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Good Call/Bad Call - Week 4

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We got a lot of our Week 3 questions answered last weekend and here are the results: Yes, you should be sitting Chris Johnson (33 rushes, 45 yards). Yes, Wes Welker and Jamaal Charles are going to be fine for fantasy football. Yes, Martellus Bennett and Danny Amendola are more than just a couple of short trends and should be started if you own them. Week 4 starts the the bye weeks, so start paying attention to that and plan ahead if you’ve got a kicker or defense with a bye coming up soon. That’s all I’ve got for advice for you this week. Now on to this week’s calls.

Quarterbacks

Philip Rivers hasn’t looked like himself this year fantasy-wise, but I think this is the week that he turns it around for you. Rivers is in the Top 10 in completion percentage (67 percent) this year, but his yards per attempt are in the bottom third of starting quarterbacks (25th of 32). Rivers plays Kansas City, which ranks near the bottom of the barrel against quarterbacks this year. The Chiefs have given up three touchdowns in two of their three games this year, and Rivers should be no different. If you’ve been waiting for a chance to play Rivers, this is the week to get him into your starting lineup as a ‘good call.’

Peyton Manning has been just outside of what would be considered a startable quarterback in 12-team leagues, ranking as the 14th overall quarterback in Sharks leagues. This is the week he’ll be moving up the rankings. Manning gets to play the Oakland Raiders in Denver, and Oakland ranks 28th overall in points given up to quarterbacks this year. Ben Roethlisberger had four touchdown passes against the Raiders just last week, and that was in Oakland. Manning would be a ‘good call’ for you to be starting this week as I expect him to throw for 300-plus yards and three touchdowns.

The Dallas Cowboys made some moves in the offseason to upgrade their defense, and I’d say it’s working. The Cowboys defense ranks as the hardest for quarterbacks to go against this year. That should make things pretty tough for Jay Cutler this week. Cutler has the fourth-worst completion percentage of any starting quarterback so far this season, and he has been sacked 11 times. While most of this blame probably lies on the Chicago offensive line, that doesn’t mean you should be starting Cutler this week. He’s definitely a ‘bad call’ to be in your fantasy lineup.

If Dallas is the hardest defense for quarterbacks to go against, Chicago’s is the second hardest. This game on Monday night is going to be filled with sacks and turnovers if I had to guess how the game was going to go. Tony Romo has been getting his yards but he has almost as many touchdowns (four) as he has interceptions (three). Against a tough Bears defense I’d say he’s a ‘bad call’ this week.

Running Backs

New Orleans has been getting run all over this year. Right now the Saints rank dead last in points allowed to running backs. That means that Cedric Benson should have a good game this week. The last two weeks, Benson has had his number called for more than 20 plays each game. It appears that Benson is the running back to own in Green Bay. The New Orleans Saints have given up a league-worst 645 yards on the ground and 5.0 yards per carry to the running backs they’ve faced this year. I’d have no problem saying Benson would be a ‘good call’ to be in your lineup this weekend.

Mikel Leshoure looked good in his first ever NFL game last weekend. He had 26 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown, as well as four catches for 34 yards. He’s going to be the workhorse running back in Detroit from here on out. Kevin Smith didn’t even touch the ball once last week. That says a lot about how Detroit is going to be using Leshoure in its offense. Leshoure gets a matchup that’s tougher on paper than it is on the field. The Minnesota Vikings are the top defense against running backs this year. They haven’t allowed a single rushing touchdown yet, but I think Leshoure gets into the end zone in his first home game this weekend. Leshoure gets a ‘good call’ in my book.

Someone you need to stay away from this week is Stevan Ridley. Ridley’s rushing attempts have been dropping every week from 21 to 18 to 13. This is easily explained. The New England Patriots have been using more three wide receiver sets ever since Aaron Hernandez got hurt. When they deploy their three wide receiver sets Danny Woodhead becomes the ball carrier and Ridley gets to ride the pine. Ridley will come back to relevance as soon as Hernandez is back and the Patriots get back to their two tight end sets, but until then Ridley is a ‘bad call’ to be in your lineup.

Reggie Bush flopped last week, and I think he’s going to flop again this week. Bush has to run against the tough Arizona Cardinals defense. The Cardinals haven’t allowed a single rushing touchdown this year, and no running back has broken the 100-yard rushing mark against them yet. Bush had a huge Week 2, but in weeks one and three he’s had just 69 and 61 rushing yards, respectively. This is not the week you want to be starting Bush. He’s a ‘bad call’ this week.



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