1. Jay Cutler (DEN) – Week 4 should provide Cutler with a dream fantasy match up at Kansas City. While the Chiefs pass defense looks great on paper, they have yet to face a legitimate QB through the first 3 weeks (Cassel, Russell, & Ryan). In addition, Kansas City may be forced to start two rookie CB’s if veteran Patrick Surtain is unable to play again this week. Cutler threw for 244 yards, 4TD’s, and 0 interceptions in his last game against the Chiefs in’07. We expect Cutler to dominate this match up in week 4.
2. Tony Romo (DAL) – He is coming off of a lack luster week 3 by Romo standards, but he should bounce back in week 4 despite another difficult match up. While Romo had mixed results against the Redskins in two games last season, we expect him to get the better of them this time around. We find it hard to imagine that Terrell Owens will struggle in back to back weeks, and the game is in Dallas where Romo torched the Skins in ’07. The Washington pass defense has been solid to this point, but Romo has the weapons to give him the edge in week 4.
3. Drew Brees (NO) – Despite only throwing 1 TD pass in week 3, Brees had an otherwise stellar fantasy outing throwing for 421 yards and no interceptions. He will face an underrated and very efficient 49ers pass defense in week 4 that has only allowed 2 passing TD’s while accumulating 4 interceptions in their first 3 games. The San Francisco defense could prove to be a challenge, especially with Colston and Shockey both out for the Saints in week 4, but Brees should come out on top in this match up. He threw for 336 yards, 4 TD’s, and no interceptions against the 49ers last season.
4. Kurt Warner (ARI) – While he saw a bit of a drop off in week 3 against Washington, Warner remains one of the better starting fantasy QB’s, throwing for 6 TD’s and only 1 interception in 3 games this season. He will face a very mediocre Jets pass defense in week 4 that allowed 3 passing TD’s against San Diego last week. You probably shouldn’t expect a monster game from Warner this week, but it is not out of the question. Warner is a must start.
5. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – He wasn’t spectacular in week 3 against the Cowboys, but Rodgers was efficient and he held his own for the most part. Week 4 will provide Rodgers with his first “real” road test as he heads to Tampa Bay to face a solid Buccaneers pass defense. The Bucs defense does not look great on paper to this point, but they do have 5 interceptions in their first 3 games, and they are probably better than their stats would indicate. Regardless, Rodgers still has the edge in week 4, but he will likely throw his first interception of the season.
6. Phillip Rivers (SD) – To this point, Rivers has looked like a legitimate top flight fantasy QB. He now leads the NFL with 9 TD passes and ranks 4th with 844 passing yards. He will face the Raiders in week 4. The Oakland pass defense was torched in week 1, but they have been fairly solid since. Rivers was pretty bland in 2 games against them last season, but he should easily better those efforts based on the way he has been playing. He is certainly on a roll and deserving a spot in your week 4 fantasy line up, but he can not afford to underestimate this Raiders pass defense.
7. Donovan McNabb (PHI) – He is a difficult read for week 4 against the Bears. On one hand, he could be without his favorite target Brian Westbrook which might prove detrimental, but on the other hand, that probably means that McNabb will be heavily relied upon in the passing game and he has several capable WR’s to fill the void. He will face a Bears defense that was excellent against the pass in their first 2 games, but they were torched for 407 yards and 2 TD’s by Brian Griese. We think the Chicago pass defense is still formidable, but McNabb should throw the ball a ton in week 4, and he has a good shot at strong fantasy numbers. Check injury report: chest (full practice on Friday)
8. Carson Palmer (CIN) – After a solid week 3 performance against a very good Giants defense, fantasy owners can only hope that Palmer is finally returning to form. Week 4 should provide more relief as Palmer will have his best match up to date against the Browns. Palmer had mixed results against Cleveland in 2 games in ’07, but he has been fairly dominant against them historically for the most part. He is still a bit risky based on his first 2 games, but the match up bodes well, and he should carry last week’s momentum into week 4. Check injury report: shoulder
9. Trent Edwards (BUF) – In spite of being very efficient in his first 3 games this season, Edwards hasn’t been a great fantasy option to this point. That is likely to change in week 3 when he faces off against a horrible Rams pass defense. The St. Louis secondary has allowed 7 passing TD’s and has yet to record a single interception through 3 games. Edwards owners couldn’t ask for a better match up and he should prove worthy of a week 4 start on your fantasy roster.
10. Brett Favre (NYJ) – He continues to have some bumps in the road as he is still getting acclimated in his new offense, and week 3 was no exception, but from a fantasy standpoint; Favre has been solid and should only get better. He will face an Arizona pass defense in week 4 that has been solid in their own right, but they did have some weaknesses exploited in a loss to Washington in week 3. Favre matches up fairly well in this match up, but you can probably count on some shaky moments for him once again. Check injury report: foot (limited practice on Friday)
11. J.T. O’Sullivan (SF) – He is starting to develop into a solid and reliable week to week fantasy option. He will face a Saints pass defense that is allowing a hefty 259 yards passing per game so far this season. They have also allowed at least 1 passing TD in each of their first 3 games, giving up 2 passing TD’s in week 3. While it is a possibility, we don’t expect O’Sullivan to light up the New Orleans secondary, but he should put together another solid fantasy effort.
12. Jake Delhomme (CAR) – We don’t want to go so far as to say that Delhomme has been horrible to this point, but considering that he is only averaging 188 yards passing and only has 1 TD pass through 3 games, it would be fair to say that he has struggled. The good news is that he should improve with Steve Smith back, and a week 4 match up against the Falcons can’t hurt matters. The Atlanta pass defense has been better than expected, so a vast improvement is not a lock, but we like his chances. Delhomme should make for a decent week 4 start, but don’t expect a huge game from him.
13. Jason Campbell (WAS) – He isn’t scorching opposing defenses, but Campbell has been extremely efficient, throwing 4 TD passes and 0 interceptions through his first 3 games. He will face the Cowboys in week 4, and while the Dallas pass defense has been decent so far this season, they are not without weaknesses. Campbell came up big in his only game against Dallas last season, accumulating 348 passing yards, 2 TD’s, and only 1 interception. You probably shouldn’t expect that kind of production in this year’s match up as it won’t be an easy one on the road, but Campbell has topped himself in every game so far this season.
14. David Garrard (JAX) – It is fair to say that he has been a fantasy bust so far this season with 4 interceptions and only 1 TD, falling far below his lofty expectations. While it is no excuse, the under achieving Garrard has faced 3 of the NFL’s best pass defenses to this point(Titans, Bills, & Colts). The good news is that his week 4 match up against Houston is his best to date. Based on his poor play so far, it is difficult to consider Garrard a safe start this week, but he should be able to rebound against a shaky Texans secondary. Garrard threw for 221 yards, 2 TD’s, and 0 interceptions in his only appearance against Houston last season.
15. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – He had to exit week 3 early due to a hand injury he suffered after being sacked by the Eagles defense for a ridiculous 8th time. In spite of the hand injury, not to mention his already sprained shoulder, Roethlisberger is expected to start Monday night’s game against the Ravens. Roethlisberger had a monster fantasy effort against Baltimore last season in his only appearance against them, throwing for 209 yards, 5 TD’s, and no interceptions. Unfortunately, that game came at a time when the Ravens defense was playing poorly and plagued with injuries. This year’s edition of the Baltimore defense is much healthier, and looks to be a force. Roethlisberger is a great QB, but he is pretty banged up right now. In addition, the match up does not bode all that well, so while he is plenty capable; Roethlisberger is not highly recommended for fantasy play in week 4.
16. Derek Anderson (CLE) – It has been an ugly start for Anderson so far this season and a week 4 match up against the Bengals will either make or break the rest of it. It will be the best match up he has faced so far this season and he threw for a very impressive 7 TD’s against them in 2 games last season. Unfortunately he has really struggled this season and he also threw 5 interceptions against Cincinnati in those same two games last year. With his job on the line, we expect Anderson to have his best performance to date, but he is a very risky start, and if he falters early; Anderson will be replaced by Brady Quinn.
17. Brian Griese (TB) – He threw for 407 yards and 2 TD’s in week 3, which sounds really impressive until you consider that he had 67 pass attempts and added 3 interceptions, but from a fantasy standpoint, it was a good day. Griese will face a tough Packers pass defense in week 4 that has more interceptions (5) than passing TD’s allowed (4), so you can probably forget a repeat of week 3. Griese is not your best bet against Green Bay, but he should provide fantasy owners with a few points.
18. Kerry Collins (TEN) – He isn’t going to break any records in week 4 against the Vikings, but the match up isn’t horrible at home. Collins is a bye week fill in at best for your fantasy roster this week.
19. Matt Schaub (HOU) – He has only played in 2 games so far this season, but neither one has been memorable for the under achieving signal caller. Schaub had high fantasy expectations heading into his ’08 campaign, but he has yet to deliver, throwing only 1 TD pass and 5 interceptions so far. Week 4 should not get any easier for him against Jacksonville. Schaub is far from being a safe fantasy starter on Sunday.
20. Trent Green (STL) – It was not so long ago that Green was a top 3 fantasy QB, but those days have come and gone. He will replace the struggling Marc Bulger at QB in week 4 against the Bills. Green should prove better than Bulger, but we doubt if a healthy Tom Brady could even get this offense going. Green probably still has a little left in the tank, but his best days are behind him. You would have to be pretty desperate to start him against Buffalo in week 4.