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Connect four: Top player matchups for Week 4

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4. Texans LB DeMeco Ryans vs. Raiders RB Darren McFadden

This is an extremely important game for both teams. The Raiders lost last week on a missed field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. Both teams pass more than they run and are significantly improved from last year. Oakland is ranked third in total defense, and Houston is fourth overall on offense.

Ryans is an every-down player who can work through traffic and get to the ball. He has great instincts and is a good tackler. He is good on run blitzes and is effective in pass coverage. He is at his best when he can run to the ball, but struggles sometimes shedding the blocks of fullbacks.

McFadden seems to be healthy for the first time in his career. He has an exceptional combination of speed and quickness. He can run inside or outside and is blessed with elite acceleration. He is also a talented receiver, and possesses the ability to throw the halfback pass.

Bonus matchup: Texans RB Arian Foster vs. Raiders LB Rolando McClain. The Raiders have been very good against the pass the first three games, but not as good against the run. Foster, the league's leading rusher, will look to take advantage against McClain and Co.

Oher-Harrison Vick-McNabb Turner-Willis Ryans-McFadden


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