Fantasy Football

Week 4 lineup calls: Quarterbacks

Share This Story

Michael Harmon

Mike is a fantasy contributor for FOXSports.com.MORE>>
 
   
 

Lineup calls: QB | RB | WR | TE | K | D/ST

We’re already rolling into Week 4 of the NFL season, and those pesky bye weeks have already crept into our thinking.

Fantasy owners have to deal with the absences of Adrian Peterson, Tony Romo, Miles Austin and a few others, including one Brett Favre.

There are several huge matchups on the slate for this week, with Donovan McNabb’s return to Philadelphia against Michael Vick leading the way. The Steelers and Ravens rekindle their AFC North battle. The undefeated Bears fly out to New York for a date with the enigmatic Giants, and the week culminates with another AFC East battle between the Patriots and Dolphins.

It’s full speed ahead to Week 4.

 

Top 10 Quarterbacks

(other than Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub or Philip Rivers)

Michael Vick vs. Washington

Vick has emerged as one of the top stories in the NFL for 2010 after resurrecting his career with two brilliant starts against the Lions and Jaguars. He now takes aim at the Donovan McNabb-led Redskins (did he need additional motivation?) and a Washington pass defense that ranks 31st in the game. Granted, they surrendered 497 yards to Matt Schaub, but Tony Romo and Sam Bradford both moved the ball effectively (282 and 235 passing yards, respectively).

Jay Cutler at New York Giants

Cutler leads the undefeated Chicago squad into New York to play a team that has left us confused thus far. He didn’t tear up the Packers, but we certainly can’t equate this New York defense (with bickering in the secondary) to the aggressive “Psycho” packages employed by Green Bay. Cutler has averaged 290 passing yards and two touchdown passes through the first three weeks.

The Giants rank fourth against the pass through three weeks (169.3 yards per game with five touchdown passes surrendered), but have been run over (26th against the run). Look for the Bears to establish balance in the offense this weekend and to take advantage of the opportunities afforded them by the defense.
 

POLL

  • Who will score the most fantasy points for Week 4 of this group?
    • Jay Cutler at New York Giants
    • Bruce Gradkowski vs. Houston
    • Chad Henne vs. New England
    • Mark Sanchez at Buffalo
    • Michael Vick vs. Washington

Mark Sanchez at Buffalo

Behold the power of Sanchez. Following a 74-yard performance against the Ravens that left fans and pundits confused and despondent, Sanchez has thrown six touchdown passes in his past two starts without an interception. He’ll look to complete the AFC East hat trick this weekend with a trip to Buffalo (221.3 yards per game with five touchdowns and zero interceptions).

Chad Henne vs. New England

Like Sanchez, Henne rebounded from a slow start to post a huge effort in Week 3, an unlikely spot against the Jets. Henne completed 26-of-44 attempts for two touchdowns and an interception. He also awakened Brandon Marshall, who posted a huge effort in the tough loss. Henne rates as a solid plug-in option this weekend against the 25th-ranked New England secondary that has allowed 260.3 yards per game with seven touchdowns (multiple touchdowns in each game).

Bruce Gradkowski vs. Houston

Chortle if you will, but Gradkowski is on the radar as a bye week plug-in play this weekend against the heretofore deplorable Houston secondary. Gradkowski performed well in Week 3 against the Cardinals (255 yards with one touchdown and one interception) and has truly opened up the offense since his insertion in Week 2. The Texans rank dead-last in pass defense, having allowed 368.7 yards and two passing touchdowns per game. Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey are on the radar for your receiving corps this week.

Kyle Orton at Tennessee

The Broncos haven’t been able to surmount much of a running game to date, thereby putting the emphasis on Kyle Orton’s right arm. He’s passed for at least 295 yards in each of the Broncos’ first three games and has made fantasy studs of Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney (including Demaryius Thomas in Week 2). The Titans will certainly bring the heat, as they did against Eli Manning, and this team knows how to separate receivers from the ball. Still, I’m anticipating that Orton is able to find spaces in this secondary and take shots downfield. After all, Manning did pass for 386 yards in the lopsided Week 3 loss.

Carson Palmer at Cleveland

Palmer achieved solid fantasy numbers in Week 1 during garbage time against the Patriots. In the past two weeks, Palmer has thrown one touchdown pass while averaging 181 passing yards. He’s hardly been inspiring, though the Bengals will take their 2-1 record and dance. Palmer rates as a solid substitute play this weekend against the Browns. He’s averaged 223.5 passing yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game against the Browns in his seven NFL seasons.

Vince Young vs. Denver

The Titans rolled up 29 points against the Giants on the strength of Chris Johnson’s legs. Young passed for just 118 yards in the victory, but did complete a touchdown pass to Kenny Britt. Johnson is obviously in line for another big run this week. Young takes advantage of the injuries and inconsistency in the Denver secondary with Nate Washington, and I believe that we see more from Kenny Britt downfield.
 

POLL

  • Who will score the fewest fantasy points for Week 4 of this group?
    • Joe Flacco at Pittsburgh
    • Donovan McNabb at Philadelphia

Eli Manning vs. Chicago

Manning was headed toward the “Flop” candidate slot today, but he ultimately rose to the back-end of this list as I vetted the contenders. Manning has averaged 270 passing yards per contest with five touchdowns and eight turnovers through three weeks.

I’m most concerned about the health of the offensive line (Shaun O’Hara is out) and the concussion sustained by Mario Manningham in Week 3. The offensive line will have its hands full with Julius Peppers and the Chicago defensive front that played without Tommie Harris in Week 3 against the penalty-riddled Green Bay line. I believe that Manning will be able to move the ball in the downfield passing game, but he’ll receive little support from the run game and will be subject to hit after hit. Will the Giants finish drives, or will Lawrence Tynes rule the day?

Sam Bradford vs. Seattle

Bradford has grown immensely in just three weeks as an NFL starter. He’s averaged 218.3 passing yards per game with four touchdowns and five interceptions. Bradford has established a tremendous rapport with both Mark Clayton and Danny Amendola.

I expect to see Bradford’s growth continue this week against the Seahawks at home. The Seattle secondary was carved apart by Philip Rivers in the frenetic comeback attempt last week after surrendering 307 passing yards to Kyle Orton in Week 3. Put the claim in for Bradford right now. You’ll be standing in line wishing and hoping ahead of the Week 5 game against Detroit.

Quarterback Sleepers

Matt Hasselbeck at St. Louis

Hasselbeck has posted a solid opening for the 2-1 Seahawks. He’s averaged 207.7 passing yards with four passing touchdowns, five interceptions and two rushing touchdowns. Hasselbeck is worth a look this week against the St. Louis defense that has surrendered 243.3 passing yards and a touchdown per game. Golden Tate is starting to ramp up his game, and the depth of the receiving corps intrigues me this week on the road.
 

David Garrard vs. Indianapolis

Does the Jaguars’ signing of new quarterbacks inspire a big performance this week? Maybe that’s the spark Garrard needs and maybe it isn’t. I’m looking at this from a little bit of a historical perspective in that the Jaguars normally play the Colts tight and Garrard posts solid numbers.

In the past five games that he’s completed against Indianapolis, the average margin of victory was 3.5 points. Garrard averaged 219.6 passing yards with six passing touchdowns, five turnovers and a rushing touchdown in these meetings. He’s no better than a mid-QB2 this week, but perhaps you didn’t anticipate the early bye week.

Alex Smith at Atlanta

We can say this. The disconnection between Smith and second-year receiver can’t get any worse under the new offensive coordinator. Can it?

If you just read the box score, Smith’s day against Kansas City last week didn’t look terrible. But, you have to remember that some of the yardage came late and that the touchdown pass to Josh Morgan occurred on the final play. Additionally, recognize that nine of Smith’s 23 completions were caught by Frank Gore out of the backfield for 102 of his 232 passing yards.

I’m cautiously optimistic that small, immediate tweaks to the communication and play-calling pay dividends this week. It’s hard to read the Atlanta secondary at this juncture, as Drew Brees rated as their first downfield test following matchups against Dennis Dixon and the accuracy-challenged Derek Anderson.

Quarterback Flops

Donovan McNabb at Philadelphia

I know. Football fans want to see McNabb come back and post a huge day in his return to Philly. And, he just might amass another big yardage total and one of those classic McNabb outlier three-touchdown performances. However, I don’t know that this unit will finish drives. We’ve seen McNabb move the ball effectively (for the most part) through the first three weeks, only to watch Graham Gano set up for a field goal try. I’m anticipating that the aggressive Philadelphia defense has its way with the Washington offensive line and that McNabb is under duress all day. Philadelphia has already recorded 11 sacks while allowing 183.3 passing yards per game.

Joe Flacco at Pittsburgh

After two subpar weeks (and a 1-1 record), the critics were lining up to fire sticks, stones and insults at the third-year Baltimore quarterback. He responded with a big game in Week 3 against the Browns, connecting with Anquan Boldin on three touchdown strikes. Flacco now looks to build on that breakthrough game against the staunch Pittsburgh defense. The Steelers rank 18th in pass defense (219 yards per game), but have allowed just one touchdown pass against five interceptions with 10 sacks. He may exceed that average yardage total, but you can’t anticipate multiple scores with Ray Rice banged up and question marks behind Boldin right now.

Flacco passed for 455 yards with three touchdowns, one interception, two lost fumbles and nine sacks against the Steelers last year.

Tagged: Josh Reed, Antonio Bryant, Ladell Betts, Shayne Graham, Justin Fargas, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, Brandon Jones, Troy Williamson, Dave Rayner, Hank Baskett, Ryan Torain, Kahlil Bell, Falcons, Bills, Bears, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Titans, Colts, Chiefs, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Giants, Jets, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens, Cardinals, Steelers, Chargers, Texans, Bowling Green, Florida, Lance Ball, Michael Vick, Jay Feely, Sammy Morris, Neil Rackers, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Mike Sellers, Phil Dawson, Joey Galloway, Charlie Batch, Jason Hanson, Donald Driver, Brett Favre, Ryan Longwell, Joe Nedney, Derrick Mason, Reggie Wayne, Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Sebastian Janikowski, Marc Bulger, Olindo Mare, Randy Moss, Tom Brady, Kevin Faulk, Adam Vinatieri, Jake Delhomme, Ricky Williams, Kerry Collins, Santana Moss, Donovan McNabb, David Akers, Correll Buckhalter, Thomas Jones, Kris Brown, Hines Ward, LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Terrell Owens, Rian Lindell, Matt Hasselbeck, Steve Smith Sr., John Kasay, Fred Taylor, Todd Heap, Brandon Stokley, Jabar Gaffney, Deion Branch, Maurice Morris, Jeremy Shockey, Clinton Portis, David Garrard, Daniel Graham, Chester Taylor, Matt Bryant, Shaun Hill, Antwaan Randle El, Brian Westbrook, Jeff Reed, Anquan Boldin, Jason Witten, Nate Burleson, Visanthe Shiancoe, Carson Palmer, Andre Johnson, Byron Leftwich, Bryant Johnson, Willis McGahee, Dallas Clark, Kevin Walter, Josh Brown, Justin Gage, Seneca Wallace, Antonio Gates, Tony Romo, Clifton Smith, Matt Schaub, Julius Jones, Devery Henderson, Larry Fitzgerald, Philip Rivers, Kellen Winslow, Roy Williams, Ben Roethlisberger, Lee Evans, Steven Jackson, Michael Jenkins, Benjamin Watson, Nate Kaeding, Bernard Berrian, Chris Cooley, Eli Manning, Derrick Ward, Patrick Crayton, Jerricho Cotchery, Mewelde Moore, Michael Turner, Lawrence Tynes, Wes Welker, Earnest Graham, Malcom Floyd, Jason Wright, Mark Clayton, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell, Roddy White, Heath Miller, Vincent Jackson, Frank Gore, Alex Smith, Ronnie Brown, Braylon Edwards, Cedric Benson, Carnell Williams, Derek Anderson, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Orton, Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Alvin Pearman, Darren Sproles, Roydell Williams, Bo Scaife, Rob Bironas, Josh Cribbs, Leonard Weaver, Nate Washington, Robbie Gould, Lance Moore, Ryan Grant, Greg Camarillo, Tarvaris Jackson, Jerious Norwood, Maurice Stovall, Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Vernon Davis, Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler, Laurence Maroney, Santonio Holmes, DeAngelo Williams, Marcedes Lewis, Joseph Addai, Kellen Clemens, Greg Jennings, Anthony Fasano, Devin Hester, Maurice Jones-Drew, Tony Scheffler, Marques Colston, Jeff King, Bruce Gradkowski, Devin Aromashodu, Michael Robinson, Brad Smith, Jason Avant, Leon Washington, Stephen Gostkowski, Brandon Marshall, Jerome Harrison, Miles Austin, Fred Jackson, Chansi Stuckey, Kenneth Darby, Ahmad Bradshaw, Le'Ron McClain, Steve Breaston, Kevin Boss, Dante Rosario, Brent Celek, Legedu Naanee, Troy Smith, Nick Folk, Mason Crosby, Steve Smith, Brian Leonard, Jacoby Jones, Laurent Robinson, James Jones, Mike Sims-Walker, Trent Edwards, Michael Bush, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Ted Ginn Jr., Marshawn Lynch, Brady Quinn, Dwayne Bowe, Robert Meachem, Greg Olsen, Anthony Gonzalez, Kevin Kolb, Zach Miller, Sidney Rice, Dwayne Jarrett, D.J. Ware, Matt Prater, Matt Moore, Pierre Thomas, Eldra Buckley, Jackie Battle, Jonathan Stewart, Joe Flacco, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Dustin Keller, Donnie Avery, Devin Thomas, Jordy Nelson, John Carlson, James Hardy, Eddie Royal, Matt Forte, Fred Davis, DeSean Jackson, Malcolm Kelly, Ray Rice, Chad Henne, Matt Ryan, Darren McFadden, Lex Hilliard, Pierre Garcon, Chaz Schilens, Justin Forsett, Adrian Arrington, Tashard Choice, Keenan Burton, Tim Hightower, Jalen Parmele, Jacob Hester, Earl Bennett, Jamaal Charles, Early Doucet, Harry Douglas, Steve Slaton, Jermichael Finley, Mario Manningham, Davone Bess, Dan Carpenter, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Albert Young, Garrett Hartley, Rashad Jennings, David Buehler, Javon Ringer, Cedric Peerman, Bernard Scott, Julian Edelman, Sammie Stroughter, Shonn Greene, Brandon Tate, Mike Wallace, Jared Cook, Deon Butler, Mike Thomas, Brian Hartline, Louis Murphy Jr., Austin Collie, Johnny Knox, Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Knowshon Moreno, Josh Freeman, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Pettigrew, Percy Harvin, Donald Brown, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt, Beanie Wells, Mohamed Massaquoi, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, Michael Bennett, Kareem Huggins, Jimmy Clausen, Rob Gronkowski, Arrelious Benn, Dez Bryant, Jonathan Dwyer, Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate, Ryan Mathews, Aaron Hernandez, Jahvid Best, Tony Moeaki, Jimmy Graham, Ed Dickson, Garrett Graham, Montario Hardesty, Dennis Pitta, Brandon LaFell, Colt McCoy, Ben Tate, Boobie Dixon, Toby Gerhart, C.J. Spiller, Sam Bradford, Jermaine Gresham, Dexter McCluster, Max Hall

More Stories From Michael Harmon

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NFL Videos

AFC West fantasy football players to watch Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Ryan Fowler discusses who you should keep an eye on from the AFC West as you get...

Fantasy Football: AFC South Players to Watch Posted: Jul 11, 2014
Ryan Fowler has your AFC South fantasy players to watch for 2014.

Fantasy Football: AFC North players to watch Posted: Jul 09, 2014
Ryan Fowler names three AFC North players who could provide great late round val...

More Than Sports on MSN