As a long time fantasy football player, there always seems to be a bye week that is way more difficult to handle than all others throughout the season. In 2014, week 4 may be that week.
With the Cardinals, Bengals, Broncos, Seahawks, Browns, and Rams all inactive this week, we see a ton of the biggest playmakers at all positions getting the week off. There is no Giovani Bernard. Or Marshawn Lynch. Or Percy Harvin. Peyton Manning. Demaryius Thomas. Julius Thomas. AJ Green. Michael Floyd. Andre Ellington. Jordan Cameron. Zac Stacy. The list seems to go on and on.
You may have a team that has a lot of players on a week 4 bye. But that's okay, because we (and the Saints) might be able to help you overcome that.
Here are the Saints who could have a nice fantasy day on Sunday. Whether you own them or face them, at least you could know what you should expect this week...
Drew Brees has yet to have a 3 TD game in three weeks. Considering that Drew was 34 of 41 for 392 yards and 4 TDs with 0 INTs vs Dallas at home a year ago, I feel very confident that you will see his first 3+ TD game of the season. Drew threw for 3+ TDs six times last year. This defense, which allowed 3rd string QB Austin Davis to go 30 of 42 for 327 yards and 3 TDs vs 2 INTs a week ago, seems more than ready to absolutely feed the Drew Brees owner. If you own him, you are a happy camper. If you face him, I hope your roster is deep.
Khiry Robinson surprised us with an 18 carry effort against the Minnesota Vikings. Many of us expected Pierre Thomas to get a bigger share of the workload, but Robinson received the kind of work that Ingram may have received if he was healthy. The Saints may attempt to keep the ball out of Dallas' hands on offense, where they are obviously way more dangerous. Khiry could receive 15+ carries once again at Dallas and could be a candidate for a rushing TD. He could be a great fill in during a difficult bye week.
if you are considering Khiry, then Pierre Thomas may be even more attractive in PPR leagues. PT has 3 TDs in his last two games vs Dallas and is already recognized as the superior pass catching running back. We feel great about Brees being able to carve up a weak Dallas defense, so PT should be capable of picking up some much needed RB points for teams missing Lynch, Ellington, Bernard, Stacy, or Ball.
Jimmy Graham is basically a lock to perform at or above expectation almost every week. This week, he faces the worst defense in the NFL against the TE in fantasy. If Graham owners do not receive double digit scoring from Jimmy, then Sunday was a disappointment for you.
Marques Colston has been relatively quiet so far this season, but has traditionally feasted against the Cowboys. Last season's 7 catch, 107 yard with a TD effort was sandwiched in between a time where he was really struggling. Despite a TD vs Minnesota, Colston has not been super active in the past two weeks, only being targeting 5 times vs Minnesota and zero times at Cleveland. This might be the right time to reach out to someone and get him for cheap. As the season progresses, Colston will have some big games. This Dallas game could definitely be one of them.
Rookie Brandin Cooks has been targeted 24 times in 3 weeks, while also carrying the ball 3 times for 49 yards. He is already a big part of the offense and may be the 3rd biggest "must start Saint" in fantasy right now behind Brees and Graham. Deeper benches have the easy decision of inserting Cooks while players like Percy Harvin, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, AJ Green, Michael Floyd, and Larry Fitzgerald are on bye.
When facing a defense like the Dallas Cowboys, you have to like the potential of any of the Saints big playmakers. Hopefully, the Saints will follow through with an awesome offensive performance.
As for the rest of the NFL, here is a look at some solid fantasy sleepers and Fanduel pickups:
QB: Ben Roethlisberger (PIT vs TB) The Bucs defense showed little to no resistance to the Falcons last week even without Roddy White and Harry Douglas. Big Ben has the weapons necessary to be able to have a solid game in the air against a defense that is 10th in passing yards allowed per game.
RB: Donald Brown (SD vs JAX) Brown had a very unimpressive 2 yards per carry last week against Buffalo, but Jacksonville gives up 160 yards per game on the ground and Brown is the lone wolf in the Charger backfield. Don't hesitate to give him a start.
WR: Allen Robinson (JAX at SD) In his last 2 games, the freakishly athletic Robinson has over 70 yards receiving. While his snaps continue to increase, the more talented QB (Blake Bortles) has emerged as the new starter. This could be the beginning of a very nice combo in the NFL. Roll the dice.
TE: Owen Daniels (BAL vs CAR) Sure, he is facing a very tough defense on Sunday, but Owen Daniels is an established TE who has shown the ability to make plays with a mediocre QB. Joe Flacco has shown love for the TE position in the past and Daniels is a very capable pass catcher. Trendy players like Niles Paul and Larry Donnell will seem tempting if available, but Daniels can capably fill a spot for the remainder of the season that was abandoned by a top 10 TE in Dennis Pitta. Considering the looks he may receive, Daniels could prove to be a steal.
Which Saints players are you excited about in fantasy this week? Who are your surprising players to watch? Week 4 could be a big one in fantasy football this season. Choose wisely.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $350,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 4's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first place wins $30,000. Starts Sunday, September 28th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.