Arguably, this week may be the most critical week of the fantasy football for some, while being just another week for others. If you are 4-0 or 3-1, congratulations on a great start to your season. However, if you are 2-2, 1-3, or an abysmal 0-4, you need to get a win this week. Your season could be a train wreck of injuries or could be a victim of poor lineup decisions. We want to turn back time, but we cannot. The only options are to either adapt to the situation and be better for it or simply say the season is over after just 4 weeks.
I prefer to take the approach that you cannot give up this early. Yes, in cases where your team has been riddled with injuries, it may look grim. In these cases, you are sent into a scramble to find replacements, and by now, you have had to replace those players in your lineup with guys that went undrafted in most cases. In other situations, your players have under performed to your expectations.
Hopkins was predominantly a first round selection and I know people that are benching him this week because of his poor performance to date and because his match-up with the undefeated Minnesota Vikings looks grim.
If you drafted any player in the 1st and 2nd rounds of your draft, if they are playing, then they need to be in your lineup. Hopkins’ talent normally rises up and can carry your team to victory when he has explosive games. Now understand, Minnesota has a solid defense and it will be a challenge, but regardless, you start Hopkins no matter what.
Cobb was likely drafted in Rounds 3 or 4 of your drafts and so far has been very disappointing. The Green Bay Packers are coming off a bye in Week 4 and you have to figure that getting Cobb involved in the flow of the offense has to be a priority. They play a home prime time game against a New York Giants defense that should provide opportunities for the Green Bay offense. Cobb has been targeted 18 times through 3 games, but his production has been limited to just 12 receptions for 132 yards. The other factor with Cobb that gets overlooked is that they do line him up in the backfield some.
With John Kuhn vulturing touchdowns in New Orleans now, Cobb may be given the opportunity to vulture a running TD in the early going Sunday night down by the goal line just to get him on the board. As a Cobb owner myself, I can dream.
The return of Tom Brady this week is among the top headlines this week and to top things off, he gets the Cleveland Browns as his first opponent. The same Cleveland Browns that fired Bill Belichick. This game screams route and no letting up by the Patriots as they could score 50 points and still be throwing the ball in the 4th quarter. With such a forecast, a player that you may want to start that is on your bench or that has been placed on waivers is Chris Hogan.
Obviously Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski will remain Brady’s top targets, but Hogan will also benefit greatly from Brady’s return, especially late in the ballgame when Gronkowski may be limited in plays on the field to protect him from injury. This would make Hogan the primary target across the middle of the field to rack up receptions, yards, and possibly some touchdowns.
In Dallas this week, Dak Prescott goes against the Cincinnati Bengals and will put his impressive streak of 131 consecutive pass attempts without an interception on the line. The Bengals defense is the best defense Prescott has faced to date (Giants, Redskins, Bears, and 49ers so far) and will find a way to get that 1st interception out of the way. It will not be surprising if they get the first 2 or 3 interceptions out of the way for him as well.
On the Bengals side of things, Andy Dalton was supposed to be getting Tyler Eifert back from injury, but he had a setback this past Monday with an injury in practice and his status remains uncertain for Sunday. If Eifert plays, expect him to be the primary end zone target when the Bengals get the ball inside the 20 yard line for the 1st time in the game and be a factor down in the red zone going forward. A.J. Green should also be a top performer amongst the league leaders this week as well because the Dallas defense does not have the talent in the secondary to contain him.
Be aware that Hurricane Matthew may have an impact on the games in Miami and Charlotte. If they are played on Sunday, expect both games to be played in the rain with sloppy field conditions. Both stadiums have natural grass fields, not field turf. The games also could be postponed to Monday.
As of now, Cam Newton is still in concussion protocol and as is the case most every year, Newton may miss a game. The extra day in case of postponement may give him a better chance to play. If he is not available, Derek Anderson has proven himself more than capable to step in and produce and the Panthers have the benefit this week of playing the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is the same Buccaneers defense that gave up 37 points to the LA Rams with Case Keenum as their quarterback.
In Miami, the name to look for a breakout performance from is DeVante Parker. The Tennessee Titans defensive secondary is horrible and whereas Jarvis Landry will get his catches in, look for Parker to be the main downfield target both early and often.
On the Titans side of things, Rishard Matthews is a sneaky play this week as he plays against his former squad, but was downgraded on the depth chart for the Titans at wide receiver slated behind Andre Johnson. A very disappointing situation because anyone watching the games realizes that the current version of Andre Johnson is a shell of what he once was.
Matthews for week five may be a “What Could’ve Been?” type of player, but do not be shocked or disappointed that when he does get into the game, he could use this week’s events to inspire him to play better and be productive. Unfortunately, he may produce for you on your bench which helps no one.
As always, I welcome your feedback and additions to my tidbits. I thank you all for reading. Enjoy the games this weekend.
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