Fantasy Football Advice: Week 4 Studs and Duds

09/30/2011 01:51 pm ET | Updated Nov 30, 2011

I get it. You have plenty of fantasy football advice to choose from. But like you, I am a fantasy nut. However, unlike my Internet brethren, I do not think about my team's woes all day in the office or during my workouts or even as I mindlessly search my computer screen for updates on Sunday. I am what you call a three-day-a-week player: I scan the waiver wires for five minutes at lunch and check on key matchups, but I do not aimlessly read blogs all day searching for the edge. Therefore, I am a less emotionally invested fantasy player with one goal in mind -- to help you.

Without further ado, here are my three fantasy studs and duds for Week 4:


1) Phillip Rivers -- This is the first year I didn't draft him, but my wife did, so I am still rooting for him. While his six picks this season have been a massive disappointment, Rivers has a dream matchup against Miami this weekend. The Dolphins cannot cover a chair, let alone Vincent Jackson. Assuming Antonio Gates is 75 percent or better, Rivers should be in for a 30-point performance. Ryan Matthews has stolen away some goal-line throwing chances just because he's been that good, but don't worry this week. The Fins' pass defense is third worst in the NFL, and Rivers will get his. A word to the wise, though, if your team is in peril and you have Rivers: Trade him! That's right. The Chargers have a brutal schedule coming up, so if you have a decent second option, use River's increased value after this weekend to get a big-time running back or wideout.

2) David Nelson -- He's not sexy ... and he's not Stevie (Johnson), but Nelson is a really, really solid No. 3 or even No. 2 option. Ryan Fitzpatrick will come down to earth at some point, but even when he does, the Bills' aerial attack will still include Nelson, who always seems to get open and catches everything. He has virtually the same numbers as Johnson (minus two TDs), and with defenses keying in on Buffalo's best receiver, Nelson's targets should go up as well. The Bills are the NFL's highest-scoring offense (37.7 points per game) and as for Week 4, the Bengals have the fifth-worst passing defense in the league. (For whatever reason, I think this is the ultimate trap game for Buffalo and am picking Cincy in the upset.) Don't ask me why because I actually don't know.

3) Josh Freeman -- I wasn't as high on Freeman entering the season as the rest of the blogosphere, but I do love him this weekend against a shredded Colts' defense. I know, I know, they looked great against Pittsburgh at times, but that was Sunday night and I really just feel like they got up for that game at home. Freeman is seventh in the NFL in completion percentage (67.9) and they're going against a Colts team without a true cover corner. Expect a ton of LaGarrette Blount early and often, thus opening up the play-action game for Freeman and Mike Williams. Basically, I love everyone on Tampa's offense Monday night. Indy hasn't started 0-4 since Peyton Manning's rookie year, so another benchmark will be reached.


1). Cam Newton -- Forget the 400 yards passing last week. Newton now gets an angry Chicago defense on the road, and, with no running game. DeAngelo Williams has been a joke all year, and Jonathon Stewart hasn't been much better. Brian Urlacher and the Bears have way too much pride to let a rookie QB come in and embarrass them after the shellacking they got from Aaron Rodgers last week.

2). Marshawn Lynch -- The Falcons have uncharacteristically struggled against the run this year, but that all changes this week in Seattle. Lynch is a long way from the rumble in Seattle. The Cal product has become the starter by default here and, despite a lack of competition, hasn't shown the burst or power that fantasy owners were hoping for this season. It's not all on Lynch, though. This is a moribund Seahawks offense with a quarterback in Tavaris Jackson who cannot sell the fake and inspires no fear in opposing defenses. Unless you have to, stay away from Lynch this weekend.

3). All New York Jets! -- The Ravens will feast against a Jet offense still trying to identify itself. The Shonn Greene experiment (3.3 yards per carry) has been a nightmare from the start, Plaxico Burress is great in the red zone but nowhere else, and Santonio Holmes is yet to be a blip on the radar. Forget about Dustin Keller as a top ten TE, and unless LaDanian Tomlinson goes for another huge play, I'd stay away from him as well. Oh yeah, there's always Mark Sanchez, right?

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