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 DolphinsBrian Hartline and Davone Bess started the season off well, but they should both spend week 4 on your bench.

  1. sickmangarner says:
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    how are you feeling about Greg Jennings. Guy in my league is desperate for an RB and I could send him Alfred Morris for Jennings (which would seem like a crazy no-brainer in the pre-season and maybe still does)

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @sickmangarner, I’d say that depends on your RB situation. Morris received 17 carries last week. The next closest was 3. I think Jennings will be a consistent injury concern this season, but he’ll also get plenty of targets when he’s on the field. If you need a WR and have a plethora of RBs, the deal is probably worth doing, but I din’t think it’s a no-brainer in terms of value at this point in the season.

    • Murph says:
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      @sickmangarner,

      Sounds like a no brainer to me…Who knows when Shanahan will bench morris and and throw another running back in the mix add that to RGIII taking away from his production during designed runs Morris is high risk for the long term. Jennings will get tons of targets and has a high upside if the packers get things rolling in the passing game. ( This is the kind of trade that can make or break a playoff run in the later weeks)
      I also agree with Louden though only execute this trade if you are deep at RB and WR as there is a risk will Jennings because of the lingering injuries.

      • sickmangarner says:
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        @Murph, @Loudon Thanks guys. I’ve been speculating heavily at RB. DMC and Doug Martin are starters. Have Morris, Andre Brown, Dwyer and Hillis on bench. I should get Mendenhall on waivers this week. Not a great set of backups but there are 5 teams in our league desperate for RBs and loaded with WRs so it’s an easy place to make an improvement (even if it means taking on some risk). My WRs are Wayne and Julio Jones. Jennings would be my Flex (and it’s a PPR)

        • Murph says:
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          @sickmangarner,

          Don’t see how you can pass on that trade but you will be severly thin at RB as Brown, Dwyer and Hillis are fairly usless at this point. Jennings would complete you team in terms of WR but you are going to be hurting on the bye weeks. What RBs are up for grabs on waivers this week besides Mendenhall?

          • sickmangarner says:
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            @Murph, Bilal Powell, Jacquizz, Daniel Thomas and Choice as the only viable options (in the order I like them for long term value). I could hold tight. I’ve got Kyle Rudolph and Graham at TE and with Rudolph producing at TE, Graham makes an awesome FLEX. I have a history of getting myself in trouble by making trades that are great in isolation (i.e., I get much more than I give) but terrible in context (I leave my team short somewhere).

            • Murph says:
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              @sickmangarner,

              Yea just more speculations on waivers (no imediate impact players)

              I think you need to hold with Morris and be lucky you got him when you did, it just doesnt look like you have the depth to cover it. I hate that you would have to give this up but leaving yourself that thin at RB could crush you. You might try to counter with Andre Brown and somthing extra like a TE2 or WR3. Good luck this is a tough situation to be in.

              • sickmangarner says:
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                @Murph, thanks for the extensive advice. Good luck this weekend!

                • Murph says:
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                  @sickmangarner,

                  Not to complicate your decision but former Packers RB Ryan Grant is now a Redskin. Good luck to you as well.
                  #shanahanigans

  2. DiRo says:
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    I was offered Rivers, Ridley and Maclin for my Stafford and Lloyd. What do you guys think?

    This is a total points league, QB only gets 1 point every 50 yards but 6 for a TD, also with 3wr and 2rb with no flex. I already have McGahee, Sproles, Hillis and Mendenhall, while my wrs are Jennings, Lloyd, Boldin, Holmes and Wright, also have Gronk.

    Stafford hasnt been hot, but Rivers isnt much better. Lloyd and Maclin are a toss up, I like Ridley. I guess I could try to trade Sproles or McGahee?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @DiRo, If you needed help at RB, I’d say you should absolutely do this deal, but I still think it might favor you in the long run. Rivers is not as bad as his numbers suggest and while the same could be said for Stafford, I like the support crew Rivers has around him more. I think Lloyd has slightly more value than Maclin, but only slightly. Assuming you don’t have to drop anyone overly significant for this to happen, this could end up helping you a lot. If you can get good value for McGahee on top of that, you’ve done exceptionally well.

  3. Murph says:
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    Good choice picking agaist the Saint’s D…Much easier than betting against Arizona’s D haha

    Jokes aside though I was thinking about dropping Finley for Rudolf what are your thoughts? It looks like Finley has some tough defense match ups over the next few weeks compared to Rudolfs. I want to hold stong with Finley but it doesnt look like he is going to produce unless the Packers regain the powerhouse of a passing attack from last year. Last night they were content with letting cedric benson and aaron rogers take carries from the 1 yard line instead of spreading Finley out and taking advantage of a defensive mismatch.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Murph, Rudolph’s getting looks in the endzone for sure, but Finley is The Packers’ #1 receiver so far this season in terms of receptions. Rudolph will always play 2nd fiddle to Percy Harvin in that category. I admit Rudolph’s value appears higher currently, but if you drop Finley for him, someone else is going to snatch him up and then you’ll likely have to watch him succeed for another team. Personally, I wouldn’t drop Finley for Rudolph. I’d bet on Finley to finish the season with more fantasy points.

      • Murph says:
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        @Loudon,

        Thanks for the reassurance. I tend to agree but man does Rudolf look like the “Gronk” for the Vikings. Wish he had someone better than Ponder throwing to him.

  4. stumanji says:
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    Rolling with Cutler and Alex Smith at QB. Was offered Rivers & Donald Brown for my Leshoure. My other RBs are Murray, Martin, T-Rich, and D-Willy (start 2+Flex), so I have a little bit of depth. My only hesitancy is that Leshoure has a lot more upside and I’m not convinced that Rivers is a huge upgrade over my current QB situation.

    I also have an offer of Leshoure for Romo.

    Like either/both of these deals for me?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @stumanji, Looks to me like you’ll hardly ever use/need Leshoure. Sure, he did great one week, but he’s a complete unknown right now. Brown will at least get 80 percent of the carries every game for Indy. He might not do as much with them, but he’ll be more consistently reliable as a backup. I agree Rivers isn’t much of an upgrade from your current QB situation, but neither is Romo honestly. If you think you could sell off one of your QBs for a backup WR or something like that, I’d say the deal is in your favor.

      • stumanji says:
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        @Loudon, Thanks. Big Ben or Flacco better upgrades than Rivers? Those trades would probably be straight up for Leshoure (i.e., no extra piece like D. Brown).

        • Loudon

          Loudon says:
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          @stumanji, Without getting Brown as well, I wouldn’t say either Flacco or Big Ben are all that much of an upgrade. They’re about as inconsistent as they come.

          • Murph says:
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            @Loudon,

            So inconsistent is….

            245 yrds 2TD 1 INT
            275 yrds 2TD 0 INT
            384 yrds 4TD 0 INT

            Big Ben through week 3 #4 Ranked QB in points (Standard Scoring)

            Upcoming Matchups (Pretty Easy Schedule and could have a monster year)

            Week 6: Titans
            Week 7: Bengals
            Week 8: Redskins
            Week 9: Giants
            Week 10: Chiefs

            • Loudon

              Loudon says:
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              @Murph, 3 weeks does not a season make.

              Last year against:
              Titans: 228 yds 1TD 1INT
              Bengals: 245 yds 1TD 1INT
              Bengals (again): 176 yds 1TD 1INT
              Chiefs: 193 yds 1TD 1INT

              He also started last year with three games over 280 passing yards.

              Big Ben was the #13 QB off the board in average drafts for a reason. You can’t rely on him at all. Keep in mind they get Mendenhall back soon. Maybe he’ll boost their struggling run game? You just can’t know.

              • Murph says:
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                @Loudon,

                Very true, I’ve just been impressed and I think as long as the run game struggles the passing game will flourish. I also feel that last years stats are a bit skewed with the lingering ankle injury to Ben. Bottom line I agree that productive QB’s are a rare find this year and it doesnt make sense to trade a bad one for another bad one. We can’t know and thats what makes this fun, either way I think the steelers will be an intresting team to keep an eye on in terms of fantasy value.

                • stumanji says:
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                  @Murph @Loudon, Good dialogue, guys. I’m still mulling over my trade options. I’ve reached out to Rodgers owner and he said he’d possibly be interested in A-Rod for a RB. I’ve offered up Trent or Martin (maybe plus other minor pieces). Might give up Murray if he asked for it.

                  • Murph says:
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                    @stumanji,

                    I doubt you can get Rogers for either but if you can that’s an automatic yes. The only advice I can give is to not panic about your QB situation. You drafted RB and WR heavy knowing this was a possibility but let those strengths carry you don’t trade them away just because Cutler had a few rough games. Keep in mind Forte is due back within a few weeks which will take some of the pressure off cutler and give him one of his favorite targets back. I would hold until you get an offer that is better than all QBs currently listed. Seems like other owners are recognizing your panic and are looking to take advantage of it.

                  • Loudon

                    Loudon says:
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                    @stumanji, I agree with everything @Murph said. It’s still only 3 weeks in. If you have clear needs, address them, but don’t let a bad week or two or an early losing record allow people to take advantage of you.

    • Murph says:
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      @stumanji,

      I dont like this one bit…If you are having QB issues this isn’t the answer to your problems basically you are trading Leshoure for Brown. Leshoure has a ton of upside on a Lions team that struggling passing the ball compared to 2011 and Brown is on a pass happy offense thats trying to show off Andrew Luck’s talent. You should hold until his value rises or until you can afford to let T-Rich go for a Top 10 QB. Roll with Cutler as he has fairly good matchups over the next few weeks. (Jax, Det, Car, Ten) and should put up good numbers as he did against the Colts. I say hold on Leshoure if he busts you really don’t loose all that much, if you trade and he blows well thats just going to hurt.

  5. Pops says:
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    Besides Finley, are there any tight ends that you like with favorable matchups?

    • Prezii says:
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      @Pops, if myers from oakland is good to go (concussion) he could be a sleeper no one expects this week. Denver pretty generous to tight ends… Something to keep an eye on if you are playing waiver roulette with TE’s..

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Pops, Owen Daniels, Kyle Rudolph and Tony Gonzalez are all in extremely favorable matchups for TEs. My personal sleeper pick would be Kellen Davis on The Bears. He’s been very quiet thus far, but he scored a TD against The Packers who are weak against the TE and against Dallas on Monday night, he could have another score with 3-4 receptions.

  6. barker says:
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    8 team league .5 ppr– im 0-3 doin bad

    two interesting waiver wire guys fred jackson and leshoure

    im #1 waiver guy who you picking up out of them and who to drop

    My rb CJ0K t rich AD beanie
    my wrs fitz dez desean colston cobb crabtree

    i guess it comes down to cobb or beanie for one of them two WW guys

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @barker, I’d probably drop Cobb and pick up Leshoure. Jackson is the MUCH safer pick, but with an 0-3 start, you’re looking for a home run to turn things around. CJ0K still has value and could still produce if The Titans figure things out. Jackson will be the starter in Buffalo, but all his injury did was show the team how much depth they really have at the RB position. Spiller and Choice will likely both be more involved in that offense whenever they aren’t injured.

      With Jackson coming back from an injury himself, who’s to say how quickly he’ll return to form? I wish you could pick them both up as I’m sure you do.

  7. FranktheTank says:
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    Better D/ST to start week 4? NYG or Philly?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’d lean NYG but I don’t really like the matchup on either side of the ball right now.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @FranktheTank, I’m with Sky on this. Both teams are likely to get an INT or 2 (or 4), but these teams know each other really well and D/ST can suffer when that’s the case.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Sorry about that, Loudon. Was on wordpress and answering things in succession and didn’t see this one wasn’t mine!

        • FranktheTank says:
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          @Loudon,

          Thanks I’ll just go with Philly and hope for the best. Theres no D/ST out there on waivers worth picking up this week.

  8. Arjun says:
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    0.5 PPR, which 5 to start (2 rb, 2 wr, 1 flex): M. floyd, Desean jackson, sproles, murray, jennings, ridley

    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Arjun, Desean Jackson and Ridley are the two to consider benching. I think Desean has a higher ceiling this week, but also a lower floor. If it were me, I think I’d bench Ridley. The Eagles will be passing a lot and Maclin will be back on the field which helps Jackson’s value.

  9. DDT says:
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    Looking to add BYE week WR depth. Worth dropping LaFell for Lance Moore or Denarius Moore? Both are available on my waiver wire.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @DDT, I think Lance Moore has more upside than LaFell. That’s the Moore I’d choose.

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