Ten fantasy moves to make or avoid for Week 4
The first three weeks of the NFL season have flown by faster than you can name all the quarterbacks on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing record. For the record, there are only five (Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Philip Rivers), but it sure feels like there are more.
Even if you own any of the "Marino Five," there's a decent chance -- thanks to injuries and general disappointments -- that your fantasy lineup could use a little tune-up. If you're one of those rare fantasy geniuses rolling out a lineup of Brees, AP, Run DMC, Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings and Wes Welker, please go away. Or take my job. For the other 99 percent, here are some tips to help you improve your fantasy roster.
Pick up: Vince Young, Philadelphia, QB
With the news that Michael Vick's hand is bruised and not broken, picking up Young should be viewed as more of a luxury than an emergency. There is a chance Young could start against San Francisco, and if he does, he has an arsenal at his disposal. While Young isn't exactly a mini-Vick, the offensive game plan would not change drastically with him at the helm.
Pick up: Kendall Hunter, San Francisco, RB
This just in: Frank Gore has lost a step. Enter Hunter, the rookie, who scored the only touchdown in the Niners' victory Sunday. Hunter looked like he was in fast-forward mode compared to Gore. With Gore nursing a tweaked ankle, Hunter could benefit from a platoon situation -- maybe even a start -- against a weak Eagles run defense. At the very least, he's great Gore insurance.
Pick up: Torrey Smith, Baltimore, WR
Smith, benefitting from Lee Evans' multiple injuries (foot surgery, ankle), made a major splash Sunday with three TDs and 152 yards. Do not expect this kind of production from the rookie weekly, but if you're looking for an electric receiver to add to your roster, Smith is worth a chance. The oft-injured Evans will be back, but so will an increase in three-receiver sets to accentuate the young receiver.
Pick up: Pierre Garcon, Indianapolis, WR
Reggie Wayne was so Week 1. It turns out Peyton Manning's backups, Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter, are not as keen throwing it to Wayne, who is receiving tighter coverage. This works to Garcon's advantage. He had a tepid three receptions each of the first two weeks, but he caught six passes for 82 yards (and was targeted 10 times) Sunday. Most of those came from rookie QB Painter, who may very well get tapped to start Sunday if Collins hasn't recovered from a concussion. (Or if the Colts pretend he hasn't recovered from his concussion because they are unprepared to eat crow.)
Pick up: Greg Olsen, Carolina, TE
If you're in need of a TE, especially this week, Olsen's your man. He was Newton's top receiver Sunday and had seven catches for 57 yards. More important, Olsen returns to Chicago, where he will be chomping at the bit to show the Bears he was grossly underutilized. That shouldn't be hard, considering Chicago is among the league's worst at defending tight ends. Just ask Jermichael Finley.
Pick up: Ed Dickson, Baltimore, TE
Dickson, whom many pegged as a sleeper on draft day, is finally showing potential. After a pretty quiet first two weeks, Joe Flacco targeted him nine times Sunday. And with Anquan Boldin likely to get a lot of attention from the Jets secondary this week, look for Dickson to get some decent looks.
Pick up: Buffalo defense
Unless you have a consistent defensive powerhouse (do those even exist anymore?), I'm all about platooning based on matchups. The Bills, who lead the league with six interceptions (thanks, Tom Brady!) and have also stripped opponents three times, this week face the Bengals, a young team that failed to enter the end zone last week. The Bengals are also likely to be without star running back Cedric Benson, who was suspended for three games by the league for violating the player conduct policy.
Don't pick up: Victor Cruz, New York Giants, WR
The 2010 preseason sensation blew up last week with 110 yards and two touchdowns. But that was as a replacement for Mario Manningham, who was out with a concussion. Manningham has been cleared to practice and play this week, thus sliding Cruz back down the depth chart.
Drop: Reggie Bush, Miami, RB
In three short weeks, the Dolphins have shifted from a platoon with Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas to Thomas as the featured back. Thomas has run well, including 23 carries for 95 yards and a receiving touchdown Sunday, and Bush has become a liability. Bush is averaging less than three yards a carry, has two fumbles and is clearly not valuable as an every-down back. Don't waste a roster spot.
Prep for bye week
Week 4 is top of mind, but if your lineup is in decent shape, I highly recommend prepping for the Week 5 bye week now. With six teams taking Week 5 off, stash away a decent kicker, a defense with a good matchup or a respectable starting quarterback before your opponents even realize the first bye week is in front of them.
Have specific questions about your team not covered here? Ask away. Also, I'll be back chatting about all your tough start/sit decisions at 3 p.m. ET on Friday.