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Week 4 Risers & Fallers for Fantasy Football

By I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license: (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsWeek 4 of the fantasy football season is upon us, and with that comes the first slew of teams on bye weeks. This is the first week where having quality roster depth will really pay off, as six teams, including Denver, Seattle, Cincinnati, and Arizona, will not be playing.

This weekly column will take a look at ten players. Five guys that are on the up-and-up, or “risers,” and five guys that are struggling, or “fallers.” You shouldn’t necessarily take these as start/sit sleepers or waiver wire add/drop recommendations, as the analysis is meant to be more of a gauge for how a fantasy football player is currently trending.


Fantasy Football Risers - Stock Up

Le'Veon Bell, RB - Pittsburgh

Bell looked great against a very tough Carolina run defense on Sunday Night. Hopefully this will be the end of the "Do I start Bell this week?" questions. It's fairly clear that Bell is a must start every week no matter what the matchup is.


Rashad Jennings, RB - New York Giants

Last week, I mentioned that I didn't want much to do with anyone on the Giants' offense except Rashad Jennings. And that pretty much remains the case. Jennings is currently the 5th best RB in fantasy, and he looks to be the Giants' only consistent offensive option right now. Sure, I know Victor Cruz finally found the endzone and looked like his old self, but until Eli Manning can be more consistent, Jennings will remain the #1 fantasy option the Giants and a must start.


Kirk Cousins, QB - Washington

Cousins was my waiver wire recommendation from last week, and boy, did he come through in a big way. He's not going to throw for 400 yards every week, but he has the keys to the Redskin's offense for the foreseeable future and should continue to thrive with his surrounding weapons to throw to. Cousins needs to be rostered in all but the shallowest of leagues right now.


Philip Rivers, QB - San Diego

Rivers looks like he is in complete control of the San Diego offense. And with yet another one of their running backs, Danny Woodhead, going down, the Chargers will likely turn to the air more. Not to mention, the Chargers have some mighty attractive matchups over the next four weeks, as their schedule softens up considerably.


DeAndre Hopkins, WR - Houston

This might be too bold of a statement, but Hopkins could very well be the new #1 WR option for the Texans. Andre Johnson looks a step slower, while Hopkins appears to have taken a huge step forward from his rookie campaign. Coming off a six catch, 116 yard performance last week, Hopkins could be in the midst of a breakout year.


Fantasy Football Fallers - Stock Down

Vincent Jackson, WR - Tampa Bay

That Thursday night performance by Tampa Bay was one of the worst games I've seen a team play. Vincent Jackson owners were bailed out by a non-call on a blatant pass interference by Jackson in the endzone at the end of the game, which ultimately saved Jackson's night from being totally useless. But word is that Josh McCown's hand injury is significant, which means that Mike Glennon will take over the offense for the time being. Glennon and Jackson had a good amount of chemistry last season, so one can only hope things improve for the stud receiver.


Tom Brady, QB - NE

After three weeks of mediocre play to start the season from the aging superstar, I have to move away from Tom Brady at this point. If he and the Patriots offense cannot get it going against juicy fantasy matchups like Minnesota and Oakland, I'm not sure he ever will again. Best to find another option for now.


Shane Vereen, RB - New England 

Speaking of the Patriot's offense, what has happened to this guy? Vereen was almost guaranteed several catches out of the backfield, as well as a handful of meaningful carries, with an opportunity to score. Since a solid week 1 performance, he's hardly been involved in the offense, while fellow running back Stevan Ridley has received the bulk of the playing time. The once PPR machine now is probably best served to be on your bench until further notice.


Cam Newton, QB - Carolina

There were definitely some hesitations on Cam coming into this season, and those have proved to be justified. Cam is clearly bothered by either his rib injury, or his ankle injury, or perhaps both, as he simply has not looked like himself so far. He's also hardly running the ball, which is part of what made him such an attractive fantasy option in the past. He looks extremely ordinary right now.


Eddie Lacy, RB - Green Bay

Let me say I am NOT selling low on Lacy if I own him. He's had three of the toughest matchups you could have to start the season; at Seattle, Jets, at Detroit, all of whom have very good run defenses. And I am absolutely not buying into Lacy being this years Trent Richardson. Lacy is bigger, a better pass catcher, and has much more talent in a much better offense. With all that said, Lacy is not performing right now, though I am trying to buy low if you have a nervous owner in your league. The entire Green Bay offense will pick it up soon, and so will Lacy. I'm not benching him.


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