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Start/Bench – Week 4

“Holy huge fantasy performances, Batman!”

Week 3 of the NFL season was full of big performances, to say the least.

Some of those performances were from players we would expect such as Aaron Rodgers, A.J. Green and Julio Jones while others were a bit more unexpected with Devonta Freeman, Chris Johnson and Steve Smith Sr. having big weeks.

What will Week 4 have in store for us?

Well, one thing it will bring for certain is the first week of ‘byes’ as the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans have the week off.

Another thing Week 4 brings is the first adjustments to the ‘Studs’ list (not injury related) and there are plenty.

Without further ado …



Aaron Rodgers
Andrew Luck
Russell Wilson
Tom Brady (bye week)
Matt Ryan
Cam Newton
Carson Palmer
Tyrod Taylor


Moving on UP

Cam Newton: Newton has been getting it done with both his arm (5 passing touchdowns) as well as his legs, adding two more rushing scores. As long as his health holds up he is a weekly start.

Carson Palmer: He’s back and he’s thrown nine touchdowns in the first three games. The Arizona offense is humming along and Palmer is the reason.

Tyrod Taylor: Over the last two games, Taylor has completed 74.6 percent of his passes while throwing for six touchdowns and rushing for another. We love dual threat quarterbacks, especially ones with soft upcoming schedules (New York Giants, at Tennessee, Cincinnati, vs. Jacksonville, at Miami).

Time to Take a Seat

Ben Roethlisberger: The best-case scenario is that Roethlisberger is only out 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain.

Drew Brees: Starting an aging quarterback with a bad rotator cuff is no way to go through life (or a fantasy season). Brees is too big a risk moving forward.

Peyton Manning: This isn’t your father’s Peyton Manning. While Denver has tweaked the offense a bit to suit him, lining up in the shot gun Manning has still only tossed five scores in three games. He’s no longer a weekly start as younger quarterback options may have better matchups on a given week.



Michael Vick, PITTSBURGH vs. Baltimore: You surround Vick with weapons and the bright lights of a Thursday night game and he will produce. He’ll utilize his legs to generate some nice production and has the arm strength to stretch the field. Baltimore has allowed 734 passing yards and six passing touchdowns the last two weeks.

Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI vs. Kansas City: Dalton has started the season hot, racking up nine total touchdowns and completing 66 percent of his passes. The Kansas City defense is very quarterback friendly, having surrendered 10 passing touchdowns in three games.

Derek Carr, OAKLAND at Chicago: In his last two games, Carr has passed for 665 yards and thrown five touchdowns. Chicago has struggled to stop opposing passing games, having given up eight touchdowns and intercepting only one pass this season. Look for Carr to ring up big numbers again this week.

Eli Manning, NEW YORK GIANTS at Buffalo: With Rueben Randle stepping up in the offense last week and Victor Cruz likely to return this week, Manning has a plethora of receiving weapons. He also has no run game and will be flinging the rock a lot against a Buffalo defense that allows an average of 335 yards per game through the air this season.



Drew Brees, NEW ORLEANS vs. Dallas: Early reports are that Brees is on track to play this week. The Dallas pass defense doesn’t scare me but a 36-year-old quarterback with a bum shoulder does. There are too many better options out there.

Ryan Tannehill, MIAMI vs. New York Jets: Miami looks like it is going through the motions lately. Tannehill tossed three interceptions last week and is facing a Jets defense that has yet to allow more than one touchdown pass in a game. No thanks.

Teddy Bridgewater, MINNESOTA at Denver: Denver is a stingy defense when allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks, having given up one touchdown pass this season. Bridgewater will be handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson more than he will be attacking this defense through the air. Pass on the kid this week.

Sam Bradford, PHILADELPHIA at Washington: A 118-yard, one-touchdown performance last week has done nothing to make Bradford a starting option this week. Until this offense can move the ball vertically in the passing game Bradford belongs on fantasy benches.

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin