“The Amateur Ward” Trust/Distrust Week 4 (Linebacker, Defensive Line)
Go look back over my projections from last week. They were pretty damn accurate as I hit on 7 of 10. This week, I wanna see if I go 8/10, but helping you guys win in Week 4 means more to me than 8/10. In this edition of Trust/Distrust, I touch on a few players who are hot, who you may want to sit, and some waiver guys to pick up and plug-in your lineups. You may argue that I do too few DTs in my articles, but I prefer to focus on LB and DE as they provide more of a fantasy punch and consistency than DTs not named Justin Smith. In the future, if you would like to see more DTs appear in pieces, or for me to make some sleeper picks every week, please let me know and I’ll include those as well. Tis a long season, but Week 4 is the week that will separate the playoff contenders from pretenders and the real-man teams from the wimp-teams. Hopefully your team is the former. With bye weeks starting, it’s going to be hard to go undefeated, but if you can finish with at least 9 Wins, in most leagues you’re a lock for the playoffs, not counting those über weird or stacked leagues that are slanted to favor particular owners/LMs. Who plays in those cheater leagues anyways? Ok, let’s get to the players before I ramble off topic too far.
Last Week’s Recap:
Jelani Jenkins (LB-MIA)- The Dolphins have found their weak side linebacker of the future after Jenkins, the U of Florida product went ham all over the Chiefs last week, albeit in a losing effort. Still, 15 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble is a solid day. This week against the raiders, another big day is in store. He will continue to be the best Phins defensive player going forward. (Photo courtesy of phinphantic.com)
Chad Greenway (LB-MIN)- This might be unfair to call a win, considering he broke a rib against the Saints in Week 3, but Greenway does not seem he will live up to his billing this season. That’s how it seems in the early going at least. The Vikings were already heading into their matchup with the Falcons, limping. Now it appears as if Atlanta could be in for another huge offensive day on the heels of demolishing the Bucs last Thursday.
Larry Foote (LB-ARZ)- Hopefully you followed my advice and sat Foote last week against the 49ers as he posted a mere 6 tackles. Next week (Week 5), keep him benched as the Cardinals hook up with Peyton Manning and the Broncos explosive offense.
Brandon Marshall (LB-DEN)- You could argue that 12 tackles is a win for me, but I have high scoring expectations if I herald a LB in any given week. Sorry, 11 FP/MLFF won’t cut it as a win for me. Look for him to be in for a big next week against the Cardinals. Quick, Which Marshall is Which? (Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com)
Fletcher Cox (DE-PHI)- Cox was a non-factor in last week’s win over the Redskins with a mere 2 tackles. This week’s matchup could be a tough one on the road against the run-heavy 49ers and their Gore-Hyde duo. If you are a gambler on upside, start Cox this week, but it might be another dry week for him sack-wise.
Joplu Bartu, LB (@ MIN)- Bartu may not have done much in the blow out that was last week against the Bucs. Rookie QB + no AP = Solid fantasy day in Week 4 opposite Worrilow. Bartu, who already has 2 fumbles recovered could be a solid source of tackles with a few extra counting stats thrown in for his second season, providing fantasy owners a nice boost in multiple areas. (Photo courtesy of zimbio.com)
Geno Hayes, LB (@ SD)- It is going to be a long season for the Jaguars this season, but Hayes should be the biggest bright spot on defense for them. Already tallying 3.5 stuffs, Hayes should continue to rack up the counting stats and tackles as the Jags defense will be on the field a ton this season. If you are looking for a positive on offense, the Henne days seem over, and the future starts now in Bortles!
Cameron Jordan, DE (@ DAL)- I know I don’t need to advise you to start Jordan this week, but just in case you were thinking of sitting him, don’t. He gets to tee it off against the Cowboys in Texas this week. It won’t be a shellacking like the last meeting between these 2 teams, but Jordan is poised for a solid day.
Olivier Vernon, DE (@OAK)- The Raiders were supposed to be a decent run team this season, but with Jones-Drew struggling to stay healthy and McFadden largely sub-mediocre, the Raiders have had to be more reliant upon the arm of rookie QB Carr to move the chains. If the raiders run game is bad again this week, that would open up the ways for Vernon to go Mac-Daddy on Carr. Keep starting Vernon.
Nick Fairley, DT (@NYJ)- A gut feeling tells me Fairley will have a very productive day against Geno Smith and the Jets. The Jets are still finding an identity in the pass game and will be heavily reliant upon the run game in Week 4, so Fairley should be a sleeper source for stuffs and a sack. (Photo courtesy of sportsnaut.com)
A.J. Hawk, LB (@ CHI)- Hawk is a one-trick pony. Tackles, and tackles only. This limits his fantasy appeal as he doesn’t contribute passes defensed, stuffs, or tackles. His tackle total might be somewhat suppressed this week against a pass-happy offense in Chicago and tough running Forte. Hawk currently leads the Pack linebackers in tackles, but if you want one of their LBs, petit be Matthews who will net you sacks and more counting stats.
Bruce Carter, LB (vs N.O)- Despite his white-hot start for the Cowboys (19 tackles, a pick for a score, and a sack), Carter is a tough start this week against the Saints. Drew Brees gets the ball out of his hand quickly, and after and 0-2 start on the road, the Saints will be blood-hungry for their first roadie win. It’s tough to sit him given his production thus far, but this is a bad matchup for the Cowboys defense who will struggle to stop the Saints from marching on to their first road win of the season.
Rob Ninkovich, DE (@ K.C)- Ninkovich is off to a slow start after being one of the most consistent Patriots defensive players the past 2 season (149 tackles, 16 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 6 recovered fumbles, and 12.5 stuffs). Perhaps a date with the Chiefs offensive line that just saw Jenkins have a field day against Smith and Co is what the doctor ordered for Ninkovich to get back on track. If you play for the big play with risk, start Rob, otherwise keep him on the pine.
Justin Tuck, DE (vs MIA)- Tuck hasn’t found his mojo yet in Oakland, and fantasy owners should be worried. It would be nice to be optimistic and see the matchup with the Dolphins as a solid opportunity for rebound, but it’s unlikely considering he failed to muster stats against the Jets and Texans offense. Move along. (Photo courtesy of mnginteractive.com)
Bennie Logan, DT (@ SF)- With 14 tackles and 23 FP/MLFF the past 2 weeks, Logan is a hot DT pick up, but slow down before rushing to grab him. Remember, the Eagles face the 49ers on the road. The 49ers are a run-heavy team with Gore nearly impossible to get under the pads of, and Hyde the shiftier change-of-pace back who is the Gore’s heir apparent. He’s going to be worth a shot going forward, just wait a week until starting him again. Picking him up, is a smart move if you can still get him off the waiver wire though.
That’s a wrap for Week 4. Tune in next week for a potential surprise in my piece and remember, defense is paramount to performing well in fantasy leagues and will separate the top teams from the bottom feeders. We here at Major League Fantasy Sports are dedicated to you the readers and do it for you guys and gals, so please spread the good word about us so we may continue to grow. As the season progresses I’ll try to be more witty in my write-ups, but with being an accounting major at the current moment, I have to keep my fantasy assets separate from my course and financial assets before they commingle too much. Damn, I’m rambling again, so enjoy your weekend and best of luck!
Major League Fantasy Sports Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday September 28th from 11am-12pm EST for another episode of Major League Fantasy Football Radio sponsored by the Sports PaloozaRadio Network. We will be taking live callers at 646.915.8596 Feel free to call in and ask us for an opinion on any tough line up decisions you have. Our guest this week is Bryan Luhrs the owner of Real Deal Dynasty Sports, a writer for Major League Fantasy Sports, and an owner in MLFF4 & MLFB2. Real Deal Dynasty Sports is a partner organization of MLFS. We welcome all callers and questions pertaining to offense, defense, special teams, or individual defensive players.