Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week #4
Start – Derek Carr vs Bears
Since returning from injury in Week 2 Derek Carr has led the Raiders to, two consecutive victories while displaying excellent quarterback play and maximizing the potential of his receivers. Looking like a legitimate QB1 in fantasy football Carr has thrown for a total of 665 yards and 5 touchdowns in those two games and should continue to have success this week against the lowly Chicago Bears. Injuries to Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Drew Brees, and Andrew Luck has catapulted Carr into a must start against a Bears defense that has given up a total of 8 touchdowns and a league high 123.8 quarterback rating to opposing quarterbacks this season. With the Bears trading away Jared Allen and Jon Bostic earlier in the week and starting QB Jay Cutler and star receiver Alshon Jeffery out with injuries it seems as if the Bears are giving up on the 2015 season. This will in turn give Carr and the Raiders’ offense plenty of opportunity to score big and score often in Week 4.
Notables – Russell Wilson vs. Lions, Tyrod Taylor vs. Giants, Eli Manning vs. Bills
Sit – Teddy Bridgewater vs Broncos
Although the Vikings have won two consecutive games QB Teddy Bridgewater has NOT been a bright spot for the 2-1 Vikings. The Vikings have relied on the NFL’s leading rusher Adrian Peterson and their ferocious defense led by defensive end Everson Griffin to grind out victories despite the struggles of Bridgewater. The second year QB has been surprisingly inaccurate while not being able to connect downfield with offseason acquisition Mike Wallace. Charles Johnson has been non-existent and will miss this ballgame which should give the gotten Cordarelle Patterson an opportunity to reclaim his starting spot. With the Vikings passing offense struggling this will not be a good week to face off against the stingy Denver Broncos defense which has surrendered the fewest fantasy points and passing TDs to the quarterback position this season. The pass rushing duo of Von Miller and Demarcus Ware coupled with the back end cornerback play of Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, and Bradley Roby should be plenty of reason to keep Teddy on your bench this week.
Notables – Ryan Tannehill vs. Jets, Nick Foles vs. Cardinals
Start – Joseph Randle vs Saints
Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was on his way to a unforgettable performance against the Atlanta Falcons last week until the Cowboys coaching staff forgot about Randle and the running game in the second half. Randle rushed for a career high 92 yards on 10 carries and 3 touchdowns in the first half but only received a head scratching 4 carries in the second half for negative 5 yards. Yes, the Falcons made a second half adjustment dedicating an eight defender to the box but with a lead for most the game it was inexcusable to give Randle only 4 carries in the second half. Fast forward to Week 4 and the Cowboys have a chance to right their wrongs against a New Orleans Saints defense that ranks 26th against the run and has not shown any sign of improving on that side of the ball. With backup Brandon Weeden set to start his second game due to the broken clavicle of Tony Romo expect the Cowboys to rely heavily on their offensive line and that running game for 4 quarters.
Notables – Melvin Gordon vs. Browns, Latavius Murray vs. Bears, Frank Gore vs. Jaguars
Sit – Rashad Jennings vs Bills
It is never a good idea to start a running back against the league’s best run defense as the Bills are giving up a miniscule 74 yards per game on the ground. The more interesting stat about the Bills defense is that teams don’t even try to run the ball against their front seven only attempting 17 carries per game. The game plan for the Giants this week will be to try and spread the Bills out and to feature receiving back Shane Vereen. Jennings’ opportunities which have been sparse this season will be even more limited against the physical Bills defense. Maybe another week but this is not the week to have Jennings in your lineup.
Notables – Doug Martin vs. Panthers, Lamar Miller vs. Jets
Start – Larry Fitzgerald vs Rams
As other 30+ year old receivers’ careers appear to be tapering off, particularly Andre Johnson and Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald has found new life with a healthy Carson Palmer peppering him with targets each week. The numbers are astounding the first 3 weeks of the season as Fitz has lead the Cardinals in catches, yards, and targets every single game this season while also leading the league with 5 touchdowns. At the age of 32, playing the slot position in Bruce Arians’ vertical offense Fitz has 23 catches for 333 yards with a team high 28 targets through 3 games. The future Hall of Fame receiver is a must start in fantasy leagues until teams find a way to slow down the resurgence of the Palmer to Fitzgerald connection. With youngsters John Brown and Michael Floyd in the wings, Fitzgerald is still the man Arizona. Fire him up.
Notables – Amari Cooper vs. Bears, James Jones vs. 49ers, Brandon Marshall vs. Dolphins
Sit – Golden Tate vs Seahawks
The Lions offensive line has been dreadful thus far this season giving up the most quarterback pressure with 51 in the first three weeks. When Matthew Stafford is not running for his life he has been targeting Calvin Johnson first and Tate second within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. The big play dimension to the Lions offense has been non-existent mainly because the play of the offensive line and it will not get any easier with a matchup against Seattle in 12th man Nation. Sit Tate in his reunion game in Seattle as the Lions offense will have difficulty moving the ball down field.
Notables – Mike Wallace vs. Broncos, Andre Johnson vs. Jaguars
Start – Martellus Bennett vs Raiders
Week 1 Tyler Eifert 9 catches 104 yards 2 TDs
Week 2 Crockett Gillmore 5 catches 88 yards 2 TDs
Week 3 Gary Barnidge 6 catches 105 yards 1 TD
Enough said, average tight ends are roasting the Raiders secondary, start Bennett even with Jimmy Clausen at QB
Notables – Jordan Reed vs Eagles, Charles Clay vs Giants
Sit – Kyle Rudolph vs Broncos
See Teddy Bridgewater above, I’m not confident in any Vikings offensive players other than AP. Broncos free safety Darian Stewart is playing good ball thus far in coverage. Sit Rudolph.
Notables – Ladarius Green vs. Browns, Vernon Davis vs. Packers
Start – Cardinals D vs Rams
Todd Gurley is still not getting the bulk of the playing time and Nick Foles has regressed since Week 1. The Cardinals defense is fast and their DBs can catch.
Sit – Texans D vs Falcons
Is any quarterback/receiver duo playing better ball than Matty Ice and Julio? Rhetorical question, sit the Texans D.