Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 4: Star WRs Who Shouldn't Be in Your Starting Lineup

Ian HanfordFeatured Columnist IVApril 3, 2017

Sep 16, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (89) with the ball in the first quarter as New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) defends at Bank of America Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

With three weeks of the NFL season gone, you probably have a pretty good idea of where your fantasy football team is heading.

The waiver wire is in full swing, players are emerging and other stars are declining.

This week's games feature a number of interesting matchups. Some elite receivers will be forced to face elite secondaries, depreciating their regular fantasy value.

Let's take a look at three star receivers you should sit in Week 4.


Victor Cruz

Cruz has 23 catches for 279 yards and one touchdown this season, but he won't fare very well against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

With Hakeem Nicks out of the lineup, all of Philadelphia's attention will be on Cruz. Considering that they're the No. 3 pass defense in the league, that doesn't bode well for Cruz's fantasy owners.

It's tough to bench someone like Cruz, although he hasn't been great this season. Asking him to perform like a No. 1 wideout should, against the likes of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha, is unrealistic.

If you have a better option on your bench, now's the time to dig deep.


Brandon Marshall

The Cowboys were atrocious against the pass last season, but that's all changed this year. Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne give Dallas an exciting pair of cover corners, making it very difficult for opposing teams to throw the ball down the field.

Marshall has 16 catches for 214 yards and one score this year. He's benefited from Jay Cutler behind center to a point, even though Cutler prefers to throw the ball to the wrong team quite often.

Carr and Claiborne will likely take turns matching up with Marshall's height on the outside. Expect him to face lockdown coverage from a corner and help from a safety over the top.

The Bears do not have many big-play threats. Dallas knows that. They won't let Marshall beat them, and you should consider that when setting your fantasy lineup before Sunday's early games.


Steve Smith

Smith hasn't found the end zone this year, instead hauling in 14 passes for 296 yards. He's still a home-run threat because of his speed and quickness, leaving Cam Newton as the main issue so far.

The Panthers have some issues on both sides of the ball right now. Their defense is struggling, which couldn't come at a worse time against the daunting Falcons attack.

On top of that, Atlanta's pass defense is No. 7 in the league. They will pressure Newton, forcing him to press and make bad decisions. He did the same thing against the New York Giants.

This is going to be a lopsided game, which will force the Panthers to air it out to stay in it, but Smith is going to have a hard time. There's very little consistency in the Panthers' offense right now, making Smith a smart sit in Week 4.