In­jured Barkley tests RB depth

The Morning Call - - VARSITY - By Bran­don C. Wil­liams

Week 4 of fan­tasy foot­ball can be sub­ti­tled, “Life With­out Saquon” for own­ers who must re­set their run­ning back depth af­ter los­ing the Gi­ants star to a high an­kle sprain.

It’s also an­other week with­out Cam New­ton, which trans­lates to a heavy work­load for Pan­thers run­ning back Chris­tian McCaf­frey.

The ini­tial bye week means the Jets and 49ers are side­lined. Most own­ers won’t feel a great loss.

Start: Ja­coby Bris­sett, QB, Colts: His av­er­age of 228 pass­ing yards per game is pedes­trian, but Bris­sett has thrown mul­ti­ple TD passes in each of his first three games. He faces a Raiders de­fense that has yet to make an in­ter­cep­tion and is 28th over­all in op­pos­ing passer rat­ing at 116.8.

Sit: Jameis Win­ston, QB, Bucs: The Rams are No. 3 in fewest fan­tasy points al­lowed to QBs (6.85 PPG). Win­ston threw for 380 yards and three TDs vs. the Gi­ants last week, but av­er­ages a pal­try 2.5 air yards per pass at­tempt.

Start: Ker­ryon John­son, RB, Lions: He’s be­come a high-vol­ume back who could have his break­out game at the ex­pense of the Chiefs, who al­low a league­high 6.2 yards per carry. John­son av­er­ages 17.6 touches per game, and his pass-catch­ing skills are un­der­rated.

Sit: Nick Chubb, RB, Browns: The Browns’ ane­mic of­fen­sive pro­duc­tion won’t im­prove against the Ravens, who are No. 7 in fewest fan­tasy points al­lowed per game to RBs. Chubb has just one TD in his first 69 touches from scrim­mage.

Start: Sterling Shep­ard, WR, Gi­ants: Big Blue will be­come big on the pass with­out Barkley. En­ter Shep­ard, who pulled in seven of a team-best nine tar­gets from rookie QB Daniel Jones for 100 yards and a score in last week’s win over the Bucs. He should ex­ceed dou­ble-digit tar­gets against a Red­skins pass de­fense that al­lows 46.90 fan­tasy points and 2.7 TDs per game to WRs.

Sit: Josh Gor­don, WR, Pa­tri­ots: The 11 tar­gets in Week 3 is en­cour­ag­ing, yet much of those came af­ter Ju­lian Edel­man was in­jured. The big-play po­ten­tial is there, but Gor­don re­mains too much of a risk to play. Well, that and the Bills are sixth in fewest fan­tasy points al­lowed per game to op­pos­ing wide­outs.

Start: Will Dissly, TE, Sea­hawks: Quickly a fa­vorite of Rus­sell Wil­son, Dissly, who has three TDs in the last two games, gets the best as­sign­ment of any­one this week at his po­si­tion: a date against the Car­di­nals, who are last in de­fend­ing tight ends.

Sit: Jimmy Gra­ham, TE, Pack­ers: Week 1 ap­pears it was a mi­rage, as Gra­ham has all of two tar­gets the last two games. The Ea­gles do a ser­vice­able job in de­fend­ing tight ends, but Thurs­day night’s game will likely cen­ter around Aaron Rodgers light­ing up an Ea­gles pass de­fense ranked 29th in fan­tasy points against WRs.

Start: John Ross, WR, Ben­gals: The speed­ster is fi­nally be­ing ef­fec­tively uti­lized, ev­i­denced by his 22.5 yards per catch and six big plays, the lat­ter ranks him tied for sec­ond in the NFL. Ross is also sev­enth in the league with 152 yards af­ter the catch.

This col­umn was pro­vided to The As­so­ci­ated Press by Sport­sGrid Inc.,­

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