Thanks for checking out the Fantasy Focus! Each week you will find several articles related to fantasy football including opinions and analysis. If you have any input or fantasy questions, feel free to comment at the bottom of each post.
Who to start, who to sit:
Start: Matt Shaub QB - HOU
The Texans are licking their chops with Oakland coming to Houston in week 4. While the Raiders' defense is not that bad, they are on the field way too often. You have heard of the term 'thee-and-out', but with Jamarcus Russell at the helm, the Raiders will be lucky to have that many opportunities per offensive series. Schaub will shred the Raiders for huge chunks of offense, primarily targeting WR Andre Johnson and TE Owen Daniels in the passing game.
Projections: 21/34, 339 yards, 3 TD's
Sit: Steven Jackson RB - STL
Three of the four top offensive players for the Rams will be out with injury in week 4 as they travel to San Fransisco: QB Marc Bulger, WR Donnie Avery and WR Laurent Robinson. Sure, this could mean Jackson seeing additional carries as the one weapon St. Louis has left, but the 49ers know this and will make due adjustments. San Fransisco already boasts a stingy defense with coach Mike Singletary on the sidelines, so be sure to look elsewhere in your fantasy line-up if you own Jackson. If the injuries on offense linger, the Rams will be in jeopardy of pulling an '2008 Detroit Lions'. It might be too early to make a claim such as this, but you heard it here first.
Projections: 22 carries, 42 yards 0 TD's
Week 4 sleepers:
Mike Sims-Walker WR - JAC
Jacksonville is hosting Tennessee this week. With Gerrard and Sims-Walker becoming more comfortable with each other on offense and additional accommodations being made on defense to stifle Maurice Jones-Drew, a date with the underachieving Titans (ranked 29 in pass defense) makes this more than just a 'safe' bet. Look for Sims-Walker to have a break-out game and continue to be a huge 2009 fantasy sleeper.
Projections: 7 receptions, 126 yards, 1 TD.
Cedric Benson RB - CIN
This might not come as a huge surprise, but most of us thought Benson's career was over prior to this season. So far he is averaging 97.7 rushing yards per game and has two TD's. Look for that production to increase this Sunday against a struggling Browns defense.
Projections: 19 carries, 124 rushing yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards.
Tashard Choice RB - DAL
With injuries to both Marion Barber and Felix Jones, Tashard Choice has an excellent opportunity to prove himself as a legitimate weapon in the Cowboy backfield. Last week vs. Carolina, Choice had a monopoly on his team's run game in the fourth quarter with Barber already out and Jones leaving with a sprained knee. He finished with 84 rushing yards and a TD. He also added four receptions, 36 receiving yards and a two point conversion to top it all off. If Barber and Jones are out for week 4 at Denver, Choice is a solid number 2 RB option.
Projections: 21 carries, 116 rushing yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 32 receiving yards.
Best waiver-wire pick-up: Glen Coffee RB - SF
Here is a call to action for all Frank Gore owners: Pick up Glen Coffee before any other owners in your league beat you to it. Gore will be sidelined for the next two games (which are both at home) vs. St. Louis and Atlanta who provide ample opportunities for opposing running backs. This is a great short-term solution as well for those of you who need a flex option or have RB's faced with injuries or bye weeks. Coffee rushed for 55 yards on 25 carries against the Vikings, who are among the league's best in run defense. That will likely double against the Rams this week.
Projections: 23 carries, 119 yards, 4 receptions, 28 yards, 2 total TD's.
Question of the week: Will Brett Favre continue to show improvement and become a number one, fantasy QB?
So far this season, Favre has improved statistically in each game through the first three weeks of the season: 110 yards with 1 TD, 155 yards with 2 TD's, and 301 yards with 2 TD's. Look for this trend to level out Monday night vs. Green Bay. Favre seems to play out of his mind when he is in a big game in prime-time so he still may hover around the 300 yard mark, but if any team in the league can get to him it will be the Packers... and the schedule does not get any easier from here on out: Baltimore, at Pittsburg and at Green Bay. The schedule softens after their week 9 bye, but Favre will likely be battling bumps and bruises at this point. At the tender age of 40, the iron-man may be facing his ugliest, fiercest opponent yet: old age. Favre will be a solid number 2 fantasy QB for the better part of the season, but his value will drop as the season goes on.
As always, leave your fantasy comments and questions in the comment link below.