Isn’t it great to have some numbers to look at now that we’ve got three weeks in the books? Oh wait, I’m a fantasy numbers geek and might get a little more excited about this than the average football fan.
However, the cool thing here is that you don’t have to look through all the passing yards allowed, yards per rush, or anything of that stuff to benefit on your way to your league trophy.
All you have to do is join us “So-Called Fantasy Experts” to get the scoop in plain English each week.
As we move into week 4 we are tabulating stats, putting our finger into the wind, and coming up with the best players to pick up, start-sit, or trade for, all within a couple clicks of the mouse for the average player out there.
So, sit back and take a look at what the numbers and whatever we had for lunch tell us to do with our start-sit options for this week!
Week 4 Start-Sit
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Dalton can be one of the more streaky quarterbacks in the league. While I don’t have confidence that he stays on his current pace for 43 passing TDs he’s playing well right now so he’s start worthy until he cools off. This week the Bengals play at home against the Chiefs, currently ranked 28th in the NFL in yards allowed through the air per game. With all the injuries to QBs he’s a nice option if you need one in the short term.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears
Don’t look now but Carr has put up over 300 yards in both of the games he’s played without injury. More interesting he’s put up these numbers against two pretty decent pass defenses. Amari Cooper no doubt helps pad the young QBs stats, but we will take it! This week the Raiders travel to Chicago, an early candidate for next year’s No. 1 overall draft pick. The Bears are already selling their team in a similar fashion to baseball teams that concede early to stock up for next year. Needless to say this is the best matchup Carr has had so far this year. You are going to start Amari Cooper every week going forward but this is also a week to use the Raider’s QB if you need him.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 30, 2015
Eli Manning, NY Giants at Buffalo Bills
The Giants travel upstate to Buffalo as 5.5 point dogs against a defense to avoid as a fantasy owner. Manning has a history of putting up duds just when you think it’s safe to start using him and this feels like one of those games. Eli hasn’t thrown a pick yet this year so he seems due for a couple in this one. Odell Beckham is the only Giant I would feel safe trotting out this week.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins vs. NY Jets (London)
Tannehill will take on the Jets in a game Vegas predicts as a low scoring game at 41 points. The Dolphins QB has put up some decent numbers so far including a 297 yard, two TD day last week against a brutal Bills D, but he threw three picks as well. This is another tough one against a pass defense just as good. Tannehill could be a nice later round grab as a back end QB1 for the season but historically struggles against good pass defenses that can take away the short and intermediate throws. This is a week to start someone like Derek Carr over him.
Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos
Bridgewater got some attention as a possible sleeper during fantasy draft season but it seems we all forgot this is still Adrian Peterson’s team. Bridgewater is yet to throw for over 235 yards in a game this year and has two starts with under 200 yards. The Vikings look like a dark horse for a playoff spot in the real game, but Bridgewater is barely start worthy in a 2QB league for now. If you drafted him you can hope the Vikes go to the pass more down the road, but until then bench him. Oh, they also play the Broncos this week, bringing more than competent corners and a couple stud rushers in DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller. The Vikings will likely put this game on AP and hope for the best.
C.J. Spiller, New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys
This pick is somewhat dependent on whether Drew Brees is able to suit up, but only in the fact that Spiller’s value increases from serviceable to potential top 10 PPR RB this week. Sean Payton has been vocal this week that he needs to get Spiller more involved. This might actually mean something since the offense is sputtering. Dallas has been very good against the run allowing just 88 yards per game so far. This is thanks to Sean Lee being everywhere for the Cowboys seemingly at once. Expect the Saints to substitute the short passing game to RBs instead of the traditional runs against a defense that can stop backs between the tackles. So, I’m thinking this could be the week Spiller finally looks like a PPR asset. I will be trotting him out in two PPR leagues including one in which I play Gonos, so I am all in on this.
Saints coach Sean Payton on C.J. Spiller: ‘I got to get him more opportunities’ http://t.co/z0XezSjDhS
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) September 28, 2015
Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns
Cleveland cannot stop the run. They are allowing over 158 yards per game on the ground so far! When you see your power backs up against the Browns the rest of this season perform a private fist pump as you lock your players in. Gordon is solidifying himself into a role in the Chargers offense and has at least 14 carries in each game so far. Chalk him up for 100-plus and his first career touchdown.
Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs
I don’t think we can trust Jeremy Hill for now. It’s very possible that he finds his groove later this season as Cincinnati pivots to the running game, but for now he is benchable if you have the depth to cover him. Gio Bernard out-snapped Hill 51 to 26 last week in a game in which the Bengals were in control and ahead. Their opponent this week is the Chiefs who are middle of the pack against the run. The Bengals could move on the ground against this defense but my concern right now is not with their opponents it’s with the Bengals scheme and Hill’s lack of production. This sit ‘em recommendation is not just for this week but going forward until Hill proves he deserves to come off the bench. However, I wouldn’t advise trading him at this depressed value. You won’t get anything close to his draft day value so if you drafted him so you are stuck with him.
Alfred Morris/Matt Jones, Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Redskins running back situation is turning into the dreaded committee we all hate to see in fantasy football. Morris started the season with a 121 yard game, but has disappeared since. Then, everyone that cleverly grabbed Matt Jones during their draft started feeling smart as he put up 123 yards and two TDs in week 2. Alas, his next game he fumbled and totaled 38 measly yards. If Jones can take this job he’ll be a great player to own, but for now both of these backs are sketchy starts. If you can, take a wait and see approach with them on your bench until this situation clears up. This week they get the Eagles, currently ranked 8th against the run allowing 87 yards per game. If I had to start one I would lean toward Jones, but again I would prefer to leave them both on my bench and not risk it.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins vs. NY Jets (London)
Miller is yet to get 15 carries in a game as the Dolphins seem timid about using him full time. This may be a good idea when considering his injury history, but dang, it’s frustrating for fantasy owners. Don’t expect anything more than another 12-40 performance against a dominant Jets defense in a low scoring game.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears vs. Oakland Raiders
If Jeffery is able to put on the pads this week he is go on your fantasy squad. “You crazy” is what I’m hearing back from the internet right now considering Jeffery has missed a couple weeks and will almost assuredly have Jimmy Clausen lame ducking the ball his way this week. So, why is this plan just crazy enough to work? The last time Clausen played with Jeffery he collected 15 targets for 72 and a score. Oakland is one of three NFL teams that are allowing over 300 yards a game through the air so they have some holes in that defense. Clausen might still somehow manage three picks, but I bet he leans heavily on Jeffery and gives him a chance at 8-10 receptions. This is a volume play for Alshon and just might pan out.
James Jones, Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Jones might just turn into the pickup of the year. With Jordy Nelson gone for the year and Davonte Adams wearing a boot related to an ankle injury Jones has moved himself into the No. 2 receiver spot in Green Bay. He’s had a history with Aaron Rodgers and led the league in receiving touchdowns a few years back, so there is some chemistry to work with. He’s also got the frame to be the primary red zone option for the Pack as evidenced by his four TDs through three games. The 49ers have begun to show that their defense is not what it used to be and have allowed 284 yards through the air per game so far. This is a plum matchup for Green Bay’s passing attack and I expect Jones to get some end zones looks again this week.
James Jones is on pace for 21 touchdowns. That’s full-size Randy Moss. Gets SF this week. Adams a likely no go. Resurrection continues.
— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) September 29, 2015
Percy Harvin, Buffalo Bills vs. NY Giants
For once Harvin is actually somewhat healthy while the Bills nurse numerous other injuries on offense. As always he’s got an issue, this time a hip, but he’s expected to play Sunday. The Giants defense is vulnerable through the air and with Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy out, look for the Bills to put Percy’s gadget plays into the scheme both on the ground and in the air. Look for him to get 6-8 chances to put one in the end zone as long as he doesn’t blow a gasket half way through the game.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers
Jackson’s catches through the first three weeks: four, three, and two in that order. He has yet to go over 60 yards in a game but has actually scored once. With Mike Evans attracting 17 targets last week it is apparent that Jackson is firmly in the back seat. Expect him to have a big week here and there but counting on that is a mistake. Evans should hog the targets again this week against an average Carolina secondary. I would look to start Jackson in games where Evans could be shut down by an elite cover corner, but this is not one of them.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns
Allen has put up two beast games and a clunker in between so far. It’s refreshing to see him bounce back after a busted second year, but I have concerns this week. The Chargers should go ground and pound against a Browns defense that is terrible against the run but has Joe Hayden to lock down Allen in the passing game this week. Start him if you must, but this could be another subpar 60 yard sort of performance.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills vs. New York Giants
The Bills paid Clay a lot of money to go up to Buffalo and it is starting to look like they intend to make him earn it. He popped off 82 yards and a score last week and should be involved again this week against a weak Giants pass defense. The Bills will need to look to players like Clay and Percy Harvin with the injuries they have to key skill players on their offense.
Owen Daniels, Denver Broncos vs. Minnesota Vikings
Many thought Daniels would step right into the Julius Thomas role in Denver, but they were wrong. Daniels is a different sort of athlete and Gary Kubiak’s system hasn’t led to him being a major factor yet in the Broncos attack. He’s a middlin’ sort of TE2 most weeks for now and faces a Vikings defense with good talent in covering the tight end.
Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams
If the Cardinals D is still available on waivers in your league it’s time to give them a look. They are a legit squad and hammered the 49ers last week. The Rams offense is still figuring things out and will have their hands full in Arizona this week.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Everyone keeps talking about the Colts being a great defense to start the season due to their cake schedule against subpar offenses. This week is no different as they take on the Jaguars, cellar dogs for years. The Jags offense isn’t great by any means but this Colts crew isn’t either. They let up 27 against Buffalo, 20 vs the Jets, and 33 against a bad Titans team. It’s time to move on from thinking this defense will score against lackluster offenses. I expect the Colts to beat Jacksonville as long as Andrew Luck plays, but it won’t be thanks to the defensive side.
Best of luck with your fantasy football teams this week! Hopefully our start-sit column helps guide you to victory in week 4. Make sure to check out our plethora of other fantasy football articles including waiver wire advice, weekly rankings, daily talk, and other life changing information right here!