Week four is the first time this year fantasy owners will deal with bye weeks. This week the Steelers and the Colts are off and you may be looking for replacements. I’ll try and help out with five matchups I love and five I don’t.
Matchups I Love
1. Matt Schaub (HOU) versus Tennessee
Shaub was great against Denver last week, throwing for four touchdowns. He doesn’t usually put up great numbers against bad teams like the Titans but I think the Texans realize they will need a better passing attack in order to be a serious contender. Schaub has thrown 13 touchdowns in seven games as starter against the Titans. A top-five performance next week is very possible.
2. Jacquizz Rodgers (ATL) versus Carolina
This is more of a risk but I don’t think this game will be very close considering the awful Panthers D. With the game out of reach, Atlanta won’t risk Turner, and Rodgers will get a ton of work. Last week in the Falcons’ run-away victory over San Diego, Rodgers got 15 touches to Turner’s 16; Rodgers also scored a touchdown, so if you are in need of a replacement back, Rodgers is a sneaky good play.
3. Michael Crabtree (SF) at Jets
Darrelle Revis is out for the season which leaves a significant void in the Jets secondary. Crabtree has been poised to breakout this season, catching six or more passes in each game this year. He also leads the team with 24 targets. He will find the end zone sooner rather than later and I think this is the week.
4. Owen Daniels (HOU) versus Tennessee
Daniels is leading the team in targets and tied for the team-lead in receptions with 13. For the reasons I mentioned in the Schaub segment, I anticipate a big game for Daniels. He is getting 23 percent of the team’s targets so he will get consistent work.
5. Arizona Defense/Special Teams versus Dolphins
The Arizona defense has been spectacular this season as the second-overall fantasy defense this year. The Dolphins don’t have a particularly potent offense and may be missing Reggie Bush. Also, they are available in over 80-percent of leagues! They are a must-start defense for the time being.
Matchups I don’t Love
1. Drew Brees (NO) at Packers
Brees has struggled this year with a number of factors being to blame. He has turned the ball over at an alarming rate compared to his career numbers. Green Bay forced 38 turnovers last season and has forced five early on this year. Brees has thrown five interceptions in three games. This combined with the Packer defense’s tendency to force turnovers does not bode well for Brees.
2. Michael Turner (ATL) versus Carolina
For the same reasons I love Rodgers I dislike Turner. He has gotten into the end zone the past two weeks but his value is directly tied to touchdowns. In this perceived blowout, Turner should get an abbreviated workload and thus fewer chances to score a touchdown.
3. Dez Bryant (DAL) at Bears
Dez hasn’t scored a touchdown this year and isn’t the number-one option in Dallas. He is barely even number-two considering just one target separates him, Jason Witten, and Kevin Ogletree. The Bears have played three solid games defensively this year and the Cowboys have shown that they can be shut down pretty easily. For these reasons I don’t think Dez will catch his first touchdown this week.
4. Jared Cook (TEN) at Texans
I loved Cook last week, but this week against a defense that has only allowed 90 yards and a lone touchdown to tight ends, I don’t anticipate big numbers. He averages just over five targets per game, which in conjunction with the Texans defense doesn’t seem like a recipe for a good week.
5. Jets Defense/Special Teams versus 49ers
I love Michael Crabtree so naturally I am not high on the Jets D this week. Losing Revis, as I said before, is a huge blow because he is the MVP of that team. They have forced six turnovers this season and Alex Smith’s specialty is not turning the ball over. That neutralizes the Jets’ best source of fantasy points. San Fran should cruise to victory.
That’s all for this week, I’ll be back next week with a week 4 review and week 5 preview.