This column is advice only; Go With Your Gut!
Players I think have favourable/unfavourable match ups heading into week four.
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(SD) QB Philip Rivers vs. (DAL) – Still a top-5 scoring quarterback through three weeks, it is really starting to look like new play caller Mike McCoy has brought back the Philip Rivers of a few seasons ago. It also helps that in week four Rivers will get to take on the Dallas Cowboys whom have allowed the sixth most points to opposing quarterbacks so far in 2013.
(PIT) QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. (MIN) – With almost no run game to work with at the moment I think that Big Ben is going to have another game like last week when he was throwing a ton. There are rumours that Le’Veon Bell could be available to play this coming weekend for the Steelers, someone they seriously need back and running the ball well. With or without Bell however, I would consider starting Big Ben, hoping for a 300+ yard game with a couple or more touchdown throws.
(OAK) RB Darren McFadden vs. (WAS) – His fantasy outing in week three was saved by a goal line carry that he converted as he only had 9 rushing yards on the day. This coming weekend McFadden and the Raiders have a much nicer matchup going against the struggling ‘Skins. McFadden should see a healthy workload and should be able to have his best fantasy game through four weeks.
(IND) RB Trent Richardson vs. (JAC) – Richardson found pay dirt early on Sunday with a goal line carry in which he walked into the end zone but wasn’t able to do much else. Like McFadden above, Richardson will have a much nicer matchup this coming weekend when he takes on the lowly Jaguars. He will likely be losing carries to Bradshaw still but should get enough work and has a nice enough matchup to cash in.
(DEN) RB Knowshon Moreno vs. (PHI) – Moreno favours from the fact that he is the team’s best runner at defending the pass rush and Peyton Manning, due to this he is often on the field the most and gets to cash in on defences playing to defend Manning’s throws. I imagine the upcoming game between Denver and Philly to be a rather high scoring affair with both team throwing a lot, this could be good for both teams runners as both defences will often be looking to defend the pass and could mean some big gains for rushers.
(CLE) WR Josh Gordon vs. (CIN) – Gordon was a beast last weekend with 10 catches on 19 targets and a touchdown. You can’t expect Gordon to see upwards of 19 targets each week, but he could still be a top-24 wide receiver, especially as long as this Brian Hoyer guy is in and slinging the ball around.
(BAL) WR Torrey Smith vs. (BUF) – Last year I was awful at predicting when Torrey Smith would have his big games, often suggesting to start him when he would then suck, and suggesting to sit him when he is about to have a huge game. Nonetheless! Buffalo defence has been awful this year, allowing a ton of points to opposing receivers and runners. Smith should be able to burn the Bills secondary a few times for his first score of the season.
(OAK) WR Denarius Moore vs. (WAS) – Moore has scored against the Broncos and Colts this year and now he and new quarterback Terrelle Pryor will get a much better matchup against Washington. Washington is giving up a world of yards so far which bodes well for Moore, a guy with big play ability. Moore could be a dud this week, but he could also score multiple touchdowns.
(PIT) TE Heath Miller vs. (MIN) – In the Sit ‘Em section you will see Kyle Rudolph listed as the Steelers are of the best teams in the league at limiting the tight end position, and just as the Steelers are great at defending TEs, the Vikings suck at it. While the 175 yards allowed the opposing TEs isn’t one of the highest in the league, the six touchdowns to TE certainly is. The matchup is a great opportunity for Miller have a breakout game following his injury.
(NYG) QB Eli Manning vs. (KC) – Eli and the Giants have been arguably the most disappointing team in football in 2013 as the former champions have gone 0-3, most recently losing 38-0 to the Panthers. I would not be surprised if Eli was able to come out and have a pretty decent game as he is still a very talented quarterback and what should be a talented team, but I don’t know if I want to start him to find out when there are other capable quarterbacks available. Also, the Chiefs defence is no joke.
(ARI) QB Carson Palmer vs. (TB) – His number one receiver is dealing with a tight hamstring, will be covered by Darrelle Revis and Palmer’s stats have only gotten worse since throwing a pair of touchdowns to Fitzgerald in week one. With his best option slowed by injury and covered by one of the games best, I don’t think Palmer is going to have a great week.
(BUF) RB CJ Spiller vs. (BAL) – I would not be surprised if Spiller decided to have his breakout game against one of the best run defences in the game at the moment, but I am not going to put any money on it. Spiller has been extremely disappointing through three weeks and has his toughest matchup yet against Baltimore, a team yet to allow a touchdown at all since the loss to Denver. I understand if you don’t want to bench a stud, just be aware of the situation Spiller is walking into.
(HOU) RB Arian Foster vs. (SEA) – Another stud with an awful matchup. Not only is Seattle the best defence in the game, Foster is not running at his best and has a talented young rusher behind him just waiting to get more carries; Tate has double the yards per carry that Foster does so far this season.
(ARI) WR Larry Fitzgerald vs. (TB) – After a bug week one performance, Fitzgerald has been slowed the last few weeks by a tweaked hamstring. Recent reports state that Larry is practicing fully, but I still don’t like my odds of a big game from a guy who can’t run at 100% and will likely be covered by Darrelle Revis. Like with Spiller, I understand if you don’t want to bench a stud, but don’t be surprised if someone like Josh Gordon has a much better week than Larry.
TNF (SF) WR Anquan Boldin vs. (STL) – Vernon Davis ended up being available for the game, which is a huge boost for Boldin, giving him more room to work with. Boldin took advantage for 90 yards and a touchdown on the game. Not a great start for my Sit’ Em list, but I did say Davis being available would change things. Hopefully Vernon Davis will be available for the ‘49ers as he helps spread things out for the other receivers on the field like Boldin. Without Davis last week, Boldin was constantly double-teamed and was held in check for the most part by the Colts, something I’m sure the Rams are aware of.
(SEA) WR Sidney Rice vs. (HOU) – Rice jumped back into the fantasy radar last Sunday with a pair of touchdown catches from Russell Wilson, but I don’t see him coming close to a repeat on the road against the Texans defence. The Texans defence has allowed just as few of yards to wide receiver as the Seahawks defence
(MIN) TE Kyle Rudolph vs. (PIT) – Incase you didn’t already know, the Steelers are one of the best team in the league at defending the tight end position week in and week out. They are yet to allow a score to a tight end again this season while only allowing 182 total yards. Rudolph is already a boom or bust type of player and will have a good chance of being bust this weekend.
Best of Luck!