2012 Fantasy Football Week 4 Start Em, Sit Em: Shonn Greene, Ahmad Bradshaw, Cam Newton and More

Each week during the NFL season, FST brings you our Fantasy Football Sit’em column, which takes a look at unfavorable match-ups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. It is often a difficult decision to sit your studs, but depending on the match-up, it can be a smart move. If you have any Start’em or Sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.

Reminder: Colts and Steelers are on byes this week.

Running Backs

Shonn Greene NYJ VS. SF

This lug in gang green has been fairly mediocre at best. Rumblings from Jets camp is that they are looking to mix it up and with the emergence of Bilal Powell. This week is going to rough anyways versus the Niners and league’s top ranked Defense. Greene hasn’t done much this season thus far and don’t expect that to change much Sunday.

Trent Richardson CLE VS. BAL

Richardson is another case of a solid running back on a bad offense with a limited passing game. The Browns will have a hard time running against the Ravens if rookie QB Brandon Weeden can’t make completions and move the chains. I can’t see Raven’s secondary being exploited, so Richardson should consistently be facing eight viscous Ravens in the box looking for a beat down. My bet is he’ll get the rookie level treatment in B’more on Thursday night.

Ahmad Bradshaw NYG VS. PHI

His status for Sunday hasn’t been made certain yet, but with Andre Brown’s emergence in this physical matchup I would find it hard seeing much success for Bradshaw. Eli has been torching defenses with his arm and Brown will definitely see some carries. In the NFL you can’t lose your job to injury, but you can to talent and the hot hand and it appears Brown could be just that.

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Quarterbacks

Jay Cutler CHI VS. DAL

Initially I was abnormally high on Cutler this season. However his season could ride on being able to compete in big games like this one and not turn the ball over. Dallas’ much improved secondary means I see tight coverage with double teams on Marshall and unless he can get Alshon Jeffery involved more and running game going to ease the DeMarcus Ware pressure off him, I see it being a rough one.

Jake Locker TEN VS. HOU

After his first breakout performance of his career and the season last week, he certainly looked the part of the #6 draft pick from the 2010 draft. Riding that momentum into this week won’t be easy, even though those days will outnumber the bad in Locker’s future, he likely won’t find it nearly as plentiful to rack up the yardage versus a stingy Texans defense. Locker is a fantasy starter against more favorable matchups this season but avoid this one.

Cam Newton CAR VS. ATL

After last Thursday’s disaster and subsequent press conference that entailed rolling his eyes over and over and sluggish body language, rivaling a whiny Jay Cutler, it’s difficult to say confidently that Newton will be ready to put up solid numbers in Atlanta. The Falcons are coming off impressive defensive performances in back to back weeks against future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and All-Pro Phillip Rivers. If anything the Atlanta Defense is worthy of a start, not Newton.

Wide Receivers

Danny Amendola STL VS. SEA

This PPR machine is going to face a ridiculous Seattle secondary that shut down Green Bay entirely for one half of football and most of the game. I’m not a believer yet in Bradford, so I’ll take the Seahawks’ defense to double cover Amendola and try and dare the Rams other weapons beat them.

Brian Hartline MIA VS. AZ

He was a waiver wire heart throb after week 2 and I think after this week he’ll go back on that wire. He’s not an elite receiver, but if given enough targets any receiver can look good I suppose. Arizona’s vastly underrated defense will be ready and considering they shut down DeSean Jackson last week and Wes Welker a couple weeks ago I’m not hedging my bets on Hartline popping off for big numbers this weekend.

Leonard Hankerson WAS VS. TB

Do you feel lucky? That should be the slogan associated with this guy and any other Redskin’s wide receiver not named Pierre Garcon. I just don’t see it happening for him unless the secondary forgets about him and he burns them deep. He’s got great speed but it’s boom or bust with him. No pre-mature busting, the ladies don’t like that, so please avoid him this week.

Tight Ends

Jared Cook TEN VS. HOU

So far this season as Cooke goes, so do the Titans. That said, the Texans are a stingy defensive unit and Cook will need to find narrow space to make him a viable fantasy starter. The only way I see the Titans keeping this one close is if Chris Johnson finally finds his way, which would mean Cook will need to stay in and block more this game.

Kellen Winslow NE VS. BUF

For all those who thought Winslow would emulate his father’s NFL career, I’m sorry but that’s fiction. This self-proclaimed mofunkin’ soldier has found himself a nomad as he’s bounced between several NFL teams the past few seasons. As Hernandez’s replacement in the Pats offense, he’s just trying to fit in so don’t expect Hernandez numbers or anything close.

Defense

New York Jets NYJ VS. SF

Star cornerback Darrell Revis will be on his own island the rest of the season with a torn ACL. That’s a huge hit to this defense, which was supposed to be the strength of this team. San Francisco had a mediocre game last week, but I expect that they’ll be ready to do damage this week and exploit matchup problems with their speedy wide receivers and incredible hulk at tight end in Vernon Davis. This game could get ugly early for the Jets.