Week 4 Start'em/Sit'em Decisions


Must Plays: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton (Bye), Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan


Andrew Luck (IND) @JAC--Through the first three weeks of the season Luck has been a solid fantasy quarterback, scoring in the top 10 among fantasy quarterbacks. This week he faces off against the Jaguars, who have allowed the seventh most fantasy production to opposing quarterbacks in standard leagues. The Colts will likely have a more balanced offensive attack moving forward after the addition of Trent Richardson, which will allow the receivers to get open more downfield, increasing Luck's fantasy value, including in Week 4. 

Andy Dalton (CIN) @ CLE--While Dalton may not be a top option for Week 4, he should certainly get some consideration heading into this week's matchup with the Browns. In his young career, Dalton has dominated the Browns, throwing eight touchdowns to only four interceptions. The Bengals offense has looked very good through the first three weeks of the season, so I expect to see much of the same this week. 


Matt Schaub (HOU) vs. SEA--There really isn't much analysis for this selection, as the Texans welcome the Seahawks to Houston this Sunday. The Seahawks have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, giving up only one touchdown to five interceptions in the early going. There are plenty of solid options available, so start looking now because this one will be ugly. 

Eli Manning (NYG) @ KC--The Giants have been horrible through the early portion of the season, with Manning being the worst of the group. Manning has throw for only one touchdown since his four-touchdown performance in Week 1, totaling 11 interceptions along the way. The Chiefs enter Sunday as the highest scoring defensive group, while allowing the sixth fewest fantasy production to opposing quarterbacks making Manning a terrible start this week. 

Running Backs

Must Plays: Adrian Peterson,  Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, Alfred Morris, Marshawn Lynch, Matt Forte, Trent Richardson, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, Doug Martin


Ahmad Bradshaw (IND) @ JAC--Don't let the addition of Trent Richardson scare you away from Bradshaw. As we saw in Week 3, the Colts are going to split the carries between the two backs, which is a system that Bradshaw is used to from his days with the Giants. The Jaguars defense has now allowed back-to-back 100-plus rushing yards to opposing running backs, and this week should make the third as the Colts appear committed to the ground game. 

Darren McFadden (OAK) vs. WAS--McFadden enters Week 4 as the 10th highest scoring running back in standard leagues, and could put up his best performance of the year against the vulnerable Redskins defense. Through the first three weeks of the season, the Redskins have allowed the third-most fantasy production to opposing running backs, including a touchdowns in all three games. One more good game could put McFadden on the "must-start" list moving forward, and I think that happens after Sunday's performance. 

Bilal Powell (NYJ) @ TEN--With Chris Ivory sidelined with yet another hamstring injury, the Jets will look to Powell to build off of his 149-yard performance from a week ago. The Titans have allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushers and probably would have allowed three in a row, had the Steelers not lost their starting center in Week 1. With a rookie quarterback under center, the Jets should continue to rely heavily on the ground, which should result a second consecutive big game for Powell. 


Chris Johnson (TEN) vs. NYJ--Johnson is off to yet another lackluster season, totaling only 256 rushing yards and zero touchdowns through the Titans first three games. This week Johnson faces off against a Jets defense that has allowed the third-fewest fantasy production to opposing running backs, having yet to allow a 100-yard rusher. If Johnson was still a factor in the passing game I might think differently about his chances to succeed this week, but hauling in only two catches on the season is nothing to brag about. 

Stevan Ridley (NE) @ ATL--There aren't many other players outside of Ridley that I am more frustrated with, and this is not looking the like the week where I change my mind. Last week we saw Brandon Bolden step up and be the most productive back out of the Patriots backfield, and if he is active on Sunday, will likely take snaps away from Ridley once again. In standard leagues, injured teammate Shane Vereen has more fantasy points than Ridley, and he hasn't played since Week 1. What does that say about Ridley in 2013?

C.J. Spiller (BUF) vs. BAL--I never thought I would be saying this, but Fred Jackson, not Spiller, looks like the better running back in Buffalo. No one anticipated the split backfield from the Bills after much hype over Spiller this preseason, but things have changed now, making Spiller expendable on a weekly basis. This week the Bills take on the Ravens, who have allowed the least production to opposing running backs, having yet to allow a rushing touchdown. If the Bills want to win this game it will be on the arm of EJ Manuel, not through the ground game. 

Wide Receivers

Must Plays: Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson (If Active),  Randall Cobb (Bye), Victor Cruz, Reggie Wayne, DeSean Jackson 


Torrey Smith (BAL) @ BUF--After being labeled a "boom or bust" type of player a season ago Smith has started to show consistency on a weekly basis as he emerges as a top wide receiver in the league. Although he has yet to find the end zone, Smith has hauled in at least four receptions for no less than 85 yards through three weeks, as he continues to work on his route running rather than just being a burner downfield. The Bills have allowed the fourth most fantasy points-per-game to opposing wide receivers thus far, including two games in which they have allowed multiple touchdowns. I say Smith gets touchdown No. 1 on Sunday. 

Pierre Garcon (WAS) @ OAK--The Redskins may be underperforming thus far in 2013, but it isn't because of their top wide receiver. Robert Griffin continues to target Garcon heavily in the early going, totaling at least seven catches in all three of the Redskins losses. Granted, the Redskins have been down early in most games, but they will need to pass the ball a lot on Sunday if they want to escape the Black Hole with a victory. 

Eric Decker (DEN) vs. PHI--Outside of the Redskins, the Eagles have allowed the most fantasy production to opposing wide receivers, which has to have the Broncos receiving core salivating heading into Week 4. We all know the Broncos love to pass the ball, so unless they get a huge lead in this one, expect big numbers from the usual suspects in the Broncos offense. 


Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) @ TB--Although Fitzgerald is a must-start on almost all occasions, this week he has a reservation on Revis Island, where most who visit aren't heard from until the following week. I know it is tough to bench most likely your top wide receiver, but it has to be done, considering Darrelle Revis appears to be back at 100 percent. 

Marques Colston (NO) vs. MIA--Don't look now, but the Dolphins are 3-0 and a lot of that credit has to be given to the defensive side of the ball. The Dolphins have limited opposing receivers to the third fewest fantasy points heading into Week 4, limiting the No. 1 receivers in all of those contests. Brian Grimes will be all over Colston in this one, forcing Drew Brees to target the other options in the passing game, so you have another option it would be wise to consider it for this week. 

Greg Jennings (MIN) vs. PIT--Jennings continues to be almost non-existent in the Vikings offense, making him likely the biggest bust among those who signed new contracts this past offseason. This week he is will be blanketed by Ike Taylor, who has been a beast thus far in 2013, so don't expect the ball to come his way too often in this contest. 

Tight Ends

Must Plays: Jason Witten, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski (If Active), Vernon Davis, Greg Olsen, Tony Gonzalez


Antonio Gates (SD) vs. DAL--I will admit, I was not high on Gates heading into the start of the season, but the new offense in San Diego appears to be a great fit for Gates and the rest of the Chargers passing game. Gates enters Week 4 as the eight-highest scoring tight end, having found the end zone for the first time last Sunday. The Cowboys allowed 10 receptions to the Rams tight ends a week ago, so expect the Chargers to try and exploit what they watched from last week, making Gates a solid play this week and beyond. 

Heath Miller (PIT) vs. MIN--Big Ben's safety blanket is finally back, after undergoing knee surgery in the offseason. He was used to block more than normal in Week 3, but that will likely not be the case when they take on the Vikings on Sunday. The Vikings allowed three touchdowns to Jordan Cameron a week ago, and don't think the Steelers won't have the same plan when they travel across the pond. There are clearly other options better than Miller, but it you are either a Jermichael Finely or Greg Olsen owner, Miller is the type of player to try and plug in while your top guy is on a bye-week. 


Owen Daniels (HOU) vs SEA--As mentioned in the Matt Schaub write-up, the Seahawks are coming to down, and that only means trouble for the Texans offense. The Seahawks have allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, having yet to allow a touchdown to the group. Daniels is usually a solid start most weeks, but this is the week to explore other options. 

Brandon Myers (NYG) @ KC--The Giants just aren't playing good football right now, and this week's matchup will only make matters worse. Not only have the Chiefs been able to stop opposing wide receivers, they have allowed the second-fewest fantasy production to tight ends. While I think Myers is a solid tight end for the remainder of the season, this week he should be avoided, along with the rest of the Giants offense. 

Defense/Special Teams

Must Plays: Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals


Kansas City Chiefs Defense vs. NYG--In case you weren't aware, the Chiefs defense is the best defense in all of fantasy football through the first three weeks of the season. This week they welcome the 0-3 Giants to Arrowhead Stadium, which should result in another great performance from this group. It is hard enough playing in Arrowhead, let alone when your team has hit rock bottom. It is a must-win game for the Giants, but without a solid ground attack the Chiefs should be be able to contain Eli Manning and the Giants receiving core all game long. 


New England Patriots Defense @ ATL--The Falcons may be banged up, but when playing at home, this team has extra motivation in front of their home crowd. The Patriots defense is coming off of a solid outings last week, having allowed only seven points to the Buccaneers, but this is a much better offensive group, with a top level quarterback. There are a few under-the-radar defenses to target for Week 4, so if you are planning on going with the Patriots, I recommend exploring other options. 

Be sure to join me live in Rotoinfo.com's new chat room before setting your lineup every Sunday as I answer all your last minute start/sit decisions. Live From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m Sunday morning.

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Matthew Beck is a Fantasy Sports Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at matthewbeck@rotoinfo.com.  Also follow him on Twitter @MatthewRBeck for up-to-date Q&A and fantasy information.  And, to make setting your Fantasy Football lineup easy, be sure to utilize RotoInfo.com’s new NFL Lineup Grids.


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About Matthew Beck

Accomplished chef, journalist and dedicated fantasy sports player. When Matt's not in the kitchen, he's preparing the recipe for fantasy sports success. He is...The Fantasy Chef. 

Matthew Beck on Twitter

@waldemarjr15 thanks a lot man! Now off to Hawaii!

@Bighomie586 i would go with wayne now that it looks like aj green is going to play

@Sky_Razzball yea its goong to go right down to the end...best of luck the rest of the way

@FantasyAlarm #NFL Waiver Flavor column is now up...thoughts on Cousins, Davis, Sanu and much more http://t.co/AICmibgPbb

The first @FantasyAlarm #NFL Waiver Flavor column is up...thoughts on Gordon, Locker, Forsett and much more http://t.co/m5sMNKjsYW