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“Around the Ben”: The Good, The Bad, and the Downright Horrible – Week 4

After a month-long vacation from blogging, I am back, this time with hot pickups, starts, and duds.

This segment will start off each week with a 5-up, 5-down section where I name the nicest surprises, and the biggest disappointments of the previous week. Then it will transition to “The Good, Bad and the Downright Horrible,” in which players will be named that should be picked up and started, benched, and dropped all together. The 5-up/down section will feature mainly offensive players, but may also have one or two defensive players. The following section will go QB, RB, WR, TE, and IDP. There will be three players from each, one for each of the Good/Bad/Horrible. As this is a new section, tweakings will be made as I craft this section to benefit the most in the least amount of time. Enjoy! Please give feedback to how this section could be improved if you have any suggestions.

Up

Peyton Manning – Of course you’re starting him. The Eagles made Philip Rivers look like a fantasy stud, and now, an actual stud plays them. The Eagles secondary has so many holes, I heard Big Momma ran through them. This is a great match-up for Manning.

Andrew Luck – Looking at his first two weeks, it may be hard to trust him, but he is a MUST start this week. He plays the Jaguars, who get gashed by everyone, and the trend shows no signs of slowing. His receiving core may not be elite, but Wayne, Hilton, and newly acquired Trent Richardson should be more than sufficient to net three pass touchdowns.

Giovani Bernard – If you were one of the ones who drafted him, you are about to reap the rewards. Even while splitting carries the first three weeks of the season, Bernard has managed 110 rush yards and 2 touchdowns on just 22 carries. He’s not must start yet, but even against an improving Cleveland run defense, he’s a solid play this week. The more he plays, the quicker he becomes a reliable commodity.

Brian Hartline – Yes, I’m promoting the guy. He’s Tannehill’s safety net, and with an offensive showdown looming, and Wallace the deep threat, Hartline’s role is officially defined:  Chain mover and close-in TD snatcher. The Saints – Dolphins will be a high-scoring affair, and while the Saints pass D is looking solid this season, there’s room for a TD for Hartline.

Jordan Cameron – He likely will never grab 3 touchdowns in a week again, but he is quickly becoming the most reliable Browns receiving option.The going may get tough for him against a stingy Bengals defense, but look for whoever is at the helm for the Browns to look Cameron’s way early and often.

Down

Eli Manning – Did Eli fall off a cliff after week 1 (four TD, three INT)? Because whatever is at QB for the Giants the past two weeks surely isn’t younger bro Manning. With just one TD pass and five interceptions the past two weeks, Eli  belongs nowhere near fantasy lineups. The Chiefs may have a field day against the Giants’ lost in translation offense.

Matt Schaub – This might be harsh considering he’s put up respectable numbers, but I wouldn’t start any QB, outside the Big 4 (P. Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Ryan) against that nasty Seahawks’ defense. Schaub’s passing yard total is likely to go up to around 250 this week (194 last week), but the zero touchdowns may rear its ugly head again this week. He’s a serviceable QB most weeks, just not this one.

Arian Foster – Foster hasn’t looked like the same running back we’ve grown accustomed to seeing at all this season. While the 49ers and Panthers were able to run against the Hawks’ run defense, Foster hasn’t rushed for 80 yards once through three games, and that likely won’t halt, even in a week the Texans will rely heavily on the run.

Eddie Royal – This is a prime example of why you don’t always rush to the WW, or burn the FA money to grab a hot receiver or player.The smart fantasy owner would have seen Royal’s comet crashing down after week 2, but for those who didn’t, at least you learned a valuable lesson. Dallas’ defense is dent, but with Rivers inconsistency, it’s hard to see much going for Royal this week. If you must start him, tread softly, but better left on the pine.

Charles Clay – For all my praise for Hartline, I dislike Clay this week. If your league counts receiving yards generously, ignore this, otherwise pay attention. I know it’s easy to ride the hot hand, but Clay has exactly zero  touchdowns, and while the receptions and yardage are nice, fantasy owners want to see him grab a few scores. The Saints’ defense is tough on tight ends, and while you may want to ride him in an offensive battle, I’d try finding another option this week.

QB

The Good:  Alex Smith – Yes, really, him. He plays the Giants, who couldn’t stop a high school receiver from scoring, and a team who has looked beyond atrocious thus far this season. He might not be the sexiest name on your waiver wire, but he is what he was in San Francisco:  An elite game manager. He won’t throw many picks, and he’s a solid bet to get two to three touchdowns this week.

The Bad:  Geno Smith – Don’t jump on the bandwagon after last week’s start. Smith is still learning the game and should be nowhere near a starting lineup this week. The Titans are going to be more formidable, and Smith will be limited to 175 passing yards and zero TDs this week.

The Horrible:  Whoever plays QB for the Jaguars – If you actually rostered a Jags QB, shame on you. The only team any of their QBs should be starting for are the Powder Puff Girls, other than that, DROP immediately.

RB

The Good:  Joique Bell – This guy is an integral part of the Lions offense, and he is not going anywhere. Surpassing Mikel Leshoure already, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is, Bell will get his touches whether by run or catch. Bush may be starter as of now, but one more injury or the continued emergence of Bell could spell backup for Bush.

The Bad:  Chris Johnson – Andy Singleton warned against him, and I am as well. The Jets have a good run defense, and a solid run D. That plus questions aplenty at QB for the Titans equal no bueno for Chris Johnson this week.

The Horrible:  Montee Ball – I had high hopes for him coming into the season, I really did, but fumbling issues and overuse at Wisconsin are proving to be his undoing. If you currently have him rostered, either consider benching him until Elway says he can play again, or drop him altogether. It’s Moreno’s backfield now.

WR

The Good:  Denarius Moore – Moore should be the top option in Oakland, and frankly, he is starter worthy most weeks. He gets his receptions, and is more explosive than Rod Streater. The Redskins don’t exactly have much in terms of a pass defense, and there should be ample opportunity for Moore to get a deep grab for a score, if not around 100 yards receiving.

The Bad:  Julian Edelman – The Patriots haven’t exactly played a good team this season, and have looked real bad offensively. The Atlanta secondary, while still having some holes, will be the best defense the Patriots have seen to date. Combine this with inconsistency across from Edelman, Amendola out, and a hurting run game, and it spells a bad day for Edelman. Risky play this week.

The Horrible:  Vincent Jackson – I’m not suggesting you drop him, I just wouldn’t start him. Yes, I think Mike Glennon is a better quarterback than Freeman, but it will take a few weeks for Glennon to get accustomed to playing in the NFL. Look for the Bucs to feed the Muscle Hamster (Martin). The Cardinals have some ballhawks in the secondary, and it could be a long day for Glennon in his debut.

TE

The Good:  Heath Miller – Big Ben gets his favorite red zone target back, and even if he’s still getting back into game mode, Miller will grab a score against a very questionable Vikings’ defense.

The Bad:  Brandon Myers – Until the Giants figure things out offensively, it’s best to leave Myers on the pine. We were all tantalized by his production in Oakland, the problem is his numbers are going in reverse, and Manning will look more to his big play receivers than his checkdown man in Myers. Move along.

The Horrible:  Kellen Winslow – It looks like Winslow’s relevancy is over with. The return of Santonio Holmes, and the consistency of Bilal Powell at running back have all but effectively removed Winslow from fantasy consideration. It will take an injury or two to even start him as bye weeks pick up.

IDP

The Good:  Justin Houston (LB) – Feasting time! After absolutely dominating the Eagles last week (4.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 recovered), Houston gets to feast on the Giants and Eli Manning. He won’t go completely nuts like he did last week, but another solid outing is easily in the cards. Sacks are always a plus.

The Bad:  Richard Sherman (CB) – Well?!?!?!? Sherman, where have you and your nasty ways gone? I herald you as a top five CB, and you treat me like this? At least now, facing the Texans, he should have his hands full, right? Let’s all hope he can turn his dismal to date performance around, or he may be finding the pine and WW sooner, rather than later.

The Horrible:  Von Miller (LB) – Miller, stay out of trouble, you do us no good suspended. How many games have you missed due to suspension now? Four this season thus far, with possibly more coming? Get your act together and get on the field. You’re a beast when on the field, but the only thing you’re beasting right now is your couch while likely on the waiver wire.

I am a recent college graduate from a small liberal arts school in Atlanta, GA. I’m a sports junkie and a diehard Atlanta sports fan.

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