2 engineers at NASA were sitting at a desk, the one man says “geez this is not rocket science”, the other man turns and says “well, actually it is”. On this note I am back to share more fantasy football advice with you. Why the joke? Well sometimes it seems like it is rocket science, and no matter how good a match-up may look, it is never a guarantee of a big day. Yes, I know Ray Rice got hurt, but his day was far from special against a weak Cleveland team beforehand. Oh, and who would have thought Peyton Hillis would tear into the Ravens defense?
So why listen to me? Well I have a pretty keen insight, usually, as to who is a good play. Last week I scored another 4-1 week in my fantasy leagues combined, so I must be doing something right. I thank everyone who comes to me for advice, and well I hope I can continue to give you the information you need to win a championship. After all, in the words of former NFL coach Herm Edwards “you play to win the game!” With that being said, here is my Starts and Sits for week 4 as well as some waiver wire pick up ideas, and perhaps a “look to sell” section if you really need it. Good luck readers!
[adinserter block=”1″]Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Bills: The battle cry coming into this season was that the Jets did improve but will not be a Super Bowl contender until the situation at QB is fixed. I have some news for the AFC, it is getting fixed. In the past 2 weeks Sanchez has thrown 6 TDs while throwing 0 interceptions and that was against tough division foes Miami and New England. This week he has Buffalo, and while the secondary is easily the stronger part of their defense, it has me not so scared.
Matt Ryan, Falcons vs 49ers: Ryan has progressed perfectly in his 3rd NFL season. His numbers get better each year and his team gets better with it. San Francisco is a huge disappointment and may very well leave Atlanta 0-4. The Falcons do run well, but it will be the passing game that will have to shine for them to win this one, and Ryan at home has become a very reliable QB.
Drew Brees, Saints vs Panthers: Coming off of a loss and at home the Saints are very dangerous. Also include the facts of them being banged up at RB and WR Lance Moore is starting to come to life and you have a recipe for an aerial assault. The Panthers are just bad, so I don’t see them sticking much on Brees. This could very well be a 4 or 5 TD game for Drew.
Kyle Orton, Broncos at Titans: I know many people went Orton happy the last few days over the waiver wire, but they have a tough opponent this week in the revamped Titans defense. Last week on the road they kept Eli Manning out of the end zone which is a pretty big task, and have been tough to score upon. It does not look good for Denver, who with so many injuries at RB have become very one dimensional.
Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks at Rams: Before you race to the wire for Hasselbeck look at the past vs. the Rams. He rarely lights the skies up against St Louis, and they are playing decent football. Last week I begged you all to start McNabb against them, and well that was uneventful, so you can imagine why I feel fear in this.
Matt Schaub, Texans at Raiders: Andre Johnson’s bum ankle is enough to scare people away, add to it the fact that the Raiders are much better against the pass then the rush. You will see later that Arian Foster is a gem here, but not Schaub. He may do enough to win the contest but not enough to win your fantasy game with what he has.
LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets at Bills: This is not a misprint. L.T, looks sharp, in fact much sharper than Shonn Greene. I know I said to use Sanchez, but it will all open up here. He is back in shape, healthy and has a new spring in his step, plus has scored the last 2 weeks. The Jets should take it to the Bills, so why not take the hot hand here.
Arian Foster, Texans at Raiders: I don’t see the Texans losing this game, so they will lean heavily on Foster. The Raiders just do not do a good job stopping RBs, last week should show that. Foster has been a good threat for Houston over the first 3 weeks. Although he has not lit it up like he did in week 1 he is still a very good option, and one not to pass on this week.
Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs Patriots: I saw Brandon Marshall go off last week and finally cast his mark in this offense, but from years past, anyone who follows Brown knows how well he does against New England. The Pats defense is still young and rough around the edges, and Brown is due for a big game, especially on a big stage. Use him this week, and do not hesitate for a second.
Pierre Thomas, Saints vs Panthers: I love Pierre Thomas normally, but I hate the way Sean Payton chooses to use him. Now this week he has an ankle injury and with the Panthers coming in, it could be an early blow out, so he may get plenty of rest if he even plays. Thomas does catch passes, but they won’t even need him for that this week. I would expect as little bit of action as possible for Thomas.
Ray Rice, Ravens at Steelers: Once again an injury takes the forefront here. Rice left last Sunday with a knee injury and it is still not known if he will play Sunday. Add to that the fact that the Steelers defense has been very stingy vs. runners this year and you have a recipe for disaster. The Steelers are just to good to put anyone up against right now, as even Chris Johnson saw.
Darren McFadden, Raiders vs Texans: I love McFadden this year, and in 2 of my leagues I have little choice but to play him here due to injuries and bye weeks, but that does not mean you have too, especially if you have other options. The Texans are the opposite of the Raiders, they play the run very well (average of 57 yards allowed per game) but do not cover the pass well at all, as you may have seen in recent games against Dallas and Washington. McFadden may get his in the passing game, but it is a bit of a reach, despite how hot he has been so far this year. Save him for another week if you can.
[adinserter block=”2″]DeSean Jackson, Eagles vs Redskins: A big time match-up for Philly as they face NFC East rival Washington and new QB Donovan McNabb, who was of course the Eagles old QB. Jackson has been amazing since Michael Vick has taken over at QB, and Vicks improvisation has let him create space for big pass plays. The Skins do play good defense, but not many corners in the league can run with Jackson, so you should run with him on your team.
Randy Moss, Patriots at Dolphins: Last week Moss caught just 2 passes, but did I mention both were TDs? The Patriots are going to have to figure out that the best way for their offense to get rolling is to use Moss often and deep. There is very little threat behind 2 yard screens if the defense sees it all game. Plus Moss has gone crazy against the Dolphins over the last few years. He thinks he is being neglected, so this may be the perfect week for Brady to make it up to him.
Roddy White, Falcons vs 49ers: I don’t know what else to say besides this guy does it every week. He is the strong point of a pretty good Falcons offense, and since I see them winning this one at home, I feel more than happy to thumb up White. Dare I call this guy the NFL’s best receiver so far this year? It may be a stretch but he is top 5 for sure.
Andre Johnson, Texans at Raiders: It shames me to tell you to sit the most talented WR in the league, but that ankle looks to be causing him a ton of pain. Johnson was not much of a factor last week, and will not be much this week either against Pro Bowl corner Asomugha. It could be an injury that goes all year long, very bad news for Johnson owners.
Steve Smith, Giants vs Bears: Yes, I think that being 4 point underdogs is a set up for Bears backers. Go ahead and pick them, and sink that money down the drain. Yes this is a game set up for the Giants to win, but don’t thank Smith too soon. He has become an afterthought near the end zone. Nicks, Manningham, Bradshaw and any TE they play seem to have a better chance at pay dirt right now then Smith. Yes in point per catch leagues you may get some, but far from enough.
Mike Wallace, Steelers vs Ravens: I saw what he did last week, but it is still Charlie Batch at QB and this is still the Ravens. I know they have been run on more this year, but they still play a good pass defense and Batch may not get the time or the looks he did against an over-matched Tampa team last week. Wallace is becoming a good WR, but do not dare try and ride him here.
The Wire! Still looking for names to add to your club, well we have some here, come in and shop won’t you.
Jacoby Jones, WR, Texans: If Jones is not owned in your league, stop reading and get him, now! He has great speed, can get open with his size and as I said earlier, Andre Johnson’s ankle does not look like it will be any better anytime soon. With Kevin Walter as the other WR healthy here, Jones should get plenty of looks.
Willis MacGahee, RB, Ravens: Not the best week to start him if you are going to get him, but Ray Rice is hurting and struggling. Last year Willis made the most of him time on the field and is not a bad option should Rice be sidelined.
Greg Olsen, TE, Bears: If you are in a league that uses TEs go get Olsen. There was some fear of Mike Martz’s new offense not using TE, but Olsen has found the end zone 2 straight weeks and is making his presence felt in Chi-Town.
Josh Cribbs, WR, Browns: If the Browns show any kind of offensive life at all, Cribbs will be a part of it. He does QB play in the Wildcat formation, had a nice week with some catches last week, and is still a prime return man. Yes you may see better guys on paper to pick up, but with Delhomme out and Seneca Wallace being, well Seneca Wallace, Cribbs may get more playing time and he usually makes the most of it.
Is it time to panic or sell for these owners?
Those of us who had Ryan Grant and gobbled up Brandon Jackson may soon look to unload. Jackson has done very little to remind anyone of Grant, and he does not seem to be a viable fantasy option. This week they play the Lions and he may be headed for something, but i would not trust him on a weekly basis.
Michael Crabtree owners, get out while you can. This offense is not sparking and neither is this well hyped kid. He may come too, but it is not looking like it will be soon.
Will you get anything in trade for Jonathan Stewart? No! Will you get anything out of Stewart, not likely. The Panthers offense is bad, and he has little to show for it.
Are people really going to pin their hopes to Laurence Maroney?
Get out of the Cowboys running back committee as soon as possible, it is dreadful for fantasy numbers.
I will give you a few buy in tips. If no one has Santonio Holmes go get him as well as Big Ben Roethlisberger and Sidney Rice. Guys off of suspensions and injuries always have something to prove. Oh and for those living in the past, I don’t care where Larry Johnson ends up, just don’t let him end up on your bench.
Good Luck in week 4 everyone. Next week I will be back with Bi-weekly Power Rankings, and more fantasy news. Also if you wish to see more of “Beat The Shark”, my weekly NFL pick em contest, you can see it at MVPPhilly.com Thanks again readers.
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
After all, using a time machine to change a personnel move might just make ESPNEWS.Get your NFL jerseys discounted now on Amazon.com
Join ESPN Insider today for the best sports analysis online, plus ESPN The Magazine!