By the start of the 4th week in the NFL season most fantasy owners should have a pretty good feel for how good (or bad) their fantasy team is. Are you 0-3 because you drafted a bunch of lousy under-performing players or have you just been hit hard with injuries and expect some guys back soon? Are you 3-0 because your team is packed with studs or because you played against teams struggling with the some of the problems listed above?
In either case, don’t worry! There is plenty of season left and the turnaround can start this Sunday. Let’s take a look at some of this week’s matchups.
Ryan Mallett (Houston Texans) vs. Nick Foles (St. Louis Rams)
Hopefully you are not forced to start either of these two QB’s in a standard league. However, if you’re in a 2 QB league and have this dilemma go with Mallett. Foles heads to Arizona to face a Cardinals team that just chewed up and spit out Colin Kapernick last week. While Mallett, even though he has been limited at practice this week and not very impressive in his first 2 starts,will be airing it out this week as the Texans will likely be playing catch-up all day with the Falcons in Atlanta. He will probably have a turnover or two but just the sheer volume alone is enough to give Mallett the edge in this battle.
Melvin Gordon (San Diego Chargers) vs. Jeremy Hill (Cincinnati Bengals)
Breakout Alert! Melvin Gordon is going to run wild this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. You heard it here first. Cleveland, having already surrendered two 150+ rushing yard performances in their first three games of the season, will now be introduced to Melvin Gordon. Even though Gordon has yet to break the 100 yard mark and has had to deal with Woodhead stealing some touchdowns, this week is all about Gordon. 120+ yards and at least 1 touchdown for Gordon this week. Book it! As for Jeremy Hill, he may not even lead his team in carries this week as Giovani Bernard has proven to be more explosive and elusive this season.
Arian Foster (Houston Texans) vs. Any Other Running Back
Foster is currently a game-time decision according to head coach Bill O’Brien this week. Even if this injury-prone back is declared active don’t be shocked if he doesn’t see the field. In his career, Foster has been known to return from injury to produce a monster game or two and then head right back to the injury report. This will not be one of those weeks though. If he’s on your roster then explore other options. Any other option that will get carries.
T.Y Hilton (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
Another Breakout Alert! T.Y Hilton will lead all receivers this week in receiving yards. You heard it here first! He had a very quiet 94 yards receiving last week against the Titans as the headlines were dominated by Steve Smith, Julio Jones, and AJ Green’s performances. Hilton’s last home performance against the Jags, he registered 122 yards receiving and a score. Expect him to be the headline this week as he hauls in 130+ receiving yards and finds the end zone for the first time this season. Unfortunately for Calvin Johnson owners, the Lions just have not targeted Megatron the same way this season as they have in seasons past. Also, a matchup with Seattle and the Legion of Boom does not bode well for the inconsistent Matthew Stafford.
Garrett Celek (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Gary Barnidge (Cleveland Browns)
Who vs. Who? Many fantasy owners in need of a tight end this week will no doubt be giving Gary Barnidge a look as he pulled in 6 grabs for 105 yards a TD last week against Oakland. However, that game was a fluke. Since entering the league in 2008, Barnidge has topped 50 yards receiving in a game just 3 times. This past Sunday and two times in 2009. The tight end you should be targeting in free agents if you are in need is Garrett Celek.
Yes, the 49er’s offense looks absolutely dreadful. Yes, Celek is not even the starting tight end on his own team! But it is all about the matchups, people. San Fran at home against the Packers. Green Bay is going to steam roll this team leaving Kapernick throwing all game just to keep his team in it. AND, guess who lead all 49er’s in receptions and receiving yards last week. That’s right, Garrett Celek. Now, tamper your expectations. He did only have 3 catches for 29 yards, but with Davis hurt and Torrey Smith still nursing an injury, Kap has to throw the ball to someone. Celek can be a sneaky start this week if he can find the end zone.
Green Bay Packers vs. Any Other Defense
As was just noted above, the Packers will be facing the anemic 49ers offense. Kap threw two interceptions for touchdowns last week and as they will likely be playing from behind again, expect more of the same. Green Bay Packers Defense are a solid play this week.