Fantasy Football: Who to start and who to sit as bye weeks begin - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fantasy Football: Who to start and who to sit as bye weeks begin

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - So it's Saturday morning.

You wake up, open your fantasy football app to make sure your lineup is set before the week's games.

And what?! Rob Gronkowski isn't playing this week?? My day is ruined!

Welcome, ardent fantasy football participants, to the "Bye Week" portion of the NFL schedule.

Starting this week and continuing for the next eight, at least two NFL teams have a bye. This Sunday, it's the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.

So you've been riding Tom Brady's tunnel vision of dominance to three straight wins? Sorry, better look at that waiver wire.

The aforementioned Gronkowski has been saving you despite your terrible running backs, but too bad. He's relaxing at home this weekend.

Now that we don't have to worry about those pesky Patriots, here's one player to start and one to sit at each position in Week 4:


Start: Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan is just eighth in fantasy points among quarterbacks this year, but that puts him ahead of Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck, all guys that were taken ahead of him in nearly every draft. He's averaging just under 19 fantasy points per game, and Week 4 poses maybe his easiest matchup of the season. The Falcons host the Houston Texans, who are 28th in NFL defending quarterbacks (and they've faced a "gauntlet" of Alex Smith, Cam Newton and Jameis Winston). I think he's going to have a big day at home.

Sit: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

Stafford is your classic gun-slinger: throw the ball a lot, not always accurately, and it'll ultimately lead to an acceptable amount of points. That strategy hasn't clicked as well this year as in the past. He's averaging just under 15 points per game on a team with a healthy amount of weapons at skill positions. This week, the Lions travel to Seattle on Monday night. To put it lightly, that's the absolute last place a struggling quarterback wants to be. I know there are a lot of injuries at quarterback right now, but Stafford may not be the flyer you want to take right now.

Running Back

Start: Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts' marquee offseason addition struggled a bit of the gate. Just 88 yards and no touchdowns through two games worried some fans and owners (as did the Colts' quarterback). But 86 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 restored some confidence and maybe some momentum. On Sunday, Indianapolis host Jacksonville, who is 26th against running backs in 2015, including a game last week in which they gave up four touchdowns to New England's running back core. Add in the early struggles of Andrew Luck, and Gore looks like a great play Sunday. He's a must-start at RB2 in Week 3.

Sit: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins

Miller has been somewhat of an enigma for the past two seasons. It looks like he has the talent to be a great RB2, but he just doesn't get enough carries sometimes to warrant to ownership. This year has been no different, as he has just 105 yards and no touchdowns on 30 carries through three games. Combine that with a tough matchup this week against the Jets, who have given up just one rushing touchdown in three games. If you have other options, stay away this week.

Wide Receiver

Start: Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets

Marshall has been slightly overlooked early this year. He's still an elite wide receiver and is the top target on his team. That alone should have warranted him starting in every league. Some thought he'd see a dip in production with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, but his 23 receptions and three touchdowns in three games would say otherwise. If nobody was talking about him before, they have to be now. This Sunday he faces a Dolphins defense that has allowed 15 receptions to Buffalo wide receivers last week (they're not the best). He's a definite start this week.

Sit: Travis Benjamin, WR, Cleveland Browns

Benjamin hasn't been a volume receiver this season, but a propensity for the big play has made him valuable to some owners. Even with some drama at quarterback in Cleveland, Benjamin has a touchdown in every game so far. A repeat of those performances would be a tall task in Week 4, facing a San Diego defense that has allowed only two touchdowns to wide receivers in three games. Benjamin is a good, young player with a lot of upside this season, but I think he's best used in the right situation. This weekend won't be one of them.

Tight End

Start: Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks

Graham finally showed some promise this past Sunday with an impressive touchdown in Seattle's win over Chicago. In his first two games after joining the Seahawks in the offseason, Graham had just seven catches. He matched that in Week 3. If he has any momentum going forward, Monday's home matchup with Detroit is the right place to let it roll. The Lions have surrendered a touchdown to a tight end in every game this season. Defending the big guys isn't their strong suit, and Graham has a great change to take advantage in prime time.

Sit: Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Miller has always played an active role in the Pittsburgh offense, but that was highly-predicated on the chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger. With Big Ben out for 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain, the success of a Steelers offense featuring Michael Vick at quarterback is uncertain. They may rely more on the run game with Le'Veon Bell back. Adding to that, the Steelers face Baltimore on Thursday Night Football, and the Ravens have given up just seven catches for 30 yards to opposing tight ends in three games, tops in the league. Miller is a questionable play this week until we know more about how the Pittsburgh offense will look without Roethlisberger.

Local Preview

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikins

Bridgewater has tough day ahead of him Sunday. The Vikings travel to Denver, the best team in the NFL at defending the quarterback. In three games this season, the Broncos' defense has given up just one touchdown pass and 13 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. No other defense has come close to that kind of dominance. And given that Bridgewater has just one touchdown himself this season, it doesn't look good. The former Louisville star could be in for a struggle in Week 4.

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Cobb is coming off his best game of the season, where he caught seven passes for 91 yards and three touchdowns on Monday Night Football. He seems to be fully-recovered from a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason. The Kentucky product gets a favorable matchup in Week 4 against San Francisco, the fourth-worst defense against wide receivers so far this year. Cobb may be on his way to a repeat of Monday's big night.

This week on WDRB

Sunday at 1 p.m. - New York Giants at Buffalo Bills

Sunday at 4:25 p.m. - Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos

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