Week #3 in the NFL was a roller coaster of up and downs that is sure to rock any fantasy football team at it’s foundation. Going into week #4 you are starting to see if your draft picks are going to be a goldmine or it’s time to do some serious trading.
Up to this point in the fantasy season I have preached not to overreact and not to panic. After three weeks of play patterns are now starting to form. It is time to take a solid look at your team and decide if some of the players you were hoping would do great are really going to do anything at all.
For example Andrew Luck was projected at or near the top of many fantasy drafts. He has stunk up the season so far. He goes against the Jaguars who gave up 50 points against the Patriots last week, but he has a tender throwing arm. Do you finally say enough is enough and bench Luck even though this a great matchup for him? It really depends on whom you have on the bench. Personally an argument can be made to start Luck and an argument can be made to bench him. A team owner might even make the argument to trade Luck and lure some other team to rely on previous and projected scoring. All tough decisions a team owner must make.
Keep in mind this is the first bye weekend. The Patriots and the Titans are the unfortunate first teams to get a break. I say unfortunate because teams generally like to get further in the season before having a bye week to heal their team. I have seen more than one team owner start players that are sitting at home on Sunday sipping a beer. This seems obvious, but be sure to check which teams have a bye week every week.
One massive mismatch this week is the Packers and 49ers. Be sure to start your Packer’s players because this is going to get ugly. Other mismatches to watch are the Seahawks vs. Lions and the Raiders vs. Bears.
Big Ben’s week #3 injury jarred a lot of teams. Big Ben going down not only affected his points production, but also AB’s point production. AB is the best WR in the NFL, but not with Vick at the helm. Bench AB until Ben takes the field and start, start, start Bell. The Steelers are going to be running a lot.
Look for a big week from Melvin Gordon against the Browns. The Browns are horrible against the run.
Be very leery of Adrian Foster. He is playing injured and could go completely down at any time. If you can avoid any starters from the Texans except DeAndre Hopkins
On the flip side the Cardinals passing game is stable. Feel free to start Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald.
The Broncos and Jets defenses are emerging as the best in the NFL. Be careful with defenses. Defenses can score some major points, however they can be very streaky. Make sure to look at how each team’s key players are holding up and whom they are playing against. Try not to get caught in a defense’s down week. In most leagues there are plenty of defenses available to pick up on the waiver wire for a week’s use. If your defense has a tough matchup be sure to look at the waiver wire for a more favorable matchup.
A lot of players are either out for injury or banged up. Be sure to know the health status of all your players. Also be sure to know the health status of perennial points goldmines and who their backup will be if they down. Keep an eye on the waiver wire and consider picking up some second string RBs and WRs on good teams that could score a lot of points if the team’s star suddenly goes down.
Be very leery of players that are playing banged up. Even though you may have a star player that is a points producer if they are injured be sure to consider benching them for a week and stating a healthier player with a favorable matchup.
Several of these banged up players are going to be a game time decision whether they play or not. Fantasy football is gambling, but a player with this status is too big of odds for me. Be ready with a healthy backup.