I am highlighting the top 3 guys who I feel had a “freak show” performance this week.
In other words, these are the guys who exceed any and all projections that were made for them going into Week 4.
Most people consider these performances a “fluke”.
Brian Hartline, WR – Miami Dolphins
This guy is going to be hit or miss every single week and will never do the same thing two weeks in a row.
Hartline has been the No. 1 target for Ryan Tannehill since the season started. No one could project what Hartline pulled off on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, a top ranked defense thus far in 2012.
As I sat watching the Red Zone channel, I thought they were playing the same Hartline highlight over and over but I was wrong. Hartline went off! He racked up 12 receptions, 253 yards and he scored his first touchdown of the year.
Hartline broke a Miami Dolphins franchise record with that performance and actually shocked himself. When Hartline was asked about breaking the record after the game, he actually had to ask the reporter how many yards he got, when he was told how many yards he responded with, "Are you sh***ing me?"
Hartline will probably never have a game like this again in his life, but the important thing is Hartline is Tannehill’s favorite target and the Dolphins' Mo. 1 receiver – this guy is worth taking seriously from here on out and would be a solid No. 2 wide receiver in PPR leagues.
Michael Turner, RB – Atlanta Falcons
Many experts have given up on Michael Turner, saying is fat and slow, his time is done. Turner has struggled at times this year and has shared a lot of carries with Jacquizz Rodgers. It is tough to argue with the experts on this one as Turner has been less than impressive up until this past Sunday game against the Carolina Panthers.
Turner actually broke some tackles and really had a nice game, considering all the flack he gets from fantasy experts. Turner showed some flashes of speed and put up some pretty good fantasy football numbers; 13 carries for 103 yards and he also caught three passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Turner should still be considered a low-end No. 2 RB in all league formats. Turner will not repeat this performance again this year and will probably lose his starting position to Rodgers before the end of the season.
Chris Johnson, RB – Tennessee Titans
Ok, this may not be a huge freak show performance, but with the way Johnson has struggled to start the season, this game is kind of a big deal and exceeded expectations. Johnson has never been the same player since his hold out last year and very disappointing, average return.
Johnson was a high pick in most fantasy football drafts as everyone looked for the old Chris Johnson that was emerging as the best running back in the league in 2010. He has been nothing short of a huge disappointment and the target of a lot of bitter words and disgust by the fantasy owners that took a shot on him this year.
Sunday, Johnson finally came through and had a solid performance in a loss against the Houston Texans; he carried the ball 25 times for 141 yards and also had two receptions for 16 yards. Now, the big question is, is this a monkey off of his back and we will see more performances like this?
Or, was this simply a fluke for a guy that is playing well below expectations? I think he is still a solid No. 2 running back in all leagues and I think he will start to improve on a consistent basis, but he will never live up to all the hype or earn the chunk of change he got for holding out in 2011.