Welcome to the Week 4 starts and sits! I’ve tried to find some interesting options that aren’t totally obvious, though there are a few that you probably didn’t need me for, like Karlos Williams. If you are looking for my take on players not addressed in this article, you can check out my full positional rankings over at Rotobahn.
Jim Hackett and I will be back Sunday morning from 8-9 a.m. on 93.7 with the Week 3 edition of the Fantasy Football Hour. Tune in if you haven’t already. And if you still need lineup advice on Sunday morning, feel free to attend our Week 4 chat at 11 a.m. right here on WEEI.com. There will be a link to the chat on the home page, usually an hour or two ahead of time, so get those questions in early!
If you are a daily fantasy player, look for my Week 4 DraftKings article, which will be posted Saturday morning.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills vs. Giants
No way do you go away from here. The matchup is nothing to worry about and the home crowd will be jacked to support a 2-1 team. The only issues would be the losses of LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins. Rookie Karlos Williams gives Buffalo a dynamic presence in the backfield, and the Bills still have some nice weapons in the passing game. Taylor loses some upside without Watkins, but he still is a good bet to produce QB1 numbers.
Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Chiefs
The Chiefs can be thrown on. In fact, that is how you want to go after them right now. The Bengals protect well enough where Dalton should have time to use all of his weapons, though the Chiefs can bring some heat. I expect serviceable numbers with upside for a big day if things break right. He can help you in all formats.
Derek Carr, Raiders at Bears
Carr is rolling right now, and the Bears are dismantling their team in-season, which is a rare thing in the NFL. Last week they shipped defensive end Jared Allen to the Panthers. As Patriots fans know, they also dealt linebacker John Bostic to New England for draft pick compensation. I guess coach John Fox needs some more rookies to not play, but I digress. Carr would be a solid play against a fully loaded Bears defense, so I like him plenty against this diminished version. Play him with confidence.
Matthew Stafford, Lions at Seahawks
He is banged up. His offense is a mess thanks to an offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi, who is showing signs of being overmatched. That might be something the Lions could work around, but their coach, Jim Caldwell, also seems to be in over his head. It all adds up to a team that has very little chance of competing with a fully loaded Seahawks team in Seattle, where the Seahawks thrive. Stafford is talented, and he has weapons for sure, but this is a situation to avoid.
Karlos Williams, Bills vs. Giants
We loved this kid’s talent at Rotobahn when we broke down his college game film, and we wondered why he was used so infrequently at Florida State. I guess Buffalo wondered the same thing, because the Bills have aggressively cleared space in their backfield for the dynamic rookie runner. This week, with LeSean McCoy out due to a hamstring injury, Williams will be center stage. I expect him to perform well and give his fantasy owners reason to celebrate.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons vs. Texans
Don’t expect last week’s numbers, obviously, but you absolutely should start him. Tevin Coleman will miss another game, so Freeman’s touches are all but assured. Roll with him in all league sizes and scoring formats.
Chris Johnson, Cardinals vs. Rams
Andre Ellington seems likely to miss one more game, and you have to like Johnson against a struggling Rams run defense. The only potential rub here would be if Ellington somehow makes a quick return to full strength, so keep an eye on him just in case.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins vs. Jets (9:30 a.m. start Sunday)
He is banged up a bit, and the Jets stop the run very well. The other issue, and it’s a big one, is the clueless Dolphins coaching staff. Why Miller is yanked every time he starts getting momentum is a question we’ve been asking for years. Coach Joe Philbin is a dead man walking, and he should have been put out of his misery long ago. Don’t be surprised if he ends up taking an impromptu European vacation after Sunday’s game in London. Avoid Miller for now.
Stevie Johnson, Chargers vs. Browns
He’s been good so far, and they will need him this week with Antonio Gates still out on suspension and Ladarius Green potentially out with a concussion. There are a lot of targets up for grabs in San Diego. Johnson should return WR3 value this weekend.
Terrance Williams, Cowboys at Saints
Last week I told you to avoid him because he was going to see Desmond Trufant all day. I hope you listened. This week is not so daunting in terms of the matchup, and I expect Williams to get plenty of love and to make some big plays. He makes a solid WR3 in 12-team leagues.
Percy Harvin, Bills vs. Giants
With Sammy Watkins out, Harvin becomes the top option in the passing game. He has looked good so far this season, and he will get a carry or two as well. Harvin is a solid WR3 option in 12-team leagues and a viable play in smaller leagues if you need him.
Mike Wallace, Vikings at Broncos
He will be facing a top 10 cornerback no matter how Denver chooses to match up, and that is a recipe for a tough day unless Wallace pulls a big play or two out of his blank. He is viable if you need him, but this looks like a week to avoid Wallace if you have the option.
Jordan Reed, Washington vs. Eagles
He is looking very good, but he always does when he is fully healthy. Sadly, it never seems to last. That said, you can roll with him this week, and, unless he goes down during the game, you should do very well, especially in leagues with PPR scoring.
Charles, Clay, Bills vs. Giants
With Sammy Watkins out, I expect to see a little more of Clay, who has looked healthy lately, and that is a big key because he often has knee soreness to deal with. I like Clay as a low-end TE1 in Week 4. Play him if you need him.
Jordan Cameron, Dolphins vs. Jets (9:30 a.m. start Sunday)
The Jets actually have covered tight ends pretty well so far, which is very surprising. The thing is, they haven’t really been challenged much yet. Cameron will be the best they have faced so far, and I expect solid output. The Dolphins should find that the tight end is one of their better matchups and they like to throw to the middle of the field. Cameron is a TE1 option this week.
Larry Donnell, Giants at Bills
He just drops too many balls to trust at this point. He may get red zone looks, so he is viable if you need him, but I do not like the way he is trending. In most leagues, you can do better at tight end by going to the waiver wire.
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