Without further adieu...Week 4's Studs and Duds.
Stud of the Week: Paxton Lynch
Next week, Ice Kube will face a tough decision: Siemian or Lynch? Conventional wisdom says to start Siemian, and I think he's definitely the better player. But with Kubiak, you never know. This decision will affect both player's futures: one will stay in Denver, and one will choose to leave in the next few years.
Dud of the Week: New England Patriots
Their matchup against the Bills was slated to be a landslide-a mediocre team playing the most yada-yada'd up squad in the league. But the Pats had nothing. They collapsed like a-well, like a deflated football.
But I do think they will enjoy a brief return to glory. It will last exactly one week, where Tom Brady will return to blow out the Browns. Then, they will be embarrassed by the Bengals and the Steelers, making their record at the end of Week 7 4-3, while the Broncos, Vikes, and Eagles look down on them with perfect records. They'll end up missing the playoffs, with a final record of 8-8 and victories against the Cardinals, Dolphins (twice), Jets (twice), Texans, 49ers, and Browns.
Get used to your dud team, Bill Belichick.
Stud: Matt Ryan
Yet, here we are. The Falcons are 3-1, far ahead of rivals Tampa Bay, Carolina, and New Orleans. Matt Ryan is the top-scoring player in fantasy football and a strong MVP candidate.
Now for predictions. Yes, the Falcons will win their division. Yes, Matt Ryan will be declared the MVP. And yes, due in no small part to the Falcons, the Panthers will miss the playoffs.
P.S.: Look at this guy for future Hall of fame candidacy. If Terrell Owens can get in, Matt Ryan should.
Dud: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
But, I do think the tides will turn for them. They'll be in contention for a Wild Card spot, but will pose no threat to the mighty Falcons. They have a great young QB and a reliable tight end, not to mention a superior defense. If we simply ignore the Denver and Arizona games, things are looking up for this team.
Stud: Los Angeles Rams
They're doing this with Case Keenum. Jared Goff, even though he's probably not ready to start yet, has a ton of talent. The Rams won't make the Super Bowl this year, but when Goff gets ready to play...look out. (And it doesn't hurt that they get to play the San Francisco Boppy Balloons twice a year.)
Side note: Some NFL fans frequently refer to the Colts as "Baltimore." It looks like I'll be calling LA "St. Louis" all my life. If I had a nickel for every time I've already called them that, I'd have to go by Luke Gates.