Wondering whether or not to start Ray Rice and Andre Johnson, or to bench Brandon Weeden and Ronnie Brown? Anyone can give you that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 4.
Watch ’em roll
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills vs. Patriots. Buffalo’s quarterback has thrown multiple TDs in each game this season, while New England is having trouble slowing down opposing passers. With questions about the Bills’ ground game, Fitzpatrick will need to be at his best.
Cedric Benson, RB, Packers vs. Saints. Thanks in large part to Jamaal Charles, the Saints’ run defense is statistically the league’s worst. Benson won’t approach 200 yards, but it’s a good bet he’ll reach the century mark for the first time this season. At least one trip to the end zone is likely, as well.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Bengals at Jaguars. He has seized the workhorse role in Cincinnati, but hasn’t done a whole lot with it yet. That should change this week against the sieve-like Jaguars run defense.
Eric Decker, WR, Broncos vs. Raiders. Willis McGahee has been limited all week with sore ribs, and the Raiders’ pass defense was abysmal last week. Look for Peyton Manning to air it out early and often, leading to big games for both of his starting wideouts.
Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders at Broncos. With Darrius Heyward-Bey out after sustaining a concussion, Moore becomes even more essential to Oakland’s aerial attack. And the Raiders will be facing the same secondary that gave up four TD passes to Matt Schaub.
Roll ’em back
Matt Stafford, QB, Lions at Vikings. The latest news points to Stafford giving it a go Sunday, despite sitting out practice with his ailing hamstring/hip. But even if he starts, he’ll be at high risk of an early exit should the injury flare up again, especially with the capable Shaun Hill waiting in the wings.
Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins at Buccaneers. One of the surprises of the early season, Morris has nearly earned must-start status. But heading into Tampa Bay, which boasts the league’s stingiest run defense, think twice. His quarterback is liable to having more rushing success than Morris, though Ryan Grant’s addition shouldn’t be a factor yet.
Steven Jackson, RB, Rams vs. Seahawks. Sure, he’s a tough guy that will play through pain. But just because Jackson suits up with his groin injury doesn’t mean he should be in your lineup. He hasn’t looked right all season, and Daryl Richardson is getting more carries.
Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys vs. Bears. He has yet to make a fantasy impact this season, and a breakthrough game against the stout Chicago defense does not appear to be in the cards. Bryant has taken a back seat to Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears at Cowboys. Dallas’ beefed-up secondary has done an outstanding job of shutting down opponents’ top receivers to date, and Jay Cutler has been adept at keeping Marshall’s production in check as well.
TAKING A FLIER
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Redskins at Buccaneers. He has been elevated to a starting job during Pierre Garcon’s extended absence. With no other clear No. 1 target, and the league’s worst pass defense on the other side, look to Hankerson if you need receiver help.
Don’t be the bonehead who … waits until the last minute to address your bye-week roster issues. Only two teams, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, are off in Week 4. But over the following seven weekends, four to six teams will be off. Planning ahead could help avoid burning your waiver-wire priority.