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4 Star Free Agents - Week 4

So this is the week my column shifts a little bit. Whereas the first three weeks I submit players to you that can be “grab and stash” this week – now that Bye Weeks are upon us – they are all “pick up and play.”

Week 4 Byes: Green Bay, Philadelphia


Ryan Tannehill (MIA) Last year, this guy was the “thinker's” pick and was drafted pretty deeply overall nationwide – he made a LOT of teams coming out of the draft. Not so much this year, but now that we have 3 weeks of the season under our belt it is clear he off to a workable start: he is in the 6-10 range overall with a few things going for him: the Dolphins D is just not good. He will rack up come from behind/garbage yards because, well, they're going to be behind often this season. Also, that backfield is mired in committee, which usually means it can't get on track. His matchup this week is against the Bengals who are middle of the road against QBs. NFL.com 42%; Yahoo 27%; ESPN 37% 

Joe Flacco (BAL) Not the sexiest of picks to be sure, but his matchup is something that bears looking at: going into Tennessee the Raiders were last against QB s but were able to hold the Titans and Mariota in check. But my gut here is telling me that consecutive east coast trips catches up to them this week, and when push comes to shove, Flacco is no pushover. Starter numbers (top 12) here for sure, with nice upside the rest of the year. NFL.com 13%; Yahoo 29%; ESPN 24%

Running Backs 

Jordan Howard (CHI) A little about myself: I am a Bears fan and thus am acutely aware (more than most) of just how bad this team is: come at me with how bad they are and I'll tell you how bad they REALLY are. But no matter here because what we are chasing is overall touches, and with Langford shelved for now, and Carey ailing, this guy (who has no shortage of pundits calling him the best looking RB in this year's draft) will get said touches. What he does with them, one can only venture, as the Lions are pretty good against the run. But then again, he could end up with 20 + rushing attempts and that could easily make him a solid RB2 this week. NFL.com 2%; Yahoo 25%; ESPN 16% 

Cameron Artis-Paine (CAR) Last week I suggested Fozzy, but that was before Rivera came out and proclaimed CAP would get the lions share of the carries. Well, I'm going to listen to coach this week and say here is a guy you want. I doubt he gets the overall touches that Howard does, but something tells me the Panthers' passing game will command a little more respect (call it a hunch) and he will do very well , especially against a soft TB defense in a key divisional game. NFL.com 4%; Yahoo 19%; ESPN 22% 

Dwayne Washington (DET) Washington looks to be more of a pure running back than Theo Riddick. He will NOT get the passes that Riddick will but that won't be relevant this week. Why? They are playing the Bears who just turned Prescott & Elliot into Aikman & Smith. Detroit has swept the bears 3 straight years (I told you I could one up you on how bad the Bears are). Detroit should get up and run out the clock. Washington will be the beneficiary of this matchup, there is no doubt about it. This is your classic out of nowhere pick up and play move that infuriates your opponent this week. Money. NFL.com 3%; Yahoo 23%; ESPN 21%

Wide Receivers 

Jamison Crowder (WAS) 10 targets one week, 8 the next and then 7. Crowder has 16 catches for 185 yards and a pair of touchdowns through three weeks. A classic “out of nowhere” guy who is available practically everywhere. Washington has a really bad D, and it looks like he will benefit from much come from behind play this season. Most of what you just read was from last week. He now plays... the Cleveland Browns. Not only is this guy a MUST ADD for any team, I will go out on a limb here with my lock of the year: barring injury he will lead the Redskins in targets and catches at the end of the season. Get him RIGHT NOW. I am in all of my leagues. NFL.com 1%; Yahoo 16%; ESPN 11% 

Quincy Enunwa (NYJ) He leads the Jets in receptions through three weeks. I am absolutely unsure of what to make of that, other than to say “forget it, he's rolling.” YES they play the Seahawks. YES, Fitz just had the worst game a Jets QB has had since 1989. But in the end, you are chasing targets and he simply gets the looks. If he is lining up in the slot, then he will have the room to work while the strength of Seattle's D looks to stop Marshall and Decker. NFL.com20%; Yahoo 34%; ESPN 42% 

Phillip Dorsett (IND) TY Hilton was the focus last week, but Moncrief will be out for a while, and the focus won't be able to stay strictly on him. This week, the Colts face the Jaguars who are woeful against the passing game. He is right on the bubble with the 50% cutoff, and won't make this list again for good reason: he is good. NFL.com 6%; Yahoo 52%; ESPN 50%

Tight End 

Vance McDonald (SF) Through the first two weeks, he was a top ten TE. The 49ers ran into the Seahawks buzzsaw last week and his output was feeble. This week, they face Dallas who was ranked 27th even before giving up two TD s to Zach Miller. Pick up and start with confidence. NFL.com 11%; Yahoo 23%; ESPN 10%


Indianapolis The first two weeks of the year, the Colts got off to an anemic start but got on track last week against the Chargers who are a much better offense than their opponent this week... the Bears. They are at home, and with Hoyer under center I wold expect them to hit double digits again this week, and propel themselves into the upper level of D's this year through 4 weeks. NFL.com 3%; Yahoo 6%; ESPN 5%