Any new PR nightmares to speak of? No? Maybe actually talking about football for once this painful month will be just the tonic everyone needs. We're reaching the point in the season where it may be time to tweak your team based on the new risers and duds that always appear at this point. Or, as some others would put it... TIME TO PANIC. But reading this column should help you not do that... in theory.
Byes: ARZ, DEN, CLE, CIN, SEA, STL
Who to Start:
QB Philip Rivers (SD) vs. JAX: The Chargers look really good again, and Rivers recapturing some of his late 2000's form is part of the reason. With the Chargers also running out of washed out running backs to sign, Rivers is going to have to throw the ball in order for the Chargers to win. Against the Jaguars, whose defense is at this point an insult to sieves everywhere, Rivers should absolutely thrive.
RB Frank Gore (SF) vs. PHI: After an off week against the very good Cardinals defense, Gore should get right back to eating up yards against the Eagles, who not only looked poor last week against Washington and Alfred Morris but also made Trent Richardson look capable.
WR Julian Edelman (NE) vs. KC MON: While many are moaning the decline of Tom Brady not only as a fantasy QB, his receivers have also struggled in response. But this week, against Kansas City's depleted secondary, Edelman could be in for a bounce back week.
WR Jeremy Maclin (PHI) vs. SF: I'm assuming you were already starting him, but if somehow you weren't, San Francisco's secondary has been unusually bad, especially in the second half, which is a great combination for the Eagles who have only been good on offense in the second half this season.
WR Steve Smith Sr(???) (BAL) vs. CAR: Steve Smith is playing his former team, so if you have him, start him. He's going to be extra motivated Sunday.
TE Martellus Bennett (CHI) vs. GB: Since recommending Antonio Gates is way too obvious at this point, Bennett is a quieter version of the same matchup, in essence. The Packers defense has looked off (especially with Clay Matthews on the injury report), and has already done very well to start this season. Start him here.
DEF Pittsburgh vs. TB: The Steelers look like the Steelers again! They were physically dominant against the outmatched Panthers last Sunday night, and against the Bucs, who were pushed around like a rag-doll against Atlanta, the Steelers should feast again despite being depleted in the linebacking corps.
Who to Sit:
QB Ryan Tannehill (MIA) vs. OAK: Considering Joe Philbin seems lukewarm at best to starting him, that would be proof enough to keep him on your bench. But, the Raiders secondary has actually been halfway decent this season, and they did well to keep Tom Brady in check last week.
RB Reggie Bush (DET) vs. NYJ: Despite a myriad of issues in the secondary, the Jets rush defense is still one of football's best. This does not bode well for Reggie Bush and the Lions, who looked a bit toothless in their last road game in Carolina.
WR T.Y Hilton (IND) vs. TEN: Did you know the Titans have one of the statistically best defenses in football right now? Their record sure wouldn't tell you that. The Colts offense has a lot of weapons to use, and Hilton's has been mainly kept in the holster of late. He might be a dicey play this Sunday.
WR Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) vs. BAL: While right now he's Carolina's best offensive player, the Ravens secondary has been pretty good this season in their 3 divisional games thus far. Benjamin will get extra attention due to the fact that the Panthers have no healthy running backs right now as well.
TE Heath Miller (PIT) vs. TB: Despite what last week might have shown, Tampa's defense is not that bad. Heath Miller, while still effective, isn't the best option available. If you have better ones, you might want to turn in that direction, despite Miller being a good bye week option.
DEF Dallas vs. NO: IT'S A TRAP. IT'S A TRAP.
3 Super Sleepers:
QB Kirk Cousins (WSH) vs. NYG THU: You wouldn't be wrong to believe that Kirk Cousins may have a longer future in DC than RG3 right now. The numbers back that up. You also wouldn't be wrong to believe that the Giants defense is probably not as good as they showed last week against Houston either.
RB Matt Asiata (MIN) vs. ATL: Somebody has to run the ball for Minnesota, and Asiata's the next guy up. The Falcons despite their virtues have had trouble stopping the run this season, and you know Norv Turner will want to take pressure off of Teddy Bridgewater in his first start.
WR DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs. BUF: The Bills never look right in road games especially on defense, and the best wideout in Houston right now has to be Hopkins, who looks far fresher than Andre Johnson.
QB Cam Newton (CAR) vs. BAL: He took some sort of beating against Pittsburgh, and it doesn't figure to get any better against the Ravens. With the Panthers documented issues at running back, the game might fall into Cam's hands, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
Good Luck in Week 4!