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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fantasy football: Start and sit, expanded playlist and more for Week 4

Before we get to the start-and-sit advice and expanded playlist, here are a few quick injury updates:

-- LaDainian Tomlinson (ankle) and Marion Barber (quadriceps) are expected to play Sunday. Tomlinson is no better than a low-end No. 2 running back against the Steelers, who rank sixth against the run. Barber is a decent play, but ESPN is reporting Tashard Choice will get the majority of the work. Since we officially have entered bye-week season, both backs should be considered No. 2 options.

-- Bucs running back Derrick Ward (knee) seems likely to sit this week, which is good news for Cadillac Williams owners in a game against the Redskins (No. 22 vs. the run). Same goes for anyone who picked up Ladell Betts, who should get the start against the Bucs if Clinton Portis (ankle and calf injuries) sits. Coach Jim Zorn said Portis is "50-50" for the matchup against a Tampa Bay run defense that is the league's second-worst.

-- Steelers running back Willie Parker is doubtful because of turf toe, which should clear the way for Rashard Mendenhall to get the most work of his career. Sunday's opponent, the Chargers, rank 26th vs. the run and have allowed four rushing touchdowns.

-- Lions running back Kevin Smith said he expects to play with a shoulder injury. Sunday's matchup at the Bears (No. 13 vs. the run) isn't favorable.

-- Two upper-echelon receivers, New England's Wes Welker (knee) and Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe (hamstring), likely will be game-time decisions. I would start both if they are active.

Five to start

This week’s look at part-time starters and fantasy backups who should benefit from a favorable matchup:

-- Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals, at Browns:
His yardage total the last two weeks (368) isn’t impressive, but Palmer has thrown four TD passes in that span and should be good for a couple scores against the Browns.

-- Glen Coffee, RB, 49ers, vs. Rams: The rookie takes over for the injured Frank Gore for a couple weeks, and he’s lucky enough to make his first start against the Rams’ 27th-ranked run defense.

-- Joseph Addai, Colts, vs. Seahawks: I don’t think this former first-round fantasy pick will be the Colts’ top back for long, but he should be an effective play against Seattle’s No. 25 run defense.

-- Knowshon Moreno, Broncos, vs. Cowboys: The rookie has rushed for 165 yards and a TD on 38 carries the last two weeks, and he might reach 100 yards for the first time in his career against the Cowboys (No. 17 vs. the run).

-- Kevin Walter, WR, Texans, vs. Raiders: He had seven catches for 96 yards and a TD in his first game back from a hamstring injury, and he should make it two productive games in a row vs. Oakland.

More matchups I like:

Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets, at Saints; Shaun Hill, QB, 49ers, vs. Rams; Julius Jones, RB, Seahawks, at Colts; Cadillac Williams, RB, Buccaneers, at Redskins; Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers, vs. Chargers; Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders, at Texans; Santana Moss, WR, Redskins, vs. Buccaneers; Nate Burleson, WR, Seahawks, at Colts; Devin Hester, WR, Bears, vs. Lions; Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts, vs. Seahawks; Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars, vs. Titans

Three to sit

If you have a decent backup, these starters should take a seat for a week:

-- Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens, at Patriots: The pair have combined for 382 yards rushing, seven touchdowns (six by McGahee) and 17 receptions, but don’t anticipate more of the same vs. the Patriots, who rank 10th against the run and sixth vs. the pass.

-- Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills, at Dolphins: He has a very favorable matchup for his season debut (the Dolphins rank 26th in stopping the run), but I would expect Lynch to take a back seat to the productive Fred Jackson for at least one more week.

More matchups I don’t like:

Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs, vs. Giants; Thomas Jones, RB, Jets, at Saints; Fred Taylor, RB, Patriots, vs. Ravens; Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers, vs. Steelers; Kevin Smith, RB, Lions, at Bears

Last week

Let’s just say we’ve had better start lists. Willis McGahee (67 yards rushing, two touchdowns) and Eli Manning (167 yards passing, two TDs, 9 rushing yards) were productive. Trent Edwards (156 yards passing, 13 yards rushing, one interception), Devery Henderson (three receptions for 40 yards) and Darren Sproles (41 yards rushing, two catches for 14 yards) were duds.

The sit list was 2-for-3, as Thomas Jones (20 yards rushing, one catch for 2 yards) and Lee Evans (four receptions for 31 yards) were good calls, and Joseph Addai (63 yards rushing, three catches for 8 yards and a TD) was not.


1. Peyton Manning, Colts, vs. Seahawks (No. 7 vs. the pass)
2. Jay Cutler, Bears, vs. Lions (No. 30)
3. Drew Brees, Saints, vs. Jets (No. 5)
4. Matt Schaub, Texans, vs. Raiders (No. 14)
5. Aaron Rodgers, Packers, at Vikings (No. 4)
6. Eli Manning, Giants, at Chiefs (No. 20)
7. Tom Brady, Patriots, vs. Ravens (No. 17)
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, vs. Chargers (No. 8)
9. Philip Rivers, Chargers, at Steelers (No. 15)
10. Carson Palmer, Bengals, at Browns (No. 16)
11. Tony Romo, Cowboys, at Broncos (No. 2)
12. Mark Sanchez, Jets, at Saints (No. 22)
13. Joe Flacco, Ravens, at Patriots (No. 6)
14. Shaun Hill, 49ers, vs. Rams (No. 25)
15. Kyle Orton, Broncos, vs. Cowboys (No. 27)
16. Brett Favre, Vikings, vs. Packers (No. 13)
17. David Garrard, Jaguars, vs. Titans (No. 29)
18. Matt Cassel, Texans, vs. Giants (No. 1)
19. Trent Edwards, Bills, at Dolphins (No. 26)
20. Kerry Collins, Titans, at Jaguars (No. 32)
1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings, vs. Packers (No. 23 vs. the run)
2. Matt Forte, Bears, vs. Lions (No. 16)
3. Chris Johnson, Titans, at Jaguars (No. 14)
4. Steve Slaton, Texans, vs. Raiders (No. 28)
5. Brandon Jacobs, Giants, at Chiefs (No. 19)
6. Cedric Benson, Bears, at Browns (No. 30)
7. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars, vs. Titans (No. 2)
8. Steven Jackson, Rams, at 49ers (No. 28)
9. Glen Coffee, 49ers, vs. Rams (No. 27)
10. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins, vs Bills (No. 18)
11. Ryan Grant, Packers, at Vikings (No. 12)
12. Joseph Addai, Colts, vs. Seahawks (No. 25)
13. Julius Jones, Seahawks, at Colts (No. 21)
14. Fred Jackson, Bills, at Dolphins (No. 3)
15. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos, vs. Cowboys (No. 17)
16. x-Clinton Portis or Ladell Betts, Redskins, vs. Buccaneers (No. 31)
17. Tashard Choice, Cowboys, at Broncos (No. 7)
18. Darren McFadden, Raiders, at Texans (No. 32)
19. Cadillac Williams, Buccaneers, at Redskins (No. 22)
20. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers, vs. Chargers (No. 26)
21. Marion Barber, Cowboys, at Broncos (No. 7)
22. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers, at Steelers (No. 6)
23. Larry Johnson, Chiefs, vs. Giants (No. 20)
24. Thomas Jones, Jets, at Saints
x-If Portis is active, start him. Betts should only be used if Portis is out.
1. Andre Johnson, Texans, vs. Raiders (No. 14 vs. pass)
2. Reggie Wayne, Colts, vs. Seahawks (No. 7)
3. Randy Moss, Patriots, vs. Ravens (No. 17)
4. Marques Colston, Saints, vs. Jets (No. 5)
5. Steve Smith, Giants, at Chiefs (No. 20)
6. Greg Jennings, Packers, at Vikings (No. 4)
7. Chad Ochocinco, Bengals, at Browns (No. 16)
8. Calvin Johnson, Lions, at Bears (No. 12)
9. Donald Driver, Packers, at Vikings (No. 4)
10. Vincent Jackson, Chargers, at Steelers (No. 15)
11. Mario Manningham, Giants, at Chiefs (No. 20)
12. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets, at Saints (No. 22)
13. Hines Ward, Steelers, vs. Chargers (No. 8)
14. Santana Moss, Redskins, vs. Buccaneers (No. 21)
15. Brandon Marshall, Broncos, vs. Cowboys
16. Kevin Walter, Texans, vs. Raiders (No. 14)
17. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks, at Colts (No. 10)
18. Terrell Owens, Cowboys, at Dolphins (No. 26)
19. Santonio Holmes, Steelers, vs. Chargers (No. 8)
20. Nate Burleson, Seahawks, at Colts (No. 10)
21. Braylon Edwards, Browns, vs. Bengals (No. 19)
22. Derrick Mason, Ravens, at Patriots (No. 6)
23. Devin Hester, Bears, vs. Lions (No. 30)
24. Roy Williams, Cowboys, at Broncos (No. 2)
25. x-Wes Welker, Patriots, vs. Ravens (No. 17)
26. Bernard Berrian, Vikings, vs. Packers (No. 13)
27. Pierre Garcon, Colts, vs. Seahawks (No. 7)
28. Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguars, vs. Titans (No. 29)
29. Eddie Royal, Broncos, vs Cowboys (No. 27)
30. Earl Bennett, Bears, vs. Lions (No. 30)
31. x-Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs, vs. Giants (No. 1)
32. Justin Gage, Titans, at Jaguars (No. 32)
33. Torry Holt, Jaguars, vs. Titans (No. 29)
34. Ted Ginn Jr., Dolphins, vs. Bills (No. 28)
35. Devery Henderson, Saints, vs. Jets (No. 5)
36. Lee Evans, Bills, at Dolphins (No. 26)
x-Make sure the banged-up Welker and Bowe are active.

MORE FANTASY FOOTBALL: For my breakdown of the chances for success of Glen Coffee, Tashard Choice and more young running backs, click here. The link also includes our weekly fantasy football audiocast.

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