Fantasy Football Week 4: Lions, Seahawks put on show in 12-touchdown, 93-point game

There’s a lot of stress in the ordinary week of a fantasy football manager. There are injuries and bye weeks and bad weather and surprise inactives and coaching whims and officiating mistakes. The ball bounces funny for all of us.

But sometimes you just have to focus on what makes you happy. And no one wants to make you fantasy happy in 2022 like the Detroit Lions.

We're always on the lookout for a fantasy carnival, and this Detroit outfit might be a legendary one. The Lions lead the NFL in points scored and points allowed, which is a pretty nifty trick. And Seattle's wild 48-45 win at Detroit on Sunday hit every high note for our fantasy quest.

It didn’t matter that the game was piloted by one ostensibly average quarterback (Jared Goff) and one legitimate journeyman (Geno Smith). It didn’t matter that Detroit was missing three key cogs from its offense, stars Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift, plus solid veteran D.J. Chark. It didn’t matter that Seattle played two low-scoring games to open the season, before letting its hair down a bit last week.

Sunday at Ford Field, the teams combined for 93 points, 1,075 yards of offense, and 12 touchdowns. The Lions punted just twice, the Seahawks never did. The pinball arcade never closes. The points keep rolling in.

Astoundingly, every logical play in this game came home. All the main Seahawks answered the bell: Rashaad Penny ran for 151 yards and two scores, D.K. Metcalf (7-149-0) and Tyler Lockett (6-91-0) were liberally used, even tight ends Will Dissly and Noah Fant scored touchdowns. Smith finished with 320 passing yards and three total touchdowns (two air, one ground).

The Lions offense smashed even without its missing stars. Jamaal Williams was about as obvious a play as it gets — he’s fantasy-playable even when Swift is active — and he collected 108 rushing yards and two scores. T.J. Hockenson finally rallied off a slow start, binging for eight catches, 179 yards, two scores, even a conversion catch. In the great tight end drought of 2022, we love to see it. And if you had the gumption to try Josh Reynolds as a fill-in receiver, he did just fine: 7-81-1.

At the beginning of the year, we pitched Goff as a possible streamer QB or a good idea in Superflex. But maybe he’s legitimately inside the QB1 cutline, given how fun his offense is and how lousy the Lions defense is. Goff racked up 378 yards and four touchdowns in catchup mode, along with a pair of two-pointers (one run, one pass). The Lions are unlikely to challenge for a playoff spot, but it’s not Goff’s fault.

It’s a good reminder that in fantasy football, the names don’t matter. We just want the numbers.

On a day where Buffalo at Baltimore was billed as the fantasy buffet, Goff and Smith stole the show. They're currently ranked first and second, respectively, on the QB board (Josh Allen is third). There are plenty of surprise Top 10 finishes as we hit dinnertime on the east coast — Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson, Matt Ryan, and Cooper Rush have crashed the party. Jones and Wilson got there largely through their willingness to run.

Penny currently sits No. 3 among running backs, Williams No. 4. And maybe we're burying the lead — Hockenson is currently the No. 1 scorer in all of fantasy football for Week 4. Welcome to the party, pal. In total, the game accounted for four of the top six scorers as of this writing.

The sustainability of Detroit’s carnival will be tested in upcoming weeks. Detroit gets New England in Week 5, Dallas in Week 7, Miami in Week 8, and Green Bay in Week 9, along with a Week 6 bye. There isn’t a soft mark in that group, not on defense anyway. But maybe we should not sweat the matchups so much, just let Goff & Company cook.

The Seahawks travel to New Orleans next week, traditionally a tricky spot. After that, it’s the Cardinals, Chargers and Giants. It’s encouraging to see Penny taking over in this backfield — Kenneth Walker (8-29-0) was not effective in his return to Michigan. And while Smith is no one’s Pro Bowl candidate, we just want him to be good enough to keep the offense on schedule, and to be locked in on Metcalf and Lockett. Lately, that’s been the case.

Note: More Week 4 observations to come ...