Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Week 4: Top Sleepers Who Will Provide Boost to Starting Lineups

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 09:  Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets runs for yardage during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 9, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2013

After three weeks, it should be clear even to novice fantasy football owners that every tough lineup decision can be the difference between winning and losing. Ultimately, it's debating those choices that makes the game fun.

Heading into Week 4, owners should have a pretty good read on their roster and know where they need to improve. Finding the right sleepers to play alongside the must-start options like Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson is the key to success.

Knowing that, let's examine some of the most intriguing players to target for Week 4. These players probably won't do enough to carry a roster, but they are the perfect secondary pieces that can help put a team over the top.

 

Week 4 Sleepers

 

Top Under-The-Radar Options

EJ Manuel (Buffalo Bills)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback EJ Manuel #3 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass in the 1st half of the Jets game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 22, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Get
Ron Antonelli/Getty Images

The Bills offense was supposed to revolve around C.J. Spiller. The dynamic running back is off to an extremely slow start, averaging less than four yards per carry and making just nine catches through three weeks. It's led to more pressure on Manuel.

For a rookie, Manuel has handled it well and limited his mistakes. More importantly, for fantasy owners, the Florida State product has emerged as a solid option. He's putting up more than 16 points per week in standard leagues and hasn't scored less than 14.

Two big-name quarterbacks are on bye this week—Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton—which brings Manuel firmly onto the radar. He gets to face a Baltimore Ravens defense that ranks 22nd in the NFL at nearly 270 passing yards against per contest.

 

Bilal Powell (New York Jets)

Powell is coming off a game in which he racked up 149 yards on 27 carries against the Bills. He displayed an impressive combination of power and elusiveness, which allowed him to make the plays the Jets' running game has been missing in recent years.

After a performance like that, he should be moved into fantasy starting lineups. New York lacks other playmakers, so Powell should get another heavy workload in Week 4 to help take pressure off Geno Smith, who remains very much in the development process.

He goes up against the Tennessee Titans, who have given up more than 100 yards on the ground in each of the past two weeks. It opens the door for another big game from Powell, who should further establish himself as the No. 1 back for the Jets.

 

Rod Streater (Oakland Raiders)

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 02: Rod Streater #80 of the Oakland Raiders catches a touchdown pass while guarded by Buster Skrine #22 of the Cleveland Browns at O.co Coliseum on December 2, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Streater is a player who has been on the fantasy radar for awhile because of his big-play ability. Although his numbers from the first three weeks are rather mundane, the fact he's been getting involved consistently is a positive sign.

But the main reason Streater makes the list is the defense he gets to face. The Washington Redskins haven't been able to stop anybody in the early going. They are giving up nearly 500 yards per game, including over 330 through the air.

With a leaky secondary like that, the Raiders receivers should be able to get open early and often. For Streater, that means he's a good bet to break off a couple big gains. The result will be his best fantasy performance of the season so far.

 

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