2012 Fantasy Football Week 4 Analysis: Ryan Williams and Dallas Cowboys Defense

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Maybe your starter is banged up.  Maybe they have a bad matchup.  Whatever the case, you’re looking for a quick Fix, and we’ve got you covered.  Every week, we’ll scan the matchups and provide you with two or three favorable options that are available in the majority of Fantasy Leagues.  This week, the Free Agent Fix offers you a defensive fill-in with big Week Four potential, and a running back who’s about to see his role increase significantly:

Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals announced Wednesday that Beanie Wells will be placed on injured reserve for at least six weeks, making Ryan Williams the lead back in Arizona for the foreseeable future.  As of Wednesday evening, Williams was owned in just 48% of Yahoo leagues, but between his solid performance in Week 3 and the news of Wells’ deactivation, we expect that number to surge in the coming days.

After two lousy games to start the season, Williams ran for 83 yards on 13 carries against the Eagles on Sunday.  You should be aware that he has yet to find the end zone this season – an issue that we believe will take care of itself as long as Williams brings the same energy he did in Week 3.  He’s got a tough matchup this week against a stingy Dolphins run defense, but Williams should get the ball enough to make him a serviceable fantasy RB going forward. 

Word of Beanie Wells’ deactivation began to circulate on Wednesday afternoon, when many leagues have completed their weekly waiver process and unclaimed players become free agents, so time is of the essence.  If Ryan Williams is still available in your 12-team league, we’d advise you to minimize this window on your computer and go grab him before someone else does, even if only for depth.  Go.  Now.

Dallas Cowboys Defense

Through three games, Jay Cutler has thrown six interceptions – tied for most in the NFL – and has an NFC-worst passer rating of 58.6.  He’s has also been sacked 11 times, as we’ve seen yet another recurrence of the offensive line woes that have had Cutler running for his life throughout his Bears career.  To make matters worse, Chicago will likely be without Matt Forte when they take the field in Dallas on Monday night.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ defense has been bringing the wood in 2012, giving up a total of 54 points in three games and holding opponents to a league-low 250 yards of offense per game.  We’ve got a feeling that DeMarcus Ware and company are going to make life miserable for Cutler on Monday.  Consider scooping up the Cowboys, owned in just 37% of Yahoo leagues, if your starting defense has a bye or a bad Week 4 matchup.

Written by Aaron Schuldiner exclusively for For more great fantasy analysis, follow Aaron on Twitter @SheaLivesOn.

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