Fantasy Football, Weekly Preview

Fantasy Preview Week 4: Do or Die

Last week I opened my NFL league 0-3, and I’ve done the same this year, but now’s the time to turn things around. I’ve got a tough matchup and didn’t have an electric game from Jeremy Hill on Thursday night, but can I finally pull off a victory?

Meltdowns Player Team Points
QB Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts
RB1 Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings
RB2 Jeremy Hill Cincinatti Bengals 7.10
WR1 Sterling Shepard New York Giants
WR2 Brandon Marshall New York Jets
TE Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots
FLEX Terrelle Pryor Sr. Cleveland Browns
K Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts
DST Arizona Cardinals
BN Doug Martin Tampa Bay Bucs 0.00
BN Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills
BN Chris Ivory Jacksonville Jaguars
BN Darren Sproles Philadelphia Eagles BYE
BN Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles BYE
BN Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers BYE

New additions this week include Darren Sproles and Terrelle Pryor Sr. Sproles’s usage is no fluke, so rather than wait until next week and have him snatched out from under me, I decided to drop Duke Johnson Jr.. Johnson would’ve likely sat on my bench again this week, and it’s arguable that he doesn’t even need to be owned in a 10-team league, even with the dearth at RB.

I’d much rather have his Cleveland Browns peer Pryor (upgrading from a Jr. to a Sr.), who now looks poised to be quite literally the only options the Browns have. In Week 3, sans RGIII and Josh McCown, Pryor played as a receiver, a running back AND a quarterback. Pryor caught in eight of 14 passes for 144 yards, he rushed 21 yards and a touchdown on four carries and completed three of five passes for 35 yards as QB. I would’ve added him in my other league as well, but he was already owned, and I’ll be playing against him this week as well as starting him. Just my luck.

Beyond those additions, my options were somewhat limited this week. Both Jordans, Nelson and Matthews, are on Bye this week. With Tyrod Taylor playing New England this week, and with Sammy Watkins officially out for eight weeks, his days as my backup QB may be numbered. You don’t love Jerick McKinnon’s matchup against the Giants, but anything can happen in primetime on Monday night, and the Vikings are looking like a Super Bowl contender even without Adrian Peterson.

With Eric Decker also officially ruled out for Week 4, here’s hoping Brandon Marshall finally has a bounce back week. He could be shadowed all day by Richard Sherman, and the Seattle defense could give Ryan Fitzpatrick some more trouble as well, Fitzy having coughed up five picks last week.

Finally there’s Gronk. Both of his backup QBs are listed as questionable this week, but a report suggests that Jimmy Garoppolo will be starting in place of Jacoby Brisset, which should improve his value (although I can’t exactly explain why that would be. I guess he liked Martellus Bennett in Week 2?). In this league, I currently don’t even own a backup TE, having dropped Eric Ebron. If Gronk, also listed as questionable doesn’t go, then I’ll be making a last minute roster switch.

Wildcats Player Team Points
QB Kirk Cousins Washington Redskins
RB1 Lamar Miller Houston Texans
RB2 Jordan Howard Chicago Bears
WR1 Kelvin Benjamin Carolina Panthers
WR2 Jamison Crowder Washington Redskins
WR3 Sterling Shepard New York Giants
TE Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots
K Cairo Santos Kansas City Chiefs
DST Seattle Seahawks
BN Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers BYE
BN Ryan Tannehill Miami Dolphins  6
BN Duke Johnson Jr. Cleveland Browns
BN Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles BYE
BN Dennis Pitta Baltimore Ravens
BN Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs

That’s less of a concern in my Yahoo/PPR league, where I happen to own Dennis Pitta in the event that Gronk can’t go. He’s just on the border of the TEs I would consider starting over Gronk even if he DID play.

I have a similar question regarding Jamaal Charles, who has been confirmed to make his return to the Chiefs this week against Pittsburgh. With his injury, he’s somewhat the guy who you want to wait and see with, and I like new addition Jordan Howard’s matchup against the Detroit Lions. He’s an untested rookie following Jeremy Langford’s injury with the Bears, but Howard has a lot of potential, and he could be a Top 20 play at RB.

I’m going all in on Washington against the Browns this week. Kirk Cousins has been inconsistent and frustrating to say the least, but has still shown the potential to have a monster week. I’ve also added Jamison Crowder as a fill in for Randall Cobb. The guy I dropped in his place, Tyler Boyd, only managed two points following AJ Green’s insane game. Boyd could still be a valuable player soon to emerge, but when your team is 1-2, I’m not waiting around to find out when that will be.

The question is whether Kelvin Benjamin can recover from his embarrassing zero last week. The fact that they’re playing against Atlanta suggests they will, but then Atlanta has looked pretty solid recently and will almost certainly outperform Carolina in the ground game. Thankfully or not, I’m playing against Cam Newton in both leagues this week, so I’m not exactly looking for this week to be the week he proves why he’s the #1 QB in the league again.

Sorry I missed last week’s recap! I’ll be back next week hopefully with some wins to report.

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