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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 Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.

Stud RB Arian Foster is finally back this week, so owners can play their first round pick. Ben Tate is clearly Foster's backup going forward, but don't cut him loose just yet until we see how Foster's hamstring holds up.

Other players in the news are Kenny Britt and Michael Vick, both dealing with injuries that vary in severity. Britt was placed on IR with a torn ACL and MCL, while Vick has a deep bone bruise but didn't miss a first-team rep in practice on Wednesday. Vick will start against the 49ers and Britt will catch up on some Madden 2012.


Ben Roethlisberger: Back-to-back starts for Big Ben, and I feel confident about it. The Texans are allowing 18.1 fantasy PPG to opposing QBs and Roethlisberger is averaging 18.73 PPG in standard scoring formats. I can see top 10 numbers from him this weekend and think he is a solid QB1 play.

Cam Newton: Newton was recently named the rookie of the month for September, which means I have a reason to finally give him a start. Not only that, but the Bears defense is allowing 21.9 fantasy PPG to opposing QBs, bad enough for 11th in the NFL. Newton is a real threat and if he can get it done this weekend, he will make a believer out of me.

Arian Foster: This would normally be one of those no-brainer picks I stay away from, but this is Foster's first week back and he is sure to be on a snap count. However, the Steelers defense isn't as good against the run as it has been in the past and they are allowing the 17th-most fantasy points to RBs this season at 18.7 per game. If Foster gets hot early, the Texans should ride him until the wheels fall off and there is really no way you can keep him on the bench with his huge play ability.

Beanie Wells: Wells burned me last week by not playing, but word out of Arizona is that won't happen again this weekend. The Giants are solid against the run, but Wells is needed in the Cardinals offense to take pressure off Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald. Look for mid-range RB2 numbers from Wells this weekend.

Denarius Moore: Moore has been impressive early on in his rookie season, putting up 180 receiving yards on nine receptions with a TD. And, it gets even better this weekend as the Raiders host the struggling Patriots secondary. The Patriots are giving up 34.7 PPG to WRs this season and Moore is looking more and more like he is the real deal.

Santana Moss: Moss isn't someone I have ever been really high on as a fantasy WR, but he is a favorite of Rex Grossman. The Rams have a banged up secondary and Moss has a team high 25 targets this season. Moss makes a solid WR2 play this weekend.

Jimmy Graham: Graham was a sleeper pick of mine back in the preseason, but he is a sleeper no more. He has racked up an impressive 235 yards on 14 catches, while visiting the endzone twice. I have Graham as a top 5 play this weekend that could finish No. 1 for TEs with Gates likely out.

Atlanta Falcons Defense: The Falcons face the Seahawks this weekend and Seattle is a laughable 214.7 YPG on offense. Not in the air, not on the ground … COMBINED! If there is any defense to grab off the waiver wire for a one-week run, it would be the Falcons this week.


Joe Flacco: Flacco caught lightning in a bottle last weekend when he set a new career high with 389 yards and found Torrey Smith three times for TDs. The problem with him this weekend is he faces an elite Jets secondary that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs this season at 11.6 PPG.

Matt Schaub: Schaub will always be on the fantasy radar as long as Andre Johnson is in the NFL, but I'm not sold on that helping this weekend against the Steelers. The Steelers are giving up just 164.0 YPG in the air and have allowed just three passing TDs this season. Schaub is a high-end QB2 this weekend, but I'd try and stay away from starting him if possible.

Daniel Thomas: I'm a fan of Thomas this season, just not this weekend. The Chargers are giving up 111.3 YPG on the ground, but their lone rushing score has them allowing just 13.1 PPG to RBs this season. I have him more as a flex option than a RB2 this weekend.

DeAngelo Williams: Williams is still owned in roughly 83 percent of fantasy leagues, but started on just under 30 percent of those teams. Right now Jonathan Stewart is putting up 6.3 yards per touch through three games while Williams is at 3.1, but while they both play they basically cancel each other out. I wouldn't cut Williams, but I certainly wouldn't play him.

Mike Williams: I am finally done with Williams and I cut him in the single league I owned him in. Williams hasn't topped 50 yards in a game this season and he managed an impressive feat of posting a minus-4 spot in Week 2 against the Vikings. I wouldn't consider him as anything more than a weak flex play against a Colts defense that is giving up the 18th-most fantasy points (21.8) to WRs this season.

Torrey Smith: Smith has seen 227,060 people add him this week in Yahoo leagues and saw a spike of 15.3 percent in ESPN leagues. That being said, it is always a good idea to just avoid the Jets secondary altogether, so I'd sit Smith down this week in any format.

Antonio Gates: I swing for the fences sometimes, and this is one of those times. Gates is dealing with chronic foot problems and he has talked about sitting out another 3-5 weeks so he can finish up the season strong. While the Dolphins have allowed the most fantasy points to TEs this season (16.5 PPG), Gates can't be counted on to play, let alone play at a high level.

Pittsburgh Steelers Defense: As I mentioned before, the Steelers defense isn't what it used to be and this game against the Texans offense could turn into a high-scoring affair. I personally have the Steelers ranked 13th this week and would avoid starting them since you can pick up the Falcons in most formats for this weekend.


Q: So, I'm writing again from Okinawa. So far I'm 3-0 with the tops on points, but this week is a doozy! I still am starting Stafford @ DAL with Sanchez @ BAL. I also have been fortunate with McFadden (he's saved my bacon). Here's where it gets interesting:

I have Benson, Tate and Stewart (CAR) for my RB2. I'm leaning toward Benson, but I don't want to get into an issue with a late change of Benson being suspended. Since the games start at midnight for me and I have to be up at Zero-Dark-Thirty for PT (and this week is a sensing session at 0500), I'm afraid I won't make the last-minute change. Stewart is my safety valve as Tate looks to be riding the pine for Foster. Thoughts?

As for WR, I'm in another quandary. I have A. Johnson who I'm starting. I also feel good about Nate Washington (picked up after I lost Britt to IR). But for No. 3, I have Branch, who laid a goose egg for me. My other options are A.J. Green (who I'm high on, but as a developmental pick) and David Nelson (BUF),  who's been pretty consistent. I'm leaning toward Branch as I don't see him getting shut out two times in a row, but Nelson has been rock steady. WWJD?

For TE, I think I'm set. I have Vernon Davis in there with Fred Davis as a backup. Lastly, I have Defense. Houston or Detroit D? I'm planning on Detroit as I like the matchup better, but it's still not great either way.
--Jay Sharritt, CDR, E Co, 53rd Signal Battalion

A: Okinawa ... Let's go see if I can break some ice slabs like they did in Karate Kid II.

At RB2, I'd use Benson as well, but Stewart is closing in on him. Tate becomes a handcuff for Foster in case of injury. As of right now, Benson is playing this weekend and should be a workhorse for the Bengals.

At WR3, I'd use David Nelson. The Bills offense is clicking and Nelson is a nice sleeper pickup off the waiver wire.

The Lions D is better than the Texans this weekend. If the Falcons defense is out there, they are a great one-week pickup.

Not a problem with the advice. I was in a Signal unit when I was in the Army, but I was Motorpool. We sure didn't have a commander that would play fantasy football with us though.

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