--WEIGHING THE MATCHUP: Sometimes in fantasy it’s not always the best move to play the best player, rather the best matchup. Don’t be too stubborn with your studs, especially the underperforming ones. Last week was a perfect example all indicators pointed to Ryan Fitzpatrick being a great play and I have him on all three of my teams. Putting in the lineup was still tough for me to do. I played him over Jay Cutler with Ben Roethlisberger on the bye, but opted to keep him on the bench and keep Cam Newton and Eli Manning in. All three had solid days, but Fitzpatrick outscored both players by four and nine points respectively. This week Fitzpatrick is up against San Francisco and back out my lineup considerations.
TIME TO CUT BAIT
QB Russell Wilson (SEA) – Has yet to throw for 200 yards and just 4 PaTD (one of them shouldn’t have counted) to go along with four interceptions. He’s only is averaging 20 yards per game rushing and hasn’t ran for a score. With his starting job in jeopardy there’s no reason to hold out hope.
RB Mark Ingram (NO) – With the Saints struggling to win, much less build a lead, Ingram has been relatively useless through the first quarter of the season. He’s been held under 20 yards rushing in three of his four games so far this year and has just one catch in four weeks. With Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas getting way more touches, Ingram is simply too risky to put anywhere near a fantasy lineup right now.
WR Robert Meachem (SD) – There was much made of Meachem’s arrival to San Diego this offseason, but right out of the gate he has struggled to get any chemistry going with Phillip Rivers. He has a total of six catches for 92 yards and 0 TD’s in his first four games as a Charger while being targeted only 15 times in that span, including two games with two targets.
WR Randy Moss (SF) – Despite adding so many new offensive weapons in the passing game this offseason the 49ers remain a run-first football team. Moss teased owners with a Week 1 touchdown, but with only 88 yards on eight receptions through four games that score is a distant memory. Moss’ snaps are limited and the fact he has had one target in half of the team’s games thus far shows he’s not worthy of a roster spot.
RB Steven Jackson (groin) – Jackson has been battling this lingering injury the past two weeks, but is expected to start on Thursday night vs. ARZ. Over the past two games he’s only mustered 84 yards on 29 attempts for a dismal 2.8 yards per rush average. Even though he’s playing, owners may want to look elsewhere until Jackson gets 100 percent.
RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee) – All signs point to Mendenhall making his way back to the Steelers lineup in Week 5 after missing the team’s first three games as he recovers from an ACL injury that ended his 2011 campaign. He may be risky using right out of the gate, especially against a tough Philly rushing D. However, both Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer have struggled in his absence so it’s only a matter of time before Mendenhall carries the full load.
WR Greg Jennings (groin) – The Packers have officially ruled Jennings out for Week 5 vs. IND. Look for James Jones to start and all Packers wideouts to get an extra bump of activity in his absence. The team and Jennings appear ready to sit out this time until he’s 100 percent which could take a few weeks.
WR Hakeem Nicks (foot, knee) – After missing practice for the second straight day on Thursday the Giants have ruled wide receiver Hakeem Nicks out for this week’s tilt with the Browns. Expect Domenik Hixonto continue to play a larger role in the offense and even more this week with Ramses Barden dealing with a concussion.
Others of note: Kenny Britt (foot), Rob Gronkowksi (hip), Lance Moore (hamstring), Ben Tate (toe), Peyton Hillis (ankle).
QB Kevin Kolb (ARZ) – The Cardinals are sitting at 4-0 entering this week’s action and though the defense is a big reason why, Kolb and the team’s offense has to get some of the credit. Arizona is struggling to move the ball on the ground and that has lead to some gaudy numbers. He turned in his first three-TD day while throwing for 324 yards last week in a win over the Dolphins. He could prove to be a nice bye-week filler in the weeks ahead.
RB Jackie Battle (SD) – Fantasy owners were shocked last week when Chargers’ coach Norv Turner started Battle over Ryan Mathews, but Battle made the most of his opportunity. He finished with 19 touches for 81 total yards and a pair of touchdowns last week in a win over the Chiefs. Though Mathews is clearly still San Diego’s best back and definitely in the mix, Battle is going to remain the starter for now and is a borderline lineup option until further notice.
WR Brian Hartline (MIA) – Hartline hauled in a career-best 12 receptions for 253 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Cardinals a week ago and is now 455 yards and a TD on 25 catches for the season. Somehow he was still available in over 60 percent of fantasy leagues before the game, but that is changing quickly. If he’s still in their in your league don’t hesitate to add him.