Fantasy Football Week 4 Start 'em and Sit 'em: Last-Minute and Injuries Edition

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIISeptember 29, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 23:  Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans runs against the Tennessee Titans during play at LP Field on October 23, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Houston won 41-7.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

As we inch closer to another NFL Sunday, teams have turned in their final injury reports. That information is useful to fantasy football owners in some respects. If a guy like the New York Giants’ Hakeem Nicks is going to miss the Sunday night tussle with the Philadelphia Eagles, for example, you know to get him out of your lineups.

But what you don’t know is whether the guy who will be in his spot for the Giants should be plugged into the corresponding one for your fantasy team.

 Or, in Nicks’ case, who will be in his spot.

Final injury reports can also cloud the judgment of a fantasy owner. You picked up Tashard Choice this week, but the Bills may use both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller against the Patriots in Week 4.

If you’re wondering why I think Jacquizz Rodgers of the Atlanta Falcons might have a nice game in Week 4, that’s explained here along with other primarily matchup-related start/sit suggestions.


Start ‘Em

Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans (vs. Tennessee Titans)

OK, so this one has nothing to do with an injury. Arian Foster should start and be productive in this matchup. But the Titans have been terrible when it comes to defending the run. The Texans have shown a willingness to get the ball to Tate in matchups that are favorable for running backs.


Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (at Detroit Lions)

Simpson missed the Vikings’ first three games due to an NFL-mandated suspension. He’s expected to start for Minnesota against the Lions.

Detroit hasn’t been covering guys very well. And Simpson’s quarterback, Christian Ponder, is playing great right now. Simpson should help stretch the field for Minnesota and might create a big play or two in his first game with the Vikings.


Laurent Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

Like the Lions, the Bengals have not been stopping people. Robinson was on the injury report with a concussion, but should be able to suit up in Week 4. Blaine Gabbert isn’t a terrible desperation play at quarterback, either.


Sit ‘Em

Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Miami Dolphins)

Williams should be the lead back for the Cardinals at home against the Dolphins with Beanie Wells going on the IR. But Miami has not allowed much production to fantasy rushers.

In Week 1, it allowed 79 yards and two touchdowns to Arian Foster. But Foster needed 26 carries to do accomplish that.

Miami gave up just 62 rushing yards on a combined 30 attempts to Darren McFadden and Shonn Greene in back-to-back weeks since then.


Tashard Choice, RB, Buffalo Bills (vs. New England Patriots)

Choice may find himself with quite a bit of company in the backfield. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are both questionable to return against the Patriots. Choice would not get nearly as many touches as fantasy owners who picked him up envisioned if the two rushers are available.

If Spiller and Jackson both miss the game, Choice should be a decent start.


Ramses Barden, WR, New York Giants (at Philadelphia Eagles)

Nicks’ foot injury will force him out of the Giants’ lineup when they play in Philadelphia on Sunday night. But a part of the reason Barden broke out in Week 3 was the opportunity afforded to him by Nicks and Domenik Hixon’s absences against Carolina.

Hixon appeared to be ahead of Barden at the start of the season. If he maintains his position, then Barden may be a disappointment to fantasy owners in Week 4.