Fantasy Football 2011: Bold Predictions for Week 4 That Will Shake Up Game Day

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2011

Want a bold prediction for Week 4? Denarius Moore leads all fantasy receivers on Sunday against the Patriots' injury depleted secondary.
Want a bold prediction for Week 4? Denarius Moore leads all fantasy receivers on Sunday against the Patriots' injury depleted secondary.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

True story: Two weeks ago, the night before a Week 2 matchup with the best team in my main dynasty league, I had a dream. In it, Jamaal Charles went down with a knee injury and was lost for the season.

The dream was so realistic, I actually checked my league matchup the next morning, hoping that Charles would miss the game and that I’d have an early advantage. Of course, he was totally healthy at that point. Two carries into his matchup with Detroit, the season-ending injury did happen. I was in shock.

Bold predictions can be just as exhilarating, and just as illogical. I started this feature last week and had some success in throwing out five bold predictions for Week 3. Now here are my selections for this week:

1. Blaine Gabbert outperforms Cam Newton in fantasy points.

OK. This is a repeat from last week. First things first, that prediction was so scarily close to coming true, I couldn’t resist to revisit it.

In fact, an interception and just a few yards separated Newton and Gabbert last week, while playing in a monsoon in a messy overall game.

This week, Newton plays a Chicago Bears' defense that can still cause headaches for opposing signal callersespecially when the game is in Chicago, as this one is. Now, he did do very well against the Packers two weeks ago, and I’m not saying he’ll be a bad fantasy option, I'm just saying that Gabbert has a real opportunity this week.

That’s because he will face the New Orleans Saints, who have given up a ton of fantasy points. This is at least partially due to the Saints’ high-powered offense forcing opposing teams to air it out to keep up. The Jaguars will definitely have to make some vertical plays happen and there will be some garbage time stats ripe for the taking.



2. Kendall Hunter will finish as a top 10 running back this week.

Frank Gore is still hurting, and while he may still get some snaps against the Eagles this week, it is looking more and more like Kendall Hunter will get his first real taste of significant carries.

Sane people would suggest that the Niners will likely be blown out early and have to air it out against the “Dream Team” Eagles. But don’t be so quick to assume that. The Niners’ defense has been sneaky good this year and while the Eagles are extremely tough to beat through the air, their Achilles' heel is the running game. They can’t stop opposing running backs. If the Niners have any chance of pulling off the upset, it will come through the running game.

And Hunter provides the big-play potential that Gore seems to be lacking all of a sudden this year

3. James Starks will also finish as a top 10 running back this week.

A week for lesser backs to finally make their presence know, I guess. Starks will be featured as the primary back with Ryan Grant likely out versus the Broncos.

And Denver, which once upon a time was fairly formidable, is now a cupcake of a matchup for a Packers' squad that is running on all cylinders.

Expect Green Bay to go up early and then feed the ball liberally to Starks to help run the clock. This should easily be Starks’ best fantasy game of the season so far.

4. Denarius Moore will lead all receivers in fantasy production this week.

A guy who was available off waivers just a couple weeks ago (and still can be in some leagues), Moore has skyrocketed to the top of the Raiders’ receiving depth chart thanks to playmaking ability that has most everyone drooling like a kid in a candy store.

This week, the Raiders have a prime rib matchup against a Patriots' defense that allows receiving stats by the bucketful and while Jacoby Ford may return from his hamstring injuries, he’ll still likely be limited.

The Raiders will be trying to play catchup with the high-powered Patriots' offense, and Moore will capitalize.

Need some last-minute emergency starter help? Check out my emergency start post for Week 4.

And, we have projections for Week 4: QBRB | WR | TE | K | DEF | IDP

For all your hard-hitting advice, go to our fantasy football index.