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Fantasy Insider: Week 4


James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Miami Dolphins fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer. Or, find him on Twitter (Fantasyguy23) and get all your NFL news before it hits the national media. *

Who Dey nation has to be salivating over Week 4 because the Bengals take on the Browns and their overhauled offense that no longer features Trent Richardson. Brian Hoyer looked better than expected last week thanks to the return of Josh Gordon from suspension, and Jordan Cameron is this year's breakout player for sure. But, the Bengals defense is noticeably better than the Vikings defense, and I don't think either player will find it nearly as easy to put up the same types of numbers this week as they did last week. I have the Bengals defense as my No. 2 defense this week, and would recommend them in any league size, and any scoring format.

I've been getting a lot of questions about kickers this week and here is my short and dirty answer about them: add and drop kickers about every 3-4 weeks. You can't truly predict or even project what a kicker will do because his whole fantasy game depends on the offense 1) failing to score, and 2) being close enough for him to kick a field goal. This week I went through all my teams and looked at the FA list and filtered out the kickers by total points scored so far. If the difference was more than 7-10 total points, I swapped kickers.


Robert Griffin III – QB, Redskins: RGIII has looked rusty in his first three games of the season, but his fantasy stats don't reflect it as he ends up playing from behind and putting up 325.0 YPG this season. The 5-4 TD-to-INT ratio needs more separation for his owners to stop wondering if he is an every-week starter this season. The Raiders are giving up 24.4 fantasy points per game this season, 10th-worst in the NFL.

Tony Romo – QB, Cowboys: When you hear the name you almost pencil him in as a fantasy starter, but that isn't actually true anymore. Despite being owned in 94.9 percent of leagues, he is only started in 31.4 percent of them. While it is true he might be without Miles Austin this week, the Chargers are the worst team in the league at fantasy points (FP) allowed to QBs with 32.9 per game. I actually like him as a top 5-7 QB this week.

Darren McFadden – RB, Raiders: After posting 9 yards rushing in Week 3 (albeit against the Broncos), and Terrelle Pryor dealing with a concussion, I've received plenty of emails from owners wondering if they should sit him or start him. The Redskins Swiss-cheese defense has given up 23.7 fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs so far this season, third-worst in the NFL. I'd play McFadden as a high-end RB2 with upside this weekend.

Bilal Powell – RB, Jets: After running 27 times for 149 yards last week, Powell's start percentage on went from 2.1 percent to 22.7 percent as of Thursday night. While I like Powell this week against a Titans defense that has allowed an average of 16.1 FPPG this season, I also think it is time to sell high on the Jets bell cow RB. The chances of him scoring double-digit TDs is low, and he has likely hit his season high for yards in a game, making it all somewhat "downhill" from here. That being said, I'd still start him as an RB2 or flex this week.

Denarius Moore – WR, Raiders: Let me preface this by saying Moore is more in the flex range than a true starter in fantasy leagues because of his QB. With that being said, the Redskins defense is the worst in the NFL for fantasy WRs, giving up 36.0 FPPG to them this season. Moore is a risk because Pryor did have a concussion in Week 3, but he is a talented WR that can put up big numbers in the right situation. This should be one of those situations.

Eric Decker – WR, Broncos: Conventional wisdom would say to sit Decker after he put up 8 catches for 133 yards and a TD in Week 3 against the Raiders because he can't continue to put up those kinds of numbers with Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker at WR. But, the Broncos have Peyton Manning at QB, and he makes studs out of WRs from No. 1 to No. 3 every year. This week the Eagles travel to Denver in what could end up being a shootout between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in total offensive YPG this season (486.7 – 461.7). Start Decker as a WR2/3 this week.

Heath Miller – TE, Steelers: Miller isn't someone fantasy owners try and go for in their drafts, as his best football days are behind him. With that said, the Steelers play the Vikings this weekend and the Vikings allow the second-most FPPG to TEs (17.5) and have given up 6 TDs to TEs this season, worst in the NFL. Miller is only owned in 17.3 percent of leagues, but he should finish with TE1 numbers if he finishes the game on Sunday.

Kansas City Chiefs Defense: Does anyone know who has the No. 1 fantasy defense this season? That's right, the Chiefs do. Amazing considering they are owned in just 59.1 percent of leagues, and were drafted as the 20th defense this year. As we saw before, the Giants play the Chiefs and I like the Chiefs pass rush this weekend against a Giants offense that hasn't started the season off in sync. It would not shock me at all to see the Chiefs finish Week 4 as a top 5 fantasy defense.


Eli Manning – QB, Giants: What worries me about Manning is that last week Manning took 7 sacks against the Panthers defense. Add to that you have Hakeem Nicks complaining about his one-target day in Week 3. This week the Giants get the menacing Chiefs defense with IDP starters LB Derrick Johnson and DB Eric Berry. I would sit Manning in favor of someone like Pryor if you have to.

Alex Smith – QB, Chiefs: Smith would normally never make this list because he is a weak option even in 2QB leagues. But, I see that on his start percentage has spiked by 11.3 percent this week (up to 20.9 percent overall) and that is alarming. The 20.9 number is higher than QBs like Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Andy Dalton. Smith has arguably the weakest arm strength in the NFL, and the Chiefs are a running team. Starting Smith is truly playing with fire, and you always end up getting burned when you do that.

David Wilson – RB, Giants: So far this season Wilson has managed to run the ball just 25 times for a grand total of 75 yards and no touchdowns. He's owned in 85.0 percent of leagues, and started in 51.2 percent of those despite the lack of fantasy production. I've seen some big box fantasy websites calling him a buy-low candidate, and I would tend to agree as he is clearly the RB of choice for the Giants. The problem is this weekend he faces the Chiefs and their No. 1 fantasy defense. Hold on to him, but don't play him just yet.

C.J. Spiller – RB, Bills: The Ravens are No. 1 at holding fantasy RBs in check this season (8.5 FPPG), and the Bills offense is led by a raw rookie QB. The truth is that E.J. Manuel is doing what Tim Tebow did: engineering late-game comebacks that make him look further along than he is. I think Manuel struggles in this one and Spiller is a victim of the defense. Spiller is more in the RB2 range than RB1 range this week.

Arian Foster – RB, Texans: Foster has been a huge fantasy bust this season, totaling just 227 yards of total offense and one touchdown through three games. Ben Tate has 206 yards of total offense, but has failed to score. The fact that the yards are so close has to worry fantasy owners, and the Texans continue to talk about how much they like Tate, which isn't good news for Foster. Oh, and the Texans play the Seahawks this week, enough said there. Foster is in the same boat as Spiller above, RB2, not RB1.

Greg Jennings – WR, Vikings: Jennings is owned in 87.4 percent of leagues, but he has not been the WR fantasy owners have come to love from previous seasons. The truth of the matter is that Christian Ponder has trouble throwing downfield, and that was Jennings's bread and butter in Green Bay. So far he has 11 receptions for 160 yards and no TDs this season, and that just will not get it done for a guy people drafted to be their WR3 or flex option. The Steelers are No. 2 in the NFL at WR FPPG with 13.0. That means Jennings rides the pine for me except in the deepest of formats where he is a WR4 or No. 2 flex option at best.

Lance Moore – WR, Saints: Can you believe that has Moore projected to haul in 99 receiving yards this week? Forget that the Dolphins defense is actually No. 4 in the NFL so far with 14.9 FPPG allowed to WRs; forget that Moore is the No. 2 WR behind Marques Colston and No. 4 option to throw to behind Colston, Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham. What about the fact that he has just 3 catches for 44 yards this season? This just goes to show why you should NEVER set your lineups based on any game projections. Moore is owned in 73.1 percent of leagues, and that is far too many based on his early-season production.

Tony Gonzalez – TE, Falcons: Gonzalez is starting to look his age (37) on the field, and that has not allowed him to top 36 yards receiving or 4 catches in any of his first three games in 2013. He did score in Week 1, so the season hasn't been a total bust for fantasy owners, but he was taken on average as the third TE off the board in drafts, and yet he ranks 21st in standard scoring as of Thursday night. The Patriots are No. 1 in FPPG to TEs this year with a measly 2.1 PPG, so the smart money is on picking up Miller in Pittsburgh and benching Gonzalez until he either snaps out of the funk, or you can find someone willing to trade for him.

New England Patriots Defense: The Patriots may be better known for their offense than their defense, but that doesn't mean it goes overlooked in fantasy football. The Patriots defense is owned in 95.7 percent of leagues and started in 89.7 of them (third-most for both), but this week they face a Falcons team that features Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, two guys it is next to impossible to shut down. Then you have Roddy White, who looks like he is nearly back to 100 percent on the health meter. This could be a high-scoring game, which is disaster for fantasy defenses.

Don't forget that I am giving away copies of Madden 25 on Xbox 360 and PS3. All you have to do is like the article on the Facebook link at the top, and then get your friends to click on the link via your Facebook page and like the article on the Bengals webpage. It is important that they click "Like" INSIDE the article, and not like the link on your page.

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