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. *
Week 4 of the NFL season is here, and we all have fantasy teams ranging from 3-0 to 0-3, and everywhere in between. While I tend to make my additions via the waiver wire, many of you like to trade your way to fantasy domination. I thought I'd start off with a few tips and pointers for making trades.
1) Don't be afraid to send out offers. The worst they can do is say no, and the best that could happen is you get a dream deal.
2) Beware of the guy who talks down the player he is trying to trade for. If he has SO many flaws and holes in his game, why do you want him? Because he is trying to get you down to pennies on the dollar, that's why.
3) More is not better. I evaluate trades on a player-for-player basis. If I lose on say the RB swap, fine, make it up on the QB or WR swap. When you start adding players on your side to even out the one or two guys on my side, we are talking lesser quality guys who will never start over your current starters.
4) Beware of the veto. Just because you can convince him to do the deal, doesn't mean it will go through. I monitor every league I'm in because there is ALWAYS one knucklehead that will try and slip one Deliverance-style massacre by the league midseason. If you are this guy/girl, don't be mad if it gets vetoed; you tried and it didn't work.
Now, on to the real fun stuff!
Cam Newton – QB, Panthers: Cam I Am is sure to be looking to rebound from that embarrassment of a game he put in during Week 3 (16-30 passing, 242 yards, no TDs and 3 INTs). The Falcons are ranked No. 7 against the pass, but they are No. 24 against the run. Newton can run as well as any QB in league history, so I am looking for a top 10 game from Newton this weekend.
Robert Griffin III – QB, Redskins: There are two reasons why RGIII is going to be a beast this weekend: 1) The Buccaneers defense, and 2) The Redskins defense. The Bucs are dead last in the NFL against the pass (353.3 YPG allowed), and the Redskins are ranked 30th in overall defense (429.3 total YPG). The truth is the Bucs are susceptible to the pass, and the Redskins defense can't keep the offense off the field long enough to not give RGIII every chance in the world to succeed.
Cedric Benson – RB, Packers: The Saints are giving up an astonishing 215.0 YPG rushing and have allowed 6 rushing TDs, league highs in both. If there was ever a week for Benson to grab top 10 honors for fantasy RBs, this is the one. Benson is a shark, the Saints are the swimmers, and there is blood in the water!
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – RB, Bengals: The Law Firm goes up against a Jaguars defense that is allowing 154.3 YPG on the ground, and they have allowed RBs to cross the goal line five times this season (second worst in NFL). BGE has scored two times so far, but has not hit 100 yards rushing in a game this season, and last week he put up an embarrassing 38 yards on the ground. I think the Bengals coaching staff will find a way to ground-and-pound BGE to 100 yards in this one.
Vincent Jackson – WR, Buccaneers: Jackson is as inconsistent as they come (47, 128 and 29 yards receiving this season), but the Redskins pass defense is horrible and this could be a repeat of Week 2 when he torched the Giants for 128 yards and a TD. I give him a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 ranking this weekend and think 100 yards and a TD are within reach.
Jeremy Maclin – WR, Eagles: Maclin is allegedly healthy once again, and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Eagles and Michael Vick. Maclin should be covered by Corey Webster and he has been struggling. I don't think he is going to be a WR1, but 5-6 catches for 90 yards and a possible score I could see happening.
Kyle Rudolph – TE, Vikings: The Detroit Lions are giving up the second-most fantasy points to TEs this season with 20.2 PPG. Rudolph has Ponder's trust after he made a highlight-reel grab for a TD last week, so I see no reason for the Vikings not to use their red zone target again this weekend. I have Rudolph as a TE1 this weekend, and so should you.
Cincinnati Bengals Defense: WHO DEY nation knows good and well what this defense is capable of, but I'm not sure the Jaguars faithful got the memo just yet. The Jaguars are currently 30th in the NFL at offensive YPG with 268.3, and they are tied for 29th in total points scored with 52. This should be the game where the Bengals show the league what they are made of on defense and get this train back on the tracks!
Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB, Bills: Fitzpatrick tossed 3 TDs last week and that caused him to jump up 7.5 percent in NFL.com league to 22.5 percent. While that doesn't sound like much, consider the sheer number of people that play fantasy football on NFL.com, and how many "adds" it would take to move 7.5 percent.
Look, the real numbers you should be looking at is the 208 passing yards on 22-35 passing attempts against a Browns defense that is ranked 27th against the pass. This week he faces the Patriots and their 24th-ranked pass defense. I think the Pats jump out ahead and he is forced to play catch-up, which in turn will force turnovers.
Jay Cutler – QB, Bears: Chris Da Bears Fan isn't going to like this, but Cutler and the Bears face the Dallas Cowboys and their second-ranked pass defense this week. In two of his first three games, Cutler has failed to reach 200 yards passing, a stat almost unheard of for a QB in the NFL. I would much rather sit Cutler and miss on a possible good game, and take a chance on someone like Christian Ponder who is owned in just 8.3 percent of NFL.com leagues, and currently ranked No. 11 for QBs.
Chris Johnson – RB, Titans: My colleague, Jon Cope, is still a believer in CJ2K, but I have abandoned ship from the RB Titanic known as Johnson. The Texans haven't allowed a rushing TD yet this season, and are giving up just 67.7 YPG on the ground. That equates to just 3.8 YPC, and Johnson is only able to manage 1.4 YPC behind the Titans "o-lay" blocking scheme. We will either see Johnson do the impossible (unlikely), or prove me correct in my assertion that he isn't even worth owning at this point; my money is on the latter of the two.
Steven Jackson – RB, Rams: Did you know S-Jax is owned in 97.5 percent of NFL.com leagues, started in 60.3 percent of those leagues, but is ranked No. 35 for RBs? There are a LOT of FAs with better production than him on the waiver wire right now, so why do you continue to trot him out there for your fantasy squad week in and week out? The guy is like the Willie Mays of the Mets for the NFL, just wondering around lost in an anemic Rams offense. If you won't cut him, please stop starting him!
Jerome Simpson – WR, Vikings: Simpson is back from suspension and the Vikings plan on throwing him right into the mix. The problem I have is possible rust and how many targets will he see with Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph already in Ponder's good graces. I would rather sit him down than roll the dice on him in his first game this season.
Danny Amendola – WR, Rams: Amendola exploded onto the scene for many fantasy players after he hauled in 15 passes for 160 yards and a TD in Week 2. That has vaulted him to being owned in 71.6 percent of NFL.com leagues, and started in 35.4 percent of those leagues. The problem this week is he faces an underrated Seahawks defense (No. 10 in receiving yards allowed with 229.7 YPG and just 2 TDs allowed) that is still riding high after Golden Tate scored a last-second touchdown by catching the man (M.D. Jennings) who caught the ball!
Jason Witten – TE, Cowboys: Witten was targeted 6 times last week, and managed to catch just 2 of them. Overall this season he has been thrown to 19 times, with just 8 of them resulting in a catch. Until Witten gets over his manos de piedra (hands of stone in Spanish) problem, I want no part of him anywhere near my starting lineup.
Atlanta Falcons Defense: The Falcons are currently ranked No. 4 in NFL.com leagues, a surprise to me as I have focused more on their offense than their defense this season. But, as I laid out before, I think Cam I Am and the running game will set up the passing game enough to make this one a shootout. I would sit the Falcons defense and look to a defense like the Bengals (owned in 14.5 percent of NFL.com leagues) or Cowboys (34.2 percent) to fill in this week.