The Fantasy Footballers’ Week 4 Starts
It’s tough to say Week 4 can be a ‘must win,’ but 1-3 or 0-4 is a tough hole to dig out of and this is where the better teams should start to emerge. With injuries and bye weeks upon us, here are your Week 3 Starts from today’s episode:
QB Kirk Cousins vs. Cleveland
Kirk Cousins is averaging 334 yards/game despite his “struggles,” which is second in the league. He’s at home, against a beatable opponent, no turnovers last game, and he’s increased his fantasy points in each game. He continues that this week.
RB Carlos Hyde vs. Dallas
Dallas has been deceptively good against the run, but they’ve given up the most yards/carry of any team in the league. They haven’t played against a top-end talent RB and Carlos Hyde just posted over 100 yards on 21 carries against Seattle. Hyde is the only show in town. Carlos Hyde is going to have a good week.
WR Steve Smith Sr. vs Baltimore
He plays Oakland which automatically makes any WR a good play with Oakland dead last against WRs in fantasy football. His yardage has increased each of the last three weeks and we know Joe Flacco loves him. He leads the team in yards, catches, and targets-the TDs are coming.
TE Coby Fleener @ San Diego
I believe he’s woke. I believe Drew Brees is on pace for 9,000 yards. I believe that San Diego is better at covering WRs than TEs. I believe that Fleener is getting on the same page with Drew Brees after we saw that it took a while for that to happen with Ben Watson last year. Whether Snead is out there or not, I like Coby Fleener.
QB Blake Bortles vs Indianapolis
Indianapolis is allowing 312 yards/game through the air. It might be nasty, you might not like your start through the first half, but then the garbage man will come through with his stinky poo trash*, and you’ll like the fantasy points.
*Stinky Poo Trash– Fantasy points that are accrued in the second half of football games when defenses allow teams to move the ball offensively to protect a lead and burn time of the clock. See also the 2015 Jacksonville Jaguars and 2016 Miami Dolphins.
RB Isaiah Crowell @ Washington
Washington has allowed 149, 96, and 120 yards on the ground in the last three games. RBs have burrowed in for 2 TDs in each of those games. I’m going with the Crow! Cleveland can put up enough of a fight for Crowell to have a good game.
WR Kevin White vs Detroit
Did you know Brian Hoyer was QB11 last week where Kevin White had 14 targets? This game against Detroit will be high-scoring where Chicago is actually 3 point underdogs at home. This is the game where Kevin White finally emerges.
TE D2HP vs Oakland
D2HP: That’s Dennis Pitta when he’s got two hips. If you need a reason to like Dennis Pitta it’s this; Oakland stinks at covering the TE just like they stink against all sorts of passing weapons. Like Joe Flacco loves Steve Smith Sr., he loves Dennis Pitta. Pitta’s getting targets out the wahzoo and I want some of that action.
QB Matthew Stafford @ Chicago
You have to stay in these flames. Detroit will be bottom-5 in the league on scores ‘through the ground.’ This is going to be a high-scoring game where Detroit’s not going to be able to punch it in on the ground so most of the TDs should be coming from Matthew Stafford.
RB Jeremy Hill vs Miami
Miami gave up 96, 149, and 148 yards on the ground in each of the last three weeks, but they seem OK since they’ve only given up one TD on the ground. If there’s a specialty of Jeremy Hill, it’s punching it through on the ground. This is a scary start of the week, but in games where the Bengals are favored by 7 or more, he averages 13.48 points in standard leagues going from 56 to 73 yards/game. He looked pretty good last week so I’m going to throw Jeremy Hill out there.
WR Travis Benjamin vs New Orleans
Travis Benjamine leads San Diego in receptions and yards and gets to face New Orleans. None of us would be surprised if he has a huge, monstrous, blow-up week.
TE Zach Miller vs Detroit
Zach Miller is available in about half of your leagues. Brian Hoyer was good last week and he’s been pretty good for fantasy football purposes. This is what Detroit has given up to the TE so far: 88, 91, and 37 yards, with 3 TDs, 1 TD, and 1 TD. That’s 5 TDs in three games! Miller was over 80 yards with 2 TDs last week. He’s a safe option with high upside.
QB Alex Smith @ Pittsburgh
I’m not just the writer, I’m also a client. I have Aaron Rodgers on bye in the Fantasy Footballers’ writers league and I’m rolling with Alex Smith. After a disappointing loss to Philadelphia last week, I think Pittsburgh comes out hot forcing Kansas City to air it out. Alex Smith has thrown the ball no fewer than 33 times this year (you read that right) including 48 pass attempts when Kansas found themselves down against San Diego. It helps that Pittsburgh has allowed an average of 332 yards/game through the air. If Smith gets some volume and racks up some yardage on the ground, he could easily crack QB1 territory this week.
RB LeGarrette Blount vs Buffalo
Buffalo has been shredded the past two weeks including a 3 TD outing by Matt Forte and 2 TDs by David Johnson last week. Despite not having a single target to his name, Blount has had no fewer than 22 touches this year. Whoever the QB is for New England won’t be 100%, which means lots of work for Blount. Add in the extra rest, home-field advantage, Buffalo’s weak run defense, and you have a recipe for a big game from LeGarrette Blount.
WR Tyrell Williams vs New Orleans
Tyrell Williams has received more targets in each week and now gets the luxury of facing a leaky New Orleans defense. With Antonio Gates likely sidelined again this week, Williams is one of the few big-bodies San Diego has near the goal line at 6’4″ and his 4.38 40-yard dash time makes him a deep threat. Williams is flying way under the radar and I think a monster game is only a matter of time.
TE Cameron Brate vs Denver
Cameron Brate finally gets a chance to shine as The TE in Tampa Bay. As good as Denver’s defense has been, they gave up 7 receptions for 73 yards against Greg Olsen and 6 receptions for 62 yards against the Doyle/Allen combo. Denver did manage to shut down Cincinnati’s stalwart TE C.J. Uzomah, but Brate should get some looks in this matchup with a shot at a TD.
Be sure to check out all of Episode #271: Starts of the Week, Week 4 Matchups, and Debate of the Week.