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Game Capsules: Week 4 Game Capsules

Detroit (+1.5) at Dallas, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: The Lions enter 3-0 after overcoming a 20-0 halftime deficit last week. Matthew Stafford was sacked five times, and the rushing attack continues to be stagnant, so problems on the offensive line remain. DeMarcus Ware, who is tied for the NFL lead with five sacks, is licking his chops. Calvin Johnson, who's the first play in league history to record two touchdowns in each of the first three games of the season, could threaten 20 touchdowns in 2011. Jahvid Best has got just 2.9 YPC this year, but he's made up for it by being extremely active as a receiver... Dallas won last week, albeit in ugly fashion as the team settled for six field goals, unable to reach the end zone despite numerous trips into the red zone. Tony Romo (ribs) and Dez Bryant (thigh) remain less than 100 percent physically, but both are expected to play Sunday. The Lions have allowed just 5.8 YPA with a 2:4 TD:INT ratio, so it's not an easy matchup. Dallas has played in nine consecutive games decided by three points or fewer - the first team ever to do so.

Predictions: Matthew Stafford throws for 250 yards with TD tosses to Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew, while Jahvid Best totals 80 yards from scrimmage. Felix Jones answers with 90 total yards and scores, while Tony Romo adds 260 passing yards with scoring strikes to Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, as the home team prevails. Cowboys 24-20.

Carolina (+6.5) at Chicago, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: Carolina won for just the third time since the beginning of last season last week, although Cam Newton took a step back while playing through poor weather conditions. DeAngelo Williams, who was given a big contract over the summer, is getting badly outplayed by Jonathan Stewart, and his fantasy upside is further capped by Newton dominating carries inside the 10. Steve Smith should bounce back after a quiet Week 3, but playing in Chicago is hardly an ideal matchup... The Bears have lost two straight after winning their season opener, although in fairness it's come against two of the best teams in football. Jay Cutler has already taken 14 sacks and appears to be getting a little gun shy as a result, although he gets a Carolina secondary Sunday that has been gashed for an NFL-high 9.7 YPA this season. Matt Forte is on pace to finish the year with 117 receptions and 1,531 receiving yards. And just 635 rushing yards. He should once again act as the team's focal point on offense in Week 4.

Predictions: Cam Newton throws for 225 yards with a touchdown to Steve Smith, while also adding a rushing score. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart total 100 yards, but neither are big factors in fantasy leagues. Matt Forte responds with 125 combined yards and hits pay dirt, while Jay Cutler adds 250 passing yards with TD strikes to Johnny Knox and Dane Sanzenbacher, as Chicago wins it. Bears 24-17.

New Orleans (-7) at Jacksonville, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The Jaguars come in 1-2 with a one-dimensional offense that should struggle to keep up with New Orleans. After as historically awful secondary last season, Jacksonville has improved in that area, allowing just 6.6 YPA, but the team's offense is extremely limited with rookie Blaine Gabbert under center and no explosive options to target. Expect the Jags to rely heavily on Maurice Jones-Drew in Week 4, with the hope of keeping the Saints' offense off the field as much as possible... New Orleans enters 2-1, averaging 34.7 points in the process. Sunday marks the first of three consecutive road games, and Drew Brees has thrown three touchdowns in each game this season. Jimmy Graham is an elite fantasy tight end, but the offense spreads the well otherwise, both in the backfield and with the wide receivers. Lance Moore is likely the safest WR option, especially in PPR formats.

Predictions: Blaine Gabbert throws for 175 yards with a touchdown to Marcedes Lewis, while Maurice Jones-Drew totals 110 yards and reaches the end zone. New Orleans' RBBC counters with similar production, with Mark Ingram getting a goal-line score. Drew Brees adds 270 passing yards with scoring strikes to Jimmy Graham and Lance Moore, as the road team comes out on top. Saints 27-17.

Tennessee (pick' em) at Cleveland, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The Browns are 2-1 thanks to an easy schedule, but they'll have to continue the strong start if they have any hopes at reaching the postseason, as they face the Ravens and Steelers four of their final five games. Colt McCoy has thrown five touchdowns over three games, but his 5.7 YPA is disappointing, and he gets a Tennessee defense this week that has allowed the second lowest YPA (5.7) in all of football. Peyton Hillis is expected to return to action after missing last week with strep throat... The Titans enter with one of the most impressive defenses statistically and with Matt Hasselbeck playing extremely well, but the season-ending loss of Kenny Britt (knee) is a huge blow, both to Tennessee and his fantasy owners. Nate Washington becomes an intriguing fantasy property as a result. Chris Johnson has been off to a really slow start, thanks partly to him being rusty and the Titans' offensive line getting frequently blown up. Still, he obviously needs to remain in fantasy lineups.

Predictions: Colt McCoy throws for 160 yards with a touchdown to Greg Little, while Peyton Hillis totals 80 yards and scores a TD on the ground. Chris Johnson responds with a similar line, while Matt Hasselbeck adds 240 passing yards with a touchdown toss to Nate Washington, as Tennessee wins on a late field goal. Titans 20-17.

Buffalo (-3) at Cincinnati, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: Buffalo comes in a surprising 3-0 and as the only undefeated team in the AFC, as they somehow came from behind down 21-0 to beat the Pats last week. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown nine touchdowns while taking just one sack, although the Bengals' secondary has played well this season (6.4 YPA). Fred Jackson has fast become a top-10 fantasy back, but he faces a Cincy front seven that has allowed just 2.9 YPC on the year, which is tied for the lowest in the NFL... The Bengals have dropped back-to-back games and are home underdogs against a surprising Bills team, but their defense has played well this year, whereas Buffalo's is hardly elite. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have been inconsistent, but both have also shown glimpses of a brighter future, although it's safe to expect Cedric Benson to shoulder the offensive load Sunday. It appears Jerome Simpson will return to the starting lineup. He's an interesting flier in deep fantasy leagues, assuming he stays out of prison.

Predictions: Fitzpatrick throws for 250 yards with a TD toss to Stevie Johnson, while Fred Jackson total 80 yards and hits pay dirt. Cedric Benson answers with a similar line, while Andy Dalton adds 200 passing yards with scoring strikes to A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson, as Cincy pulls off the upset. Bengals 21-20.

Minnesota (-1.5) at Kansas City, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: Minnesota has outscored its opponents 54-7 during the first half this season yet enters Week 4 winless. The team's pass rush wearing down has been a big problem, as his Donovan McNabb's inaccuracy. Kansas City has allowed an NFL-high five rushing score, so Adrian Peterson should be in store for a nice game Sunday. Percy Harvin remains an enigmatic talent... The Chiefs also enter 0-3 on the year, although they were at least competitive in San Diego last week, losing by just a field goal after getting blown out each the previous two games. Injuries have been a problem, as has coaching, but the team's biggest worry is the lack of progress from Matt Cassel, who's gotten just 5.2 YPA with a 3:5 TD:INT ratio this year. He currently looks anything but a franchise quarterback. In a battle of two winless teams, home field is the difference.

Predictions: Donovan McNabb throws for 210 yards with a touchdown toss to Visanthe Shiancoe, while Adrian Peterson totals 110 yards and scores. Dexter McCluster adds 70 yards from scrimmage with a TD run, while Matt Cassel adds 220 passing yards with a touchdown to Dwayne Bowe, as KC gets into the win column. Chiefs 23-20.

San Francisco (+10) at Philadelphia, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The 49ers enter 2-1 and never traveled back home after playing in Cincinnati last week, choosing to stay on the East Coast for their upcoming matchup in Philadelphia instead. San Francisco possesses possibly the NFL's best run defense, but the offense continues to be a problem. It's a conservative attack that could struggle trying to keep up with a high-powered Eagles' offense Sunday... Philadelphia has lost back-to-back games and has two road contests upcoming, so they should bring their "A" game in Week 4. Michael Vick (hand) and Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) are both banged up but expected to play, and it remains to be seen how limited Vick will be. The Eagles are currently all alone in last in the NFC East, but they still have a ton of talent and could overwhelm an overmatched San Francisco squad.

Predictions: Alex Smith throws for 180 yards with a touchdown to Vernon Davis, and while Frank Gore plays through his ankle injury, he manages just 70 yards and doesn't score. LeSean McCoy counters with 100 total yards and reaches the end zone, while Michael Vick adds 250 passing yards with scoring strikes to Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson, as the home team wins handily. Eagles 27-16.

Washington (-1.5) at St. Louis, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The Redskins came close to opening the season 3-0 before falling to the Cowboys by two points on the road last week, and they now get a reeling Rams squad still searching for their first victory of the season. Rex Grossman has been erratic, but he's also been pretty productive in fantasy terms, and St. Louis' defense has taken a step back this season. Tim Hightower remains inefficient, but thanks to such volume, he continues to be a valuable fantasy back... Sam Bradford has completed just 50.9 percent of his passes while getting 6.3 YPA and producing just two touchdowns on the year. Steven Jackson (thigh) is hoping to return to action this week, but he seems to be breaking down. Danario Alexander has a ton of talent, but his snaps remain limited thanks to his lingering knee issue. St. Louis has looked brutal for most of this year, but they should be focused desperate for a win and will be at home facing a Washington team traveling coming off a short week.

Predictions: Rex Grossman throws for 240 yards with a touchdown toss to Fred Davis, while Tim Hightower totals 75 yards and scores. Steven Jackson answers with a similar line, while Sam Bradford adds 230 passing yards with a scoring strike to Mike Sims-Walker, as St. Louis finally gets a victory. Rams 23-20.

Pittsburgh (+4) at Houston, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The Steelers are 2-1 but they barely beat a bad Colts team last week, and their only other victory was over the hapless Seahawks. Ben Roethlisberger has got 8.7 YPA, but he's also committed eight turnovers over three games, as he continues to deal with an extremely shaky offensive line. Rashard Mendenhall has suffered as well, but Houston has given up 4.8 YPC so far this season. Mike Wallace has broken 100 receiving yards in six straight contests and is on pace to break his preseason proclamation of 2,000 yards... The Texans come in 2-1 and they played the Saints in New Orleans tough last week, with troubles in the red zone ultimately costing them a chance at victory. League passing stats are way up throughout the league, but Matt Schaub's 8.9 YPA mark is highly impressive nevertheless. He'll get a tough test Sunday against a Pittsburgh secondary that has yielded an NFL-low 5.5 YPA, although they are still searching for their first interception of the year. Arian Foster (hamstring) is expected to return to the lineup, so fantasy owners will want to do the same.

Predictions: Ben Roethlisberger throws for 250 yards and two touchdowns, with Mike Wallace and Hines Ward the recipients. Rashard Mendenhall runs for 70 yards and hits pay dirt, while Arian Foster totals 90 yards with a TD run. Matt Schaub adds 230 passing yards with scoring strikes to Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels, as Houston wins it. Texans 24-21.

Atlanta (-4.5) at Seattle, Sunday 4:05 p.m.


Comments: Seattle got its first win of the season last week, and it's no surprise it came during the team's first home game. It also coincided with the return of Sidney Rice (shoulder), who finally gives the team an above average option in the passing attack. Tarvaris Jackson's 5.4 YPA looks even worse when you consider he's been sacked 14 times for a loss of 100 yards. At least Atlanta has struggled defending the pass this season, allowing 8.0 YPA... The Falcons are 1-2 and face the Packers in Week 5, so Sunday's game is important, and the team faces a difficult environment in Seattle. Matt Ryan has 27 touchdowns with 25 turnovers and a 6.3 YPA over 20 outdoor games during his career, and the Seahawks are stout against the run (3.1 YPC), so the Falcons may struggle to score more than anticipated Sunday.

Predictions: Tarvaris Jackson throws for 170 yards with a TD to Sidney Rice, while Marshawn Lynch fights for 60 yards and scores from the goal line. Michael Turner responds with 80 rushing yards and a TD run, while Matt Ryan adds 240 passing yards with a touchdown toss to Julio Jones, as Atlanta wins by a field goal. Falcons 20-17.

New York Giants (-1) at Arizona, Sunday 4:05 p.m.


Comments: Arizona is 1-2, but their division remains winnable, and they return home Sunday for the first time since Week 1. Kevin Kolb has got 8.5 YPA over his first three contests with the Cardinals, and the Giants' secondary is the defense's weakness. New York's defensive line is strong, however, as Jason Pierre-Paul looks like a superstar in the making. Beanie Wells is questionable to play with a hamstring injury, so he's something of a risky fantasy start while facing a stout Giants' front seven... Eli Manning has produced seven touchdowns with just two turnovers over the first three games, posting a ridiculously good 8.8 YPA mark with a depleted WR corps. He has a favorable matchup against a Cardinals defense that has allowed 8.0 YPA on the year. Hakeem Nicks' knee is acting up again, but he's expected to play Sunday, as is Mario Manningham (concussion). There's some concern of a letdown coming off a big victory in Philly last week and having to travel across the country to play in Arizona.

Predictions: Kevin Kolb throws for 240 yards with two TD strikes to Larry Fitzgerald, while Beanie Wells plays through his hamstring injury, fighting for 70 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown run. Ahmad Bradshaw answers with 80 combined yards and a TD, while Eli Manning adds 270 passing yards with scoring strikes to Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham, as New York gets the victory. Giants 24-21.

Denver (+12.5) at Green Bay, Sunday 4:15 p.m.


Comments: The Broncos enter 1-2, but all three games have been decided by three points or fewer, so they've hardly been overmatched. Kyle Orton hasn't played all that well this season, and he certainly hasn't had the benefit of a strong running game, but he faces a Green Bay secondary Sunday that has been surprisingly soft against the pass. In fact, the Packers have ceded 8.7 YPA this season. Keep Brandon Lloyd in your fantasy lineups... Although the defense has been shaky at times, Green Bay is undefeated and looks like the best team in football. Aaron Rodgers seemingly only continues to get better, and having Jermichael Finley, who caught three touchdowns last week, certainly doesn't hurt. Ryan Grant may miss Sunday's game with a bruised kidney, which would suddenly make James Starks an intriguing fantasy start. The Packers are overwhelming favorites, but they tend to let up on the gas pedal with second half leads, so don't be surprised if Denver pulls off a backdoor cover.

Predictions: Kyle Orton throws for 250 yards and two touchdowns, with Brandon Lloyd and Eric Decker the recipients. Denver's RBBC is bottled up, while James Starks gets 80 rushing yards and scores. Aaron Rodgers adds 300 passing yards with scoring strikes to Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson, as Green Bay rolls. Packers 28-17.

New England (-4) at Oakland, Sunday 4:15 p.m.


Comments: Oakland has impressed this season, beating the Jets by 10 points last week as underdogs with their lone loss coming against the undefeated Bills in a game they entered halftime up 21-3. The Raiders have been physical in the trenches, allowing just three sacks and having terrific success with their rushing attack. Darren McFadden could very well be the No. 1 overall fantasy player, although the key to beating the Patriots' defense this season has been through the air... New England blew a 21-0 lead last week, losing in Buffalo as touchdown favorites. Bill Belichick typically gets his team to respond well after losses, but traveling to Oakland is no cakewalk. Tom Brady threw as many interceptions last week (four) as he did all of last season, but it's safe to expect him to bounce back in a big way Sunday. Chad Ochocinco looks like a bust, but Wes Welker may break the NFL record for receptions in 2011.

Predictions: Jason Campbell throws for 240 yards and two touchdowns, with Denarius Moore and Darren McFadden the recipients. McFadden also adds 110 yards from scrimmage, while Michael Bush punches in a goal-line score. BenJarvus Green-Ellis doesn't produce many yards, but he runs for a short TD. Tom Brady adds 300 passing yards with scoring strikes to Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, as New England gets back into the win column. Patriots 27-24.

Miami (+7.5) at San Diego, Sunday 4:15 p.m.


Comments: Miami is 0-3, but they've had a tough schedule and are no doormat. Brandon Marshall was shadowed by Joe Haden last week, and he suffers from Chad Henne's struggles in the red zone, but Marshall should still be started with confidence in fantasy leagues, as more TDs are sure to come. Daniels Thomas' previous hamstring injury flared back up late in the practice week, and his status remains a mystery for Sunday. Reggie Bush would see an uptick in touches if Thomas is sidelined... San Diego barely beat Kansas City by just three points at home as big favorites last week, as the team continues to make things so hard on themselves. Philip Rivers surprisingly has a 4:6 TD:INT ratio on the year, but he should bounce back against a Dolphins secondary that has allowed 8.3 YPA with an 8:2 TD:INT ratio. Antonio Gates (foot) is likely out, and both Vincent Jackson (abdomen) and Ryan Mathews (toe) are banged up and questionable as well. It's a shame, because Mathews looked like a borderline top-five fantasy back after he seemingly made Mike Tolbert take a backseat last week. Don't be surprised if the Chargers once again player a closer than expected game against an inferior opponent.

Predictions: Chad Henne throws for 230 yards with a touchdown toss to Brandon Marshall, while Miami implements a running back by committee, with Lex Hilliard getting a goal-line TD. Ryan Mathews manages to play through his toe injury, resulting in 90 total yards and a score. Philip Rivers adds 300 passing yards with touchdown strikes to Vincent Jackson and Mike Tolbert, as San Diego comes out on top. Chargers 24-20.

New York Jets (+3) at Baltimore, Sunday 8:20 p.m.


Comments: New York lost in Oakland last week, and they are in the middle of a brutal stretch in their schedule, playing in Baltimore in primetime Sunday night before traveling to New England in Week 5. The Jets' pass defense remains elite (6.9 YPA, 2:5 TD:INT ratio), but their rushing attack has really regressed. Don't expect that to change much against a stout Baltimore D. Mark Sanchez has been given far more responsibility in the offense this year, and he's responded by throwing for multiple TDs in each of the first three games of the season... The Ravens have won by 28, lost by 13 and won by 30 so far this season, so they've been all over the map. Rookie Torrey Smith had a coming out party last week, with his first three catches in the NFL all going for touchdowns. You can bet he has the Jets' attention come Sunday night. Ray Rice is piling up the yardage and will once again remain a big part of Baltimore's offense Sunday night.

Predictions: Mark Sanchez throws for 240 yards and a touchdown to Plaxico Burress, while the Jets' RBBC produces 80 rushing yards and a TD run from LaDainian Tomlinson. Ray Rice counters with 100 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown run, while Joe Flacco adds 220 passing yards with scoring strikes to Anquan Boldin and Ed Dickson, as the home team prevails. Ravens 21-20.

Indianapolis (+10) at Tampa Bay, Monday 8:30 p.m.


Comments: The Colts are 0-3 and are in the midst of a lost season with no Peyton Manning, but at least they were competitive against the Steelers last week. ESPN can't exactly be thrilled with this matchup on Monday night, as this projects to be one of the least entertaining games of the weekend. It appears Curtis Painter will take over as Indy's QB, and while there's no guarantee he's not a disaster, it's also a safe bet he's an upgrade over what Kerry Collins was giving them... The Bucs are 2-1, but they find themselves in rare territory Monday night - both by appearing in primetime and also being double-digit favorites. After posting a 15:1 TD:INT ratio over the second half of last season, Josh Freeman has already been picked off four times this year. Tampa Bay has a lot of intriguing young pieces, and it should be interesting to see how they react under the spotlight with heavy expectations on them.

Predictions: Curtis Painter throws for 200 yards with a touchdown toss to Reggie Wayne, while Joseph Addai totals 60 yards with a score from the goal line. LeGarrette Blount runs for 100 yards and hits pay dirt, while Josh Freeman adds 240 passing yards with scoring strikes to Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow, as Tampa Bay comes out on top. Buccaneers 24-17.