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Start/Bench – Week 4

Hello everyone and welcome to Week 4. There have been a lot of questions as to how and why players are included in the ‘Studs’ list, well…I was a little pressed for time this week so I’ll get into it next week. 

While I will explain how I determine the ‘Studs’ next week, I want to give you guys and gals a chance to speak up on the issue. So, if you have an idea on how ‘Studs’ should be determined, or you just want to give me a compliment, feel free to send me an e-mail at

Now, onto the real reason you’re here…



Aaron Rodgers
Drew Brees
Tom Brady
Cam Newton
Matthew Stafford
Eli Manning
Matt Ryan
Tony Romo
Philip Rivers
Ben Roethlisberger



Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo vs. New England: Fitzpatrick is coming off of his best game of the young season as he surpassed 200 yards passing for the first time while throwing for three touchdowns without an interception. Fitz will get a home matchup versus a Patriots defense that just allowed 382 yards passing and three touchdowns on the road to Joe Flacco. With C.J. Spiller out this week and Fred Jackson‘s return in question the Bills are going to need Fitzpatrick to have a big game if they expect to have any chance versus the Patriots.

Christian Ponder, Minnesota at Detroit: What a nice little season Ponder has quietly been putting together up in Minnesota as he’s thrown for four touchdowns without an interception while completing 70.1% of his passes. This week Ponder will get to face a Lions defense that just allowed Jake Locker to pass for 378 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3. The Vikings will also be getting a boost in their passing game as free agent signee, Jerome Simpson, returns from a league imposed three game suspension. Look for Ponder to continue to flourish this week as the Vikings are quietly putting together a solid offense.

Philip Rivers, San Diego at Kansas City: Rivers has been less than impressive to start off the 2012 season but that should all change in Week 4 as he’ll be facing a Chiefs defense that has been the second most generous to quarterbacks allowing 717 yards passing and eight touchdowns while only picking off one pass in their first three games. The return of Ryan Mathews last week will help to take pressure off of the passing game as Mathews had 76 total yards on 15 touches.



Cam Newton, Carolina at Atlanta: Newton has been a huge disappointment through the first three games as he’s thrown only two touchdowns compared to five interceptions. Now comes word from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Newton has been working with a ‘mind coach’ in order to better deal with the pressure of raised expectations. Wow, not the thing you want to hear as Newton prepares for a matchup against a defense that has allowed only two passing touchdowns while picking off seven passes in their first three games. What Newton needs to ask himself the next time he makes a visit to the end zone and decides to do his Superman celebration is, ‘Did Clark Kent need a mind coach?’

Sam Bradford, St. Louis vs. Seattle: Coming off a poor performance in Week 3 versus the Bears I don’t see a bounce back versus a Seahawks defense that has allowed only 689 yards passing and two touchdown to opposing quarterbacks in their first three games this season. And after watching Seattle sack Aaron Rodgers eight times on Monday Night Football, this game could get ugly early for Bradford and the Rams.

Jay Cutler, Chicago at Dallas: In what should have been a plus matchup for Cutler in Week 3 versus the Rams turned out to be a complete dud, as Cutler threw for only 183 yards and no touchdowns while throwing one interception. It appears that Cutler has yet to recover from the Week 2 thrashing that he took at the hands of the Packers and I don’t see how a trip to Dallas is going to make things better. The Cowboys have only allowed 474 yards passing and one touchdown in three games. The question this week is whether Cutler will have more interceptions or run-ins with teammates?

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