Week 4 Fantasy Football Preview
Former defensive player of the year and avid PETA supporter, J.J. Watt, broke his back and is out for the year. This reminds me of another superstar athlete and PETA supporter who had some back problems back in his day. This man’s name is Sammy Sosa. Sammy hurt his back in May of 2004. He had been suffering from some absolutely BRUTAL seasonal allergies. Sosa threw out his back while having a “violent sneeze attack”. Basically, he went through the same injury as J.J. The only difference is that Slammin’ Sammy returned to the Cubs lineup in about a month, whereas J.J. is out for the entire YEAR. It really is a shame that J.J. is letting down his teammates, friends, and family members by hanging up the cleats for the rest of the season. I have one word to describe you J.J. – quitter. Why don’t you think more about how your actions affect others before doing them?
Thursday Night Recap – Bengals 22, Dolphins 7
This one had all the makings of a shootout and that is what we were all expecting after Tannehill’s first quarter bomb to Kenny Stills. This did not end up being the case. The Red Rifle tossed zinger after zinger to AJ Green who finished with 10 catches for 173 yards and a TD. Neither team could establish their run games as both Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard underwhelmed. Jarvis Landry caught 7 balls and made some nice moves after the catch, but the offense never got going.
Injury Updates – Order is QB, RB, WR, TE
Jay Cutler – QB Chicago Bears
Cutty’s recovery is underway and progressing smoothly (broken thumb). He will likely not suit up for this weeks game, but should be good to go week 5 barring any setbacks.
Russell Wilson – QB Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s premier QB, Russell Wilson, stated that there is “no doubt” that he will play against the Jets. This news is somewhat surprising as it initially seemed like Wilson would miss at least a couple of weeks after spraining his knee in week 3. Start Wilson, but be wary of Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick messing up his mojo with some mind tricks.
Chris Ivory – RB Jacksonville Jaguars
The mysterious injury to Chris Ivory is still lingering. However, it appears that he will be playing this weekend, but does not have very much value fantasy wise. I’d bench him and his counterpart, TJ Yeldon, until the Jacksonville O-Line can show some semblance of successful run blocking.
Jonathan Stewart – RB Carolina Panthers
Stewart will be held back another week as he is still dealing with a hamstring injury. The Carolina backfield is a fantasy football mine field. Artis-Payne received more carries last week and seems to be the early downs back, while Fozzy has emerged as their change of pace, pass catching back. Neither player has much fantasy value this weekend.
Jamaal Charles – RB Kansas City Chiefs
More of the same for Jamaal Charles fantasy owners, as he is questionable to play this week, again. I suppose you knew what you were getting into when you drafted the veteran coming off an ACL tear – right?? Even if Jamaal does get the starting nod he will likely be on a limited snap count. Start someone else.
Rashad Jennings – RB New York Giants
The latest playing status reports have listed Jennings as an unlikely start Monday night against the Vikings. The Vikings have asserted their dominance on the defensive side of the ball and look to continue this success against the G-Men. The New York running back committee will be headed by Orleans Darkwa, and assisted by Bobby Rainey. Look for someone else to start this weekend fantasy owners.
Brandon Marshall – WR New York Jets
The veteran WR is still recovering from a foot and knee injury that he sustained in week 2. He looks to be all set to play this weekend in a tough matchup against the Seahawks. The targets are there (8,9, and 10 through the first 3 weeks), and the touchdowns will come. Start Marshall with confidence, there’s no way Fitzpatrick can match his brutal performance last week.
Willie Snead – WR New Orleans Saints
Snead has been limited in practice all week as he is struggling to overcome one of the worst injuries athletes can go through: turf toe!!! Reports out of New Orleans, state that he should be ready to go for his afternoon contest against the Chargers. Regardless, make sure you have a backup WR in place because there is a chance he is a late scratch.
Sammy Watkins – WR Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Rumblings reports that Watkins is destined to play this weekend against the Pats (foot injury, not turf toe). Even if he does play he could be on a limited snap count and used as more of a decoy in passing situations. Fantasy owners need to monitor his playing status up until game time and have a back-up option in place.
Tyler Lockett – WR Seattle Seahawks
Lockett continued his disappointing start to the 2016 season with more bad news. He has a nagging knee injury and was limited in practice on Wednesday. He received 0 targets last week and honestly I expect another flop. He is the perfect definition of a boom-or-bust fantasy play (could pop off or hide in the bushes with 0 catches). I have him in a few leagues and am considering every possible option before tossing young Tyler into a starting role.
Eric Decker – WR New York Jets
Decker was held out of practice again on Thursday and his playing outlook for week 4 is quite gloomy. He has a shoulder injury and it seems like the Jets will opt to err on the side of caution this weekend against the Seahawks. If Decker sits, both Marshall and Enunwa should receive a bump in targets.
Dez Bryant – WR Dallas Cowboys
Dez is facing fines for missing team meetings and a scheduled MRI earlier this week. The results ended up not being as bad as originally believed. Dez suffered a slight hairline fracture as he took punishing hit after punishing hit from the sturdy Chicago defense. Head coach, Jason Garrett, described Dez as “day-by-day, week-by-week”. Bryant will likely not start this weekend and could miss multiple games.
DeSean Jackson – WR Washington Redskins
Jackson has been held back in practice all week with a knee and ankle injury. He will likely start, and play through injury as it is unlikely that he will ever actually be 100% at this point in his career. Regardless, he is a solid play this week against a bashful Browns defense that has given up 84 points (@cooneymane) through 3 weeks.
Michael Floyd – WR Arizona Cardinals
Floyd went through the league’s concussion protocol this past week. He is questionable to play in this weeks game against the Rams. Monitor his status up until game time.
Delaney Walker – TE Tennessee Titans
Walker missed last week’s game with a sore hamstring. Head coach Mike Mularkey reports that he should be good to go this weekend. Walker is a solid TE start against the Texans.
Rob Gronkowski – TE New England Patriots
The Gronk saga continues into week 4. Luckily for owners, the Pats have 10 days off between weeks 3 and 4. Big Rob should be close to 100% for his game against the Bills. Regardless of who the Pats throw out there at QB, Gronk is a must start.
Vance McDonald – TE San Francisco 49ers
Ronald McDonald practiced on Thursday and looks to be a lock to play in this week’s game. He has performed well so far, scoring touchdowns in 2/3 games. Start the big Mac if he is your only TE option but know that there are probably better ones out there.
Antonio Gates – TE San Diego Chargers
The elder statesman, Antonio Gates, is likely to miss another week with a nagging hamstring injury. Gates is an add and stash option in deeper leagues, but only time will tell if he can return and string together a few positive games. Former Gamecock, Hunter Hank, will take over the tight end role in Gates’ absence. Hank is a rookie from Little Rock, Arkansas but seems destined to take on a larger role. He caught 5 passes for 76 yards last week, and is a solid start.
Julius Thomas – TE Jacksonville Jaguars
Thomas did not practice on Thursday with an elbow injury. He is going to be one of those “might start, but probably won’t” guys this weekend. Make sure you have another TE option in place.
QB Streaming Options
Trevor Siemian’s Broncos @ Tampa Bay
Trevor looked like a stud last week against the Bengals. It’s not often that a QB gets into a shoot out with the Red Rifle and comes out alive. He threw for 312 yards and 4 TDs in the victory. Siemian is only owned in 26% of Yahoo leagues and is a worthy add with some real favorable matchups coming up (Tampa Bay this week, then Atlanta, San Diego twice, Oakland, and the Saints). The only one I didn’t include is Houston, but who knows where they will be in week 7 with J.J. Watt out for the season. Hank’s Hot Take: 270 yards, 3 TDs.
Joe Flacco’s Ravens vs. Oakland
Iron Joe has had a rough start to the season, throwing for 3 TDs and 4 picks. However, if you truly need a QB to start this week then Joe might be your guy. The Ravens are facing one of the worst defenses at home where big Joe has had lots of success throughout his glamorous career. This one has all the makings of a shootout and I’d give old Joe the nod if you’re feeling elite. Hank’s Hot Take: 346 yards, 3 TDs, 1 pick.
Kirk Cousins’ Redskins @ Cleveland
Captain Kirk hates the color Brown. He will do anything he can to defeat them at home this Sunday. He has thrown the ball a whopping 124 times so far this year and seems primed and ready to exploit a leaky Browns D. Hank’s Hot Take: 326 yards, 2 TDs
D/ST Streaming Options
I didn’t notice any eye popping defensive matchups with lesser owned fantasy defenses this week. One recommendation if you have an extra roster spot is to add the Eagles D/ST. They are on a bye this week, but have shown that they have what it takes to shut down even the most high-powered offenses in the NFL (Steelers last week and Bears in week 2!). Here are a few matchups that you can look into if you don’t have a defense to start this week:
Bills @ Patriots
Jets vs. Seahawks
Redskins vs. Browns
Thanks for reading. Share the article with any friends or family who play fantasy football. I can’t have my mom and brothers being the only ones reading my stuff. Reach out to me on Twitter if you have a question – @lockdog5000. Here’s a little gift to help you into the weekend: