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Luke Basha’s fantasy football column: Roll with the punches in Week 4

Another crazy week of NFL action behind us, and plenty more excitement lies ahead. For those of you who have yet to notch that first fantasy football win, keep on keeping on. For those of you who are yet undefeated, go on to the next article because you probably don’t need any help... or maybe you’ll find something here to help you maintain your supremacy.

Without further ado, let’s start dissecting Weeks 3 and 4.

Week 3 Lesson: I’m willing to bet that at least one of your players has fallen victim to injuries, legal complications, or some sort of slump. That being said, it’s important for successful players to learn how to deal with these complications by playing the matchups and making solid additions to your team. First, now that we have seen three full games, we should have a pretty solid impression of how a player is performing, although others will continue to be hit or miss. At this point in the season, a player like Aaron Rodgers, Reggie Bush, Eddie Lacy, or Jamaal Charles might have been drafted in the early rounds as your go-to man, but he may need to be downgraded to a matchup-based player instead of an every-week guy. You’ll simply have to chalk this one up as a loss.

The good news is that there are plenty of points to be made by players you can acquire in free agency. A classic example, and perhaps the easiest to predict fantasy-wise, is when a running back or quarterback is unable to play and his backup simply takes up the starting role. Players like Knile Davis, Kirk Cousins, and Ahmad Bradshaw are classic examples of this kind of success-all from this season alone. Additionally, these three players have outperformed their respective starters that went for a high price on draft day. The waiver wire is a lot like mining for gold, but it may only take one or two solid picks to compensate for a drafted player who turns out to be a bust.

Week 3 Add/Drop: Matt Asiata (RB MIN) – It seems as if the Adrian Peterson era in the Twin Cities has come to an end. Asiata had a few great games as a backup last year, and although last week’s outing was nothing spectacular, the workload is there for him to develop later on. Of course his success will hinge on Teddy Bridgewater’s.

Donald Brown (RB SD) – For those in need of another RB to fill a hole in their roster, check out Brown. Once again, nothing special, but being the only RB on your team’s roster and having a gunslinger of a quarterback to take the pressure out of the box will give him plenty of opportunities to capitalize.

Devonta Freeman (RB ATL)/Andre Williams (RB NYG) – If RBs keep dropping like flies, these are two guys that you might want to target, especially in deeper leagues. Freeman was the preseason heir apparent to the fragile Steven Jackson and Williams has the size to take on a goal-line back role. I’m shocked he hasn’t notched a regular-season TD yet.

Teddy Bridgewater (QB MIN) – The depth at QB makes Bridgewater a low-level option, but there’s reason to like him in deeper leagues. The loss of Peterson will likely make this team shift to a more pass-heavy nature, something offensive coordinator guru Norv Turner knows better than the back of his own hand. He has the supporting staff of veteran Greg Jennings and the young, sensational, former Northwestern Trojan Cordarrelle Patterson.

Brian Quick (WR STL) – Quick was dismissed by many experts as a one-week fluke after his nine-point effort. He’s since maintained momentum with seven and 12 points in the past two weeks. Granted he’s in a terrible situation in St. Louis, but he hasn’t had a stinker of a game yet.

Navigating Week 4 Byes: The Broncos, Cardinals, Bengals, Seahawks, Browns, and Rams are all taking their bye this week. As such, you will probably have to play with one of your studs on the bench. There are a lot of top-tier defenses in that list, so if you’re in need of a defense off of the waiver-wire, check out the Lions, Dolphins, or Colts for this week.

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