The Wolf vs. The World: Week 4 Roto Street Journal Report Card

After a rough Week 3, The Wolf had a huge Week 4.

After a horrible beating last week, The Wolf of Roto Street attempted to rebound in Week 4 to set things right, regain the confidence of his adoring public, and bring order back to the chaotic fantasy world.  In his most important week of the year thus far, The Wolf won big—we hope you didn’t bail after a bumpy Week 3.

I decided to measure the Wolf’s success this week based on a couple of things:

  • Players that The Wolf and The ECR (experts’ consensus rankings) differed significantly on, and
  • Specific players the Wolf recommended (or hated) on the podcast last week

Let’s get down to business.

*** These scoring rankings for the week reflect a half point PPR scoring system and do NOT include the results on the Monday night game between Washington and Kansas City.

RANKINGS WARS

Quarterbacks 

Dak Prescott:  The Wolf (10), ECR (6)   Actual ranking (7)     ADVANTAGE: EXPERTS 

While it looks like The Wolf and the experts just about split the difference with Prescott, the experts actually won this one fairly clearly.  The fact is that although Prescott’s weekly ranking ended being almost right in the middle of the respective predictions of our contestants, that ranking is misleading for fantasy purposes.  Deshaun Watson, Andy Dalton, Eli Manning, and Cam Newton all outscored Prescott—quarterbacks almost no one was suggesting would appear so high on the list.  If you take those guys out (who nobody was starting over Dak if they had the choice), Prescott comes in at 3rd, giving the experts a clear cut win on this one over the Wolf.

 

Deshaun Watson: The Wolf (13), ECR (19)    Actual ranking (1)      ADVANTAGE: WOLF 

Just in case you think I’m cherry picking on this, the difference between the Wolf’s ranking of Watson and the ECR’s ranking of him was the largest disparity within the Wolf’s top 20 going into the week.  Whereas the Wolf ranked Watson as a borderline starter, the ECR had him decidedly outside of any reasonable starting spot—and that’s why the Wolf wins this one going away.  To say Watson had a massive fantasy day would be selling it way short, of course.  You have to imagine an awful lot of experts will have Watson a lot higher on their boards in Week 5.  Listen to them if you want, just remember that the Wolf beat them all to the punch.

As an aside, the Wolf also advised a player who submitted a question to the mailbag to play Watson OVER Derek Carr.  It is safe to say he was proven correct on that.

Running Backs

Jacquizz Rodgers: The Wolf (22), ECR (31)  Actual ranking (25)     ADVANTAGE: WOLF 

At face value it looks like the Wolf won this showdown based just on the rankings, but if you examine it closer (using the same logic I used to give the experts the clear nod on Dak Prescott), the Wolf actually won this one huge.  Rodgers sits at RB25 as we go into the Monday night game, but who actually finished ahead of him?  I’m glad you asked.  Household names like Elijah McGuire, JD McKissic, Austin Ekeler, and Wayne Gallman (no I didn’t make any of those guys up—they all play in the NFL) all posted numbers above Rodgers in Week 4.  You eliminate those guys, who no one started, and all of a sudden Rodgers is 21st.  Then eliminate guys who you may have heard of but weren’t playing above Rodgers like Wendell Smallwood, Legarette Blount, Giovanni Bernard, Andre Ellington, and Alvin Kamara, and you see why this was such a blow out win for the Wolf.  If you started Rodgers as your RB2 (which the experts were against based on their ranking), you likely outperformed your opponent at that position.  Thank you, Wolf.

Wide Receivers

Mike Evans: The Wolf (4), ECR (7), Actual Ranking (8)          ADVANTAGE: WOLF 

While Evans’s actual ranking for the week is certainly closer to what the experts predicted, this was a runaway victory for the Wolf.  Remember, when predicting a rank for a player, you are essentially ranking him relative to the other guys who would tend to be around him on any of these lists.  If someone comes out of nowhere and puts up lights out numbers, that’s a cool data point moving forward, but since almost nobody benefited from the production or had that player sky high on their list, you throw them out when you try to assess how someone did with their predictions after the fact.  Devin Funchess, Will Fuller (the 5th), and Tyrell Williams all had monster games and outperformed Evans.  Well, throw them out and Evans shoots up to 5th.  The only players ranked ahead of Evans by the ECR who in fact outperformed Evans were Jordy Nelson and Mike Thomas—that puts him closer to 3rd relative to the other huge name guys, which makes the Wolf’s victory on this one an easy call.

Deandre Hopkins: The Wolf (8), ECR (12), Actual Ranking (2)     ADVANTAGE: WOLF

This one doesn’t really need much clarification.  The Wolf won it huge.  Moving forward, it would seem hard to me to rank Hopkins outside of the top 10.  He has a competent quarterback who seems to understand the key to success if you play for the Texans: thrown Hopkins the ball almost every play.  That adds up to huge fantasy numbers, and I think Hopkins keeps cleaning up.

Brandin Cooks: The Wolf (13), ECR (9), Actual Ranking (55)     ADVANTAGE: WOLF 

It’s hard to give the Wolf too much credit here over the experts, since they both obviously thought Cooks was a clear starter if you had him, HOWEVER… if you found yourself in a situation where you were loaded in a 2 receiver league (which does happen), the Wolf’s advice may have saved you some heartache.  Just to give one example, we got an email asking us who to bench between Mike Thomas, Stefon Diggs, and Cooks this week in a full PPR league, and the Wolf said to bench Cooks.  If you listened to him on that, you saved yourself a lot of points by doing so.

Sammy Watkins: The Wolf (16), ECR (23), Actual Ranking (about 100)   ADVANTAGE: EXPERTS 

OK, OK.  The Wolf got out ahead of himself on Sammy Watkins, which ends his streak of beating the experts’ brains in.  We admit it, if you had started Michael Campanaro you’d have been better served.  But man it’s tough to argue with the Wolf’s logic, right?  The Rams put up 35 points on the Cowboys—you’d think their WR1 would be a part of the equation—but no, they decided to give him the day off.

Tight Ends 

Cameron Brate: The Wolf (10), ECR (15), Actual Ranking (2)       ADVANTAGE: WOLF 

This was another clear cut win for the Wolf, similar to the Deandre Hopkins pick.  Look at it this way: since you only start one tight end, if you played in a 10, 12, or 14 team league, the Wolf said you should start Brate.  The experts said you shouldn’t.  If you started him, you got a huge payoff.  End of story.

The Wolf beat the experts 6-2 in this part of the ongoing competition. 

 

PODCAST PICKS

The Wolf HATES Derek Carr and Ben Roethlisberger

I mean, what can I say about this one?  Big Ben ended up QB18, and Derek Carr ended up QB24.  He was right to hate them both.

Leveon Bell hasn’t done anything yet to deserve such a high ranking 

Well, the Wolf ranked Bell 5th overall, so it’s not like he would have suggested not starting him.  But Bell finishing as the RB1 for the week in fantasy will probably go a long way as far as shutting us up for a while and reminding us not to doubt guys who are established fantasy monsters.

This could be the week Joe Mixon breaks out and becomes the Bengals’ RB1

I’m not sure what to say about this one.  On one hand, Mixon’s production was totally underwhelming—he ran for 29 yards and received for maybe 20.  On the other hand, he got over 20 total touches (17 on the ground and 4 in the air) so it is possible the Bengals made a real statement here by trying to establish Mixon as their go to RB.  It is certainly discouraging that the Bengals won in such convincing fashion and Mixon was not a real contributing factor, I admit.  At the end of the day, Mixon’s production was lousy but his usage was excellent.  I don’t know how to score this one.

Likes Jacquizz Rodgers a lot more than the experts

We talked about this one earlier.  The Wolf was right, the experts were wrong.

The Wolf liked Chris Johnson against the 49ers, ranking him 10 spots higher than the ECR 

Johnson got 16 touches, which is respectable, but he didn’t do much at all to impress anyone.  With that said, the Wolf’s ranking of Johnson was proven to be far superior to that of the experts, actually finishing slightly above his 29th place ranking once the out-of-the-blue backs like Fozzy Whitaker, Rhett Ellison, Aaron Jones, and others were removed from the equation.

The Wolf LOVED Odell Beckham Jr, expecting him to feast on the Bucs’ secondary 

Not exactly.  The Wolf ranked OBJ 1st, whereas the experts had him 3rd—so everyone was expecting big things.  At the end of the day, I just don’t trust anyone attached to Eli Manning.  I know OBJ is a great talent, but the Giants are absolute garbage.  OBJ had a decent game—6 catches for 71 yards—but it was a far cry from the expectations the Wolf (and most others) had for him.

This could be the week Eric Decker finally emerges

Fuck Eric Decker and his 16 inch hog.  He sucks.  Everyone should hate-cut him ASAP.

Tyler Kroft is a great streamer pick and a steal at only $2600 on Draft Kings 

This rivals the Wolf’s Deshaun Watson pick as far as it being his pick of the week.  I admit it, I even kind of mocked him on the podcast when he suggested playing Kroft—but I am eating major crow today.  Tyler Kroft finished… wait for it… as the TE1 for week 4.  Are you kidding me?  How could anyone have known such a thing?  Sometimes I think the Wolf has a little Bran Stark in him.  Well played, sir.

Well, it was a huge bounce back week for everyone’s favorite Wolf.  It’s safe to say he got a lot of people a lot of fantasy points and is sitting comfortably back on the Iron Fantasy Throne once again.  A comfortable win on the rankings, a comfortable advantage on the podcast picks, and a win on mailbag advice as well (featured in a later article) should have all of you in the Wolf Pack sitting pretty as we head into Week 5.

Author

  • The Truth is the oldest (and wisest) member of the RSJ team. He loves reality TV, is skeptical of pass catching running backs, and thinks John Elway is the greatest quarterback of all time.

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