Week 4 marks the start of bye weeks in the NFL. Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, and St. Louis are all on byes this week which means no Andre Ellington, no AJ Green, no Beast Mode, no Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas… basically the entire Denver offense.
If you drafted well, hopefully you covered yourself for most weeks, but if you find yourself in a tight spot in week 4 due to players being on a bye, or perhaps just a good ol’ fashion injury, take a gander at this week’s sleeper list.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce is the Chiefs best deep threat. Alex Smith showed what he could do with a field-stretching TE with Vernon Davis in San Francisco, and Kelce fits that mold. He’s available in over 90% of leagues dispite being the Chiefs leading receiver so far. That, coupled with injuries to big name tight ends in week 3 (Dennis Pitta, Kyle Rudolph and Marcedes Lewis), make Kelce a nice grab heading into a week 4 matchup against the Pats.
Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans
When Blue filled in for the injured Arian Foster in week 3, he was OK, but not great. Well, Foster is questionable again heading into week 4 with a decision probably not coming until right before kickoff. If Foster plays, Blue is useless because the Texans like to work with a single running back. But for that same reason, if he’s out, Blue becomes a strong play in week 4. In spite of only gaining two yards or less on nine of his 13 carries last week, Blue will get enough touches to make him worth starting if Foster is out. Keep close tabs on this situation.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
It feels weird to say this guy is still a sleeper as he’s been awesome so far this year, but sleeper he is with only around a 40% own rate. In week 4, his Panthers will square off against Baltimore who ranks in the bottom 13 in terms of points allowed to receivers.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
You know who makes for great sleepers? Fallers from week 3. While Big Ben is technically owned in over 80% of leagues, making him seemingly not quite sleeper-eligible, he’s only started in about 10% of leagues largely due to that fact that he’s stunk so far this year. Well, a big part of sleepers are their current matchups and Big Ben has a nice one in week 4: A Bucs defense that allowed 230 yards and 2 touchdowns to Derek Anderson in week 1 and 286 yards and 3 touchdowns to Matt Ryan in just the first half on Thursday night.
Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings
With Adrian Peterson likely out for the rest of the season, the starting running back job is Asiata’s to lose. Despite his newfound starting role, Asiata’s owned rate is still below 50% largely due to his ho-hum play: 12 carries for 35 yards and three catches for 36 yards in week 3. Heading into week 4, the Vikings are now starting another rookie in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater which might lead to a conservative approach and are also playing an Atlanta defense that allowed at least 40 fantasy points to running backs in both weeks 1 and 2. Asiata is a volume bet, not a talent one.
Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
A fall in Marquis Colston’s numbers has led to a rise in Brandon Cooks’. Through three games, Cooks is averaging six catches, eight targets, and 56 yards. Week 3 saw his biggest usage yet, with 10 targets for eight catches. His momentum in the Saints offense is building heading into a week 4 matchup against a porous Dallas defense.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Robinson leads the Jags in targets and catches so far in 2014. In the second half alone in week 3, he was targeted eight times by new starter Blake Bortles. He’s available in just about all leagues, so if you need help at receiver, take a gamble on Robinson.