October football will be upon us in Week 4 with several offenses still firing on all cylinders. The Patriots, Panthers, and Chargers will lead the way in the air while the Vikings, Redskins, and Raiders find much success in the ground attack. Defenses will start to wise up to all these offensive numbers this week, but there is still plenty to go around.
I utilize statistical analysis combined with over 15 years of fantasy football experience to give you an inside look of how players will perform on a week-to-week basis. The Studs list will be updated on a regular basis as players emerge and injuries occur, but be patient with those players listed early in the season. They were ranked and selected high in your draft for a reason.
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.
Tom Brady, New England at Oakland
Drew Brees, New Orleans at Jacksonville
Matthew Stafford, Detroit at Dallas
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Denver
Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Miami
Michael Vick, Philadelphia vs. San Francisco
Cam Newton, Carolina at Chicago: Newton had his worst game as a pro last week throwing for just 158 yards with 1 TD and no INTs. Coming into this season, many people thought those numbers would be a good week for Newton, but after watching him throw for over 400 yards in each of the first two weeks, the bar has been raised. While you shouldn’t count on 400 yards this week against the Bears, you should also have much higher expectations than the 158 yards from last week. Chicago has allowed an average of 277.3 yards passing so far this year and even though the last two weeks were against passing powerhouses such as Green Bay and New Orleans, they will give up the yards in the air this week against Newton. Start Newton on the road and enjoy his rebound from last week.
Kyle Orton, Denver at Green Bay: I know what you’re thinking, “Orton has thrown for over 200 yards only once this season”. However, Orton has thrown five TDs on the season including two on the road in Tennessee last week. The Green Bay defense has given up passing yards in bunches this season mostly because their opponents are playing from behind and need to throw often. Expect the same results this week. The Broncos may not win the game but at the end of the day, don’t be surprised to see Orton with 350 passing yards and two TDs.
Colt McCoy, Cleveland vs. Tennessee: McCoy has been average in the passing game this year and when you consider the defenses he’s faced (Cin, Ind, Mia), the road is only going to get tougher. That starts this week against the Titans who have allowed the second fewest passing yards in the league this season. Peyton Hillis should return this week and McCoy will lean heavily on the big man as the passing game won’t have much success at all.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore vs. N.Y. Jets: Yes, the same Joe Flacco that threw for 389 yards and three TDs should be on your bench this week. Remember, that was the Rams and this is the Jets. You need to play the matchups every week because there are definitely highs and lows. The Jets have allowed the fewest passing TDs (2) in the league so far this season and their run defense was exposed against the Raiders last week. Expect a heavy dose of Ray Rice, but Flacco and the Ravens passing attack will be held in check.