What’s in store for week 4 of fantasy football? We asked Red Zone Rick to give his perspective.
Oh boy, bye weeks begin with week four of fantasy. It’s a soft bye week though, with only two teams out. The Jets and the 49ers will back in action come week five and with the exception of George Kittle and LeVeon Bell fantasy owners shouldn’t feel the absence of these two clubs too much.
A Look at Week 4 in Fantasy Football
Acquire Robby Anderson
If you feel like rolling the dice, try lowballing a trade for Robby Anderson.
Anderson hasn’t produced at all through 3 weeks and now is going on bye and chances are his fantasy owners will jump at the opportunity to get him off their bench for someone else. But Sam Darnold has been cleared to do cardio and signs are indicating he could be ready to go as early as Week 5 which is a boon for everyone on this offense.
Say Goodbye to Breida
If you have Matt Breida now is the time to sell.
Tevin Coleman is nearing full health and it is pretty clear that even with Coleman and Mckinnon have gone Shannahan isn’t going to allow Breida the chances to produce like he did last year. This backfield has a full-blown committee written all over it.
Thursday Night: Eagles at Packers
The Pack is Back
The Packers are rolling, but not offensively. And the spectacular Week 1 debut for the Eagles feels like it was a long, long time ago.
Although on paper this game looks like it should be fireworks, in actuality there might be better things to do with your night than watch this game. The Packers delivered a Thursday Night dud 3 weeks ago and more of the same could be slated for this Thursday as well.
Check out the complete NFL Thursday Night Football Schedule.
Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Devante Adams are all must starts.
Jimmy Graham, as predicted, has failed to impress once again this year. He hasn’t registered a catch since September 3rd. Start him if you like to live dangerously/ don’t own any other TE’s.
The Green Bay defense isn’t a bad play here. I expect them to make life miserable for Carson Wentz on Thursday night.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the sleeper.
MVS was a sleeper coming into the season but it’s looking like he could be the number 2 guy, he has had more of an impact than Adams through 3 weeks. He’s a risky play at best but the rewards certainly are there.
How High Will the Eagles Fly?
The Eagles have had their own struggles in the last 2 weeks.
Wents has done his best to keep the games competitive and give his team a chance but he needs help from his supporting cast.
Ertz is a must-start and the only one from the entire Eagles team in my opinion.
Wentz is probably a safe start but if you have another good option it might be wise to bench Wentz this week and hope that the long break before their next game gives this offense a chance to find itself again.
Nelson Agholor is a must-start if Alshon Jeffrey sits again. If Jeffrey plays they are both solid flex plays as Desean Jackson looks slated to miss at least 1 more game.
I wouldn’t mess with anyone else from this game unless you find yourself in a tough spot. The Eagles backfield is a toss-up between Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders right now and then there’s always Sproles’ boom-bust potential. If you have more reliable options stay away from these 3.
Redskins at Giants
This game should be nice since neither team is a heavyweight yet both have some real playmakers.
From the Redskins: Thompson and McLauren
Thompson is reliable in PPR because he probably will have a decent floor. He gets carries but doesn’t do much with them. What makes him viable is his pass-catching when the Redskins are playing from behind (which happens often).
McLauren is looking like the best WR on this team and Keenum trusts him.
Adrian Peterson has been absent (figuratively) this year, but if the ‘Skins get off to a good start, I would expect Gruden wises up and leans on his Hall of Fame RB.
The Giants with Jones
The Giants have found new life in Daniel Jones. Check out highlights from Jones’ debut.
I wouldn’t start him yet unless you’re in a pickle, but certainly starting Sterling Sheppard and Evan Engram is a good idea.
Wayne Gallman is in the “next man up” position now that Barkley is out for a few weeks. He should post some pretty decent numbers this week. I’d think twice though before breaking the bank on him with your FAAB budget, as he will face the Vikings then the Patriots in weeks 5 and 6.
Chargers at the Dolphins
Let’s make this easy, “Stay out of Miami.”
Unless you have Chargers on your team, then go right ahead and start them, sit back, and enjoy the fun in the sun.
Raiders at Colts
The Raiders were a wasteland last week against the Vikings, except for one lone, shining star: Darren Waller.
Waller is a baller and a must-start. He’s the only bonafide fantasy star on the Raiders.
Josh Jacobs was shut down but should bounce back against the Colts.
Tyrell Williams is the only WR worth touching from this group, and I’d go right ahead and start him as a Flex or low WR2 this week.
The Colts are possibly without TY Hilton.
That said, they will rely heavily on the run game. Expect a double-dose of Marlon Mack.
Panthers at Texans
In one week Kyle Allen put up more fantasy points than Cam Newton did the previous 2. I would feel just fine about Newton’s absence this week. If you’ve got a Carolina player, it’s simple, start them.
Greg Olsen, DJ Moore, Christian McCaffrey are an excellent TE/WR/RB trio and against the high-powered Texans, all three of these players will see their share of targets from the new QB.
Curtis Samuel is a decent flex play.
The Texans are a little less promising.
DeShaun Watson will continue the magic and that means Hopkins will also have a nice game. But you’d start them anyway even if it wasn’t a juicy matchup like this one.
As for the running game and the other WRs, they are risky, low floors across the board with high ceilings.
Chiefs at Lions
Another week, another battle against an undefeated team for the Chiefs. When I look at this game, especially the WRs from this game, I think of two words: “Play Everyone.”
Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Sammy Watkins; Patrick Mahomes can do no wrong.
They all have decent floors with sky-high ceilings.
Mahomes and Kelce are no brainers.
If LeSean McCoy is good to go this week, start him. He made the most of his limited touches against a very tough Ravens Defense and it is clear that Andy Reid has big plans for his new, old RB.
As for the Lions, Stafford should be throwing the ball far and often.
That makes Stafford a good start as well as his two main receivers: Golladay and Jones.
And if you have Kerryon Johnson he’s not a bad start either. If they fall behind it could spell trouble for Johnson but I think it’s worth the risk.
Patriots at the Bills
They’re both undefeated but that doesn’t mean these teams are equal.
Even with home-field advantage, boy I find it hard to trust anyone on the Bills enough to start them against the red hot Patriots.
As for the Patriots, keep starting them as you have been.
Start their Defense; Start their QB; and pen in their WRs; and start their Kicker.
And for their RBs, keep playing them as you have been: with caution.
No Patriot RB is a sure thing. James White has seen a reliable floor in recent years, but last week dropped a goose egg for his fantasy owners. This isn’t a knock on Patriot running backs. They’re all quite talented, but it ultimately comes down to what Big Bill says and if they will get a sizable chunk of the game plan or not.
Browns at Ravens
I hope you didn’t prematurely crown the browns because they’ve got a long, long way to go still. Their first divisional matchup will tell a lot.
Chubb has been magnificent through the first 3 weeks, but if you own him then you drafted him with those expectations.
Chubb and OBJ are the only two starts from this group until further notice. And even with those big names, I’d temper my expectations this week. The Ravens are looking to bounce back and I expect them to do so ruthlessly.
Don’t do anything with the Cleveland Defense or Mayfield this week if you can avoid it.
As for the Ravens, stay the course.
Lamar Jackson is a must-start. The defense is a must-start.
And start all the Marks at RB/TE/WR.
- Mark Ingram,
- Mark Andrews,
- And, Mark-quise Brown. Okay, that one doesn’t really count, but still, start Brown.
Titans at Falcons
This one is easy and not worth overthinking.
For the Titans: Delanie Walker and Derrick Henry.
And, for the Falcons: Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, and Devonta Freeman.
You might be down on Freeman and I don’t blame you, but it is still early in the season. He needs to be started this week though because the Falcons are going to keep giving him the ball.
Buccaneers at Rams
I wouldn’t trust Jameis Winston just yet, but if you have his top 2 WRs it doesn’t really matter if you trust them or not because you have no choice but to start them. Evans had a monster Week 3 while Godwin had excellent weeks 1 and 2.
Stay out of this Tampa running game.
The Rams have a little more going for them in fantasy.
Their defense is good enough to start this week (and will probably land a few INTs). Their QB should shine against the Bucs. All 3 WRs are solid plays.
And Gurley will be used often. You have to like your chances if you own Rams players this week.
Seahawks at Cardinals
The Seahawks did not look like themselves last week… In the Pete Carroll era, the Seahawks just don’t lose at home in September. Yet they sure lost last week, and to a Saints team with a backup QB.
So how can you trust their fantasy players? Well, Tyler Lockett and Russell Wilson looked good and posted fantastic numbers so it is certainly safe to trust them.
Chris Carson and the Seahawks Defense on the other hand, much harder to trust. Start Carson if you have to, but the fumbling has become a real problem. The Defense is a middle of the road play.
The Cardinals will continue to develop their new offense. David Johnson is a good play. Larry Fitzgerald is solid. Kirk is good. Kyler Murray is going to have a decent floor this week.
Jaguars at Broncos
Despite the offseason hype that the Broncos backfield would be a two-headed attack, common sense would argue Phillip Lindsay is going to get more touches. And it certainly looks like Lindsay (who gave Saquon Barkley a run for his money last year as the best rookie RB) is back in form for his sophomore campaign.
The Broncos don’t have many weapons as far as fantasy owners are concerned, but they do have a few solid plays this week.
Lindsay is one of them as an RB2. Emmanuel Sanders had a poor outing last week but remains a viable flex. And if you’re in a pinch the Denver defense should be an okay play but hasn’t looked like the powerhouse it once was.
The Jaguars offer a bit more excitement.
The Jacksonville D is worth a start this week especially given Denver’s struggles through the first 3 weeks. Joe Flacco is not a mobile QB and will be easy to sack behind an underperforming offensive line. If the Jaguars are able to get after him often, we should also see an interception from a flustered Flacco.
Leonard Fournette hasn’t shaped up to be as dominant as the Jaguars hoped he would be when they drafted him but he sure isn’t a pushover either. Jacksonville could rely on the run game on the road to help stabilize things for their rookie QB.
Speaking of the rookie, Gardner Minshew has become a national sensation. We were all expecting Foles Magic this season but instead, Minshew has brought his own magic. He’s fun to watch and clearly the offense is feeling his mojo. You could probably start him but you probably shouldn’t; there are more proven/reliable options.
The man that is making the most of that mojo is DJ Chark. The 2018 second-round draft pick has come alive under Minshew and their connection shows no signs of slowing down. He’s a great Flex for Week 4.
Gardner Minshew’s Mustache Video
Vikings at Bears
These teams boast stout defenses (as is the trend in the NFC North this year) but feel free to start all the usual suspects.
The Vikings offense has been the more potent of the two offenses. Diggs, Thielen, and Cook are all must starts. Diggs has struggled a bit in fantasy production but his ceiling is too high to bench.
The Vikings defense has also looked pretty nice and should be able to put the squeeze on the Bears who are coming into Sunday’s game on a short week.
But the Bears’ defense is also worthy of a start. They too have looked good and the Bears love to beat the Vikings at home at Soldier Field. Those wins have usually come by stifling the Vikings with good defense. It’s safe to assume the trend could continue this week.
Sunday Night Showdown: Cowboys at Saints
Although this sounds like an offensive showdown, expect the defenses to be the deciding factor.
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The Cowboys have your traditional starts at QB/RB/WR and you already know who they are. I’d also start the cowboy D; the Saints are full of dynamic playmakers but make no mistake, they are operating under a backup QB (albeit the best backup QB in the league).
If you’re in need of a TE, look no further than Witten.
Speaking of dynamic playmakers, the Saints are full of them. On defense/ special teams the one word that best sums up this squad is “playmakers”. They have someone for everything. And with Brees out the Saints will rely on those playmakers to win like they did last week in Seattle.
Aside from the defense, go ahead and start the 2 guys nobody should ever bench: Thomas and Kamara. You can sit Cook, he’s shaping up to be a fantasy bust through 3 games.
Monday Night Football: Bengals at Steelers
This one is as easy as they come for fantasy purposes: don’t invest more than you have to. That means to play the top WRs Boyd (Bengals) and Smith-Schuster (Steelers), and play the top RBs Mixon (Bengals) and Conner (Steelers). If Vance McDonald is healed up by Monday, start him too. Otherwise, stay away from this game.
Check out the complete Monday Night Football Schedule.
Both teams are 0-3 and haven’t proven to be great options at any fantasy position yet. But because both teams have struggled they will be competitive in this one.
— Red Zone Rick
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