Count your blessings fantasy enthusiast, count your blessings. If you’re sitting at 3-1 or 4-0 seriously cheers, because chances are you swerved some gruesome injuries or provided some depth, and if you’re sitting at 1-3 or 0-4 well I’m sorry for your losses but keep those heads up. I think we’ve all learned that key handcuffs are an important investment, and always have a backup plan.

Did Liam Neeson in “Taken” give up when it came to fighting off some horrible people in a human trafficking black market world? No he stayed positive and kept kicking ass. Or how about that quote from Mel Gibson in Brave Heart? “Every man dies but not every man lives”. Ok now this seems far fetched, but take it like this. If you’re on the bottom end on the standing we’ll obviously you haven’t been living that wonderful life in the fantasy world because your team has been shooting you in the foot each week, but hey you’re still alive right? Most importantly coming back to our ball park who can ever forget the inspirational quote from Pete of “The League” “God bless fantasy football. There are many things a man can do with his time… this is better than those things.” Which is why we “Play to win the game” – Herm Edwards.

With that said now we can look forward to watching big, sweaty, buff men wear pink for the whole month of October. For a great cause of course, and it’s the beginning of those dreadful bye weeks. Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, and Washington are on byes so hopefully you can muster in some fill ins or that dart throw you’ve been hanging onto, because we’re not that far from the fantasy playoffs. Here are the guys you should be starting, and some guys you might wait another week on to roll out.

MAN UP

Duke Johnson Jr.

I know just the thought of starting a Cleveland Brown makes you want to puke, unless of course your a Browns fan than I’m sorry, but you’re use to your team sucking anyways. However Duke Johnson has been the better play in fantasy when seeing how Isiah Crowell was drafted within the first four rounds. I don’t even know if Johnson qualifies for a running back anymore, but his pass-catching is what your cashing on in.

Bilal Powell

If you’ve been a frustrated Powell owner but have stuck in there with him great because it’s about to pay off. Too bad the Matt Forte got hurt, but if that’s what needed to happen for Powell to start getting his heavy workload, then shame on the Jets. Start Powell with confidence.

Carson Palmer

How the hell is this old man still holding up? I love Palmer and he’s been one of my weekly daily fantasy plays, and if you need a streaming option grab Palmer and start him against this struggling Eagles defense. The Cardinals can’t run the ball, and as long as David Johnson is out all Palmer will do is throw the ball around 45 times a game.

Tyler Kroft

Will the Bengals have a healthy Tyler playing tight end for them and it’s not Eifert. Even against the Bills who have been tough against tight ends will give up catches and yardage to Kroft. It may not be the prettiest fill in, but it sure as hell works. Behind A.J? Green Kroft saw the teams second most share of targets from Dalton in which the tight end position has become his safety blanket.

Cam Newton

Regardless of who’s side you’re on with the whole sexist controversy, I’m here to talk fantasy and Cam’s value for this week, and my guy feeling is that he goes out there and straight lights up his stats. Not only because of the controversy surrounding him, but traditionally we’ve seen the Panther struggle early on in the season and make a run mid-season. This Panthers team has too much talent, and I think Cam can provide consistent production going forward.

Devante Parker

The Dolphins have been a train wreck, and it’s frustrating because they provide so many valuable fantasy assets on the team Parker being one of them. Usually Parker has been saving you from regretting that you started him by getting most of his work late in games when the Dolphins are trailing, but with Miami’s first home game I think this Dolphins team comes out fired up against a Titans team who just got blown out of Houston, and now led by Matt Cassel.

Dez Bryant

I could see why some fantasy enthusiasts have been just about done and frustrated with Dez, but look the Cowboys have had a grueling schedule and the cornerbacks Dez was facing were shutdown players. Patrick Peterson, Janoris Jenkins, the Broncos defense, and the Rams played him tough but he still shined. And look his target share is too good to ignore, and against a banged up Packers defense Dez is a clear cut man up this week going against a defense we’ve seen him shred before in the past. Throw up the X!

STEP ASIDE

Sammy Watkins

The Seahawks are not the same scary team we once feared, but in what should be a close game it’s going to be hard rolling out Watkins against that Seattle defense, as I would expect Kupp, Woods, and even Gurley to see a larger target share here.

Wayne Gallman

I unfortunately have to start Gallman in a few leagues that I’m struggling for depth at the running back position, so I for one hope I’m dead wrong here. Both the Chargers and Giants are two desperate teams looking for their first win and I expect this game to be a shoot out and one of the highest scoring games of the week. For that reason alone it’s hard to see the Giants commit to the run game.

Martavis Bryant

The targets and deep shots are there, however the chemistry between Bryant and Roethlisberger has not been there through four weeks, and don’t depend on them to find that magic as they host the Jags. Jacksonville’s defense is as scary as they come, and if you have the guts to flex Bryant here best of luck to you, but I’m advising you to look elsewhere.

Melvin Gordon

What??? Yeah I’m going there, and I love Gordon, but I think he’s knee should be a concern for Gordon’s owners and clearly he’s not right. The Chargers are keeping this under the rug as deep as they can, but after hearing how Gordon was frustrated with his workload from week 4 I think it’s because the Chargers are trying to protect him and keep him right. I understand if you have to start him and rightfully so he was a top 15 pick, but temper expectations.

John Brown

Chances are John Brown suits up again against Philadelphia, and after seeing Jaron Brown, JJ Nelson, and even an ageless Larry Fitzgerald light up the stat sheet it’s just hard to expect John Brown to quickly mirror similar production with no issues. He’s been limited in practice and is still dealing with his sickle cell trait and a lingering quad injury. It’ll be nice to see Brown run some routes, but his workload will be limited again.

Aaron Jones

Just from the eye test Jones is clearly the better pass catcher, but it’s no secret that the Packers prefer Jamaal Williams over Jones if he’s healthy, and now that Jones is expected to start for the injured Montgomery this backfield is leaving us with several questions, and seemingly one to avoid. Understandably the injuries are are becoming more common, and Jones was the number one waiver claim for most of fantasy owners, but this is a full blown committee until we get more news on Montgomery’s injury and see what these two young running backs can do.

Marshawn Lynch

If you have gotten by these first four weeks with a positive record in your league while starting Lynch I’m just going to say don’t expect that to continue. It’s the name value the draws fantasy players to trade for him and start him, and he’s performing exactly like the way most people assumed. A struggling 30 year old coming out of retirement and straight into a grueling position. He hasn’t had a long run over 20 yards in 2 years already, and please, please avoid starting against the Ravens in week 5.

 

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