Sconnie Sports Talk

Start/Sit and NFL Predictions: Week 4


Reflection on Week 3

The only definite things we knew going into this fantasy football season were as follows: who’s active and inactive for a given game, that Aaron Rodgers will get his points, and that you can’t trust a Bill Belichick running back for an entire season. Little to my surprise, predicting the correct Start/Sit picks is very difficult. It makes sense why Matthew Berry gets so much heat for picking wrong. But, as you may know, fantasy football is very unpredictable, and you have to take these picks with a grain of salt.

Per usual, I will be evaluating my picks from the previous week utilizing completions (good advice), interceptions (wrong advice), and incompletions (irrelevant advice).

Week 1: 16-15-5
Week 2: 11-16-9
Week 3 (below): 13-14-9

Total: 40-45-23

Completions Interceptions Incompletions
Cam Newton (START) Nick Foles (SLEEPER) Giovani Bernard (SIT)
Marcus Mariota (START) Andy Dalton (SIT) Pierre Garcon (START)
Matthew Stafford (SIT) Derek Carr (SIT) Doug Baldwin (SLEEPER)
Dion Lewis (START) James Starks (START) Brandin Cooks (SIT)
Jeremy Maclin (START) David Johnson (SLEEPER) Crockett Gillmore (BUST)
Torrey Smith (SIT) Devonta Freeman (SIT) Josh Scobee (SIT)
Jimmy Graham (START) Le’Veon Bell (BUST) Texans D/ST (START)
Zach Ertz (SIT) AJ Green (BUST) Packers D/ST (START)
Steven Hauschka (START) Martellus Bennett (SIT) Falcons D/ST (SLEEPER)
Robbie Gould (SIT) Gavin Escobar (SLEEPER)
Mike Nugent (BUST) Owen Daniels (SIT)
Redskins D/ST (SIT) Adam Vinatieri (START)
Chiefs D/ST (SIT) Andrew Franks (SLEEPER)
Rams D/ST (BUST)

Week 4 Start/Sit



Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (@ Chicago Bears)

The Raiders go into Chicago this week looking to make a statement against one of the worst teams in the NFL. Carr will be the direct benefactor of that, as he should have a huge game along with rookie Amari Cooper. Chances are you have some injuries or Brady or Mariota this week with a bye week, so Carr is worth starting in all leagues.

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Giants)

The Buffalo Bills’ quarterback will get the the team that has given up the most passing yards so far this season at home. He’s been a top five quarterback so far this season, and he should continue his run even without the questionable Sammy Watkins and doubtful LeSean McCoy. I’m starting him over Peyton Manning this week.

Sleeper: Michael Vick, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Baltimore Ravens)

The Steelers play Thursday night against the Suggs-less Ravens at home. I’m not saying Vick will even throw the ball 20 times, but he has a good matchup and arguably the best two players at their positions in Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The Ravens have given up the sixth most points to quarterbacks (P. Manning, Carr, and Dalton) so far this season.


Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (@ Seattle Seahawks)

Any quarterback that goes to Seattle is not going to have the best time playing in Seattle, especially with Kam Chancellor back in the mix on the Seahawks’ defense. And if that quarterback is the turnover-prone like Stafford, it’s hard to trust him again this week. Seattle has given up the 10th fewest points to opposing quarterbacks, and they would be one of the top if it wasn’t for Aaron Rodgers in Week 2.

Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (@ Denver Broncos)

The Broncos have given up the least amount of points to opposing quarterbacks, which has been against Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, and Matthew Stafford. Those quarterbacks are arguably in the same tier as Bridgewater (besides Playoff Joe Flacco), and Bridgewater has not been a great fantasy quarterback so far this year.

Bust Potential: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

Brees, if he plays in this game, is not 100% healthy. The Cowboys have brought a surprisingly strong defense this season, and I expect them to actually win in New Orleans on Sunday. It’s just hard to trust any quarterback that’s not completely healthy, and Brees did not play exceptionally well in his first two matchups this season either.

Running Backs


Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

Jacksonville has given up the seventh most points against running backs this season, including four touchdowns to LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis of the Patriots last week. Gore finally had a strong showing last week against the Titans, and I expect him to continue rolling this week against the Jags.

Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers (vs. Cleveland Browns)

I think Melvin Gordon III will also finally find the end zone this week, but consider this for the Chargers: Cleveland has given up over 12 yards per reception (nine catches) for opposing running backs in their first three games. Not to mention that Cleveland has given up the most rushing yards in the NFL this year. I can’t imagine Woodhead not getting involved this week as Philip Rivers’ cushion, especially with Ladarius Green questionable and Antonio Gates still out due to his suspension.

Sleeper: Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Detroit Lions)

This one is pretty simple. If Marshawn Lynch can’t go Monday night, this is the guy you’re starting as your replacement if you have Lynch on your roster. It’s hard to trust to know if he’ll play until Monday or unless the Seahawks release a statement on Lynch’s injury. Rawls has been called “Beast Mode 2.0,” and he rushed for over 100 yards last week. The Lions have given up the 12th most points against running backs, although they looked great last week against the Broncos’ running game.


Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens (@ Pittsburgh Steelers)

Forsett hasn’t scored a touchdown all season, and he may not find it Thursday night against a Steelers’ defense that hasn’t given up a rushing touchdown yet this season. I don’t think you can trust Forsett until he puts together a game and proves that his job is safe. It probably won’t be this week against the Steelers’ rush defense, the second best rushing defense against fantasy running backs so far this season.

Alfred Morris/Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

Morris and Jones are splitting carries for the Washington football team, and the Eagles have not given up a rushing touchdown this year. If you can afford not to play these guys, you really should sit them until the situation is better figured out. And if you have to pick one of them, I would say Morris since he’s still the starter and that carries weight for a coach.

Bust Potential: Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

Hill has averaged 3.0 yards per carry, and the Chiefs have only given up a decent 94.0 yards per game this season. Hill has found the end zone twice this season for truly his only points this season, and the Chiefs have not given up a rushing touchdown. The Bengals’ starter also has Gio Bernard on his back, ready to steal his starting job, and the pressure has been getting to Hill. After watching what the Chiefs did to James Starks on Monday night (17 carries for 32 yards) and his season thus far, I don’t see Hill having a big week.

Wide Receivers


Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (@ Buffalo Bills)

I understand that the Giants are playing in Buffalo this weekend, but you still have to start OBJ. The Bills may have one of the top defenses in the NFL, but they’ve given up the second most passing yards to wide receivers this season. Don’t be too cute; start Beckham, Jr. this week.

Eric Decker, New York Jets (vs. Miami Dolphins – London)

Decker should be able to go on Sunday morning from London, and I think the Dolphins will be paying a lot of attention to Brandon Marshall. The Dolphins have really struggled on both sides of the ball all season, and I think Decker, if he goes, should find the end zone.

Sleeper: Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

Looking at Kansas City’s numbers against wide receivers, it’s actually unbelievable how many points they’ve given up even to WR2’s this season (1/2 PPR): 10.50 to Nate Washington, 20.70 to Emmanuel Sanders, and 19.90 to James Jones. This Jones, Marvin Jones, could have a huge day while the Chiefs worry about A.J. Green. The Chiefs just lost one of their top corners Phillip Gaines to a torn ACL, but luckily for them Sean Smith is returning from injury. Still, Jones is an interesting start after already having a strong start to 2015.


Travis Benjamin, Cleveland Browns (@ San Diego Chargers)

Sure, Benjamin has an incredible start to 2015, much better than anyone would’ve thought, but I don’t think he’ll have a big game this week. The Chargers have given up the second fewest points to wide receivers, and Josh McCown is going to struggle this week. I would not trust Benjamin in San Diego.

Rishard Matthews, Miami Dolphins (vs. New York Jets – London)

Congrats! You picked up Matthews in your waiver wire! Unfortunately, he now goes up against one of the best cornerback units in the NFL. I can’t see Matthews having a good game, even though he’s been very consistent in the first three weeks.

Bust Potential: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (@ Seattle Seahawks)

I have Megatron on one of my teams and I will be starting him, but I’m not expecting him to reach his projection this week. With Richard Sherman more than likely guarding him in Seattle and the Seahawks getting pressure on Stafford, Megatron will more likely than not struggle Monday night. But, again, you have to play him, because he’s that good of a football player.

Tight Ends


Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears (vs. Oakland Raiders)

The Raiders have given up the most points to tight ends this season, and Bennett should have a better week at home this week.

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Giants)

The Giants have given up the fourth most points to tight ends this week, and Tyrod Taylor may be looking for additional targets this week if Sammy Watkins does not play. Clay is a great fill-in for Rob Gronkowski and Delanie Walker owners.

Sleeper: Maxx Williams, Baltimore Ravens (@ Pittsburgh Steelers)

There will be no Crockett Gillmore Thursday night for the Ravens, and Williams received seven targets last week from Joe Flacco, who loves tight ends. The Steelers have given up the third most points against tight ends.


Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Baltimore Ravens)

Without Roethlisberger, Miller’s value will really fall this week. Not to mention, the Ravens have given up THREE total points against tight ends this season. THREE TOTAL!

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Washington Redskins)

Similar to what I said about Justin Forsett, you shouldn’t trust Ertz until he gives you a reason to do so. The Redskins rank near the top ten against tight ends.

Bust Alert: Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (vs. New York Jets – London)

He’s banged up and playing the Jets. He’s been getting a lot of targets from Ryan Tannehill, but don’t be surprised if he scores less than five this week.



Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Detroit Lions)

Seahawks at home against a subpar NFC north team. Next.

Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

I really like McManus this week not because of a high-scoring game, but because I think Peyton Manning will have trouble finding the end zone this week.

Sleeper: Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears (vs. Oakland Raiders)

What if the Bears actually come out and beat the Raiders? Gould will likely get his points either way.


Andrew Franks, Miami Dolphins (vs. New York Jets – London)

Franks scored zero points last week for the Dolphins, and I can’t see Miami putting up too many points this week.

Josh Brown, New York Giants (@ Buffalo Bills)

This could be ugly for the Giants in Buffalo, even though Brown has been great all season for fantasy owners.

Bust Alert: Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

Another bust alert on Nugent this week as I like the Chiefs’ pass rush against the Bengals and Nugent hasn’t been getting a lot of opportunities.

Defenses/Special Teams


Arizona Cardinals D/ST vs. St. Louis Rams

Wow, I think they could put up 30+ points this week. Of course, I’m playing against them in one league.

Philadelphia Eagles D/ST @ Washington Redskins

I feel pretty good about an Eagles’ defense against Kirk Cousins, even in Landover.

Sleeper: Atlanta Falcons D/ST vs. Houston Texans

Especially if Arian Foster does not play, the Falcons should feast on the Texans in this one.


St. Louis Rams D/ST @ Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are on fire, and I can’t see the Rams giving up less than four touchdowns.

Houston Texans D/ST @ Atlanta Falcons

Similar rationale as above, but especially because Julio Jones is on another level right now.

Bust Alert: Carolina Panthers D/ST @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I can’t really explain why I feel this way, but what if Jameis figures out this Panthers’ defense that will likely be without Luke Kuechly again?

Week 4 Predictions

Starting this week, I’ll also publicly be making my weekly predictions for all of the games. So far this year, I am 17-15.

Week 1: 10-6
Week 2: 7-9
Week 3: 10-6

Overall: 27-21

Week 4

Baltimore Ravens 17, Pittsburgh Steelers 20 (Steelers +3)
New York Jets 21, Miami Dolphins 24 (EVEN)
New York Giants 14, Buffalo Bills 38 (Bills -5.5)
Carolina Panthers 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 (Panthers -3)
Oakland Raiders 27, Chicago Bears 17 (Raiders -3)
Kansas City Chiefs 17, Cincinnati Bengals 23 (Bengals -4)
Houston Texans 20, Atlanta Falcons 30 (Falcons -7)
Jacksonville Jaguars 14, Indianapolis Colts 31 (Colts -10)
Philadelphia Eagles 20, Washington Redskins 13 (Eagles -3)
Cleveland Browns 17, San Diego Chargers 34 (Chargers -9)
Minnesota Vikings 13, Denver Broncos 17 (Broncos -4)
Green Bay Packers 44, San Francisco 49ers 24 (Packers -9.5)
St. Louis Rams 13, Arizona Cardinals 31 (Cardinals -7.5)
Dallas Cowboys 24, New Orleans Saints 21 (Cowboys +7)
Detroit Lions 13, Seattle Seahawks 23 (Seahawks -10.5)

Sources: Yahoo! Fantasy, ESPN Fantasy, Rotowire

Image: Gore