Reflection on Week 4

With six teams heading into Week 5 undefeated, many contenders have already separated themselves from the pack. Of course, there are teams that clearly are not contenders this season. Lastly, there are a lot of teams that are still finding their identities, just like your fantasy team.

Whether you’ve started undefeated, lost two games, or remain winless, here’s a reminder that you still have nine weeks to make an impact, especially with Arian Foster, Antonio Gates, Martavis Bryant, and more returning.

My teams are 1-3 and 0-4, and I can’t imagine not making the playoffs with one of my teams. Take a look at my 0-4 team’s starting lineup:

  • QB1: Peyton Manning
  • QB (Bench): Tyrod Taylor
  • RB1: Matt Forte
  • RB2: Arian Foster
  • RB (Bench): T.J. Yeldon
  • RB (Bench): Ronnie Hillman
  • WR1: Calvin Johnson
  • WR2: Emmanuel Sanders
  • WR3 (FLEX): Julian Edelman
  • WR4 (Bench): Percy Harvin
  • TE: Antonio Gates
  • TE (Bench): Jordan Cameron
  • K: Adam Vinatieri
  • D/ST: Denver
  • D/ST (Bench): Atlanta

I have a feeling that this team will throw some wins together, and I’m projected to have the most points in my league for the remainder of the season. Don’t give up yet fantasy football faithful, as your losing ways can turn around very quickly.

Click here for this week’s fantasy football rankings.

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: 13-14-9
Week 4 (below): 19-13-4

Total: 59-58-27

Completions Interceptions Incompletions
Matthew Stafford (SIT) Teddy Bridgewater (SIT) Derek Carr (START)
Danny Woodhead (START) Drew Brees (BUST) Tyrod Taylor (START)
Alfred Morris/Matt Jones (SIT) Thomas Rawls (SLEEPER) Michael Vick (SLEEPER)
Eric Decker (START) Justin Forsett (SIT) Frank Gore (START)
Rishard Matthews (SIT) Jeremy Hill (BUST)
Calvin Johnson (BUST) Odell Beckham, Jr. (START)
Martellus Bennett (START) Marvin Jones (SLEEPER)
Charles Clay (START) Travis Benjamin (SIT)
Heath Miller (SIT) Maxx Williams (SLEEPER)
Zach Ertz (SIT) Cardinals D/ST (START)
Jordan Cameron (BUST) Eagles D/ST (START)
Steven Hauschka (START) Rams D/ST (SIT)
Brandon McManus (START) Panthers D/ST (BUST)
Robbie Gould (SLEEPER)
Andrew Franks (SIT)
Josh Brown (SIT)
Mike Nugent (BUST)
Falcons D/ST (SLEEPER)
Texans D/ST (SIT)

Week 5 Start/Sit

Quarterbacks

Start

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (@ Oakland Raiders)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.19 PM

You would never have seen me mention Manning in this a year ago, but with his poor fantasy performance this season I need to assure the readers. I’ll be starting Manning this week over Tyrod Taylor, as he matches up against a Raiders’ defense giving up the fifth most points to opposing quarterbacks. Manning is 9-2 in his career against the Raiders, although this team has improved, with 28 touchdown passes. Start Peyton this week.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.23 PM

Rivers will face a mid-tier defense against the pass in the Steelers, but I trust Rivers at home in this game. In his career, Rivers is 55-23 at home with 127 touchdowns and 57 interceptions. In his career against Pittsburgh, he has eight touchdowns and three interceptions with a 2-2 record. I look for Rivers to lead the Chargers to victory Monday night.

Sleeper: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers)Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.24.37 PM

Bortles will be the first of a few Jaguars I’ll mention, as they play the subpar Buccaneers’ defense. He should have a fine day in Tampa, and may be worth a start with Cam Newton on bye and Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton in poor matchups.

Sit

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Seattle Seahawks)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.55 PM

Dalton has been exceptional for fantasy owners so far this season, but he will face an electric defense from the Seahawks on Sunday. I know the Bengals are playing at home and have looked impressive, but I think the Seahawks are going to deliver a real wake up call. Their defense is as good as it’s been, and Dalton may suffer as a result.

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. Denver Broncos)Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.24.53 PM

Carr had a subpar showing last week against the Bears, despite his impressive start to 2015. He runs into the top defense against the pass and the best fantasy defense thus far in the Broncos, and I can’t see Carr having a game that demands a start.

Bust Potential: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (@ CincinnatScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.30 PMi Bengals)

Wilson has not been as great as fantasy owners have hoped, and he faces off against the solid Bengals defense in Cincinnati. I think the Seahawks will win this game, but I can’t see Wilson delivering a big performance. It’s hard not to start him due to the bye week and injuries, so consult our fantasy rankings if necessary.


Running Backs

Start

Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams (@ Green Bay Packers)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.27 PM

The Rams may have to throw the ball a lot to catch up to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but Gurley could have a huge game. The Packers have been impressive against the run, much better than anyone expected, but Gurley could be the talent to break that trend.

T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers)Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.24.37 PM

The Buccaneers are giving up the third most rushing yards to running backs this season, and Yeldon finally got over the hump for his first 100-yard game. He should follow that performance up with his first touchdown this week and some fantasy points for owners that took a chance with Yeldon.

Sleeper: LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (@ DallaScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.38 PMs Cowboys)

I like the matchup for Blount, even though Dion Lewis is clearly the lead back for the Patriots. If Sean Lee does not go for the Cowboys (concussion) and with the return of Greg Hardy, the Patriots could turn to the power running game.

Sit

Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions (vs. Arizona Cardinals)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.01 PM

Abdullah really hasn’t given fantasy owners a reason to continue to play him, and Theo Riddick is getting touches. The Lions will have to throw the ball a lot in this game, and I just can’t see a reason to start Abdullah this week against one of the best rushing defenses.

Boobie Dixon, Buffalo Bills (@ Tennessee Titans)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.30 PM

I know you might need him to replace LeSean McCoy and/or Karlos Williams, but the talent gap between Dixon and those two guys is significant. The Titans are just outside the top ten against the run, and Dixon does not scare me if I’m Tennessee.

Bust Potential: Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Seattle Seahawks)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.55 PM

Hill cashed in last week for fantasy owners, but he’ll face a different animal this week against the Seahawks. Seattle has given up the second fewest fantasy points against running backs, and they’re going to clog any hole that Hill sees.


Wide Receivers

Start

Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (@ Philadelphia Eagles)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.17 PM

Cooks has really struggled this season, but I think he breaks out this week against the Eagles, who have given up double-digit points to at least one wide receiver every week so far this season. Cooks has had at least seven targets in each contest. Additionally, Brees is back and seems healthy, so Cooks may finally deliver. Keep an eye on Cooks on the inactive list, however, as he was limited in practice Wednesday.

Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys (vs. New England Patriots)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.46 PM

The Patriots may go out to a big lead in this game, forcing Brandon Weeden to throw the ball a lot. Either way, I think Williams finds the end zone against the Patriots’ secondary that has struggled to stop receivers as the game goes on, even if it was in garbage time.

Sleeper: Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (vs. St. Louis RScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.04 PMams)

Montgomery even saw some time in Randall Cobb’s role in the backfield against the 49ers, as his role has continued to expand with Jordy Nelson out for the season. I look for Montgomery to deliver this week, and he should be on your bench if he’s available.

Sit

Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (vs. Denver Broncos)Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.24.53 PM

Cooper will likely be lined up against Aqib Talib, who has been fantastic this season for the Broncos, who have given up the least points to opposing wide receivers.

Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ San Diego Chargers)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.57 PM

UPDATE: Bryant will not play in Week 5.

Bryant returns from suspension this week, but against the second best defense against wide receivers in fantasy so far this season. I wouldn’t trust Bryant (and I’m not starting him in one of my leagues) until he proves worthy of a start, especially with Michael Vick under center.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.55 PMBust Alert: A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

This is similar to Calvin Johnson last week; Green will have to go up against the Legion of Boom and Dalton is going to be under a lot of pressure. Still, it’s hard to bench Green considering your probable options.


Tight Ends

Start

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.23 PM

Gates also returns this week from his four-week PED suspension. The Steelers have given up the fourth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends (think Rob Gronkowski opening night), and I can’t imagine Gates not having a nice welcome back party.

Owen Daniels, Denver Broncos (@ Oakland Raiders)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.19 PM

The Raiders have given up the most points to opposing tight ends, and Daniels has been getting more and more involved in the offense, scoring touchdowns in each of the past two weeks.

Sleeper: Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. St. LouisScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.04 PM Rams)

Rodgers as well has been finding himself involved in the Packers’ offense, especially with Andrew Quarless hurt. He should get considerable targets once again this week, so he may be worth a start with Greg Olsen, Jordan Cameron, and Kyle Rudolph on bye.

Sit

Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (@ Houston Texans)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.09 PM

He scored last week with Matt Hasselbeck under center, but Fleener has the best value when Dwayne Allen is injured (a lot of times) AND when Andrew Luck is playing (usually). Allen will be back and Luck will be out Thursday night, so Fleener likely will not deliver.

Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (@ Baltimore Ravens)Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.32.18 PM

Barnidge has had an impressive start to the season, and actually outperformed the guy he replaced, Jordan Cameron. The Ravens have given up less than one point against opposing tight ends, so I don’t think Barnidge will score many points this week.

Bust Alert: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (@ Cincinnati Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.30 PMBengals)

The Bengals are a top 10 defense against tight ends and Graham has seen inconsistency in targets. You have to start him, but expect points in single digits.


Kickers

Start

Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks (@ Cincinnati Bengals)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.30 PM

The matchup is a bit intimidating, but you have to stick with one of the most consistent kickers in the game.

Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys (vs. New England Patriots)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.46 PM

A lot of people are saying to bench Bailey this week, but I see him actually putting up some points. The Patriots have a great defense, but they give up yards sometimes that lead to field goals.

Sleeper: Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (vs. Arizona Cardinals)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.01 PM

Prater should get some opportunities with the Lions back home and playing much better as of late, even against the Cardinals.

Sit

Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders (vs. Denver Broncos)Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.24.53 PM

He’s finally getting some opportunities again with a good offense. Unfortunately, the Broncos are a scary matchup.

Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams (@ Green Bay Packers)Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.27 PM

I’m never a fan of an opposing kicker going into Green Bay, especially if the offense is not consistent and relying on a rookie running back.

Bust Alert: Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts (@ Houston TeScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.09 PMxans)

If the Colts can’t move the ball, Vinatieri is not going to get chances. I can see them getting crushed Thursday night, so be on alert.


Defenses/Special Teams

Start

Houston Texans D/ST vs. Indianapolis ColtsScreen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.24.32 PM

I’ll take J.J. Watt in primetime against Matt Hasselbeck this week.

Green Bay Packers D/ST vs. St. Louis RamsScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.04 PM

They’ve been playing extremely well, and I don’t see them slowing down this week besides running into Gurley.

Sleeper: Kansas City Chiefs D/ST vs. Chicago BearsScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.21 PM

It’s always good to play at home for the Chiefs, but especially against Cutler and the Bears.

Sit

St. Louis Rams D/ST @ Green Bay PackersScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.27 PM

Aaron Rodgers at home. Next.

Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST @ San Diego ChargersScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.25.57 PM

This game has 50+ points written all over it.

Bust Alert: Arizona Cardinals D/ST @ Detroit LionsScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.26.25 PM

After last week, I don’t fully trust the Cardinals D/ST. The Lions could finally put together a complete football game.


Week 5 Predictions

After barely going over .500 last week, I look to rebound and increase my winning percentage this week.

Week 1: 10-6
Week 2: 7-9
Week 3: 10-6
Week 4: 8-7

Overall: 35-28

Week 5

Indianapolis Colts 17, Houston Texans 20 (Texans -4.5)
Buffalo Bills 24, Tennessee Titans 14 (Bills -1)
Cleveland Browns 14, Baltimore Ravens 27 (Ravens -7)
Chicago Bears 24, Kansas City Chiefs 37 (Chiefs -10.5)
Seattle Seahawks 24, Cincinnati Bengals 17 (Seahawks +3)
St. Louis Rams 20, Green Bay Packers 24 (Packers -10)
Jacksonville Jaguars 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 (Jaguars +2.5)
New Orleans Saints 31, Philadelphia Eagles 23 (Saints +4.5)
Washington Redskins 17, Atlanta Falcons 35 (Falcons -8)
Arizona Cardinals 24, Detroit Lions 21 (Cardinals -2.5)
New England Patriots 31, Dallas Cowboys 21 (Patriots -10)
Denver Broncos 34, Oakland Raiders 20 (Broncos -4.5)
San Francisco 49ers 23, New York Giants 27 (Giants -7)
Pittsburgh Steelers 30, San Diego Chargers 33 (Chargers -3)


Sources: Yahoo! Fantasy, ESPN Fantasy, Rotowire

Image: Gates

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