Fantasy Football Week 4 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Eric MackFantasy Football Lead WriterSeptember 28, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 4 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

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    The annual London game is going to be a showcase to the world...for the lowly Pittsburgh Steelers.
    The annual London game is going to be a showcase to the world...for the lowly Pittsburgh Steelers.Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Sometimes you have to put your fantasy picks where you never intended.

    Week 4, the start of the bye season, is time for that—especially with regard to your Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, Heath Miller and the defensive/special teams).

    Fantasy has a funny roller-coaster nature to it.

    It also leaves you holding your breath, like the owners of Rob Gronkowski (back/arm) and Danny Amendola (groin) might be doing all day Sunday before the nightcap in Atlanta. We prescribe a plan of action on Gronk and avoiding Amendola all together. 

    We have your starts, sits and updated Week 4 rankings position by position right here in this must-read slideshow.

Quarterbacks: Start Big Ben Roethlisberger in London; Sit Eli Manning

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    Start 'Em

    Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

    You don't need a road map to see how advantageous the Vikings defense is. It made Brian Hoyer look good, so expect Big Ben coming off a 400-plus-yard game against a good Bears defense to have a field day in London.

    The return of Le'Veon Bell (foot) and Heath Miller (knee) will only help. It is going to be a big week for your Steelers. Start Big Ben and reap the rewards.

     

    Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

    The Browns have only allowed two touchdown passes this season, but Dalton is finally playing a team he can take advantage of. The Bengals have started out with a relatively tough schedule, and they might be engaging in a surprising shootout here. The Browns have a good run defense and will take the run away, while the Bengals will be without three core defensive backs.

    Expect this game to bust the over and for Dalton to get sleepers like Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert involved. This is the deepest set of targets Dalton has had yet, and it will be his best week too.

     

    Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

    We are staying stubborn with the player who let so many of us down in Week 3 at Tennessee. The Chargers are back home and facing a potent Cowboys team that can push the score better than the Titans did a week ago.

    Rivers passed only six times in the second half because the Chargers were trying to hold on to a lead and grind the clock. That won't happen against the Cowboys, who have been the sixth-worst team in fantasy against quarterbacks. And they haven't even played a good one yet.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Eli Manning, New York Giants

    If this one isn't apparent right now, we have nothing for you. Manning has been a turnover and sack machine behind an offensive line missing three starters. That is a recipe for disaster, and that is what Manning has been.

    Oh, the Chiefs just happen to have been a top-10 team in fantasy against quarterbacks through three weeks too.

     

    Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

    Everyone was loving Palmer as a sleeper coming into the year, and his Week 1 showcase with Larry Fitzgerald made them look like a match made in fantasy heaven. That hasn't been the case. Now the Cardinals travel to Tampa Bay to face a defense that is hungry and much better than anyone anticipated.

     

    Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

    Ordinarily, this wouldn't be necessary to say, but Locker is coming off a shocking performance against the Chargers that made him look like Steve McNair, picking up 68 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. He also orchestrated a last-minute comeback.

    He has to face an underrated Jets defense now, though. The Jets are the fifth-best team in fantasy against quarterbacks, having frustrated even the likes of Tom Brady. Locker is in for a long, bad day.

    Week 4 Quarterbacks Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankQuarterbacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Peyton ManningDenvs. Phi10
    2Drew BreesNOvs. Mia20
    3Andrew LuckIndat Jac 9+6
    4Matt RyanAtlvs. NE5+1
    5Tom BradyNEat Atl 8+3
    6Robert Griffin IIIWasat Oak60
    7Russell WilsonSeaat Hou 11+4
    8Matthew StaffordDetvs. Chi7-1
    9Tony RomoDalat SD3-6
    10Colin KaepernickSFat StL 100
    11Philip RiversSDvs. Dal12+1
    12Michael VickPhiat Den4-8
    13Andy DaltonCinat Cle 17+4
    14Jay CutlerChiat Det 13-1
    15Alex SmithKCvs. NYG 16+1
    16Ben RoethlisbergerPitat Min14-2
    17Joe Flacco Balat Buf 18+1
    18Matt SchaubHouvs. Sea24+6
    19Eli ManningNYGat KC190
    20Carson PalmerAriat TB22+2
    21Sam BradfordStLvs. SF20-1
    22Ryan Tannehill Miaat NO21-1
    23Terrelle PryorOakvs. Was15-8
    24Mike Glennon TBvs. Ari30+6
    25Geno SmithNYJat Ten27+2
    26EJ ManuelBufvs. Bal 23-3
    27Blaine Gabbert Jacvs. Ind35+8
    28Jake LockerTenvs. NYJ 280
    29Brian Hoyer Clevs. Cin 26-3
    30Matt CasselMinvs. Pit31+1
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros.

Running Backs: Start Bernard Pierce, Sit Stevan Ridley

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    Bernard Pierce will be doing some end zone dancing regardless of whether Ray Rice plays this week (doubtful).
    Bernard Pierce will be doing some end zone dancing regardless of whether Ray Rice plays this week (doubtful).Larry French/Getty Images

    Start 'Em

    Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens

    Ray Rice (hip) is a game-time decision in the truest sense of the term, according to the AP's Matt Zenitz, but Pierce should be starting in all fantasy lineups regardless of Rice's status. Pierce will get 60 yards and a touchdown even if a ginger Rice starts for the Ravens against a Bills run defense that has given up the second-most rushing yards per game in the NFL through three weeks (155).

     

    Bilal Powell, New York Jets

    The 149 yards rushing last week is one thing, but the fact that Chris Ivory (hamstring) is out is the best news for Powell owners. The Titans also have given up the 10th-most points to fantasy running backs through three games. The Jets are going to pound them on the ground with the emerging Powell. Keep him active in all leagues.

     

    Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders

    The Raiders offense has shown a lot more spunk than anyone could have imagined. The Redskins have also been brutally bad on defense. Even if they are a lot better on run defense than they have shown—third worst in fantasy against running backs to date—a healthy McFadden is far too good to sit.

     

    Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars

    The Jags haven't gotten anything done offensively, but MJD has at least proven healthy in the early part of the season. This should be his best game to the tune of 100 yards and a touchdown. If you cannot start him at home against the Indy run defense, you cannot start him against anyone.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots

    He will eventually get going for the Pats, but don't expect it to happen here. The Falcons have a very good run defense and are currently fifth best in fantasy against running backs, allowing under 80 total yards rushing per game. You shouldn't feel threatened by the likes of plodder LeGarrette Blount or the spry Brandon Bolden as much as the Falcons as an opponent this week.

     

    Joique Bell, Detroit Lions

    He has been productive in the passing game, so the Bears run defense shouldn't scare you too much. The bad news is Reggie Bush (knee) is expected to play. In an important division game against a rugged defense, expect Bush to do all of the lifting and Bell to be minimized.

     

    BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals

    BGE and rookie Giovani Bernard have both been solid performers in tandem for fantasy owners, but don't count on that this week. The one thing the Browns do on an elite level is stop the run, so expect BGE to get gummed up for 14 carries, 35 yards and no scores. You should start Bernard amid his hot start but not BGE here.

     

    Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills

    He has gotten a lot more work than anyone expected, and C.J. Spiller (thigh) was banged up in the last game. The Bills' best attack on offense is staying stubborn with the run, but that will be tough against a Ravens defense that is one of only two in the NFL that has yet to allow a touchdown to a running back. Start Spiller through thick and thin, but expect a mere 50 combined yards from Spiller's backup.

    Week 4 Running Backs Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Jamaal CharlesKCvs. NYG 10
    2Adrian PetersonMinvs. Pit20
    3 LeSean McCoyPhiat Den30
    4Trent RichardsonIndat Jac 9+5
    5Doug MartinTBvs. Ari50
    6Frank GoreSFat StL 11+5
    7Alfred MorrisWasat Oak6-1
    8Matt ForteChiat Det 4-4
    9Marshawn LynchSeaat Hou 7-2
    10Arian FosterHouvs. Sea12+2
    11DeMarco MurrayDalat SD8-3
    12Chris JohnsonTenvs. NYJ 14+2
    13Bernard PierceBalat Buf 21+8
    14C.J. SpillerBufvs. Bal 15+1
    15Darren McFaddenOakvs. Was10-5
    16 Knowshon MorenoDenvs. Phi22+6
    17Reggie BushDetvs. Chi13-4
    18 Bilal PowellNYJat Ten17-1
    19Maurice Jones-DrewJacvs. Ind16-3
    20 Giovani BernardCinat Cle 19-1
    21Darren SprolesNOvs. Mia18-3
    22Ryan MathewsSDvs. Dal27+5
    23Lamar MillerMiaat NO20-3
    24Ray RiceBalat Buf 23-1
    25 Stevan Ridley NEat Atl 24-1
    26 Le'Veon BellPitat Min32+6
    27 Jacquizz RodgersAtlvs. NE31+4
    28 BenJarvus Green-EllisCinat Cle 35+7
    29 Joique BellDetvs. Chi25-4
    30David WilsonNYGat KC26-4
    31Willis McGaheeClevs. Cin 39+8
    32Daniel ThomasMiaat NO42+10
    33Daryl RichardsonStLvs. SF30-3
    34Fred JacksonBufvs. Bal 28-6
    35Rashard MendenhallAriat TB33-2
    36Ronnie Hillman Denvs. Phi44+8
    37Brandon Bolden NEat Atl 40+3
    38Pierre ThomasNOvs. Mia34-4
    39Ben TateHouvs. Sea36-3
    40 LeGarrette Blount NEat Atl 59+19
    41Isaiah Pead StLvs. SF43+2
    42Jason Snelling Atlvs. NE29-13
    43Montee BallDenvs. Phi41-2
    44Kendall HunterSFat StL 62+18
    45Danny Woodhead SDvs. Dal37-8
    46Michael BushChiat Det 50+4
    47Ronnie BrownSDvs. Dal68+21
    48Jordan Todman Jacvs. Ind64+16
    49Robert Turbin Seaat Hou 58+9
    50Bryce BrownPhiat Den45-5
    51Marcel ReeceOakvs. Was46-5
    52Roy Helu Wasat Oak60+8
    53Chris Ogbonnaya Clevs. Cin 51-2
    54Jonathan Dwyer Pitat Min540
    55Felix JonesPitat Min49-6
    56Alfonso SmithAriat TB72+16
    57Andre EllingtonAriat TB48-9
    58Mark IngramNOvs. Mia53-5
    59 Knile DavisKCvs. NYG 77+18
    60Jackie BattleTenvs. NYJ 67+7
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros.

Wide Receivers: Start Denarius Moore, Sit Brian Hartline

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    The Broncos couldn't hold Denarius Moore down Monday night, so don't count on the Redskins being able to.
    The Broncos couldn't hold Denarius Moore down Monday night, so don't count on the Redskins being able to.Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

    Start 'Em

    Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders

    You might think Moore needs Terrelle Pryor (concussion) at 100 percent because they have such a good thing going, but it might not matter here. The Redskins have been the worst team in fantasy against wide receivers, allowing a league-high 801 yards and five touchdowns through three games. Moore is coming off a big Monday night performance against a much better Broncos secondary. Get him active in all leagues.

     

    Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens

    He has not gotten into the end zone yet, but Joe Flacco's leading receiver is on pace for a career high in catches (85) and yards (1,434). Throw 10 touchdowns onto those numbers, and you have a fantasy superstar. Against the Bills, you might see season highs of eight catches for 100 yards and multiple touchdowns.

    The Bills have been the fourth-most generous team to wide receivers in fantasy. Smith is a must-start.

     

    Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Coming off a huge week against the Bears (nine catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns), Brown is a must-start. He won't get to those totals again, but the Vikings are missing a starting corner, and they have allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the NFL. It should be a field day for Ben Roethlisberger and Co.

     

    Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns

    He is just a second-year receiver, but his second game of the season should be another bountiful one. You have to start him after his season debut, which saw him go for 10 catches, 146 yards and a touchdown. He even helped make Brian Hoyer look capable.

    The Bengals have a solid secondary, but they are without three core defensive backs: corner Dre Kirkpatrick, safety Reggie Nelson and corner Leon Hall. Terence Newman (knee) isn't 100 percent either, and Brandon Ghee is coming off a concussion. It could be another surprising week for the Browns passing game.

     

    Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins

    He seems to be overshadowed every week, but the good news is Robert Griffin III (knee) and Garcon (foot) are absent from the Redskins' injury report. Also, the Raiders are a bottom-10 team in fantasy against wide receivers. Expect a breakthrough week for your frustrating starter, Garcon.

     

    T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts 

    Everyone is expecting big things out of Andrew Luck against a Jags secondary that has allowed five touchdown passes to wide receivers. Only the Patriots and Seahawks have allowed fewer receptions to wide receivers, but Hilton gets five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown here.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins

    For those not paying attention, the Saints defense under Rob Ryan is no longer one to take advantage of. The Saints have allowed just 184.3 passing yards per game, good for fourth in the NFL. Hartline is the Dolphins' most frequently targeted receiver (29 targets to Mike Wallace's 21), so expect Ryan to take him out of the equation this week.

     

    DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

    Even if Andre Johnson (shin) is out, Hopkins will be a bad play against the Seahawks secondary. It can shut down anyone, especially a rookie receiver having to work with a mediocre quarterback in Matt Schaub.

    The Texans' passing success is based off play action, and a tough Seahawks run defense won't have to bite out of the secondary. This will be the leanest week of the season for the emerging Hopkins.

     

    Donnie Avery, Kansas City Chiefs

    Everyone is hating on Dwayne Bowe because of Alex Smith's inability to get the ball downfield, and then everyone goes and picks up Avery in all leagues. You can use him against the Giants as a sleeper, but he isn't a starter if you are sitting Bowe. Avery is going to regress into the depths of fantasy receivers once Bowe gets incorporated into the offense. Believe that.

     

    Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington and Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans

    Britt is in the doghouse amid a contract year and has a cracked rib. Wright, Washington and even Hunter (game-winning touchdown catch last week) have had their moments being Jake Locker's rotating favorite receiver. Locker and all of these receivers are going to find things much tougher against Rex Ryan and the Jets, who are annually a great team against wideouts.

    Week 4 Wide Receivers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Julio JonesAtlvs. NE4+3
    2Dez BryantDalat SD20
    3Calvin JohnsonDetvs. Chi1-2
    4A.J. GreenCinat Cle 6+2
    5Brandon MarshallChiat Det 50
    6Demaryius ThomasDenvs. Phi3-3
    7DeSean JacksonPhiat Den70
    8Larry FitzgeraldAriat TB15+7
    9Marques ColstonNOvs. Mia16+7
    10Andre JohnsonHouvs. Sea19+9
    11Josh GordonClevs. Cin 18+7
    12Torrey SmithBalat Buf 11-1
    13Wes WelkerDenvs. Phi8-5
    14Julian Edelman NEat Atl 23+9
    15Victor CruzNYGat KC10-5
    16Antonio BrownPitat Min12-4
    17Reggie WayneIndat Jac 13-4
    18Pierre GarconWasat Oak9-9
    19Roddy WhiteAtlvs. NE32+13
    20Hakeem NicksNYGat KC25+5
    21Steve JohnsonBufvs. Bal 22+1
    22Eric DeckerDenvs. Phi14-8
    23Mike WallaceMiaat NO21-2
    24Anquan BoldinSFat StL 20-4
    25Cecil ShortsJacvs. Ind26+1
    26T.Y. HiltonIndat Jac 27+1
    27 Denarius MooreOakvs. Was35+8
    28Dwayne BoweKCvs. NYG 24-4
    29Santonio HolmesNYJat Ten40+11
    30Vincent JacksonTBvs. Ari17-13
    31Eddie RoyalSDvs. Dal34+3
    32Sidney RiceSeaat Hou 49+17
    33Tavon AustinStLvs. SF330
    34 DeAndre HopkinsHouvs. Sea31-3
    35Donnie AveryKCvs. NYG 50+15
    36Greg JenningsMinvs. Pit42+6
    37Brian HartlineMiaat NO28-9
    38Emmanuel SandersPitat Min36-2
    39Mike WilliamsTBvs. Ari30-9
    40 Kenbrell Thompkins NEat Atl 29-11
    41Vincent BrownSDvs. Dal53+12
    42Kendall WrightTenvs. NYJ 48+6
    43Golden TateSeaat Hou 39-4
    44Kenny BrittTenvs. NYJ 63+19
    45Mohamed Sanu Cinat Cle 56+11
    46Jason Avant Phiat Den68+22
    47Stephen HillNYJat Ten43-4
    48Marlon BrownBalat Buf 41-7
    49Andre RobertsAriat TB52+3
    50 Rueben RandleNYGat KC57+7
    51 Alshon JefferyChiat Det 45-6
    52Nate WashingtonTenvs. NYJ 54+2
    53Chris GivensStLvs. SF37-16
    54Michael FloydAriat TB38-16
    55Dwayne HarrisDalat SD73+18
    56Lance MooreNOvs. Mia55-1
    57Robert WoodsBufvs. Bal 65+8
    58Ryan Broyles Detvs. Chi44-14
    59Jeremy Kerley NYJat Ten80+21
    60Austin Pettis StLvs. SF70+10
    61Kenny StillsNOvs. Mia75+14
    62Harry DouglasAtlvs. NE66+4
    63Riley CooperPhiat Den72+9
    64Rod Streater Oakvs. Was51-13
    65Doug BaldwinSeaat Hou 64-1
    66Marvin JonesCinat Cle 92+26
    67 Darrius Heyward-BeyIndat Jac 62-5
    68Aaron Dobson NEat Atl 46-22
    69Jerome SimpsonMinvs. Pit74+5
    70Robert MeachemNOvs. Mia93+23
    71 Davone BessClevs. Cin 69-2
    72Santana MossWasat Oak60-12
    73Justin HunterTenvs. NYJ 77+4
    74Keenan AllenSDvs. Dal83+9
    75Greg LittleClevs. Cin 78+3
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros.

Tight Ends: Start Rob Gronkowski, but Be Sure to Back Him Up

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    Start 'Em

    Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

    The Boston Globe's Ben Volin has a source saying Gronk will play, and Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald wrote the "outlook is not optimistic." Regardless, if Gronk gets on the plane to Atlanta on Saturday, expect him to play Sunday night. If he plays, he gets into the end zone—you heard it here first. Get him active.

    If you are worried about late bad news, you can back up Gronk with Zach Sudfeld or Miami's Charles Clay, who plays Monday night. If you have waited on Gronk, you have had a second tight end on your roster anyway. Swap him out for Sudfeld or Clay as emergency Gronk replacements.

     

    Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts

    The loss of Dwayne Allen (hip) for the season was overshadowed last week by the Colts' trade for Trent Richardson. With Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) out this week, Richardson stands to overshadow the sleeper that is Fleener again. Instead, Fleener will reach the end zone, perhaps even twice, like lowly Zach Miller did a week ago against the Jags.

     

    Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers

    This is shaping up to be a coming-out party for the Steelers' Miller. Not only did he prove healthy last week with 35 yards, but he also gets a Vikings team that has allowed the second-most points to tight ends in fantasy through three games. The Vikings made Jordan Cameron look like a Hall of Famer last week, and they have given up six touchdowns to tight ends in the young season.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Brandon Myers, New York Giants

    He has gotten off to a decent start, but most of his work has come in garbage time. Eli Manning has been a mess, and the Kansas City Chiefs defense has been good. The Chiefs are the fourth-best team in fantasy against tight ends through three games. Myers is a bad play with so many options emerging at the position.

     

    Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills

    The Ravens have been the eighth-worst team in fantasy against tight ends, allowing big numbers to Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron on the young season, and Chandler proved healthy last week coming off reconstructive knee surgery.

    The issue we see here is the Ravens are much better against tight ends than they have shown. They were No. 1 against the position last year, so ignore the poor start. They are going to get it figured out sans Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard.

     

    Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks

    He is coming off a surprising two-touchdown game against the Jags, but chalk that up to the Seahawks giving other teams things to prepare for inside the five. Those calls are going to be runs in more meaningful games.

    The Texans have allowed just seven receptions to tight ends through three weeks. Only the Saints (six) and Jets (five), two Ryan-coached defenses, have allowed fewer.

    Week 4 Tight Ends Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankTight EndsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. Mia10
    2Jordan CameronClevs. Cin 4+2
    3Tony GonzalezAtlvs. NE6+3
    4Jason WittenDalat SD2-2
    5Antonio GatesSDvs. Dal50
    6Julius ThomasDenvs. Phi3-3
    7Owen DanielsHouvs. Sea11+4
    8Rob Gronkowski NEat Atl 9+1
    9Vernon DavisSFat StL 7-2
    10 Coby Fleener Indat Jac 12+2
    11Kyle RudolphMinvs. Pit16+5
    12 Martellus BennettChiat Det 8-4
    13Jared CookStLvs. SF10-3
    14Heath MillerPitat Min140
    15Brandon MyersNYGat KC13-2
    16Joseph Fauria Detvs. Chi33+17
    17Jermaine GreshamCinat Cle 19+2
    18Tyler Eifert Cinat Cle 20+2
    19Scott ChandlerBufvs. Bal 17-2
    20Charles ClayMiaat NO15-5
    21Zach MillerSeaat Hou 27+6
    22Brent Celek Phiat Den18-4
    23Rob Housler Ariat TB25+2
    24Zach Sudfeld NEat Atl 26+2
    25Kellen WinslowNYJat Ten24-1
    26Dallas ClarkBalat Buf 23-3
    27Fred DavisWasat Oak32+5
    28Zach Ertz Phiat Den29+1
    29 Marcedes LewisJacvs. Ind34+5
    30Brandon Pettigrew Detvs. Chi22-8
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros.

Defensive/Special Teams: Start Pittsburgh Steelers, Sit Minnesota Vikings

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    Start 'Em

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Steelers have already been an underrated fantasy unit because of their so-so 2012. Their slow start to 2013 has made them even more under the radar. They turn it around here against the Vikings, who were the sixth-most favorable matchup for an opposing defensive unit coming into the week. Now, they are starting Matt Cassel for Christian Ponder (rib), which makes the Steelers even more intriguing.

     

    Baltimore Ravens

    They have gotten off to a bad start in the post-Ray Lewis era, but the Bills and a rookie quarterback should get them back into fantasy minds as a solid unit to trust. The Bills haven't been really error prone, but they haven't been all that productive either, particularly in the running game. Consider the Ravens a top-eight unit this week.

     

    Kansas City Chiefs

    The Giants have been the most forgiving team in fantasy against defenses thanks to the sack- and error-prone Eli Manning operating behind a banged-up offensive line. The Chiefs have been the most productive unit in fantasy too, which makes this "start" almost too obvious.

     

    Arizona Cardinals

    With so many solid streaming options available, you might not have to dip this deep into the defensive pool, but the Cardinals are playing a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start in Mike Glennon. That is reason enough to consider the Cards D/ST if you have the likes of the Panthers or Packers on bye, the Patriots facing the Falcons or the Dolphins facing the Saints.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Minnesota Vikings

    Many have jumped on this unit because of the Steelers' struggles. Pittsburgh has been the second-worst team in fantasy against defenses to date. But we expect a Pittsburgh rebound, especially after watching the Vikings turn Brian Hoyer and the Browns into an offensive juggernaut. Ben Roethlisberger is not in Hoyer's league...and we mean that in the good way for Big Ben and the bad way for those hoping to score some points with the Vikings defense in fantasy.

     

    New England Patriots

    They have had their fantasy moments the past couple of years despite some issues in the secondary. Those issues have yet to rear their ugly head, but it needs reminding that EJ Manuel, Geno Smith and Josh Freeman aren't exactly Jim Kelly, Joe Namath and Steve Young. Matt Ryan is. It is a bad week to have the Pats defense, and that is not something we plan to say much this season (save for the Denver week).

     

    Miami Dolphins

    They have held up nicely thus far, even beating the banged-up Falcons at home last week. Traveling to New Orleans to face Drew Brees in prime time will be a different story. Don't start Miami's defense in any leagues here. There are just too many solid streaming options to dump it for this week.

    Week 4 Defenses and Special Teams Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankDefenses and Special TeamsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Kansas City ChiefsKCvs. NYG 3+2
    2Cincinnati BengalsCinat Cle 20
    3Seattle SeahawksSeaat Hou 1-2
    4San Francisco 49ersSFat StL 8+4
    5Baltimore RavensBalat Buf 50
    6Denver BroncosDenvs. Phi60
    7Chicago BearsChiat Det 4-3
    8Houston TexansHouvs. Sea13+5
    9New York JetsNYJat Ten12+3
    10Pittsburgh SteelersPitat Min100
    11Arizona CardinalsAriat TB9-2
    12Tampa Bay BuccaneersTBvs. Ari15+3
    13Indianapolis ColtsIndat Jac 7-6
    14Minnesota VikingsMinvs. Pit11-3
    15New Orleans SaintsNOvs. Mia19+4
    16Dallas CowboysDalat SD160
    17Tennessee TitansTenvs. NYJ 14-3
    18St. Louis RamsStLvs. SF20+2
    19Washington RedskinsWasat Oak26+7
    20San Diego ChargersSDvs. Dal27+7
    21New England PatriotsNEat Atl 17-4
    22Atlanta FalconsAtlvs. NE220
    23Cleveland BrownsClevs. Cin 18-5
    24Miami DolphinsMiaat NO23-1
    25New York GiantsNYGat KC250
    26Oakland RaidersOakvs. Was28+2
    27Detroit LionsDetvs. Chi21-6
    28Jacksonville JaguarsJacvs. Ind30+2
    29Philadelphia EaglesPhiat Den290
    30Buffalo BillsBufvs. Bal 24-6
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros.

Kickers: Jump Back on Justin Tucker, Avoid Rookie Caleb Sturgis vs. New Orleans

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    Start 'Em

    Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

    The second-year kicker has gotten off to a disappointing start along with the entire Ravens offense, but the outlook is a lot better against the Bills. They have given up the second-most points to kickers in fantasy to date. Tucker is headed for a busy week.

     

    Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs

    The Chiefs' believers are slow to buy into Succop thus far this season. He is owned in just 14 percent of CBS Sports leagues and active in just 8 percent. The Giants have given up the most touchdowns through three weeks and are third worst in fantasy against kickers. It should be another great week for Succop loyalists. 

     

    Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints

    He is one of those rare kickers who fantasy owners avoid because they are afraid of Drew Brees peppering the scoreboard with touchdowns and mere extra points. Well, the Dolphins have allowed the fourth-most field-goal attempts in the NFL through three games. Only the Eagles, Bucs and Chargers have allowed more. Hartley should get three-plus field goals to go with the touchdowns this week.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins

    The rookie has displayed a strong and accurate leg, and the Dolphins offense has been a lot more productive than anyone could have envisioned in their 3-0 start. The problem is the Saints have played a lot better defense this year under Rob Ryan and have allowed the fewest points to kickers this season. It is a bad week to jump on the Sturgis bandwagon, which will get crowded as the season progresses.

     

    Randy Bullock, Houston Texans

    The first-year kicker corrected his misses from Week 2 to Week 3, but now the Seahawks defense looms. There is no reason to feel rushed to have Bullock in fantasy right now. He should be available next week off waivers.

     

    Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks

    Last week was supposed to make him a star. Instead, it has him left on the scrap heap. Keep him there against the Texans defense, which is bound to play better than it has shown to date. There are too many more productive kickers facing better matchups to be leaving this guy in.

    Week 4 Kickers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankKickersTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Stephen GostkowskiNEat Atl 2+1
    2Matt PraterDenvs. Phi1-1
    3Matt BryantAtlvs. NE4+1
    4Blair WalshMinvs. Pit6+2
    5Dan BaileyDalat SD3-2
    6Justin TuckerBalat Buf 7+1
    7Garrett HartleyNOvs. Mia5-2
    8Phil DawsonSFat StL 9+1
    9Greg Zuerlein StLvs. SF10+1
    10Sebastian JanikowskiOakvs. Was8-2
    11Nick Novak SDvs. Dal19+8
    12Alex Henery Phiat Den120
    13Robbie GouldChiat Det 130
    14Adam VinatieriIndat Jac 16+2
    15Ryan Succop KCvs. NYG 150
    16Caleb Sturgis Miaat NO17+1
    17Randy BullockHouvs. Sea18+1
    18Mike NugentCinat Cle 23+5
    19Steven Hauschka Seaat Hou 11-8
    20David AkersDetvs. Chi14-6
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros.

     

     

     

    Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game. You can also listen to him on his podcast that he deprecatingly dubbed the Fantasy FatCast.