5 Fantasy Players To Start or Sit for Sunday, Week 4
Come inside real quick, I think I have what you need before this week 4 in football. Not that fake week 4 football either, the kind that has you pretending like Brandon Weeden is a viable fantasy QB option. No, baby, this is the real stuff. You've got your Big Bens, your Jones-Drews, and look, the RGIII, the newest, biggest hit. You see that Arian Foster over there? That's our best stuff this week, and if you trust in him, you won't go wrong. Worried about some of these other options though, the ones on the edge? Don't worry, the Zach would never steer you wrong. Here's what you should probably know about that stuff so you don't get yourself... hurt.
I've already had to explain to a few people this past Thursday about the Eric Decker, Michael Turner, and Doug Martin. And maybe people got a little messed up on the Torrey Smith and the Dennis Pitta. TDs are, like, hard to predict man, and Smith only had the third most targets as it was. And for Pitta... well, let's just say I wasn't alone. So you trust me a bit yet? You should, because we're one of the best in the business right here. It's all about the projections.
Week 4 Start/Sit - Sunday Edition
Matt Schaub - Houston Texans
Week 4: 17.99 Projected Points (#6 Ranked QB)
Percent Started: 27.3%
Verdict: Start Him
So, undecided on the Matt Schaub, are you? Well, his fantasy points don't tell the whole story. He's only the #14 QB in terms of fantasy points with 47 in a standard league on the season, behind Andrew Luck, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Andy Dalton. But when you take a look at his efficiency stats, especially the Net Expected Points value that numberFire loves to use, his season becomes oh so pure. His +39.01 NEP gained this season ranks #4 among all QBs, helped out in large part by his excellent 4 TDs last weekend as compared to only one interception on the year. And if you don't think he's going to have his chances, think again. The Titans' defense is last - LAST! - in the entire league in defensive efficiency so far this season. Even if you're worried about his mojo wearing off by halftime due to an out-of-hand game, he may have already racked up 20 FP by that point.
Tony Romo - Dallas Cowboys
Week 4: 13.05 Projected Points (#20 Ranked QB)
Percent Started: 60.8%
Verdict: Sit Him
But that Tony Romo guy? Nah, he's got to go. Romo has been slightly efficient so far this year - his 17.64 NEP of value gained and +0.15 NEP per pass average has him ranked right in the middle of all NFL QBs. But then figure that in week 1, he gained 16.74 NEP of value against the Giants in his big game. For those of you who can't do the quick math, that means that he's gained only 0.90 NEP of value total for the Cowboys in their past two games against the Seahawks and Bucs. Granted, those are two top ten defenses in numberFire efficiency at #7 and #8, respectively, but you know what's even better? The #4 defense in terms of efficiency... which just happens to be what Mr. Romo plays this weekend in the Bears. This game should be a spotlight for Romo, especially on Monday Night Football, but I wouldn't be surprised if DeMarco Murray is the one getting interviewed after the game rather than his QB. The Bears only gave up six FP to Josh Freeman last week and 10 FP to Aaron Rodgers in week 2.
Michael Crabtree - San Francisco 49ers
Week 4: 7.00 Projected Points (#36 Ranked WR)
Percent Started: 31.0%
Verdict: Sit Him
Between Turner, Martin, Morris, and Benson, I've already talked too much about the RBs on the bubble this week. Instead, let's look at some of receiving corps action. Crabtree currently leads the 49ers in targets (24), receptions (19), and yards (183), but know the two places he's not getting play? Down the field and in the red zone. Of Alex Smith's five passing touchdowns this year, four have gone to Vernon Davis. The other went to Randy Moss, leaving Crabtree with the big oh-fer. But that's because he hasn't busted deep to make the plays himself - Crabtree is the only player in the top 40 of receiving yards with a yards per catch average at less than 10 yards. He only has one reception of over 20 yards this season, which is tied on his own team with Moss and Mario Manningham and three long receptions behind Davis. He's consistent, but consistently underwhelming. He won't give you that big time rush like Steve Johnson or Demaryius Thomas or...
Jeremy Maclin - Philadelphia Eagles
Week 4: 9.22 Projected Points (#18 Ranked WR)
Percent Started: 30.1%
Verdict: Start Him
... or this one, right here. I haven't been high on this Maclin the entire season, but this is where I start to change my tune. Michael Vick is dead last, 32nd among QBs in efficiency this season, as his -13.34 NEP means that he's played severely worse than all NFL receivers. But Vick makes up for his inefficiency by just throwing through all of his troubles; he's top five in the league in both attempts and passing yards. Maclin hasn't been the main target for Vick's throws this year, as he's third on the team behind DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek in targets. But he's been the big play specialist, with two of Vick's three passing touchdowns finding their way into his hands. He's a boom or bust candidate, but against the weak Giants defense, numberFire leans towards the boom side. His 0.51 projected receiving TDs this week is 10th among all receivers this week according to numberFire's projections.
Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys
Week 4: 5.63 Projected Points (#17 Ranked TE)
Percent Started: 51.6%
Verdict: Sit Him
In case you can't remember some things as quickly (I get those people all the time), I've already recommended Owen Daniels to your fine self. But if one goes up, another must come down, and it's Jason Witten this time. Coby Fleener looked solid against the Bears defense in week 1, but since then, it's been a bummer for those riding opposing tight ends. Jermichael Finley put up a zero - that's no fantasy points - in week 2 against Chicago after a fumble, and Lance Kendricks only looked marginally better with one fantasy point of his own in week 3. It's not like Jason Witten's been setting the world on fire this season either - his six fantasy points in three games played are less than Clay Harbor (yup), Tom Crabtree (I know), and the easily comparable Matthew Mulligan (the pride of St. Louis). There may be a week where he turns it around soon, but I don't trust this to be it.