Week 4 Fantasy Football Rankings: Unfavorable Matchups to Avoid at Each Position
Making the choice to bench a fantasy football starter that 99 percent of the general population has faith in can blow up in an owner's face.
It can also be the difference in winning a weekly matchup against a bitter rival and eventually making the playoffs.
Oh, the difference a gutsy move can make.
There's a fine line between knowing when to leave a player out of your lineup and over-thinking the situation. If you spend too much time laboring over stats, player comparisons and expected matchups then you probably won't be happy with your final decision, even after the bell tolls.
Projections are everywhere for Week 4 of the fantasy football season. We'll take a look at a few of our own below while providing a positional breakdown of players you should avoid this week at each position.
Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer
Hoyer's inspiring performance against the Minnesota Vikings gave fantasy owners pause over the weekend, but those reading who jumped on his 300-yard, three-touchdown performance will want to avert their eyes.
Minnesota is one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL through three games.
Against a Cincinnati pass-rush and secondary allowing the 10th least amount of fantasy points to QBs in standard leagues, Hoyer will have his hands full. Although he and teammates Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron were fantasy stars over the weekend, Week 4 doesn't hold the same potential.
Others to Avoid: Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker, St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster
It's never easy to put a first-round pick on your bench, but this might be the week where that move pays off.
Foster managed just five fantasy points in standard leagues against the Baltimore Ravens, and an equally tough matchup with the Seattle Seahawks is waiting in the wings.
With Ben Tate receiving double-digit touches in each of the first three weeks, an argument can be made that Foster is losing ground in the fantasy world.
Granted, benching Foster is a high-risk, high-reward move, especially if you have an unproven backup waiting to take his place in the starting lineup. Strictly looking at the Seattle defense and the current distribution of carries, though, it might be just as risky to trust Foster as an RB1.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson
The Bucs made Mike Glennon their starting QB on Wednesday, and while that news bodes well for the long-term fantasy values of receivers like Jackson, it's hard to trust the passing game in Tampa Bay this week.
News of Jackson dealing with an injury forcing him to miss practice on Wednesday, as reported by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, lessens that trust:
Both starting WRs Vincent Jackson (ribs) and Mike Williams (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Not a good start for Mike Glennon— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 25, 2013
Quarterbacks need practice to work on timing with receivers. When you throw in the fact that Glennon is a rookie making his first NFL start on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, Jackson doesn't look like a sure thing, even if he's 100 percent healthy.
Doug Martin is the only Buc I would start with confidence this weekend.
Others to Avoid: Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace, Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery
New York Giants TE Brandon Myers
Myers got off to a great start against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, but his numbers have steadily decreased, and he was a virtual no-show against the Carolina Panthers.
With Eli Manning struggling to find his rhythm as a passer and turning the ball over at an exorbitant rate, it's tough to put any Giant in the upper echelon of fantasy starters for Week 4.
When you consider that the Chiefs have allowed just 100 receiving yards to opposing tight ends and that the Giants are somewhat lost on offense at this point in the season, having faith in Myers to produce double-digit numbers in standard leagues isn't a smart leap.
Others to Avoid: Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller, Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph
Which fantasy D/ST will finish the year with the most points?
The Broncos will face the Philadelphia Eagles this week, a team currently near the bottom of the NFL list in turnovers with seven. Conversely, the Denver defense is tied with Minnesota for the most interceptions in the league with six.
Something's got to give.
Since the turnovers haven't stopped Philadelphia from being the league's second-best offense in yards per game, Denver isn't a smart play this week. John Fox's defense might force a couple of turnovers and register a sack or two, but Philadelphia is a safe bet to eclipse 20 points.
You should avoid both defenses from this expected shootout.
Others to Avoid: Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets
San Diego Chargers K Nick Novak
Novak has been hit or miss this season for fantasy owners, teasing them with a 14-point explosion in Week 2 before coming back down to earth against Tennessee.
He and the Chargers face Dallas this weekend, a team with one of the most impressive early-season defenses in the NFL. The Cowboys have also been unfriendly to opposing kickers, yielding just seven extra points and two field goals.
The 32-year-old is worth an add in most formats, but this doesn't appear to be a matchup working in his favor.
Others to Avoid: Washington Redskins K John Potter, Indianapolis Colts K Adam Vinatieri
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