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Week 4 Start/Sit: No reason to be wary of Ware

Don't fear starting Ware against Pittsburgh in Week 4. (Getty)
Don’t fear starting Ware against Pittsburgh in Week 4. (Getty)

As we head into Week 4 of the 2016 NFL season, here are 12 players to give extra consideration to when filling out your lineups – six that are looking better than usual, and a half dozen that are looking worse:

(Note: Green Bay and Philadelphia are on bye in Week 4)

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STARTS

QB – Trevor Siemian, Den ($26) – Pretty cheap price for Siemian this week considering that he’s coming off the top fantasy performance by a QB in Week 3 (312 yards, 4 TD passes) and he’s facing a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed the fourth-highest QB rating (106.4). Against strong competition, Siemian has managed a top 7 completion percentage (67%) and a top 11 QB Rating (95.9). For DFSers and those looking for a plug-n-play option to replace Aaron Rodgers this week, Siemian fills the bill.
RB – Spencer Ware, KC ($23) – Ware currently sits with the 29th-highest starting% in Yahoo leagues heading into the weekend, which makes me question, What is everyone worried about? Ware is facing a Pittsburgh defense that is among the top 5 friendliest units in fantasy when it comes to RB production, and that’s based largely on its (in)ability to limit RBs in the passing game (21 catches, 290 receiving yards, 2 TD receptions allowed to the position). Ware leads all RBs in Yards from Scrimmage, and that’s thanks in large part to an average of 61.7 receiving yards per game. Ware’s dual-threat upside will be tough for the Steelers to fully contain, especially as it looks like KC will sit Jamaal Charles one more week.
RB – Dwayne Washington, Det ($10) – Washington averaged 3.8 yards on 10 carries last week against Green Bay, which might not sound like much, that is, unless you know that the Packers defense is allowing just 2.0 YPC to the RB position this season. Washington has drawn praise from his coaching staff for his work in the absence of the injured Ameer Abdullah, and it’s expected he’ll garner and even larger share of the backfield load this week against an injury-depleted Chicago defense that has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to the RB position.
WR – Steve Smith SR., Bal ($16) – If you watched Smith pinball his way through the Jacksonville secondary for eight catches and 87 yards, you understand that he’s a freak of nature, and certainly not your average 37-year-old coming off a blown Achilles injury. Smith looks like his spry, fiery old self and that spells trouble this Sunday for an Oakland secondary allowing the most fantasy points per game to the WR position.
WR – John Brown, Ari ($14) – Brown got off to a slow start to ’16 because of post-concussion symptoms, but he showed signs of getting back to full speed with 70 receiving yards in Week 3. Now receiver teammate Michael Floyd is the one coming out of concussion protocol and, although he looks like he’ll play in Week 4, you can assume he might not see a full compliment of scrimmage plays. Extra focus in the passing game or not, I like Brown’s chances for a big play or two against a Rams defense that he averaged 100 yards against in his two ’15 meetings – the Rams have also yielded 99-plus yards to a receiver three times in the past two games.
TE – Hunter Henry, SD ($10) – With Antonio Gates likely to miss his second straight game because of a hammy injury, the athletic rookie Henry is in line for another start after impressing in Gates’ absence last week by hauling in all five of his targets for 76 yards. Henry will face off against a New Orleans defense that has yielded the sixth-fewest yards to the TE position and zero touchdowns. But, you can’t really argue the fact that the Saints haven’t exactly faced a murderer’s row of tight ends (Clive Walford, Will Tye/Larry Donnell and Jacob Tamme). What matters most in considering Henry is that New Orleans’ defense allows the second-most points (32 ppg) and yards from scrimmage (448.3). You want any highly-involved pieces of that action, and Henry certainly qualifies.
[Week 4 rankings: Overall | FLEX | QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | K]
SITS
QB – Eli Manning, NYG ($32) – Manning has thrown for 350 yards in back-to-back games against softball matchups (New Orleans and Washington), but combined for just a single TD pass in those games. This week, the passing yards and end zone access become much more restrictive in Minnesota against a Vikings defense that has held Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers to a combined 1:4 TD-to-INT ratio and an average of 237.5 passing yards the past two weeks.
RB – Matt Forte, NYJ ($23) – Forte is coming off modest production in Week 3 (15 carries, 65 yards) in a loss to KC in Week 3 and now faces a Seattle defense that is allowing just 3.5 YPC to opposing RBs. With receiver Eric Decker expected to miss the game with a shoulder injury, and fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa also banged up (though they will play), it makes it easier for Seattle to focus on Forte and load up the box. Forte is the 11th-most started RB in Yahoo leagues heading into the weekend, but he’s likely to have a difficult time cracking the top 20.
RB – Christine Michael, Sea ($21) -Michael busted out in Week 3 in a big way by going over the century mark in rushing yards and splashing pay dirt twice against a suspect 49ers defense. But expect him to crash back to earth in his encore performance this week as Seattle makes the difficult trip to the East Coast for an early Sunday game against the Jets. New York’s vaunted defensive front line brings similar talent and challenges for Seattle’s running game as that of the Rams, a team that has often given the Seahawks’ offense (and especially offensive line) fits in recent seasons. Seattle’s RBs were stuck in the mud against the Rams in Week 2 (19 carries, 53 yards, 0 TDs) and I worry that a similar result is coming this week.
WR – Allen Robinson, Jac ($33) – I understand that a player that is as athletic as Robinson, and targeted in the red zone to the extent that he is, would be a tough one to sit down in standard redraft leagues. But in shallower formats where enticing bench options exist, and in DFS formats, Robinson might best be avoided. Yes, he’s coming off a two-touchdown game in Week 3, but he’s averaging just 61 YPG and has caught just 52 percent of his intended targets from QB Blake Bortles. The matchup this week against Indy might seem exploitable, but the Colts have actually been solid in pass coverage this season, yet to allow a TD or more than 9.0 fantasy points to an opposing wideout. And, for what it’s worth, A-Rob was held to an average of 7.0 fantasy points in his two meetings against this Vontae Davis-led secondary last season.
WR – Jeremy Maclin, KC ($25) – Maclin has had a few big games in his time with the Chiefs, but the standout stat has to be that he’s been held to 68 yards or less in 15 of his 20 contests (including nine straight) in a Kansas City uniform. Facing a Pittsburgh defense that has held opposing go-to WRs A.J. Green and Jordan Matthews to an average of 29 receiving yards over the past two weeks, Maclin isn’t advertising much upside in Week 4.
TE – Kyle Rudolph, Min ($15) – Rudolph is currently the No. 2 tight end in fantasy, and ranks top 10 in starting% at the position for this week in Yahoo default leagues. But reaching TE1 levels this weekend against an improved Giants defense that has yet to yield a TE touchdown and has held the solid TE trio of Jason Witten, Jordan Reed and Coby Fleener to an average of just 5.0 fantasy PPG is likely to be a difficult task for Rudolph.

Arca says Coke's United no longer part of possible U.S. bottling deal

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican bottling company Arca Continental said on Friday that Coca-Cola Bottling Company United will not longer form part of a previously announced intention to sign a deal to operate the Coca-Cola bottling franchise in parts of the United States.

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Did Mars's crust contribute to its atmosphere?

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Ty Lue still owes LeBron $100 from his 'cash in the ceiling' Finals motivational ploy

Tyronn Lue points to various elevated locations around Cleveland where he stashed cash. (Getty Images)
Tyronn Lue points to various elevated locations around Cleveland where he stashed cash. (Getty Images)

You know what motivates NBA players? The thrill of victory? The desire to dominate? The imperative to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are the very best in the world at what they do?

Sure, all of those are pretty good answers. The best one, though: cold hard cash stuffed in the ceiling of the visiting locker room at an opponent’s arena.

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Tyronn Lue knew that, and used it to his advantage to help the Cleveland Cavaliers climb out of the 3-1 hole they faced against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, according to a tale the coach told at Cavs media day earlier this week, according to Will Burge of FOX Sports Ohio:

If that sounds familiar to you, there’s a good chance you were paying way too much attention to the NBA during the 2010 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, whose coaching staff included an assistant named Tyronn Lue:

Following a win over the Lakers last February, Celtics coach Doc Rivers demanded $100 each from Boston’s players, coaching staff, and even team managers. He stuffed the dough in an envelope, and told his team — his entire traveling organization, really — that they can have the money back the next time they play the Lakers inside the Staples Center.

The kicker? This was after the team’s only game inside the Staples Center during the regular season. They weren’t going to make it back inside that locker room unless the team made it back to the NBA Finals, some 3 1/2 months later. This was the only scenario that would see Rivers being able to take his team’s cash back, and at the time of the stashing, it seemed a long shot for the Celtics to even make it back to Staples within the year.

The Celtics, at the time, were a clear No. 3 in their own conference at that point, and may have even dropped a notch in most NBA followers’ minds between that February contest and the end of the regular season.

Rivers had faith, though. And at some point when the C’s returned to Los Angeles, on Tuesday, his team got its money back.

Those Celtics left L.A. with their money, but without another set of rings, as the Lakers got some revenge for the 2008 Finals and the fifth ring of Kobe Bryant’s career. Still, the brass and wisdom of Rivers — whose ceiling-stashing has inspired treasure-seeking inquiries from basketball luminaries like Gregg Popovich and Seth Rosenthal — inspired Lue at a pivotal point, with the Cavs having just staved off elimination with a Game 5 road win behind monster games from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

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As you probably know, it — and the Larry O’Brien Trophy puzzle, and the Undertaker T-shirt, and the motivational group text that LeBron James sent to his teammates, and everything else — worked, as the Cavs ripped off three straight wins to claim the first championship in franchise history, breaking Cleveland’s 52-year pro sports title drought.

Lue went into detail on his demand that everybody put up $100 on Tuesday, according to Joe Vardon of cleveland.com:

Not just from LeBron James, or Kyrie Irving, or Kevin Love — you know, the players who print money. But everyone in the room, from owner Dan Gilbert (also not poor) down to Cavs’ public relations staffers and equipment managers.

Lue took the wad of cash — senior vice president of communications Tad Carper says it was $4,500 — and hid it in the ceiling of the coaches’ dressing room in the corner of the Oracle Arena visitor’s locker room.

“They were like, ‘Where is the money going?’” Lue said Tuesday, following the Cavs’ first practice as defending champs. “I’m like, ‘It’s going to me and I’m going to wrap it up and put it in the ceiling in the coaches locker room and we’re going to come back, get our money and get our trophy for Game 7.’” […]

The Cavs did indeed return to Oracle and win Game 7, 93-89, thus collecting the Larry O’Brien trophy on the Warriors’ court. As for the money, well, “we got it back to the right people,” Lue said.

Well, not all of the right people, apparently:

“I’m still looking for my money. I didn’t get mine back,” James said.

Of all the guys on the Cavs to stiff. (At least the PR staffers and equipment managers got their investments back.)

Luckily, both James and Lue got repaid many times over by Gilbert this summer to help lead Cleveland’s pursuit of back-to-back championships. A pro-tip for arena staffers around the NBA: if the Cavs roll through town in the middle of a rough patch in their schedule, do yourselves a favor after they vacate the premises. Grab a ladder and start snooping. Baby needs a new pair of shoes, and fortune favors the bold.

– – – – – – –

Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don’t Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, “Like” BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

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Wall Street dragged down by Apple, health stocks

(Reuters) – Wall Street was lower in choppy trading late Thursday morning after two straight days of gains, pulled lower by Apple and healthcare stocks.

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On a Northern Lights night, Iceland dims the lights to admire nature's own

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Tim Tebow hit a home run in his first professional at-bat

New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow’s baseball career has barely even begun and he’s already a legend. The former quarterback turned outfielder hit a home run on the first pitch he saw as a professional baseball player.

Yep, you can’t write a better script than that. The blast came during Tebow’s first game in the instructional league. Prior to Wednesday, Tebow had taken part in intrasquad games against his Mets’ teammates, but this was the first time he faced another club.

Tim Tebow's career as a baseball player is going pretty well. (Getty Images/Rob Foldy)
Tim Tebow’s career as a baseball player is going pretty well. (Getty Images/Rob Foldy)

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Now, critics might be quick to point out that this is the instructional league. It’s one thing to hit a home run off a pitcher during instructs, and something else entirely to replicate that result in the majors. Heck, the jump from instructs to Double-A is probably exceptionally steep.

With that said, it’s tough to really criticize, right? Sure, Tebow still remains raw as a player, and is a long way away from making any significant contributions in the majors. But this was the best possible way he could have started his professional baseball career.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Germany denies preparing to rescue Deutsche Bank

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The German government denied that it was working on a rescue of Deutsche Bank after a newspaper report about such plans fueled fears over the future of the biggest lender in Europe’s largest economy.

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