Week 4 Fantasy Football: Riskiest Players You Must Avoid Starting

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 27, 2013

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after an incomplete pass against the Denver Broncos during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

There are always those players who are risky starts in fantasy football, yet they could go off at any time for a huge game.  Week 4 is no different, but you must avoid playing some of those players this week.

A lot of fantasy owners were tempted to start Trent Richardson after the trade, along with other players like Eddie Royal and James Starks.

I'm guessing that didn't work out for most owners.

There are players just like those from last week, and you need to stay away from them this week.

Note: All scoring numbers are from ESPN's standard scoring leagues.


Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of a game against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Giants 41-23. Mandatory Credit: Brad P
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We all know that the younger Manning can put up big numbers.  However, that's wasn't the case at all this week, and it's not going to be this week.

After putting up 28 points in Week 1, Manning had just 10 in Week 2 and then all the way down to three last week.  He had just 119 yards passing and an interception as the New York Giants lost 38-0 against the Carolina Panthers.

Now, Eli is going to have to go against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are already 3-0.  The Chiefs have allowed just over 11 points and 185 passing yards per game.  They've allowed just two passing touchdowns and forced four interceptions, with opposing QBs putting up a passer rating of just 63.1.

To make matters worse, both Chris Snee and David Baas will be out against the Chiefs, according to the NFL on ESPN.

With how bad the O-line looked last week, this isn't a good sign for Eli, and he definitely needs to ride the bench on your team this week if you have even a decent backup.


Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 08: Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans rushes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on September 8, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans are going to give CJ2K somewhere around 20-25 carries as always this week, but that's not going to help him put up many points.

Johnson has yet to score a touchdown or break 100 yards rushing, and he's currently averaging just 3.7 yards per rush.  While the numbers have slowly improved as the season has continued, he is not going to have a big game against the New York Jets.

The Jets are surprisingly 2-1 to start the season, and a lot of that is on their defense.  They've given up just under 17 points and 80 yards rushing per game.  Opposing running backs have failed to get anything going against these guys, and it's showing on the scoreboard.

With how inconsistent Johnson is and how strong the Jets defense has looked, this isn't an ideal matchup for fantasy owners.  To add on, Jake Locker has looked decent through the first three games and the coaching staff may depend more on his arm in this game than Johnson's legs.


Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

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

In his first game back from suspension, Josh Gordon went off.  He had 146 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches, putting up 22 fantasy points.

That's not going to be the case this week.

Let's remember that Brian Hoyer is still his quarterback.  Yes, Hoyer had a terrific game against the Minnesota Vikings, but at the same time the Vikings have struggled mightily on defense, allowing at least 30 points in every game so far.  Not a lot of people were expecting Hoyer to play as well as he did, but after that performance, teams are going to start focusing a lot more on him.

To go along with that, the Cincinnati Bengals defense is one of the more underrated in the NFL.  It made Aaron Rodgers look mortal last week and has held opposing QBs to a passer rating of just 75.7.  

Even if cornerback Leon Hall isn't able to play, the Bengals secondary is going to be focusing primarily on Gordon, and that's going to keep him from putting up big numbers for the second straight week.