Posted: Thursday September 27, 2012 12:13PM ; Updated: Thursday September 27, 2012 3:44PM
Eric Mack

NFL Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Week 4 (cont.)

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Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams

Larry Fitzgerald
Though the Miami defense has proved to be surprisingly good in 2012, Larry Fitzgerald is a talent few teams have stopped.


Seahawks -- Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate, Seahawks D/ST: Seattle's defense is clearly a must-start fantasy unit now, especially against the shaky Rams. Lynch finally gets to run all over a defense that is not elite against the run, while Tate gets to prove again that he is the go-to guy over Sidney Rice, who isn't a bad play here either. If you need a kicker, Hauschka is an option.

Rams -- Danny Amendola: He might be the only Ram who is immune to a bad matchup -- and even that really only applies in three-receiver and/or PPR formats.


Seahawks -- Russell Wilson, Robert Turbin, Braylon Edwards, Doug Baldwin, Zach Miller: Wilson has shown flashes, but he is merely an option for two-quarterback leagues. He just doesn't do a consistent enough job of getting the ball down field. Turbin has been a non-factor as Lynch has carried the load, but if the Seahawks blow this game out, Turbin could clean up late.

Rams -- Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, Daryl Richardson, Brandon Gibson, Steve Smith, Lance Kendricks, Greg Zuerlein, Rams D/ST: The Rams look like a defense to avoid if at all possible. You won't miss any of these guys this week.

Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals


Dolphins -- None: If the Patriots and Eagles cannot muster much against this burgeoning monster of a defense, forget about the Dolphins doing it.

Cardinals -- Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals D/ST: After last week, these two are in the must-start category, regardless of the matchup. The Dolphins' defense is a lot better than anyone has said, though, so only consider these two.


Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Anthony Fasano, Dan Carpenter, Dolphins D/ST: These might be potential sleepers at home, but don't dare trust them at Arizona. Bush (bruised knee) is a fringe flex option if he plays, but he will likely be a game-time decision to avoid with a 4 p.m. start.

Cardinals: Kevin Kolb, Ryan Williams, Beanie Wells, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd, Early Doucet, Todd Heap, Jay Feely: Consider these guys in future weeks, but they just don't produce enough at their respective positions to consider them go-to options right now.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos


Raiders -- Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Sebastian Janikowski: The Broncos have a solid run defense, but McFadden reminded all why he is immune to an unfavorable matchup by playing well against the Steelers last week. Moore is a nice option in what should be a game that gets loose in the second half, particularly because the Raiders' other top targets are dealing with concussions. If you need a sleeper, Derek Hagan might be one for PPR formats. He was getting targets late last week when injury forced him onto the field.

Broncos -- Peyton Manning, Willis McGahee, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Jacob Tamme, Matt Prater, Broncos D/ST: After facing a brutal schedule the first three weeks, Manning and company should light it up against the Raiders. Throw Prater and the defense into the starting mix as well. The Raiders are the third-toughest in fantasy against opposing defenses, but the Broncos figure to force some turnovers from Palmer at home in this one.


Raiders -- Carson Palmer, Mike Goodson, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Brandon Myers, Raiders D/ST: Palmer might have been a viable starter if not for DHB and Myers dealing with concussion issues. If you're looking for people to benefit from garbage time in a blowout, look to Palmer and perhaps Rod Streater.

Broncos -- Lance Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno, Brandon Stokley, Joel Dreessen: These are guys to watch right now, particularly Ball and Hillman if McGahee (ribs) doesn't play or is declared limited. We wouldn't trust these guys for consistent touches yet, though.

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars


Bengals -- BenJarvus Green-Ellis, A.J. Green, Mike Nugent, Bengals D/ST: This amounts to a start-all game for the Bengals, so consider adding Andy Dalton, Andrew Hawkins, Armon Binns and Jermaine Gresham to this group, as needed. BGE is a must-start in all leagues, because the Jags are second-worst in fantasy versus running backs to date.

Jaguars -- Maurice Jones-Drew: Save for the late-game surprise that is Cecil Shorts, MJD is all the Jags have going for them right now. The Bengals' defense has been abused to date, but this Jaguars offense poses far less of a challenge. Don't start Shorts, despite the big plays.


Bengals -- Bernard Scott: He finally saw action in Week 3, but it is clear he isn't close to being in the time-share he was purported to be in this season. He is the only Bengal you shouldn't be considering.

Jaguars -- Blaine Gabbert, Rashad Jennings, Justin Blackmon, Laurent Robinson, Marcedes Lewis, Josh Scobee, Jaguars D/ST: Gabbert's inconsistent play ruins most of the Jags' offensive weapons for fantasy purposes. These guys need a few good weeks before any are a consideration. They are closer to the waiver wire than fantasy starting lineups.

New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers


Saints -- Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, Jimmy Graham, Garrett Hartley: As disappointing as the 0-3 Saints are, these guys have produced as expected in fantasy. The Packers' defense isn't a slouch by any means, but trust the Saints to push the tempo and rack up yards. If you need a receiver, Lance Moore and Marques Colston are viable, but their inconsistency is frustrating.

Packers -- Aaron Rodgers, Cedric Benson, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, Mason Crosby: Every Packers option is viable against a Saints defense that has been the worst in fantasy against running backs and in the bottom 10 against quarterbacks and receivers. The Packers will wake up here, where they don't have to face an elite defense like the 49ers, Bears or Seahawks. That possibility is the reason a struggling Finley remains a start against a Saints defense that has been No. 1 in fantasy against tight ends. The Saints still haven't played one as good as Finley yet.


Saints -- Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Devery Henderson, Saints D/ST: The Packers have given up just one rushing score to a running back in three games, so don't dare trust the time-share backs Ingram or Thomas. Henderson made an impact last week, but don't count on him. The Saints' defense? Cut that worthless garbage.

Packers -- Randall Cobb, Packers D/ST: After a surprising inclusion into the game plan in Week 1, Cobb has been quiet. He just isn't getting enough touches to warrant using, even in this tantalizing matchup. The Packers' defense is a bad play against a Saints offense that figures to limit turnovers and sacks, while piling up yardage and points in what might wind up being the highest-scoring game of the season. Both teams are going to let it all hang out amid their disappointing starts.

Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Leonard Hankerson, Fred Davis: The Bucs, save for an awful second half in Week 2 versus the Giants, have been one of the worst defenses to face in fantasy. They are fourth-best in fantasy versus running backs, but don't sit Morris unless you have some studs ahead of him. Hankerson will start, regardless of whether Pierre Garcon (foot) plays, so consider Hankerson a sleeper. Garcon should start in fantasy if he plays, while Davis showed a week ago that he can work something with RGIII.

Buccaneers -- Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams: Martin will be much better against this defense than he was against the Cowboys. The Bucs' top receivers are facing a defense that has been the worst in fantasy against quarterbacks and receivers. Start Josh Freeman as needed, but your primary starter is likely still a better option.


Redskins -- Evan Royster, Ryan Grant, Santana Moss, Josh Morgan, Aldrick Robinson, Billy Cundiff, Redskins D/ST: Royster gains a little fantasy value with Roy Helu being placed on season-ending IR, but a matchup against the Bucs' defense is not the time to take a chance on him. The rest of these options aren't worth owning right now.

Buccaneers -- LeGarrette Blount, Arrelious Benn, Luke Stocker, Dallas Clark, Connor Barth, Buccaneers D/ST: This group hasn't done much, save for a short touchdown for Stocker and a few receptions for Clark. Ignore them in fantasy right now.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday night)


Giants -- Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Martellus Bennett, Giants D/ST: The Eagles' defense has been top 10 against quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends this season, but you can't sit any of your premium Giants. Even Bradshaw is a viable play, coming off what will be two weeks of rest for his neck injury.

Eagles -- Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, Alex Henery, Eagles D/ST: This is a start-all game for the Eagles, who are coming off a bitter loss and will be at home against the rival Giants. These games always tend to open up between the teams. Feel confident in all of your Eagles.


Giants -- Andre Brown, David Wilson, Ramses Barden, Domenik Hixon, Rueben Randle, Lawrence Tynes: Sorry, Brown and Barden owners, the starters are returning for the Giants, meaning these guys will go back to being seldom-used reserves. Brown has a better chance to get touches, but against that Eagles defensive front, he is a bad play. Tynes was a monster in a Week 3 blowout, but this game is not going to be loose that way. If it is, it will be touchdowns late, not field goals throughout.

Eagles -- None: There is no reason to fear the Giants' defense, especially the secondary, which is banged up and generally suspect.

Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys (Monday night)


Bears -- Michael Bush, Brandon Marshall, Robbie Gould, Bears D/ST: Matt Forte (ankle) will likely be out one more week, so Bush is a solid start as a No. 2 fantasy running back. Marshall, Gould and the defense have better matchups, but they are still among the starter-quality options at their positions even in an unfavorable matchup.

Cowboys -- DeMarco Murray, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Cowboys D/ST: The Bears are No. 3 in fantasy versus quarterbacks and running backs to date, but Murray remains too promising to sit, along with the receivers and defense. Otherwise, avoid your Cowboys in a game that might produce another defensive struggle.


Bears -- Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Kellen Davis: Cutler hasn't gotten it together yet and he faces a Cowboys defense whose elite corners have the unit performing the best in fantasy against quarterbacks and receivers.

Cowboys -- Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey: Romo came out of Week 1 looking like a fantasy superstar. The past two weeks have made him look like a mere backup. Sit him against a very good Bears defense for a marginal backup quarterback in a better matchup. Witten hasn't gotten going yet either, so if you have a backup tight end, sit the struggling Witten until he shows something.

Money where my picks are ...

Here's how I would line them up in your salary-cap challenge games this week:

QB -- Peyton Manning
RB -- Stevan Ridley
RB -- BenJarvus Green-Ellis
WR -- Andre Johnson
WR -- Wes Welker
FLEX -- Willis McGahee
TE -- Rob Gronkowski
K -- Matt Prater
D/ST -- Cowboys D/ST (or Broncos D/ST or Patriots D/ST)

You have a better lineup? Hit me with it on Twitter @EricMackFantasy.

Eric Mack writes fantasy for Track his weekly starts and sits every Wednesday, his Scouting Report on Friday and his Fantasy Fast Forward on Sunday nights. You find also him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice or challenging him to a head-to-head fantasy game @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).

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