NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Friday’s NFL Baba Ghanoush: Josh Freeman, Frank Gore, Christian Ponder, and More 

Week 4 is already upon us and many teams are now dealing with trades, injuries, and media concerns. After a very lop-sided Thursday Night Football game last night between the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams in which we saw Colin Kaepernick silence his critics, there is now just two days before we kickoff another full week in the NFL.

Let’s dive in to some recent NFL news and see the fantasy football implications in this weeks NFL Baba Ghanoush:

Latest News

Josh Freeman is officially removed of his starting duties for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started the first 3 games with a 45% completion rating, 2 TDs to 3 INTs, and an 0-3 record. After his porous performance on the field and the lack of support in the locker-room, Schiano and staff had decided to move forward with rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.

Fantasy Implications: This move has a major impact for many fantasy players on the Bucs roster. Doug Martin’s stock will see a slight uptick. He already is the main man in Tampa, but now with an untested rookie taking helm, he will likely receive an increase in touches. I foresee this having a negative impact on both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams because Glennon will struggle to adjust to the speed on the NFL. Look for Tampa to be a roller coaster ride for most of your fantasy players.

Ahmad Bradshaw is officially ruled out for Week 4. After a very solid performance in Week 3 against a stout 49ers defense, Bradshaw missed an entire week of practice with a sore neck. He is officially ruled out which means that Trent Richardson will receive all the carries for the Colts.

Fantasy Implications: Bradshaw needs all the chances he can get to prove he still deserves opportunities in Indianapolis. When the Colts acquired Richardson last week it was up in the air as to how they would use him and Bradshaw. Now that Richardson will receive the bulk of carries it is likely that he will begin to overtake the duties moving forward. Tread softly with Bradshaw moving forward.

Frank Gore had a tremendous game against a lackluster Rams defense last night. In the three games prior to last night Gore had rushed a little over 150 yards. In last nights performance he ran for 153 and a TD. After an outspoken week by Gore where he voiced his concerns about the 49ers offense, he received 20 carries and was hands down the focal point of the offense.

Fantasy Implications: I would not read too much into this performance. Gore had a great game but this was against a Rams defense that was thrashed by DeMarco Murray a week prior. Look for Gore to continue being a middle of the pack running back in a 49ers offense that has been less than spectacular so far this season.

Rob Gronkowski is not expected to play in Week 4. The Patriots are undefeated coming into this week. Going against the Atlanta Falcons, this is destined to be a shootout. It would be great to see Gronkowski suited up, but the Patriots are going to take it slow with one of their biggest threats.

Fantasy Implications: With Gronk still sidelined and Amendola also expected to miss, it looks like Edelman and Thompkins will still be a decent start this week. The Patriots offense has been quite different this year and as soon as Brady gets his two weapons back they will be flying again.

Christian Ponder is out this week with a rib injury. Matt Cassel will get the start against the Steelers. This has potential to start waves in Minnesota, as many of the fans have been waiting for a move like this. Cassel has proved that he is not exactly starting caliber in the NFL, but Ponder has not exactly looked the part either.

Fantasy Implications: Matt Cassel should not be on anyone’s radar for Fantasy in a sub-par offense. Adrian Peterson will continue to be the focal point of this offense and look for Cassel  to check down to Kyle Rudolph on most of his passing attempts. This is really a non-story for anything other than Minnesota fans.

You Better Start Me:

Dez Bryant: Going against one of the worst passing defenses in the league, the Cowboys will look to feed Dez Bryant early in often. Miles Austin is once again nursing an injury and Romo’s only other trusted option is Jason Witten. Look for Romo to find Dez in a game that I expect to be high scoring. I predict a stat line of 100 yards and 2 TDs for Dez Bryant.

You Better Stay Away:

Larry Fitzgerald: Usually I would never tell you be careful with Fitzgerald. However, going against the secondary for the Bucs, he will likely be blanketed most of the day. I would be very cautious with playing Fitz especially if you have depth at the position.

About the author: Derek Miller

Derek Miller is an new fantasy football writer at NFLSoup and regrettable Cowboys fan. You can read his blog at or follow him on twitter @ItIsMillerTime.

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