Fantasy Football Sunday Morning Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Decisions: Week 4

Eric StashinSenior Writer IOctober 2, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins runs by defensive back Sheldon Brown #24 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Just hours before the start of Week 4 I know many people have questions running through their heads.  Who should I start?  Who should I sit?  Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:


Reggie Bush – Running Back – Miami Dolphins

According to Jeff Darlington (via Twitter):

“I’m told Daniel Thomas’ hamstring injury, which will indeed keep him out of Sunday’s game, stems from same issue that sidelined him Week 1.”

It’s a tough break for Thomas, who has been gaining momentum of late, and helps to explain the signing of Steve Slaton from the Texans earlier this week.  It’s going to take Slaton some time to get up to speed with the offense, though he likely will factor into the game plan (at least a little bit).

That means that Reggie Bush will get the chance once again to be the lead back.  Of course, he hasn’t done much in the ground game thus far, running for 69 yards on 27 carries (2.6 yards/carry).  If the Dolphins can get him into open space and utilize him in the passing game, he’ll have the potential to post viable numbers.  Unfortunately, the team has yet to show the ability to do so.

I wouldn’t consider him more than a FLEX option at this point and even that is a stretch.  The team hasn’t proven capable of putting him in the proper situations to excel over the past few weeks, making him a major risk.


Frank Gore – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers

While it appears that Gore is going to play, there are a number of reasons to avoid using him this week.  First of all, he has been virtually unproductive over the first three weeks of the season.  Averaging just 2.5 yards/carry and having scored one TD, Gore has failed to rush for more than 59 yards in a game.

Even if he plays, chances are that Gore doesn’t get enough opportunities to be a star fantasy option.  According to Matt Maiocco of (click here for the article):

“How Gore feels during warmups will determine if and how much he plays against the Eagles. Even if Gore is healthy, look for Hunter to get at least as much playing time. And Dixon will probably get a handful of attempts, too.”

Gore has a ton of potential, but this week he carries too much risk to trust.  As we’ve said before, even if he dresses there is a major risk that he re-aggravates his ankle injury.  Hopefully you have the depth to replace him in your starting lineup.

As for Hunter, I dubbed him a sleeper for this week yesterday and this news just makes him that much more attractive.  Is he an option that I’d trust?  Absolutely not, but if you find yourself short on options, he’s worth rolling the dice on.


Beanie Wells – Running Back – Arizona Cardinals

According to Andrew Bogusch via Twitter:

“HC Ken Whisenhunt says Beanie Wells will play vs. NYG ‘barring something we don’t know about’. Exact workload unclear”

With their matchup with the Giants starting at 4 PM, the fact that he’s more or less a game time decision once again should not make fantasy owners who have depth comfortable with using him, especially against a Giants defense that is in the top half against the run (103.3 rushing yards/game).  If you need to use him, protect yourself with the returning LaRod Stephens-Howling.


Marques Colston – Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints

The talk has been that he will return to the lineup this week (he’s been out of action since catching six passes for 81 yards in Week 1).  He offers a lot of potential, but we all know how many other options the Saints have to use.  They love spreading the ball around to begin with and easily could slowly ease Colston back into the mix (with Lance Moore, Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson continuing to get the bulk of the looks).

Long-term Colston is going to be a viable option, but for this week just leave him on your bench and see how things play out.


Ben Tate – Running Back – Houston Texans

Nick Scurfield (via Twitter) is reporting that:

“Kubiak said that Arian Foster ‘looks good… We’re going to put him back to work full-time and see how he holds up.’”

Not good news for Tate owners.  While you would think Tate has earned a bigger role in the offense after the first three weeks (66 carries for 301 yards and one TD), it appears that Foster is back to being the lead runner.  That gives Tate a lot less upside and makes him more of a reserve option.


Antonio Gates – Tight End – San Diego Chargers

He plays at 4 PM, so even if there were a chance that he dresses it would be unwise to holdout hope.  As it is, it appears extremely unlikely that he takes the field this week.  Go with your other options and hope he can get himself healthy before long.


James Starks – Running Back – Green Bay Packers

Ryan Grant has already been ruled out, meaning Starks is going to get the bulk of the carries this week against the Broncos.  Yes, the Packers are going to throw, throw and throw some more, but that doesn’t mean that Starks won’t get his share of carries.  The Broncos are going to need to try and slow down Aaron Rodgers and company, so that should give Starks room to operate.

Don’t look too closely into his Week 3 struggles (11 carries for five yards).  Starks should be considered a solid RB2 in all formats this week.

Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessor’s Week 4 information: