Fantasy Football Rankings Week 4: Top 15 Flex Options Heading into This Week
Many matchups come down to the last offensive player that you decide to play, otherwise known as the flex option. Players such as Darren Sproles, Victor Cruz or Nate Washington have probably had their say in winning teams this season.
Many of the championship teams in fantasy football in the past have probably won due to a couple of key pickups throughout the season. It's always important to scour the waiver wire and and try to steal away the best pickups from your opponents.
With these ideas in mind it's a good idea to look at some good flex options in Week 4. Here are 15 of the top options.
Malcolm Floyd, WR, SD
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San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates may sit out for the second consecutive week. Even if he plays, he won't be 100 percent.
Floyd was rumored to miss last week but was surprisingly active. He was limited in snaps and explosiveness, but should be much better this weekend.
With Gates being out or limited, Floyd will at worst be the third option for signal caller Philip Rivers. Rivers has gotten off to a slow start in 2011, but an elite quarterback can only be limited for so long.
The matchup is also pretty good for Floyd, as even the Browns wide receivers got going last week against Miami. Look for the talented receiver to jumpstart his season this week.
Jacoby Ford, WR, OAK
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Raiders No. 1 wide receiver Jacoby Ford is expected to play this week after sitting out the previous two-plus weeks with injuries. Even after missing that time, he will still probably finish the year with the most catches among Raiders.
The matchup almost couldn't be any better for Ford. The secondary of the new England Patriots has been one of the worst in the game.
Not only should Ford have some great chances against the New England defense, Oakland will probably be playing from behind. That will lead to more targets for the talented speedster.
Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
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In the absence of Ford, rookie receiver Denarius Moore showed that he belongs in the starting lineup to stay. He is someone that can make something happen any time he touches the ball, as epitomized by his long rushing touchdown last week.
The game against New England could very well turn into a shootout. The Raiders offense is much improved this season, as shown by their surprising win over the Jets last week.
Joseph Addai, RB, IND
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Colts running back Joseph Addai showed last week that he can still be an effective runner even without Peyton Manning.
He had nearly 100 yards rushing against a strong Steelers defense, as well as a touchdown. That game alone should give his owners optimism to start him this week.
The Bucs are a pretty solid defensive team, meaning Addai is unlikely to have any kind of a breakout game. That being said, his performance last week showed the coaching staff that he deserves his touches and the Colts will likely give him a good 20-25 touches on a weekly basis.
Lance Moore, WR, NO
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Lance Moore plays the same position as the injured Marques Colston, who is the Saints No. 1 receiver. That should mean great things for him until Colston returns.
Moore missed Week 1 and was limited in Week 2, but really broke out in the second half of the Saints win over Houston. He has always been one of the favorite targets of Drew Brees, especially in the red zone.
New Orleans finally gets a light matchup in Week 4, and Brees shouldn't have much of a problem moving the ball against the Jaguars defense.
Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
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While Vikings wide receiver is clearly the team's top playmaker after Adrian Peterson, his stats don't show for it thus far in 2011.
His snaps have been limited in the red zone as well as for migraines, but his matchup in Week 4 should have his owners forgetting about all of that a week from now. Kansas City is one of the worst teams in the league and Eric Berry is out for the season.
Now at 0-3, Minnesota needs to realize that Harvin needs to get the ball a lot more. None of the other receivers on the roster are even close to him in talent.
Ryan Grant, RB, GB
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Packers running back Ryan Grant is in a time-share with James Starks, as the hot hand is likely to get most of the carries in each game.
After being severely outplayed by Starks in the season's first two weeks, Grant had a really nice game against Chicago last week. Starks was equally as bad as Grant was good.
The good thing for the veteran is that he is the starter, meaning he can ride the momentum of last week on the first Packers series on Sunday. If Grant looks anywhere near the way he looked in Week 3, he could dominate the carries against Denver.
Julio Jones, WR, ATL
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While rookie receiver Julio Jones looked explosive throughout the first five quarters of his NFL career, he didn't exactly have the production to show for it.
That all changed in the fourth quarter of the Falcons loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, as he was the main cog in almost leading Atlanta to a comeback victory. The Falcons passing offense finally started to click and Jones should enjoy a solid rookie campaign in 2011.
A matchup against Seattle could provide Matt Ryan his breakout game this season. His play has been pretty supbar this year and has really limited the effectiveness of Jones.
Santana Moss, WR, WAS
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Santana Moss is one of the more consistent guys in football. He doesn't have many highs and lows and you know he is going to average around 60 yards again and not score many touchdowns.
If there was ever going to be a high for Moss, it would be in Week 4 against the horrific Rams defense. Rookie receiver Torrey Smith of Baltimore lit them up for three touchdowns in the first quarter last week.
Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman has been better than advertised in 2011 and should enjoy the great matchup against Saint Louis. Moss has been one of his favorite targets throughout the first three weeks as well.
Mark Ingram, RB, NO
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Saints rookie running back Mark Ingram did finally score his first touchdown last week, but he has yet to really put together a strong comprehensive game. Much of that is because the Saints have found themselves playing from behind, which limits the running plays.
If all goes right in Week 4, the Saints should find themselves sitting on a lead against the less-talented Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ingram is mired in a running back by committee with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. He is the goal-line back, however, and would also receive any clock-killing carries.
Jerome Simpson, WR, CIN
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The expectation is that Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson is going to receive his starting job back in Week 4 after being benched in Week 3 for some off the field issues.
The Bengals' passing game was the worst it was all season last week against San Fransisco, but the return of Simpson and a matchup against Buffalo should make them fast forget that situation. The Bills are 3-0, but mostly because of their dynamic offense.
Simpson seems to have good chemistry with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton. He finished the 2010 year strong and was solid in the first two weeks this year.
Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
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Reggie Bush was expected to be "the man" in the backfield in Miami this season. Rookie Daniel Thomas was only supposed to be a handcuff.
After Week 3, it is already apparent that Thomas has passed Bush as the lead runner for the Dolphins. Bush has been nearly invisible the last two weeks while Thomas has looked very strong.
The matchup against the Chargers isn't the greatest one in the world for Thomas, but you could do worse than starting a lead back in your flex position.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
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Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers has looked much better than fellow running back DeAngelo Williams in 2011, but the two are still in an even time-share. You think that would have to change, however, if he continually outpeforms him.
The Panthers have a matchup against the Chicago Bears next week, which is good for the Carolina running game. Chicago almost gave up 100 yards Ryan Grant in Week 3, a player that couldn't run on anyone in the first two weeks.
At worst, Stewart should be active in an improved Carolina passing game this season. If the Panthers decide to actually give him a lion's share of the carries, he could be in for a huge day.
Deion Branch, WR, NE
After being a major part of the New England Patriots passing game in Weeks 1 and 2, Deion Branch had no catches against Buffalo in Week 3. It was almost as surprising as New England losing to the Bills.
With tight end Aaron Hernandez still sidelined and Tom Brady having lost confidence in Chad Ochocinco, there's almost no way Branch doesn't bounce back in this one. Brady is passing for an insane amount of yards this season and that shouldn't to end any time soon.
Jared Cook, TE, TEN
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If your dealing with a lot of injuries or are just looking for a breakout week, you might want to start Titans tight end Jared Cook in your flex position this week.
Matt Hasselbeck has looked very good this season, but lost top weapon Kenny Britt last Sunday for the rest of 2011. That leaves Nate Washington and Cook as the top options in the passing game.
There was a lot of hype on Cook heading into the season, but it hasn't quite come to fruition yet. That could change against the Browns on Sunday, as Hasselbeck needs to find a consistent option to go alongside Washington.
Bernard Scott, RB, CIN (If Benson's appeal fails).
Kendall Hunter, RB, SF (If Frank Gore is unable to play).