Fantasy Football: Top 5 sleepers for Week 4


Sep 27, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) puts pressure on Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) as tackle Jermey Parnell (78) defends in the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the the Jacksonville Jaguars 51-17. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Time truly does fly when you’re having fun with fantasy football. It feels like the football season has just begun and yet we’re already approaching Week 4. This is the perfect time to research all the possible sleeper picks who could very well turn out big this week and in the weeks to come.

At this point in the season, you’re starting to gain a feel for your fantasy football team. Teams with winning records are picturing that playoff run and how their team names will look immortalized on trophies and plaques. Teams with losing records are beginning to panic, scouring the waiver wire for any potential advantage.

At this point, regardless of how your fantasy football team is faring, take a cue from Aaron Rodgers and relax. Its not yet time to make any overly dramatic or crazy moves (no dropping DeMarco Murray yet).

That being said, all fantasy players should consistently make small moves and roster tweaks to ensure an advantage in their weekly matchups. If you play fantasy football and are struggling to determine what moves to make, here’s the top 5 potential sleeper players to consider adding and starting for Week 4.

Next: 5. CJ2K has fresh legs

Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) carries the ball behind guard Jonathan Cooper (61) during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

5. Chris Johnson

Following an injury to starter Andre Ellington, running back Chris Johnson has filled in admirably. Who would have thought he would rekindle his career with the Cardinals?

The former star of the Tennessee Titans was the difference maker in many Week 3 fantasy matchups, as he amassed 110 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns against the woeful San Francisco 49ers. This week, Johnson and the Cardinals face the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams’ defense has been consistently shredded by the run this year. Even if Ellington returns for Week 4, Johnson should have some success. If Ellington remains sidelined, consider Johnson to be a solid RB2 play.

Next: 4. A Defensive Recommendation?

Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (52) forces a fumble by Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) in a NFL game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Browns 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4. Oakland Raiders Defense

At first glance, even carrying the Oakland Raiders’ defense on a fantasy roster seems absurd. The Raiders were wrecked by Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco over the first two weeks of the season, surrendering 33 points to both the Bengals and Ravens.

However, the unit rebounded slightly against the Browns in Week 3, registering a few turnovers and holding Cleveland to 20 points. Ultimately though, the Raiders defense is a good play for Week 4 because of the opponent they’re facing in the Chicago Bears.

The Bears are the most pitiful team in all of professional sports right now. The Bears, minus Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery, amassed an astoundingly pathetic 63 yards passing last week. Jimmy Clausen is not a viable NFL starting quarterback.

But until Cutler returns, the Bears are forced to roll with him. Check last minute injury updates to ensure Cutler does not return for Week 4. Until Cutler returns to action, any defense facing the Bears will be a fantasy gold mine.

Next: 3. Not the running back you expected

Sep 27, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Karlos Williams scores in the second half as Miami Dolphins corner back Brent Grimes (21) chases in the second half at Sun Life Stadium where Buffalo defeated the Dolphins 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports

3. Karlos Williams

Multiple media outlets are reporting that star running back LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills will not play in Week 4. Enter promising rookie Karlos Williams. Even when he was sharing carries with McCoy, Williams still has racked up 186 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns through his first 3 games.

Facing the New York Giants in Week 4, Williams should receive the vast majority of his team’s carries. The Giants are a mess on defense and tend to give up the big play almost seemingly, this would be a great matchup to start Williams in.

If he is still available in your fantasy league, grab him now, start him Sunday and reap the benefits for the foreseeable future.

Next: 2. Another Bill worth starting

Sep 20, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay (85) celebrates his first half touchdown against the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

2. Charles Clay

Bills’ tight end Charles Clay has heated up lately, scoring a touchdown in each of his past two games. The Bills’ offense is still bringing the heat thanks to everyone clicking on all cylinders.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ defense has frequently failed to defend the tight end position, giving up 68+ receiving yards to opposing tight ends in each of their first three games. This could end up giving Clay a huge game against Big Blue.

Apart from Rob Gronkowski, it can be exceedingly difficult to find consistent play at the tight end position. Nevertheless, considering Clay’s recent hot streak and the struggles of the Giants’ defense, playing Clay should be a safe bet for Week 4.

Next: 1. A Jaguar actually worth starting

Sep 27, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) puts pressure on Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) as tackle Jermey Parnell (78) defends in the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the the Jacksonville Jaguars 51-17. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

1. Blake Bortles

The NFL has already been beset with a litany of injuries to notable quarterbacks. Fantasy owners who own Drew Brees, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger or Tony Romo may be scrambling to find a competent replacement option.

Although playing him every week wouldn’t be ideal, quarterback Blake Bortles of the Jacksonville Jaguars can carry fantasy owners through Week 4. After a disappointing season debut, Bortles has heated up lately, throwing for over 200 yards and 2 touchdown passes in each of his past 2 games.

This week Bortles faces a floundering defense in the Indianapolis Colts that was lit up by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Marcus Mariota over the past 2 weeks. Don’t bench a top ten fantasy quarterback for Bortles. However, if you find yourself desperately scavenging for a quarterback this week, take a chance on him.

Next: New York Jets: What will Devin Smith bring to the table?

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