Fantasy football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: How to set your lineups for Week 4

Fantasy football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: How to set your lineups for Week 4

Start or Sit

As we enter week 4 and get closer to closing out the first quarter of the season, many of our theories and perceptions of both teams and players start to take shape.  For instance, Chicago’s defense is terrible.  If you have started your players against them, you have been rewarded.

This Sunday, the Bears host the Lions, who’s offense has put up big fantasy numbers so far this season.  With that said starting Matthew Stafford and Marvin Jones is a given, but which running backs should you start from these teams? We’ll get to them in a min, but I also want to touch on some other offensive games like Indianapolis vs Jacksonville, and New Orleans vs San Diego.

All these teams have to offenses to put up big number but have be very inconsistent this season.  Deciding which receiver to start on each team has been a crap shoot, but if we drill down to the individual matchups, we may be able to find some gems.

Be sure to check back with our start/sit column on Thursday’s each week to make sure you have your lineup set for Sunday. As new information becomes available, we’ll update the column to reflect the latest changes.



Andy Dalton (vs. Miami)

Dalton and the Bengals have gotten off to a slow start this year, but this is the week they should break out.  A.J. Green, one of my best Daily Fantasy plays of the week, faces the Dolphins on a short week.  After getting burned by Jimmy Garoppolo and struggling against Cody Kessler and Terrelle Pryor Sr (8 receptions for 144 yards) last week, Green who is 6’4” should have no problem against Byron Maxwell and Xavien Howard who are both 6’ 1”.  My bet is Dalton should hook up with Green all night long.


Joe Flacco (vs. Oakland)

After 2 weeks on the road the Ravens face a Raiders team at home that has been struggling against the pass giving up the most passaing yareds and the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.  They were lit up by Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, and even had trouble with Marcus Mariota, this past week without Delanie Walker in the lineup.  Vegas sees this game as a 47 O/U and Flacco and the Ravens laying four points which equates to a nice 24.75 implied team total. which should make for a good fantasy week for Flacco (Wallace too) considering the Ravens struggle to run the averaging 82.3 yards per game and 3.3 YPC.


 Kirk Cousins (vs.Cleveland:

After a slow start to the season, Cousins looked good last week, 296 yards (8.5 YPA) and a 2 TD’s , against the Giants hooking up with DeSean Jackson deep a few times.  Redskins’ red-zone issues have been a problem so far this season which they did not have last season.  . Washington has scored a touchdown on just 21.43 percent of its red-zone trips. Only the Texans (14.29 percent) have been worse.

This week Cousins gets a weak Cleveland pass defense. The Browns are allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Philip Rivers (vs. New Orleans):

Rule #1 this season, start any quarterback playing against the Saints.   Even though Rivers didn’t throw a single touchdown against the terrible Colts secondary, the New Orleans defense is yielding 309 passing yards per game and Saints are one of two teams yet to pick off a pass.

The Chargers are playing at home this week, and in his only home start this season, Rivers carved up the Jaguars defense throwing four touchdowns. Its not only the Saints back end that has issues, their front end is just as bad as they have just four sacks.


Russell Wilson (at New York Jets)

This is a tough one for Wilson. Not only is he still dealing with a sprained left ankle, he also has a sprained MCL in his right knee, he faces a stout Jets front this week that will put an enormous amount of pressure on Wilson.  This will make it tough for Wilson to roll out and scramble and  with the Jets tough against the run and the Seahawks coming east for a 1pm game… I have to sit him, there are better option out there.
Eli Manning (at Minnesota)

Manning is another guy not on my list this week.  The Minnesota defense has proven to be stout this year doing a number on Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers the last two weeks. With the terrible Giants O-Line and Eli’s susceptibility to turnovers, well you get it.

Running Backs


Theo Riddick (at Chicago)

Not much to say here, Bears defense bad, a RB that rushes and catches passes out of the backfield good.  The Bears’ defensive front has been decimated by injuries, so we should se a lot of scoring from the Lions offense on Sunday. Riddick is going to split carries with Dwayne Washington, but he’s pair primary back out of the backfield.


Isaiah Crowell at Redskins:

It’s hard to believe, but as bad as the Browns are, Crowell is third in the league in rushing with 274 yards and fourth in yards-per-carry average at 6.1.  They have a rookie QB so Im sure the Browns will keep feeding the Crow.

The Redskins have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to the running back position surrendering over 4.62 YPC and the most rushing touchdowns. Browns O-Line has been playing well.   Pro Football Focus’ has Thomas ranked the No. 12 run-blocking tackle, and Bitonio is their No. 5 guard.
Jordan Howard (vs. Detroit)

We finally saw the last of Langford (for a while at least) Langford was dead last among running backs making tacklers miss.   He broke only one tackle on 36 touches.  To put this in perspective, Howard has already slipped three tackles on 18 touches.. Let me quote some more bad stats incase your not convinced.  The Lions allow 5.31 YPC to running backs. The Lions are last in yards per carry allowed in the NFL (5.1 per carry). Here is the clincher, the Lions’ run defense allowed Eddie Lacy to run for 100+ yards against them. I expect Howard to get 20+ touches and break 100+ total yards and at least a TD this week.

Matt Jones (vs. Cleveland)

Washington’s backfield is terrible, but with that said so it the Cleveland defense.  Jones is not fast or elusive at all, but he won’t have to be against the Browns. I expect Cousins to throw a ton, but you have to run every now and again which should allow Jones to get about 15 or more touches.  One may even be a goaline carry!


Jerick McKinnon (vs. New York Giants):

 The Vikings’  and McKinnon couldn’t get much of a running game going against the Panthers last week and I expect the same this week when they face The Giants.   With the addition of ex New York Jets NT Damon Harrison, they are allowing just 3.31 YPC .  The Giants secondary is banged up, so I would expect Bradford to air it out and McKinnon to get his yards out of the backfield.  There are definitely better choices out there.


Christine Michael (at New York Jets)

Michael is now the main back in Seattle after Rawls went down.  As good as that is for his fantasy owners, he gets a very tough match up this week against the a Jets’ defense that has allowed the third-lowest yards per game rushing this season.

Michael has struggled his whole career so far and last week he played the 49ers let’s not forget.  I don’t see a big upside week here with Wilson and Graham Banged up.


Wide Receivers


Jamison Crowder vs. Browns:

Crowder has been getting very consistent targets the last few weeks.  He leads the team in targets with 25, running most out of the slot.  Crowder has even seen 7 targets in the redzone.  Crowder show face off against Browns slot CB Tramon Williams how has struggle to stop receivers this season.  The Browns as a whole have struggle to shut WR’s down, but it’s good to know Crowder has a great one on one matchup.

Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams (vs. New Orleans):

Both guys have a great matchup this week against a Saints team that can’t stop the run OR the pass.  Pro Football Focus gives all three Saints CB’s negative grades.  The Saints have allowed the fifth-most yards to receivers this season and with Vegas giving this game a O/U of 53.5, the Chargers’ are expected to put up about 29 points


Tyler Lockett (at New York Jets)

With Locket and Russell Wilson at less than 100%, Its hard for me to start any Seahawk other than maybe Baldwin.  I’d look to play other options such as Emmanual Sanders, Kevin White, Tyrell Williams or Sammie Coates.

Tight Ends


Zach Miller (vs. Detroit):

Brian Hoyer may have put Zack Miller back in the fantasy relevant list.  Hoyer targeted 9 times last week and Miller caught 8 of themf or 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  Hoyer seems to like his tight end on third downs and near the goal line especially with Jeffery banged up.  Detroit has been terrible against the pass this season, especially when it comes to defending opposing tight ends. Last season Detroit allowed the 4th most fantasy points to tight ends and this year they already give up the most to the positon
Dennis Pitta (vs. Oakland)

Pitta has finally emerged as I stated in my waiver wire picks for week 4 column.  Not only is he Flacco’s favorite target, but he gets the porous Raiders defense this week. Oakland has given up the ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Pitta will get a nice amount of targets, but we could really use one in the redzone.


Gary Barnidge (at Washington)

Barnidge has had a slow start to the season.  It looked like McCown would have helped his fantasy value, but now with Kessler at QB it has not gotten better.  Pryor as seen the ball a ton and Crow has been getting touches.  At some point I think Barnidge as to see some more targets.  Until then his she stay on your bench.

Dwayne Allen (at Jacksonville)

Allen has been a disappointment one again.  Even without Fleener in town, he is getting out produced by another tight end, Doyle.  If its not lack of production its an injury.  Pass on Allen.


Team Defenses

Detroit Lions (at Chicago)

Im banking on the Lions capitalizing on a number of Chicago mistakes this week. As much as I like Hoyer and Howard this week for DFS, with Jeffery banged up I expect Howard and or Hoyer to turn the ball over at least once each.

Washington Redskins (vs. Cleveland)

Washington forced 3 turnovers last week against the Giants and had 2 sacks.  I expect them to force a few more against rookie QB Cody Kessler this week.

Week 11 Start or Sit Advice – Who too Start in Your Fantasy Lineup

Start or Sit
Start SIt Advice

Who to start in your Fantasy Football Lineup

Going into Week 11 with just a few weeks to make to playoffs, I think we can all use a win.   Again Im not going to talk about the obvious starts like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, etc, Im going to mention those middle of the road guys or maybe even a guy like Larry Fitxgerald that has a tough matchup and let you know to sit him.  Similar to what I said last week about Jay Cutler.  I told many of your members to bench him because of his past history of playing at Lambaugh Field.

With that being said, many of you are playing weekly fantasy football at sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings.  This gives us a great opportunity to work in value pics for your FanDuel and DraftKings lineups everyweek since many of those guys are the middle of the road guys I spoke about such as a Mark Ingram, Justin Forsett, Mark Sanchez, etc.

This week we have three new quarterbacks in Arizona (Drew Stanton), Houston (Ryan Mallett) and St. Louis (Shaun Hill), which will could impact their wide receivers in a negative way.

Things we to know this week, before the games kickoff — will the Broncos lean on C.J. Anderson or Montee Ball in a good matchup against the Rams. Will Arian Foster (groin) be active, otherwise Alfred Blue could be a sneaky sleeper this week against the Browns.  I think Bernard will be out again, so Hill will be the guy in Cincinnati

This we will be wondering about, will Jay Cutler  rebound against the Vikings? Does Ben Roethlisberger andn the Steelers get back on track this week against the Titans. After a great game last week will Mark Sanchez be able to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in week 11.

Now let’s answer some of your start sit questions this week and find the best matchups we can for your fantasy team.

Quarterbacks to Start Week 11

Jay Cutler vs Min

Despite Jay Cutler’s performance the last few weeks, he can still help your team. I warned everybody last week that Lambeau Field has been a house of horrors for him, but this week returning home should be a boost of confidence, if not playing the  Vikings should be. Minnesota has allowed four quarterbacks, Drew Brees, Rodgers and even Kyle Orton to throw multiple touchdowns and score at least 19 fantasy points.  Cutler has scored at least 20 Fantasy points in two of his 3 home games this season.

 Mark Sanchez  vs at GB

Seems everyone is jumping on the Sanchez band wagon.  He looked good in the preseason and lets face it he has nothing to lose so there is no pressure.  His price in weekly fantasy leagues was great last week so he was a great option.

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Start’ Em Sit’ Em Week 6

Fantasy Football

Its time for another week of Start’ em sit’ em so that must mean the weekend’s almost here ( Thank God!).

Before I get into the week 6 fantasy recommendations, I want to take a quick look at last weeks studs and dudes.

Cam Newton, Pierre Garcon performed very well, but Tennasee Def, Owen Daniels, Giants Def, Steven Ridley did not show up last Sunday.  In Owen Daniels defense all the balls went to the OTHER tight end Dreessen so I was close on that one.

Start’ em

Cam Newton QB, Panthers – I have to recommend him again, and I am recommending you start him over every big-time stud you might have other than maybe Rodgers or Brady. Good matchup; the Falcons are allowing the ninth-most points per game to opposing quarterbacks, but come on. The stats on Cam are just ridiculous

Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts: One of my better calls this year  I’ve loved him for two weeks straight and he keeps making me look great.  Anyway, he leads the team in targets since Painter took over and I expect Leon Hall to be on Reggie Wayne enough that the trend continues.

Earnest Graham RB Buccaneers: Blount doesn’t seem like he will be playing the next 2 weeks so Graham is a great replacement.  Even if the Buc’s get behind, Graham is good catching the ball outta the backfield.

Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: As a Mike Wallace owner this has been annoying me, but Brown is still second to Wallace in targets (only one fewer this year), and , the Jags are fourth-best in the NFL against No. 1 receivers, but just 21st against No. 2’s.

Tim Hightower and Roy Helu, RB, Redskins: I dont know who will be the main guy for Washington this week, so make sure to watch the injury reports on Sunday as we try to make more sense of this situation. The way the Bills ran on the Eagles last week, i think the Redskins will try to run the ball as well.  The other option, Let Grossman throw?  Ouch, noooooo!

Greg Little, WR, Browns: For those of you who have players on a bye or are desperate, this may be a good WR3 option this week., Little moved into the starting lineup over the bye, had six catches for 57 yards on eight targets in Week 4,.

Ted Ginn, WR, 49ers: Ginn could get a decent amount of looks given how much the 49ers are banged up at WR, how much scoring I am expecting them to have to do, and that the Lions aren’t entirely sold on its own special teams.

Daniel Thomas, Reggie Bush, RB, Dolphins (19, 20): A bit of a stretch here, but is Matt Moore really gonna throw it? Exactly. Jets are actually 26th against the run, allow the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and on the road, on “Monday Night Football,” the Dolphins will try to take the crowd out of it by controlling the clock.

Sit’ Em – Players I hate

Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins (19, 15): Revis Island. With Matt Moore at quarterback.

Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter, WR, Texans: On the road, at Baltimore? The Ravens have allowed one offensive touchdown at home all year. It’s gonna be Arian Foster and Owen Daniels in the pass game, and no big numbers from either of those receivers..

Houston Texans Def Another one that I think I’m a little too low on, but the loss of Mario Williams is huge. Houston’s secondary has improved but it’s not great.

Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em

Fantasy Football


Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: He has been putting up big numbers every week and probably will again in this match up. Cam is obviously comfortable in the shotgun and, against the Saints blitzing D, he will have enough time to throw and, of course, make the occasional run. Saints allow 17.5 points per game to opposing quarterbacks (ninth most).

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: Given this match up and how bad the Packers pass defense has been this year, you should start Ryan. The Packers score a lot so it will probably be a shootout (great for fantasy owners).

Curtis Painter, QB, Colts: OK, I’ll say it. When he actually got time to throw on Monday night, I thought he looked all right. (ducking) They need to do a better job of protecting him (he was terrible when faced with pressure), but only the Bills (four) have fewer sacks this year than Kansas City’s five. Given time, at home, he’s a decent bye week fill-in in a deep league.

Darren Sproles, RB, Saints: I’m just a surprised as you, he is getting a lot more touches than I thought he would this year, at the expence of Piere Thomas.  He has been pretty consistent, with games of 13, 11, 14 and 12 fantasy points.. Against the Panthers (fourth-most points allowed to opposing running backs), Sproles is a very safe start.

Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers: I picked him up for my team.  Likely to get a start with Rashard Mendenhall banged up and Moore hurt as well.  The fact that Ben is hurt could mean they will rely on the run a bit more.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts: Mentioned this on “Fantasy Football Now” this past weekend and again on Twitter before the “Monday Night Football” game, but since Curtis Painter took over as the Colts’ QB, Reggie Wayne has gotten 23.1 percent of the targets compared with Garcon’s 30.8 percent. Now, he still has bricks for hands and his big Monday night score was the result of blown coverage and poor tackling, but still. At home, against the Chiefs? In a bye week, you could do worse and probably have. Good motto to remember at closing time.

Owen Daniels, TE, Texans: The cries of agony were from Andre Johnson’s owners. The muted and respectful squeals of joy were from Owen Daniels’ owners.

Tennessee Titans D/ST : We’re all on the Titans’ D this week, going against that porous Steelers line that helps allow the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing D/ST. Tennessee is available in almost 75 percent of leagues, is the seventh-highest-scoring defense in fantasy and is averaging more than 11 points a game the past three weeks. What are you waiting for?

New York Giants D/ST : Happiness is Tarvaris Jackson traveling east to face your defense. Available in 46 percent of leagues. I like the Titans and the Giants better than the highly drafted defenses of the Steelers or Jets this weekend.

Stevan Ridlely, RB, Patriots:  A good pickup this week and after a great performance last week and Danny Woodhead injured I would say he has pretty good upside, even against the Jets.

Sit’ Em

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears: So what do you get when you take the most sacked quarterback since 2009 and you pair him with Ndamukong Suh and the Detriot Lions? Not a whole lotta good that’s for sure!

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: He’s hurt; Mendenhall  and Moore are banged up; the line is a mess; and the Titans have the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL.

Jacoby Jones, WR, Texans: A good pickup if you need a WR, but I’ve been burned by this guy!

Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco, WR, Patriots (40, 34): Jets secondary is good and they are pretty quiet when they play the Jets.