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Fantasy football start/sit advice Week 4: Saints vs. Dolphins

Week 4 wraps up with Miami heading to New Orleans for Monday Night Football. We take a look at the fantasy implications.

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The Saints will face the Dolphins to close out Week 4 on Monday Night Football. The last time the two teams played one another in a regular season game in 2010, when Reggie Bush was still a Saint and Dolphins running back Ricky Williams ran for 80 yards and three touchdowns. It was that long ago.

These days, both teams are looking to avoid their first loss of the season, but let's take a look at how this match up affects the world of fantasy football.


Drew Brees: Miami's defense won't make it easy for Brees, but he's still a top-five start in fantasy in Week 4. He has put up great fantasy numbers at home this season and no one is benching Drew Brees, regardless of his opponent.

Wide Receivers: Marques Colston is really the only wide receiver worth starting in New Orleans for Week 4. This week should help Colston's averages in fantasy because Miami doesn't have anyone in their secondary at the same level of Darrelle Revis or Patrick Peterson -- both of whom Colston has faced this season. Lance Moore, Kenny Stills, and Robert Meachem are all inconsistent at this point and should be avoided.

Running backs: Darren Sproles continues to be the best fantasy option in the Saints backfield. He's second on the roster behind tight end Jimmy Graham in receptions and is still seeing around six rushing attempts per game. He has yet to reach the end zone this season, but he's a solid RB2 -- especially in PPR leagues. Pierre Thomas holds some value in deeper PPR leagues, but even losing a few targets/carries to Mark Ingram will significantly hurt any value he has. Thomas had a season-high six receptions and 11 carries in Ingram's absence during Week 3.

Tight ends: Owners will continue to start Jimmy Graham, who is on an absolute tear this season. It's unlikely that Miami will find a way to stop Graham considering the Dolphins were tormented by Jordan Cameron and Coby Fleener this season.

Defense/ Special teams: The Saints contained the Cardinals in Week 3 and they put up serviceable fantasy numbers against the Falcons and Buccaneers. They may not be a top option against the Dolphins, but New Orleans' defense isn't far from being start-worthy in 12-team leagues.


Ryan Tannehill: The Saints have held both Josh Freeman and Carson Palmer to less than 200 passing yards so far this season. Tannehill may end up with a better stat line in Week 4, but he's having issues securing the ball (two fumbles in three games) and he's playing in the Superdome. There should be better options elsewhere.

Wide Receivers: Brian Hartline leads the Dolphins in receptions this season. Hartline has two touchdowns in three games, which is more than he had in all of 2012. Hartline is a solid WR2 play in PPR leagues, but is more of a WR3 in standard formats. Mike Wallace has potential for big games as we saw in Week 2 against the Colts. However, Wallace hasn't been able to prove he's consistent yet and that's a bit scary for fantasy purposes. If Tannehill looks downfield (he should) against the Saints, Wallace is the player to bet on for a big gain. Brandon Gibson could possibly see more catches than Wallace, but he hasn't found much luck in the end zone. Start Wallace as a WR3 and hope for upside, but don't be surprised if Gibson keeps up with Wallace in PPR leagues.

Running backs: Lamar Miller continues to be a solid flex play against a Saints defense that's been average in allowing fantasy points to running backs. Daniel Thomas will likely continue to share backfield duties. It'd be nice to believe that Miller could get more involved in the passing game against New Orleans, but he currently has just four receptions in three games. Regardless, Miller is going to be the better start as he leads Thomas in attempts, yards, and yards per carry. It's only a matter of time before his production translates into more work out of the backfield.

Tight ends: Charles Clay became a hot waiver wire pickup after hauling in five catches for 109 yards and a rushing touchdown against the Colts in Week 2. He responded with only 40 yards off four catches against the Falcons the following week. It's difficult to say if Clay's Week 2 performance was just a flash or something to expect moving forward. Considering he's only managed one strong performance so far, it would be best to label Clay a TE2 until further notice. Owners that are dealing with bye weeks or injuries can consider Clay a borderline start, but temper expectations until we see more from him.

Defense/ Special teams: The Colts and Falcons limited Miami's defensive output in fantasy so far this season. There are better match ups to be had than Drew Brees and the Saints offense in the Superdome.

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