“The Hard Bargain” is a year-round column by Dave Stewart offering parenting advice and weekly fantasy football advice for deeper (16+ team) leagues. Dave brings over a year of experience writing this column to NFL Week 4 and will be here to help provide lineup recommendations throughout the fantasy football season.
A Perplexing Week in the NFL
Week 3 of the NFL season hit us hard. Several games were, for lack of a better word, weird. Perhaps we were spoiled by the crazy comebacks of the prior week. Week 3 had gaffes galore, comebacks that fell short and a heavy dose of injuries. It left many fantasy managers scratching their heads. Others may have work to do to recover their season, whether they want to do it or not.
The Mundane Tasks of Everyday Life
Every day we have things to do that we do not particularly look forward to. Whether it is walking the dog, doing the dishes or shopping for groceries, we have to accomplish boring tasks to keep our lives in order. I have taught my kids to make a game out of cleaning up. It works, sort of. At least they clean for longer now before the whining sets in.
Typically, one of my responsibilities is to shop for food. It only makes sense, as I am the primary preparer of meals in my household. But, I get short of patience with my fellow man in the market. I always like to have a beer before I have to contend with the masses. Grocery shopping is burdensome when there is a large crowd about, and you must carefully navigate the aisles to avoid a potential collision.
Formerly, this endeavor required multiple stops. When I used to tell my wife that I was going grocery shopping, I’d swing by my neighborhood pub for a pint, and then only then would I be properly composed for a supermarket run. Now, I have kids. They have busy schedules. My leisure time has been drastically cut since their birth. Yet, I need not fret, for there is a happy solution.
Finding Joy in a New Routine
Sadly, my favorite neighborhood pub is no more. Happily, a locally-born grocery chain has solved my conundrum as they built a tavern right inside!
I can go imbibe a brew or two while watching sports on their dozen or so flat-screen televisions. There is even a full food menu available. If you do not want to sit and enjoy yourself, the shopping carts have cup holders for your booze. I did not intend to turn this into an advertisement.
When I have produce to purchase and I crave a beer and a moment of sanity, I find my refuge. If my twins, “the Sneaky Girls, are in tow, I can feed them a snack before we gather the meal supplies. Kids are always hungry. Any parent can tell you that. A chicken finger basket can go a long way.
I now have a standing date every Tuesday with one of my best friends. Following my daughter’s taekwondo lesson, we meet at the grocery bar to talk about life (mostly football) and enjoy a cup of suds while the girls devour a plate of nachos. After which, we go our separate ways collecting dinner ingredients before returning home to feed our families.
Injecting Fun Into Your Current Routines
I did not tell you this to make you jealous if your grocery store doesn’t have a bar. They should, by the way. I want you to find your own ways to inject a little fun into the not-so-fun parts of life. It brings balance to your days and reduces the dread of unpleasant tasks. The lawn never mows itself, but a fantasy podcast in my ears helps the chore pass smoothly. Life cannot always be pizza rolls and beer before we have to tackle the inevitable, but sometimes it can.
Making the Most of Your Fantasy Teams in NFL Week 4
Making the most of your fantasy team can often take work. Sometimes the work is hard, and you don’t want to do it. Still, if you seek out trade partners or hit the waiver wire (the NFL Week 4 waiver wire has some gems), you can improve the outlook. So, do not stress. Remember, we do this for fun.
Take a look at some of my deep starts for the upcoming week, and breathe easy. Last week my efforts gave you the QB9 in Mac Jones and the Points Per Reception (PPR) TE4, Ty Conklin. Let’s go for a repeat.
Trevor Lawrence (QB, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Don’t look now, but I think I have a thing for the Jaguars’ signal-caller. I was on the bus early, but Trevor Lawrence’s numbers continue to improve. He threw one touchdown in Week 1 and has added an additional touchdown each subsequent week. Does this mean he throws four against the Eagles? I don’t want to go that far. The Eagles have a solid defense. Nonetheless, there is reason to be optimistic about Lawrence.
First, this is likely to be a high-scoring affair. As of Monday, Vegas has the over/under at 48.5. Through three games, five different Jaguars have been targeted 10+ times on the year. Jacksonville has scored at least 24 points in each contest, and Lawrence has 30-plus attempts in any game. Look for the volume to continue and Lawrence’s numbers to climb as he establishes rapport with his receiving weapons.
Chase Edmonds (RB, Miami Dolphins)
Chase Edmonds was held out of many lineups in Week 3, as fantasy managers were concerned about the distribution of carries in Miami. Raheem Mostert was involved. He out-snapped Edmonds 24-19. However, Edmonds had more valuable touches, including two red zone touches. He scored on both. Mostert had no such carries.
As long as Edmonds gets goal line work, he will have fantasy value. I understand it is hard to be excited about a back who saw only six carries. Still, recording two touchdowns and two first downs with those carries instills trust in the coaching staff. I expect Miami to give Edmonds more chances to score as the Dolphins defend their sterling record against Cincinnati on Thursday.
DeVonta Smith (WR, Philadelphia Eagles)
DeVonta Smith has seen his targets increase every week of the season. Philadelphia has the league’s top offense. Smith’s quarterback, Jalen Hurts, leads the NFL in yards per completion. All of this adds up to a high-ceiling play from the second-year wide receiver.
As mentioned, the Vegas oddsmakers expect a lot of points from Jacksonville and Philadelphia in NFL Week 4. Smith should be heavily involved in the game plan. He has a 20.5 percent target share through three weeks. He ranks 19th in the NFL in this category. His 16.6 Yards Per Reception (YPR) average shows Smith is a big play waiting to happen.
Robert Tonyan (TE, Green Bay Packers)
It is a little gutsy to recommend Robert Tonyan as a deep start this week. After all, he has no more than 37 receiving yards in a game this year. So, what do I like about him this week? His season high in targets (seven), receptions (six), and yards (37) all came in Week 3.
Now, he faces the New England Patriots, who have struggled against tight ends this year. Granted, many of the fantasy points the Patriots have surrendered to tight ends came against the Ravens and Mark Andrews last week. Nevertheless, this is Tonyan’s best matchup to date. The Ravens have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends thus far. Tonyan likely needs to score to return fantasy value, but I like his chances in an offense searching for playmakers in the passing game. The Packers added Sammy Watkins to the Injured Reserve (IR), so the opportunity is on the table for Tonyan to see more targets.
Life is hard, but it gets a little easier when we learn to lean on each other. Find me on Twitter @DaveFantasy for more life and fantasy sports content for NFL Week 4 and beyond.