Fantasy Football Week 4: Who to Start and Sit

Korey Beckett@@KoreyBeckettBRContributor IIISeptember 29, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Antonio Gates #85 and Philip Rivers # 17 of the San Diego Chargers prepare to walk out onto the field against the Atlanta Falcons on September 23, 2012 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Typically this would be the point where I recap how last week went or tell you something going on in my life that is moderately exciting. This week, though, I'd like to change it up and pen a farewell letter to a certain former fantasy football stud, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates.



I can no longer consider you to be an elite fantasy football tight end. I can remember games where you would go over 20 points with the greatest of ease.

Now, I consider it a victory when you get more than five. That's not the way I want to live, Antonio. I know you probably feel the same way.

I have drafted you fairly early in the last two drafts and had to watch other guys like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham surpass you as the best. I still considered you to be in that upper echelon, though. One of the three or four tight ends I could trust to get double digits.

But alas, that is no longer.

Whenever you aren't injured, it seems like you are hardly even trying. I have never seen such lazy route-running. It seems that every time that Phillip Rivers throws the ball your way, it is intercepted by the opposing defense.

In the two games that you have played so far this season, you have four and two points, disrespectfully.


When Dante Rosario took your place while you were injured in Week 2, he had 22. Again, I'm sorry Antonio, but I can't take this any longer.

It's been a roller-coaster pair of seasons for us, but I have to end it.




Phew, now my mind is cleared. But just like any other relationship, it's time to move on. I think a little shameless self-promoting is now in order.

I get a lot of questions in the comment boxes below, but I can't get to all of them. So I created a Facebook page for my B/R profile where you can ask me fantasy football questions/write hate mail here. I will be on tomorrow morning to answer all of your last minute questions, so please don't hesitate.

Now on to the starts and sits for Week 4. By now you know the rules, two starts and sits for the offensive positions. I don't do kickers or defense and just as a reminder, I'm not saying you should have started Alex Smith over, say, Drew Brees last week, but instead of Phillip Rivers (who was in the sit column).

Good. Now that we've covered that, let's rock.



Start 'Em

Christian Ponder-Minnesota Vikings

Well, this is something I never thought I would say, but you should definitely play Christian Ponder if you don't have an "unbenchable" guy. Of course, he's not going to get another long touchdown scamper again this week, but there are options right now that could be a lot worse.

Ponder has quietly had a good fantasy season and has crept into 11th for all quarterbacks in scoring. Also, the Vikings take on the Lions this week, and they have had their struggles with holding opposing quarterbacks to minimal fantasy points.

He may just be a game-manager at this point in his career, which isn't exciting in the fantasy football world, but he does have a good red-zone target in Kyle Rudolph that is essential for a game-manager to boost his scoring.

Think about it: You don't get a lot of points if your QB does a good job of leading his team to a lot of field goal drives.

Expect a shootout in Detroit this Sunday, and after a big win against the 49ers, it seems that the Vikes actually stand a chance to win this game as well.

Josh Freeman-Tampa Bay Buccaneers


In the first three weeks of the season, the Redskins defense has given up three touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks.

In each game.

The lowest point total the Redskins have given up to a QB is 21 in the first week against Drew Brees.

Even Mohamed Sanu has a 73-yard passing touchdown against the Redskins. I don't expect Freeman to do any worse than Andy Dalton or Sam Bradford did.

Being a Redskins writer, it pains me to include the quarterback they are going against in the 'Start' column each week, but until they can prove that they are able to even marginally contain one, I am forced to do it.

Sit 'Em

Tony Romo-Dallas Cowboys

As bad as it feels to include a Redskins opponent in the 'Start' category, it feels good to include Tony Romo in the 'Sit'.

Romo has gotten worse with each week in this season, and now he will have to go against the Bears, who have given up the fewest points to quarterbacks so far this season.

It is a big Monday night game so the chances are that if he doesn't struggle, he is going to blow up. I'm taking a chance here, but I think it will be the former instead of the latter.


Cam Newton-Carolina Panthers

What a strange column this is turning out to be. First I advise you to start Christian Ponder, and then tell you to sit Cam Newton.

Trust me on this one, though. Cam Newton doesn't seem like he has a handle on his team. Once you lose that handle, it's hard to get it back.

So let the drama begin as the Panthers take on the Atlanta defense, which is ranked second (behind the Bears, wouldn't you know it?) against quarterbacks.

He's still going to get his points on the ground, but there are going to be some turnovers again this week. I just don't like this matchup at all, and the mental makeup seems to have been rustled.

Running Backs

Start 'Em

Cedric Benson-Green Bay Packers

After two decent games in a row fantasy-wise, an angry Green Bay team is playing New Orleans at home. This has butt-whoopin' written all over it.

The Saints defense looks downright awful so far, and have given up the most points to running backs. I smell a big day for Benson, possibly even a huge day.


So far the Saints have given up Alfred Morris (25), the Panthers RB tandem (34) and Jamaal Charles (438, I think). While Benson may not get that ridiculously large Charles-like day, he should be right around the 20-25 mark.

Doug Martin-Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's only so much I can say about the Redskins defense being pathetic. Please don't make me do it anymore.

Sit 'Em

Reggie Bush-Miami Dolphins

I never like playing a running back that has missed practices and is listed as questionable. This is no exception, as Bush may or may not play this week.

Even if he does, it will be a struggle as they take on the Cardinals, who all of a sudden decided that they want to play great defense.

He did have that great game against Oakland where he went over 30 points, but has just been ho-hum in the other two games. Don't start him this week unless you don't have any other running backs, or you laugh in the face of injuries.

Chris Johnson-Tennessee Titans


I'm going to keep putting him in here just to spite all of the people that have ragged on me for putting him in here the previous two weeks.

I don't care what he did in 2009, he's in the Antonio Gates "Dead to Me" category. You don't start the 51st-ranked running back on your fantasy team unless he missed some major time due to injury and is now coming back.

If you took my advice a couple of weeks ago and traded him, I'm proud of you. If you still think he's going to bounce back and ignored my advice, have fun this week.

Wide Receivers

Start 'Em

Vincent Jackson-Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Redskins defense.

Jordy Nelson-Green Bay Packers

Saints defense.

Sit 'Em


Steve Smith-Carolina Panthers

Smith is the guy that started the Panthers drama when he criticized Newton, and I'm sure Cam hasn't forgotten about it.

He has the yards to be a top fantasy receiver, but he just hasn't gotten into the end zone. With all of the drama in Charlotte, it may seem like Newton wants to keep it that way and take the ball in himself. It won't matter though, because they play Atlanta and they may not score at all.

Brandon Marshall-Chicago Bears

I just can't figure this guy out. Before the season, I picked him to be a top-five fantasy receiver. After the first week, it looked like I was going to be right.

Then the next week he was awful against Green Bay and just so-so last week against St. Louis. Now against the Cowboys (best fantasy defense against WRs), I just don't see a big game happening for him.

The targets are going to be there, but with no one else for opposing defenses to worry about, I am concerned about how much coverage he is taking up. Also, Jay Cutler can't even get a pass off with that offensive line struggling the way it has been.

Tight Ends


Start 'Em

Martellus Bennett-New York Giants

You have to start him at this point; he has a touchdown and has eclipsed double-digit points in each week of the season.

The Eagles rank sixth in the league against tight ends, but the options at tight end are thin, and he's still going to be used heavily in the Giants offense.

Owen Daniels-Houston Texans

Just another matchup play here. You can't go wrong with a guy going against the team that has been the worst at stopping tight ends.

He finally found the end zone this past week, and Matt Schaub will still throw the ball his way about six or seven times.

Sit 'Em

Antonio Gates-San Diego Chargers

I'm sure you probably saw this coming already.

Antonio Gates-San Diego Chargers

Just don't play him. I'm begging you.


There you have it boys and girls (probably more boys than girls). Best of luck this week. Please post any thoughts/questions/complaints/compliments below or on my new Facebook page either way, I appreciate the comments.


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