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The Top 10: Week 4

Matt Waldman's weekly film notebook includes the rise of Joe Mixon, two preemptive pick alerts, running back soap operas, and fresh fish. 

A Few quick thoughts

This Top 10 could have been the Top 12 or Top 15. One storyline that will be elevated to this week's Gut Check column is Jared Goff's continued development. If you're a weekly reader of this column since its 2016 inception, then you know I preached patience on Goff while noting the odds stacked against him due to the severe impatience of organizations that succumb to public pressure often generated by a social media-fueled football media that seeks to titillate more than educate. 

Goff hasn't arrived, but he has proven that his surrounding talent and coaching staff were massive anchors that weighed-down his rookie performance. I'll offer more analysis and updated fantasy recommendations on the Rams offense on Wednesday. 

Other stories that could have made the cut include DeMarco Murray remaining the man in Tennessee's ground game. Cincinnati edge rush Carl Lawson's 3.5 sacks of Aaron Rodgers and my failure to add Chris Thompson as a preemptive addition to your rosters last week despite having him in my notebook listed under "preemptive picks to mention." 

Quick thoughts on those three late cuts: 

  • When media and fantasy analysts tell you that a player looks old, it's a 70/30 proposition that they are projecting bias for athletic ability and against subtle skills that they cannot articulate. Derrick Henry is a fine player and if Murray gets hurt, Henry should easily become a fantasy RB1. Even with Murray still the man, Henry may earn low-end RB2 production as Kevin Mack to Murray's Earnest Byner is this throwback Tennessee offense powered by maulers like Tyler Lewan. Don't get sucked in by the "old" talk. I could name 20 guys during the past 5 years who were saddled with the "old" label well before their production left them. 
  • Lawson is one of the most entertaining young edge rushers I've seen this summer. Although the Packers left tackle was an injury sub, Lawson's accuracy with his hand placement to gain leverage on his opponent was spectacular on Sunday. Lawson's technique and motor versus Aaron Rodgers pocket presence were one of the best "games within the game" of Week 3's contests. 
  • My apologies for neglecting to mention Thompson last week as a preemptive pickup. Fortunately, most of you read our Upgrades, Downgrades, Waiver Wire feature and found him there. Thompson was a dynasty stash of mine in multiple leagues, but I lost my patience or couldn't justify making room for him. With Washington clamoring for the more refined, but oft-injured Josh Doctson and without Josh Reed, Thompson becomes a viable every-week flex with starter upside. 

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