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Week 4: Hot & Cold

Some thoughts on who is hot and who is cold after the first three weeks of the NFL season:

WHO IS HOT?

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Barber is simply a beast. He already has 5 total TDs in just 3 games. He plays for the best offense in the NFL and is nearly impossible to stop near the goal line. I have said it before and I will say it again: I think he will be the top RB in fantasy football this year.

RB Ronnie Brown (MIA): Sure, it was only one game. But his 5 TD performance last weekend was pretty incredible. The Patriots may be struggling, but they still have a pretty solid defense. Brown looks much quicker than expected coming off ACL surgery. And don’t forget, he was leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage last year before his injury.

RB Steve Slaton (HOU): The rookie RB stepped into the starting lineup last weekend against a tough Tennessee defense and rushed for 118 yards (over 6 yards per carry) and a TD. He has been named the starter going into this week, although he faces another tough defense (Jacksonville).

WR Brandon Marshall (DEN): He hauled in 18 passes in his first game back from suspension and is third in the NFL in receiving yards, despite only playing in two games.

TE Jason Witten (DAL): Witten has caught at least 6 passes in each game and is averaging 90 yards per contest. He has not caught a TD yet, but he is still leading all TEs in fantasy points.

WHO IS COLD?

The Browns: Derek Anderson. Braylon Edwards. Kellen Winslow. Jamal Lewis. They are all struggling to match last year’s fantasy output. Their offensive line, which was largely responsible for their improved play last year, has struggled so far in 2008. And unfortunately, their schedule does not get much easier.

QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): Big Ben was sacked 8 times by the Eagles and now has an injured hand to go along with his injured shoulder. He says his shoulder is not an issue, but it seems to be impacting his performance. As does the fact that his offensive line is struggling to protect him.

RB Kevin Smith (DET): Rudy Johnson made a pretty solid case (14 carries, 83 yards) last week to become the starting RB in Detroit. As far as I know, he has yet to officially take over as the starter, but Smith only has 3 carries last week and has not looked as good as expected. If nothing else, Rudy will certainly cut into his production.

WR Randy Moss (NE): As we learned while Moss was in Oakland, he can be a very different player depending on who is at QB and how well his team is performing. Most did not expect Moss to match his record-breaking totals from 2007, but without Brady, he may not even get halfway there.

WR Chad Ocho Cinco (CIN): Despite his name change, Chad Johnson has been very disappointing this year. He only has 88 yards (total!) through three games and has not caught a TD. The Bengals have not looked very good this year, although their OT loss to the Giants last week did provide a glimmer of hope.

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Categories: Hot & Cold
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