Fantasy Football Snakes and Ladders: Week 4

In his weekly column, Nathan Palatsky takes stock of some valuable fantasy assets.

More injuries, and more replacements seeing valuable time, but are they all worthwhile? And which stars are causing concern? Let’s get started.

SNAKE- Chris Johnson is a guy I warned people about before the season. These boom or bust type players rely on the big play, and CJ hasn’t shown that explosion through the hole that made the big plays so common in the last two seasons. Definitely some reason for long-term concern. And the loss of Kenny Britt means defenses can stack the line even more.

Get used to the view, Mr. Vick.

LADDER- Vince Young might not start this week as it seems Michael Vick will again be on the field, but we have seen him leave early two weeks in a row. Odds are he will miss some games this year, and that’s if he avoids the catastrophic injury.

SNAKE- Arian Foster loses long-term value every game that Ben Tate is good. When Foster is 100%, he might get the 80/20 split of carries he would have had he returned last week or the week before. Now it might be 70/30. And if Tate steals the spotlight again, maybe that drops to 60/40 for the season. And 40% of the carries behind that line has flex play value.

LADDER- Nate Washington will not perform like Britt. Don’t expect that. But his targets should increase, so perhaps 60-70 yards and a score every other week is in store.

SNAKE- Shonn Greene… if you watched the Jets last week, you saw that Ladanian Tomlinson is still a better back and the Jets know it. As much as they would love to hand off the workhorse duties to Greene, he’s been so unproductive, there’s just no motivation to do that now, with LT still performing. We may have to wait yet another season for that big year from Greene… or perhaps he doesn’t have it in him.

LADDER- Dez Bryant was already a top-15 WR option, but with Miles Austin out most likely for another couple weeks, Bryant, who was hampered by an injury on Monday night, has a chance to establish a connection with Tony Romo that could make him option 1A beyond Austin’s return.

SNAKE- Antonio Gates was drafted with the knowledge he had foot problems. Well they appear to be more serious than we knew and he may become a weekly risk all year.

LADDER- Jermichael Finley is the top fantasy tight end right now, considering Gates injury and Dallas Clark‘s quarterback situation. Speaking of Clark and the Colts offense, if Curtis Painter starts over Kerry Collins, Clark and Garcon might regain a bit of their lost value. Painter looked somewhat more capable at running the offense.

SNAKE- Rashard Mendenhall and Frank Gore.. Mendenhall had 18 carries for 37 yards. He has one score on the season and has yet to go over 70 yards. This past week is especially disturbing considering he was going against the Colts less than legendary run defense. Gore had 17 carries for 42 yards against the Bengals this week. He also has one score and has yet to top 60 yards in his three games. Combine their stats on the year and you might be close to what their owners had hoped to get from EACH to this point.

LADDER- Fred Jackson is 4th in rushing yards, 1st in yards per carry (min. 30), 2nd in touchdowns. He also has eight receptions for 115 yards. In a league of platoons, the Bills are all about Jackson. He can catch so he stays in on passing downs and when the Bills are behind. He has to be in the conversation for a top-5 spot among running backs. For now he’d probably fall between 7 and 10 if I redid rankings right now. I recommend his owners pick up CJ Spiller only because Jackson is older than you like workhorse RB to be and there’s some risk of wearing down later in the year.

SNAKE- Kenny Britt for obvious reasons, but having torn both the ACL and MCL, this is an injury that may affect his ability for the rest of his career.

That’s all for now. Check in tomorrow for Q&A.

Nathan Palatsky is the Fantasy Guru for TheFanManifesto.com. He can be followed on twitter @FantasyxmanThe entire FanMan team can be followed on twitter@TheFanManifesto, or liked on facebook by clicking here.

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