2011 Fantasy Football Week 4 Start/Sit: Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns

Nate Washington, Hillis and CJ good plays, while the QBs and Browns' receiving corps are ones to avoid

Early-game matchups like this are not the glittery, shiny games to which the media and casual fans drool over. That said,  savvy fantasy football players will be mining the well for the Tennessee Titans' visit to Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday. This won't be the fantasy points explosion like you saw out of New England-Buffalo and Houston-New Orleans last week, but there is some value in paying attention to this game. Here is a list of players to start, sit and keep a close on eye for your fantasy team.

START

Nate Washington- Washington (21 REC, 258 YDS, 1 TD) was fast approaching flex start levels before Kenny Britt went down with his season-ending injury, but as the Titans new #1 by default, Washington's value goes up even higher. He isn't quite at the level of a #2 fantasy WR, but he's one of those guys who wins your league--a no-brainer, auto-start flex play. He is going to average double digit points from here on out, look in the realm of 6 catches 60 yards, at least, and a coin flip whether he scores or not. Hasselbeck seems to have found some magic this season, and Washington has been one of the primary beneficiaries. Against the Browns, Washington should have a solid game as long as he doesn't have Joe Haden on him every snap. (Projection: 5 REC, 80 YDS)

Chris Johnson- This one should be obvious, but this year, we're not so sure. Johnson really cooled off after his 2009 season. In 2010, he had 642 fewer rushing yards, 258 fewer receiving yards and 4 fewer touchdowns. Many thought if he could get his contract worked out, he'd be in for a big year, but after holding out and missing training camp, the quick start was non-existent. Look, I'm never going to say bench Chris Johnson, but temper your expectations. The Browns D isn't quite at a stopper level, but it seems to be getting better, and CJ isn't guaranteed a 100 yard day. (Projection: 86 RUSH YDS, 1TD, 3 REC, 36 YDS)

Peyton Hillis- The Juggernaut was slowed down by strep throat and missed week three against the Dolphins, but should be good to go this week. Tennessee is eighth best in the league against the run (89 YPG) and has been good at keeping teams out of the end zone so far, and Montario Hardesty is set to steal more carries after his impressive start filling in for Hillis. Peyton is not going to have a beast of a game, but he should be productive and is a good bet to score in the red zone (Projection: 65 RUSH YDS, 1 TD, 4 REC, 25 YDS)

SLEEPERS:

Jared Cook- Every week we've wondered, where is the Jared Cook we heard so much about during preseason? And every week we've been disappointed. With the injury to Britt though, the door is open a bit for Cook to break out. If you are thin at TE, this is a week to go for it. (Projection: 3 REC, 45 YDS, 1 TD)

Montario Hardesty- Hardesty is not a recommended play this week, but if you want to take the flyer on him dominating one or two series and busting off a long run, that's your prerogative. He's clearly ownable in leagues, and could get in the end zone, but this is not going to be a very high scoring game, and chances are you have better options at a flex spot. (Projection: 40 RUSH YDS, 2 REC, 20 YDS)

Greg Little- I think he's the lucky one who does end up catching a TD from McCoy this week, and he made some incredible plays on the last drive to get the Browns the win on Sunday. Unfortunately, those were his only catches of the game. He simply can't be trusted yet. He will be the Browns #1 receiver by the end of the year; it's just a question of when. Until then, you just have to keep him on your watch list. But if your team is super thin at WR/Flex, and you want to take a shot at it...there are worse plays. (Projections: 3 REC, 50 YDS, 1 TD)

Josh Cribbs- DISCLAIMER: I make this recommendation ONLY if you're in a league that counts return yards. Cribbs is back at returning duties, and he is getting a lot more targets at WR. He's a sneaky play for you if you are in a deep league. (Projection: 140 RETURN YDS, 3 REC, 35 YDS)

 

SIT:

Mohamed Massaquoi- He got in the end zone last week, but don't get too used to it. He's the #1 in title only. Colt McCoy spreads his passes around, and Tennessee is first in total defense and second in passing defense so far this year. Even if Colt is able to get one in the end zone, it's risky trying to predict who it will go to. (Projection: 4 REC, 42 YDS)

Browns Tight Ends (Evan Moore, Ben Watson)- They'll get looks; they always do. But, Ben Watson dropped a couple balls last week, and Moore was underutilized (and reportedly unhappy about that). Alex Smith has also been playing an oddly high number of snaps. Moore is the best receiver of the trio, and it might behoove the Browns to get him on the field more. If you are in a pinch grab him over Watson for the upside, but I'm not advising either. (Projected: Moore- 3 REC, 30 YDS; Watson- 2 REC, 25 YDS)

Javon Ringer- If you own him, you have him as a handcuff. You know you aren't playing him unless CJ gets hurt. Don't even think about it. (Projection: 20 RUSH YDS, 2 REC, 15 YDS)

Colt McCoy- The Titans are a pleasant surprise this year. They have run very good ball control offense with Hasselbeck, have played mistake-free football and have been lights out defensively. This is just not going to be Colt's day. The Titans give up just under 175 yards through the air, and that sounds about right. (Projection: 180 PASS YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT)

Matt Hasselbeck- Same deal here. The Browns are right behind the Titans in passing defense, and have looked good overall aside from the snafu against the Bengals the first week of the season. Hasselbeck won't have a bad day; he just won't have a noteworthy fantasy day. (Projection: 225 PASS YDS, 1 TD, 0 INT)

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