Starts and Sits For Week 4
I don’t know what’s going on but it’s starting to feel like the guys that were excited about coming into the season aren’t performing as well as we thought they would. Whether it’s because of injuries, bad matchups early in the season, or odd play-calling, some of the players we expected to hit the ground running aren’t doing well. And your fantasy teams may be taking the hit. That’s alright though. If you’re facing a 1-2 or 0-3 start, the worst thing you can do is panic.
Take a hard look at your fantasy team, make sure you’re making the right roster moves, and keep active on that waiver wire. And don’t worry, we got you covered on some players that look to have some solid match-ups to get you back on track.
Start of the week: Kyler Murray vs. CAR
Kyler Murray heads into Week 4 averaging 261 passing yards and gets a defense in the Carolina Panthers that’s had the luxury of starting the season against quarterbacks like Jacoby Brissett, Daniel Jones, and Jameis Winston with the latter being the one to post the most passing yards during their game. The Panthers have given up the 13th fewest passing yards so far but considering who their opponents were, it’s understandable. Murray didn’t throw or rush for a touchdown last week against the Raiders so look for him to get back on track in that regard against the Panthers.
Russell Wilson vs. LVR
Russell Wilson can’t play this bad forever, can he? Wilson sits at the QB23 averaging just 12.6 fantasy points per game. However, the Raiders present a perfect opportunity for him to bounce back as the Raiders are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, the eighth-most passing yards (801), and have given up five passing touchdowns. If Wilson can’t get right this week, he may have to go to the bench, if he hasn’t already been sent there already.
Trevor Lawerence vs. PHI
Lawerence has been pretty solid over the last two weeks but gets a tough-looking match-up going up against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4. The Eagles beat up on Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz sacking him nine times and made the Vikings offense look pedestrian on Monday Night Football back in Week 2. But they did let Lions’ quarterback look a tad deadly in Week 1, giving up two passing touchdowns. Lawerence looks to be a different quarterback from his rookie season so starting him even against the Eagles should yield positive results.
Stream of the week: Matt Ryan vs. TEN
Yes, I know Matt Ryan hasn’t been the greatest fantasy option so far this season but don’t sleep on him this week. With injuries to the quarterback position starting to mount, Ryan may be one of the better streamers this week as he gets the Tennessee Titans this week. The Titans are in a three-way tie with the Washington Commanders and the Miami Dolphins for giving up the most touchdowns heading into Week 4, giving up eight touchdowns. With his top pass catchers back this week in Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce, this looks like a bounce-back game for Matty Ice.
Zach Wilson vs. PIT
Wilson is expected to return from his knee injury to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4 but it’s not the greatest match-up for the young quarterback to return to. The Steelers have nine sacks on the season so far and are third in interceptions with five. Wilson is probably best left out of starting lineups unless you need a desperate play in a 2QB league.
Baker Mayfield vs. AZ
To this point of the season, Baker Mayfield just hasn’t been the greatest option for fantasy managers. Averaging just 14 points per game so far this season, Mayfield does get an Arizona defense that is allowing the eight-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Keep in mind that Mayfield’s fantasy production has gone down the last two weeks as well. He might be a bit too risky to play even as a streamer.
Dameon Pierce vs. LAC
Pierce is finally looking like a starting back after getting 15+ carries over the last two games. Now he gets a reeling Chargers defense who will be without star defensive end Joey Bosa due to injury. The Texans aren’t huge point creators but the volume is finally going Dameon Pierce’s way. The Chargers are allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and giving up a 4.6 y/a average so far this season.
Rashaad Penny vs. DET
Pete Carroll continues to play this weird game with the Seahawks backfield but even with that going on, Penny still has a plus match-up this week against a vulnerable Lions run defense. The Lions are giving up 142 yards per game on the ground and just over 30 FPPG to enemy running backs. Penny should be in lineups this week to take advantage of this game.
Jamaal Williams vs. SEA
Williams looks to be in the driver seat this week as fellow Lions running back D’Andre Swift (shoulder) has been ruled out this week. Williams should see the bulk of the workload for the Lions. Williams is averaging nearly 16 FPPG even with Swift active and has four rushing touchdowns heading into Week 4. Seattle has surrendered four touchdowns so far this season on the ground and the third-most rushing yards.
Miles Sanders vs. JAX
Surprise, surprise but it seems like the Jacksonville Jaguars are serious about their run defense this year. The Jags’ defense has given up just 165 yards on the ground this season, the fewest rushing yards in the league. Meanwhile, Sanders has been trending in the wrong direction over the last two weeks after starting off strong in Week 1 against the Lions. Sanders hasn’t scored since then and faces a Jags defense that hasn’t given up a touchdown on the ground yet. Sanders will be hard to bench given his fantasy value but expectations may be slim this week.
Josh Jacobs vs. DEN
Jacobs looked strong last week against the Tennessee Titans but gets a much tougher opponent in the Denver Broncos for Week 4. The Broncos have been tough on running backs so far this season, giving up the sixth-fewest rushing yards to opposing running backs. The Broncos are also giving up just 12.07 fantasy points per game as well, the second-fewest points allowed in fantasy.
Cam Akers vs. 49ers
It’s good to see the Rams coaches getting Cam Akers more involved after that Week 1 start. Akers looks to have firmly established himself as the lead back for the Rams, but this week might not be an easy go as the San Francisco 49ers come to town. The 49ers have given up just two touchdowns on the ground and are giving up just 79 yards per game, ranking the fourth-fewest among fantasy defenses.
Mike Williams vs. HOU
No Keenan Allen again this week which means (hopefully) more targets for Mike Williams. Williams didn’t have a great week in Week 3 as he turned six targets into just 15 yards. He did manage a touchdown but fantasy managers will need more from Williams heading into this week. The Texans rank 23rd in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. With the potential for a boost in targets on the horizon, William looks like a good play in Week 4.
Alec Pierce vs. TEN
Pierce returned in Week 3 after missing Week 2 with a concussion and finished second on the team in targets among the Colts’ wide receivers. Now he gets a favorable match-up against a Titans defense that ranks fifth in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Michael Pittman will be the Batman in this game most likely, so hopefully, Pierce can be the Robin and cash in on the plus match-up.
Greg Dortch vs. CAR
Dortch has been one of the quietest rising fantasy stars over the last few weeks. With Rondale Moore out, Dortch held a near 17% target share over the last three games. Moore is expected to return in Week 5 but AJ Green has already been ruled out with a knee injury. Dortch still has a chance to see a significant workload as a reliable and trustworthy receiver available for Kyler Murray against the Carolina Panthers.
Marquez Valdez-Scantling vs. TB
I really wanted MVS to be a thing but so far this season it just hasn’t been coming together. Scantling’s target share has been strong so far this season, seeing a 17% target share good for second among the Chiefs wide receivers, but it just hasn’t turned into fantasy points. The Chiefs get a tough match-up against the Tampa Bay Buccanneers
Brandon Aiyuk vs. LAR
The talent for Brandon Aiyuk is there. Finally out of the “Shanahan” doghouse, Aiyuk has been seeing more targets so far this season. He saw at least eight targets over the last two weeks heading into Week 4. However, the passing game has been limited towards him. Jimmy Garoppolo is off to a Rocky start and while Aiyuk is indeed talented, he’ll have to compete with the newly paid Deebo Samuel and George Kittle for those prime opportunities. I’d recommend finding another option over Aiyuk this week.
Allen Lazard vs. NE
Allen Lazard is by default the number one wide receiver for the Packers but it seems that the rookie Romeo Doubs may be up for the challenge of garnering more attention from Aaron Rodgers. Lazard has been out-targeted by Doubs 11-9 over the two weeks. New England should be looking to take Lazard away this game which may present more opportunities for Doubs to ball.
Gerald Everett vs. HOU
Everett is another Chargers pass catcher who will benefit from added targets with Keenan Allen out this week. Everett has already seen 20 targets so far this season and should see plenty more with Allen unavailable. Take advantage of the potential target boost and put him in versus a vulnerable Texans defense.
Zach Ertz vs. CAR
Nothing like having opportunity and volume. Ertz is one of the top tight ends so far this season in targets and with AJ Green is out with a knee injury this week. Ertz should be one of Kyler Murray’s top targets this week along with Marquise Brown. Ertz also has two touchdowns under his belt so far this season.
Pat Frieremuth vs. NYJ
The “Muth” was one of my favorite tight ends coming out of last year’s draft and has shined in a few spots when in the game. However, under Mitchell Trubisky, the Steelers passing game is bland and has been unable to take advantage of Frieremuth’s skill set. Until Trubisky gets with it, Muth is a miss this week.
Dallas Goedert vs. JAX
Dallas Goedert is considered to be one of the top tight ends this year heading into the season but this week he gets a tough Jacksonville Jaguars defense that hasn’t a tight end to score this season. Goedert may see some targets but getting that elusive touchdown may be a bit harder this week.