I would start off this week with some kind of joke or reference to fantasy football in week four, but I can’t get Hurricane Matthew off my mind. For those not familiar, let me just be honest: hurricanes suck. I was outside for part of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and I will say with a straight face that it is not something I would want to do again. If you’re in the southern part of the United States and this storm is going to hit you, stay safe and I hope you got prepared.
We at the Inquisitr hope all those in the path of the storm fight back against the storm and wind up alright.
Anyways, on to less depressing things. We’re a quarter of the way through the season and already, your chances at even making the fantasy playoffs may be over. However, why not ruin things for your friends by beating them and hurting their chances? An eye for an eye, right? Let’s get to this week’s picks so I can avoid the hurricane.
QB: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills ($5,200): Bills fans will accuse me of bias and rooting against Rex Ryan, but Taylor just hasn’t wowed me this year and going against the back-to-being-good Rams defense worries me. There’s just something about these past two Bills wins that, believe it or not, worries me and I’d be shocked if a Ryan-led team doesn’t go into this game cocky and then gets blown out. That’s what Rex Ryan is best at bravado and failing to follow through when it matters.
I’m still not sure how, but Eagles rookie star Carson Wentz is available in 57.2 percent of ESPN leagues and a low-for-quarterbacks $6,400 on DraftKings; if you can snag him before Sunday’s showdown with the Detroit Lions, who have been absolutely mauled by opposing quarterbacks this year, you should be guaranteed a productive day from the signal-caller position. It’s early, but maybe we were wrong to worry about how this kid would adjust to the NFL.
RB1: Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons ($4,100): Coleman is on this list only because he has sickle cell issues that means he either will be inactive or not get many snaps in the Falcons’ game against Denver on Sunday. With Odell Beckham Jr. currently battling some mental issues and the Giants in a must-win game against the Green Bay Packers, Eli Manning needs to find someone to shock Mike McCarthy’s defense and rookie Paul Perkins ($3,300 and owned in just 3.0 percent of ESPN leagues) may be the man to make things happen. We saw on Monday night what happens when the former UCLA back gets loose as he broke free for a 67-yard gain on a screen pass and as the running game looks to figure things out with the injuries to Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings, why not pick up Perkins to see what he can do?
RB2: Jerick McKninnon, Minnesota Vikings ($4,000): Two words: trap game. Minnesota may be 4-0 for the first time since 2009, but a home game against a team that needs a confidence building win to show they’re for real is something to keep your eyes on. I’m just playing it safe by staying away from McKinnon, though that caution doesn’t go too far with who I’m suggesting. This is admittedly a risky addition, but Patriots running back James White ($3,900 and available in 71.8 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues) has seen some major playing time in the team’s passing game and could benefit from Tom Brady’s return on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
WR1: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants ($8,500): I love OBJ, but I would stay far away from him until he either gets his head together or can figure out how to get back into the passing game. Now is not the time to be taking risks at the wide receiver position, especially with all of the fantastic (or good enough) options out there. They’re still figuring things out on offense, but it already looks like veteran quarterback Blaine Gabbert has found a friend in Jeremy Kerley ($3,700 and taken in 4.8 of ESPN leagues); Kerley has two games this year with six catches and 60 yards, forming a nice bond with the 49ers’ quarterback of the present. Kerley is questionable for Thursday night with an ankle but expect him to play and still get some catches. I don’t think the injury is as serious as the 49ers are officially making it out to be, for what it’s worth.
WR2: Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams ($3,700): I don’t know what it is in the water or if people are just going insane because the Los Angeles Rams are 3-1, but enough with suggesting Tavon Austin has become a good wide receiver. If you want to play him against Buffalo and their “awful defense,” fine, but don’t start crying when the game ends and Austin winds up with three catches for 20 yards. We all should have seen this coming sooner, but Pittsburgh’s Sammie Coates ($3,600 and owned in 17.6 of ESPN leagues) has become a go-to target for Ben Rothlisberger and should be a must play against a Jets defense that is incapable of stopping anything at this point.
WR3: Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings ($6,300): The good news? Diggs helped me win my fantasy game last week. The bad news? Diggs probably helped a lot of people lost last week, failing to record a score for the third time in four weeks and only mustering up four fantasy points in ESPN leagues. Speaking of ESPN leagues, did you know that Baltimore’s Steve Smith Sr. ($5,300) is only taken in 71.4 percent of ESPN leagues? With Smith facing the Washington
Poorly Owned Football Team Redskins and Diggs in a potential trap game against the Houston Texans, starting Smith is probably a better idea.
TE: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots ($6,500): Gronkowski is finally reunited with Tom Brady, so why am I suggesting benching the All-Pro tight end against an awful Cleveland Browns team? Honestly, the main reason is just that Brady only completes about 59 percent of his passes when playing the Browns and with Gronk still battling hamstring issues, let’s hold off on having the two do a Dragon Ball Z-esque fusion anytime soon. I am liking the fusion between San Diego’s Philip Rivers and rookie tight end Hunter Henry ($3,300 on DraftKings and owned in only 40.4 of ESPN leagues), who has nine catches for 133 yards and a touchdown in the past two weeks. Rivers has been absolutely red hot lately and against a Raiders defense that’s been subpar, look for the veteran quarterback to find his new rookie toy more than a couple of times.
Defense: New York Jets ($2,800): This one I don’t even need to explain. Unless it’s Brandon Marshall or Quincy Enunwa, stay far away from this dumpster fire of a team. Just play it safe and pick the Titans (owned in 2.5 percent of ESPN leagues and only $2,400) to shut down the Miami Dolphins which, let’s be honest, is probably a given.
[Featured Image by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images]