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Play Em’ or Bench Em’: Week 4

Hello again,
WOW! Was week 3 a crazy Sunday in the NFL or what? A lot of good games coming down to the wire. We also got some insight on a few teams moving forward. For example, the only way you’ll beat the Lions in the fourth quarter is by a ridiculous ruling to end the game. Oh and if the Jaguars played in London every week they’d be a powerhouse. Regardless of how week 3 was, we all have week 4 to look forward to and we all can get on board for that I’m sure. Maybe a few of these players will come back to reality and play up to their standards or back to disappointment land. Last week some players played out of their mind to prove me wrong and others did exactly what I thought they would. This week we’ll attempt it again for you guys in order to continue a good fantasy season! Let’s get started.

Play Em’

Quarterback

-Jared Goff at Dallas Cowboys

  • Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams were on the winning side of the highest Thursday Night game ever. Sean McVay is quickly turning one of the worst offensive units from a year ago into a scoring machine. This week he has a match up with a familiar opponent in the Dallas Cowboys. McVay spent the last few years on the Washington Redskins coaching staff, so he knows how to attack a depleted Cowboys defense. I anticipate both Todd Gurley and Jared Goff to have another big game on the road this week with the extra rest and preparation. Oh and don’t forget, Todd Gurley said the Rams were going to “whoop up” on the Cowboys. I’ll start a surging young quarterback finding newly grown confidence in McVay’s system.

-Carson Palmer v. San Francisco 49ers

  • Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals looked like they were about to blow-out the Dallas Cowboys last Monday night. Well, after the Cowboys found a respectable pass rush mid-way through the game the Cardinals just couldn’t protect Carson Palmer. This week the Cardinals play a team that just allowed Jared Goff to throw 3 touchdowns. Jared Goff! I like Goff, but Carson Palmer is better. Start Palmer people!

-Jay Cutler v. New Orleans Saints (Played in London at 9:30amET)

  • Jay Cutler and the Dolphins put up a stinker last week against the New York Jets, but who better to bounce back against than a bad New Orleans Saints secondary. This game could be high scoring and you know Drew Brees and company will put points on the board. Cutler has the offensive talent to take advantage of the mismatches and put up just as many points. Last week we saw the bad Jay Cutler. This week I think he’ll bounce back in a big way and be a top quarterback play for the week scoring multiple touchdowns.

-Andy Dalton at Cleveland Browns

  • The Cincinnati Bengals offense has been revived by new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor!!! This week is a date with a Cleveland Browns team that just got torched by Jacoby Brissett and the Colts aerial attack. I know Andy Dalton has struggled recently, but he’s still better than Brissett. Dalton’s favorite target AJ Green will have another field day this week now that his kryptonite Joe Haden is no longer on the Browns. Dalton is still on the hot seat for good reason, but he should be able to take advantage of a good match up. However, if he can’t then you should just drop him in every league.

Running Back

-CJ Anderson v. Oakland Raiders

  • If you’re a CJ Anderson owner you’re probably scratching your head right now. How does a guy go from owning the Dallas Cowboys and getting the bulk of the carries to getting out snapped by Jammal Charles? Well the answer to that is game script. The Broncos could not get the traditional running game going so they looked to generate a spark with a more elusive pass catching back such as Charles to make big plays for them. This week the Broncos will get back to the formula that helped them to a 2-0 start and CJ Anderson is going to be the main beneficiary against a poor Oakland Raiders defense. Charles might be annoying at times, but there is no question as to who is the top back in Denver. Start him comfortably this week.

-Melvin Gordon v. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Melvin Gordon is a do it all type of back and the Eagles have struggled against backs that have been able to receive the ball as well as run. Chris Thompson and Kareem Hunt all had good fantasy games against a stout Eagles defense. This week Gordon can do similar damage as those 2 players. The Chargers start out committed to the run, but then just gets too far behind to the point where they have to pass the ball more often. Both the Chargers and Eagles have injuries in the secondary and could turn into a shootout. Gordon will get plenty of opportunities in both the running and passing game this week.

-Leonard Fournette at New York Jets

  • Leonard Fournette has looked impressive in his first 3 games as a professional. He’s nabbed a touchdown in each contest thus far and has another favorable match up this week against the Jets. Blake Bortles stole the show last week in London versus the Ravens, but the Jaguars realize the run game is the catalyst that makes this team run. Literally and figuratively. Fournette has been a man among boys majority of his football career and he’s starting his rookie year out showing that he’s a man among other men now. Fournette is going to pound the Jets defensive front all game long and I expect him to get another touchdown, maybe even two on top of a 100 yard game.

-Chris Carson v. Indianapolis Colts (Sunday Night)

  • Chris Carson is slowly bringing back Seattle ground and pound football. He’s had back to back good fantasy outings and will look to take advantage of a Colts defense that has had trouble stopping anyone. With Doug Baldwin dealing with a groin injury and the rest of the pass catchers on the roster lacking play-making ability, the Seahawks will look to run the ball a bit more Sunday night when the Colts come to town. Carson is getting more touches than Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy combined. It is apparent that Chris Carson has been the best running back for Seattle thus far and head coach Pete Carroll will reward him this week with a heavier workload and a big fantasy day.

Wide Receiver

-DeAndre Hopkins v. Tennessee Titans

  • The Tennessee Titans gives up the most amount of points to opposing teams’ #1 receiver. Hopkins is the clear cut #1 for Houston and rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson’s favorite target. Hopkins already gets a good amount of targets as it is, but going up against a team that struggles to defend top receivers is a beautiful thing for fantasy owners. Doug Baldwin had 10 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown before leaving with an injury and didn’t play the final couple of drives. DeAndre Hopkins could have an even bigger statistical fantasy day with the volume of targets he produces on a weekly basis.

-Alshon Jeffery at Los Angeles Chargers

  • Finally! Jeffery owners can start Alshon Jeffery without question this week. The Eagles new play-making receiver has gone up against the likes up Josh Norman, Marcus Peters and Janoris “Jack Rabbit” Jenkins the first 3 games of the season. This week he’ll get a banged up Chargers secondary that has trouble containing the bigger receivers. Look for Jeffery to finally break-out this week and give fantasy owners the high scoring production they’ve all impatiently been waiting for.

-DeSean Jackson v. New York Giants

  • DeSean Jackson has histrionically burnt the Giants in multiple ways. He’s played them every year in his career so he has the familiarity of defense and knows how to beat them. Last week Jackson burned the Vikings tough defense for a long touchdown and I don’t see why he can’t do it again this week against another stingy unit that’s had trouble stopping him in the past. Jameis Winston seems to be building chemistry with the speedster and Jackson’s production will slowly increase over the season. Start him this week and you’ll be rewarded.

-Stefon Diggs v. Detroit Lions

  • Stefon Diggs has been on fire this season. Despite a poor offensive showing in week two, Diggs has showed why he’s an upcoming star in the league. Diggs is a different animal at home and averages 7.5 receptions, 133 yards and 2 touchdowns while playing in the home dome. Case Keenum or Sam Bradford, Diggs is going to ball out again this week. This game could be a slug fest and have long drawn out drives on both sides of the ball, but look for Diggs to make huge plays for his team once again.

Tight End

-Martellus Bennett v. Chicago Bears (Thursday Night)

  • Do you believe in revenge games? I do. Some of the Packers receivers are banged up with injuries and with a short week ahead there might be some inactive players. Martellus Bennett, who once played for the Bears, will want to dominate in this game and could be one of Aaron Rodgers more reliable targets in the contest. The Chicago Bears defense isn’t a joke, but Bennett will find a way to put up solid numbers against his old squad.

-Charles Clay at Atlanta Falcons

  • On paper this might be questionable, but fact is Charles Clay is one of the very few ‘weapons’ Tyrod Taylor has at his disposal. Outside of LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay is Taylor’s security blanket when he’s in a pinch. The wide receivers on the Bills have struggled and no one has stepped up to take on the bigger role yet. Clay has been the only consistent pass catcher to contribute for the Bills. He should continue to get his looks and targets this week.

-Zach Ertz at Los Angeles Chargers

  • Carson Wentz loves him some Zach Ertz. Ertz is approaching “Must Start” status on an everyday basis quickly. The Eagles are a pass-happy team and rely on Wentz to make plays with his arm a lot during the games. When in doubt, Ertz is the go to guy for Wentz and Ertz typically comes down with the ball. Look for Zach Ertz to continue his impressive start to the 2017 campaign this week and stay a top 5 option at the position.

Defense

-Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets

  • The Jets offense beat up on the Miami Dolphins last week, but don’t expect similar results this week. The Jaguars have shown promise on the defensive side of the ball. Last week in London, the Jaguars embarrassed a really good Ravens team and will look to beat up on the Jets as an encore performance. Sacksonville will eat against the Jets young offense and will continue creating turnovers. They’ll get you your points this week. No London hangover.

-Green Bay Packers v. Chicago Bears (Thursday Night)

  • The Packers are a different team at home. The Packers defend what the Bears do very well and that’s run the ball. After the Packers get off to an early lead the Bears will have to look to the passing game and abandon the run game. The newly nicknamed Thunder and Lightning duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will be silenced for the week.

-Seattle Seahawks v. Indianapolis Colts (Sunday Night)

  • Jacoby Brissett has look solid the past two weeks, but traveling across country to a tough defense on prime-time TV is not what you want following you first win. The Colts are slowly improving, but an angry Seattle Seahawks team will look to take advantage and rebound getting back into playoff form. The Colts are currently 0-2 against the NFC West right now and I expect them to fall 0-3 after this one. No upset in this contest.

Bench Em’

Quarterback

-Ben Roethlisberger at Baltimore Ravens

  • Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense haven’t quite lived up to the hype yet. Their offense was supposed to be the next best thing with finally having all their play-makers on the field. Unfortunately for the Steelers I don’t see it happening for them this week either. Roethlisberger and the Steelers have a date with an angry, frustrated and embarrassed Ravens team. The Steelers already play worse on the road, but now they have to travel to a divisional rival that’ll look to take out all their emotions from a week ago. The Steelers themselves are coming off an upset loss against the Bears. This game is going to be tough and rowdy battle between two teams that hate each other. The final could be a 10-7 type affair. That’s not someone you want to start if you want/need points for the week.

-Jacoby Brissett at Seattle Seahawks

  • Jacoby Brissett has filled in nicely during Andrew Luck’s absence. This week might be a tough showing for the newly acquired Colt signal caller. Traveling to Seattle for a Sunday night showdown with an angry defense that just got exposed by a struggling Titan offense is not something you want to face. This pick is somewhat of a no brainer, but Brissett has been a popular streaming option and I just want to make sure you don’t continue to roll him despite the Seahawks recent struggles. Just don’t be that person.

-Matthew Stafford at Minnesota Vikings

  • The Vikings are a completely different team at home. Matthew Stafford is also a different quarterback on the road. The Vikings defense is top tier and they’ll look to continue shutting down some of the top offenses they’ve faced in recent weeks. The Lions will try to get over a heartbreaking defeat against the Falcons last week and I think they’ll come out flat in this game. If you have another option at quarterback, please start them this week.

-Tyrod Taylor at Atlanta Falcons

  • The Atlanta Falcons played keep away from a talented Detroit Lions team on Sunday. Ultimately Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense were able to get back into the game, but that’s why Stafford gets paid the big bucks. Fortunately for the Falcons Tyrod Taylor is no Matthew Stafford. Taylor doesn’t have the weapons to lead a comeback and also faces a tough matchup in a very good Falcons team. They won’t play spoiler to an undefeated team two weeks in a row.

Running Back

-Lamar Miller v. Tennessee Titans

  • Lamar Miller is slowly losing touches to rookie D’Onta Foreman. The home state rookie Foreman looks more impressive on his runs and looks more of a play-maker at the moment. Regardless of Miller losing touches, he faces a Titans defense who seemingly found its’ edge and grit again. Call it a gut feeling, but I don’t like Miller in this game.

-Frank Gore at Seattle Seahawks

  • What about Ty Montgomery, Carlos Hyde and DeMarco Murray having good games against this “tough” Seahawks front? Well guess what? Frank Gore is not what he once was. He’s quickly losing steam in the Colts offense and I anticipate the Seahawks jumping out to an early lead and then the Colts will eventually abandon the running game and look to their pass-catching backs instead. Bench Gore if you can.

-Marshawn Lynch at Denver Broncos

  • Back to back weeks where the Broncos front held some of the top running backs to minimal yardage. Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy found little to no running room against this team and I don’t see Lynch doing so either. McCoy at least got involved in the passing game, but Lynch isn’t quite that type of back. He might get a few looks, but nothing that’ll make much of a difference. He’s probably your RB1, but if you can bench him for someone else.

-Terrance West v. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Terrance West is battling a nagging soft tissue injury and losing touches to Buck Allen. Add in the fact that this Pittsburgh Steelers defense is nothing to look past, West doesn’t figure to have a big fantasy day once again. The Ravens offense looked horrible last week and they’ll look for a spark elsewhere.

Wide Receiver

-Marvin Jones at Minnesota Vikings

  • Marvin Jones was a bench em’ last week and didn’t do anything to get off the list. Poor Jones has had to deal with Patrick Peterson, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Desmond Trufant and now will have a date with Xavier Rhodes the first quarter of the season. During the first 4 games he’s been too touchdown reliant to comfortably start in your lineup. Until he gets a better match up I’d keep him on the bench or trade him for a more suitable flex play.

-Amari Cooper at Denver Broncos

  • Michael Crabtree is dealing with a chest injury and might miss some time, so why is Cooper a bench em? Well because he’s playing a tough Bronco’s defense. Typically secondary’s had trouble covering both Crabtree and Cooper when they’re both on the field together, but now that a team can single out one of them its game over. Defenses can put a safety over top of that highlighted X receiver put man coverage on the other receivers to take advantage. Cooper had 5 total targets last week and that number could either rise or drop this week. If Crabtree is out, my guess is stay the same or drop considering who he’s playing.

-Jermaine Kearse v. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Kearse has been the best receiver for the Jets thus far in the season. Although in the coming match up he’ll have a difficult time find space to make plays. The Jaguars defense is legit and will continue pressuring the quarterback. If the constant pressure to Josh McCown wasn’t enough, Jalen Ramsey will more than likely keep his role of locking down the opposing teams #1 receiver. Kearse is a risky play that I would avoid this week.

-Kenny Britt v. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Kenny Britt started the season out as a disappointment, but last week was called out by head coach Hue Jackson and Britt answered by having his best game as a Brown yet grabbing 3 of 10 targets for 54 yards and a touchdown. Outside of the touchdown and 10 targets those numbers aren’t impressive by the slightest. Don’t let the numbers deceive nor lie to you. Britt is still a player you should bench or drop until he shows more promise on a weekly basis.

Tight Ends

-Mercedes Lewis at New York Jets

  • THREE TOUCHDOWNS! Not a single reception until the London game and the dude gets THREE touchdowns in a game. I don’t care if he’s playing the Jets or not, Mercedes Lewis doesn’t get enough volume of targets nor production to be a safe play this week. This has bust candidate written all over it this week for all you tight end streamers.

-Austin Hooper v. Buffalo Bills

  • Since Austin Hooper’s incredible stiff arm against the Bears in week one, the Falcons top tight end hasn’t done much. He averages about 2 receptions a game on 2 targets. Unless he gets more involved in the offense or is guaranteed a touchdown he’s a bench em on a weekly basis.

-Eric Ebron at Minnesota Vikings

  • Oh Eric Ebron. This year’s Charles Clay. One game he’ll explode and get you 15-20 points. The next week he gets you less than 3. That’s not to encouraging for owners when they want a consistent point stat line. This week’s match up isn’t too favorable either. The Vikings in Minnesota is not something you can trust from your offensive players.

Defense

-Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

  • Deshaun Watson is coming into his own and becoming one of the next stars in the league. His athleticism and big play abilities can turn a game around quickly. I believe the Titans are improving on defense, but they still have holes that Watson will expose one way or another. This will also be Watson’s first home game so NRG stadium is going to be lit for their “franchise” quarterback.

-Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots

  • It looks like Tom Brady and the Patriots are back to winning football. After the embarrassing showing on opening night against the Chiefs, the Patriots have improved on the offensive side of the ball. Last week Brady and company put up 36 points versus a tough Texans defense. Oh and let’s not forget that the Panthers defense didn’t look “top tier” after their showing with the Saints. I’ll keep them in the bench em for now.

-Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons

  • I believe the Bills defense is more legit than people think, but the Atlanta Falcons are on a mission and the Bills won’t stand in their way. Last year’s MVP Matt Ryan is going to be a little frustrated with him after a 3 interception game that almost cost him and his team the ball game. I know the Falcons won, but I expect them to bounce back in a big way.
As always let’s have a good fantasy week and hope all of your teams (fantasy and real life) win. Good luck and wish your team comes out healthy. Your feedback is always appreciated and wanted. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and connect with us on LinkedIn. Until next time, have a great day!
Austin Thomas


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