Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The season is rolling right along as a full Sunday of matchups in Week 4 approaches for owners everywhere. We break down the fantasy implications.
The regular referees are back, bye weeks are starting to take effect and fantasy owners everywhere are anxious for another week of matchups. If you're 0-3 at this point in the season, don't panic yet. You still have a shot at redeeming yourself and finding a spot in the playoffs.
Let's go ahead and see if we can help you accomplish that task by taking a look at who to start in Week 4, and who to save a seat on the bench for.
Philip Rivers, quarterback - How bad did Rivers look against the Falcons last week? Well go ahead and forget about that dreadful performance, because he'll be taking on Chiefs secondary that has just one interception on the season. Kansas City allowed eight touchdown passes in three games, so Rivers chances are certainly looking up. Jared Gaither's return to blocking his blindside would boost Rivers' value as well.
Michael Turner, running back - The Burner is back! Okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves, but Turner did look much better in Week 3, along with the Atlanta offensive line in run blocking as well. The Falcons might have figured out how to open up holes for the ground game once again. Carolina line is still allowing 139 rush yards per week. Throw in the fact that Turner ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers at home in 2011, and you should feel confident about his upside in Week 4.
Denarius Moore, wide receiver - Oakland takes on a Denver squad that allowed four passing touchdowns last week, including two huge scores of 50+ yards. Moore led his team in targets in Week 3, and considering the Raiders are always playing from behind, Carson Palmer is likely going to be throwing often again on Sunday. Considering Darrius Heyward-Bey will likely be sidelined after a nasty collision against the Steelers, Moore is going to be an even bigger target.
Kyle Rudolph, tight end - Here is one of those collective sleeper picks that actually panned out early on. Rudolph was hyped up by fantasy analysts in the preseason, and he's made a name for himself the past two weeks by catching three touchdown passes from Christian Ponder. He is a huge red zone target these days. Considering the Lions defense has allowed the second-most points to opposing tight ends, Rudolph should be in for another clutch performance for fantasy owners.
Seattle Seahawks, defense/special teams - We should all be ready to admit the Seahawks defense is one of the best in the league. They lead the league in fewest points allowed and rank fourth overall in fewest yards per game. St. Louis managed to score just six points against Chicago in Week 3, and after Seattle wreaked havoc on Aaron Rodgers, it's a good bet they'll have another strong outing this weekend.
Jake Locker, quarterback - Locker finally put up huge numbers against Detroit in Week 3. But here's the thing, it was Detroit. Houston poses a much tougher test this week, and even though Peyton Manning managed to put up plenty of yards against the Texans, he had to throw the ball 52 times to do so. Locker should be in store for more great fantasy weeks throughout 2012, it's just not likely to happen this time around against one of the league's best defenses.
Chris Johnson, running back - Sure, he's on the same team as Locker, but I couldn't go another week leaving CJ0K off the sit list. He hasn't provided any kind of support for fantasy owners (or Locker for that matter) this year, and now the Titans sit dead last in rush yards per game. Johnson has 33 carries for 45 yards. I wish that was a joke. Don't expect his progress to magically look up against a team allowing just 68 yards on the ground per game.
Santonio Holmes, wide receiver - San Francisco's defense hasn't looked as fierce as its 2011 version, but New York is far from an offensive juggernaut. Mark Sanchez was just 21 of 45 passing with two interceptions last week in an overtime win against Miami, and while Holmes was his biggest target, it's hard to believe he'll haul in nine receptions for 147 yards in Week 4. The 49ers likely didn't take the loss to the Vikings to kindly, so you should expect Jim Harbaugh's squad to come off with some extra firepower in New York.
Jermaine Gresham, tight end - Jacksonville has yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end this year. Gresham's lone score in 2012 came against the second-worst pass defense in the league. This doesn't look like a formula for success. Washington is making every opposing quarterback look like an All-Pro, so don't anticipate a repeat in stats from Gresham this week.
Philadelphia Eagles, defense/special teams - The Eagles allowed 27 points to the Cardinals in Week 3, but overall their defense has only yielded 276 total yards per game. Eli Manning and his offense looks like a tough matchup for Philly this week after scoring 31.3 points per game through three weeks so far. If Kevin Kolb can finish with a quarterback rating of 127.4, imagine what Eli can accomplish.