By Mike Cannici
Matt Ryan vs SF– Ryan is coming off a huge road win against the defending champs and division rival Saints. A knock on Matty “Ice” throughout his short career was that he didn’t play well on the road in big games but last week he answered that question with a 19-30 228yard and 2TD performance without a turnover. This week he draws the 49ers at home, which just got smacked around by Kansas City last week. San Fran has the 16th ranked pass defense and Matt Cassel threw for 250 yards and 3 scores against them. Start Matt Ryan this week, I promise it’ll be worth it.
Kyle Orton @TEN– Orton has now thrown for 295, 307 and 476 yards respectively through first 3 weeks of the season. He’s spreading the ball around and making all of his receiver’s fantasy relevant. The Titans coming into last Sunday’s contest against the Giants had ranked first against the pass, but allowed 386 yards through the air to Eli and the Giants.
Mark Sanchez @ BUF– Jets QB has produced two straight quality outings against division rivals and it should continue this week against the 18th ranked pass defense of the Bills.
Peyton Hillis vs CIN– Hillis exploded for 144 yards and a TD last week against the normally stout Baltimore run defense. Hillis appears to be the “guy” now in that Browns backfield and as a great matchup at home against the Bengals. The Bengals are allowing 104ypg on the ground and their run defense is not nearly as good as the Ravens and Hillis was able to expose them. Hillis makes for a great flex play in week 4.
Ronnie Brown vs NE– Brown didn’t have his best game during week 3(11rush-54yds) but that was against the Jets front seven and he should have a lot more success at home against the Patriots. The Pats are a currently ranked 20th against the run (119ypg) and this makes for an ideal matchup for Brown and even Ricky Williams for that matter. Brown is definitely the safer play however.
Beanie Wells @ SD– Wells made his 2010 debut last week against the Raiders and rushed for 75 yards on 14 carries. He is a great start this week and appears to be back to full strength. Get him in your lineup as he could go off this week. San Diego has held up pretty well against the run since opening night in KC, but Maurice Jones-Drew was held in check for the most part because they were getting blown out and Justin Forsett and the Seahawks just aren’t the ground and pound team that the Cardinals are. Wells is safe to get back into all lineups.
Louis Murphy vs HOU– This game can go one of two ways and regardless, Murphy will get his yards as Houston is horrific against the pass allowing a league worst 368.7 ypg. That number would be even higher had they not been blown out basically at Dallas last week. Bruce Gradkowski is also a decent matchup play this week at QB. Murphy put up 5 catches for 119 yards against the Cardinals and should at least match that this week with a score. Get him in your lineups even though he’s yet to practice this week with a bruised clavicle, all signs are pointing towards him starting.
Lance Moore vs CAR– Moore broke out this past weekend with a six catch 149 yard and 2TD performance. Moore’s most productive season to date came back in 2008 when Reggie Bush went down for a significant amount of time. Moore had a terrible 2009 but you can blame mostly injuries on that, as he appears to now be fully healthy. Grab him and start him in all leagues this week at home against the Panthers.
Malcom Floyd/Legedu Naanee vs ARI– Both these guys saw pretty consistent targets last weekend against the Seahawks and should both be viable #3WR or flex plays this week. I had stated a few weeks back you may want to stay away from these guys until one guy emerges, but after last week it would appear Rivers will spread the ball around pretty evenly between the two and even sprinkle in Buster Davis as well. The Cards pass defense is dreadful and I can see both these guys getting in the end zone. Start them both with confidence.
Joe Flacco @ PIT– Flacco finally stepped up and played very well last week, but it was against Cleveland and the Steelers have pretty much shut down everyone thus far. I don’t like Flacco’s matchup this week so hopefully you have other options to explore.
Alex Smith @ ATL– At this point Smith cannot be counted on as any more than a bye week filler. After his week 2 performance against the Saints it looked like he was beginning to turn the corner. Smith should be a decent matchup play at home, but until further notice do not start him on the road as he has been terrible in two road starts.
MarShawn Lynch vs NYJ– Not much to say here, Lynch has been the featured back the past two weeks for the Bills and will be once again, unfortunately he has a terrible matchup against the 4th ranked Jets pass defense. Keep him on your bench until next week against the Jaguars or until he gets traded to maybe the Packers? That would be a great fit.
Darren McFadden vs HOU– RUN DMC has been great thus far as the featured back, but sadly he draws the leagues 4th ranked run defense this week. I don’t think it’ll be a total dud performance, but don’t think he’s worth starting this week except in PPR formats. If he can stay healthy he should be in for a big year but not on the ground in week 4.
Laurence Maroney @ TEN– Maroney was a hot pick up last week after it was announced Knowshon Moreno would miss a few weeks. Maroney did not look very good though last week at home against a below average Colt defense. Playing at the Titans definitely doesn’t help either and I’d avoid Maroney this week like the plague.
Mike Wallace vs BAL– Wallace had 3 big catches last week resulting in 100yds and 2 TD. However, as suspect as people may think the Ravens secondary is, they are allowing the fewest passing yards per game and have allowed a long pass of 29yards this season. Wallace is a deep threat and if you can take that away from his, he has little to no value. Keep him on benches this week until Big Ben returns in week 6.
Derrick Mason @ PIT- Mason over the years has been a quality #2 or 3 WR but thus far Flacco and Mason have failed to get on the same page. he has just seven catches on the year and I don’t think he’s ready to get it rolling this coming Sunday in Pittsburgh. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, I believe is going to start eating into Mason’s targets. Don’t drop Mason just yet has he has been one of the most consistent receivers in the game the past 7-8 years, but leave him on your bench until he finds some continuity with his QB.
Nate Washington vs DEN– Washington had only 3 catches for 30 yds last week during their victory of the Giants, and have a tough matchup against Champ Bailey this week. Vince Young isn’t exactly lighting it up through the air and this team’s pace and tempo is determined by Chris Johnson. Kenny Britt is a possibility to break one deep or get a red zone target but Washington should be left on the bench in all leagues this week.
Those are my start em sit em’s for Week 4. Any questions concerning your particular team feel free to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond as quickly as possible.