Starting now, we’re going to spend Thursdays during the season taking a look at the top ten players you should be watching that particular weekend. Every week has interesting match-ups, some of which tend to get overlooked, so I’ll do my best to offer some of them here.
1. Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones v. Houston Texans - Jones is on-track to be the year’s leading receiver and, at his current pace, will end the 2015 NFL season with 2,347 yards. The current record, set by Calvin Johnson in 2012, is 1,964 yards. Look for Jones to do good things against a Texans D that has little going for it outside of JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. But mostly JJ Watt.
2. Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett v. Detroit Lions - Rookie Lockett had himself a heck of a Week 3 and I look for him to put on another show when he faces the Ndamukong Suh-less Lions on Monday night. This kid can light it up on both offense and special teams. I’m definitely onboard the Lockett bandwagon.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers QB Michael Vick v. Baltimore Ravens - Even at 35-years-old, Vick is still Vick, and I wouldn’t count him out just yet, especially with RB LeVeon Bell at his disposal tonight. I’m not saying you should go snag him for your fantasy team just yet, but Vick is certainly one to watch in Week 4. 13 hours and counting til kickoff…
4. Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper v. Chicago Bears - QB Derek Carr and Cooper already seem to have built-up a solid rapport with one another on the field. I look for Cooper to have a fantastic game against a practically non-existent Bears D on Sunday. The rookie is already well on his way to becoming one of the league’s most indispensable receivers.
5. Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Olsen is going to have a chance to show just how good he really is this weekend against a Bucs D that has been giving-up just 4.5 fantasy points a game to tight ends. That’s bad for tight ends, in case you’re not a fantasy player. I’m extremely interested to see if Olsen can hold his own against this tough match-up.
6. Arizona Cardinals Defense v. St. Louis Rams - The Cardinals D isn’t a single player, obviously, but I love this match-up for them as a unit. The Rams have, to put it nicely, struggled on the offensive side of the ball in recent seasons and I look for Bruce Arians’s defensive squad to absolutely squelch their efforts come Sunday afternoon.
7. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers v. San Francisco 49ers - This contest is, in all likelihood, going to be a slaughter unless Jim Tomsula has come-up with a miracle game plan this week. Rodgers is the best in the league and he should have himself a day against a dismal Niners club that has already given up 49.2 fantasy points to quarterbacks in the past two weeks alone.
8. Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett v. Oakland Raiders - Strangely enough, it’s easy to assume that the Raiders are going to win Sunday’s game (can you imagine saying that a decade ago?), but Bennett could be the difference maker if Da Bears are to have a shot. The Raiders have given-up 297 yards and five touchdowns to tight ends in three games this season, so watch for Bennett to have a big day.
9. Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson v. Denver Broncos - Even with QB Peyton Manning under center, the Broncos’ strength so far this season has been it’s stout D. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing Peterson (who certainly seems to have officially made his comeback) try to work some magic against them. Should be a fun match-up to watch.
10. New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr v. Buffalo Bills - Rex Ryan has whipped the Bills into shape and I know I’m glad my team has already faced their D this year (out of sight, out of mind), but it should be a blast to watch OBJ take them on this weekend. As we all know, the kid can make catches that just shouldn’t happen, even against the most solid defensive units.