It’s been a wild three weeks so far with injuries, under-performers, and replacement referees. Luckily, the refs don’t have much effect on fantasy and guys have stepped up to replace the Matt Forte’s and Ahmad Bradshaw’s while they’re down. So without further ado, let’s get going with the guys that are due for big weeks in week four.
Ryan Williams (Cardinals RB) – This is a gimme as Beanie Wells officially gets put on injured reserve. Williams will be the workhorse as he was last week when he posted nearly 10 fantasy points, and Arizona is home against Miami who’s given up the 11th most fantasy points to running backs.
Cedric Benson (Packers RB) – Benson has really gotten involved; he had 21 carries this past week for 45 yards and a TD to go along with a couple receptions for 19 yards. That was against Seattle, who ranks 29th in points allowed to running backs. This week, they face the perfect running match-up against New Orleans. The Saints run defense is so porous that they allowed nearly 400 rushing yards in the first two weeks. That was before Jamaal Charles rushed for 233 yards in week three. These are big holes after the bounty scandal, and Benson will take advantage of them while the Packers lethal pass game keeps the defense honest.
Robert Meachem (Chargers WR) – This is my gut call of the week. After a slow first two weeks and what was rationalized, perhaps rightfully, to poor chemistry with Philip Rivers, Meachem got going with four receptions for 43 yards in week three. In week four, the Chargers go into Kansas City, who has allowed the 10th most fantasy points to wide outs so far this year. Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd are the only other two targets to factor in besides Meachem, and Rivers will come out with a vengeance after last week’s pitiful struggle against Atlanta. Not many know what Meachem is capable of as he was overshadowed in the Saints offense last year, and he’ll now start to show his ability as a starter this week. If you don’t like it, don’t start him, but I have a great feeling.
Lance Moore (Saints WR) – Here’s an under the radar guy that has quietly been Drew Brees’ favorite target not named Jimmy Graham. This is partially due to the departure of Robert Meachem, and secondly due to the fact that Moore is a beast. They play a huge game against the Packers this week, who have been third best against the pass, but Moore will get some. Marques Colston is banged up as well. In what is likely to be a shootout at Lambeau Field, Lance Moore will assert himself as a starting fantasy receiver in deep leagues.
Kyle Rudolph (Vikings TE) – This is the guy you want to start this week, and probably every other week if you have an underachieving tight end like I do (aka Jason Witten). Not only that, but if your name isn’t Graham, Gronk, Davis, (Gonzalez?), you probably have the best fantasy tight end in Kyle Rudolph. This week they play Detroit, second most fantasy points given up to tight ends. He’s a 6-foot-7 monster who has three TDs through three weeks, and he’ll continue to dominate and catch balls from an extremely underrated Christian Ponder ,who added 30 pounds of muscle this off season.
Now the guys we have to sit this week.
Jason Witten (Cowboys TE) – I know you all could see this coming. He’s probably not fully recovered from his spleen, and is, along with Gates, the biggest disappointment in the tight end department thus far. And when you can pick up Rudolph, only owned in 53 percent of leagues, why take another risk this week? Give him a rest, and we’ll wait for him to produce after Dallas’ week five bye. Until then, look for the up-comers.
Chris Johnson (Titans RB) – I don’t care about CJ1K anymore, and I don’t care about the emblem of hope attached to his name. They go into Houston this week, blah blah blah… just stay away from him altogether until he produces more than 10 fantasy points in consecutive weeks. Sheesh!
Steven Jackson (Rams RB) – They’ll probably hold him back heading into this short week as his groin is still bothering him. Only 11 carries last week, until the coaching staff realized that he was hurting, plus they play a top three Seattle run defense.
Steve Smith (Panthers WR) – This has more to do with Atlanta’s amazing defense that plays a huge part in their 3-0 start than it has to do with the Panthers and Steve Smith’s talents. Again, this is another gut call. Do what you wish, but remember that Cam Newton played like a high school quarterback last week, and that was against a Giants defense that has given up the fifth most fantasy points to wide outs. Atlanta has given up the fifth least.
Denarius Moore (Raiders WR) – It may be appealing against a mediocre Denver pass defense, but they do have some talented corners that will focus on Moore if Heyward-Bey can’t go due to his concussion. Moore is still one of those guys who you never know what you’re going to get with, and I still say his downside is more than his upside for now.