Fantasy Football Start Em’/Sit Em’ Week 4

by Dustin Dietz | Posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Image: Tom Dahlin/Getty Images

Start Em’

QB – Christian Ponder vs. Detroit Lions

NFL Draft pundits were skeptical of whether the Vikings made a wise choice in drafting Ponder 12th overall in the 2011 Draft, but so far, the Vikings look like they have made a very intelligent decision. Ponder possesses two of the three key attributes needed to be a successful NFL quarterback. He is smart (graduated in 2 ½ years from Florida State), and he is an accurate passer (Ponder’s 70.1 completion percentage ranks second in the NFL behind only Matt Ryan). Ponder has yet to throw an interception in three games, and has even run for a touchdown against a stifling San Francisco defense. This week, Ponder faces a Detroit secondary which has allowed the 20th most passing yards in the league, and just allowed over 300 yards passing to Jake Locker. If one continues to be cynical of Ponder’s fantasy relevance, I suggest you stop. Pick Ponder up this week and enjoy his production.

RB – Cedric Benson vs. New Orleans Saints

The Packers are coming off one of the more gut-wrenching, controversial losses in the history of the NFL. Green Bay currently sits at 1-2 and is very angry. I believe they will take their anger out on a disappointing 0-3 New Orleans team at Lambeau by establishing the run early and allowing tackle T.J. Lang and the rest of the Green Bay O-Line to punish the opposition in the trenches. The Saints are last in the NFL in defense and rushing yards allowed as Jamaal Charles shredded the New Orleans D last week with 233 yards rushing, including a 91 yard TD run. Benson should break the 100 yard rushing mark and score a TD.

WR – Malcolm Floyd vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs secondary allows a lot of touchdown passes, 8 through the first three weeks of the season.  Floyd is Philip River’s number one receiving option with Antonio Gates having issues staying healthy and Robert Meachem having trouble establishing chemistry with the 9th year quarterback. Floyd is averaging 76 yards per game receiving, and should eclipse that mark and score a TD despite the Chargers offense failing to produce a touchdown last week against Atlanta.

TE – Kyle Rudolph vs. Detroit Lions

The second year tight end has become young Christian Ponder’s reliable security blanket as Rudolph has already caught 3 TD passes, including 2 last week against the 49ers. Detroit has already allowed tight ends to catch 3 TD’s this season. I see the trend continuing, and I promise to never suggest sitting Rudolph ever again.

K – Matt Prater vs. Oakland Raiders

The Raiders are 26th in points allowed, and Prater has yet to miss a field goal or extra point this season. Prater should yield 8 points, possibly more.

Defense/Special Teams – New York Giants

The Giants play Mike Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday night on NBC Sunday Night Football. Vick has turned the ball over an astounding 12 times, and has already been sacked 9 times in the first 3 games. While the Giants defense has been putrid at times early this season, they did completely take Panthers QB Cam Newton out of the game last Thursday. The G-Men will force a couple of turnovers and sack Vick a few times.

Sit Em’

QB – Jay Cutler vs. Dallas Cowboys

Cutler has exhibited immaturity and a lack of leadership when he yelled at teammates on the sidelines during the Green Bay game two weeks ago. He has been a major disappointment to this point as many felt Cutler would enjoy the kind of success he did back in 2008 after the Bears traded for Brandon Marshall in the offseason. Cutler faces a Dallas secondary which has allowed the fewest yards passing in the NFL through the first 3 weeks. If one has a better option at QB, I suggest using it.

RB – Chris Johnson vs. Houston Texans

Once known as CJ2K, Johnson has now earned the nickname in fantasy land as CJ401K due to his lackluster performances since being given a lucrative contract by the Tennessee Titans last season. Johnson is averaging a pathetic 1.4 yards per carry through three games, and does not appear to be turning things around. CJ401K faces a tremendous Houston defense this week which pounded Willis McGahee into submission in Week 3. Stash Johnson on your bench until further notice. If one is able to trade Johnson, I suggest doing it rather quickly.

WR – Brandon Marshall vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas secondary has improved drastically this season with the additions of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr. The loss of safety Barry Church for the season hurts, but even if Brandon Carr is forced to play safety again this week, former Pro-Bowler Mike Jenkins would step in to play corner. Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson had one catch for 29 yards last week against Dallas, one week after running circles around the Giants secondary. Benching Marshall is a tall order as he is the best option for many owners, but do not expect much production.

TE – Jared Cook vs. Houston Texans

Finding a tight end to suggest benching is not very simple because owners do not expect much from tight ends anyways. I told owners to not play Kyle Rudolph last week against San Francisco, and he scored 2 TD’s. I will go with Cook this week, and advise never sitting Rudolph again if one is fortunate enough to own him. Cook finally scored last week against Detroit, but Houston is not Detroit. If Rudolph is somehow available in your league, pick him up immediately and start him.

K – Garrett Hartley vs. Green Bay Packers

The Packers are at home, and have allowed the 7th fewest points in the NFL, which includes the 7 points the Seahawks were fortunate to score on the controversial last play of the game last Monday night. An infuriated Green Bay defense does not allow the Saints to score very many points Sunday.

Defense/Special Teams – Detroit Lions

The Lions play an improving Minnesota Vikings team this week, and have allowed the 27th most points in the NFL. Detroit might win, but there will be a shoot-out at Ford Field with both offenses scoring a lot of points.

Follow Dustin Dietz on Twitter @DustinDietz18

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