Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 4: Verdicts on Riskiest Fantasy Players

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 26, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 22:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Week 4 has a number of interesting matchups, and there are a few players who are quite risky who should either start or sit this week.

No player is a guaranteed safe bet for fantasy week in and week out.  Aaron Rodgers, who is almost always a safe bet, threw for 244 yards and just one touchdown while throwing two interceptions in Week 3.  

This piece will be focusing on those true boom-or-bust players, the ones who really can put up a complete goose egg or go off and put points up in bunches.

So, which of these risky players do you need to play, and which do you need to bench?  Let's take a look.

Note: Any mentions of points scored are based off of ESPN's standard scoring leagues.


Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

What the heck is going on with the New York Giants?

Things did not go well for Eli and company last week, falling 38-0 to the Carolina Panthers.  Eli didn't have the best day, throwing for 119 yards and one interception.  He's gone from 28 points in Week 1, to 10 points in Week 2 to just three this past week.

Things have to get better, right?

Unfortunately for owners, that might not be the case this week.  The Giants are going against the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs, who have allowed just 185 passing yards per game.  The Chiefs hold opposing QBs to a passer rating of just 63.1 and lead the NFL with 15 sacks.

There will be weeks when the younger Manning puts up nice numbers, but this isn't going to be one of those weeks.

Verdict: Sit 'Em


Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Indianapolis Colts

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the Indianapolis Colts rushes for an eight yards gain to the San Francisco 49ers six yard line during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park on September 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California. The C
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Trent Richardson may be the one getting all of the hype in Indy, but it was Bradshaw who was putting up the big numbers in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Bradshaw had 95 yards on the ground and a touchdown in the win over the 49ers, putting up 16 points. He was able to get 19 carries while Richardson grabbed 13, but Richardson should be getting more carries as the season goes on.  Don't worry, however, there will be plenty of carries to go around according to Mike Wells of

It won't matter who gets more carries this week, as the Colts will be going against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars have the worst run defense this season, allowing 167.7 yards on the ground per game. Opponents also average 5.2 yards per carry against them, and that's good news for both of these backs.

Even if Richardson gets more carries, Bradshaw is going to see plenty of touches, and that means he could be a valuable flex option this week or even a RB2 if you're in a deeper league.

Verdict: Start 'Em


Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 22: Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns carries the football during the first quarter of the game on September 22, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hanna
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Coming off of his suspension, people thought that Gordon would have a solid day, but few actually thought he would go off for 22 points.

Brian Hoyer had a solid debut against the Vikings and found Gordon to the tune of 10 receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown.  While it may seem like Gordon is going to be a breakout fantasy stud week in and week out, there are some factors we have to look at for this week.

First, the Browns, however much their offense has appeared to struggle, were going against the Minnesota Vikings, who have struggled mightily so far on defense.  Opponents have scored at least 30 points in all three games, and the Vikings have allowed over 315 yards through the air per game.

Second, the Browns are going to be up against the Bengals, and that means that Gordon is going to be going face to face against Leon Hall.  Hall is an underrated cornerback, and he can shut a fantasy receiver down.  Last week against the Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb had five receptions for 54 yards despite being targeted 11 times throughout the game.

Hoyer isn't Aaron Rodgers, and Gordon isn't up to the same level as Cobb.  I think Gordon will be a reliable fantasy receiver for the majority of this season, but this might not be the most ideal matchup for him.

Verdict: Sit 'Em