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NFL Fantasy Football: Start 'Em/Sit 'Em - Week Four

Week four NFL match-ups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team.

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As if watching the Redskins get obliterated by the Giants wasn't bad enough!  Much like week one, my three teams again went a combined 1-2 for the week.  I have two 1-2 teams and one 3-0 team (5-4 combined).  My 3-0 team is in a 14-team PPR league (our Hogs Haven writers league).  Maybe it's the large number of teams in the league?  Maybe it's the fact that it's PPR?  Maybe it's early and my other teams just haven't caught up, yet.  I'll go with that.

In my 12-team standard league, I had Cam Newton and not much else.  Marshawn Lynch let me down big time and I just happened to be going against a guy who just happened to start the Cardinals defense and Stephen Gostkowski.  There's no worse feeling than losing because of a defense and a kicker.

The Hogs Haven league has been wonderful, thanks in large part to Julio Jones, A.J. Green, and Julian Edelman.  All three have been absolute studs, especially in PPR.  When you consider that I have Cam Newton on that team too, 3-0 looks like it makes sense.  Those guys plus the Philly defense and Delanie Walker helped push me to the highest score in the league so far this year.  My opponent had a pretty good game with Jamal Charles leading the way, but it didn't much matter.  I have a significant advantage in the points total... as you could probably imagine.

My 10-team standard league saw me lose in big part because of Alfred Morris and the Dolphins defense.  I was close with A.J. Green and Adrian Peterson, but they weren't enough to keep up with Cam Newton, Jamal Charles, Larry Fitzgerald, and Greg Olsen.  It was a good fight against the best team in the league so far and I'm a lot like the Redskins right now... the best 1-2 team in the league and looking to get back to .500 this week.

I apologize again for my late article last week.  Let's see if there was anything worthwhile in there:

  • Pretty much nailed the Cam Newton pick.  The guy owned New Orleans and justified his spot as one of the best fantasy QBs... even without Kelvin Benjamin.  As long as they keep running him and he keeps having opportunities for rushing TDs, he's a strong play.
  • Of course, I told y'all Brandon Weeden was going to be garbage and he was.  No one should have been surprised.
  • Matt Stafford, too.
  • Derek Carr continues to surprise, though.  I was wrong about him last week.  Maybe he's for real?  314 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs is a good play every time.
  • Latavius Murray worked out pretty well... as expected.  Has Oakland turned a corner?  Is that arrow pointing up?
  • Surely you didn't listen when I told you to start Justin Forsett and Jonathan Stewart, though.  That would have been stupid...
  • I told y'all the Bills defense is for real (and that Lamar Miller isn't).
  • Brandon Marshall proved me right.  He is keeping that Jets offense afloat right now and you knew they'd need him against the Eagles.
  • Brandin Cooks surprised in Drew Brees absence.
  • Torrey Smith got the Patrick Peterson treatment.  Saw that one coming.
  • If you're a Redskins fan and you didn't listen to me when I said to sit Hankerson, shame on you.
  • There's Jimmy Graham!
  • I was wrong about Bennett and Eifert, though.
  • Coby Fleener, too.

Enough with last week.  I'm putting my fantasy record and the Redskins-Giants debacle behind me.  It's a new week!  Bring on Joaquin!


Start 'Em

Cam Newton, CAR (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Easy to like Cam again this week.  If he keeps up this great play, I may have to stop including him in this article because he'll be so obvious.  He's been on point these past couple weeks in a big way.  He always does well against the Bucs and they're not a very good defense, anyway.  250+ passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 50 rushing yards

Carson Palmer, AZ (vs St. Louis Rams) - Another guy who might be making his final appearance in this space.  Palmer and the Cardinals offense have been like a hurricane this year... unstoppable.  I know he's 35, but he seems more like 25.  The Rams defense is alright, but honestly, how can you bet against this guy right now considering what he's done this year?  275+ passing yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs

Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs New York Giants) - Bills fans must be thrilled.  Can you imagine how good it must feel to have a great QB after not having one for so long?  Taylor's been the best FA pickup of the year.  I tried to get him on waivers in one of my leagues this week and was fourth on the waiver-wire and couldn't.  He's hot right now.  I don't see the Giants stopping that.  They've been super generous to opposing QBs and Taylor's top five this year.  Start with confidence.  225+ passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 40 rushing yards

Sit 'Em

Matt Stafford, DET (@ Seattle Seahawks) - If you're still looking at Stafford as a good fantasy QB/viable starting option... get with the times.  It wasn't long ago you'd draft Stafford as a top five QB in fantasy and feel good about it.  Well not this year.  And playing at Seattle doesn't help matters one bit.  225 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Eli Manning, NYG (@ Buffalo Bills) - I wouldn't be real happy or confident about starting anyone in Buffalo this year.  Their defense is nasty.  And Eli can get very INT prone when the going gets tough.  I expect the going to get very tough.  275 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Sam Bradford, PHI (@ Washington Redskins) - Some people thought Bradford was going to be great this year in Philly.  He's perfect for that offense, they said.  The Eagles always score a ton, they said.  Chip Kelly is a genius, they said.  Well maybe they were wrong.  Bradford has been abysmal this year... as has the entire Eagle offense.  The Redskins defense is very good and their offense has kept opposing QBs off the field.  You want to start that guy in a hurricane?!  HAHAHA!  200 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Running Backs

Start 'Em

Arian Foster, HOU (@ Atlanta Falcons) - That's right.  Arian Foster is back!  Well, I think he'll be back, anyway.  While it's not 100% that he'll go this week, all signs point to Foster making his return.  The dude is a fantasy legend and the heart of the Texans (well, offensive heart).  You know they've just been waiting and waiting and waiting for him to come back.  Now it's time to do what they've wanted to do all along.  Garbage QB play = give it to Foster.  A garbage Atlanta defense that's generous to RBs = give it to Foster.  Trying to keep Julio Jones off the field = give it to Foster.  Remember you heard it hear first.  100 rushing yards, 1 TD, 40 receiving yards

Latavius Murray, OAK (@ Chicago Bears) - He's been solid all year for owners and the Bears might be the new team you always want to start your guys when they're playing against.  Some guy named Thomas Rawls got 100 yards against them last week...  100 rushing yards, 1 TD, 20 receiving yards

Mark Ingram, NO (vs Dallas Cowboys) - Mark Ingram has very quietly been very good all year.  Now they're playing at home and Drew Brees is back.  If he's been good on the road and without Drew Brees in the game, he'll keep being good now.  Oh, and the Cowboys got torched by Devonta Freeman last week.  Their run defense is suspect, at best.  70 rushing yards, 1 TD, 20 receiving yards

Sit 'Em

Lamar Miller, MIA (@ New York Jets) - This'll probably be the last time I tell you to sit this guy, too.  You should probably know by now.  He's not good.  That, coupled with the fact that they're in NY and the Jets have a very good defense, means he's a must-sit.  50 total yards

Ameer Abdullah, DET (@ Seattle Seahawks) - He's going to be a great player.  It's not going to start this week.  Still sharing time with Joique Bell, both of those guys have to play Seattle in Seattle.  Stay away.  50 total yards

Chris Johnson, AZ (vs St. Louis Rams) - It was a mirage.  Ellington's coming back and I just don't believe in 30-year-old Chris Johnson, especially against that DL.  50 total yards

Wide Receivers

Start' Em

Larry Fitzgerald, AZ (vs St. Louis Rams) - The offense is for real.  Palmer's old.  Fitz is old.  It apparently doesn't matter and I don't think the Rams are going to stop them.  85 yards and 1 TD

Mike Evans, TB (vs Carolina Panthers) - He's due for a monster game.  Call it a gut feeling.  100 yards and 1 TD

James Jones, GB (@ San Francisco 49ers) - It's so good to have Aaron Rodgers throwing you the ball.  Their chemistry has always been there.  He couldn't stick with Oakland as their WR1.  The Giants let him go for nothing.  But the guy is money in the bank with Aaron Rodgers.  It's crazy.  Everyone though DeVante Adams was going to be the guy.  They were all wrong.  Nothing... and I mean nothing can stop Aaron Rodgers from making James Jones a great fantasy play.  80 yards and 1 TD

Sit 'Em

Mike Wallace, MIN (@ Denver Broncos) - He's done.  He's just not good anymore.  Not sure why.  Plus, Teddy looked terrible last week, the Broncos defense is great, and Aqib Talib plays for them.  Mike Wallace from the Pittsburgh Steelers has left the building.  You can stop hoping.  30 yards

Terrance Williams, DAL (@ New Orleans Saints) - Is Brandon Weeden still their QB?  OK, then.  30 yards

Torrey Smith, SF (vs Green Bay Packers) - Opposing WRs have done terribly against the Packers this year and Kaepernick just threw 4 INTs last week in a game where Torrey Smith got blanked.  Ouch.  30 yards

Tight Ends

Start' Em

Jordan Reed, WAS (vs Philadelphia Eagles) - He gets targets.  I don't know what else to tell you.  Opportunity is everything and Kirk Cousins absolutely loves him.  In a game where weather could play a factor, the TE is the security blanket.  He's been on fire all year.  70+ yards

Eric Ebron, DET (@ Seattle Seahawks) - Stafford seems to really like throwing to him and you know the defense will be leaving other guys alone to focus on Calvin Johnson.  Also, the Seahawks are somehow not great against TEs for whatever reason.  70 yards

Charles Clay, BUF (vs New York Giants) - The Giants are one of the best fantasy match-ups an opposing TE can have in fantasy football.  Tyrod Taylor has been balling out and seems to have a very good connection with Clay.  60 yards and 1 TD

Sit 'Em

Zach Ertz, PHI (@ Washington Redskins) - Look at his stats this year.  Now look at Bradford's.  Now look at their entire offense's.  Now look at the Redskins defensive ranks.  Now look at the weather forecast.  Now put Ertz on your bench.  20 yards

Gary Barnidge, CLE (@ San Diego Chargers) - I am not a believer.  It's the Browns.  It's Josh McCown.  Barnidge is a 30-year old journeyman TE.  If he was as good as some are thinking right now, we'd have heard of him before.  10 yards

Heath Miller, PIT (vs Baltimore Ravens) - He's been great this year, but now Big Ben is gone.  Miller is coming off of a bad week and gets to go against a good, tough, Raven defense hungry for a win.  You can do better.  10 yards.

Please leave any fantasy related questions you might have in the comments section and I'll try to answer as many and as quickly as I can.  It's fun to get everyone's perspectives on this week's matchups floating around down there and I'm always interested to see what kind of decisions different fantasy players have to make.  These are just general ideas for standard leagues, but we can all give and receive advice for unique situations as they come up.