Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 4: Examining Fantasy Football Flex Lineup Decisions
It’s never too late to make a fantasy lineup decision that will win you your weekly matchup. At the same time, tinkering too much can burn you if you overthink it.
We’re all victims of it: staring at the scoreboard on Monday morning, counting how many points we need from our Monday Night Football players in order to pull off the comeback.
Don’t leave it up to Monday night. Take my advice in the following paragraphs instead and win your game decisively.
Start: RB Lamar Miller (MIA at NO)
Despite losing a goal-line carry to Daniel Thomas—which resulted in a touchdown—Lamar Miller showed plenty of fantasy potential again last week. He broke off a 49-yard run at one point and had a potential touchdown pass bounce off his hands.
Against the New Orleans Saints, the Miami Dolphins are going to have to involve both Miller and Thomas in order to counteract Rob Ryan’s confusing blitz packages. Opposing running games have found some success, rushing for nearly 100 yards per game against them, so the Fins should find some opportunities for both backs this weekend.
Sit: RBs Jason Snelling/Jacquizz Rodgers (ATL vs. NE)
Some backfield timeshares are more troublesome than others. In the case of the Atlanta Falcons, they’re fielding two backups while Steven Jackson continues to get healthy after missing last week’s game.
Of the two, Jason Snelling has been the bigger fantasy producer, but neither of these two backs gives fantasy owners incredible upside. Their matchup against New England is a tricky one, too. The Pats have allowed the 12th fewest points to fantasy backs to this point, but they have been good OK at defending the run. Go with Miller or Thomas over both of these two this weekend.
Start: WR T.Y. Hilton (IND at JAX)
Injuries have slowed speedy receiver T.Y. Hilton to this point. However, he should be healthier and more effective on the field this week. Luckily, he has a very favorable matchup in which he can get back into fantasy owners’ good graces.
Jacksonville has been atrocious all over the field, and it's currently tied for last in the NFL with five touchdowns allowed to receivers through three weeks. Expect Hilton to get open from his slot position to expose the Jags multiple times this weekend.
Sit: WR Mike Wallace (MIA at NO)
If you’re counting on Mike Wallace to have another big game after a letdown, you’re doing it wrong. Despite his up-and-down start through three weeks, Wallace is a boom-or-bust fantasy receiver in the truest sense of the phrase.
Miami has plenty of other weapons to utilize, and Wallace has done a good job playing decoy above all else to this point in the season. The Saints are also doing a better job defensively this season, allowing just 14.7 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers.
Start: WR Ryan Broyles (DET vs. CHI)
With Nate Burleson out for the foreseeable future, second-year receiver Ryan Broyles’ role is going to ramp up in Week 3. After being slowed to start the season due to his recovery from knee surgery last December, Broyles has no choice but to see the field often this week against Chicago.
And the Bears have been anything but impressive against the pass this season. They have given up 643 yards and 29.3 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers. Broyles has to step up for the Lions to transition seamlessly from Burleson and have any hopes of winning a crucial divisional matchup.
Sit: RB Stevan Ridley (NE at ATL)
Bill Belichick doesn’t care about your fantasy team. He’ll wait until the last minute to declare inactives and then completely change the distribution for his backfield from week to week. With how his rushing game—Stevan Ridley in particular—has struggled this year, it’s not a shock to see those inconsistencies.
Last week, Ridley split time nearly evenly with Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount. Ridley and Bolden each notched 26 snaps while Blount was close behind with 24, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Plus, the Falcons have been decent against the run, allowing just 195 yards and one touchdown through three weeks.
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