Fantasy Football: Three up, three down for Week 4


My Thursday night complaints remain largely in the primary focus. First, I never got a chance to draft Le’Veon Bell in my leagues. Second, Steve Smith Sr. looked hurt last night, and that’s not something I want to see from the great wide receiver.

Kickers. Insert the insult here degenerates (particularly those that took the over) _____________.. Print it out. Mail it to Mike Tomlin.

Each and every Friday, I will take a look at three fantasy football players that will be worth the risk to start (with upside for elongated future success). I will also look at the three players that are generating substantial buzz for the week ahead, yet are likely to underwhelm when it counts. Here are the players I have for Week Three.

Three Up

Non Running Backs in Buffalo:

Karlos Williams is already a hot-button topic in the fantasy football community this week. The same could be said about Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor. But here’s the big problem with Karlos Williams this week. He’s going against a Giants defense that is second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. The first place team happens to be Buffalo. The two teams have combined for just three rushing touchdowns all season. Yes Karlos Williams will get all the opportunities that Boobie Dixon won’t steal from him. But temper expectations.

On the other side of the ball, there’s a combination of Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, and Andre Williams. If you have any of these guys in your starting lineup this weekend I have a simple message to you: Don’t be cable fantasy football player. Switch to DirecTV and upgrade your backfield.

As for the passing game? Eli Manning and Tyrod Taylor are about as safe as can be this weekend. The Bills and Giants rank dead last respectively in passing yardage allowed. Given the possibility of both defenses allowing yardage in big chunks, both quarterbacks could be looking at a higher number of passing attempts Sunday. Opportunity breeds success.

Russell Wilson:

Beast Mode is dealing with a hamstring injury. DeAndre Levy returned to practice. The Detroit Lions run defense is about to get better, regardless of the fact that this game is being played in prime time and in Seattle. This has the makings of a special performance by Wilson. Twice this season an opposing quarterback has thrown for over 320 yards against the Lions. While Thomas Rawls is a nice story behind Marshawn Lynch, the defense is going to force Wilson to beat them. And more often than not, he does.

Amari Cooper:

Four different receivers have caught a total of seven touchdowns against the Bears this season. While the Raiders are once again on the road, they are favored for the first time in 27 games. A big part of that is Amari Cooper’s play and that of second year quarterback Derek Carr. Carr is not turning the ball over and is converting third downs. Cooper gets to face a defense that has already traded away a couple defensive players this week. Yes, playing Cooper is chalk. What’s wrong it that when it’s safe?

Three Down

Adrian Peterson:

Peterson knows how to prove the doubters wrong. But he’s going against a defense that’s allowed just 82.7 rushing yards per game. In Colorado. With a quarterback that is struggling. Jamaal Charles is the only running back that has surpassed 50 yards on the ground.

I understand the Superman narrative, but this sure looks like a week where he might perform under expectations. Anticipate that when deciding between consistency or upside among other starters. Don’t bench him in redraft, but don’t pay the price for him on the daily sites.

Anyone In England:

Points are plentiful in jolly ol’ England. Three of the last four victorious teams have score 31 or more points. But neither the Jets nor the Dolphins are scoring more than 23 points per game. Lamar Miller and the Dolphins offense has failed to live up to the hype. Ryan Tannehill appears to have plateaued. Jarvis Landry has been consistent in PPR formats, but the polar opposite of Keenan Allen in standard scoring leagues.

Oh, and just in case anyone is geographically impaired, New England is not located in England. But bench that team too this weekend.

The Johnsons in Arizona:

Andre Ellington has participated in practice. How the amount of touches are going to be split up. Why would you want to settle with a bunch of what-ifs against a reasonably stout St. Lous defense? There are statements that keep recurring in my head as I look at setting expectations for the Cardinals backfield this weekend. Avoid the situation entirely.

I do like Arizona’s defense at home. But that’s the only fantasy aspect of this game that interests me.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles Fantasy Preview: Week 4