Week 4 Fantasy Football Projections: Stars Who Will Struggle

Jessica MarieCorrespondent IISeptember 24, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16:   Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on September 16, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

It's never too early to start thinking about who's starting and who's sitting next week.

And Week 4's defensive matchups don't favor some of the league's premiere running backs, so beware.

Here's a look at which backfield superstars might need to take a seat for next week's action. 


RB Chris Johnson (Tennessee)
vs. Houston

At this point, the prospect of Chris Johnson struggling isn't news to anyone. But when you're coming up against one of the top defenses in the NFL, it's even more likely that the slumping running back will encounter more trouble.

Granted, Johnson isn't the only problem with the Titans' offense, which is something he fully recognizes. Last week, a frustrated Johnson told the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt and John Glennon:

People need to step up and do their job. They don’t need to let people beat them. It don’t matter who the opposing defense is, you can’t let your guy beat you. You just can’t give up plays. You have to make plays like they make plays. I can’t speak for the defense. I can only speak for the offense.

In the offense's defense, though, by the time Week 4 ends, it will have faced three of the five best defenses in the league. Even if Johnson and his comrades do struggle again against the Texans, perhaps it will be all uphill from there. 


Michael Bush (Chicago)
vs. Dallas

You never know what version of the Cowboys you're going to get in any given week—it could be the version that held off the Giants in Week 1, or it could be the version that allowed 27 points to Seattle in Week 2.

But when the Bears visit the Cowboys for Monday Night Football next week, Bush isn't going to be able to tear apart a rush defense that ranks among the top 10 in the league. 

In the Bears' big Week 1 win over Indianapolis, Bush got 12 carries for just 42 yards; the next time out, in a loss to the Packers, he got 14 carries for 54 yards. He clearly hasn't exploded for any truly significant production yet, and that isn't likely to change against the Cowboys.  


RB Andre Brown (NY Giants)
vs. Philadelphia

There haven't been a lot of negatives to Brown's game thus far; he's gone far above and beyond the call of duty for the Giants. An injury to Ahmad Bradshaw pushed him into the spotlight in Week 2, and he came up huge in New York's slim victory over the Buccaneers, rushing for the game-tying two-point conversion and the game-winning touchdown.

Anyone who was expecting a dropoff in his ensuing start against Carolina was in for a surprise. In the Giants' 36-7 win just four days later, he rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

But the Eagles' defense has been surprisingly solid this season, and a running back who's only been a first-stringer for a week could run into problems there, especially now that the pressure is building for him to put up huge numbers every time out.