Welcome to NFL Dog's Coverage of Fantasy football. Our Fantasy Football expert Brandon Thorn will provide year round fantasy football coverage with weekly "start em" and "sit em" articles throughout the year.
3 October 2010
Week 4 Start em or Sit em
Well week three is in the books and there are plenty of surprises, for better and worse. Two guys that I was fortunate enough to either pick in my fantasy draft or via the waiver wire were RB Arian Foster and WR Austin Collie, who both are leading the NFL in yards for their respective positions. Along with these two players, there have been many other pleasant surprises across the NFL to include QB Michael Vick, QB Kyle Orton (2nd in the NFL in passing yards), QB Mark Sanchez (last two games 6 touchdowns 0 interceptions), RB Darren McFadden (3rd in the NFL in rushing yards), WR Brandon Lloyd (2nd in the NFL in receiving yards), TE Jermichael Finley (NFL’s leading receiver for tight ends), and TE Dustin Keller (3rd in receiving yards and 2nd in receiving touchdowns for tight ends). Now onto who has the best matchups this week and who doesn’t.
QB Chad Henne – | Miami Dolphins- Henne and the Miami Dolphins have a big divisional rivalry this week against New England at home. The Patriots have the 25th ranked pass defense in the NFL and are stuck with trying to defend one of the top receivers in the entire NFL, WR Brandon Marshall. Last week against a stout defense (the Jets), Henne threw for 365 yards, 166 of them going to Marshall. Expect Henne to throw for 300+ yards and a pair of touchdowns at least against the inexperienced secondary of New England.
QB Sam Bradford – | St. Louis Rams- Bradford has had a solid rookie campaign thus far, showing command of the offense and putting up decent numbers, with 4 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and 655 yards. Look for Bradford to continue to get better as the season goes on, and against Seattle’s 31st ranked pass defense, things are looking up for the former 1st overall pick. RB Steven Jackson is battling a groin injury, so his absence could either really hurt Bradford’s numbers or really help them. I’m taking the latter. Expect Bradford to post 250-300 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns this week.
QB Drew Brees – | New Orleans Saints -Brees through the first three weeks of the season is the NFL’s 5th highest rated passer, 6th in passing yards and leads all NFL quarterbacks with a staggering 75.9% completion percentage. Brees has been practicing with a knee brace all week, but isn’t even listed on the team’s injury report so he will be ready to go. New Orleans faces off against the struggling Panthers who are in the middle of the pack in passing defense ranking 14th in the NFL. Brees is a no-brainer to start every week, but the reason I like this matchup so much is because not only is RB Reggie Bush out, starting RB Pierre Thomas is listed as questionable and may not get many carries. Look for the Saints to pass early and often, enabling Brees to put up huge numbers.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew | Jacksonville Jaguars– Drew has yet to score a rushing touchdown on the year and is averaging a weak 3.8 yards per carry. This week the Jaguars host the Colts which have the 28th ranked run defense in the NFL. I expect Jacksonville to give the former UCLA Bruin every opportunity to run the ball against the Colts soft interior defensive line. Drew should get 25-30 carries this week, so expect 100-125 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson | New York Jets – The Jets this week head into Buffalo against the league’s 27th ranked run defense. The Bills were gashed last week against New England, so this week expect the Jets solid offensive line to open plenty of holes for the future hall of famer out of TCU. Tomlinson has been a sparkplug this year for the Jets averaging 5.6 yards per carry which is the same as RB Adrian Peterson’s. Tomlinson splits carries, so don’t expect a gigantic game but if I had him I would start him this week. Look for 75-100 yards and a touchdown to go with 4-6 catches.
WR Austin Collie | Indianapolis Colts – Even with Collie nursing an injury, he is listed as questionable against the Jaguars. Jacksonville ranks 29th in the NFL in passing defense which spells huge trouble for their secondary. All-world QB Peyton Manning is the league’s premier player, and this year has as many weapons as he’s had in his entire career. Collie has been the league’s biggest surprise in fantasy football, look for him to continue building his chemistry with Manning this week and as the season goes on. Look for 7-9 catches 100+ yards and a touchdown out of Collie.
TE John Carlson | Seattle Seahawks – Seattle is facing off against division rival St. Louis this week who ranks 24th in the NFL against the pass. Carlson has potential to be a big-time receiving threat when thrown to and this season he has 13 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. Expect him to get 5-7 catches this week for 75-80 yards and a touchdown against the young, inexperienced defense of the Rams.
QB Charlie Batch | Pittsburgh Steelers – Batch had a very good showing last week against the Buccaneers throwing for three touchdowns. This week will be a far different outcome for the Steelers passing game. Baltimore ranks 1st against the pass giving up 116 yards on the season and only one passing touchdown, if you have another quarterback on your team, start him, you’ll thank me later.
QB Matt Schaub | Houston Texans – Schaub lead the NFL in passing yards last year and this year it looks to be more of the same for the former Atlanta Falcon. Schaub averages 281 yards per game passing but this week could be much different. Oakland ranks 2nd in the NFL against the pass and boasts a top two corner in the NFL, CB Nnamdi Asomugha who can shut down any receiver on any given Sunday. WR Andre Johnson is battling an injury and is a game time decision. Assuming he does not play, I would sit Schaub even though Houston has other weapons. Look for Houston to give the Raiders a heavy dose of RB Arian Foster this week.
RB Ray Rice | Baltimore Ravens – Rice has battled an injury all week and is questionable for Sunday’s game against the vaunted Steelers defense. With Rice expected to play but not at 100%, and Pittsburgh’s wall of a defense, sit Rice and find a flex type player such as RB Brandon Jackson who has a favorable matchup this week.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw | New York Giants – Bradshaw is facing the league’s 1st ranked rush defense in the Chicago Bears this week. With the Giants offensive line struggling heavily last week, and a Bears team on the rise, sit Bradshaw this week.
WR Calvin Johnson | Detroit Lions – I know a guy with the nickname ‘Megatron’ for his freakish athletic abilities would be hard to sit any week of the season, but I am sitting him against Green Bay’s 3rd ranked pass defense this week. Green Bay also ranks first in the NFL in sacks, which does not rate in Detroit’s QB Shaun Hill’s favor. Look for the Lions to remain winless and for their offense to struggle mightily this week against the Packers stellar defense.
TE Vernon Davis | San Francisco 49ers – Davis and the 49ers offense has been terrible so far this season as evident by the firing of their offensive coordinator last week. This week they go up against the Atlanta Falcons who lead the league in interceptions with six and rank 6th in the NFL in sacks with seven. Atlanta has a very fast, young defensive unit who will not make things easy for the struggling 49ers offense this week. There is a lot of pressure on QB Alex Smith this week, and until he proves himself more, I would count on him having a poor outing against the red hot Falcons.