With bye weeks starting to kick in, fantasy owners need to keep an even closer eye on matchups to determine the best plug-in players for their typical week to week starters. Donald Brown and Isaac Redman may not have been elite talents, but their production will still be missed by some, so who can you trust to carry your team through it all?
Against a terrible Carolina defense, Michael Turner is set for a huge week this week. He may not have exceeded 80 yards thus far this season, but all that is about to change. Keep in mind Andre Brown put up 20/113/2 against Carolina last week. Atlanta isn’t that great against the run either, however, so keep an eye on Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Stewart is expected to play this week, decreasing Williams’ value, but both have the potential for big days.
The most lucrative game for fantasy owners at running back won’t be in Atlanta though. No, Cincinnati at Jacksonville has that one covered. Both Jacksonville and Cincinatti are in the bottom five in defenses against the run this season leaving BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Maurice Jones-Drew all kinds of room. You might never see this many points put up by hyphenated names in a game ever again.
Unfortunately, Darren McFadden owners won’t be able to reap the same rewards. The Broncos have one of the toughest run defenses in the league and McFadden’s mediocre play thus far this season isn’t likely to improve any this week. Oakland relies heavily on their run game, but with Denver coming off two tough losses, they’ll look to get ahead early leaving The Raiders no choice to abandon their usual attack. McFadden could still manage 10-12 fantasy points thanks to his pass catching ability so don’t just bench him, but if you’re thinking about a trade, his value this week is higher than it will be next week.
The same can be said for any Jets running backs except Bilal Powell and Shonn Green should both spend week 4 on your bench without question. After managing 5-7 fantasy points each in week 3 against The Dolphins, The Jets now face the dreaded 49er run defense. Tebow all you want, this matchup isn’t going to get any better.
Then there’s Chris Johnson. What can owners possibly do with this overpaid sack of lazy on a team with an O-line that apparently thinks the O is a zero? Well, they can start by benching him against The Texans. If you thought he looked bad against The Lions, just you wait. CJ2YPC isn’t going anywhere in Houston. The sad part about that play on his old nickname is that I had to round up almost 1 YPC to get him to that number.
The team to watch the most closely this week is The Buffalo Bills. With CJ Spiller going down with a strained AC joint, either Fred Jackson or Tashard Choice will get the start. Obviously Jackson’s overall value is substantially higher, but if he’s still not healthy enough to return, Choice is an intriguing plug in. The Patriots are solid against the run, but if Choice is the only option The Bills have, look for him to pick up 70-80 yards and a possible TD.