This week marks the start of the byes (Green Bay, Philadelphia) and an increased need for top waiver wire and streaming options. The games start tonight, with a matchup between the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals. Let’s discuss the players who have seen a rise or fall in value due to injury or matchup, just in time to set your lineup.
Texans’ Fantasy Start of the Week:
Wow, last week was ugly. There were zero Texans worthy of a start against the Patriots (unless you play IDP and had the foresight to start Benardrick McKinney, who racked up the best game of his career).
This week should be better for the Texans’ offensive weapons, all of whom were painfully held without a score last Thursday. The Titans’ pass rush won’t be able to handle the greatness that is DeAndre Hopkins (and occasionally Will Fuller). Braxton Miller is still sidelined and Bill O’Brien still hates Jaelen Strong for some reason that I will never understand, so the WR corps belongs to Nuk and Fuller. Until Lamar Miller stops running up the middle and into traffic for little-to-no yardage, Houston wideouts have the advantage. Start em’.
Start Em’/Sit Em’ Across the League:
Jordan Howard (RB/CHI): If you were lucky/unlucky enough to have a high waiver priority this week and snagged Howard, congrats. Hopefully your fantasy season is about to get better. With Jeremy Langford reportedly sidelined 4-6 weeks, Howard should steal the show in Chicago. Get him in your lineup this week against the Detroit defense.
DeMarco Murray (RB/TEN): As much as it pains me to admit, the Texans’ run defense is currently 26th in the NFL with 377 rushing yards allowed (4.8 yards per rush) over the first three weeks. They also let Jacoby Brissett scamper for nearly 50 yards and a TD last week. The Titans have a pair of tough RBs in Murray and Derrick Henry, and could pile on that total in Week Four. Murray should gash the Texans for major yardage this week.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR/CAR): The wideout had a bad (actually non-existent) performance last week against the Vikings’ stingy defense, but should bounce back this week against the Falcons. Benjamin had solid outings in the first two games, and should be counted on this week to do the same.
UPDATE: With Josh Gordon headed to rehab and his future with the Browns in serious jeopardy, keep an eye on Terrelle Pryor to become a legitimate fantasy option, even after Corey Coleman returns from injury. He may not be a must-start this week, but this helps his value tremendously.
Delanie Walker (TE/TEN): It’s hard for me to recommend sitting any TE because it’s such a needy position in fantasy football. But one thing the Texans have been exceptional at this season is containing TEs, allowing no more than 5.5 points to the position over the first three games (and that’s in PPR formats). If you have a better bet than Walker with this matchup, roll with it.
Eli Manning (QB/NYG): Despite the incredible trio of wideouts that Manning has at his disposal, he’s been largely disappointing for fantasy purposes. Over the past two weeks, he has 718 yards, but only one TD to two INTs. This week, he faces a stout Vikings defense, a largely unfavorable matchup for any QB.
Julian Edelman (WR/NE): Edelman has been held without a TD as his pal Tom Brady serves his four-game suspension. In addition, whoever starts this week at QB between Jimmy Garoppolo and Brissett will likely be playing through injury. Edelman should return to his former fantasy glory when Brady is back, but this week he remains a less-than-favorable option for your starting lineup.
Miami RBs: The Dolphins’ backfield has devolved into a disastrous committee, making Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake ineffectual for your fantasy roster. They are best avoided this week if you can help it.
Who else is a must-start or sit on your roster this week? Feel free to use the comments sections below to share analysis, ask questions, and discuss roster adjustments! Best of luck as you hope for a Week Four victory!