AFC West Fantasy Preview: Week 4

Philadelphia Eagles @ Denver Broncos (Sunday 4.25pm EDT)

Start Peyton Manning in all formats.

The Denver backfield continues to frustrate fantasy owners, with Moreno, Hillman and Ball sharing the workload. At this moment Moreno appears to be the front-runner with Ronnie Hillman on his heels. It’s a risk to start any of the three whilst this situation exists, I’d rather put a WR in your flex spot than one of these guys.

Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker sit as WR10 and WR11 respectively in fantasy points, and these guys are always likely to put up number for you. Decker ended a slow start last week against the Raiders but I think this shows that any one week one of these guys may miss out. It’s not enough to bench any of them though with Decker being at least a good flex choice at this stage, especially in PPR.

So long as Julius Thomas continues to find the end zone, his value will continue to climb. Thomas has only been targeted twice in the Red Zone, yet both went for TDs. I like Thomas as TE6-10 this week, especially if he can find the End Zone again.

Julius Thomas has 4 TDs in 3 games so far this season – Photo from www.gazettenet.com by Arnie Stapleton

Broncos D/ST should be a top 10-14 D/ST scorer this week.

New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 1.00pm EDT)

Alex Smith is going to be a matchup based starter this week, and his play is largely reliant on his receivers making yards after the catch. This week Smith can expect to score around 10-14 points. Not fantastic but reasonably effective if you’re streaming him. Giants have been poor against the pass this year but they need to turn it around soon. I expect Smith’s short passing to still frustrate their secondary though.

Jamal Charles is the second highest scoring RB so far and should be started in all formats this week.

Bowe’s value as an NFL receiver is to stretch the field, but this doesn’t suit Smith’s short passing skill-set. As such Bowe is going to be a frustrating WR to own in fantasy. In PPR he holds slightly more value. Donnie Avery is proving very productive however and is a low end flex option at the moment in fantasy.

Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce did not practice on Wednesday. Assuming they sit, the remaining TE options are not worth picking up or starting even in deep leagues. Neither of these guys offer you much points yield at present if healthy anyway.

Chiefs D/ST lead all fantasy defences, and they are worth a start this week as a top 10 D/ST score.

The Chiefs currently boast the top D/ST in Fantasy – Photo from www.espn.go.com by Adam Teicher

 

Washington Redskins @ Oakland Raiders (Sunday 4.25pm EDT)

Terrelle Pryor A totally healthy Pryor could give you 10-14 fantasy points this week, and he’s been cleared to play after a concussion last time out. He leads all NFL QBs with 198 rushing yards, and his passing yardage isn’t too bad either (624). How long Pryor will remain effective for remains to be seen but you can do worse than riding the hot hand this week.

Darren McFadden was my bold pick as a top 10 RB this year and he’s sitting in 8th at the moment after 3 games of just over 10 points. However his yardage totals aren’t all that great, and 5 of his points came from a passing TD against the Broncos last week. He faces a good matchup this week though and I’d happily have him as a low-end RB2 in 12 team leagues. If Pryor is out he may even pass a few more TDs against the ‘Skins D!

Denarius Moore was targeted 11 times last time out and came up with 124 yards and a score. This is very pleasing for fantasy owners and he continues to be Pryor’s #1 option in the passing game. Pryor’s ability to extend plays helps Moore find bags of space in the secondary and these two could have a good long term relationship. Meanwhile, Rod Streater is the WR2 in Oakland and has scored steadily around 5 points each week. He’s a bench warmer in your fantasy league though at this stage.

Presently, no Oakland TE is worth rostering, even in 16 team leagues.

Raiders D/ST should not be started this week. You’ll find better options in the waiver wire.

 

Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers (Sunday 4.25pm EDT)

Philip Rivers is the 4th highest scoring QB so far this year, despite last weeks sub 10 point outing. Rivers has looked very effective to me, spreading the ball out well and minimising on mistakes. Cowboys have allowed over 20 points on average to opposing fantasy QBs, so Rivers can be a top 8 QB this week if he continues his smart QB play.

Rivers has had a promising start this season – Photo from blog.chargers.com by Ricky Henne

Ryan Mathews has disappointed fantasy owners again, despite being the bell-cow he isn’t turning snaps into points. He still hasn’t scored a touchdown this year, after scoring just one last year, and he isn’t being given goal line carries either. Tough to start Mathews unless you’re desperate, he’s a low end flex though in 12 teamers.

Eddie Royal’s fantasy explosion faded last time out, not surprising given his production was based largely on his 5 TDs in the first two games. Royal is a low end flex this week. Floyd and Brown have been low scorers too, but they will likely pick up their performances throughout the year. I’d only consider starting Royal but Floyd and Brown have long term upside worth keeping on your roster.

Antonio Gates has over 25 points in 3 games, a fine return for any TE, and he should be started again this week as a top 10 TE. I like Gates a lot whilst he’s healthy.

Chargers D/ST are the worst in fantasy, scoring -8 points so far. Find a waiver wire replacement and drop these jokers.

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