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Lions' offense will have a big fantasy day vs. Cowboys

Scott Engel of previews all the Week 4 action from Fantasy perspectives.

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks

After a disappointing Week 3, it will not be easy for Michael Turner to attempt to get back on track against a stout Seattle run defense. Matt Ryan will have to throw often to keep the offense moving and should be a prolific fantasy performer this week. Roddy White will enjoy another fine outing and Julio Jones is a good WR3 option. You can also start Tony Gonzalez with much confidence. John Abraham will lead the way as the Atlanta defensive line terrorizes the ineffective Tarvaris Jackson. Sidney Rice will disappoint this week, and Marshawn Lynch will finish with mediocre numbers again. The Atlanta defense is a top start this week as the Seahawks' offense continues to sag because of the QB situation.

Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals

The way the Bills are playing, like a "lite" version of the Saints, it is hard to reserve any of their key offensive starters right now. Ryan Fitzpatrick faces his former team, and will be primed for this tilt. Expect him to throw at least two TD passes. Stevie Johnson is one of the most dependable top WRs in fantasy football, and David Nelson is emerging as a must-start WR3. Scott Chandler will be a TD threat again this week. The Bills will quell the aggressive Cincinnati front with counters, misdirections and flat passes to Fred Jackson, who is playing at an elite level right now. The Buffalo run defense is playing very well, so consider reserving Cedric Benson. Andy Dalton will find himself in many adverse passing situations, and his play will be uneven. Still, it's hard not to like A.J. Green as a WR3 against the Buffalo secondary, and Jerome Simpson deserves starting consideration as well.

Week 4 Trend Tracker

  Steve Smith has enjoyed a fantasy renaissance in 2001. 
  **Scott Engel** says fantasy owners can expect it to continue at least one more week. 
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Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears

This will not be a week when the Panthers can get their running game going again, so keep Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams reserved. Cam Newton will attempt to open things up again and should be good for more than one TD pass, although the Chicago defense will not let him explode like he did in the first two games. Steve Smith has historically torched the Bears, and is a top WR start for Week 4. Brandon LaFell is a roll of the dice for a possible TD reception. Matt Forte cannot be contained because of his versatility and he is the unquestioned crux of the Bears' offense. Jay Cutler's mediocre receiving crew curtails his statistical upside. Johnny Knox is the only WR worth starting, although he has not been able to truly break out yet this year. It will be another week of adequate, but not spectacular totals for Knox's owners.

Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers

The Packers' run defense is simply a green and yellow wall, and there is no better front against the ground game right now. Reserve Willis McGahee this week, and do not even think about using Knowshon Moreno. The Packers are banged up in the secondary, though, and Kyle Orton will post decent numbers. Brandon Lloyd may enjoy his best game of the year so far, and Eric Decker will be a legitimate TD threat. The Packers will have success running the ball in this one, and James Starks is a fine option as a RB3/flex. Denver's pass defense has little hope of containing Aaron Rodgers if he has the optimum support of a ground attack. Greg Jennings will score at least once, and you should lock Jordy Nelson in as a WR3. Jermichael Finley will roll up good yardage numbers even if he does not score, and Randall Cobb is a deep sleeper play this week.

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys may have real difficulty keeping up with the potent Lions. Tony Romo's receiving corps is an issue with Miles Austin out and Dez Bryant hurting. The Dallas QB is not a top start for Week 4. Jason Witten will be targeted frequently as the Cowboys passing game sputters often. The Detroit defensive line will also limit the rushing production of Felix Jones, who will be more effective as a pass-catcher. Jahvid Best will also be quite productive in this game as a pass-catcher. Matthew Stafford will take many shots at a vulnerable Dallas secondary, and will throw at least two TD passes. Calvin Johnson will surely be on the receiving end of at least one, and expect at least a respectable outing from Brandon Pettigrew. Nate Burleson has openly indicated he is fired up for this matchup, and is a strong WR3 start.

Miami at San Diego

The Chargers are dealing with some key injuries that could limit their offensive ceiling this week. Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd are both hurting, and Philip Rivers can only be expected to post solid, not outstanding numbers, especially with Antonio Gates out. If you do need TE help, though, take a chance with Randy McMichael, who faces his former team. Ryan Mathews will be a focal point of the Chargers' offense this week if a foot issue does not hold him back. Mike Tolbert should also get back into the end zone and is a viable flex play. Daniel Thomas will have to work hard for his yardage, and he is now dealing with a hamstring problem. You must keep Reggie Bush reserved until he shows true signs of life again, and Chad Henne should certainly not be started in this game. Brandon Marshall, however, is a PPR force and will post very good numbers even if he is denied a TD.

Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs

Expect a big week from Adrian Peterson, as he rips off big chunks of yardage and scores. Peterson will be one of the top fantasy performers of Week 4 at RB. Donovan McNabb, however, lacks quality receiving targets and cannot be used at all in fantasy right now, even as a reserve. Do not assume a quality outing from Percy Harvin, and Michael Jenkins is strictly a desperation play. Do watch for the continued rise of rookie TE Kyle Rudolph, though. McNabb can look to him on some key passing downs. The Chiefs running game is limp and not much of a threat to any defense. Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster remind us that opportunity does not always lead to production. Matt Cassel cannot depend on any other pass-catcher besides Dwayne Bowe, who remains a very good WR2. This game could turn out to be a showcase for Peterson and the field-goal specialists.

New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders

Both teams are contending with injuries in the secondary, making it more likely that this will be an offensive slugfest. Tom Brady is unquestionably the best QB in fantasy football so far this year, and we will be looking at a minimum of three TD passes. Wes Welker won't be quite as stellar as he was in Week 3, yet a 100-yard outing seems like a lock. Deion Branch will be useful as a WR3 after getting shut out last week, and Rob Gronkowksi looks like the top TE in fantasy football right now. The Patriots need to get their ground game back in gear, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis will at least be good for a TD. Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley may not be useful, though, as New England employs a true committee approach. Darren McFadden will roll up big numbers again, even as the Patriots hone in on him defensively. Jason Campbell is not afraid to let it fly and will throw more than one TD pass. Denarius Moore is definitely a must-start as a WR3.

New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars

Maurice Jones-Drew will be a star of this game and will deliver one of the top RB stat lines of the week. Jones-Drew will be the key to the Jaguars having any hopes of staying in the game, as the Jaguars use their best player in an effort to keep the Saints' offense off the field as much as possible. Marcedes Lewis will post quality totals as a safety receiver for Blaine Gabbert and Mike Thomas will finish with respectable numbers. The Saints are rounding back into healthy form at WR, although it is best to keep Marques Colston reserved as he is eased back into the flow. Lance Moore and Robert Meachem are highly recommended WR3 starts, but Devery Henderson will become less useful with Moore and Colston back. Jimmy Graham is a regular TD threat and defenses simply cannot find a way to contain Darren Sproles. Mark Ingram seems to be getting better every week, and is a notable scoring threat in this game.

New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals

The Giants have injury issues at WR, and you cannot bank on Eli Manning repeating his heroics against the Eagles. Still, even if his pass-catchers are hurting, Manning should be able to toss more than one TD pass against the Cardinals' shaky secondary. It is hard to reserve Hakeem Nicks (knee) and Victor Cruz will play a key role again this week. The underrated Ahmad Bradshaw is a great RB2 start every week, and look for Brandon Jacobs to find the end zone again. Beanie Wells could be hindered by a hamstring problem even if he plays. Kevin Kolb will face a furious pass rush, and Larry Fitzgerald is the only Cardinals player worth a start in Week 4.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans

Rashard Mendenhall will disappoint in the yardage department again, as the Steelers have some offensive line problems to work through, which include injuries. Still, Ben Roethlisberger is capable of moving the team into position for a rushing TD at any time, so keep some faith in the Pittsburgh RB. Roethlisberger will be gunning and running often, so watch for good numbers and some big, scary hits on him as well. Mike Wallace is unstoppable right now, and it will be a lot of fun to watch him and Andre Johnson burn the secondaries in this game. Matt Schaub should deliver more than one TD pass, although the Steelers might quiet Owen Daniels. Keep expectations tempered for Arian Foster, as he could share time with Ben Tate and neither will post outstanding totals.

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles

The 49ers can attack the Eagles LBs with Vernon Davis, but have little chance of getting much else done. The Philly front will abuse Alex Smith, and Kendall Hunter does not figure to see enough running room if he takes on the No. 1 RB workload. The Eagles' defense will be one of the top fantasy units of Week 4. LeSean McCoy cannot be stopped, and will be especially useful as a pass-catcher this week. Michael Vick may stay in the pocket more often and get rid of the ball quicker this week. DeSean Jackson will have to make some possession grabs, and Jason Avant will also figure into the offensive flow. This will not be a high-scoring affair.

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns

Without Kenny Britt, Matt Hasselbeck becomes a much less effective fantasy passer, and should not be used this week. CB Joe Haden will shut down Nate Washington, who is not suited to be a No. 1 WR, and Hasselbeck will struggle to find open targets. The Browns will be able to effectively shut down Chris Johnson and you can consider the defense as a one-week streaming play. Peyton Hillis will return to the lineup with a fine outing, and Ben Watson is a good TE option if you need to reach deeper for an option. The defenses will mostly dictate the day in this one, though, so do not look here for much fantasy excitement.

Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams

Without a fully healthy Steven Jackson, the Rams simply cannot generate a consistent offensive attack. Jackson should be able to go, making the Redskins at least respect the running game more. Sam Bradford is a risky play, but if Jackson can make it through, he will be adequate. Brandon Gibson is the only Rams WR worth consideration, as Bradford looks his way most often. Tim Hightower is still running hard and should remain in lineups, while Roy Helu is flashing a lot of promise, but still cannot be elevated to starting status yet. The erratic Rex Grossman is not a recommended start, but he will get the ball to Santana Moss and Fred Davis often enough. Jabar Gaffney is worth a look as a WR3 in deeper leagues.

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens

The Jets will not be able to generate much of a running game again, and Shonn Greene is not recommended for usage. You can bet that the Ravens will keep LaDainian Tomlinson in check as a pass-catcher, too. Mark Sanchez has to carry this offense and won't be able to keep it humming this time. Santonio Holmes has long been a notorious Raven-killer and is a must-start, and Derrick Mason could burn his old team for a score, but Sanchez will struggle for much of the night. Ray Rice will burn a Jets defense that will simply spend too much time on the field. Anquan Boldin, however, will be shut down by Darrelle Revis and Joe Flacco may not throw more than one TD pass.

Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Curtis Painter is expected to get the call at QB, and he knows the Colts' offense better than Kerry Collins. So there are flickering hopes for respectable outings from Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. Do not look for another encouraging performance from Joseph Addai, though. LeGarrette Blount will bang his way through the Colts' front seven for a 100-yard outing, and Josh Freeman will ensure that Mike Williams will get the ball enough to rebound this week. Freeman can be expected to throw more than one TD pass, and the Tampa Bay defense will be a top start of Week 4.

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