Whuta Start!? Fantasy Week Four Matchups

Macon TelegraphSeptember 26, 2012 


1.  Aaron Rodgers - - Rodgers is tough, but he's never been classy.  He celebrates, gives terrible interviews and calls out the refs publicly.  Luckily he won't have to play Seattle's tough defense every week.  Expect him to rebound big against the Saints.

2.  Drew Brees  - - Drew Brees mysteriously went dormant for more than a quarter against the upset minded Chiefs.  He didn't throw for a yard in the 4th quarter or overtime.  Think about that.  Prior to that he looked sharp, ready to step on an inferior teams throat.  The shootout in Green Bay is on.

3.  Tom Brady  - - Tom Brady showed us something different in Baltimore.  That stereotypical Patriots offense can indeed run on tight end-less fuel.  Hernandez is out and Gronkowski is quiet yet Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd were featured weapons.  Buffalo can be exploited in the back end.

4.  Eli Manning  - -  So it wasn't a 500 yard passing day and Andre Brown was cashing in on the paydirt, but the completion percentage even without Hakeem Nicks was impressive.  People in fantasy are already realizing that you can't spell elite without Eli, I just hope the rest of the sportsworld accepts it to, because the guy is reliable and consistent.  He carries the Giant offense.

5.  Matthew Stafford  - - There is an aster ix here because of the injury question mark.  The Lions are content to take it all the way up to a game time decision.  But this figures to be a high scoring contest just like last week against Tennessee.  The Lions air weapons will help him through this injury if he plays.

6. Cam Newton  - - Two telling things from last Thursday.  1) Cam Superman dancing after a meaningless touchdown.  2) Towel pouting in the 4th quarter.  Let's not forget how young this guy is, but Cam might have an imploding ticking time bomb.  If he's team is in it he'll perform, if not maybe not.  Steve Smith is still a deep ball threat, he's proved that this year.

7.  Tony Romo                                   13.  Matt Schaub

8.  Matt Ryan                                     14.  Jay Cutler

9.  Phillip Rivers                                  15. Joe Flacco

10.  Robert Griffin                               16.  Andy Dalton

11.  Peyton Manning                            17.  Ryan Fitzpatrick

12.  Michael Vick                                 18. Jake Locker



1.  LeSean McCoy  - - The Cardinals game got too ugly too quick.  So like shades of week 1 Shady McCoy was forgotten about.  Andy Reid has the stigma of not giving the ball to his backfield playmakers and I thought we had moved past this.  But the Giants were getting run on by the Panthers when the game was competetive, LeSean should break through.

2.  Arian Foster  - - Arian Foster may have escaped his injury prone nature as this year he had been one of the most consistent fantasy backs.  If you picked him with one of the first three picks you're looking pretty smart.

3.  Ray Rice  - -  Through three weeks Ray Rice has clearly been the most impressive fantasy back, catching the ball and breaking long runs.  IF you drafted him this year you have to be feeling pretty good about that.

4.  Darren McFadden  - - Darren McFadden was limited in practice on Wednesday and this news has been very hush hush.  I doubt he misses the division contest against their hated rival but it was nice to see him rebound big against the Steelers.

5. Adrian Peterson  - - Adrian Peterson has regained his starting role and hasn't looked back.  The 49ers have one of the most feared run defenses and AP still found daylight.  The Lions defense can be run on as San Fran did in their Sunday night contest from Week 2.

6. Marshawn Lynch - Marshawn Lynch didn't rip off a big run Monday night but he was consistently tearing 5 yard chunks out of the Packers respected defense and keeping drives alive.  Skittle Beast mode away this week in a game against the Rams.

7. DeMarco Murray - DeMarco Murray has a tough matchup this week so I'll move him down a peg or too.  The Bears can stop the run even if their linebacking corp are all stars from NFL Blitz 1999.  If the Cowboys don't fall behind big he'll remain a big part of their gameplan

8. Maurice Jones Drew - - Nice near 200 yard day from MoJo.  And if you're league rewards bonus points for long touchdowns than that 80 yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty.  Cincinnati has a good defense but he's been the focal point for every defense for more than a year and he still can't be stopped.  Pay this man because someone will.

9.  Frank Gore  - - The Jets are hard to run against with a physical 3 man front full of big men and Rex Ryan will find a way even without Darrelle Revis but the 49ers have the best offensive line in football.  That simple ingredient will aid whomever is toting the rock each week.

10.  Doug Martin  - - I'm kindof surprised that Tampa is favored over the Redskins to tell you the truth.  The bottom fell out of the Skins defense the last game in a half after losing Brian Orakpo to a season ending injury.  Andy Dalton had success but the ground game was relatively quiet.  Still, this game will feature the best rookie quarterback and the best rookie rusher in the game.  Expect 90 yards and a touchdown here.

11. Jamaal Charles  - - Jamaal Charles is the AFC West version of Chris Johnson.  A speed threat under 200 pounds who will either have a terrible stat line in a blowout loss (See Week 2) or explode with long runs and fantasy glory (See the almost 300 yard performance against New Orleans).  The pulse on Jamaal is high riding into this game but we'll see how he can perform with a new starting center after losing Hudson to a season ending injury.  Centers aren't easy to plug in and replace.

12. Reggie Bush - Reggie Bush didn't practice on Wednesday.  Check his availability leading up to kickoff, but be ready to roll with him if he's on your roster.  Even with the Cardinals stout run defense Reggie Bush is matchup proof because of how much of pass catching threat that he is.

13. Steven Jackson - Steven Jackson may have pulled a Herculean effort while losing to Chicago when he didn't need to.  Rushing back from an injury he didn't look like the same S-Jax that we see breaking between the tackle runs and finishing opponents.  The game against Seattle should be low-scoring so he'll be a big part of the offense guaranteed to get some catches.

14.  Ryan Mathews                        27.  Ben Tate

15.  Michael Bush                          28.  Shonn Greene

16.  Trent Richardson                    29.  Tashard Choice

17.  Michael Turner                       30.  Ahmad Bradshaw

18.  BenJarvus Green Ellis              31.  Steven Jackson

19.  Cedric Benson                        32.  DeAngelo Williams

20.  Mikell Leshoure                      33.  Fred Jackson

21.  Stevan Ridley                         34.  Pierre Thomas

22.  Darren Sproles                        35.  Mark Ingram

23.  Andre Brown                            36.  Jonathan Stewart

24.  Alfred Morris                           37.  Daniel Thomas

25.  Willis McGahee                       38.  Ryan Williams - now lone starter!

26.  Chris Johnson



1.  Calvin Johnson  - - Is it strange to say that Megatron looked better catching passes from Shaun Hill than he did Matthew Stafford?  Doesn't matter who's starting - Calvin Johnson would make anyone look good.

2.  Larry Fitzgerald  - - Nice rebound for Larry Fitzgerald.  Kevin Kolb may be karving his way back into the starting lineup.  Just keep throwing Fitzgerald's way Kevin!  Good things will come out of it.

3.  Andre Johnson  - -Bombs away for Andre Johnson as he caught the signature play in his career, a single coverage rainbow that resulted in 6.  Doubful that Tennessee will force Schaub to pass often but he's a sure touchdown bet each week.

4.  A.J. Green  - - A.J. showed us that deep ball craving from 2011 last week and this figures to be a good matchup for Dalton and crew.  Look for at least one 40+ yard touchdown.

5.  Julio Jones  - - Julio Jones has been limpering around the practice portion of the work week and it seems to be keeping his yardage low, but as long as he keeps catching pretty touchdowns like he did in San Diego he'll remain a must start in the fantasy realm.

6.  Victor Cruz - - Victor Cruz answered the call as the unquestioned No.1 last Thursday on a national stage.  Plus he seems to have moved on from the dropsies that plagued him in week one.  He's a strong play for a salsa dance in a key divisional matchup against Philly.

7.  Hakeem Nicks  - - Hakeem Nicks missing last Thursday was a surprise.  Hopefully his injury doesn't linger too long, but I'd feel comfortable putting him back in the starting lineup after near 2 weeks of rest.

8. Roddy White - - Roddy White is 30 years old.  Usually wide receivers last a year or two longer in the elite status from runningbacks but that 30 number is doom for tailbacks.  White is proving that age ain't nuthin' but a number

9. Percy Harvin  - Percy Harvin was relatively quiet against the 49ers and their elite defense.  Expect him to shred a hurting Detroit secondary at ease.  Who would have thought that Christian Ponder would look this good??

10. Steve Smith - - Steve Smith is finally not on the injury report this week and hopefully those walking boot days are a thing of the past.  The Panthers will need to throw first and frequently to try and hang with Atlanta which suddenly may be the class of the NFC.

11. Greg Jennings - - Greg Jennings may not have stretched the field much in Seattle but he still was Rodgers favorite target.  I keep trying to reiterate that it's a contract year for Jennings and he has added incentive to push himself.  He'll want to get those big numbers and try for that extra yard after the catch.

12. DeMaryius Thomas - - Bay-bay made my Goat list for Week 3 yet I'm bumpin him up in the Matchup rankings?  I know, your head hurts.  Peyton gave him plenty of targets and looked to him in the endzone.  Despite the poor results, it still showed me who the unquestioned No.1 target is in the Mile High City.  Could be a high scoring affair in this showdown too.

13.  Brandon Marshall - - Another disappointing effort out of Chicago's stud receiver.  It may not have been as bad as the dropped touchdown on Thursday night but still if you own Brandon Marshall, chances are good you spent a high draft pink on him.  You deserve and demand better.  I'm hoping for a rebound week out of him.

14.  Stevie Johnson                        28. Jeremy Maclin

15.  Brandon Lloyd                         29. Denarius Moore

16.  Wes Welker                            30.  Lance Moore

17.  Jordy Nelson                           31. Michael Crabtree

18.  Miles Austin                             32.  Danny Amendola

19.  Dez Bryant                              33.  Kenny Britt

20.  Dwayne Bowe                          34.  Sidney Rice

21.  DeSean Jackson                      35.  Santonio Holmes

22.  Torrey Smith                          36.  Nate Washington

23.  Eric Decker                              37.  Andrew Hawkins

24.  Marquis Colston                       38.  Ramses Barden

25.  Malcom Floyd                            39.  Leonard Hankerson

26.  Pierre Garcon                          40.  Santonio Holmes

27.  Vincent Jackson


1.  Jimmy Graham - - Superdome?  Check.  Week Three Check.  Angry Drew Brees?  Touchdown Jimmy Graham!

2.  Rob Gronkowski  - - The Patriots have their best group of receivers since Randy Moss rode off into the sunset.  Should open things in the middle quite nicely

3.  Antonio Gates - Antonio Gates has not had a signature game so far this year.  He's had too great of a career to give up on him just yet but my patience is getting thin.

4.  Jermichael Finley                        8.  Jason Witten

5.  Vernon Davis                             9.  Brent Celek

6.  Tony Gonzalez                          10. Martellus Bennett

7.  Brandon Pettigrew



1.  Houston Texans  - - Tennessee had a fluke great game against an overrated Lions defense.  Let's see what Jake Locker can do against Defensive Player of the Year candidate J.J. Watt and Wade Phillips crew.

2.  San Francisco 49ers  - - The 49ers worst defensive game of their short 3 game season was probably against the least respected offense.  Well the matchup looks might tasty this week against the bumblin stumbling Jets.  They needed miracles to beat Miami, the 49ers don't hand that Halloween candy out.

3.  Chicago Bears  - - Dallas and the Bears look like mirror doubles.  Great quarterback playing aginst no pocket protection with on paper great receviers and a young stud runningback.  Of the two here I'll take Lovie Smith and his great scheming and for Romo to play more of an implode game than Cutler.

4.  Baltimore Ravens                        8.  Seattle Seahawks

5.  Arizona Cardinals                        9.  New York Giants

6.  Miami Dolphins                            10.  Cincinnati Bengals

7. Dallas Cowboys

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