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2009 Start/Bench List Week 4

Three was the magic number last week. Matt Schaub and Jay Cutler threw for three touchdowns while Aaron Rodgers and Kevin Kolb also had three scores by way of two passing and one rushing. Maurice Jones-Drew joined the party with three scores himself. While Peyton Manning may have started the party a week early with his four TD passes, don’t expect as many scores this week. The bye weeks have begun and the Studs lists have been adjusted.

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.



Bye Weeks:

Arizona,

Atlanta,

Carolina,

Philadelphia

Quarterbacks

Bye Weeks: Kurt Warner, Matt Ryan, Jake Delhomme, Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb

Studs

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. N.Y. Jets

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Seattle

Philip Rivers, San Diego at Pittsburgh

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Minnesota

Tom Brady, New England vs. Baltimore

Start

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh vs. San Diego: Despite the rejuvenation of the Steelers running game, Roethlisberger will have plenty of chances to air it out on Sunday. The Chargers pass defense isn’t as good as the stats currently show.

San Diego has played

Oakland,

Miami and

Baltimore, who despite Joe Flacco’s surprising start, pale in comparison to the defending Super Bowl champs. Look for Big Ben to use Willie Parker to establish the run early, but the passing game will lead the offensive ways for

Pittsburgh this week.

Jay Cutler, Chicago vs.

Detroit: Finally! Three TDs last week gave those patient Cutler owners the points they expected. This week, Cutler and the Bears face the Lions pass defense which has allowed a league-high 10 TD passes so far this season and an average of 278.7 yards passing. Start Cutler with confidence this week.

Bench

Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets at

New Orleans: The Mark Sanchez era has been everything Jets fans could have hoped for to start the 2009 season. While Sanchez is winning, his fantasy stats are average at best. The Saints pass defense is tied for the league lead with seven interceptions to start the season and you can bet Sanchez will be feeling the heat in the Big Easy this week. The Jets will need to pass to keep pace with

New Orleans, but Sanchez will finally look like an NFL rookie.

Brett Favre,

Minnesota vs.

Green Bay: Favre had an amazing game last week driving the Vikings down the field for a game-winning touchdown pass with less than two minutes to play. This week, he faces his old teammates, and while his heart will want to show the Pack why he deserves to still be playing in the NFL, his poor decision-making and tendency to force the ball into coverage will hurt him this week.

Green Bay will add to its seven interceptions this year as Favre struggles at home.

Running Backs

Bye Weeks: Tim Hightower, Beanie Wells, Michael Turner, Jason Snelling, Jerious Norwood, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy

Studs

Chris Johnson, Tennessee at Jacksonville

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota vs. Green Bay

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville vs. Tennessee

Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. St. Louis

*Injured, will return in Week 7*

Steven Jackson, St. Louis at San Francisco

Marion Barber, Dallas at Denver

*Questionable for Week 4*

Matt Forte, Chicago vs. Detroit

Steve Slaton, Houston vs. Oakland

Willis McGahee, Baltimore at New England

*NEW*

Start

Cedric Benson, Cincinnati at Cleveland: Benson continues to surprise defenses around the league with his resurgence. Not only did Benson rush for 141 yards in Week 2, he compiled 76 yards rushing and a TD against the mighty Steelers defense last week. Benson should continue to dominate this week against a Browns run defense that has allowed an average of 184.3 yards rushing and eight rushing TDs so far this season.

Willie Parker,

Pittsburgh vs.

San Diego: Time is running out to get Parker cheap. FWP rushed for 93 yards last week and he caught two passes for 36 yards and a TD against an improved Bengals defense. This week, Parker faces the Chargers and I foresee a ton of offense for the Steelers in this one. Parker will find room outside the tackles while the passing game keeps the linebackers back in coverage. If you don’t trade for FWP before this week’s game, it’ll be too late.

Darren McFadden,

Oakland at

Houston: The Oakland passing attack is horrible right now. However, McFadden and the Raiders face the Texans this week who have allowed the most rushing yards this season, including over 100 yards to the opposing team’s running back in each of the first three games. Look for that trend to continue this week as McFadden takes some of the pressure off of JaMarcus Russell.

Bench

Ryan Grant,

Green Bay at

Minnesota: Even though Grant rushed for a touchdown in each of the first two games for the Packers, he hasn’t been able to get things going offensively. Grant just missed a 100-yard game last week, but he was held to 61 and 46 yards in the previous two games.

Green Bay will find some success in the passing game this week which may give Grant a few chances to catch the ball out of the backfield, but besides that, Grant will struggle finding running room against the Vikings run defense.

Joseph Addai,

Indianapolis vs.

Seattle: This is the clearest case of RBBC this season. Rookie Donald Brown continues to steal carries from Addai and Brown looks solid when he touches the ball. You cannot rely on Addai to be a constant producer even against the likes of the Seahawks. Look for Peyton Manning to pick apart yet another defense this week, leaving few opportunities for Addai to make an impact offensively.

Kevin Smith,

Detroit at

Chicago: Smith rushed for over 100 yards last week before injuring his shoulder in the fourth quarter. Even a healthy Smith would not be recommended against the Bears this week who will give the Lions much more of a fight than the hapless Redskins did last week.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston, Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Steve Smith, Muhsin Muhammad, DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Kevin Curtis

Studs

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Seattle

Steve Smith, N.Y. Giants at Kansas City

*NEW*

Vincent Jackson, San Diego at Pittsburgh

*NEW*

Randy Moss, New England vs. Baltimore

Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Oakland

Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. N.Y. Jets

Calvin Johnson, Detroit at Chicago

Greg Jennings, Green Bay at Minnesota

Start

Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh vs. San Diego: Holmes had his worst game of the season last week against the Bengals, catching only one pass for 18

yards. Look for Holmes to get back on track and state his case for the Studs list this week as Big Ben and Santonio hook up early and often.

Mike Sims-Walker,

Jacksonville vs.

Tennessee: Looking for a bye week replacement? Sims-Walker is the guy for you. He has posted back-to-back solid games, catching six passes in each of the past two games for a total of 187 yards and a TD. Look for his production to continue against the Titans, who rank 29th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.

Derrick Mason, Baltimore at

New England: Looks like this old dog still knows some tricks. His juke on his 72-yard TD pass last week was a thing of beauty. The Patriots shut down Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense last week, but they’ll struggle containing both Willis McGahee and Joe Flacco this week. Mason will need to be more of a possession receiver this week, but he’ll still have plenty of chances to post solid numbers.

Kevin Walter, Houston vs.

Oakland: Walter returned from a hamstring injury with a bang last week, catching seven passes for 96 yards and a score. Look for Walter to continue to play a significant role in the Texans passing attack as they’ll be plenty of offense to go around against the Raiders for Walter and Andre Johnson to be starting this week.

Bench

Santana Moss,

Washington vs.

Tampa

Bay: Moss is like a solar eclipse. If you don’t get him in your lineup at the right time, you won’t see him again for weeks on end. Moss goes back into hiding this week after a huge performance in Week 3.

Chad Ochocinco,

Cincinnati at

Cleveland: Number 85 has yet to surpass 100 yards receiving in a game this year, and with

Cincinnati likely to thrive in the running game, chances are slim that the century mark will be reached this week.

Braylon Edwards, Cleveland vs.

Cincinnati: Even if Derek Anderson starts at QB, don’t expect Edwards to suddenly return to the Top 10 WR that he was in 2007. The Bengals defense is much improved this year and the Browns just look awful. Avoid this situation until the

Cleveland passing attack shows some signs of life.

Dwayne Bowe,

Kansas City vs. N.Y. Giants: Bowe is dealing with a hamstring injury, but a matchup against the Giants who have allowed the fewest passing yards so far this season is one you want to avoid no matter what.

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks:

Anthony Becht, Tony Gonzalez, Dante Rosario, Jeff King, Brent Celek

Studs

Dallas Clark, Indianapolis vs. Seattle

Jason Witten, Dallas at Denver

Chris Cooley, Washington vs. Tampa Bay

Antonio Gates, San Diego at Pittsburgh

Start

Greg Olsen, Chicago vs. Detroit: Olsen’s catches have increased each game this season as Jay Cutler gets comfortable with the offense. Look for Olsen to find openings in the middle of the

Detroit defense as Cutler will be looking for him regularly.

Owen Daniels, Houston vs.

Oakland: Daniels has a TD in each of the past two games along with a combined 11 catches for 110 yards. Look for Daniels to confirm his spot in the Studs list this week against

Oakland with another solid performance.

Bench

Daniel Fells,

St. Louis at

San Francisco: Daniel who? Exactly. Don’t fall into the trap of picking up Fells as a bye week replacement and expect another two TDs. Fells will be lucky to have two catches this week let alone another score.

Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets at

New Orleans: Keller has struggled the past two weeks catching a combined five passes for 46 yards. Look for more struggles this week as Keller misses Brett Favre more and more each week.

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