It’s Week 4 and there were a number of eye-popping fantasy performances that we need to take notice of especially heading into placing waiver wire bids. Instead of just watching box scores, we had some of our Footballers Writing Staff do the watching for you. We took a look at Week’s 4 standouts: Nyheim Hines, Keke Coutee, Taywan Taylor, Vance McDonald, and Mitch Trubisky.
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Nyheim Hines- RB, Indianapolis Colts
We all thought he could make some PPR-noise this year in a confusing Colts backfield. Coming out of college, he was a speed merchant and former track star that could carve out a niche as a passing downs specialist. On Sunday, he saw 69% of the snaps which was way ahead of Jordan Wilkins‘ 34%, as the game script allowed him to be on the field as the Colts were playing catch-up in the 2nd half against the Texans. His 62 overall snaps were by far this most of the season. On film, it was clear that Luck almost telegraphed his desire to “dump off” to Hines on multiple occasions. He was the obvious preferred back in the 2-minute offense going into halftime.
For his first TD catch, Hines was lined up in the slot and ran a wheel route to the right corner. Luck trusted him enough (or was careless enough) to throw it up to the 5’8 rookie against Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu and he made a play on the ball for a TD. Hines also took a misdirection pitch from the slot and lined up out wide what I counted 9 times. We get it… he’s versatile. His 2nd TD was also against Mathieu as he simply beat him on an arrow route.
Hines will be typified as if he’s just another Darren Sprolesian scatback. While he obviously doesn’t have the size to run through tackles, he’s more of a Giovani Bernard than a Tarik Cohen in terms of size and ability. While he might never get the between-the-tackles work with Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins (and every other RB that is in this Indy rotation), he certainly will receive some carries on draws. He’s the back to own in this offense especially if you believe the Colts will be in huge shootouts but only in specific PPR formats. Do realize Robert Turbin returns this week to further muddle things. –Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
Mitch Trubisky- QB, Chicago Bears
Trubisky’s 6 TDs was an obvious explosion against arguably the worst defense in the league, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But going back and watching the tape, here’s how the 6 TDs transpired:
#1 A read-option play where Trubisky kept the ball and found Trey Burton for a 39-yard TD on blown coverage.
#2 A fade to Allen Robinson in the end zone for a 14-yard TD.
#3 A 9-yard pass TD to Tarik Cohen on an arrow route. LB Lavonte David gave a ton of cushion.
#4 Another assignment screwed up by Tampa Bay secondary and a 20-yard Josh Bellamy TD
#5 Taylor Gabriel gets a gimmicky 3-yard TD “flip pass” while having 2 QBs on the field.
#6 Gabriel again. He runs a simple drag and goes uncovered.
The point of analyzing these TDs is to see that Trubisky and Matt Nagy took advantage of what the defense gave them. The Bucs are giving up the most points in the league and their secondary isn’t even really considered a secondary. They’re more of a hollow exoskeleton rotting on the beach. This game could’ve easily been a 3-TD game and we wouldn’t be gushing as much. Tip your cap to him and notice there is some creativity to this offense. But at the end of the day, you shouldn’t be picking him up especially as the Bears go on bye. –Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
Taywan Taylor– WR, Tennessee Titans
Any time a player matches his previous season’s reception total in one game, you have to pay attention. That’s what second-year wide receiver, Taywan Taylor, did for the Titans in Week 4. Taylor reeled in 7 receptions for 77 yards on 9 targets and was a major part of the team’s come from behind win over the Eagles. Mariota found Taylor on a crucial 4th and 15 in overtime along the sideline during the game-winning drive.
Taylor has a legit opportunity to become Mariota’s #2 target behind Corey Davis moving forward. The thing that was obvious to me in reviewing Taylor’s tape was that the Titans are committed to using him and designed plays to get him involved. He was targeted in all areas of the field – deep down the middle, on a screen, a quick tap pass, and along the sidelines. I like the fact that he shows quickness with the ball in his hands but still demonstrates the ability to set up blockers downfield, something that will help his numbers with yards after the catch. He came back to the ball on his comeback routes, which will help him make some contested catches moving forward as he gains the trust of Mariota. -Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT)
Vance McDonald- TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
If you saw the box score, you weren’t super excited — five receptions for 62 yards and a fumble. And there was no mega stiff arm play this week. However, there was a play where he gained 5 more yards with defenders hanging all over him. Vance has proved that he’s going to be an integral part of this offense going forward.
Vance caught all five of his targets Sunday night against the Ravens. The fumble on Vance’s second catch was legitimately a good strip by Ravens’ safety Tony Jefferson, and I wouldn’t worry about fumblitis. The majority of his usage is going to be button-hook routes between the seams. The Steelers trust Vance to use his strength — he’s got lots of it — to earn yards after the catch. With five targets in each game since being active in Week 2, Vance appears to be a great TE option going forward. –Kent Weyrauch (@kentweyrauch)
Keke Coutee- WR, Houston Texans
Everyone will be racing to the wire to get the “Coutees” in Week 5 but what can we glean beyond the boxscore of 11 catches on 15 targets for 109 yards? That type of target share isn’t quite repeatable when we consider Will Fuller went down with an injury. However, he saw 69.4% of his routes in the slot and he’s getting some premium routes where Watson sees him as the first read. In the 1st quarter, he got a cheap “pop route” where Watson flipped him the ball as he came in motion. Check out this route where he shrugs off the bump from the Colts defender and isn’t moved off his route to pick up the 1st down.
His ability to find the soft spot in zones is exactly the piece this Texans offense needed. Seriously, who else has been able to take that role recently… Ryan Griffin? The passing pie of the Texans has basically been DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller and no-one else. Regardless of Fuller’s injury status, Coutee is going to be viable with his ability to run after the catch and work specifically in small windows. He’s being utilized exactly how he was at Texas Tech so this shouldn’t be a surprise. In this super small sample size, he reminds me most of a Jarvis Landry especially with the hands in tight quarters although Coutee is a bit thinner. There will be some down weeks if Watson is off but the volume in this offense is what we’re chasing in fantasy. –Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)