Welcome to the Week 4 starts and sits! Is it too late to recommend Larry Donnell? Oh well. Don’t fret, we have plenty of other ideas for this weekend. If you need more guidance than I could fit into this space, check out my full lineup rankings over at Rotobahn or participate in our WEEI Sunday morning chat. It starts right here at 11 a.m. and I’ll tweet a link to the chat early Sunday morning as soon as it’s available. Follow me on Twitter to get all the fantasy football info we have to offer.
I will also be back on the air this weekend, so tune in Sunday morning for The Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host and good friend Jim Hackett. I’ll also be on NFL Sunday with Dickerson, Price and DeOssie at about 10:45 as usual, so don’t miss it.
And, don’t forget to start your Week 5 with us on Tuesday, when I break down the best pickups in the Week 5 waiver wire.
Tony Romo, Cowboys vs. Saints
He’s been shaky in his return from back surgery, but he battled back last week on the road against a better defense. I expect a high-scoring game and a solid fantasy output from Romo. Don’t hesitate to use him in any format.
Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Jaguars
He’s playing very well so far, and this is a very enticing home matchup. Treat Rivers like a QB1 in all formats in Week 4. He’s good for a solid outing.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars at Chargers
He’s a young QB making his first start on the road. That’s normally a red flag situation, but Bortles will be chasing a Chargers offense that can score points in bunches in good matchups like this one. Bortles can score points with his feet and with his arm. That should give him a solid fantasy floor. He can help you in big formats if you need some help in Week 4. If you are unfamiliar with the rookie’s skill set, check out my original scouting report on the UCF product.
Geno Smith, Jets vs. Lions
This is not a week with a lot of sits for quarterbacks outside of the obvious ones. Smith is a good passer to avoid this week because he struggles more than most when the pocket gets busy, and things certainly will get busy with Detroit’s front four in town. Factor in the injuries to Smith’s receivers and you have a recipe for bad play or at least limited success. Even on a slow week, there are better options out there than Smith.
Frank Gore, 49ers vs. Eagles
He’s been disappointing both in terms of usage and in terms of output. I expect things to change this week, for both Gore and his backup Carlos Hyde. The 49ers have gotten away from their running ways early on and this is a week to return to their ground-and-pound roots. This game goes better for Frisco if it comes down to late game execution vs. a four-quarter track meet. Gore should reach 20 carries for the first time in 2014 and give you solid RB2 production.
Khiry Robinson, Saints at Cowboys
He was solid last week and he did get the kind of carries we’d hoped for, but goal-line chances were not available in abundance in a game that bogged down a bit in the middle half. I expect better output from Robinson in Week 4. He’s a nice RB2 or flex option in any sized league.
Matt Asiata, Vikings vs. Falcons
The matchup is good, and he’s getting most of the action so far in the wake of Adrian Peterson‘s departure. He’s the bigger of the two Vikings backs, so he should be in charge of the goal line this week and Atlanta should provide some chances. While I still expect Jerick McKinnon to be the guy eventually, Asiata makes a solid RB2 in Week 4.
Carlos Hyde, 49ers vs. Eagles
While I think Frank Gore makes a nice RB2 option this week, I also like his backup to post good flex numbers for those in bigger formats. Hyde already is getting goal-line love, and I think he gets more snaps and touches this week as Frisco tries to play keep-away from Chip Kelly’s offense.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, Ravens vs. Panthers
He looked good last week. I have him rostered in a few leagues, and I like the fit for the big one-cut back in Gary Kubiak‘s offense. The problem is that Bernard Pierce returns this week. It’s also a less-than-stellar matchup against a stout Panthers defense. Be careful with Taliaferro outside of very big formats. He’s more stash option than flex option this week.
Keenan Allen, Chargers vs. Jaguars
This is a get-well matchup for Allen, who has struggled so far this season due to a sore groin and some very tough matchups. I expect better output this week against a beatable Jaguars secondary. Allen is practicing fully this week, so the groin is feeling better.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings vs. Falcons
Just in case any of you are thinking about benching him, think again. The Vikes still are trying to find themselves. I doubt anybody in Minnesota envisioned an offense that did not include Adrian Peterson, but that’s their reality. Patterson has to be at the center of the new plan, so be patient and expect better results in Week 4 than we saw since Peterson left the team. This is a better matchup, and Teddy Bridgewater should loosen up defenses a bit more than Matt Cassel did. Stick with Patterson as a WR2 this week.
Golden Tate, Lions at Jets
Calvin Johnson is nursing an ankle sprain, so it’s possible that Tate could be the primary outside weapon in Week 4. Even if he’s not, he has a tasty matchup with the Jets’ battered secondary, which will be without Dee Milliner again in Week 4. Tate should have his best week as a Lion. Get him active as a WR3.
Torrey Smith, Ravens vs. Panthers
Call me crazy, but the Panthers could end up being a tad preoccupied with stopping Steve Smith this week. Torrey Smith will make the big play as the forgotten man both in terms of yearly production and in terms of the Panthers’ potential fixation on their big-mouthed ex-star. Smith has been a disappointment so far, but that should change this week. He’s good for WR3 production in 12-team leagues.
Anquan Boldin, 49ers vs. Eagles
I smell a bounceback after his meltdown cost his team in Week 3. Don’t expect the moon and the stars, but Boldin should show up with his game face on, and WR3 production or more should follow. It’s a big game, and Boldin is a big-game player.
Eric Decker, Jets vs. Lions
He could do well, but I do not trust his hamstring at all. Decker has left the last two games early, and that is a pattern that has to trouble fantasy GMs. It certainly troubles me. Decker is a guy to bench this week if you have other solid options.
Dwayne Allen, Colts vs. Titans
He’s one of their best players, but he doesn’t get the publicity that some of his teammates receive. Allen has been in the end zone twice so far this season and I like his chances of scoring again in Week 4. He can help you in any format.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Patriots
Apart from the running backs, if anybody on Kansas City is going to damage the Patriots this week in the passing game it will be Kelce. The young tight end is a playmaker in the Gronkowski mold and he’s making plenty of plays in limited action. His playing time is on the rise and I suspect that the trend continues. Look out for Kelce this week, Patriots fans, and get him active in fantasy leagues of all sizes.
Andrew Quarless, Packers at Bears
Here’s a deep option for those of you struggling for a player in Week 4. Quarless is playing well and he gets a sweet matchup this week against an undermanned secondary that will be stressed to the max just to deal with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Aaron Rodgers should be able to go to Quarless and his other tight ends almost at will this week. Quarless is a nice roll of the dice in big leagues.
Ladarius Green, Chargers vs. Jaguars
Be careful with Green, who looked very good last week but pulled a hamstring in practice this week. Green probably will play, but he may be playing at less than full capacity. Check your Rotobahn lineup rankings on Sunday or head over to my chat at WEEI that starts at 11 a.m. Barring some very good news or a full Friday practice, I would play it safe with Green in Week 4.