Two weeks of making picks in the books and the results are getting better although they aren’t where I would like them to be yet. The big standout from last week was recommending Devonta Freeman as a start, while recommending that you sit Matt Ryan maybe wasn’t the best idea.
Week four is a big week for a lot of people. If you are sitting at 0-3 it is must win territory, even at 1-2 a loss could really hamper the chances of making the playoffs.
For those of you who are lucky enough to be 3-0 or 2-1 it doesn’t mean this week is any less important. Another win puts your team closer to a playoff berth and a possible bye.
Refer here if for more information on the benchmark scores for what I am looking for.
Cam Newton at Cowboys (68% started): Newton has only one game where he has thrown more than 195 yards. Newton does so much with his legs that he is a good bet to score 15 plus points no matter the matchup. This week he gets the Buccaneers who can be thrown on. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have any great receivers, he needs to be started.
Carson Palmer vs Rams (60% started): Palmer is a top five quarterback for the rest of the season. He is an absolute must start unless you drafted one of the elite options. The Rams have been good against quarterbacks this season. They held Russell Wilson to 15 points and the Steelers quarterback combination to only seven, Ben Roesthlisberger left in the third quarter. I wouldn’t worry, start Palmer.
Andy Dalton vs Chiefs (24% started): The Chiefs have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Although Aaron Rodgers and his huge performance last week really skew the results, they did allow 20 points to the Texans quarterbacks in week one and another 20 to Peyton Manning in week two.
Tyrod Taylor vs Giants (30% started): As of this writing he qualifies here but I assume, and hope, that this will rise by Sunday. A lot of people jumped on “TMobile” as a flier because of his ability to gain points with his legs. His legs have propelled him to the number four quarterback to date but even without his running he would fall within the top 12. Do not expect him to put up 20 plus points every week but Taylor has a very high floor.
Derek Carr at Bears (12% started): I expect that he is more readily available on the waiver wire than Taylor so if you need a Roethlisberger replacement he might be the best option. The Bears are in shambles right now and the secondary wasn’t good to begin with. The only fear with Carr this week is that the Raiders, yes the Raiders, could be up by so much that they do not need to pass a lot.
Eli Manning at Buffalo (39% started): I would go with any of the quarterbacks I recommended above over the younger Manning this week. Tom Brady ripped the Bills Defense apart but other than that Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck were only able to put up points in junk time.
Ryan Tannehill vs Jets (33% started): The Jets have been great on defense to date this season and Tannehill has struggled out of the gate. The running game has not been working so far this season, when they try it, so the Jets might be able to focus on defending the pass. I do not see this game going the way it did with Buffalo last week, not a quarter plus of garbage time scoring.
Matt Stafford at Seahawks (29% started): A lot of people have already jumped off the Stafford train in the past 24 hours; the time I chose him and the time I started writing. For those who still have him in lineups get him out of there. He is dinged up, facing a good Seahawks defense and hasn’t played well this year.
Devonta Freeman vs Texans (68% started): He was given a full workload for the first time in his career last week and he didn’t disappoint. When teams have to focus on Julio Jones a lot of running lanes can be left open for running backs. I can see this game getting out of hand early.
Melvin Gordon vs Browns (66% started): A prime matchup with the Browns and he has looked good when given carries. They have allowed the most yards rushing to running backs this season. I think it is safe to say the Browns won’t jump out to a big lead and force Gordon to the sidelines in favor of Danny Woodhead.
Karlos Williams vs Giants (62% started): LeSean McCoy will sit leaving the backfield to Williams. The Giants have been able to hold running backs in check so far this season but I think Williams benefits from volume and he currently leads the NFL in yards per carry.
Thomas Rawls vs Lions (4%): A must start if Marshawn Lynch does not play. There might not be a lot of clarity on the situation heading into the games on Sunday. The upside is huge but if Lynch plays he might not get more than a few carries. Keep any eye on practice reports and if you can manage to have another option (Ameer Abduallah, Doug Baldwin) and hold out to see his status on Monday it could pay off huge.
Alfred Blue at Falcons (8% started): This is only if Foster sits. As an NFL talent he is nothing special but they seem to give him the ball a lot and you can do a lot worse if injuries and bye weeks have hit you hard this week.
Lance Dunbar at Saints (14% started): My non-injury related deep option for the week. The offense used a lot of underneath passing in Brandon Weeden’s first start. If that continues Dunbar could have another seven plus catch game.
C.J. Anderson vs Vikings (63% started): There are too many knocks on Anderson at this point in the season. The line isn’t going to improve anytime soon. I expect a hot hand approach in the future with this backfield and with the play of the offensive line it isn’t worth the risk.
Lamar Miller vs Jets (59% started): Miller has had only one 20 plus carry game in his career and it came back in 2013. The upside is limited with the capped workload and he gets a tough matchup with the Jets this week.
Carlos Hyde vs Packers (86% started): Reggie Bush is expected to return this week and if you told me the 49ers kept this game within 20 points I would be shocked. This game will be over by halftime, severely limiting Hyde’s workload. You may not have better options so you might be forced to start him, but if you have one of the starts listed I would play them all over Hyde.
James Jones at 49ers (69% started): He looked like he took the number two receiver job from Davante Adams and with Adams out it is just one less mouth to feed. The 49ers have allowed 665 yards and four touchdowns to receivers through the first four weeks. Jones is locked in as a top 15 receiver this week.
Jordan Matthews at Redskins (68% started): The Redskins secondary is beatable and DeAngelo Hall is banged up. Matthews has been the one constant in the Eagles offense. He has at least six catches in every game this season.
Michael Crabtree at Bears (39% started): I see Carr and the Raiders having a good game this week. Not everything will go to Amari Cooper. The Chicago secondary has been getting torn up by receivers a lot over the past two seasons.
Ty Montgomery at 49ers (3% started): Like I mentioned with Jones, this is a great matchup and with Adams out he should move into the number three receiver role. Any receiver on the field for 50 plus snaps with Aaron Rodgers is worth starting. The concern is that even with playing more than 60 snaps last week he only managed two targets. I think getting a full week of practice knowing he will be the third receiver will help his production.
Ted Ginn Jr. at Buccaneers (15% started) He has served as the number one receiver in the offense, number two target behind Greg Olsen. If he had caught easily catchable touchdown passes earlier in the season he would have been a hot commodity by now, instead he continues to fly under the radar.
Keenan Allen vs Browns (87% started): In his two big games this season the Chargers have been pass happy. I expect a more run oriented game plan this week. If he doesn’t get a ton of targets he isn’t worth the start.
Jeremy Maclin at Bengals (61% started): The box score from last week was great, but almost all of it came with the game already decided in the second half. The Chiefs don’t pass often and when they do they don’t use their receivers.
Mike Evans vs Panthers (75% started): This one could blow up in my face. I expect Josh Norman to shadow him and if he does Evans will be in for a rough day. Norman is growing into one of the true shutdown corners in the NFL.
Dante Moncrief vs Jaguars (56% started): This one depends on the status of Andrew Luck. If he ends up being inactive Moncrief should be pulled out of lineups. The offense will be run heavy. Even if Luck is active I would be hesitant to start him as anything more than a third receiver or flex.
Martellus Bennett vs Raiders (76% started): He is already started in a lot of leagues but he needs to be in all leagues that require you to play a tight end. The Raiders have given up 305 yards and five touchdowns to tight ends this season. That includes Tyler Eifert, Crockette Gillmore and Gary Barnidge. Start all tight ends against the Raiders.
Charles Clay vs Giants (43% started): With Sammy Watkins out Clay moves up in the pecking order for targets. He is a great bye week fill in for if you need one.
Jordan Reed vs Eagles (60% started): DeSean Jackson won’t be playing again this week leaving more targets for Reed. He has had at least six catches and 60 yards in every game this season. There isn’t much more you can ask for unless you have one of the elite tight ends.
Eric Ebron at Seahawks (39% started): Garbage yards still count the same. Ebron has done most of his scoring in the fourth quarter of games when the Lions are forced into passing situations. That shouldn’t change this week.
Arizona Cardinals vs Rams (73% started): This defense needs to be started in all leagues.
Carolina Panthers at Buccaneers (68% started): Even without Luke Kuechly this defense should do well. They get a rookie quarterback in a game that they should win.
Indianapolis Colts vs Jaguars (38% started): If you’re struggling to find a defense for a week, picking someone facing the Jaguars is never a bad bet.
Green Bay Packers (39% started): The pass rush was on display last Monday against the Chiefs. Colin Kapernick is prone to sacks and interceptions as well.
Miami Dolphins vs Jets (48% started): Traveling to London and they haven’t been good to date. They have scored negative points in back to back weeks.
Houston Texans at Falcons (62% started): Facing a great offense in Atlanta this week. I do not think the unit as a whole is bad but their offense puts them in bad situations.
St. Louis Rams at Cardinals (63% started): The Cardinals have not allowed a defense to score a point all season, each team scored in the negatives. The streak of negative scoring weeks might end, but this offense is rolling. Do not expect a great performance from the Rams
For those looking for “streaming” kicker option I figured I would throw out some kicker options. All kickers are started in under 70 percent of leagues. This is going to be a stream and avoid rather than a start and sit. Start and sit implies you have more than one option on your team, and no one should ever have two kickers. Ideally you want kickers in games with high a over/under and on the team favored to win.
Chandler Catanzaro vs Rams– Kickers on good teams are always a good investment. Pick him up and keep him for the whole season.
Graham Gano at Buccaneers – Kicking in sunny Florida and in a game where his team should win.
Sebastian Janikowski at Bears – The team should get a lot of scoring chances this week.
Dan Carpenter vs Giants – Heavy rain from the hurricane is expected.
Josh Brown at Buffalo– Weather concerns with the hurricane.
Caleb Sturgis at Redskins – Again, concerns with the weather.
Dustin Hopkins vs Eagles – The team is struggling, and oh yeah the weather is supposed to be bad.
If you have any start sit or any kind of questions at all ask them in the comment section below or on Twitter @TheSportsGuy40.
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