Friday Fantasy Preview – Week 4

And we’re back, with week 4 of the Model 284 Friday Fantasy Preview. If you are looking for a blend of numbers and subjectivity to help guide your lineup, then this is the right place for you.

Player Notes from Week 3

After the 500+ hours of fantasy discussions I’ve had in the past week, I realized there are two common attitudes towards fantasy players that cause problems:

  1. On one side, with players who have been good in the past, no matter how bad that player has been this year, it only takes one good performance and fantasy owners are ready to ride the hype train until it comes off the tracks.
  2. On the other side of the coin, fantasy owners are so cautious about falling into this trap that they need to see 6+ games to even consider attributing any fantasy value to them.

In hopes of bridging the gap between these two situations, I have decided to include a brief rundown of what I see in these situations as they pop up throughout the year.

Todd Gurley: Gurley had a HUGE week against the 49ers, and is currently RB2 in standard and PPR scoring. He looks like the up and coming star from two years ago. I hate to be that guy, but it’s important to pay attention to which teams he’s been doing it against. Starting the year off with the Colts, Redskins, and 49ers is as easy as Gurley and the Rams are going to get it. That’s not to mention that, outside of a few touchdowns, Gurley has looked average or worse on most of his carries. Consider selling high on Gurley if the price is right.

Adam Thielen: This kid is for real. Vikings fans have known it for a while, but it seems like the rest of the world still hasn’t gotten the message. Thielen is currently second in the NFL in receiving yards, and it isn’t a fluke. On top of it, Thielen has yet to miss a game in his 3+ year NFL career. Expect to see more of the same going forward.

Week 4 Studs:

Chris Carson: Imagine you were a rookie running back trying to cement your spot as your team’s workhorse, what would your dream scenario be? Who and where are you playing? How has your offense been playing lately? If you imagined anything other than playing at home in front of an elite crowd, against one of the worst teams in the NFL, with a QB who just threw for 373 yards and 4 TDs…you’re wrong. The Seahawks are going to get up early against the dumpster fire that is the Indianapolis Colts, and Carson is going to get the chance to shine. All he has to do is keep doing what he has been doing all year.

Eli Manning: To be clear, this is more of a DFS-specific play. Manning is being valued around the QB14 mark for this week. For an incredibly low price, you can get your hands on the QB tossing the rock to Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, Evan Engram, and, of course, OBJ. Things have been rocky so far this season, but the Giants will be going up against a Buccaneers defense that has more injuries than I have ever seen and just got roasted by Case Keenum. He is a cheap play with big-time upside.

Joe Mixon: The controversial second-round pick hasn’t made too much noise yet this year, but his usage last week indicated that the Bengals have turned the page, as Mixon played 34 snaps compared to Hill’s 14 and Gio’s 13. Mixon figures to command the most touches again this week against the lowly Browns. If the Bengals offense continues to look the way they have so far this year, they’ll need to ride this rookie to a win.

Week 4 Duds:

All of the Colts…again: I’ll admit the Colts surprised me last week. They looked nothing like the team from yester-weeks. I should probably learn my lesson and stop picking against this Indianapolis squad, but if you ask any of my professors they’ll tell you, I’m a very slow learner. I double dare the Colts to do what they did to the Browns against a defense of the Seahawks caliber. If they light it up again this week I promise to cut my losses and stop picking on the Colts.

Pierre Garcon: Garcon has been one of the lone bright spots in San Fran this year. He has had a pair of solid games, including last week’s 7-142 against the Rams. This week will not be the third. Garcon is still a solid receiver in this league, but he isn’t even close to the level of challenging Patrick Peterson, who will more than likely shadowing Garcon this week.

Derek Carr/Amari Cooper: Last week was nothing short of hideous for this duo. Luckily for them, they have a date with the best defense in the NFL scheduled for this weekend, on the road. Even if Amari manages to hold onto the ball, it’s not going to make much difference. Find other options this week if you can.