Staff Picks: Start/Sit Week 4
You're busy, and we understand that here. That's why we do the fantasy football research for you. Four of our fantasy analysts provide their start/sit advice and insights for Week 4, broken down by the North, South, East, and West divisions.
START: Andy Dalton, CIN vs. ATL - Michael Klos
I know it may be difficult, but you have to forget about the four interceptions last week. Dalton is facing a depleted Atlanta defense, which is giving up monster fantasy production to opposing quarterbacks. I’m assuming AJ Green returns from a groin injury to boost Dalton’s value.
START: Matt Ryan, ATL vs. CIN - Ken Davidson
Matty Ice is on fire in 2018, tallying nearly 900 yds, 7 TD, and 2 int through three games. Ryan has also added two rushing TD on the season. In comes a traveling Bengals team, who just let up 31 points to the Panthers in week 3. Look for Matt ryan to have another big game at home where he has tallied all of his touchdowns this season.
START: Russell Wilson – SEA vs. ARI - Russ Crossen
If you are like me, you thought that the lack of receiving options (we knew Baldwin might not be 100% to start the season) and the Seahawks bringing in 2 run blocking TEs would lead to Wilson making up for it with more yards on the ground but so far, that has not been the case. This week, Baldwin should be back and even if he’s playing at 80%, defenses have to account for him. Add in Carson (hopefully) continuing to get the bulk of the carries and going against a rookie that may end up a vast improvement for the Cardinals but has only had one week of first team reps and Wilson should have a lot more opportunities to put points on the board. If you picked up a temporary replacement waiting for Wilson to pick it up, this should be a great week for that to happen.
Honorable Mention: Case Keenum, DEN vs. KC
You may be in bad shape if you are going this route but if you lost Garoppolo or need a bye week fill in, you could do worse than Case Keenum this week. The best possible match ups for QBs are high powered offenses with terrible defense and other than Atlanta, no one fits that bill as well as the Chiefs. Keenum is a boring but competent QB and has good weapons in Sanders, Thomas, and Sutton for when he’s forced to air it out in an attempt to keep pace with Mahomes.
START: Ryan Tannehill, MIA vs. NE - Ryan Bickerstaff
Believe it or not, Tannehill has played very well so far in 2018. His Miami Dolphins are sitting at 3-0, one of only three remaining undefeated teams, and his statistics have made him fantasy-relevant. His matchup this week is favorable, as New England's defense isn't very good, and I see him putting forth a fantasy-starter-caliber performance against them.
SIT: Matthew Stafford – DET vs. DAL - Michael Klos
Let me set the record straight here. I don’t think Stafford will play poorly, but I believe that there are better options out there this week. Dallas has limited Eli Manning, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson to marginal stat lines, but is giving up nearly 100 rushing yards per game. I’m calling for 220 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT.
SIT: Ryan Fitzpatrick – TB vs. CHI - Ken Davidson
The number one QB in the league has to come back to reality at some point right? Fitzpatrick is on the same cycle a on a yearly basis. Plays well, earns the starting job, craps the bed, repeats. I think this week is that week for FitzMagic to snap back to reality, going up against a Chicago Bears defense in Chicago, who just so happens to be the number one defense in the fantasy. Look for Mack to get the sacks and for Jameis to come back...my apologies for the Dr. Seuss action.
SIT: Undecided - Russ Crossen
I could not pick a sit for the AFC/NFC West as no one is likely starting Rosen, Beathard, or Carr and there’s no one else I would sit other than Goff. This article won’t be out until Saturday so this pick isn’t helpful but it’s the only one I could honest give as a sit pick. Goff has been great, especially when you look at his low number of passing attempts and his efficiency. There’s just likely to be better options this week against a pissed off Vikings defense and the fact that even with Marcus Peters out and Cousins having Thielen and Diggs to throw to, this is not likely to be a high scoring game where Goff is going to even hit the high end of his low number of passing attempts.
SIT: Dak Prescott, DAL vs. DET - Ryan Bickerstaff
Personally, I'm sitting all Cowboys not named Ezekiel Elliott until I see some improvement out of Dallas' offense. Prescott has not been good this year, and his receiving corps isn't doing him any favors. Without Travis Frederick anchoring the offensive line, that unit has also looked out of sync. It's a bad combination going into this week's matchup with the Lions, whose defense dominated the Patriots in Week 3.
START: Giovanni Bernard – CIN vs. ATL - Michael Klos
I like Bernard for many of the same reasons I like Dalton. But in the last 2 weeks, the Falcons gave up 226 receiving yards to running backs (Kamara, McCaffery). This should be the final game that Joe Mixon misses, so insert Bernard into your lineup with confidence.
START: Alvin Kamara – NO vs. NYG - Ken Davidson
Let me state the obvious here. Kamara is a stud. Going up against a New York Giants "Defense" should bode big numbers for Kamara, who is in the last week of getting the bulk of the Saints workload with Mark Ingram out. Kamara will once again finish week 4 a RB1 in all formats, not just PPR.
START: Austin Ekeler – SF vs. LAC - Russ Crossen
The Chargers are going against a Beathard led 49ers at home so we should expect that game to get out of hand quickly. Melvin Gordon should get a lot of work early to take control of the scoreboard early and then we should expect Ekeler to get plenty of work on the ground to run the game out. Anything he gets in the first half is just gravy.
Honorable Mention: Phillip Lindsay, DEN vs. KC
Another Bronco here. Denver is going to be hard pressed to keep up with the KC offense from kickoff and if he doesn’t kill a guy with a trident, Lindsay could be their most explosive RB to give them the best shot at that.
START: Saquon Barkley, NYG vs. NO - Ryan Bickerstaff
"Wow! Thanks, Captain Obvious!" I know. This is just me being cheap. But, I have a couple reasons for it. First, the NFL East only has two RBs I'm thinking are solid starts this week (Barkley and Elliott). Want to flip a coin on Sony Michel or James White? How about Corey Clement or Wendell Smallwood? Isaiah Crowell or Bilal Powell vs. the Jags? Maybe an injured LeSean McCoy? You get my point. The second reason: I think Barkley goes crazy this week.
SIT: Ty Montgomery – BUF vs. GB - Michael Klos
Simply put: The Packers’ backfield is crowded. TyMont is involved in the passing game, but will that be necessary this week? After watching the Bills destroy the Vikings, I don’t believe Green Bay will take Buffalo lightly or be in a negative game script. This is a Jones or Williams week. (emphasis on Jones.)
SIT: Buccaneers Running Backs – TB vs. CHI - Ken Davidson
Another obvious statement from captain obvious. The Bucs RB's have been a steamy, stinky, hot pile of trash in 2018. Ronald Jones has been a healthy scratch every week. Peyton Barber has 124 rushing yards on the season. As I stated earlier, the Bucs have the number one defense in the league this week. Don't look for them to get hot this week .
SIT: Marshawn Lynch – CLE vs. OAK - Russ Crossen
Lynch was underrated according to his ADP this year and he’s been a great RB2/Flex play but he’s also scored every week. The Browns defense is also underrated(top 5 in fantasy without scoring a single defensive TD so I’d call them someone to pick up for your DST long term) and now have what we hope is a vast improvement at QB to keep them off the field and fresh even more. The Saints two games against other teams they scored 40 and 43, against the Browns, 21. The Steelers two games against other teams they scored 37 and 30, against the Browns, 21. Especially with an upgraded offense, Derek Carr and the Raiders are not likely to give Lynch a lot of scoring opportunities.
SIT: Kenyan Drake, MIA vs. NE - Ryan Bickerstaff
"You just said New England's defense isn't good." Indeed, I did. You know who else's defense isn't good? Oakland's. Want to know Drake's stats against them? Five carries for 3 yards and 2 receptions for 7 yards. He was out-carried and out-rushed by Frank Gore, who was out-rushed by Ryan Tannehill. Drake hasn't looked very good in general so far in 2018. I'm sitting him this week.
START: Tyler Boyd – CIN vs. ATL - Michael Klos
If you're paying attention at home, you might have noticed that I'm on that Bengals bandwagon this week. I just don't see the healthy talent on the Atlanta defense stopping Boyd, who has steadily increased his production each week. Boyd is a top 24 WR against the Falcons. Put it on the board.
START: Allen Robinson – TB vs. CHI - Michael Klos
Robinson has yet to fully put it together with Mitch Trubisky, but if he is ever going to have a breakout game, this is the week to do it. Tampa Bay can’t seem to stop #1 receivers, and Robinson is leading the Bears’ WR group with 28 targets so far this year. Robinson scores his first touchdown of the year this week to go along with 80 yards receiving.
START: Will Fuller V – HOU vs. IND - Ken Davidson
In a receiving core that includes DeAndre Hopkins, Fuller and QB sensation of 2017 Deshaun Watson have an undeniable chemistry. in 2 games this season, Fuller has 214 yards and 2 TD. Watson looks for Fuller whenever he goes deep and look for them to exploit that matchup in route to their first win of 2018.
START: T.Y. Hilton – HOU vs. IND - Ken Davidson
Look for Hilton to move up from his 31st overall ranking at the WR position in 2018. The Texans allowed almost 300 yards to Eli Manning and the Giants in Week 3. Look for Hilton to get on track against the Texans and move up the WR ranking with a great performance in week 4.
START: Mike Williams – SF vs. LAC - Russ Crossen
This is certainly not a bold call with Williams’ emergence as Rivers red zone favorite but he’s being ranked barely as a WR3 by a lot of experts and especially with Allen possibly not being 100%, Williams is a must start over many WR2 ranked players this week. At 1-2 the Chargers are going to want to come out scoring early and often and Williams should benefit from that in the form of a minimum of 1 TD and 80+ yards. That’s a floor I want in my lineup this week.
START: Tyler Lockett – SEA vs. ARI - Russ Crossen
Lockett has scored all 3 games this year and I wouldn’t count on regular TDs from him all season but if Baldwin is back but not 100%, this could be one of the games he’s more likely to have another one while the defense has to account for Baldwin regardless of health.
START: Odell Beckham Jr., NYG vs. NO - Ryan Bickerstaff
Taking the easy way out here again, too. NFL East isn't exactly a hotbed for receivers this week. Nelson Agholor and the rest of Philly's receivers have a date with Malcolm Butler and Tennessee's secondary. The top receiver in New England (aside from Gronk) changes week-to-week. Do you want to start any Bills this week? How about Jets receivers against Jalen Ramsey and the Jags? Didn't think so.
START: Kenny Stills, MIA vs. NE - Ryan Bickerstaff
The 'TanneStills Connection' has been solid so far in 2018. Stills is on pace for 981 yards and 16 touchdowns currently. Will he get there? Probably not on the touchdowns, but the yardage is definitely attainable, as he appears to be Tannehill's top target this year. This week against New England, I foresee a quality performance from Stills.
SIT: Marvin Jones DET vs. DAL - Michael Klos
It seems the rise of Kenny Golladay is eating into Marvin Jones’ target share. Jones has collected 2 touchdowns in his last 2 games, but he hasn’t caught more than 4 passes per game. Again, the Cowboys defense is pretty stout, only allowing 3 passing TDs on the year. I’m playing Tate and Golladay and sitting Jones.
SIT: Corey Davis – PHI vs. TEN - Ken Davidson
In the season that was supposed to be the breakout campaign for Davis, he has vastly underperformed. He has tallied 151 yards on 13 receptions and 0 TD. With a QB who isn't 100% and an offense, which was supposed to be high powered with the addition of head coach Mike Vrabel, the titans offensive prowess has been just that. Offensive. Look for Philly to shut down the Titans in week 4.
SIT: All Cardinal and 49er receivers - Russ Crossen
There are just too many questions with the new QB situations. I do hope Fitz makes a comeback with Rosen or Kirk emerges but they are simply not worth the risk this week and Beathard is just bad. Beathard may lock onto someone and make them startable in PR but we need to wait and see how that plays out.
SIT: Dallas Cowboys Receivers vs. DET - Ryan Bickerstaff
It's one of those 'chicken or the egg' questions. Is Dak Prescott really just not a good QB? Or is it that the receiving corps just isn't up-to snuff? Maybe interesting questions to ponder, and I think it's a little Column A, a little Column B. None of the receivers in this group have done much to distinguish themselves from the rest and I'm avoiding this group until someone steps up.
START: David Njoku – CLE vs. OAK - Michael Klos
Baker Mayfield had a good rapport with Njoku in the preseason, and while that might have been against inferior defenses, I see no reason why Njoku doesn’t draw Mayfield’s eye yet again. I don’t love the matchup here, but I’m going to put my faith in Mayfield’s playmaking ability. Njoku gets into the endzone this week.
START: Ben Watson – NO vs. NYG - Ken Davidson
The Giants main focus this week should be on Michael Thomas. The leagues number one WR has been on a tear in 2018. While he will get his fair share of targets and receptions, look for Drew Brees to look Watson's way when the wind up in the redzone, which will happen quite frequently in week 4.
START: George Kittle – SF vs. LAC - Russ Crossen
I know I just dumped all over Beathard but he does do one thing that can translate into fantasy points and that is constant check downs to his RBs. Even if Breida starts, a hyperextended knee doesn’t bode well for a back we hope catches a lot of passes. Those targets could easily be moved to Kittle and make him useful in PPR this week on volume alone.
START: Zach Ertz, PHI vs. TEN - Ryan Bickerstaff
This is just in case you were thinking about sitting him because of Dallas Goedert's increasing usage. Ertz is still one of Carson Wentz's favorite (and best) targets. The Titans haven't had to face a team that features their tight end yet this year. I think they'll be unprepared to stop one of Ertz's caliber this week.
SIT: Vance McDonald – BAL vs. PIT - Michael Klos
The stiff-arm heard ‘round the world. We all saw it and declared Chris Conte dead at the scene of the crime. Even though McDonald owns Conte’s soul from now until eternity, it won’t be enough to get to the endzone vs. Baltimore. The Ravens haven’t allowed a TD to a tight end all year. Even on a high-powered offense, I’d take my chances elsewhere.
SIT: Everybody else with the exception of the Colts TE – Ken Davidson
In a garbage year for TE, and a division that lacks the star power at the position, Look elsewhere for a starting TE. This has been a very off year for TE and I don't expect many of these players to have a huge role going forward.
SIT: Jared Cook – CLE vs. OAK - Russ Crossen
After exploding week 1, Cook quickly came back to earth but some people are still starting him in hopes of a repeat of that crazy performance. If it does happen, it’s not likely to be this week and you should roll the dice on a better streaming option. Again, the Browns have already been great against TEs and now they should have a vastly improved offense to keep them fresh.
Honorable Mention: Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI vs. SEA
Rosen didn’t target his TE in his limited work last week but as a rookie QB on a team that has done nothing as a whole, there’s a good chance he targets Seals-Jones often. There’s an even bigger chance of that considering the baffling decision by the coaching staff to barely use the best weapon on the team in DJ.
SIT: AFC East Tight Ends not named Gronk. - Ryan Bickerstaff
The tight end play in this division has been dismal so far in 2018, aside from Rob Gronkowski, of course. I see nothing to gain by taking a shot on any of them. If you're looking for a spot-starter this week, look toward a different division entirely.
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