As if making weekly decisions wasn't tricky enough, fantasy football owners are now forced to deal with bye weeks. It means the task of filling out a winning lineup is a tougher challenge and makes each lineup choice more important, especially when a star player is off.
After three weeks of action, it's also time for owners to start forgetting where they drafted a player and start making lineup choices based on this season's performance. If a player hasn't been living up to the hype, the time to explore other options has arrived.
With that in mind, let's check out some fringe fantasy assets, some that belong in starting lineups and others that should remain on the bench for Week 4.
|QB||Philip Rivers||San Diego Chargers|
|RB||Bilal Powell||New York Jets|
|WR||Brian Hartline||Miami Dolphins|
|TE||Scott Chandler||Buffalo Bills|
|K||Ryan Succop||Kansas City Chiefs|
Fantasy Week 4
Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers)
Rivers came back to earth a little bit in Week 3. He scored just 11 points in standard leagues after totaling 51 in the first two games. He still ranks inside the top five of quarterbacks, ahead of Tom Brady and Cam Newton among others.
The Chargers quarterback remains a strong option heading into a matchup with a a struggling Dallas Cowboys pass defense. Dallas is giving up nearly 275 yards per game through the air, which ranks 22nd in the league.
Two star quarterbacks are on bye this week: the aforementioned Newton and Aaron Rodgers, which means owners will be scrambling to fill that void. Rivers should continue to do more than enough to warrant the starting spot.
Brian Hartline (Miami Dolphins)
Hartline was expected to see his fantasy value dip following the arrival of Mike Wallace. Instead, he's been the far more reliable of the Miami wide receivers in the early going, posting two double-digit scores through three weeks.
What's your verdict on Hartline for Week 4?
Defenses are focused on making sure Wallace isn't able to beat them deep, which is providing Hartline with more space to work. He's willing to make those tough catches over the middle, and it's allowed him to build a further connection with Ryan Tannehill.
The Dolphins are heading into a high-profile Monday night matchup with the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees and Co. are going to put up their fair share of points, which means Miami will have to throw frequently to keep pace, keeping Hartline as a fantasy start.
|QB||Eli Manning||New York Giants|
|RB||Montee Ball||Denver Broncos|
|WR||Kenny Britt||Tennessee Titans|
|TE||Kyle Rudolph||Minnesota Vikings|
|K||Randy Bullock||Houston Texans|
Fantasy Week 4
Montee Ball (Denver Broncos)
Ball generated plenty of fantasy hype during the preseason. He was expected to serve as Denver's top option in the backfield, a valuable spot considering the offense's overall explosiveness. It hasn't worked out that way, however.
Knowshon Moreno's ability to protect Peyton Manning in pass coverage has earned him more opportunities, and Ronnie Hillman is also in the mix. The result has been very little fantasy production for Ball, who has just seven points in three games.
It's safe to start leaving him on the bench, at least until the workload in the Broncos backfield starts trending more in his direction. That isn't going to happen until he starts protecting the ball better and shows improvement in pass-blocking.
Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings)
Rudolph caught nine touchdowns last season. That was enough to skyrocket the Vikings tight end up draft boards at a weak position. But the early results have been lackluster at best. He's scored just two points in two of his first three games.
Where does Rudolph stand in fantasy moving forward?
What makes those numbers more troubling is the fact Minnesota is averaging 27 points per game, good for seventh in the league. Yet it's still tough to rely on him from week to week because of the inconsistencies in the team's aerial attack.
All told, he has just 10 catches through three weeks. Unless he starts seeing more targets, owners who start him are relying on a touchdown to provide value. As the early weeks have shown, that's a risky road to take, even at a spot like tight end.