My Week 4 recommendations went much better than week 3. I said Deshaun Watson would score “25+ points” and he put up 33. I told you to start James White over Mike Gillislee for his PPR contributions and he scored 14 to Gillislee’s 4. I told you to not even look at Marshawn Lynch and he only scored 1 fantasy point. I even said this about a certain Dolphins QB: “I recommended him last week against the Jets secondary and he laid an 11.7 fantasy point egg on my face! Well, now he’s facing an equally bad Saints secondary who have allowed the second-most passing yards to opposing QBs this year. If _____ fails to capitalize again this year you shan’t see his name again!” As promised — that Dolphins quarterback is He-Who-Shan’t-Be-Named!
Here were a few more of my solid start suggestions from Week 4:
Carson Palmer, ARI, 28.3% starting: I recommended you grab Palmer in my Waiver Wired article this week. Here’s what I said then: “The Cardinals have now been leaning heavily on the pass with the loss of David Johnson. Palmer has 300+ yards in his past three games and has averaged a little over 17 fantasy points in that time. Week 4 he faces an Eagles team that has allowed the second most passing yards so far this year.” You know what makes Palmer’s matchup even nicer this weekend? The Eagles best pass rusher, Fletcher Cox, has been ruled out for this game. This should help a Cardinals team that has allowed the most sacks so far.
Sam Bradford, MIN, 5.6% starting: I recognize that this recommendation is a huge risk considering Bradford hasn’t played since week 1 and his game is on Monday night which gives him an extra day to heal, but you could be in danger if he doesn’t play. All reports are that Bradford is feeling a lot better and I expect him to play.
Cam Newton, CAR, 52.0%: Cold as a mother! Another waiver wired recommendation carry over is my recommendation of the Lions defense: “Don’t sleep on the Lions! They have double-digit fantasy points in every game this year. Week 5 they’ll get Cam Newton who yes, played like old Cam in week 4, but still has bouts of being inaccurate. The Lions are second in the league with 7 interceptions and will dine on inaccurate passes in this one.” Cam is already tied for 3rd with 5 interceptions and I could see him padding that total with 2 more this weekend. I also could see his stupid mouth getting in his way again.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT, 43.4%: The Jaguars have been unreasonably tough against the pass this year allowing an average of 5.3 fantasy points to opposing QBs. However, the only decent QB they’ve faced so far is Marcus Mariota in week 2 who they held to 12 fantasy points. This will obviously be the toughest matchup for the Jags defense. I think Le’Veon Bell will have a field day while Big Ben will be stuck inside in detention.
Theo Riddick, DET, 25.5%: The PPR poster boy gets his dream matchup. The Panthers have allowed the most receptions to running backs this season. While they haven’t allowed a TD yet I’m predicting Riddick finds the paint in week 5. 81.38% of Matthew Stafford’s attempts this year have been short passes which benefits Riddick, the second-most targeted receiver on the Lions.
Wayne Gallman, NYG, 4.8%: The Giants week 1 starting RB, Paul Perkins has already been labeled out for this game but Shane Vereen and Orleans Darkwa are going to be active for this game, but screw it Giants! Let’s try Gallman. Someone has to score a rushing TD besides Eli! Working in Gallman’s favor is that the Chargers have allowed the most rushing yards to RBs this year so maybe this is the week!
JD McKissic, SEA, 1.2%: The other team from LA is also bad against the rush — the Rams have allowed the 3rd most rushing yards and the most rushing TDs. With Chris Carson being done for the year and CJ Prosise’s availability being downgraded to doubtful, Eddie Lacy and McKissic are all the Seahawks have left behind Russell Wilson. I don’t think McKissic will hold off all of the Seattle running back options for the entire season, but this week against the weak defense of the Rams and their injuries, McKissic could have a big day.
Joe Mixon, CIN, 63%: We were all hoping Mixon would be our genius waiver add of the year after his 12 point game against Green Bay — but in week 4 he came back to Earth against…the Browns?! Mixon rushes 17 times for a disappointing 29 yards. This week, the fantasy football Gods are saying “I’ll give ya something to cry about!” as the Bengals face the Bills. Prior to Atlanta’s running backs busting out for 34 fantasy points against the Bills in week 4 — they had only allowed an average of 15 fantasy points to opposing RBs.
Tarik Cohen, CHI, 43.5%; Unlike Theo Riddick, this PPR dream boat should be sunk this week. The Minnesota Vikings have allowed the 2nd fewest points to fantasy RBs and have only allowed 115 yards receiving. I was tempted to tell you to sit Jordan Howard too against this Vikings defense, but didn’t want to face the abuse in the comment section!
Eagles RBs vs ARI: The Eagles RB situation is a bit fluid right now and a tough Arizona defense shouldn’t make it any more solidified. The Cardinals haven’t allowed over 100 yards to any of their first four opponents this year and have allowed the 5th fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs. And although I hope he’s healthy, Wendell Smallwood might also sit out this game.
Sterling Shepard, NYG, 28.2%: There are a few things working in Shepard and the Giants favor this week. First, the Chargers have allowed the second moss receiving TDs in 2017. Next, the Giants have only completed 6 long passes all season which is a great benefit to a short yardage slot receiver like Shepard. Finally, he’s Eli Manning’s leading red zone target getting 6 targets to Odell Beckham’s 4.
Jaron Brown, ARI, 9.4%: Hot off his 100+ yard receiving day against the 49ers, Jaron Brown is worthy of attention again in week 5. John Brown and JJ Nelson are both listed as questionable for this week’s matchup against the Eagles which should lead to a healthy dose of targets for Jaron. Combine this with the Eagles allowing the 3rd most receiving yards to WRs and the 4th most fantasy points and I’m thinking Jaron will have himself a merry little Christmas this week.
Marquise Goodwin, SF, 0.4%: Goodwin hasn’t scored in double digits all year, but I’m thinking that changes in week 5 against the Colts. Goodwin should be cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan expects Goodwin to play. Week 4 saw San Francisco’s non-Garcon WR options, Aldrick Robinson and Trent Taylor, both get double-digit targets from Brian Hoyer — even if they didn’t haul many of them in. The 49ers will get a Colts team that has allowed an average of 33.8 fantasy points to opposing WRS which makes Goodwin a good start in deep leagues.
Amari Cooper/Michael Crabtree, OAK: Originally I thought no Carr = big problem. But now Derek Carr seems to be making a miraculous recovery from a fractured freaking back. I still think the Raiders will play it safe and sit Carr for this matchup against a tough Ravens secondary that has allowed the 5th fewest yards to wide receivers. With EJ Manuel as the Raiders starting QB I want nothing to do with these two. Not to mention Amari’s surprising league leading 7 drops this season.
Martavis Bryant, PIT, 39.4%: I was very tempted to make the bold recommendation that you sit Antonio Brown but he is too good and I don’t know if I could handle the abuse in the comments section. Instead Martavis Bryant will become the sacrificial lamb on the Steelers offense. Take a look at what I wrote about Roethlisberger above and you’ll get the picture of why I’m sitting Bryant.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, NYJ, 25.2%; I told you on Monday he’d be one of my start options at TE this week: “ASJ has a healthy pair of 8 fantasy point games over the past 2 weeks and I think week 5 is when he’s really going to break out. I already know he’s going to be one of my start options in my Saturday start/sit article because he’s facing the Cleveland Browns who have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing TEs. Buy ASJ with confidence this week.” That’s me quoting me!
Antonio Gates, SD, 4.5%: I’ll be at this Giants game getting to see them go 0-5 up close and personal and Gates will be a big part of that. The Giants were already one of the worst teams against opposing TEs and then last week they really outdid themselves allowing 143 yards and 2 TDs to Cameron Brate and OJ Howard of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Gates has 6 more targets than his TE teammate Hunter Henry and they’ve both received 3 targets in the red zone with 1 TD for each of them. I’m predicting the rapport between Philip Rivers and Gates comes into play here and Gates scores another TD on Sunday.
Jason Witten, DAL, 57.3%: After week 2 Witten was the highest scoring TE in fantasy. The last 2 weeks he’s been one of the lowest scoring TEs with only a pair of 1 point games. Witten now faces a Packers team that has allowed an average of 4.8 fantasy points to opposing TEs. It’s going to be another rough week for Witten owners with Ezekiel Elliot and Dez Bryant getting a lot of attention.
Eric Ebron, DET, 21.2%: Ebron has been largely a disappointment this season with only 87 yards on 11 catches. In week 4 he actually had less targets than fellow Lions TE Darren Fells. Ebron has all the potential in the world, but with a week 5 matchup against the Panthers who’ve allowed the 4th fewest points to TEs, expect another disappointing fantasy point total.
49ers vs IND, 9.4%: The defense facing the worst offense in the league is always a good target! Here is what I wrote about the Niners in my Waiver Wired article earlier this week: “ Their impressive trio of first round d-linemen Arik Armstead (2015: 17th overall), DeForest Buckner (2016: 7th overall) and Solomon Thomas (2017: 3rd overall) each have 1 sack and old dog Elvis Dumervil has 2. Don’t sleep on this defense — they’re going to be REALLY good as they rebuild.” I think this is going to be a huge breakout game for the 49ers defense.
Seattle Seahawks vs. LA Rams, 79.6%: These Rams are killing it so far. They have the 5th highest points per game, 6th most yards per game and surprisingly find themselves at the top of the NFC West. Before their 22 fantasy point game against the Colts last week, the Seahawks D/ST were averaging 3.67 fantasy points per game. This ain’t your front-running cousin’s Seahawks! The stars are not aligning for this matchup.
Dan Bailey, DAL, 87.4%: Unlike Gould, Bailey is only averaging 5.67 fantasy points over his last 3 games. The extra point attempts should be there for Bailey but he’s only attempted 2 field goals in 3 weeks. I think the Cowboys offense will be successful against the Packers defense leading to more TDs than field goal attempts.