Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 15

Barry Church
Barry Church is worth using against the high-powered Eagles offense in week 15

Looks like I cooled off a bit – at least for my Fantasy Forecaster suggestions. Not a good thing as we head to the playoffs. This was my first sub-60% week since week 8 for the pod. On the bright side, the picks you come here for were 7-2, upping my season long success rate to 71%. The moral of the story, I must get flustered by Doug and Payton on the podcast and it throws me off.

My total score for the week was 14-10-2 (60%). Not too bad but now that playoffs are here, every call is magnified and I have to do better than that. After all, you guys are coming here for expert picks and 60% isn’t going to cut it.

 Week 14 results from the Sunday pod:

Player Stats Start/Sit Result Type
Whitney Mercilus 1/0/0 Start Loss IDP
Mario Williams 2/0/0 Sit Win IDP
Jerry Hughes 2/0/0 Sit Win IDP
Chris Long 1/0/0 Start Loss IDP
Robert Quinn 3/2/1.5/PD Start Win IDP
Jurrell Casey 1/3/0; 3 QB Hits Start Loss IDP
Alec Ogletree 2/5/0/PD Start Loss IDP
James Laurinitus 4/2/1.5/PD Start Win IDP
Paul Worrilow 3/2/0/PD Start Loss IDP
Pierre Garcon 9-95yds Sit Loss Offense
Isaiah Crowell 14-54 yds; TD Start Win Offense
Rashad Jennings 2-5yds/1-17 yds Diminished Roll N/A Offense
Jordan Cameron 4-41yds Start – if Active Tie Offense
Jordan Reed 3-25 yds Start Loss Offense
Delanie Walker 4-27 yds Start Loss Offense
Donte Moncrief 3-33 yds Flex Play Tie Offense
Chad Greenway 7/4/0 Start Win IDP
Jonathan Stewart 20-155; TD Start Win Offense

Week 14 Summary: 7-8-2  (47%)

Season Summary (since week 8): 59-29-2 (67%)

*IDP Stats are listed as:  Solos/Assists/Sacks; PD = Pass Defensed; FR = Fumble Recover; INT = Interception

Week 14 Results from this column:

Player Stats Start/Sit Result Type
Ziggy Ansah 1/0/1 Start Y IDP
Demarcus Ware 0/0/0 Start N IDP
JJ Watt 4/0/3/PD Start (2 sacks/     4 solo min) Y IDP
Chad Greenway 7/4/0 Start Y IDP
Bobby Wagner 7/0/0 Start Y IDP
Danny Lansanah 7/1/0 Start Y IDP
Eric Weddle 6/1/0 Start Y IDP
Jonathan Cyprian 5/3/0 Start Y IDP
Kam Chancellor 1/1/0/PD Start N IDP

Week 14: 7-2 (78%)

Season Summary: 66-27 (71%)

Week 15 injuries of note:

  • Chandler Jones (NE DL): Jones has practiced in a limited fashion this week. I don’t have much confidence in him having an impact until I see him going full speed in a game situation. I would hold him out until he gets into game action. If you are in a dynasty league and he is on the waiver wire for some reason I would pick him up as a stash for next year. He is still a top 10 DL when healthy.
  • Haloti Ngata (BAL DL): Ngata was suspended 4 games for substance abuse. Time to drop him as he is done for the year. This is probably a bigger deal to Baltimore’s team defense then to fantasy owners.
  • Shariff Floyd (MIN DL): Floyd started the game last week only to re-injure his knee and have to leave the contest. I would target him as a buy-low in dynasty leagues as he should be fine for next year. The way the Vikings defense improved under Mike Zimmer I would expect big things from Floyd in 2016. For this year he is too risky to start unless he gets a clean bill of health.
  • Muhammad Wilkerson (NYJ DL): Wilkerson is still suffering from his turf toe injury. However, he is trying to practice with a special shoe. I wouldn’t even think about using him at this stage of the season until he is healthy and shows he still has the same power and explosion.
  • Gerald McCoy (TB DL): McCoy briefly left the game last week with a knee injury. He returned to the game and it’s being reported as only a bruise. He should be good to go.
  • Jadeveon Clowney (HOU LB): Well, the second opinion didn’t come back good. The Texans placed Clowney on IR, ending his season. The more important news (especially in dynasty leagues) is that he is going in for microfracture surgery on his troublesome knee and will be out for at least 9 months. The worry here is that he will lose that explosion off the line which was his best attribute. If I have him in dynasty I might look to see if there is another owner out there willing to take the risk as he is most likely 2 years away from getting back to form, if ever.
  • Vontaze Burfict (CIN LB): He was placed on IR due to his knee issue. That means that Vinny Rey should continue to be an effective LB 2 or 3 for the remainder of the year. This was a very disappointing year for anyone that drafted Burfict expecting a 2013 repeat. At this point I would stay away from him in any dynasty league due to the myriad of injuries he has had. The biggest of which were repeat concussions earlier in the year.
  • NaVorro Bowman (SF LB): Bowman was activated from the PUP list but I wouldn’t even bother with him. Chris Borland has been phenomenal and the rest of the 49ers have given up on the year. I don’t see management putting Bowman out there this year and if they do I wouldn’t expect him to do much. He might be a low risk dynasty pickup as he will have had 18 months of recovery time from his surgery at the start of next year.
  • Lavonte David (TB LB): David suffered what appeared to be a concussion late in Sunday’s game. He will have to pass the concussion protocol so pay attention to the reports as the week goes along. If he is active he has to be in your lineup. Either way Danny Lansanah has been impressive over the last few weeks and should be owned.
  • Antonio Cromartie (ARI DB): Cromartie left last week’s game with an ankle injury but reports are that he is expected to play Thursday night against the Rams. I wouldn’t expect a big game out of Cromartie either way.
  • Kenny Vaccaro (NO DB): Vaccaro was benched after a horrendous year. He is safe to drop in re-draft leagues but you may want to hold on in dynasty leagues to see what happens in the off-season. He is a highly touted prospect that was a top draft pick so he has some talent.
  • Louis Delmas (MIA DB): Delmas suffered a torn ACL and has been placed on IR. He is done for the season.

Who to play (or not):


  • Ziggy Ansah (DET DL): The Vikings are allowing pressure on almost 20% of their passes as well as sacks on about 10% of their drop backs. Ansah is in line for a huge day as Minnesota has given up 6 sacks over the last 2 weeks.
  • Cameron Jordan (NO DL): Surprisingly, the Bears didn’t give up a sack last week in that garbage time bonanza. However, that was against the Cowboys who only have 19 total sacks on the year. There will be sacks to be had this week and I expect Jordan to feast.
  • Charles Johnson (CAR DL): Tampa Bay gave up 6 sacks last week and now Johnson comes to town. He was a held off the stat sheet last week against the Saints but they don’t give up sacks. He will eat, as he has a sack in every other game since week 7.
  • Damontre Moore (NYG DL): He is more of a dynasty stash but does have some upside this week. Moore had 2 sacks last week against the lowly Titans as he played in 78% of the snaps. He is starting to get playing time and that is resulting in him getting to the quarterback. He gets Washington this week so he should have some chances. Tough to start a guy like this in a playoff game but if he is available pick him up as a dynasty stash for next year at the very least.


  • Rolando McClain (DAL LB): Last week against the Eagles he had a decent game with 6 solos. He is a high floor option this week as there will be plenty of opportunities.
  • Curtis Lofton (NO LB): Coming off an 11/6/0/FR game last week I expect another big showing on Monday night against the Bears. Lofton hasn’t been below 6 solo tackles since week 9 and in that game he had 6 assists so he was around the ball. Get him in your lineup this week.
  • Elvis Dumervil (BAL LB): Dumervil is coming off a 3.5 sack game against the Chargers and now he gets Jacksonville. He is a must-start in big play leagues but I see another big game this week with at least one sack. Get him in the lineup.


  • Ryan Mundy (CHI DB): Mundy has had no less than 6 solo tackles in 4 of the last 5 games. The one game he didn’t he had an interception against the Vikings. I think he will be tested often against the Saints and he will continue his tackle streak and high floor numbers.
  • Barry Church (DAL DB): I am following my own rule of using safeties against the Eagles. Church should get lots of opportunities and take advantage. In their last game against the Eagles he put up 9/2/0/PD so expect a lot of the same in week 15.
  • Antrel Rolle (NYG DB): Last time out against Washington, Rolle had 1 tackle and an interception. I am going to say sit him this week as I don’t think he will be in line for much in this game.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/TZvGrm

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor and co-host of the live Sunday edition of The Fantasy Forecaster. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!


NFL Pick ‘Em; Bovada Bets for Week 12

Over the course of the last two football seasons I have played with some pocket change on Bovada.lv. It’s a website where you can bet on the lines of NFL games to MLB games to The Oscars (seriously). Over time I have had a lot of fun making bets. I usually partake in betting on straight lines, but I’ve also been known to get involved in other kinds, including sweetheart teasers.

What is a sweetheart teaser?

A sweetheart teaser for the most part plays out the same way as a regular teaser, except a sweetheart gives the bettors even more points. You can shift the line by 10 to 13 points in football (that’s nearly two touchdowns). There are a couple of differences. While regular teasers can include up to 10 teams, a sweetheart can include only three or four teams. Also, if any of your selections push on a sweetheart, you lose the entire bet.

Also, check out this link to gain a better understanding of the NFL spread betting.

As you can see, sometimes the gamble can be quite large when betting a teaser. Who doesn’t like a good risk once in a while? From this week forward, I am going to outline some of the bets I love, hate and my sweetheart teaser of the week!

Week 11 Recap:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 (-105): I was a huge fan of this bet and it paid off handsomely. The Bucs jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back, winning 27-7.

Cincinnati Bengals + 7 ½ (-115): The Saints haven’t been good at football all season. The Bengals were coming off some recent struggles but the line was too high for a team that just wasn’t playing well either. The Bengals took it to ’em and cleared another great bet.

San Diego Chargers – 10 ½:  This is a bet I was avoiding, but the Chargers came through and helped me make it a 3 for 3 week.

Sweetheart Teaser: This played out exactly how I anticipated. The Seahawks at +7, Raiders at +16 ½ and the Patriots at +9. I love betting sweetheart teasers, especially in weeks like this where they cleared completely.

Overall, I was 4-0 in my bets last week and look to carry that success into week 12!

As of this writing there are no lines on the Bengals/Texans, Dolphins/Chargers, Bills/Jets or Broncos/Dolphins.

Week 12 bets I love:

San Francisco 49ers -9 (-115)

Gut call here. Washington is God awful as we saw last week against Tampa. The 49ers defense is much better and they should smoke the ‘Skins in week 12. Always go with your gut!

Seattle Seahawks +7 (+110)

The other side of this line is being bet on heavily, as the -7 for Arizona is at -130 now. It’s understandable, as Seattle clearly isn’t the team it was a season ago. The Cardinals have been fantastic all season long. However, I don’t expect them to go into Seattle and beat the Seahawks with Drew Stanton at the helm. After a tough loss to Kansas City last week, I think Marshawn Lynch and company blow out the birds.

Ravens +3 ½

Yep, I’m picking on the Saints again this week. They are a 3 and a half point favorite against a better Ravens squad. It’s the dome factor, obviously. If the line was right at 3, I would not be as excited to jump on this bet. However, if the Saints do pull off a win, I think it’s by a field goal.

Week 12 bets I’m avoiding:

Indianapolis Colts -14 (-115)

There’s always a chance this game won’t be a blowout. I don’t like the bet. I’m not telling you not to make it, just not one I’m investing in this week.

My sweetheart teaser lock of the week:


We’ve already talked about the Seattle bet, and getting it at -1 is even sexier.

The Lions face a red-hot Patriots team in New England this weekend. The line is large because it will take place in chilly Foxboro. However, the Lions defense is legit and they can really rush the passer. If they can get to Brady, they have a shot to win. Even if they don’t though, I can’t see them losing by two touchdowns. I love the 13 ½ I’m getting. Sign me up.

The Buccaneers showed up last week and shut down the Redskins, but they have a tougher task in week 12, and that’s the Chicago Bears. The Bucs are also 4-1 against the spread on the road this season. Chicago is going to win this game but I can’t see them just destroying Tampa. With that, they are the third team in my teaser.

Ricky is a co-owner, fantasy sports writer and gambling man at The Sports Script. Follow him on the Twitter machine @rickygangster!

Ricky’s Week 12 5-Pack Fantasy Sleepers

Each week, Ricky Valero will unleash his 5-pack of fantasy sleepers for the upcoming week. These players are going to make for great value plays while you construct your weekly DFS lineups.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Be sure to tune in to The Sports’s Scripts two weekly fantasy football shows as well! The Fantasy Forecatser: Football is live on Tuesday at 10 PM EST and Sunday morning before kickoff at 11:30 AM EST! You can stream live or subscribe here.

For season-long fantasy football chatter, follow Ricky on Twitter @rickygangster!

The Fantasy Forecaster: Week 12 Start/Sit

Ricky was joined by fellow TSS writer Doug Moore and they discussed their Must Start/Must Sit for week 12.

Here is the short version of the show just telling who we picked.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Ricky (@rickygangster) and Doug (@DMM0822) on Twitter!

The guys will be back next week (November 25th)! Get your questions in on Twitter using the #TSS tag.

NFL Pick ‘Em; Bovada Bets for Week 11

Over the course of the last two football seasons I have played with some pocket change on Bovada.lv. It’s a website where you can bet on the lines of NFL games to MLB games to The Oscars (seriously). Over time I have had a lot of fun making bets. I usually partake in betting on straight lines, but I’ve also been known to get involved in other kinds, including sweetheart teasers.

What is a sweetheart teaser?

A sweetheart teaser for the most part plays out the same way as a regular teaser, except a sweetheart gives the bettors even more points. You can shift the line by 10 to 13 points in football (that’s nearly two touchdowns). There are a couple of differences. While regular teasers can include up to 10 teams, a sweetheart can include only three or four teams. Also, if any of your selections push on a sweetheart, you lose the entire bet.

Also, check out this link to gain a better understanding of the NFL spread betting.

As you can see, sometimes the gamble can be quite large when betting a teaser. Who doesn’t like a good risk once in a while? From this week forward, I am going to outline some of the bets I love, hate and my sweetheart teaser of the week!

Week 10 Recap:

Saints -6: Seriously the Saints go ahead with less than 2 minutes to go in the 4th and I’m ready to jump for joy as my sweetheart teaser is going to be 2 for 2! And them boom, Colin Kaepernick completes a 50-yard pass to Michael Crabtree, setting up the game-tying field goal. After that, the rest was history. I always bet the Saints at home, ugh.

Ravens -10: I won’t lie, I was a little nervous about this game and wasn’t sure we would get the cover. A late touchdown secured this bet though, making me a happy camper.

Steelers – 6: I talked this up all week everywhere! Trap game. I loved the Jets getting 6 points against a hot Steelers team. The masses have short attention spans. Recency bias, anyone? Sure, Pittsburgh had been on fire over the past couple of weeks, but they have been bad against teams with records below .500. The Jets actually ended up winning outright.

Sweetheart Teaser: The Jets did their part in this and the rest was just a disaster. The Saints blew it and the Panthers got murdered! Very sad day for the teaser.

Overall, I was 2-1 in the matchups but my teaser fell down for the week.

Week 11 is upon us and there are some very interesting matchups. Let’s dive right in; cannonball!

Week 11 bets I love:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 (-105)

Can someone please explain to me how the Washington Redskins are favorites by 7 points against anyone in the National Football League? That makes no sense and I am going to pounce on this game. I really don’t think Tampa is as bad as their record would tell us. This is what I like to call an easy money bet.

Cincinnati Bengals +7 1/2 (-115)

When the Bengals lose, they really lose. In their 3 losses, they’ve been outscored 84-20. Yikes! Still, a 7 and a half point spread is enticing. The orange and black have some fast, talented players, meaning the Saints’ 24th ranked pass defense will be on notice. This spread is too high in favor of the home team.

Week 11 bets I’m Avoiding:

San Diego Chargers -10 1/2

This bet will probably see a lot of action in favor of the Chargers but I think this Raiders team is going to play spoiler down the stretch. Oakland is 3 and 1 against the spread on the road this season. This smells like a trap game to me.

  • 49ers – 4 1/2
  • Giants + 4 1/2

I don’t like either side of this bet. Either team could come out and win. It’s hard to know which 49ers team will show up any given Sunday and the Giants have just had an odd season. Steer clear.

My sweetheart teaser lock of the week:


So you already know about my love for the Raiders this week, so let me talk about the other 2 bets on this week’s sweetheart teaser.

  • The Seahawks +7 (on the road against the Chiefs): This game really is a toss up. Kansas City could very well come out and beat this Seahawks team, I just don’t think it will be by a touchdown. Seattle just isn’t as good as they were a season go (obviously). Easy teaser here.
  • New England Patriots +9 (on the road against the Colts): The Colts are a very good football team but I think they are a bit overrated on the defensive side of the ball. Give Belichick and the Patriots two weeks to prepare for this Colts team and I will take 9 points wherever the game is. No chance the Pats fail to cover.

That’s a very confident teaser for me this week. So lets roll the dice and make some money, folks.

Ricky is a co-owner, fantasy sports writer and gambling man at The Sports Script. Follow him on the Twitter machine @rickygangster!

The Fantasy Forecaster: Week 8 Start/Sit

Ricky was joined by fellow TSS writer Doug Moore and they discussed their Must Start/Must Sit for week 8.

Here is the short version of the show just telling who we picked.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Ricky (@rickygangster) and Doug (@DMM0822) on Twitter!

The guys will be back next week (October 29nd)! Get your questions in on Twitter using the #TSS tag.

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 5

Do you associate with the glass half full or empty world view? That is, are you positive or negative by nature and in thinking? Anyone who knows me would probably describe me as a positive person, one who subscribes to the glass half full approach. Negative people often call themselves “realists” but if I have to choose between expecting the worst or expecting the best, I’m going with the latter.

Speaking of halves, half of something can mean many things depending on what it is you’re talking about. If you play football and you complete half of your passes, you aren’t a very good quarterback, but reach base half the time in baseball throughout your career and they would name the team after you. You make half your free throws? Hey there, Shaq. What about if you pick half of your defenses right in a weekly fantasy football article?

I don’t run away from being wrong. Being wrong makes you smarter, helps you learn what not to do and gives you a different perspective that you had prior. Fantasy football requires many things and many of you know by now that one of the most important things is luck. Hell, there are times when the team with the highest scoring roster misses their fantasy playoffs (rare, but it happens!). Fantasy football is a weekly game. Your only goal from week to week is to beat your opponent, whether it’s by .1 or 100. Sometimes I will hit the nail on the head and other times it won’t go over so well. Sometimes the things that aren’t supposed to happen do and the things that are supposed to happen don’t.

That is why sport is such a wonderful thing.

How did I do last week?

Colts D Week 4
Jared predicted the 12-point performance from the Colts D/ST in week 4. What does he have in store this week?

The Colts did the best, scoring 12 points in standard leagues (2 picks, 1 fumble recovery, 3 sacks). The Chargers were my pick of the week and I used them everywhere. They played the Jaguars and scored 10 fantasy points. Allowing 14 points to Jacksonville, the Bolts also had 2 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery, adding 3 sacks. Many people jumped on the Chargers bandwagon, as their ownership went from 4% to almost 79%, as of Tuesday night. The Steelers disappointed. Up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Pittsburgh allowed 27 points while only getting one sack. They added an interception to receive two fantasy points. Don’t drop them yet though! Finally, the Chicago Bears got to Aaron Rodgers once and allowed the Packers to rack up 38 points en route to a -1 fantasy showing.

Week 5 Targets:

Chicago Bears:  Let’s get back to the article theme; halves. Half of my defenses last week didn’t live up to the hype I placed on them. My first pick of this week is DA BEARS! After allowing the Packers to come home and throw all over them, Chicago is off to Carolina for this week’s matchup. Carolina’s backfield situation is a mess. No one can stay healthy, including Cam Newton. Cam’s fantasy value has come from his feet over the past two years, but he isn’t running so far in 2014. His ankle still isn’t 100%, forcing him to stay in the pocket and try to complete more throws. He has Benjamin and Olson to throw to, but that is about it (speaking of Carolina, their defense has scored -15 points combined over the past two weeks and is still 97% owned). I see the Bears getting to Cam at least 3 times, with two interceptions, which will make for a fun fantasy day if you’re going to use ’em.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Of course I try to exploit offenses when choosing streaming options. I suggested the Steelers last week because of what looked to be a favorable opponent. They didn’t net you a ton of fantasy points, but I still think it was the right call given the struggles Tampa has been going through on offense. This week the Steelers get the Jaguars, who have allowed 3, 10, 4 and 3 sacks thus far in 2014. Pittsburgh’s secondary should have no problem with the Jaguar receiving core (now minus Cecil Shorts). I like the black and yellow to score double-digit fantasy points on the heels of a pick-6. Book it.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles unit will be a popular pickup this week after their three score performance last week against the 49ers. This week the Eagles get the Rams and should be ready to dominate. I will be the first to tell you that the Eagles defense doesn’t look the best on paper, but they have 5 scores as a unit in 4 weeks and have the ability to rack up fantasy points even if they allow opposing offenses to score.

Cleveland Browns: If you are desperate the Browns defense might have a chance to do something against the Titans. Tennesse has been prone to the interception and Cleveland is able to get to the quarterback. The Titans offensive line is nothing special, either. Proceed here with caution as this is a boom or bust play. Those of you in deep leagues could do much worse though.

There you have it! Happy streaming, and remember, that glass should always be half full.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/HoU6uQ

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 4

I’ve been asked countless times why shouldn’t I just roll with one defense all season? Fair question. I usually respond with a question.

Why would I pick just one?

Picking one defense is like going to the same diner every week. Sometimes the food will be great, other times it will be just OK, and rarely, it may even be vom-worthy. Trust me, even the best defenses lay an egg at some point during the season. Playing weekly matchups allows the owner to spend their draft picks on impact offensive contributors. The math has been done, streaming defenses properly nets you top-5 defensive production over the course of a full season without having to waste a high pick on Seattle’s 12th man, for example.

So how does the restaurant analogy come full circle when it comes to streaming defenses? Streaming defenses is like going to a new restaurant every week. Variety is fun! The wait times might be long at the hot place in town but the restaurant (or defense) with the best value might be wide open for the taking. I don’t know about you, but if I have to choose between a packed restaurant with high expectations or a smaller restaurant with local owners, better deals, and a chance at amazing food, I know where I am going.

In standard formats, only three of the top 10 defenses (Patriots, Bengals, Panthers) are 100% owned. The other 7? Texans (58.2%), Falcons (9.2%), Bears (8.9%), Bills (43.9%), Lions (8.8%), Vikings (2.2%) and Eagles (7%). Three weeks is a small sample, but when 3 of the bottom 4 units are universally owned, something needs to change.

How did I do last week?

The Chargers allowed only 10 points to the Bills and got to EJ Manuel three times. In total they scored 9 fantasy points in standard, almost as many as the 100% owned Seattle defense has scored all season. The Cowboys didn’t get past the Rams offensive line all game to sack the QB but they did have two interceptions, one fumble recovery and a defensive TD; good for 12 points. Not bad for a defense that is 4% owned and is considered one of the worst in football. The Texans were my flop of the week. I thought they would be all over Eli and the Giants. Instead, they allowed 30 points, only sacked Eli once and scored just three fantasy points. This week they have the Bills, but I wasn’t impressed with them last week. I will be looking for a better matchup than that. The Indianapolis Colts on the other hand left you happier than a kid in a candy store. Indy allowed 17 points to the Jags, with two picks, one fumble recovery and a TD. They also recorded 4 sacks and are currently 14.5% owned. Finally, the Patriots (now 100% owned after waivers last week) disappointed, with only one pick and no sacks against the Raiders. This matchup was supposed to be better than prom night for the New England Patriots but instead they were held to just six fantasy points. Still overall, the Patriots are currently the number one fantasy defense after three weeks.

Convinced? Join the party. Below are defensive options whom are widely available. You should be able to pick them up in the majority of leagues. Good luck in week 4!

Week 4 Targets:

San Diego Chargers: The first thing I do when writing this is to see which team is playing Jacksonville. Ding ding ding! It’s San Diego’s turn. The Jaguars with Bortles under center may be a different team but every opposing defense through three weeks has scored at least 14 fantasy points! I will take my chances with the San Diego Chargers. Not only are the Chargers a team that likes to sack opposing QB (at least two sacks in every matchup this year) but the Jaguars have a terrible offensive line. In three games, Jaguars QB’s have already been sacked 17 times, including 10 times in week 2 by Washington. I expect San Diego to attack Bortles (if he starts) and get to him at least 5 times.

Indianapolis Colts: Again, the Colts show up, partly because of their defensive play, but also because of their schedule. This week, the Colts get the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have allowed multiple sacks all three weeks and Jake Locker has also thrown two picks in each of the past two games. Indy is a safe pick for some points.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Coming off a great Sunday night performance against Carolina, the Steelers are at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend. Along with 7 sacks given up in three weeks, the Bucs have trouble holding on to the rock. Opposing defenses already have five lost fumbles, and McCown has thrown an interception in every game this season. The Steelers should have a nice home-cooked defensive feast in week 4.

Chicago Bears: If you look at who Chicago plays this weekend, you might think I am crazy. Chicago is my surprise pick of the week. The Bears host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers this week. That being said, the Packers offensive line is struggling through three weeks and also giving up lots of sacks. Opposing defenses have gotten to Rodgers 9 times thus far and the Bears have 8 sacks of their own. Rodgers might get his yards, but I think they will pressure him enough early to at least leave you with a positive fantasy performance when the day comes to an end. Only 8.9% owned right now so they should be available in your fantasy league.

Remember that while going to the same restaurant might be a tradition every week, at some point you are going to get sick and tired of the same food. Try new places, take risks, and try some places that might not look pretty from the outside. Sometimes, those places are the ones with the best food.

Have a great week!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/8k7DDm

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

Like it, Love it, Gotta Have it: Fantasy Football QB Edition

Ice cream lovers and fantasy footballers unite! Last year I debuted  my “Like it, Love it, Gotta Have it” piece. I took the tag line from my favorite ice cream joint, Cold Stone Creamery and melted it (see what I did there?) together with America’s favorite imaginary pastime.

Of course we all know when ordering at Cold Stone you have three sizes to choose from: “Like it”, “Love it” or “Gotta Have It.” I will pair each size with a fantasy QB I like and one of my favorite creamy creations.

Like it (Chocolate Ice Cream, Hershey Syrup & Brownies)

Johnny Football! Okay, this has nothing to do with my man crush on Johnny Manziel. Well, maybe it does. I really like the young QB and I think he will prove a lot of people wrong when he is given the opportunity to sling the rock.

In college Manziel was quite impressive. The newest member of the Cleveland Browns threw for 7,820 yards, 63 passing scores and 22 picks. He also dazzled running the ball, scoring 30 times while racking up 2,169 yards. He single-handedly carried the Aggies in his time as the team’s leader. He completed an average of 69% of his passes, averaged 9 YPA through the air and 6 YPA on the ground. He just makes plays folks. The injury concern of course is there, I understand that, but the reward factor given his current ADP is huge! The upside is tantalizing.

There is also the playing time risk. No one yet knows how the competition between Manziel and incumbent QB Jed Hoyer will shake out. Hoyer has 5 career starts under his belt with 6 TD and 5 INT. He is also returning from the always-gruesome ACL tear, so nothing with him is a sure bet either.

The upside that Johnny brings to the table should make him worthy of a draft selection, even though his role is still up in the air. If you draft your QB late like I do, pairing Manziel with a veteran guy (say Josh McCown: see below) may not be a bad idea. If Manziel isn’t the guy in Cleveland after a couple of weeks you can just cut him and move on.

Bold prediction: Manziel will either be Michael Vick circa 2010 or the 2011 version of Tim Tebow; don’t miss the chance to cash in on a potential top 10 QB in the later rounds of the draft! (Editor’s note: Wow, that is bold)

Love it (Mint Ice Cream, Chocolate Chips & Whipped Topping)

Andrew Luck is one of the NFL’s best QBs and is entering only his 3rd season as a pro. A season ago, we saw some good and some rough games from the youngster from a fantasy perspective. Heading into 2014 I am high on Luck. If there were a season I would consider selecting a QB in the earlier rounds, this would be the year and Luck would be the guy. He sits as my #2 ranked fantasy QB and a player I would love to own.

With the off-season addition of Hakeem Nicks, Luck will have a plethora of viable targets come September. Nicks is set to join an already explosive group of weapons in Indy. The Colts already employ T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and Trent Richardson (yes, Richardson is a weapon).

There are a few other factors that contribute to my love for Luck this year.

Luck has some favorable matchups this season (Jaguars twice and Texans twice, Broncos, Eagles & Redskins to name a few), so he should have ample opportunity to torch some poor defenses. Luck makes plays on his feet as well. He had 377 yards on the ground last season while finding pay dirt four times. He showed a lot more maturity from year 1 to 2 in protecting the football as he cut his interception total in half while mitigating the fumbles.

Indy’s golden boy has all the tools to finish as the #1 fantasy QB this year and I would not be surprised to see this happen. If the price is right, I love me some Luck.

Gotta Have it (Cheesecake Ice Cream, Cheesecake Pieces & Strawberries)

I know this is crazy but Josh McCown is my “Gotta Have it” of the upcoming season at the QB position. Heck, no one will ever view McCown as the flashiest QB of the bunch but he showed flashes of brilliance for Chicago last season. His success is somewhat surprising though as he appeared in only six games from 2008 to 2011.

Well, last season we saw a Josh McCown I don’t think we have ever seen before; much of which had to do with the talented players that surrounded him. tHe was throwing to Marshall, Jefferey, Forte and Bennett. The veteran gun-slinger now calls Tampa Bay home and like the Bears, they too are loaded with upside across the board. With the likes of Vincent Jackson, fresh rookie Mike Evans, Dougie Martin (yeah, I call him Dougie) and Brandon Myers, McCown could provide a lot of sneaky value this year.

In 2013, McCown threw for 1,829 yards, 13 TD and only 1 INT in 8 games. He passed for over 300 yards three times and had double-digit TD in 4 out of his 6 games. I really liked what I saw out of him; he was very consistent and very smart with the football, as is evident by the lone pick.

Heading into 2014, he is the 25th QB coming off the board, which is an absolute steal to me. I take the same approach with QBs as I do with starting pitchers in baseball: wait, wait and wait longer (unless Andrew Luck is available, of course). In doing so you could pair McCown with another lofty late-round QB and play the matchups with them in the season’s early going. With the weapons that surround him and the value that can be had, I Gotta Have McCown on my fantasy squad this season.

Make sure to chyme in with your thoughts on who you Like, Love or Gotta Have for the upcoming fantasy football season. Follow Ricky on twitter @Rickygangster!