DeMaryius Thomas Broncos DeMaryius Thomas hasn't wowed yet in 2014, but he will. Credit: Getty Images

 

There are six teams on a bye, injuries are piling up earlier than usual and our pet’s heads are falling off. In other words, it’s a perfect time to make a trade.

 

Many of our opponents are in all-out panic mode, stressed over preseason projections gone wrong and a lineup full of waiver adds. If they’re trying to sell off these guys at a fraction of their value, we should be buying.

 

Marry Demaryius
In Week 1, Demaryius Thomas got eaten up by elite Colts cornerback Vontae Davis. In Week 3, he went where wideouts go to die: Seattle. Now he has a bye, his owners are 1-2 at best and they’re ready to make a deal. As the season moves along, look for Thomas’ role to expand and Emmanuel Sanders’ target count to dip some. It’s inevitable as the matchups get softer and Peyton Manning feeds one of the league’s top pure talents at receiver.

 

Dougie Fresh
Last Thursday night couldn’t have gone much better for Doug Martin even though he was out with a knee injury. Bobby Rainey fumbled twice, averaged less than four yards per carry and the Bucs got absolutely blasted by the Falcons. So now Martin returns to a team that needs him, and one that is upgrading from Josh McCown to Mike Glennon. Look for a timeshare, but Martin should be available for pennies on the trade market.

Toby rescued
Chad Henne was no threat, so defensive coordinators stacked the box and overwhelmed the Jags’ bottom-tier offensive line. Blake Bortles is going to change all that because he’s strong-armed and aggressive as a downfield thrower. It’ll create actual running lanes for Toby Gerhart, who remains a rare three-down and goal-line back. I’ve seen Gerhart on some waiver wires this week, which is not where he should be right now.

Pickups of the Week
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens – When Bernard Pierce gets healthy, he’ll be on a very short leash thanks to the impressive “Zo.”
Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars – Blake Bortles is going to open up this entire offense. Robinson is his most talented weapon.
Alfred Blue, RB, Texans — Arian Foster has been fighting a balky hamstring for two months now. How long can he last?

NFL matchups
Don’t start these borderline players in Week 4
1. Owen Daniels, TE, Ravens – Dennis Pitta is done for the year, but his role will be filled by committee. The Panthers’ front seven isn’t a good spot for withered OD.
2. Chris Johnson, RB, Jets – As expected, Chris Ivory is drastically outplaying CJ. Expect the carry split to keep skewing toward Ivory.
3. Justin Hunter, WR, Titans – The matchup against Indy seems tasty, but Colts cornerback Vontae Davis continues to dominate opposing wideouts.

NFL news
Thanks to injuries, the Panthers backfield is taking a sharp turn toward actual fantasy relevance. Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and Fozzy Whittaker are all hurt, leaving DeAngelo Williams and Darrin Reaves as the only healthy running backs. Furthermore, Cam Newton’s rib injury has left him hesitant to use his legs. It gives Williams serious fantasy upside for the first time in recent memory because his volume won’t be capped.