The phrase “any given Sunday” is thrown around a lot for a good reason. Every player in the NFL is there because they were one of the best available so every NFL team is certainly equipped with the potential to beat any other team. Why do I bring this up?
Matchups are definitely important, but any team can have a good game or a bad game. No one gave the Cardinals a chance at the start of the season and now they’re in the top 5 of almost everyone’s power rankings. Things change, just asktThe Jets. No more Revis island talk this year.
There are teams, however, that are definitely decidedly better than others due to a plethora of factors. If two NFL teams were to play each other 20 times, it is unlikely any team would win all 20, but there are certainly matchups that might end 17-3 over that stretch.
One such matchup this year is the Browns at the Ravens this Thursday night. With Joe Haden serving game three of his four-game suspension this week, Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta are both likely to reap the benefits. If The Ravens get up early, they may stick to the ground game, but The Browns have enough weapons to keep things interesting. Look for both Smith and Pitta to exceed 12 points in standard scoring leagues. I would rank them both even higher in PPR.
Jordy Nelson is also slated for a huge week 4. In three weeks, The Packers have faced three solid defenses, but The Saints will prove to be much easier. With a game that will likely be high scoring, Aaron Rodgers will call in the air support. Jermichael Finley also has a higher upside this week, but Nelson will prove to be Rodgers’ favorite target in this shootout.
Another team’s favorite target this year has been Malcolm Floyd. With over 150 yards more than the next closest receiver already this season, Floyd should see over 100 yards when the Chargers invade Kansas City. Start him with complete confidence.
There’s always a downside though. After hauling in 25 passes in just three games, Danny Amendola owners are likely riding high on their late round flier or early waiver wire claim, but against the Seahawks, they should limit their expectations. He likely won’t even match the five catches for 66 yards he managed against The Bears last week.
Also, even though Nate Washington is clearly one of Jake Locker’s favorite receiver, he’ll have a tough time breaking free against Houston. Chris Johnson has been a non-factor this far into the season leaving the Texans plenty of time to focus on the pass. Peyton Manning may have managed 26 completed passes last week, but Jake is no Peyton yet.
Finally, after witnessing the Cardinals pick apart the offenses of three perfectly capable opponents, look for them to continue their winning ways against The Dolphins. Brian Hartline and Davone Bess started the season off well, but they should both spend week 4 on your bench.