Critics of fantasy football will continue to chirp on Twitter, message boards, comment sections and at the bar. The one-trick ponies will go to the well time and time again with such classic retorts as:
"I don’t watch fake football. I watch real football."
But after reviewing this year’s Emmy nominees, award winners and America’s top trending shows, I thought we, including those fantasy critics, should all take inventory of the fictional main characters our society roots for, embraces and habitually sets their DVR (lineup) for each week:
• Dexter Morgan – a serial killer
• Walter White – a meth dealer
• Nicholas Brody – an American terrorist
• Don Draper – womanizer
• Tyrion Lannister – fighting for control of the mythical land of Westeros
• Bill Compton – vampire
• Sookie Stackhouse – fairy
Fantasy football owners are the weird ones. Right.
Week 4 Waiver Wire Targets
Ryan Broyles – Lions WR Ownership: 5 percent Analysis: The phrase “baptism by fire” is apt. The Lions were slowly working Broyles back into the offense following knee surgery. He’s only played 17 snaps in the first three games.
However, with the injury to Nate Burleson (broken arm), expect the 25-year-old slot receiver to see plenty of targets from Matthew Stafford the next two months. With secondaries draped all over Calvin Johnson, Burleson was targeted 23 times and led the team with 19 receptions through the first three games.
Broyles’ fantasy value increases in points-per-reception leagues.
Bilal Powell – Jets RB Ownership: 42 percent Analysis: The hopes of Chris Ivory breaking out as a fantasy stud seem to be a pipe dream after the running back’s latest hamstring injury.
Powell joins Chris Johnson on my All-Costco team. The Jets’ running back may not find the end zone on a weekly basis, but the number of touches he receives warrants RB3 status.
Offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg is going to give Geno Smith every opportunity to chuck the ball around the yard, but the offense needs a balanced attack to provide Smith time in the pocket. That’s where Powell steps up with 15-20 carries (if not more) per game. With so many banged up RB1 and RB2, Powell will be a hot commodity on the wire this week.
Kenbrell Thompkins – Patriots WR Ownership: 39 percent Analysis: You can look at Thompkins’ two-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers a few ways:
1) It was once again inefficient as he only caught three passes on seven targets
2) Thompkins has only caught nine of the 28 passes thrown his direction this season
3) Tom Brady continues to look his direction despite the missed connections
4) Thompkins’ red zone threat diminishes once Rob Gronkowski returns
The fantasy perspective I take away is, Danny Amendola’s return is still up in the air. Julian Edelman can’t do it all. Gronkowski remains the Patriots’ top red zone threat, but how efficient will he be following major rehab. Thus, Thompkins, whether Brady likes it or not, is one of his top 3 options for the immediate future.
Also, give Gronk a game or two and the Patriots’ offense will become more balanced and provide Thompkins all the opportunity to shine as the team’s deep threat.
Heath Miller – Steelers TE Ownership: 15 percent Analysis: With so much fantasy production coming from tight ends this season, it’s hard to find a team with need at the position. However, during my Monday Night Fantasy Football Chat, an owner did start Fred Davis in Week 3 (Davis did not play – ankle).
Miller racked up over 800 receiving yards with eight touchdowns in 15 games last season. Considering the Steelers’ offensive line woes and the lack of time Ben Roethlisberger has to throw, his favorite check down and red zone target should be Miller again.
He was targeted a league-high 20 times inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, 14 times inside the 10, and nine times inside 5 last season.
It might take him a few weeks to get back to game speed, but Miller has plenty of value the rest of the season.
BYE Week Replacement: Denarius Moore vs. Washington (35.4 FP allowed to WR)
As always, waiver wire targets vary from team-to-team, league-to-league. If I can help you, let me know on Twitter @FOXSportsFowler.