Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 4 Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Week 4 is here and so are team byes. The teams with a bye this week are the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams, and Seattle Seahawks. Between injuries to key players and players that are unavailable during their bye week, you could be scrapping the bottom of the roster trying to field a fantasy team. There are some good matchups and good potential for spot starts this week, so let’s take a look at players to start and sit in Week 4.

Have Start/Sit questions for Week 4? Feel free to send in a question or tweet @PDWonderland

Start ‘Em

Philip Rivers (QB, San Diego Chargers) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Rivers hasn’t gotten off to the roaring start that he’s seen in some recent years, but he’s relatively quietly the #7 fantasy QB in 2014 through three games. Week 4 is as good of a matchup as you can ask for as the Chargers will be facing a Jaguars defense that is giving up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. No brainer.

Kirk Cousins (QB, Washington Redskins) vs. New York Giants

Cousins put up ridiculous numbers in his Week 3 2014 starting debut. He stands to have two good weeks in a row as Washington will be facing a suspect New York Giants defense. The Giants are giving up an average of 18.1 fantasy points to opposing QBs. That’s the 7th most in the NFL.

Donald Brown (RB, San Diego Chargers) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Again, the Jags defense isn’t very good. With Mathews out and Danny Woodhead injured, Brown is going to see the vast majority of work. He had a whopping 31 carries and 5 receptions in Week 3. Look for the trend to continue. The combination of volume and potential against a bad defense is going to be working in his favor in Week 4. He’s a must start.

Ahmad Bradshaw (RB, Indianapolis Colts) vs. Tennessee Titans

Despite the fact that he’s coming off the bench, Bradshaw is putting up sneaky fantasy RB1 numbers. He’s the #6 fantasy running back in standard formats and is averaging 14 points per game. Bradshaw and the Colts will be facing a Titans defense that is giving up an average of 23.1 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs, so the matchup is more than favorable.

Pierre Garcon (WR, Washington Redskins) vs. New York Giants

Garcon has had three 100 yards games in his last 10 football games, and all three were with Kirk Cousins at the helm. He’s on the same page with Cousins, and that bodes well going into a nice matchup against the Giants. NYG is giving up an average of 30.2 fantasy points to wideouts. That’s third worst in the NFL. Garcon is a very good start this week.

Michael Crabtree (WR, San Francisco 49ers) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Crabtree put up a bad Week 1, but has been solid since. In the last two weeks he’s put up 17 receptions for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s also had a rush attempt for 4 yards. Week 4 provides a great matchup against an Eagles defense that is giving up the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers. He’s a must start.

Antonio Gates (TE, San Diego Chargers) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The offseason hype train carrying Ladarius Green news was out of control, and for some reason Antonio Gates was forgotten in many fantasy leagues. He’s long in the tooth, but has shown that he still has the skills to make big plays. He’s averaging over 10 points per game and is the #4 fantasy tight end in 2014. Gates and the Chargers are facing a bad Jacksonville defense, so opportunities should abound. He’s a solid Week 4 start at TE.

San Diego Chargers D/ST vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

While the Chargers defense hasn’t been anything too special through three games, they have an excellent matchup in Week 4. The Jags are giving up the most fantasy points in the NFL to opposing defenses.

Sneaky IDP Start of the Week:  Curtis Lofton (LB, New Orleans Saints)

Lofton has tallied 24 tackles over the first three weeks and Week 4 should give him plenty of opportunities against a Dallas team that has been handing the ball off to DeMarco Murray at an alarming rate. Lofton is solid in run defense and he’s still rangy enough to make key tackles on pass plays as well. Assuming his sore shoulder doesn’t keep him out in Week 4, he’s a nice sneaky start at IDP if you’re needing help.

Sit ‘Em

Tom Brady (QB, New England Patriots) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

It’s hard to believe that Tom Terrific is making it into the Sit ‘Em list, but 2014 has not seen a good start for the Patriots’ QB. Brady is the #27 fantasy quarterback through three games this season, and in Week 4 he’s going to have a terrible matchup against a Chiefs defense that is giving up the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. He’ll most certainly bounce back at some point, but this isn’t the week to chance the start.

Darren Sproles (RB, Philadelphia Eagles) vs. San Francisco 49ers

Sproles was hot in Week 2 and everyone flocked to him, but in Week 3 many fantasy owners were disappointed as neither LeSean McCoy or Sproles had a good week. Going into Week 4 it’s another bad matchup. The Niners are giving up the second fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Add that to the fact that McCoy is still the primary back for Philly and Sproles plays more of the ‘joker’ role, it’s probably a good week to calm down on the expectations from Sproles. He’s a big play guy and will have up and down weeks. This week isn’t a good one to count on him.

James Jones (WR, Oakland Raiders) vs. Miami Dolphins

Jones had a nice start to the season and was a big Week 3 waiver wire darling, but he just hasn’t had the matchups in the last two weeks to allow fantasy owners to rely on him. In Week 4 he’s going to be facing a Dolphins defense that is giving up the third fewest points to wideouts. Combine that with a rookie QB, and it isn’t a good week to chance Jones.

Heath Miller (TE, Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. Tampa Bay Bucs

Miller has perennially been a reasonable tight end start, but he’s been on a sharp decline in 2014. He stands to bounce back at some point, but right now it’s time to sit him down. In his last 10 home games versus NFC opponents he’s put up shoddy numbers and has only scored 1 touchdown. It’s time to look elsewhere.

Dallas Cowboys D/ST vs. New Orleans Saints

The Dallas defense hasn’t really been as bad as everyone has been expecting. Many considered them to be one of the leagues worst defenses due to injury woes, but they’ve surprisingly been a top 10 fantasy D/ST. That said, Week 4 could get ugly fast. The Saints offense has too many weapons for the Dallas defense to keep up with. Couple that with the fact that they just aren’t equipped to handle Jimmy Graham, and you have a problem. Don’t be fooled by their top 10 status, this D/ST is a must sit in Week 4.

K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...