Hits & Misses – Week 4: Cutler to the Rescue!

Here are our “Hits” and “Misses” for week four, listing players you want to make sure are in your lineup, as well as those you might consider shelving for the week (or at least lowering your expectations!) This week I didn’t even have to worry about skipping the most obvious choices, as most of the top ranked players have some pretty tough match-ups (Brees/Colston vs Jets, MJD vs Titans, Brady vs Ravens, Purple Jesus vs Packers, etc), so here is your unfiltered hits and misses for the week, starting with the Savior of Chicago…

Quarterback
Hits
Misses
Jay Cutler, Bears vs DET – Last week Cutler defied my predictions and had a great game against a tough Seahawks defense, IN Seattle. This week he’s rewarded with a home game against the Lions…can you say “JACKPOT!” Get him in your line-up. Tony Romo, Cowboys @ DEN – This will be the toughest test of the Denver’s “#1” defense so far this year, but I have faith that they’ll be able to contain the Cowboys. Romo has struggled this year in getting in any sort of rhythm and I think those struggles continue this week as Dallas heads into the mountains to play the Broncos.
Jason Campbell, Redskins vs TB – While the Redskins as a whole are pretty bad, they lucked out with their early season schedule, which benefits Campbell’s fantasy stats. Including this weekend, Washington will have played the Rams, Lions and Buccaneers, which are probably the three other teams fighting for next years first draft pick. Campbell should have a big game…just don’t bet any money on his team winning. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs SD – The Chargers run defense hasn’t been anything to write home about, but their pass defense is another story. Through the first three games they’re allowing under 190 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks.
David Garrard, Jaguars vs TEN – I’m not a big Garrad fan, but he always manages to scrounge up some fantasy points by running the ball if he has to. This week he won’t need to run at all, as he plays one of the worst pass defenses in the league. If he can get Holt, Sims-Walker and MJD going early in the passing game, he could end up with some solid numbers and makes a decent BYE week fill-in. Matt Cassel, Chiefs vs NYG – Some how Cassel had two touchdowns on just 90 yards passing last week! Don’t expect that to happen again this Sunday as the Giants pass rush should be too much for the Chiefs offensive line to handle.
Running Back
Hits
Misses
Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs BUF – The Bills were just run over by the PT Cruiser and now they have to fly down to Miami and worry about Ronnie Brown and the Wildcat. Ryan Grant, Packers @ MIN – Grant has been a disappointment so far and now goes against the toughest defense the Packers have seen all year. The Vikings have not allowed a rushing touchdown to a tailback all year and I don’t see that changing this week.
Cedric Benson, Bengals @ CLE – You have to give credit to Cedric Benson, as he has put up some solid numbers against some pretty good defenses this year. He’s rewarded with one easier game against the Browns (before going right to Baltimore!) and should at least break the century mark with a touchdown. Darren Sproles, Chargers @ PIT – There is a small chance that LT could be back this weekend, but even if he isn’t, the Steelers run defense is really good. The only chance Sproles has to produce is if he can take a short pass for a long touchdown.
Chris Johnson, Titans @ JAX – Just a hunch, but I feel a big game coming for Johnson against his conference rival this weekend. Tashard Choice, Cowboys @ DEN – It’s not a given that Choice will start this weekend, with Barber’s return still up in the air. Either way though, the Broncos run defense has been good this year and they could quiet down the hype about Tashard Choice a bit. However, if Barber is ruled out (and Felix Jones most likely won’t be there either), I’m probably still going to risk starting him in one of my leagues, just with slightly lower expectations than I normally would.
Wide Receiver
Hits
Misses
Santana Moss, Redskins vs TB – If you look up Moss’ name in the Dictionary, I think the definition is “Inconsistent.” In many leagues he may have even been dropped after week one or two, depending on the team manager’s level of patience. Last week though, he rewarded those who stuck it out BIG TIME, catching 10 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown. I don’t expect those numbers this week, but something around 100 yards and a TD sound about right. Greg Jennings, Packers @ MIN – While it’s the Vikings run defense that everyone talks about, the pass defense has been just as good this year, only giving up a paltry 219 yards to opposing wide receivers so far. Jennings has been hit or miss so far this year and this might be one of his “misses” (that’s why he’s on the list!)
Devin Hester, Bears vs DET – While Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox have had their flashes of brilliance, Hester has been the most startable Chicago receiver from week to week…and he’s super-startable this week against a bad Lions defense. Roy Williams, Cowboys @ DEN – The Cowboys passing game (besides Jason Witten) looks terrible these days and Williams is NOT Terrell Owens. If you believe that the Broncos defense is for real, you might consider benching Roy Williams this week. Otherwise, play him at your own risk.
Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguars vs TEN – For some reason I am struggling to accept Sims-Walker as a serious fantasy factor so far this year, but this game might help me get on the bandwagon. The Titans have given up the most passing yards of any team in the NFL so far this season and if Sims-Walker wants to prove he’s the real deal, he can do so by going big this weekend. Derrick Mason, Ravens @ NE – Through the first three games the Patriots have been able to shut down opposing team’s top receivers (just ask Roddy White, T.O. and Jericho Cotchery.) This week it’s Derrick Mason’s turn.
Tight End
Hits
Misses
Vernon Davis, 49ers vs STL – Davis had a career game last week, reeling in seven catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns! While I’m not ready to remove the “bust” tag from him quite yet, this week he could do wonders for reputation as he goes against a Rams team that is pretty weak against the tight end position (or any position for that matter!) John Carlson, Seahawks @ IND – Carlson may have started the season off with a bang, but his production has dropped off rapidly. It doesn’t help that he now has Seneca Wallace throwing him the ball and he’s playing at Indianapolis, where the Colts have only given up 15 yards to tight ends all year!