Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 4: Best and Worst WR Plays This Weekend
It's not always smart to start all of your top fantasy football players. Matchups play a critical role in determining what you can expect—especially at the wide receiver position
For instance, DeSean Jackson was a fantasy dud in Week 3, thanks to a ferocious Kansas City Chiefs defensive effort at the line of scrimmage and in the secondary.
On the other hand, Sidney Rice benefited from playing a horrific Jacksonville Jaguars defense, and he put up one of the best performances by any receiver in Week 3.
Normally, you'd take Jackson over Rice, 10 times out of 10. But the matchup favored Rice in Week 3, and he lived up to his end of the bargain.
Now that Week 4 is upon us, here's a look at the best and worst plays at the wide receiver position this weekend.
Start 'Em: Dez Bryant at San Diego Chargers
Dez Bryant isn't likely to have many off weeks. He's emerged as one of the NFL's premier pass-catchers, as his understanding of the game is beginning to equal his physical prowess.
The Chargers feature a wafer-thin secondary that has allowed more passing yardage than any team in the NFL this season. Through just three games, San Diego has allowed 1,022 yards and six touchdowns through the air.
Eric Weddle is the only serviceable defensive back on San Diego's roster, but he's incapable of covering the entire back end. Neither Derek Cox nor Shareece Wright—the two starting cornerbacks for the Chargers—have the chops to keep Bryant in line throughout the course of a game.
Projected Stats: Eight catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns
Sit 'Em: Hakeem Nicks at Kansas City Chiefs
After going without a single reception against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3, Nicks was frustrated by his lack of targets in the passing game, as noted by Charles Chandler of the Star-Ledger.
The receiver is going to have to learn to deal with disappointment, because the Chiefs are going to shut him down, similar to the way they shut down DeSean Jackson last week.
Eli Manning is playing behind one of the NFL's worst offensive lines right now, which plays directly into one of Kansas City's strengths. Through three games, the Chiefs have already racked up 15 sacks. Justin Houston, Dontari Poe and Tamba Hali will meet more than a few times in New York's backfield in this upcoming game.
This pressure will keep Nicks from getting his hands on many balls. But even when Manning has time to throw, Kansas City's Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith will keep Nicks from making big plays down the field.
Projected Stats: Three catches for 45 yards and zero touchdowns
Start 'Em: Reggie Wayne at Jacksonville Jaguars
Held to just 10 catches for 109 yards and zero touchdowns in his past two games, Wayne is ready to break out with a huge game this week.
Who will have a bigger game in Week 4?
The Jaguars are hopelessly lost in every phase of the game. With just six sacks and one interception on the season, Jacksonville's defense isn't adept at getting opposing offenses off the field or at generating turnovers.
Going up against the precision offense of the Colts, led by Andrew Luck, the Jags are going to be easy prey for the veteran Wayne and his wily ways.
Projected Stats: Seven catches for 110 yards and one touchdown
Sit 'Em: Eddie Royal vs. Dallas Cowboys
After opening up the season as the hottest fantasy receiver in the NFL through the season's first two weeks, Royal came crashing back down to earth against the Tennessee Titans in Week 3.
He had caught five touchdown passes on 10 receptions in his first two games, but he was held in check to the tune of just two receptions for 34 yards with zero touchdowns against the Titans.
The Cowboys feature a new look on defense this year under coordinator Monte Kiffin.
After running a 3-4 scheme for years, Dallas is now operating a 4-3, and the early results are promising. So far this season, the Cowboys have racked up 13 sacks and three interceptions, one of which went for a touchdown.
Who will tank the hardest?
Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne lock down the corner spots for Dallas, and Royal will struggle to make plays against this defense.
Projected Stats: Four catches for 30 yards and zero touchdowns
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