There is no rhyme or reason when deciding who to start and who to bench on your fantasy team. You can read all of the so-called experts’ analysis, talk to your football-savvy friends, or just listen to your gut. Regardless, some choices will make you seem like a fantasy football guru who should be writing these articles, while other predictions will want to make you join the witness protection program.
Despite my complete and utter failure in Week 3, here are my choices for the top five best and worst fantasy football players for Week 4.
Tom Brady (QB, NE) vs. Carolina Panthers
It’s Tom Brady. Need I say more? Start the top-performing Week 3 fantasy player this week. In fact, just start him every week. Aaron Rodgers too. Just sayin’.
Kareem Hunt (RB, KC) vs. Washington Redskins
This highly impressive rookie has averaged 133.7 yards per game and 8.5 yards per carry thus far. He currently leads all running backs in rushing yardage with 401 and is tied for No. 1 in touchdowns with Devonta Freeman, Todd Gurley and Mike Gillislee. Like Brady, just start this kid every week, regardless of opponent.
Emanuel Sanders (WR, DEN) vs. Oakland Raiders
Before the season began, I had Sanders on my list of players to avoid drafting. Well, he has been increasingly—and successfully—targeted by QB Trevor Siemian. Averaging over 10 yards per reception and already scoring twice, Sanders remains a strong option.
Keenan Allen (WR, LAC) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Despite the Chargers’ horrible season start, Allen remains Philip Rivers’ No. 1 receiver. Averaging a steadily increasing 10.3 yards per reception—and already recording 19 catches for 196 yards and one touchdown—Allen is an excellent option this week provided Rivers stops his recent interception-fest.
Andy Dalton (QB, CIN) at Cleveland Browns
Dalton was an impressive 21-for-27 for 212 yards and two touchdowns last week in Green Bay. This week, the Bengals travel to division-rival, 0-3 Cleveland. Dalton should put up respectable numbers and be a viable fantasy start.
Marshawn Lynch (RB, OAK) at Denver Broncos
Lynch hasn’t been impressive in the least, and his touches have decreased each week. Right now, he’s averaging a paltry 3.9 yards per carry. Oh yeah, and the Raiders will be playing a tough Broncos’ defense that has held Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy to a collective 83 yards on 41 carries.
Michael Crabtree (WR, OAK) at Denver Broncos
Similarly, Crabtree will be facing a secondary that has held a number of No 1 wide receivers like Dez Bryant and Keenan Allen to fewer than 60 yards. And that repeated “In-com-plete” en-masse is annoying. I would think any receiver would want to limit hearing that ad nauseum.
Houston Texans DST vs. Tennessee Titans
Well, for starters, the Texans’ DST has given up 24.7 points per game and 323.7 yards per game (225 in the air) thus far this year. Secondly, the (currently) fifth-ranked Tennessee offense is amassing 386.7 yards per game and has already scored 86 points in three games. Add to that the Titans’ impressive win over the Seattle Seahawks last week, and you have a recipe for disaster for Houston’s defense.
Cam Newton (QB, CAR) at New England Patriots
Newton has been rather, shall we say, bland thus far this season, evidenced by a paltry two touchdowns, four interceptions, and 69.7 quarterback rating. This week, the Panthers square off against the tough Patriots, and coach Ron Rivera will likely rely more on the rushing game against a tough secondary.
Younghoe Koo (K, LAC) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I don’t know if anyone actually has this rookie on his/her fantasy team (whom the Chargers cut Josh Lambo to sign). While Koo can, in fact, kick an extra point (he is 6-6), he is only 2-5 on field goals for a paltry 41 percent. Avoid at all costs.