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Week 4: Saints vs. Packers Fantasy Sit/Start Advice

While the Fail Mary lingers, your fantasy teams must soldier on. APC breaks down the key players in Sunday's Saints-Packers game at Lambeau.

Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images

After three weeks, odds are good that you're starting to get a handle on your fantasy team's performance. You've identified positions of concern, and hopefully you're sitting comfortably after making a couple of wise waiver wire pickups. Now you have a glut of Packers or Saints and want to know who to plug into your starting lineup. Well, look no further.

No-brainer starters:
GB: QB Aaron Rodgers
NO: TE Jimmy Graham

Rodgers had his worst week of the young season last week on the road against the Seahawks' tenacious defense; he gets a little home cooking this week and will have the league's worst defense opposing him. Plus, he has extra motivation this week to avenge Monday night's debacle. If there's a game that is set up well for him to get back on track, it's this Sunday. Graham, on the other hand, is one of the league's best young tight ends and has become QB Drew Brees' top red-zone target. He has a touchdown in each game yet this year and has found the end zone in six straight games going back to last season.

Start with confidence:
GB: WR Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, RB Cedric Benson, Defense/Special Teams
NO: RB Darren Sproles

Nelson and Jennings should be the beneficiaries of the Saints' weak secondary. Jennings bounced back from his groin injury with six catches on Monday, and while he didn't look like the Jennings of old, he should be able to find space on Sunday. Nelson had a score against the Saints last season and is a good bet for one or two deep balls thrown his way. Benson will get his best opportunity to have a big day on the ground as well - the Saints allowed over 200 yards to Jamaal Charles last week, and Benson should be able to find running room. Meanwhile, the defense should be able to collect some sacks and turnovers this week as the Saints look to be desperate for a win.

Sproles is the kind of shifty, do-everything back who gave the Packers fits last season. He caught seven balls for 75 yards in last year's game to go along with a punt return touchdown. I'd bet that he catches several balls for solid yardage with a handful of runs as well.

Consider other options:
GB: TE Jermichael Finley
NO: QB Drew Brees, WR Marques Colston

It may seem like blasphemy to advocate benching Drew Brees, but it could be a good decision this week - depending on your other options. It's entirely possible that Brees may force some throws trying to get the Saints their first win, so if you have another promising option, like Joe Flacco against the Browns on Thursday night for example, this may be a week to look another direction. Colston has been okay this season, but hasn't found the end zone yet. He'll likely catch three to five passes, but the Packers' corners have played well and kept him without a touchdown in last year's game. If you have another promising matchup on your bench, I'd say go with that. The same goes for Jermichael Finley, who had a decent game on Monday with 60 yards. The Saints have been stingy against tight ends so far this year though, giving up the fewest fantasy points to that position of any defense in 2012.

GB: WR Randall Cobb, James Jones, Donald Driver
NO: RB Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, WR Devery Henderson, Defense/Special Teams

While it's entirely possible that one of the three Packers receivers could score this week, I couldn't tell you for the life of me which one I would bet on. Cobb hasn't been a big player in the offense since week one, and neither of the other two are consistent threats for big numbers.

The Saints running game has been wildly inconsistent so far. Mark Ingram has the only rushing score, but Thomas has the only 100-yard game (which he got courtesy of a few long runs given up by Carolina's defense). I don't trust either of them against the Packers' run defense, which held Marshawn Lynch under 4 yards per carry on Monday. Henderson is a speedster, but will likely see a lot of Sam Shields this week. I expect Shields to continue to play well. With their aforementioned struggles, I also think it would be wise if you'd stay away from New Orleans' defense this week.


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