Fantasy Football: Week Four Start or Sit
Before I get to my Week Four selections, let’s check last week’s picks for accuracy.
Good Starts from Week Three:
LeSean McCoy, RB (PHI): McCoy got the start in Brian Westbrook’s absence, finishing with 20 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown.
David Garrard, QB (JAC): Although he didn’t record a passing touchdown, he did pass for 218 yards and had a rushing touchdown.
Pierre Garcon, WR (IND): Peyton Manning continued to look Garcon’s way, connecting with him for three catches and one touchdown.
Bad Starts from Week Three:
Lee Evans, WR (BUF): The game wasn’t as much of a shootout as I thought it would be and the Bills continued to struggle in the passing game.
Dustin Keller, TE (NYJ): Keller recorded only two receptions for 24 yards against a sub-par passing defense.
Clinton Portis, RB (WAS): Portis produced another poor performance with only 42 yards rushing against one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Good Sits from Week Three:
Frank Gore, RB (SF): If you took my advice and sat him last week, I’m sure you were thanking me. He got injured on his first carry of the game and didn’t return after that.
Carnell Williams, RB (TB): Williams ran the ball only twice for eight yards, need I say more?
Eddie Royal, WR (DEN): Royal was practically nonexistent in the Broncos offense, recording only one reception for four yards.
Bad Sits from Week Three:
Kevin Smith, RB (DET): Smith proved me wrong, rushing for over 100 yards against a good rush defense in the Redskins.
Julius Jones, RB (SEA): In the absence of Matt Hasselbeck, the offense seemed to run through Jones. He finished with 98 yards rushing, 38 yards receiving, and one touchdown.
Willie Parker, RB (PIT): Parker proved all his critics wrong, rushing for 93 yards and recording a receiving touchdown.
Here is my Week Four list of who to start and who to sit:
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Start: Bears, Defense/Special Teams
Explanation: The Bears defense has been playing better than expected without their captain, Brian Urlacher, on the field. They are matched up with a poor offensive team, and they may be without their star running back, Smith. Overall, just a great matchup, so be sure to start them this week.
Sit: Kevin Smith, RB (DET)
Explanation: Smith will be a game-time decision for Week Four, due to a shoulder injury. If he plays, he is still a risky start.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Start: Bengals, Defense/Special Teams
Explanation: The Browns offense is absolutely horrible and they are already switching starting quarterbacks. The Bengals defense has been solid this year, so if your defense is on a bye, take advantage of this matchup.
Sit: Braylon Edwards, WR (CLE)
Explanation: Edwards has yet to score a touchdown, and the future isn’t looking promising. With another change at quarterback, the Browns offense will most likely be lackluster in Week Four. Go with a different receiver if you can.
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts
Start: Donald Brown, RB (IND)
Explanation: Brown keeps getting more and more involved in the Colts offense as the weeks go on, so even more production is expected this week against the Seahawks. Brown should once again get at least half the workload, so feel free to start him.
Sit: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR (SEA)
Explanation: Housmandzadeh has yet to find chemistry with his quarterbacks in Seattle. With Hasselbeck out once again, expect the offense to flow through Julius Jones instead of the passing attack.
New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs
Start: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB (NYG)
Explanation: Bradshaw went for over 100 yards last week against the Buccaneers and has another favorable matchup this week. He does have a minor foot injury, so be sure to check his status prior to the game, but start him if he’s playing.
Sit: Matt Cassel, QB (KC)
Explanation: Don’t let the two touchdowns last week fool you. The Giants are making big plays against the pass this year and should once again this week, especially if they are up early. Go with a different option here.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Start: Fred Taylor, RB (NE)
Explanation: Taylor is the clear-cut favorite to receive carries in the New England backfield. The matchup isn’t the best, but he should see goal line carries.
Sit: Mark Clayton, WR (BAL)
Explanation: Clayton hasn’t had a touchdown since Week One, with Derrick Mason being the primary target for Joe Flacco. He may get more looks than usual this week, but still not worth starting.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Redskins
Start: Jason Campbell, QB (WAS)
Explanation: The Buccaneers defense is giving up over 250 yards per game through the air through the first three weeks of the season. Campbell should be able to take advantage of this matchup and have a great game.
Sit: Antonio Bryant, WR (TB)
Explanation: Bryant is yet to have a good game this year, and has a bad matchup this week. With a new quarterback throwing him the ball, stay away from starting him at all costs.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Start: Mike Sims-Walker, WR (JAC)
Explanation: The Titans give up the second most yards to receivers this season, and the Jaguars are expected to take advantage of that. Sims-Walker has recorded six catches in both of the last two games, which shows he is finding a rhythm with David Garrard. Start him as your second or third receiver this week.
Sit: Justin Gage, WR (TEN)
Explanation: Gage has not been as active in the Titan’s offense the last two weeks as he was in the season’s opener. This week’s game will be a battle of rushing attacks, so Gage’s role in the offense will likely be held to a minimum.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans
Start: Kevin Walter, WR (HOU)
Explanation: In his first game back, Walter recorded seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Andre Johnson has a tough matchup this week, so expect Matt Schaub to go Walter’s way even more.
Sit: Darren McFadden, RB (OAK)
Explanation: The Raiders' offense is horrible and McFadden has yet to have a 100-yard rushing game this season. The matchup is good, but having a problem handling the ball.
New York Jets at New Orleans Saints
Start: Pierre Thomas, RB (NO)
Explanation: Thomas was able to score two touchdowns last week in his first game back and will be used to balance out the passing attack of the Saints again this week. This is a tough matchup, but he should at least score one touchdown.
Sit: Jets, Defense/Special Teams
Explanation: The Jets defense has exceeded expectations thus far in 2009, but they have yet to play an offensive attack like the Saints. As a precautionary action, sit the Jets defense this week.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Start: Ricky Williams, RB (MIA)
Explanation: With the injury to Chad Pennington, the Dolphins are expected to rely even more on their rushing game. Williams will be the beneficiary of the new scheme and should have a great game this week.
Sit: Terrell Owens, WR (BUF)
Explanation: Although this is a great matchup for Owens, Trent Edwards has yet to be able to get the ball to him. Big plays are what made Owens great in fantasy football, and he has little to no value without them.
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Start: Glen Coffee, RB (SF)
Explanation: Coffee will now receive the workload in San Francisco, due to the injury to Frank Gore. He should get around 20 carries and put up great numbers against the horrible Rams defense.
Sit: Donnie Avery, WR (STL)
Explanation: Week after week I say to sit this guy, and this week is no different. I don’t care about matchup; he needs to step it up before being off the sit list.
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos
Start: Tashard Choice, RB (DAL)
Explanation: Injuries to both Marion Barber and Felix Jones makes Choice a must-start this week. Expect him to get the workload, especially if both Barber and Jones don’t play.
Sit: Correll Buckhalter, RB (DEN)
Explanation: The matchup is good, but Knowshon Moreno is now 100 percent and played well last week. Moreno is the future of the franchise, so expect him to start being used more, limiting Buckhalter’s carries.
San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Start: Hines Ward, WR (PIT)
Explanation: Although Ward has yet to score a touchdown, he is a must start this week. The Chargers secondary is vulnerable, so expect the Steelers to take full advantage by using all their weapons, especially Ward.
Sit: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB (SD)
Explanation: It is unknown if Tomlinson will play, but it’s a bad matchup, anyway. Keep him on your bench this week to be safe.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Start: Brett Favre, QB (MIN)
Explanation: Favre will be playing this game with something to prove; that the Packers made a mistake when going with Aaron Rodgers over Favre back before the 2008 season. Expect Favre to have a great game against the Packers, who are giving up two touchdowns per game to quarterbacks.
Sit: Ryan Grant, RB (GB)
Explanation: This is a brutal matchup for Grant, as the Vikings are still one of the best rushing defenses. Keep him out of your lineup, as he should have a mediocre game.
Key Fantasy Players on Bye Weeks in Week Four:
Philadelphia Eagles: Brian Westbrook, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Donovan McNabb, Brent Celek
Arizona Cardinals: Tim Hightower, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Kurt Warner
Carolina Panthers: DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Steve Smith
Atlanta Falcons: Michael Turner, Roddy White, Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez
Check back next week as I assist you in your fantasy lineup decisions!
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