With so many options to choose from, sometimes fielding a fantasy lineup can be quite the headache. Obvious are the starts akin to Antonio Brown, Brandon Marshall, Matthew Stafford, LeSean McCoy and the game's other big names. However, it’s the tougher choices – namely the less obvious starts – that will end up winning your league.
Here are a few names you might want to consider. And let's not forget about all the teams on byes this week!
Blake Bortles QB Jacksonville – For those of you in two QB leagues, Bortles can be an enticing choice for Week 4. Though San Diego improved their pass defense in the off season, it still remains to be seen how much of an improvement was made. Bortles has some young talented receiving targets including Allen Hurns, Cecil Shorts and Allen Robinson and seemed to have no problem spreading the ball around. Bortles also threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Hurns, but that play was really all about yards after the catch. Still, it looked good on the stat sheet for Bortles. This week Bortles makes his first start on the road in San Diego and, though there is a good chance we could see a few mistakes, there is also a good chance that he can find success with his many young and quick targets. Don’t be afraid to start Bortles as your number two QB this week since he should perform at least on a pedestrian level while his speedy receivers can make big plays at any moment, possibly giving their QB a nice fantasy day.
Darren McFadden RB Oakland – McFadden is only averaging just over 3 yards per carry but he now faces a Miami defense that just gave up 174 rushing yards last week at home to Kansas City. Granted, Knile Davis is the more talented runner these days but McFadden still has shown he is capable of an occasional speed burst from time to time. Fellow Oakland runningback Maurice Jones Drew figures to play this weekend, but that shouldn’t scare an owner from giving McFadden a shot considering Jones-Drew looks to have nothing left in the tank. This should be more of a ground matchup and McFadden will get his chances. McFadden is a good bye week replacement and maybe then some as a lower tier RB2 with the potential to surprise.
Steven Jackson RB Atlanta – Looking for another bye week replacement RB for Week 4? After all, six teams are on byes this week and pickin’s could be slim. As most probably look at Steven Jackson as an afterthought these days, he has quietly put up…well, non-relevant fantasy numbers. But you might be hurting for a runningback and Jackson has a great shot at finding the endzone this week. Minnesota has allowed 258 yards over the past two games and are not the stout run defense we have been used to seeing in recent years. I fully expect Jackson to get his endzone shots and put off up and comer Davonte Freeman for a couple more games. Look for Jackson to find paydirt the first time this season and start him as a low-end bye week replacement RB2.
Anquan Boldin WR San Francisco – While Michael Crabtree tears up the Philadelphia defense, Boldin should also be a big factor. Boldin started out the season with a nice performance against a bad Dallas defense but hasn’t made much noise since. This is the week he should reemerge as San Francisco should not have much of a problem exploiting a porous Philadelphia pass defense. Boldin does have 16 catches in his first three games and should be in store for lots of looks this week with Crabtree stretching the defense like he can. Boldin is certainly a good PPR league play and can be looked at a high-end WR3 that would not surprise in putting up WR2 numbers.
Brandon Myers TE Tampa Bay – If you are looking for a tight end off the waiver wire because you are hit with bye week issues this week, you might want to take a chance on Brandon Myers who goes up against one of the worst defenses against the tight end position so far this year in Pittsburgh. Myers has shown he is a strong pass catcher over the past few years and will have QB Mike Glennon filling in for injured Josh McCown who could be looking quite often for his safety net. Myers has yet to surpass 41 yards in a game this season but he catches balls and always seems to have confidence from his quarterbacks thanks to his good hands and ability to get open in the middle. Start his as a TE2. He’ll get the catches.