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NFL Week 4: Fantasy Football Front 7 Matchups

Every week we will throw on the helmet and take a look across the line to see what the running back sees… the front seven. We will avoid talking about the studs at the position and instead focus on the (comparatively) lesser talked about RB’s that have a favorable matchup with the defensive linemen and linebackers that oppose them. We will crack into two tiers of picks, starting with players who are all systems go in the “SIC ‘EM Squad,” and then dive into lesser known/riskier plays that could pop-off some big plays due to sub-par front sevens across the way in the “Truck Stick Picks.”

Week 3 Assessment: 3/6

Carlos Hyde – Paid off with 2 touchdowns, but could’ve done even more if he didn’t get dinged up a few times

Jay Ajayi – We are still not sure what happened to the Dolphins in this game…

Buck Allen – We are still not sure what happened to the Ravens in this game…

Christian McCaffrey – Lovely day in the receiving game, cracked 100 yards for the first time!

Amber Abdullah/Theo Riddick – Abdullah didn’t kill you with 86 total yards, but Riddick…booooooooo

On to Week 4…

SIC ‘EM SQUAD

Joe Mixon

This may be the week we look back on his the future and say “This is the game Mixon took his opportunity and ran with it.” If breaking down the offensive line vs the defensive line, Cincinatti might lose every battle in that department in the league. Where the difference lies is that Mixon  commanded a higher workload with 21 touches for 101 total yards in Week 3 (56% snap share), and in space, the Browns will likely have fits trying to cover him. The new coordinator realizes Mixon’s talent, and knows that the key to the Bengals first victory is to lean on their most talented players. The Browns defense was horrendous in Week 3 against the Colts, which scored only 22 points in its first two games. The Bengals are hungry for a win, and will start with playing it safe by establishing some control in the run game.

Leonard Fournette

We know, we know, look what the Jets were able to do to Jay Ajayi in Week 3. With that being said, it’s more likely that Fournette will bust through where Ajayi couldn’t. One of the biggest differences is Jacksonville’s own defence. The Jags defense is sure to slow down this game which will keep Fournette churning out yards. There is also the potential of turning over the Jets, thus giving Fournette more cracks at running the ball. The Jets will come back down to Earth this week. The Jaguars offensive line is top-tier to start the year and Fournette makes his living between the tackles. The fifth ranked rushing team should continue to tread their tires, Blake Bortles will take shots downfield, and as a result, the Jaguars will face less loaded fronts than the Dolphins did against these very Jets.

Jordan Howard

A lot of people are talking about moving on from Howard since the emergence of Tarik Cohen. However, you’d be wise to roll him out this week. Howard will face a Packers defense that ranks 21st in the NFL against the run, allowing an average of 113.7 yards per game. The Bears strength is their run game, including a stout offensive line. The Packers weakness is their defensive line. Seems obvious to play to the strength when it matches up against the weakness. To keep the great Aaron Rodgers off the field, the Bears will look to slow the game down. A combination of the second game back for OG Kyle Long and the possibility of having a completely healthy offensive line if OG Josh Sitton suits up favors the Bears heavily in the ground game.

TRUCK STICK PICKS

Wendell Smallwood

Smallwood is riding momentum into a tilt against a team that will likely allow him to capitalize in Week 4 against the Chargers. Although it’s likely true that LeGarrette Blount will still get the start and be heavily used in goal-line situations, don’t be surprised if Smallwood seizes the moment. We don’t have to remind you what Kareem Hunt did to the Chargers last week (and what he has done to every team so far), but we should remind you that the Chargers are giving up the second most rushing yards up through three weeks (146.7 rush yards/game). This seems to be a safe floor flex play with the potential for a breakout as Smallwood looks to lead the team in rushing yards and backfield snaps for the second straight week.

Buck Allen

Yes, last week this pick didn’t work out, but while everyone is freaking out, stick to it. Game script alone absolutely killed any chance the Ravens had in utilizing the run game. Allen knows the offense the best as compared to Terrence West and Alex Collins. Don’t lose faith, he’s the most dynamic in the backfield and Pittsburgh got demolished by the Bears run game in Week 3.

 

 

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