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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 4

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Philip Rivers vs. KC

Rivers was fantasy irrelevant last week, throwing two interceptions and not cracking 200 yards. For the season, he has had only one strong fantasy performance, and that was in an inviting matchup against the Titans. This weeks' matchup appears equally as advantageous as Rivers faces the Chiefs. The Chiefs are 26th in the league in yards per attempt allowed (7.8) and have given up eight touchdown throws the first three weeks of the season. In Rivers' last eight games against Kansas City; he has thrown for at least 266 yards or multiple touchdowns. The matchup indicates Rivers could have his best fantasy performance of the season this week.

Josh Freeman vs. WAS

Freeman has yet to have a huge fantasy performance this season, but his matchup suggests he could be the breakout quarterback of the week. The Redskins have allowed the most touchdown passes (9), the second most yards (977) and lead the league, by far, in yards per attempt allowed (8.8). Look for Freeman to have, by far, his best performance of the season and be a nice one-week start for owners whose quarterback is on a bye or is underperforming.

Matt Schaub vs. TEN

Schaub had by far his best fantasy game of the season last week, throwing four touchdowns in a win against Denver. Schaub has always been a good quarterback, but from a fantasy perspective, he has a great running game and often does not attempt enough passes to be rated among the elite fantasy quarterbacks. This week, Schaub faces division-rival Tennessee, and the numbers suggest that despite a potential limited number of attempts, Schaub should be fantasy relevant for the second straight week. The Titans are 28th in the league in yards per attempt allowed (7.9), have given up the second most touchdown passes (8), and Schaub has thrown 13 touchdowns against just one interception in his last six games against Tennessee. Look for Schaub to have another solid fantasy performance for the 3-0 Texans.

Cedric Benson vs. NO

Benson has been fantasy relevant the last two weeks despite having tough matchups against the Bears and Seahawks. Benson averaged 18.5 carries the last two weeks despite the matchups, and if those numbers hold up, he should be highly productive this week. The Saints have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs so far this season and are 30th in the league in yards per attempt allowed (5.0). Look for Benson's fantasy resurgence to continue as he should put up starter-worthy numbers again this week.

Denarius Moore vs. DEN

With Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion, neck strain) likely on the shelf for awhile, Moore moves up to the undisputed top wide receiver target in the Raiders passing game. In fact, Moore has been targeted like a top wideout, garnering 18 targets in his two games. This week Moore faces a Broncos pass defense that has struggled this season. The Broncos are allowing the seventh most fantasy points to wide receivers and have allowed at least one touchdown to wide receivers in all three games this season. While Carson Palmer hasn't been great, he averages nearly 43 pass attempts a game, and Moore should get enough targets to be a solid flex option in Week 4.


Cam Newton vs. ATL

Newton looked bad in what appeared to be a decent matchup against the Giants and this week faces his toughest matchup to date against the Falcons. Last season, Newton threw only two touchdowns compared to five interceptions against Atlanta while rushing for only one touchdown in two games. This season, new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has the Falcons playing some of their best defense in recent memory. The Falcons have surrendered the third fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks and have allowed just two touchdown passes to seven interceptions. While Newton may be too good to bench, unless you have a strong backup, expect him to struggle for another week.

DeMarco Murray vs. CHI

Murray has just 82 yards rushing on 30 carries the last two weeks, and the matchup suggests his numbers won't improve greatly this week. The Bears have given up the third fewest fantasy points to running backs and allow just 3.5 yards per carry to running backs on the season. Murray is going to have some big fantasy days this season as he is unchallenged for carries in Dallas, but Week 4 doesn't look like one of those big days.

Mikel Leshoure vs. MIN

Leshoure was heavily used and was a fantasy gem in Week 3 for the Lions. While the lack of depth at the position suggests he will be in your lineup, don't expect production like he had in Week 3. The Vikings aren't the run defense they were for several years with the Williams Wall, but they once again have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs in the NFL and are have allowed just less than 3.4 yards a carry to running backs this season. They also have yet to allow a rushing touchdown and have been much more susceptible to the pass. Look for Leshoure's workload and overall production to drop in Week 4, as the Lions take advantage of the weaker Vikings pass defense.

Brandon Marshall vs. DAL

Marshall has been held in check the last two weeks, catching only seven passes for 95 yards. The matchup this week doesn't suggest that things get much better against Dallas' two outstanding cornerbacks and the pass rush that Dallas can put on Jay Cutler. The Cowboys allow the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers in the league and have yet to give up a receiving touchdown this season. Look for the Cutler-to-Marshall connection to have difficulties for another week.

Jermichael Finley vs. NO

Finley has been somewhat of a disappointment as have all the Packers' passing game options this season. While the Saints don't have a great defense on the whole, they have been successful at making life difficult for tight ends this season. The Saints have surrendered the fewest points to fantasy tight ends, as they have allowed just six catches for 85 yards the entire season. While Finley should outperform those averages, he shouldn't have a performance that will greatly affect your fantasy team in a positive manner.

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