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Fantasy Football 2013: Patriots at Falcons Week 4 Preview

New England Patriots (3-0) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)

Sunday, September 29, 8:30 PM (ET)

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TV: NBC

Now that the Week 3 games in the NFL are officially over, it’s time to start looking forward to Week 4. We’ve got a good one on tap for “Sunday Night Football,” as the New England Patriots will be traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. The Pats (3-0) are coming off a convincing win this past weekend against Tampa Bay, while the Falcons (1-2) were shocked by a last-minute loss against the Dolphins.
There will be some intriguing fantasy considerations happening out there on the field this Sunday, so let’s take a closer look at some of the major contributors and try to determine what we should be expecting on our rosters.

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Brady had a decent day against the Buccaneers, but it wasn’t anything that would get his fantasy owners jumping for joy. He posted an efficient line: 25-of-36 for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but also had an interception on the day. The most important thing is that Brady seemed to get some chemistry going with his young receiving corps, which will help his stats moving forward. He’s a must-start every week.

Fantasy Football 2013: Patriots at Falcons Week 4 Preview

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: Ryan has posted some pretty good statistical games so far this year, but doesn’t have the record to show for it. He went 23-of-38 in the Dolphins loss, producing a pair of scores and one (very costly) interception. Ryan should post some more nice numbers in this one, as the Patriots are capable of lighting up the scoreboard at a moment’s notice. Just like Brady, you’ve pretty much got to start Ryan every week.

Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots: Ridley has been maddeningly disappointing in fantasy thus far. The same story continued in Week 3, when he received only 11 rushing attempts and tallied 35 yards. He keeps losing carries to the third-down backs (such as Brandon Bolden) and has even flip-flopped in and out of the lineup on first and second downs. Is Ridley worth starting in Week 4? Not if you can help it. He may develop into a solid starting option at some point, but right now we’re not so sure of his potential contributions.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Atlanta Falcons: With Steven Jackson out, Rodgers had a very productive day against the Dolphins. He managed 86 yards on 18 carries (he split the workload with Jason Snelling) and added another seven yards on two grabs. It was a career-high in rush yards for him. Jackson will likely be sidelined again for this one, which makes Rodgers a decent lower-end start. Pick him up if you’re working through an injury (or a David Wilson).

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Here’s the million-dollar fantasy question: is this the week that Gronkowski finally hits the field? He’s getting tantalizingly close, after missing the first three weeks due to recovery from his off-season back surgery. He rocked a questionable tag in Week 3, and we’d anticipate another such designation for Sunday. This time, however, Gronkowski has a much better chance of playing. We’ll keep you posted.

Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: With fellow WR Roddy White battling an ankle injury over these first few weeks, it’s been the Julio show thus far. Jones posted his second consecutive 100-yard game with a nine-catch, 115-yard effort against the Dolphins. He’s been one of the more reliable fantasy receivers thus far, with 27 grabs for 373 yards and two touchdowns so far. Jones is a no-duh fantasy start this week.

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

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