Thursday, October 1, 2015

Start em’ if you got ‘em – Week 4



Adam Stoczynski
Bitter Chicago sports fan, wagering enthusiast, self-proclaimed sports expert
@AllAboutSto on twitter


I know it’s week 4, but better late than never, right? For those of you 0-3, I’m here to save the day. For those of you 3-0, well, ehh maybe just use this as reference rather than law. Just a reminder, I’m looking to add some intuition with guys who may be on your “bubble,” as far as should I start this guy vs that guy. I’m not telling you to start Rodgers and bench Tim Tebow, this just wouldn’t be a fun exercise if that was the case, although I would be right a lot more often. Anyways, I’m happy to be back writing for SportsWiseGuy.com for the second year and looking forward to providing some laughs, getting some grief, and helping some people out, but enough of all that… Let’s get a week 4 win!

They say in the NFL you don’t know what you have until after week 4. So for those of you panicking to start the season, take a page out of Aaron Rodgers’ book and R-E-L-A-X, RELAX, it will be okay. No one knows what they have yet, good or bad. Don’t go benching guys you drafted high like CJ Anderson, Jeremy Hill, and Marshawn Lynch. Don’t go dropping young players or rookies you thought would bust out this year, but haven’t yet. Have confidence in yourself, in your players. You’ve done your research all off-season, and you know who you wanted to draft. This is a long season, so don’t be pulling the plug in week 3 to grab Travis Benjamin, who has played well thus far, but is not worth adding in any redraft leagues until he starts seeing the field more. Sure, it’s frustrating to start off slow, but it’s just straight heart breaking to be the guy who dropped the breakout player of the year before he breaks out, ehh hmm, early 2014 Odell Beckham owners. When all is said and done, the cream will rise to the top. Every year there are slow starters, but in fantasy football it’s who is hot at the end, who brings home the trophy. So stay calm, and for you non Aaron Rodgers fans, take it from a fortune cookie, “Patience is a virtue,” let’s ride this wave out together and don’t panic… until next week that is.

Start ‘em if you got ‘em

Quarterback

Cam Newton @ TB – It’s not just because he’s one of my favorite players, or because I have him on one of my teams. I’ve followed Cam very closely since he’s been in the league, as he’s been on at least one of my fantasy teams 3 out of his 5 years as a pro. What I’ve learned from watching him is when he’s hot, he’s flaming.  Ride this streak because it will continue. Superman will eventually get his kryptonite, but for now, there’s no stopping him. He gets a leaky Tamp Bay defense this week and he’s running a ton. Through 3 games he’s put the team on his back and has either thrown or ran on all 7 of the Panthers touchdowns this year. In week 4, unless your name is Rodgers, I’m starting Cam. Stash him next week on his bye, because after week 6 vs Seattle, the schedule continues to be a cake walk.

Derek Carr @ CHI – The Bears are terrible, I know, I suffer through their games every week. Carr is turning into a legitimate NFL and fantasy quarterback. He only has 1 interception on the year and is still throwing the ball like last year at a very high rate. He left early week one, but weeks 2 and 3 he was back to form, throwing the ball 39 times on average. He’s playing with a ton of confidence coming off back-to-back wins and has a great matchup vs a Bears team who is giving up the most points per game. Watch for Carr to stay hot and put up another 300 yard, 2 touchdown game.

Running Back

Karlos Williams vs NYG – STOP! If you are reading this and Karlos is still available in your league, go pick him up right now. Right now, I say! Open a different window and go grab him. Don’t think about who to drop, just drop the first player you see and add Williams. He is probably not available, but for those of you that kept him around the last few weeks (like myself) you are about to cash in big time. McCoy was on my “Do not draft list,” as I do not have him in any league, and his performance thus far is exactly why. Karlos is a low end RB 1 this week and is a must start. You know he has a touchdown in every game so far right? And that is with McCoy in the lineup. Even if LeSean somehow does play this week, Williams is still a must start for me. Get him in your lineups and watch the points pile up.

Melvin Gordon vs CLE – Don’t give up on him yet, this is exactly why you drafted him. Cleveland is giving up the most rush yards per game at 158.30, with the next team, Miami, giving up 145. Gordon will finally break out this week for his fantasy owners. I would not be surprised if we busts a 40 yarder for his first rushing touchdown of his young career. Rolling with double rookies is a little risky, but with their matchups, it’s tough to deny these young studs.

Wide Receiver

Amari Cooper @ CHI - The Bears are terrible, I know, I suffer through their games every week. I feel like I’ve said that before. Anyways, his matchup is awesome (see Derek Carr above), and they are feeding him the ball (31 targets through 3 weeks). The only thing that scares me a little is the history he made on Sunday. He became only the 2nd rookie receiver in the last 30 years to have 2 100-yard receiving games in his team’s first 3 games. So for him to go for 100 yards again would really be monumental. Despite the start being too good to be true, I can’t deny this matchup for him. I say he does keep it up and needs to be in all lineups this week because he will not be stopped by the Bears.

Jordan Matthews @ WAS – It’s a tough matchup, and I may be going against the grain on this one, but the Eagles are slowly getting their offense together. Last week they ran the ball a ton to do so, but it’s the best they’ve looked since the preseason. Matthews will continue to see targets from the slot, and this banged up secondary is beatable. He had another 8 targets last week, but failed to really make anything of it. I like him in week 4 to get in the end zone.

Tight End

Heath Miller vs BAL – The Ravens are not a good team, in fact, I think the Steelers win this week even without Big Ben under center. The reason I like Heath, is because Ben is out. Michael Vick has been known to throw to a tight end or two, and on a short week, I think his safety valve will be hit a ton. Miller is a smart plug and play for Gronk or Delanie Walker owners this week vs a bad Baltimore pass D that is giving up over 290 yards per game through the air.

Defense

Denver vs MIN – Denver is giving up next to nothing on the ground and all Minnesota does is run. Something’s got to give in week 4, and I think it’s the Denver D that prevails. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ferocious defense throws the shut out in week 4. I love the Broncos (there’s the kiss of death), in every way this week.


Sit ‘em and quit ‘em

Quarterback

Teddy Bridgewater @ DEN – Facing a tough defense on the road and only throwing the ball around 25 times per game, Teddy is nothing more than a game manager and is not a starting fantasy quarterback at this point. If you were hoping to start him for Brady or Mariota, look elsewhere. I can’t imagine Bridgewater doing anything this week vs a Broncos Defense that is only giving up 176 yards per game through the air and only 1 total touchdown.

Matthew Stafford @ SEA – Stafford has started off the year as an okay fantasy quarterback, but his stats are really thanks to his volume, rather than his play. Always a good bet to lead the league in pass attempts, Stafford is heading to Seattle where he faces a Seahawks team still desperate for a win to get back to .500. I’m not trusting Stafford this week as a starting fantasy QB, especially with Legion of Boom back in full force for a second straight week. Look elsewhere at QB in week 4.

Running Back

                Chris Johnson vs STL – If you were lucky enough to have him in your lineup last week, congrats! Don’t chase these points. I really don’t think CJ?K will put together another great week, especially vs the fast and aggressive St Louis defense who really needs a win. Le’Veon Bell mustered up 62 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries last week against them, and I don’t see Johnson getting to those numbers. Ellington is expected to come back this week, David Johnson will also be involved, and last week the Cards won that game in the first 5 minutes, forcing them to run the rock.

                Justin Forsett @ PIT – Forsett has started very slow this year and is still looking to score his first touchdown. On the other end is the Pittsburgh defense that is currently in the top 10 in rushing yards allowed and are yet to give up a touchdown on the ground. To me it’s just the perfect storm for Forsett to have a low scoring Thursday night. I’d look for a better option, there are two above in the “Start ‘em” section.

Wide Receiver

                Golden Tate @ SEA – He’s getting the targets, but has not done much here in 2015. With Calvin Johnson healthy, and Eric Ebron getting his share, Tate has not been able to breakout yet. He draws another tough matchup this week on the road in Seattle. I don’t like Stafford this week, and I also don’t like Tate. Start someone else if you can.

                Jarvis Landry vs NYJ – Landry is getting a ton of targets and is racking up the catches, but he has a one-way ticket to Revis Island in week 4. Look for one of the other Miami receivers to pick up the slack this week as Landry should be blanketed all day. With Parker and Matthews coming on, Tannehill might also be able to spread the ball around a bit more. I’m staying away from Landry vs the Jets, who are currently top 5 in yards against through the air.

Tight End

Zach Ertz @ WAS – To me Ertz is not a starting fantasy tight end. He only had 2 targets last week and is still looking for his first TD of 2015. I don’t think it comes this week vs a better than average Washington D. Stay away from Ertz until he is able to show something this season.

Defense

                Houston @ ATL – I know it’s tough to bench Watt and company, but they face Atlanta on the road, and the Falcons offense is clicking on all cylinders right now. It is currently impossible to stop Julio Jones and Matt Ryan hasn’t thrown a pick since week 1. Houston may still get their sacks, but they are not a defense I’m relying on in week 4 if I have other options.