Garbage Time Romance: Week 4 September 27, 2013  |  Justin Bonnema

Three full weeks of football hardly provide a blueprint to set our fantasy clocks by, but our preseason presumptions and regular season results are starting to sync. Of course, not everything has gone according to plan.

The New Orleans Saints defense usually sets the table for a fantasy feast. Not this year. They’ve allowed 38 total points through three games and Pro Football Focus currently ranks them 6th overall. The Kansas City Chiefs are ranked first. Who knows how sustainable they are? But for now, it seems we’ll have to recalibrate our matchup expectations and pick on some other lowly ball-gawking defenses.

With that in mind, and with three games as evidence, here are a few players that will benefit from some garbage time love in Week 4.


Cecil Shorts

So I might be contradicting myself right off of the bat here. The Jaguars offensive situation is, well, offensive and the Indianapolis Colts defense has allowed only two passing touchdowns all year. But I’m not scared.

Cecil Shorts leads the league in targets and while his quarterback situation is rotten, volume and skill more than make up for it. He was a garbage time all-star last week (after the Seahawks pulled their starters) and there’s no reason to think he can’t find some room against a secondary that has yet to be tested (fifth fewest attempts per game from opposing QBs).


Kenbrell Thompkins

There may be some fear that Thompkins targets will shrink when Rob Gronkowski comes back. That’s a legit concern but I think his production improves as a result. In any case, he’ll face a porous Falcons’ secondary Sunday night who have allowed seven passing touchdowns through three games. It won’t be garbage time, per se, but it will likely be a shootout in high scoring game that has the over/under set at 50.


Jason Avant

Speaking of over/under, the Eagles/Broncos game has theirs set at 58. That’s a lot of points and I’m tempted to go with the over.

Of course, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, we’re not going to rush to waivers to pick up Jason Avant. So maybe it’s time we start lying to ourselves. Avant is a veteran known for having great hands and is the second most targeted player in Chip Kelly’s offense. Something tells me he’ll be needed as the Eagles get pounded by the Broncos this Sunday.

Riley Cooper is garbage and if we learned anything from Week 3, it’s that Vick trusts Avant. He may not be an every week start, but he’s worth a deep-league flex play this week, at the very least. And if he continues to play on 83% snaps, which in Kelly’s system translates to a ton of volume, he might work his way into a starting gig on fantasy squads across the board.


Denarius Moore

Disclaimer: Denarius Moore’s main strength is stretching the field as a deep threat, which is diametrically opposed to Matt Flynn’s strength. So if Terrelle Pryor is held out, I’m going to be a little reluctant to move forward with Moore.

However, if Pryor does play, he gets a dreamy matchup against one of the league’s most generous secondaries. It’s so generous, in fact, that I’m tempted to start Moore with or without Pryor. There’s no questioning his talents and he if he can get over some of the “concentration drops” and get in sync with his quarterback, he’ll be a weekly flex option. For now, let’s just hope Pryor plays.


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