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Fantasy Football start 'em, sit 'em Week 4
3:90 | Fantasy
Fantasy Football start 'em, sit 'em Week 4
Saturday October 3rd, 2015

Who’s ready to watch 14-plus hours of non-stop football on Sunday? The Jets and Dolphins kicking off the action in London at 9:30 am ET, and that will spill over into the beginning of the early slate, which, as they always too, will bleed into the start of the late afternoon games. After a break of about half an hour, the Cowboys and Saints will begin the nightcap.

To answer the question from the above paragraph, I’m sure we’re all ready to kick back and watch football morning, noon and night on Sunday. Of course, you can’t be fully ready for your fantasy matchup until you read our Week 4 Cheat Sheet.

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New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (in London)

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Jets

3rd

8th

9th

5th

Dolphins

19th

15th

23rd

28th

Vegas lines

Jets -2

Over/under 42

Jets o/u 21.5

Dolphins o/u 19.5

A little football with your coffee is always a good thing. Thankfully, we’ve finally exported to our British cousins what should be a good game. No one should have to sit through another version of that Lions-Falcons coaching abomination from last year.

Player who could surprise: DeVante Parker

Parker’s snap count has increased every week, from one to 17 to 42 in the Dolphins’ loss to the Bills in Week 3. No team grabs a receiver in the middle of the first round who they know will need foot surgery if they don’t have plans for him in his rookie year. Parker did get most of his seven targets in garbage time, but he’s slowly becoming an integral part of the offense.

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Player who could disappoint: Ryan Tannehill

The Jets have allowed the third fewest points to quarterbacks this season. They’ve surrendered just 6.18 yards per attempt and three passing touchdowns. The Jets shut down Andrew Luck, picking him off three times, and limited Sam Bradford to 4.21 YPA.
Matchup to watch: Brandon Marshall vs. Brent Grimes

Whenever Marshall goes up against a top corner, it usually provides good theater. The Londoners should get a show this week. Grimes has been among the best corners in the league every season of his career, and has limited quarterbacks to a 41.3 QB rating in Miami’s three games.

Injury Report

Chris Ivory (quad): Probable

Eric Decker (knee): Questionable

Jordan Cameron (groin): Questionable

Branden Albert (hamstring): Doubtful

Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Raiders

26th

19th

13th

32nd

Bears

24th

12th

27th

10th

Vegas lines

Raiders -3

Over/under 44.5

Raiders o/u 24

Bears o/u 21

The Raiders haven’t been favored on the road since 2012. That should tell you exactly how far the Bears have fallen. Having said that, if Jay Cutler is able to play, this game could get a whole lot more interesting. All your Raiders, including Michael Crabtree, should be in your lineup.

Player who could surprise: Raiders defense

If Jimmy Clausen is under center, Oakland will be a very intriguing stream option on Sunday. Clausen is exactly the type of quarterback you want to target with a streaming defense, and Bears quarterbacks have been sacked six times in their three games this year. If you’re a fellow rider on the defense carousel, don’t dismiss the Raiders out of hand this week.

Player who could disappoint: Matt Forte

If you own Forte, you’re starting him without question. Unfortunately, this could be another game where he’s collateral damage. Last week against the Seahawks, Forte had just 74 yards on 20 carries, and didn’t catch a pass for the first time since Week 13 of the 2011 season, which was a game he left early with an injury. That ended a stretch of 49 straight games with at least one reception. The Bears should make a concerted effort to build their gameplan around him, but that still might not do the trick.

Matchup to watch: Raiders offensive line vs. Bears front seven

The Raiders’ line has been the key to the team’s offensive success, giving Derek Carr a clean pocket and opening holes for Latavius Murray. The Bears’ front seven, meanwhile, has been atrocious. If both units play to script, it’ll be another big day for Carr, Murray and Amari Cooper.

Injury report

Charles Woodson (shoulder): Questionable

Jay Cutler (hamstring): Questionable

Alshon Jeffery (hamstring): Out

Jermon Bushrod (concussion): Out

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Jaguars

23rd

26th

20th

21st

Colts

15th

23rd

25th

19th

Vegas lines

Off the board at press time

Andrew Luck is dealing with a shoulder injury that could realistically have him on the sideline for this game. The Colts signed Josh Johnson on Friday, which certainly is a bad sign for Luck’s status. If Luck is indeed out and Matt Hasselbeck starts, you’ll need to temper your expectations for the entire Indianapolis offense.

Player who could surprise: Allen Hurns

Receivers who have played the Colts and avoided Vontae Davis, namely Percy Harvin, Eric Decker and Kendall Wright, have combined for 20 receptions for 271 yards and three touchdowns. All of them have found the end zone and the lowest score of the three in standard-scoring leagues was Harvin’s 13.9 points. Hello Mr. Hurns.

Player who could disappoint: T.Y. Hilton

This looked like a potential breakout week for Hilton with a solid matchup for the Indianapolis passing game on tap, but if Hasselbeck starts, it’s hard to think of him as anything more than a low-end WR2. Hilton has yet to find the end zone this season, and that very well could continue this week.

MORE: Keep an eye on these 10 intriguing players for Week 4

Matchup to watch: Vontae Davis vs. Allen Robinson

The Davis vs. top receiver matchup is pretty much the one to keep an eye on every week, so long as the receiver is up to the challenge. Robinson has been up and down this year, but he should definitely give Davis all he can handle on Sunday.

Injury report

Andrew Luck (shoulder): Questionable

T.Y. Hilton (knee): Probable

Dwayne Allen (ankle): Questionable

Allen Hurns (thigh): Probable

New York Giants at Buffalo Bills

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Giants

21st

25th

12th

29th

Bills

28th

7th

30th

25th

Vegas lines

Bills -5.5

Over/under 46.5

Giants o/u 20.5

Bills o/u 26

As well as the Bills have played this year, this line feels a touch high to me. The Giants could be 3-0, and high degree-of-difficulty 3-0 at that, if they didn’t give away leads to the Cowboys and Falcons this season. Karlos Williams is getting a ton of attention this week, as he should be, but both quarterbacks could star in this game.

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Player who could surprise: Charles Clay

The three starting tight ends who have faced the Giants this year—Jason Witten, Jacob Tamme and Jordan Reed—have combined for 18 catches, 233 yards and two touchdowns. Tamme, who isn’t exactly a fantasy mainstay, had the worst game of the three, and he still managed four grabs for 77 yards. Clay should also get a few more looks from Tyrod Taylor with Sammy Watkins on the shelf.

Player who could disappoint: Rueben Randle

The fantasy community seems ready to buy back in on Randle after his big game against Washington last week. We’ve seen this act from Randle before, however. He has forever tantalized us with his talent, and has shown flashes of realizing his potential, only to quickly revert to his traditional underwhelming form. Your eyes may light up when you see that the Bills have allowed the third-most points to receivers, but that was done either by Tom Brady (no shame) or in garbage time.

Matchup to watch: Odell Beckham vs. Ronald Darby

Darby has been the sixth-best cover corner this year according to Pro Football Focus, but will the Bills let him shadow Beckham? The Giants did a good job of keeping their best player away from Desmond Trufant in Week 2. They could try to do the same this week.

Injury report

Victor Cruz (calf): Out

LeSean McCoy (hamstring): Out

Sammy Watkins (calf): Out

Tyrod Taylor (ankle): Probable

Percy Harvin (hip): Probable

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Panthers

7th

13th

8th

12th

Buccaneers

11th

29th

24th

6th

Vegas lines

Panthers -3.5

Over/under 40

Panthers o/u 22

Buccaneers o/u 18.5

The hook here goes to the over, meaning we could be looking at a little more scoring than most would expect in a game with two offenses that aren’t going to get up and down the field. Cam Newton and Jameis Winston will garner most of the attention before kickoff, but their primary weapons, Greg Olsen and Mike Evans, will be the best fantasy players in the contest.

MORE: Carr a good option, more Week 4 waiver pickups

Player who could surprise: Jameis Winston

Carolina has allowed the seventh-fewest points to quarterbacks this year, but let’s not crown them just yet. They’ve had the good fortune to face Blake Bortles, Ryan Mallett and Luke McCown in their three games. Winston could very well be their toughest test to date, especially when you consider the weapons he has at his disposal.

Player who could disappoint: Doug Martin

All Martin has to show thus far for what was supposed to be a resurgent season is 176 yards on 46 carries. He has yet to visit the end zone, and is giving way to Charles Sims on passing downs. I wouldn’t play him this week unless I were absolutely desperate.

Matchup to watch: Panthers pass blocking vs. Buccaneers pass rush

Jacquies Smith leads the NFL in sacks, and Gerald McCoy remains one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the league. The Panthers rank fourth in pass blocking, which has helped Newton to consecutive big games, from both a real-life and fantasy perspective. If the Buccaneers are going to pull an upset, the front four will have to beat a good line and slow down Newton.

Injury report

Jerricho Cotchery (ankle): Out

Luke Kuechly (concussion): Out

Jonathan Stewart (shin): Probable

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder): Out

Doug Martin (knee): Questionable

Gerald McCoy (shoulder): Questionable

Evan Smith (ankle): Doubtful

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Eagles

14th

6th

28th

3rd

Redskins

8th

2nd

18th

11th

Vegas lines

Eagles -3.5

Over/under 44

Eagles o/u 24

Redskins o/u 20.5

Hurricane Joaquin is bearing down on the D.C. area and could have a significant impact on this game. The one weather event that really curbs production through the air is strong wind, and that seems a near certainty for the entire mid-Atlantic region.

MORE: Complete Week 4 position rankings

Player who could surprise: Washington defense

I wanted to say either Kirk Cousins or Nelson Agholor here, but the likelihood for terrible weather conditions makes it too hard to bet on someone with a major role in either passing game. The Eagles definitely took a step in the right direction offensively last week, but this Washington defense, especially against the run, is for real, dating back to its performance last year. It can stonewall Ryan Mathews and, if he plays, DeMarco Murray.

Player who could disappoint: Jordan Matthews

This is directly related to the inclement weather that is expected in Washington. Matthews would be right on the WR1/WR2 borderline in normal conditions, but it could be awfully hard to throw in D.C. on Sunday. You’re starting Matthews if you own him, but the weather has a realistic chance to undermine both passing games. Stay away from Matthews in daily formats.

Matchup to watch: Philadelphia offensive line vs. Washington run defense

As discussed earlier, this Washington defense has been a nightmare for opposing running backs. It has limited Miami, St. Louis and the Giants to 163 rushing yards and one touchdown on 53 carries. We’ve seen the Eagles’ line struggle mightily to open up holes before last week. With the weather expected in D.C., the winner of this matchup could win the game.

Injury report

DeMarco Murray (hamstring): Questionable

Jason Peters (quad): Questionable

DeSean Jackson (hamstring): Out

Deangelo Hall (toe): Out

Chris Culliver (knee): Questionable

Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Texans

29th

9th

7th

24th

Falcons

9th

32nd

4th

13th

Vegas lines

Falcons -7

Over/under 47

Texans o/u 20

Falcons o/u 27

The Falcons are 3-0 and look unstoppable on offense, thanks to Julio Jones. The Texans have struggled against the pass this year, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. This is a game that has the potential for getting ugly if the Falcons get out to a fast start.

Player who could surprise: Alfred Blue

For all the positive talk about Arian Foster, I don’t think we’re going to see him this week. That would mean one more game of fantasy relevance for Blue, who ran for 139 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries last week. The Falcons have allowed the most points to running backs this season, and just got carved up by Joseph Randle last week. The one concern is that this will get out of hand, forcing the Texans to abandon the run.

Player who could disappoint: Devonta Freeman

As good as Freeman was last week, he did almost all his damage when the Cowboys were doing all they could to keep Jones in check. Once they devoted more attention to the run, it was the Jones show. Freeman is also dealing with a toe injury that won’t keep him out of the game, but could very well slow him down.

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Matchup to watch: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Desmond Trufant

This is the best receiver-cornerback matchup of the week, with both Hopkins and Trufant top-six or seven players at their respective positions. Trufant is always on the offense’s right, meaning the Texans may choose to line up Hopkins on the left more often than not. Hopkins’ fantasy owners would like that, but it would rob the rest of us of a whole lot of fun.

Injury report

Arian Foster (groin): Questionable

Ryan Mallett (chest): Probable

Tevin Coleman (ribs): Out

Devonta Freeman (toe): Probable

Julio Jones (toe): Probable

Jacob Tamme (concussion): Out

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Chiefs

32nd

3rd

32nd

7th

Bengals

16th

16th

19th

8th

Vegas lines

Bengals -4.5

Over/under 44.5

Chiefs o/u 20

Bengals o/u 24.5

Despite a few games having higher totals, I think this will be the highest-scoring game of Week 4. The Bengals offense is totally in sync right now, and the Chiefs have arguably the best fantasy running back in the game in Jamaal Charles. You want every fantasy-relevant player you own, short of Alex Smith, who is playing in this game in your lineup.

Player who could surprise: Marvin Jones

It might not come as a huge surprise at this point, but Jones could yet again post a WR2 week now that he has been fully worked into the Cincinnati gameplan. He played a season-high 87% of the snaps last week, catching five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Facing the strong passing games of Denver and Green Bay over the last two weeks, the Chiefs have allowed seven touchdowns to receivers. Both Jones and A.J. Green could go off in this one.

Player who could disappoint: Alex Smith

I’m not sure any player in this game will really disappoint their owners, so let’s saddle Smith with this dishonor. He’s a viable starter in two-quarterback leagues, but he and Andry Reid simply have to be more willing to attack down the field. The Bengals could force their hand if their offense continues rolling the way it has in the first three weeks of the season.

Matchup to watch: Jamaal Charles vs. Bengals pass defense

The Bengals have struggled guarding running backs as receivers out of the backfield. Danny Woodhead, Latavius Murray and Marcel Reece have combined for 16 catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns, though Reece caught both scores in garbage time. Still, that’s not an issue you want to have against a back like Charles.

Injury report

No significant injuries

Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Browns

17th

30th

22nd

23rd

Chargers

5th

31st

2nd

17th

Vegas lines

Chargers -7.5

Over/under 44.5

Browns o/u 19

Chargers o/u 26.5

There’s really nothing special for the fantasy community to glean from the line here, other than the fact that the Browns are yet again a very bad team. The expected game flow does, however, favor one Charger in particular.

Player who could surprise: Melvin Gordon

Gordon’s owners may be mildly disappointed with his first three games as a pro, but they should also have known that the Chargers were always going to ease him in as a rookie. He has had at least 14 carries in every game, and the only reason he didn’t have more last week was because the Chargers fell into a deep hole against the Vikings. That won’t happen with the Browns visiting San Diego. They’ve allowed the third-most points to running backs this season, making this a potential breakout game for Gordon. I have him as a top-10 back for the week.

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Player who could disappoint: Isaiah Crowell

The Chargers have been just as bad against the run, allowing the second-most points to running backs and a pair of 100-yard rushers this season. Having said that, the Browns will need to keep it close for Crowell to take advantage of this soft run defense. Giovani Bernard and Adrian Peterson both had at least 120 yards against this team in winning efforts. If the Browns are chasing all game, Crowell could get phased out in favor of Duke Johnson.

Matchup to watch: Melvin Gordon vs. Danny Woodhead in the red zone

Yes, the battle for red-zone touches between these two teammates should have the fantasy community transfixed. Gordon doesn’t yet have a carry in the red zone. He’ll need at least half of the team’s share to be the fantasy asset so many thought he could be right away.

Injury report

Travis Benjamin (ribs): Probable

Josh McCown (hand): Probable

Tashaun Gipson (groin): Questionable

Ladarius Green (ankle): Questionable

Jason Verrett (foot): Questionable

Jahleel Addae (ankle): Out

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Packers

20th

22nd

11th

18th

49ers

18th

28th

29th

9th

Vegas lines

Packers -9.5

Over/under 49

Packers o/u 29.5

49ers o/u 20

How high would the Packers total have to be before the under became attractive? 31.5? 32.5? Aaron Rodgers is off to a torrid start, throwing 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in three games. On the other side, the 49ers return home after a rough two-game stretch in which they were embarrassed by the Steelers and Cardinals. Things could unexpectedly get better on Sunday.

Player who could surprise: Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick is coming off of his worst game as a pro, but there’s reason to believe he could bounce right back this week. In three career games against the Packers, including the playoffs, Kaepernick has thrown for 902 yards, 9.02 YPA, six touchdowns and two interceptions, and rushed for 301 yards and two more scores. That comes out to 32.73 points per game in standard-scoring leagues. The personnel may be different, but this is still a Dom Capers defense. Don’t sleep on Kaepernick.

MORE: A complete guide to Week 4 action around the NFL

Player who could disappoint: James Jones

Jones has conditioned his fantasy owners to expect him to make at least one trip to the end zone every week. With Davante Adams out because of an ankle injury, Jones owners are likely certain he’ll score at least once this week. Unfortunately, that’s not how the NFL works. Jones can’t possibly keep up this touchdown rate all season. With Eddie Lacy back to 100%, the Packers could run more against a San Francisco defense that has already allowed five rushing touchdowns this season.

Matchup to watch: Colin Kaepernick vs. Dom Capers

We already referenced this one above. Kaepernick has had the better of Capers in their three meetings, with the 49ers winning all of those games. Does the veteran defensive coordinator have something new up his sleeve for Kaepernick this week? He better, or the outcome could look much the same as it always has.

Injury report

Randall Cobb (shoulder): Probable

Eddie Lacy (ankle): Probable

Davante Adams (ankle): Questionable

Morgan Burnett (calf): Questionable

Vernon Davis (knee): Doubtful

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Rams

2nd

27th

3rd

14th

Cardinals

4th

10th

6th

4th

Vegas lines

Cardinals -7

Over/under 43

Rams o/u 18

Cardinals o/u 25

This total feels a bit high, though it’s hard to have a total much lower when one team is favored by a touchdown. There’s not a whole lot to like about the Rams in this game, other than their defense. Don’t be surprised if this turns into a 23-10 slugfest.

Player who could disappoint: Carson Palmer

The Rams may be just 1-2 this year, but they have been a terror for opposing quarterbacks. They held Russell Wilson to 251 yards, 6.12 YPA, one touchdown, and 31 rushing yards on eight carries, while picking him off once. Ben Roethlisberger played nearly three full quarters before getting hurt, throwing for 192 yards and an interception. Palmer has been great this year, but this will be by far the best defense he has seen to date.

Player who could surprise: Chris Johnson

Bruce Arians said Johnson will remain a 15-to-20-touch back, even when Andre Ellington returns. This is the same man who said Ellington was going to get Adrian Peterson touches last season, so take it for what it’s worth. The message, however, is that Johnson will have a significant role in this game. Matt Jones had 123 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries against the Rams, while Le’Veon Bell racked up 132 total yards and a score on 26 touches.

Matchup to watch: Cardinals offensive line vs. Rams front four

This is an easy one to highlight. You can’t beat the Rams without slowing down, to some degree, the best front four in the NFL. That’ll also be the only path to a good fantasy day for Palmer, Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.

Injury report

Kenny Britt (shoulder): Probable

Andre Ellington (knee): Questionable

Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Vikings

13th

17th

17th

16th

Broncos

1st

20th

1st

15th

Vegas lines

Broncos -7

Over/under 43

Vikings o/u 18

Broncos o/u 25

The only way the Vikings are getting to 18 points is if Adrian Peterson runs the ball 30 or so times and wears out the Denver defense. Teddy Bridgewater isn’t throwing the Vikings to a win in this game. As good as Minnesota’s defense is (it’s very good), it will need to play its best game of the season to slow down Peyton Manning enough to pull off the upset.

Player who could disappoint: Peyton Manning

If you own Manning you should absolutely start him, and with confidence. With that in mind, take a look at what the Vikings have done against quarterbacks this year. They’ve limited Colin Kaepernick, Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers to 6.17 YPA and three touchdowns against two interceptions. The Vikings only path to victory is on the legs of Peterson, and that means they’ll do whatever they can to shorten the game and keep Manning on the sidelines.

Player who could surprise: C.J. Anderson

The fantasy community has left Anderson for dead far too hastily, and this was a player I didn’t like all that much coming into the season. Still, expecting Ronnie Hillman to take his job is lunacy, and if the Broncos can get a lead in this game, they’ll do what they can to salt it away with Anderson. Gary Kubiak said this week that the Broncos need him on the field more consistently. That sounded genuine to me, not like obfuscation.

Matchup to watch: Demaryius Thomas vs. Harrison Smith

We rarely talk about a receiver-safety matchup, but Smith is arguably the best cover safety in the league, and, in fact, ranks No. 1 in pass coverage at his position, according to Pro Football Focus. You can bet he’ll be over the top of most of Thomas’ routes on Sunday.

Injury report

Charles Johnson (ribs): Out

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Cowboys

6th

21st

14th

2nd

Saints

31st

18th

10th

31st

Vegas lines

Saints -4.5

Over/under 46.5

Cowboys o/u N/A

Saints o/u N/A

The big news here, of course, is that the Saints will have Drew Brees back under center after he missed last week’s game with a bruised rotator cuff. Sean Payton didn’t come right out and say Brees would start on Sunday night, but he did say the team is “planning on starting him” based on what he was able to do in practice. The prime time start makes this a challenge for fantasy owners. If you have a suitable option other than Brees in a one-quarterback league, I’d likely go in that direction.

Player who could surprise: Terrance Williams

New Orleans hasn’t exactly been shredded by the pass this season, but their game log against receivers reveals plenty of strong fantasy performance. In Week 1, John Brown had 46 yards and a touchdown, while Larry Fitzgerald caught six passes for 87 yards. The next week, Vincent Jackson had 54 yards and a score, and Louis Murphy caught three balls for 82 yards. Last week, Ted Ginn hauled in four passes for 93 yards. The Saints have allowed at least one opposing receiver to score at least nine points in standard-scoring leagues in all three games this year. Williams is the most likely candidate to be that guy this week.

Player who could disappoint: Mark Ingram

Ingram’s owners may be salivating while watching Devonta Freeman game tape from Atlanta’s win over Dallas a week ago. What they might not see, however, is that Freeman did almost all of his damage while the Cowboys were doing everything they could to hold Julio Jones in check. They quieted Freeman when they finally shifted attention to him, only to have Jones torch them. The Saints don’t have anyone like Jones to trouble the Cowboys.

Matchup to watch: Saints offensive line vs. Cowboys pass rush

If this one seems obvious, it’s only because it is. If Brees does indeed start on Sunday night, it will be imperative that the line gives him a clean pocket into which he can step up and deliver his throws. Even if he’s fit to play, he may not be able to get as much on the ball as he typically does. The ability to step into his throws will be even more necessary than it always is for every quarterback.

Injury report

Jason Witten (ankle): Probable

Randy Gregory (ankle): Out

Drew Brees (shoulder): Probable

Brandin Cooks (ankle): Probable

Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Lions

22nd

24th

21st

27th

Seahawks

10th

4th

5th

22nd

Vegas lines

Seahawks -10

Over/under 43.5

Lions o/u 17

Seahawks o/u 27

The Seahawks got some of their mojo back with a 26-0 win over the Bears last week, and now they get another potential NFC North patsy at home. They may not be able to roll over the Lions as easily as they did the Bears last week, but a two-touchdown win could be in the offing.

Player who could surprise: Ameer Abdullah

Given the way the Seahawks absolutely dominate on the outside, the Lions may try to attack the middle of the field. That would be good news for both Abdullah and tight end Eric Ebron, who may end up being the Lions’ primary offensive weapons in this game. If Joique Bell, who was limited in practice at the end of the week, sits out, Abdullah could be a worthy flex play in all formats.

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Player who could disappoint: Calvin Johnson

Unfortunately for Johnson owners, his delivering a disappointing performance has been the norm this season. Stafford hurt his elbow in Week 1 and hasn’t been able to get right since, and that has trickled down to Johnson. The quarterback is just 1-for-4 on passes that have traveled at least 20 yards in the air. The completion rate is terrible, but what’s even worse is the fact that Stafford has attempted just four deep passes in three games. Couple that with the brutal matchup, and it sets up to be another subpar fantasy game for Johnson.

Matchup to watch: Calvin Johnson vs. Richard Sherman

Even though everything above holds true, Johnson vs. Sherman is truly one of the best receiver-cornerback matchups we could hope to see. That we get to see it under the bright lights of Monday Night Football makes it that much better.

Injury report

The official injury report for Monday night is not available until Sunday, but Marshawn Lynch did not participate in Friday’s practice because of his hamstring and back strains. Joique Bell also missed Friday due to an ankle injury.

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