As I continue my quest to become the poor man's Michael Fabiano—I would like to say that I improved dramatically in my fantasy football choices for Week 4 over those from Week 3. It does get a bit challenging from this point on as teams commence their bye weeks. Thus, many players whom you would ordinarily start will be unavailable. This doesn't really matter for those whom you'd like to bench. In fact, bye weeks for this second group are, indeed, a welcome event. This week, the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins will be off.
Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN) at Chicago Bears (MNF)
Diggs has been on quite the roll lately. Going into Week 5, he leads the league in receiving yards (391) and is tied for second in touchdowns (4) with the Patriots' Chris Hogan, just one behind the Packers' Jordy Nelson. Last week—in a rather ho-hum outing versus the Detroit Lions, Diggs still managed five receptions for 98 yards. Given that the Bears will be starting rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky—on a nationally televised game, no less—and Danny Trevathan will be serving his one-game suspension, expect Diggs to be quite productive.
Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB) at Dallas Cowboys
Rodgers is currently the second-highest scoring fantasy quarterback despite already tossing three interceptions and losing a fumble thus far this season. On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys defense has only managed two interceptions and has given up quite a few points (42 to Denver in Week 2 and 35 to the Rams in Week 4.) Rodgers is certainly a safe bet this week. Well, every week, but especially this week.
Zach Ertz (TE, PHI) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Ertz is currently the second-highest scoring tight end in the league behind the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski. Ertz has scored 62.60 fantasy points, mostly on receptions (he only scored once in Week 3.) The Cardinals' normally tough defense has been hot and cold—giving up an average of just over 300 yards per game—making Ertz an enticing option.
Charles Clay (TE, BUF) at Cincinnati Bengals
Clay has an impressive 25.2 percent of the Bills' total targets, and last week he snagged five balls for 115 yards. Clay is a solid fantasy tight end choice this week.
Mike Evans (WR, TB) vs. New England Patriots (TNF)
New England has been giving up beaucoup yardage to opposing teams' wide receivers. 'Nuff said.
Amari Cooper (WR, OAK) vs. Baltimore Ravens
There are three things to consider here. First, with Derek Carr's back fracture, the Raiders' starting quarterback will be out two-to-six weeks. His replacement, E.J. Manuel was rather ho-hum in his place last week in Denver. Second, Cooper has only 12 receptions on the season thus far as he has acquired a bad case of the dropsies. Finally, the Ravens defense is one of the better passing defenses in the league. Hey, I said "better" not "best." Regardless, don't start Cooper. Just don't. You can (hopefully) thank me later.
Andy Dalton (QB, CIN) vs. Buffalo Bills
The upstart 3-1 Bills have only given up one passing touchdown all season. Even though Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan are all on a bye this week, be wary starting Dalton.
Jordan Howard (RB, CHI) at Chicago Bears (MNF)
Minnesota's defense has been pretty decent against the run. With Chicago starting rookie QB Trubisky, I wouldn't expect much from the 1-3 Bears. Just get some Butterfingers instead.
Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC) at New York Giants
Both of these teams are winless, however Gordon has been extremely lackluster this season. Whether his woes are due to a nagging knee injury or the Chargers' characteristic lousy offensive line and underuse of fullback Derek Watt, Gordon has only managed 168 yards and two touchdowns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DST vs. New England Patriots (TNF)
The Buccaneers have been giving up nearly 400 yards and just over 21 points per game this season. They will be hosting the reigning Super Bowl Champs who are a surprisingly mediocre 2-2, and Tom Brady is coming off an uneventful week. Bill Belichick can't be pleased. Expect offensive fireworks.