Just hours before the start of Week 4 (for most teams, anyway), I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Reggie Bush: Miami Dolphins Running Back
Listed as questionable, all expectations are that he is going to play. According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post (via Twitter):
“Source says Reggie Bush and Richard Marshall, listed as Questionable, both traveled to Arizona. Bush likely to play, not sure about Marshall”
Bush is basically a must-start option, unless you are loaded at running back, as he is going to be the centerpiece of the Dolphins offense. The Cardinals defense is better than most expected, but Bush’s ability to produce both running the football and in the receiving game should keep him productive. Think of him as an RB2 heading into today’s game.
If Daniel Thomas is sitting on the free-agent wire, I would stash him, just to be safe. If he’s not available, Lamar Miller could be your only alternative (though I would check the wire for other options), as a “break in case of emergency” type of situation.
Ramses Barden: New York Giants Wide Receiver
He will get a chance to back up his Week 3 breakout, as Hakeem Nicks has been ruled out once again. However, before we get too excited, keep in mind that he is going to draw a much tougher defense this time around. The Philadelphia Eagles have allowed just 172.7 passing yards per game, third lowest in the league.
That said, I would still expect Eli Manning and company to be productive this week. In two meetings with the Eagles last season, Manning threw for 518 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. They are an offense that can make big plays, and if you are in need of a wide receiver, Barden is worth rolling the dice on. Consider him a low-end WR3 this week, especially since he could play a major factor in the red zone, thanks to his size.
Matt Forte/Michael Bush: Chicago Bears Running Backs
Listed as questionable, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, who recently posted the following quote from head coach Lovie Smith:
“Matt Forte continues to get better,” Smith said. “Being able to do a little bit more each day. Can’t tell you a lot more than that as far as Matt is concerned except for he’s getting better. And that’s been the case all along with him.”
It seems like he is headed to a game-time decision, which is extremely problematic for fantasy owners. With the Bears not playing until Monday night, the chance that Forte dresses also sheds a doubt over the workload Michael Bush could see.
Forte owners will definitely want to leave him on the bench. As for Bush, it depends on your other options. However, with the chance that Forte plays, Bush owners should be considering their alternatives for today’s game.
Dwayne Bowe: Kansas City Chiefs Wide Receiver
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):
“Despite being listed as questionable with a groin injury, Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe is expected to play Sunday vs. San Diego.”
The Chiefs play at 1 p.m., so we should have a definitive answer early in the day. That said, fantasy owners should expect to have him for today’s game. Keep him active in all formats.
Pierre Garcon: Washington Redskins Wide Receiver
Having not played since early in Week 1, it looks like Garcon could finally return to the field this week. According to Rich Campbell (via Twitter):
“WR Pierre Garcon (right foot) will try to play tomorrow, a source says. Last 2 weeks, decision to hold him out was made Saturday. “
While the matchup would be favorable against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with a 4:25 p.m. start time, it is hard to count on him. Unless you have Leonard Hankerson as a safety net (or another suitable option with a late start), I would plan on having Garcon on your bench one more week. The risk of him not playing is just too great.
Nate Kaeding: San Diego Chargers Kicker
While your kicker is something you often overlook, if you are a Nate Kaeding owner you are going to want to pay attention. According to Scott Bair of the North County Times:
“Nick Novak boarded the Chargers charter flight for Kansas City. Nate Kaeding did not. The Chargers called in the cavalry after regular kicker Kaeding pulled up lame during Friday’s practice, suffering with a groin injury that a source said could extend beyond this week.”
In other words, Kaeding owners need to hit the waiver wire for a replacement. Not only that, it appears like you may need someone for two weeks or more. Possible replacements include the Rams’ Greg Zuerlein and the Vikings’ Blair Walsh.
Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 4 rankings: