A quarter of the way into the season and we know a heck of a lot more about the league this year than we did a month ago. Like that the Saints are back on top, Peyton Manning is a Marvel hero, and the Jets offense is terrible. Oh wait, we totally already knew that last thing.
The other thing we've learned is that the Baltimore Ravens are looking more like the regular season team of 2012 than the one that went on to win the Super Bowl and garner Joe Flacco more money than anyone else in the league. Sitting at 2-2, the Ravens have gotten almost nothing from Flacco and running back Ray Rice, though Torrey Smith has proven to be the real thing.
But other than Smith, right now it seems like the only piece of Baltimore that you want to target in fantasy... is their defense... when your guy is facing them. Can they turn it around and get back to the playoffs or is it gonna be a long year for the Ravens?
If you want to make your fantasy league year longer and make your own playoffs, you may want to avoid these players:
32. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Titans vs Chiefs
Your first assignment is the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the top pass defenses in the NFL this season.
Through four games, the Jags have one touchdown pass and seven interceptions. It's cool that they are looking to challenge some records this season.
Maybe it's a good chance to rebound for Eli, but he has two touchdowns and six interceptions in his last three games. What if this is just the end?
It's the road version of Russell and he's facing an Indianapolis team that has allowed two touchdowns and six interceptions through four games.
28. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Dolphins
Big Money Joey is coming off of a five-interception game and now he goes to Miami to face a tough Dolphins defense.
Surpriser of the Week: Could the Lions (eight interceptions this year) give a less-than-warm welcome back to Aaron Rodgers off the bye week?
32. Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling, Falcons vs Jets on Monday Night
Looking to hold out hope for a Falcons back in the last game of the week? The Jets are allowing only 3.0 yards per carry and have given up just one touchdown on the ground this season. Rodgers might add a few extra points in a PPR league, but Atlanta won't be running the ball much and if it gets close to the goal line it won't be going to Rodgers.
31. Ray Rice, Ravens at Dolphins
30 carries for 89 yards in three games this season.
Spiller has the carries (66 for him, 48 for Fred Jackson) but Jackson has more yardage on the ground and the air so far. Spiller was one of the hottest picks at the top of the first round in drafts this year, but he has yet to score and the Browns happen to be allowing 2.9 yards per carry with Ray Horton in charge.
Both are banged up but to expected to play on Thursday night.
29. Lamar Miller, Dolphins vs Ravens
Baltimore is allowing just 3.5 yards per carry and has given up just a single touchdown on the ground this year. Of course, they gave up seven touchdown passes to Peyton Manning but who is counting? (All of us were counting, of course.)
So far Miller has not proven to be a threat in the passing attack and the ground game isn't very exciting in Miami.
28. Chris Johnson, Titans vs Chiefs
He's picked up some yardage, but Johnson is rushing for 3.3 yards, has only four catches, no touchdowns, is facing the Chiefs, and will face more pressure with Fitzpatrick at the helm.
Surpriser of the Week: Knowshon Moreno, Broncos at Cowboys. Dallas has not given up a rushing touchdown this season and it seems like Peyton Manning would be more than happy to oblige them with six touchdown passes anyway.
32. Roddy White, Falcons vs Jets on Monday
Has there been any point to the Falcons playing Roddy White this season? He has ten catches for 84 yards through four games. You could argue that he's worked as a distraction for defenses that has allowed Julio Jones to put up an incredible season so far, but White alone has been a non-factor and it's put a quick stop to his run of dominance over the last six years.
It could also be a great time to trade for White, but now is not the time to start him.
31. Stevie Johnson, Bills at Browns
Travel to Cleveland on a short week, face off against Joe Haden, possibly no profit.
30. Reggie Wayne, Colts vs Seahawks
Andre Johnson was allowed to eat on Sunday against the Seahawks defense, but that's rare. And Sherman still had the game-tying touchdown. He's going to relish the opportunity to take on one of the best receivers of this era, and Andrew Luck might just focus his targets elsewhere.
Fitzgerald has been more productive this season than he was last, but not a ton more productive. Not as much as you would expect going from Ryan Lindley to Carson Palmer in an era where at least 40 receivers could top 1,000 yards and Fitz is on pace for less than that.
The Panthers have allowed just two touchdown passes in three games.
28. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs at Titans
Kansas City may be enjoying a breakout season but Bowe sure isn't. While Alex Smith has proven to be a major upgrade over the two garbage cans that KC ran out there last season, it's more of an efficient offense than an offense that favors any one player. Because of that, Bowe has 13 catches for 148 yards this year. The Titans may be without Jake Locker but they should still be able to limit the Chiefs offense enough to not believe that Bowe is a great play this week.
Surpriser of the Week: Anquan Boldin, 49ers vs Texans. Despite their 2-2 record and being 23rd in the league in points allowed, the Texans have allowed the fewest yards in the league, as well as the fewest passing yards. The Seahawks beat the Texans in the third quarter by run-run-running the football for the most part and a few snazzy plays on defense. San Francisco will likely do the same.
Delanie Walker, Titans vs Chiefs -
Football Outsiders ranks KC as No. 2 in the NFL against tight ends this year. With the loss of Locker and the terrible matchup, Walker would not be a good spot start in fantasy leagues this weekend.
Martellus Bennett, Bears vs Saints
Coming off of a career-high in catches and yards (eight for 90 against the Lions) Bennett sure seems like a great play this week. But New Orleans has performed well against tight ends so far this year and it's not good to judge a player off of the best game of his entire career. He's a breakout this season for sure, but he's also shown he's capable of duds (two catches for 10 yards in Week 3.)
Jermichael Finley, Packers vs Lions
Is he fully recovered from a concussion suffered in Week 3? The Lions have allowed only four touchdown passes this year.
Surpriser of the Week: Jordan Cameron, Browns vs Bills
Despite his monstrous start to the season, Cameron is playing on a short week and the Bills currently rank fourth in the NFL against tight ends, per FO. It's a risky play to bench someone like Cameron, who is on pace to break every tight end record (if it weren't for Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates also on such a pace) but this might not be his best game of the season.