If you’re like most fantasy players out there, you’re going to be spending lots of time this week looking at all sorts of rankings and projections out there in an effort to make an educated decision on your lineup for week four.
Most novice fantasy players are focusing too much of their time and effort on projecting the numbers they expect from their stars.
As we say each and every week, it’s a huge mistake.
Most sites are going to have some type of a top ten, fifteen, or twenty list and focus too much of the spotlight on the top tier of players.
If you’re reading this, you know focusing too much time on that information is completely useless. The real decisions have nothing to do with your star players. They have everything to do with your flex players, No. 3 or No. 4 options.
We define the “sneaky matchup player” as a second or third tier player on your team who you’re likely debating against someone else or not considering at all. These players won’t be found in the top 10 for weekly projections or rankings, but have some potential for the week based on a variety of factors.
This column will give you some names to consider adding to your superstars in your lineup. After all, these players tend to make or break a few critical weeks every single year.
Some of these players will be successful and others will fail. It’s inevitable. In fact, here’s how we did last week.
Five we hit on:
1. LaDainian Tomlinson = 70 rushing yards, 18 receiving yards, one touchdown
2. Louis Murphy = Five catches, 119 yards
3. Bruce Gradkowski = 255 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception
4. Josh Morgan = One catch, 12 yards, one touchdown (all on the last play, but it counts!)
5. Tony Moeaki = Four catches, 44 yards, one touchdown
Five we missed on:
1. Laurence Maroney = 24 rushing yards, one touchdown called back
2. Deon Butler = No catches
3. Nate Washington = Three catches, 30 yards
4. Marcedes Lewis = Three catches, 15 yards
5. Demaryius Thomas = Two catches, 43 yards
Here are this week’s sneaky plays:
1. Blair White @ JAX
I know, it sounds nuts. Doesn’t Austin Collie being the No. 1 fantasy receiver sound equally as ridiculous, though? Peyton Manning can seemingly make anyone a fantasy juggernaut. The Colts are banged up all over the place at wideout, with Reggie Wayne the only healthy one right now. If White is one of the top three going into the game, he’s worthy of consideration.
2. Charlie Batch vs. BAL
The Ravens are obviously formidable, but Batch showed he can still play with a great effort last week. If you’re in a two QB league, you could do worse.
3. John Kuhn vs. DET
OK, I’m going to go out on a limb this week and say Kuhn scores a touchdown against Detroit. Brandon Jackson has shown next to nothing and the Packers should find themselves in the red zone a few times in a game they really want to win.
4. LaDell Betts vs. CAR
If Thomas plays, Betts is obviously not an option. However, I like him a lot more than Ivory this week if Thomas joins Bush on the sidelines.
5. Stephen Williams @ SD
We thought Williams’ big chance came with Early Doucet out for a bit. With Steve Breaston also on the shelf, Williams finds himself in the starting lineup.
6. Legadu Naanee vs. ARI
The Chargers are in the midst of their typical September slumber. A date with the Cardinals should be just what they needed and Naanee is due.
7. BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ MIA
Taylor looks nowhere near ready and Green-Ellis had a breakout performance last week. He should keep it going against an average front seven of the Dolphins.
8. Justin Forsett @ STL
The Rams are better this season, but not that much better. Forsett is a flex option at best (as are most on this list), but he’s getting more carries as we go along this season.
9. Laurence Maroney @ TEN
Let’s just try again.
10. Kenneth Darby vs. SEA
I’m not a huge Darby fan, but I am a fan of a guy you can pick up off waivers who starts at running back for a week or two.
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