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Start ’em or Sit ’em: How to Make Your Fantasy Football Team Great

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If you’re like me, you live for the fall.  Not for reasons like Halloween, the leaves changing color, or Thanksgiving (although those are pretty cool).  I live for the good-old gridiron, the beauty of watching NFL Sundays, and fantasy football.  I take my fantasy team very seriously, and always want to know the best players available for a win in the upcoming week.  Welcome to the fantasy football column on the Hills West Roundup, where I will let you know who to start and who to sit for the upcoming week in the NFL.

Let’s begin with the starters, players that you may have on your fantasy team that should be in your lineup for Week 4.  First, there are the must-starts, being the top players at their position, ranging from Leveon Bell against the Chiefs as far down to players like Carlos Hyde against the Cowboys.  After the top guys comes the second and third tier players.  These are not always must-starts.  However, this is a list of 6 players that should be in your lineup this week, even though you may not start them in other weeks:

  • Michael Crabtree – The Raiders face the Ravens, a lousy pass defense.  On top of that, Crabtree has been given many targets lately, and poses as a solid WR3 for the upcoming week.
  • Allen Hurns – I know, I know.  Hurns has been far from living up to expectations this season, but that’s no different from any Jaguar.  I really think that Hurns will turn it on this week, as well as many other Jaguars, and he will reach the end zone like he did so many times a year ago.  Against a bad Indianapolis defense, Allen Hurns is a great flex option, especially in deep PPR leagues.
  • Blake Bortles – Going off of my Allen Hurns prediction, Bortles should have a big week.  I’m expecting that offense to truly fire away in the passing game against the Colts defense.
  • Jeremy Maclin – If you’re a Jeremy Maclin owner, you’re probably disappointed with him thus far.  However, patience is key with Maclin, evident from last season.  He is a solid WR2-WR3 option against the Steelers in what could be an offensive shootout.
  • Demaryius Thomas – In most leagues, Thomas has probably been starting.  However, in those that he has not, owners must be alerted to start this man.  Thomas has been lighting it up and truly is clicking with his new QB Trevor Siemian.  Thomas has a WR1 ceiling for this week’s matchup in Tampa.
  • Cameron Artis-Payne – The Panthers halfback only put up 5 points last week, but Carolina was playing the Vikings defense.  Artis-Payne had a solid outing despite a lack of points last week, with 47 yards on twelve carries.  With Jonathan Stewart out again, he assumes the lead role in the Panthers backfield, and is a flex option in deep leagues in a favorable matchup against the Falcons.

Then there are the bench players.  The list below describes 6 players that you may’ve started this week that you should reconsider:

  • Devonta Freeman – I know what you’re thinking.  “How can I bench my third round pick, especially after his outstanding performance last week?”  The answer is simple.  Last week was a fluke.  Freeman does not carry the ball in the redzone, so he relies heavily on his big play ability for fantasy points, which he was able to rack up last week because he ran all over the horrendous Saints defense.  He can’t do that this week, because the Falcons host one of the top defenses in the league, Carolina.  You might want to get used to benching Freeman, as he goes against Denver and Seattle in his next two outings.
  • Tyrell Williams – This is surprising, considering he is the top receiver right now on a great offense going against the Saints.  However, this has not meant much in the past two weeks, as Odell Beckham Jr. and Julio Jones have been limited lately against the Saints.  I would only start Williams in deep leagues.
  • Issaiah Crowell – I should be a believer in Crowell, as his numbers have been great.  However, I have no faith in the Browns’ running back.  Even against the Washington defense I would be reluctant to start him.
  • Latavius Murray – A great way to be able to tell if a running back is good for fantasy is through carries, and not necessarily fantasy points.  Owners are easily fooled because Murray has a touchdown every game.  However, Murray is yet to reach over 15 carries thus far, and his time is getting even more scarce in the backfield, as the Raiders seem to be easing in their running back of the future, DeAndre Washington.
  • Mike Wallace – Mike Wallace’s numbers are deceiving.  Expect more of what was seen last week for the rest of the season, even this weeks against the Raiders.
  • Michael Floyd – Coming into the week with an injury, even though he is expected to play, I would bench him.  In standard league’s, he has scored only six points each week, and I wouldn’t excpect much different this week against the LA Rams.

I wish all of you fantasy football players out there the best of luck for Week 4!