Week 4 has arrived, ushering in the beginning of bye weeks from now until Week 13. For the next nine weeks, fantasy owners must contend with depleted rosters, challenging their depth and management on a regular basis.
Some weeks, like Week 5 (only the Raiders and Dolphins are off after their Week 4 game in London) aren’t so bad. Others are much worse, and this week is one of the worst of the season. Denver, Cincinnati, Arizona, Seattle, St. Louis and Cleveland all sit this week. By my count, those six teams give the fantasy community two every-week starting quarterbacks, five running backs, six wide receivers and two tight ends. Throw in flex possibilities and fringe starting or matchup options like Andy Dalton, Wes Welker, Jeremy Hill, Carson Palmer, Brian Quick, Ben Tate and Terrance West, and you’re looking at 22 players who are candidates to start every single week in typical leagues. This is a week that will truly test your mettle as a fantasy owner.
On bye this week: Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks
Sports loves a good storybook ending — to a season, a series, a career — and there was instant classic storybook ending last night in the Bronx.
The defending champion Seahawks held off a much more competitive Broncos team in the Super Bowl rematch last week, but heading into Week Four neither team is undefeated. The teams without a loss? Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Arizona. And though it’s still early in the year, injuries are already hitting teams hard and providing some rookies, like Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater and Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles, a chance to shine.
It’s a big night in baseball. Postseason positioning is going on in the American League, there’s a tight race for the NL Central crown, and, oh yeah, Derek Jeter’s playing his last game at Yankee Stadium. (That is, if it doesn’t get washed out — it’s currently raining cats and dogs in NYC.)
Jeter will still have three games left on the schedule — in Boston, at Fenway, naturally — but he when he takes his last at bat he won’t be the only one leaving the game.
His bat is retiring, too.
While there were fewer injuries in Week 3, plenty of news around the NFL will still impact the fantasy football waiver wires this week. Not only did some new starters make an impact, but several teams are on a bye week, which means pickings will be slim.
The NHL season is just around the corner (teams are already playing pre-season games!), which means it’s time for teams to show off some new units. The Pittsburgh Penguins did that last week when they debuted their retro third jersey. And yesterday, the Washington Capitals revealed what they will be wearing when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic.
The Caps will host the Hawks in the annual outdoor game at Nationals Park on New Year’s Day. When they hit the ice, they’ll do it in new sweaters that look pretty old — older than the franchise itself.
Mike Lupica. Almost immediately, the name rings a bell. That’s probably because he’s one of the most well known sports journalists in the country. Lupic is a sports columnist for The New York Daily News, has a show on ESPN radio, and is a commentator on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters, which is televised nationally.
But he’s also a great YA author who writes books for middle school readers. His latest book is Fantasy League, which is about… Well, let the author himself tell you the plot:
SI Kids recently spoke to Lupica about Fantasy League, working as both a journalist and an author, and his experience with fantasy football.