Looking to Week 4: One for the Money, Two for the Show, and Three to Let Go
The Money: Lance Moore
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who experienced a little deja vu during the Saints vs Falcons game on Sunday. For a brief moment I thought it was Week 8 of the 2008 season, Reggie Bush was sidelined with a knee injury, and Lance Moore was returning punts and scoring touchdowns. In fact it was Week 3 of the 2010 season, Reggie Bush was out with a leg injury, and Lance Moore was seeing more action than a Kardashian sister.
While many analysts anticipated an increase in production from him, I don’t think anyone expected so much more from Moore (sorry, I couldn’t resist). The University of Toledo grad finished the day with 6 catches, 149 yards, 2 TDs, and a renewed fantasy value. It can certainly be said that Drew Brees likes to spread the ball around rather than committing to a single target. With Reggie Bush out for 4-6 weeks, however, I expect Moore to receive a good amount of attention from his fickle QB.
Bottom Line: For every week that Bush was out in 2008, Moore scored at least one TD. Assuming history does indeed repeat itself, look for Moore to be a solid replacement for the Saints and a sweet addition to your fantasy roster as well.
The Show: Louis Murphy
There are a few unspoken rules in fantasy football. Never drafting an Oakland Raider is one of them. Louis Murphy, however, may be the exception to that otherwise well intended rule. Taken by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, Murphy was buried by a lackluster offense lead by the fraudulent JaMarcus Russell. After back-up QB Bruce Gradkowski took the helm, however, Murphy showed signs of life. In fact, he scored three times in the 4 weeks that Gradkowski started.
That same chemistry seems to be flourishing in the 2010 season. With Campbell riding the pine and Gradkowski under center, Murphy is emerging as the Raiders best receiver. Yeah, I know… that’s nothing to be excited about. Yet in the Raiders Week 2 win over the Rams, Murphy had 6 receptions for 91 yards and a TD. This past week against the Cardinals, he had 5 catches for 119 yards. Granted those aren’t WR1 numbers… and while right now Murphy isn’t more than a bye week option, if this happens again he could very well achieve WR2 status.
Bottom Line: This week the Raiders will face the Texans and their Swiss-cheese-like pass defense at home. It’s a great match-up for the 6′ 2″/200lb receiver. Expect his numbers to stay consistent along with Gradkowski’s start.
To Let Go: Bernard Berrian
This one really hurts my heart. I had high hopes that BTwice would show up in place of Sid Rice. Sadly, however, the only positive thing that’s come from the substitution was my joy in rhyming Twice and Rice. Surely that wasn’t enough for Viking fans, fellow Berrian believers, or even my readers.
In the past three weeks, Berrian has caught a total of 5 receptions for an ineffectual 38 yards. If ever the “Silent Assassin” had an opportunity to make some noise, it was in last week’s game against the Lions. Favre targeted the former Chicago Bear 6 times – including once in the end zone – to virtually no avail. With the veteran QB already lacking trust in his receiving core, I can’t imagine that Berrian’s numbers will go up.
Bottom Line: The Vikings have a bye this coming week (which is great for Shiancoe owners since he’ll be able to rest his hammy), making now an ideal time to break up with BTwice once and for all.