It's week four in the NFL and this is the point where some managers are sweating their 0-4 start while others are preparing for their post season aspirations. But as we all know, the injury bug and bye weeks can render your plans for victory meaningless. Let's take a look at week four's players that may make or break your week in fantasy for today.
Christian Ponder QB (vs. TEN): Christian Ponder just isn't turning the ball over, and facing a Tennessee D that has allowed the second most points to QBs this season. The only concern is he may end up turning the ball over once or twice if he throws more than often. Still will be worth starting, seeing as I'd take an extra TD for every INT.
Cedric Benson RB (at IND): Benson had 10 fantasy points and 22 touches against the soft Saints D last week, and he now has double digits in Fantasy points in three consecutive outings. The Colts have already allowed three running backs to reach at least 16 fantasy points and the 8th most to fantasy RBs currently.
Reggie Bush RB (at CIN): While Bush had only six points last week against the Cardinals don't expect that against the soft Bengals D. The Bengals limited MJD to 80 total yards, but prior to that the Bengals had given up double digits in Fantasy points against Ray Rice, Trent Richardson and Alfred Morris. Reggie started the season with 41 fantasy points in the first two games against Houston and Oakland. If his knee stays healthy he will get double digit points this game. Cincy is still giving up the 9th most points to fantasy RBs.
Brian Hartline WR (at CIN): Hartline went all Highlander last week and definitely should be at minimum should be considered at least a No. 3 Fantasy receiver or flex option this week simply on the targets he will receive. He is No. 3 in the NFL in targets with 48, which trails only Victor Cruz and Dwayne Bowe, who each have 49. While the Bengals have only allowed three touchdowns to opposing receivers they've only faced Cleveland, Washington (without Pierre Garcon) and the Blaine Gabberts in past three games. It definitely helps that the Bengals secondary is still depleted due to injuries and Miami can actually throw the ball downfield.
Malcolm Floyd WR (vs. NO): While Floyd caught just two balls for 23 yards last week against the Chiefs, this is definitely his week to bounce back. Drew Brees will be looking to have a big game attacking the weak New Orleans secondary that is allowing the 4th most points to WRs this season.
Fred Davis TE (vs. ATL): Has 16 Fantasy points the past two weeks and finally starting to pay dividends for those who drafted him. The Falcons are giving up the 16th most points to fantasy TEs, but every TE of value they have played against has gotten 9+ points (Kevin Boss and Greg Olsen).
Vikings D (vs. TEN): Anyone who has seen the Titans play this season is well aware that the only way they win a game is if their special teams units score points. Matt Hasselbeck will give multiple INTs away throughout the game as always. So be prepared for a double digit point fantasy performance for this unit.
Jay Cutler QB (vs. JAX): The good news-Cutler snapped his two-game terrible streak where he had 10 Fantasy points combined against Green Bay and St. Louis last week against the Cowboys. The bad news-The Bears won't need him to throw much against the Jags, who simply cannot stop the run without Daryl Smith. Due to this Cutler should probably have a mediocre outing. If you're using him for a bye week replacement be prepared for QB-3 type numbers in the likely blowout.
C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson RB (at SF): This could be a rough week for the Buffalo running game as a whole, especially with both guys splitting carries. The good news-Spiller and Jackson are healthy. The bad news- they both struggled against a soft Patriots D in Week 4. The worst news-They're facing an awesome 49ers run D, who have only allowed one 100-yard rusher in the past 26 games and three touchdowns to opposing running backs in the past 21 outings. Look elsewhere.
DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart RB (vs. SEA): Williams has gotten 29 fantasy points in his past three games against the Saints, Giants and Falcons. This is a tough matchup this week against the Seahawks, who have allowed two rushing touchdowns while shutting down DeMarco Murray and Steven Jackson.
Dwayne Bowe WR (vs. BAL): The Ravens defense has allowed just two touchdowns to wideouts in 2012, and has given up one receiving touchdown or less in each of its last 22 regular-season games. Bowe is receving a boat load of targets, but the Chiefs are just terrible. I wouldn't play him this week against that D if you have better or moderately equal options available.
Pierre Garcon WR (vs. ATL): While he was slightly injured in week four he had only one catch for 20 yards on one target against the Bucs. He should be more involved this week, but the Falcons have held Dwayne Bowe, Eric Decker, Floyd, Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell to five Fantasy points or less. The Falcons have allowed just two touchdowns and the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. I wouldn't do it knowing he's not 100%.
Marcedes Lewis TE (vs. CHI): While the Bears have allowed three TEs to reach at least eight Fantasy points, it seems the Jags will keep Lewis in more to block. This will limit his fantasy potential even more than Blaine Gabbert being his QB. We just can't trust anyone in the Jags passing game until they prove it two weeks in a row.
Falcons D (vs. WAS): The Falcons defense had their worst fantasy performance of the season last week, scoring four points against Cam Newton and the Panthers. Now they have the pleasure of facing Newton 2.0. Robert Griffin III and the Redskins, simply haven't not been a great matchup for opposing defenses.
Maurice Jones-Drew RB (vs. CHI): MJD faces the NFL's third ranked rushing defense this week, and coming off his 38 yards Week 4 performance (80 total yards). He's a scary option this week. However, MJD is hard to bench. Play him if you must, just don't expect No. 1 running back numbers.
Rashard Mendenhall RB (vs. PHI): Not knowing how many touches he'll get is scary. Playing behind a bad O-line is worse. He's back and supposedly healthy so he should be a flex option unless you have something better. Just be aware that he has three negatives going against him with playing against a strong run Eagles D.
So who's in your lineup this week Big Cat Country?