Fantasy Football Week 4: Rankings, Predictions, Start Em Sit Em Advice
Fantasy Football Week 4 features plenty of prime-time performers ready to produce, and a handful of players beginning to emerge as legitimate fantasy options this season.
And of course, there will be plenty of flops in Week 4.
Here's a look at players you should sit and start on your fantasy teams this week.
Jerome Harrison has been limited in practice this week as he continues to recover from a thigh injury, but all signs are pointing to him being able to play Sunday against the Bengals. The emergence of Peyton Hillis no longer makes Harrison a trendy sleeper at running back, but it might be too early to give up on him just yet. Hillis should get the majority of the carries and remains a strong play in Week 4.
After his head coach hinted Mike Williams might not be able to go in Week 4 against the Rams, all signs point to him being on the field. The Seattle Times is reporting the reborn wide receiver has been a full participant in practices on Wednesday and Thursday. Williams totaled two receptions for 35 yards in last week's win over the Chargers and should improve those numbers Sunday.
After sitting out last week's loss in Seattle, Chargers rookie Ryan Mathews is poised to make his return in Week 4 against the Cardinals. Mathews might not see the normal amount of work, especially considering Mike Tolbert played well in his absence, but fantasy owners should considering playing him. Arizona's run defense is among the worst in the NFL, opening the door for a big week for San Diego's runners.
Already without Reggie Bush, the Saints could be without Pierre Thomas Sunday against the Panthers. NewOrleans.com is reporting Thomas will likely be inactive in Week 4, meaning Betts will get the start and split time with Chris Ivory. The injuries at running back could mean Drew Brees is even more pass-happy than usual.
Fred Taylor sat out practice again Thursday and is looking more and more doubtful for Monday's contest against the Dolphins. The severity of the veteran's toe injury is unknown, and given the Patriots tendency to be vague when it comes to injuries, the fact he is still listed as questionable means almost nothing. Don't expect Taylor to play this week, opening the door for BenJarvus Green-Ellis to handle the bulk of the work in the backfield once again.
Despite the cautious words of his head coach earlier today, Texans receiver Andre Johnson says he will play Sunday when Houston travels to Oakland. Johnson has been doing some running this week, but hasn't practiced. Don't be surprised if the Texans limit his snaps, but he should produce enough to warrant keeping him in your lineup in Week 4.
Pierre Garcon hasn't practiced all week as the Jaguars prepare to face the Jaguars. With Garcon out, Austin Collie has produced tremendous numbers and isn't likely to slow down against Jacksonville's horrendous defense. Fellow wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez isn't close to returning from his ankle injury and has been ruled out this week.
CBSSports.com is reporting Texans coach Gary Kubiak has declared Andre Johnson a game-time decision against the Raiders. Johnson, who is dealing with a mild ankle sprain, did some light running on the side at Texans practice Thursday. Don't rule out him playing through pain Sunday, but the Texans might try to convince him to sit out the game in hopes of getting healthy moving forward.
Jahvid Best was held out of practice again Thursday and is a huge question mark for Week 4 against the Packers. Without Best in the lineup, Detroit appears to have little chance Sunday in Green Bay. Turf toe injuries take a great deal of time to heal, so Best's production going forward could suffer. Even if he does try to play through the pain, he probably won't put up big numbers this week against the Packers' defense.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting Jake Delhomme could play Sunday as the Browns look for the first win of the season against the Bengals. Delhomme is expected to practice Thursday and Friday, and if he holds up he could get a chance to return to the field. This news doesn't have huge fantasy implications, but could give surging running back a better chance to produce with at least a threat of a passing game in Cleveland.
Knowshon Moreno hasn't lived up to his potential yet in the NFL, primarily because he just can't seem to stay healthy. Broncos coach Josh McDaniels hasn't officially ruled Moreno out yet, but Rotoworld.com is reporting sources close to the team say the second-year pro won't play Sunday against the Titans. That could open the door for Laurence Maroney to contribute in the running game.
Drew Brees has a knee issue, which isn't good news for the Saints or fantasy owners. Brees is dealing with a mild MCL strain, and won't even be listed on the Saints injury report for Week 4. At the same time, a quarterback dealing with leg injuries early in the season is cause for concern. Even if his production isn't hampered Sunday against the woeful Panthers, the situation is certainly worth watching in the weeks ahead.
ESPN is reporting the Saints are planning to sit kicker Garrett Hartley Sunday against the Panthers after his missed field goal in overtime of last week's loss to the Falcons validated growing concerns about his accuracy. New Orleans will turn to a familiar face to handle the kicking duties in Week 4, bringing back veteran John Carney. Assuming Carney still something left in the tank, he could be worth taking a look at if you need a kicker this week.
Although Steven Jackson has used Twitter to tell the world he feels better, his status for Sunday's suddenly pivotal match-up is uncertain. If Jackson isn't able to participate in practice Friday, it seems unlikely he will suit up this weekend. There are varying reports as to the severity of his groin injury, but if it is indeed only a strain he might be able to play through it.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the Ravens are optimistic about Ray Rice's chances of playing Sunday against the Steelers. Fantasy owners should already be wary of playing Rice this week, and without him completely healthy there is little chance he will produce. While he continues to deal with his deep bone bruise to his right knee, it might be a good idea to leave him on the bench.