, as he has been injury free, excluding his torn labrum in his right shoulder in 2005.  Brees was only sidelined for one game, and he returned to action as he threw for 359 yards and a pair of TDs, racking up 22 fantasy points.  Vintage Brees.  Brees’ injury was minor, and should be in fantasy lineups in all leagues as he faces a lenient Eagles defense in Week 5.


tony romo injured eagles via nfl youtube

Tony Romo. Oh Tony.  The victim of too many jokes, memes, and ridicule in his career.  His season has been utterly derailed following the news of his broken right collarbone in Week 2.  As if Dez Bryant’s injury wasn’t bad enough for Cowboys’ fans.  Expected to be out till Week 11, there are plenty of great fantasy options at QB, as opposed to having him occupy a spot on your roster.  Derek Carr, who is available in 43.4% of ESPN leagues, is currently ranked as 12th in QB fantasy scoring, and Marcus Mariota at 7th available in 34%.


  •  Rookie Breakouts – Devonta Freeman & Marcus Mariota


Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens (59) is unable to stop Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) on a running play in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

In Week 3 and 4, Devonta Freeman fantasy owners were in for a treat as he ran onto the NFL scene like the Road Runner ran through Wile E. Coyote’s ole “paint a road on the side of a mountain” trick.  Putting up outrageous numbers, 37 and 32 points in Week 3 and 4 respectively, there’s been no solution to his wreckage.  However, how long can it really last?


To put it lightly. . . YOU NEED TO TRADE HIM IMMEDIATELY.  Most likely, there is someone out there in your league who is so giddy to get his hands on this fantasy monster that he will give up anyone for him, maybe an Adrian Peterson type of player.  Devonta Freeman is on a hot streak, but like all hot streaks, they will end.  Although scoring over 30 fantasy points in Week 4, his rush attempts were cut from 30 to 14.  Sell him while that guy in your league still wants him, and while he’s still on his rampage.

Marcus Mariota Titans via isportswebThe 2nd overall pick in the 2015 draft, Marcus Mariota, has exceeded his expectations being drafted to one of the least talented teams in the NFL.  Almost putting away Andrew Luck at home, Mariota has impressed.  But what about fantasy?  Mariota has averaged 19 points over his first 3 games, 7th most among QBs.  But will he drop off?




Maybe not in a catastrophic, Mark Sanchez-like collapse, but the rookie will come down to earth.  The Titans just don’t have the supporting cast to help Mariota develop.  Harsh to say, but Mariota might be their most talented player on the offense.


Up next: Superstar Disappointments

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