With the Lions, Cowboys, Raiders, and Buccaneers on the bye this week, we’re all dealing with a lot of fantasy talent on our benches. Times are tough in the bye week, but injuries and match-ups have opened up some opportunities this week. We’ve also gotten four games (three games for two teams) of information in which to start focusing on which teams are good at shutting down certain fantasy positions. Here’s the weekly advice on who to start and sit in your fantasy leagues.
If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Andy Dalton (QB - Cincinnati)
Miami has given up 260+ yards to every quarterback they've played against this season. The "Red Rifle" has thrown for 240+ yards and at least two touchdowns in each of his last three games. It's a match made in heaven.
Ryan Williams (RB - Arizona)
Arizona went away from the run early last week against Miami because it wasn't working and Kevin Kolb does better in a no-huddle offense. The Rams run defense is 26th in the league, has given up a touchdown to a RB in three of four games, and just got gashed by Marshawn Lynch. If Williams can't play well tonight, he never will.
Ryan Mathews (RB - New Orleans)
This Mathews madness is ridiculous. All sorts of rumors are flying around about a time-share with Jackie Battle. Mathews is a former first round pick who ran for 4.9 yards per carry last year, caught 50 balls, and made the Pro Bowl. Jackie Battle is a stiff. Mathews played most of the second half last week, showing the first half was just a benching. I still believe.
James Jones (WR - Green Bay)
Greg Jennings is out this week and probably will miss the next few games. The Colts gave up 36 receptions to WRs in their first two games (I'm ignoring the Jaguars game because the Jaguars don't have any talent at the position), so there's plenty of room for Jones to come in and shine. He's also the #2 red-zone target behind Jermichael Finley, which bodes well for his TD numbers.
Domenik Hixon (WR - N.Y. Giants)
As with Jones, Hixon has the chance to step in for an injured teammate and shine. The Browns are the third most forgiving defense for fantasy WRs and Hixon will be getting a full complement of snaps with both
Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden banged up.
Kyle Rudolph (TE - Minnesota)
The Titans have given up seven touchdowns to TEs in four games. Kyle Rudolph has three touchdowns this year, so Christian Ponder (a good play in his own right this week) is obviously looking for Rudolph in the red zone. All things look positive for the former Fighting Irish TE this week.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB - Buffalo)
Somehow Fitz has averaged three touchdowns a game and that's why his fantasy points are as high as they are. That won't happen this week as Buffalo will struggle to move the ball effectively. Fitz has shown the tendency to turn the ball over (7 INTs) and we'll likely see more of that this week. The Bills failure to run the football will result in Fitz taking chances to make plays, which inevitably lead to turnovers.
Chris Johnson (RB - Tennessee)
One game does not a season make. Chris Johnson's numbers from the first three weeks shouldn't be ignored because of one positive game that was heavily influenced by garbage time production. This week's opponent, the Vikings, is holding fantasy RBs to the second least points of any team.
Jonathan Stewart (RB - Carolina)
Right behind the Vikings against fantasy RBs is the Seahawks, Stewart's opponent for the week. Given that Stewart is in a time-share, those allowable points are cut in half and that makes things even worse.
Pierre Garcon (WR - Washington)
The Falcons are shutting down opposing receivers right now and it's not surprise given the tandem of Asanta Samuel and Dunta Robinson. Garcon still isn't 100% recovered from his foot injury and will struggle to break away from his defenders.
Nate Washington (WR - Tennessee)
Nasty Nate was great last year when Jake Locker was under center, but not as nice when Hasselbeck was there. Hasselbeck doesn't throw the deep ball as well as Locker does and that's where Nate does his best work. He's also only managed 10 catches in 4 games and has 15 less targets than Kendall Wright. The Titans' staff obviously isn't focusing on getting him the ball.
Jermichael Finley (TE - Green Bay)
I've never been a Finley guy and he's proven me right through four games. His production has been rather minimal. He's well outside the top 10 in production so far and the Colts are actually the second best at holding down fantasy TEs.