The NFL is an odd creature. We can run all the numbers, study all the film, and make all the projections we want but sometimes the Bills beat the Vikings. Sometimes Calvin Ridley will out score Julio Jones. Sometimes Dallas Goedert will out score Zach Ertz.
The point of a start and sit column is to highlight the good match-ups and bad match-ups, not necessarily ranking players by their skill level. If any of the players mentioned in this article are on your squad and you have a decision to make, that’s where I come in to help! Let’s analyze some match-ups and players who are on a hot streak, vs players who are ice cold and we want to stay away from if possible.
Fantasy Football Week 4 Start Em Sit Em
Andy Dalton, QB Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton is off to a hot start, throwing for eight touchdowns in the first three weeks. Atlanta’s defense is missing some key players and just gave up 396 yards and five total touchdowns in week two. So long as A.J. Green is healthy and plays on Sunday, this should be a shootout and I expect Dalton to benefit from it.
Eli Manning, QB New York Giants
Manning has been his usual hot and cold self through the first three weeks, although he can be somewhat forgiven after facing the Jags and Cowboys with turnstiles for offensive linemen. The Saints defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone and just allowed five touchdowns through the air to Matt Ryan. I don’t expect that from Eli but it’s not crazy to expect 2-3 and close to 300 yards passing.
Philip Rivers, QB Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers has thrown three touchdowns in the first two weeks, and facing the Rams stout defense in week three he still managed two touchdowns. Expect a bounce-back performance against a much less intimidating San Francisco defense. Keenan Allen popped up on the injury report Wednesday so monitor that, Rivers gets a decent downgrade if Allen is out.
Ryan Tannehill, QB Miami Dolphins
This is the real test for Miami, the New England Patriots. I think Tannehill steps up and plays well, but doesn’t get the win. He’ll be playing from behind so while he won’t get the win on the field, if you have a need for a bye week fill-in, he can give you a win in fantasy.
Andrew Luck, QB Indianapolis Colts
Let’s pretend the final play of the game from the Colts in week three never happened, ok? Good. Start Andrew Luck and don’t worry about it.
Running Back Starts
Kerryon Johnson, RB Detroit Lions
Sean Lee is out for the Dallas Cowboys, and that usually spells disaster for their defense who allows a full yard per carry more without Lee. Kerryon is coming off the first 100-yard rushing game for the Lions since Reggie Bush in 2013. The only thing that could hold Kerryon back is poor offensive management by continuing to use a committee approach. Feed Kerryon Detroit, I beg you!
Giovanni Bernard, RB Cincinnati Bengals
Bernard has a solid week three posting 86 total yards and a touchdown on 17 touches. Dalton loves checking the ball down and if A.J. Green misses the game or is limited, Bernard should benefit. As long as Joe Mixon remains out, start Bernard with confidence.
Carlos Hyde, RB Cleveland Browns
The addition of Baker Mayfield is exciting for all offensive players on the Browns. Hyde may not be the best pass catching running back on his own team, but defenses already respect the ability of Mayfield and will leave plenty of room for Hyde to run. The Oakland defense has been poor against the run and they just seem to be missing something…. hard to say exactly what that is though! Start Hyde.
Other Running Back Starts
Tevin Coleman, RB Atlanta Falcons
Marshawn Lynch, RB Oakland Raiders
Wide Receiver Starts
Chris Godwin, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Godwin hauled in 5 of 10 for 74 yards and a touchdown in week 3. There were two big drops by Godwin in that game as well that would have significantly boosted his numbers. What’s important here is that the touchdown came after the drops which demonstrate Ryan Fitzpatrick still trusts in Godwin. He’s quickly becoming the number two receiver in this offense and as long as Fitzpatrick keeps throwing, Godwin will benefit.
Sterling Shepard, WR New York Giants
Shepard gets to face a Saints defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers in the league. With Marshon Lattimore covering Odell Beckham Jr, Shepard should benefit from additional targets. Evan Engram is out which should further benefit Shepard. Start him with conviction.
Tyler Boyd, WR Cincinnati Bengals
Boyd has flown somewhat under the radar until now. He’s totaled 249 yards and three touchdowns through the first three weeks and should benefit facing a depleted Atlanta defense this week. If A.J. Green is out, Boyd will garner more targets but also draw top coverage which he may not be ready for. Ideally, Green plays and Boyd is a solid WR3 or flex play.
Other Wide Receiver Starts
Geronimo Allison, WR Green Bay Packers
Sammy Watkins, WR Kansas City Chiefs
Tight Ends Starts
Eric Ebron, TE Indianapolis Colts
Ebron should continue to play well as the only healthy tight end for Andrew Luck while Jack Doyle is still dealing with an injury.
Other Tight End Start
Benjamin Watson, TE New Orleans Saints
Defense/Special Teams Starts
Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Chargers
Mitch Trubisky, QB Chicago Bears
Trubisky is averaging under 200 yards a game and has more turnovers than touchdowns. While the long term potential is still there for Trubisky, until we start to see better performances on a consistent basis I can’t start him.
Josh Allen, QB Buffalo Bills
I still don’t know what happened last week in Minnesota, it was certainly an impressive first win for the rookie Allen. However let’s not get too crazy over the win, as the numbers still show us that Allen is not ready to be trusted as an every week start. Allen only has a 55.7% completion rating and has no good offensive weapons. Sit him.
Dak Prescott, QB Dallas Cowboys
Prescott is averaging 166 passing yards per game and has yet to top 200. Meanwhile, Ezekiel Elliott is somehow still managing over five YPC even with no semblance of a passing game. Detroit has surrendered the least passing yards and most rushing yards in the NFL to date. Sit Dak and start Zeke.
Other Quarterback Sits
Josh Rosen, QB Arizona Cardinals
Derek Carr, QB Oakland Raiders
Running Back Sits
Dalvin Cook, RB Minnesota Vikings
Cook is a tricky call this week because recent reports state that he will in fact play against the Rams. Even if Cook plays, however, I don’t expect the Vikings to lean on him enough to make him a good start. The Rams have a top run defense and with Aqib Talib & Marcus Peters both out, I expect the Vikings to try to throw more than they pass in this one.
Derrick Henry, RB Tennessee Titans
Playing against the Eagles usually means playing from behind. When the Titans get behind they tend to use Dion Lewis more than Henry. Henry has not been effective yet in 2018 as he’s only averaging three YPC for 139 yards rushing in three weeks. The quarterback situation in Tennessee is suspect at best, so they may try to run the ball early but I don’t expect that to last as they will inevitably fall behind.
The running back situation in Green Bay is a mess. Williams did not do enough to win the job while Jones was suspended, and I expect Jones to be very involved going forward as a result of this. Williams is the better pass blocker though, so it will still be a time share situation. Falling to an unexpected 1-1-1, I expect Aaron Rodgers to be playing with purpose in this game and not let up on the gas pedal even if the Packers jump out to a lead.
Other Running Back Sits
LeSean McCoy, RB Buffalo Bills
Theo Riddick, RB Detroit Lions
Wide Receiver Sits
Amari Cooper, WR Oakland Raiders
Cooper just can’t seem to put it all together on a consistent basis. He’s had two games with less than 20 yards and one game with over 100. He’s turning into a boom/bust player and that’s just not what we want out of a guy with his pedigree. Until Cooper starts to perform on a more consistent basis I want nothing to do with him.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona Cardinals
Sitting Fitzgerald is more of a product of his quarterback than Fitzgerald himself. I believe ultimately Josh Rosen will be good for “Fitz” but while he’s still dealing with a hamstring injury and building rapport with a new offensive leader, I cannot start him.
Corey Davis, WR Tennessee Titans
Davis is clearly the top target on the Titans, but it has not amounted to much. With no scores and only 13 catches in three games so far this season, the Tennessee offense appears to be holding Davis back. They’ll certainly have to throw often in the week 4 match-up with the Eagles, and it’s possible there could be some production just based on volume but I can’t trust the quarterback play enough to start Davis. There are better options on the waiver wire in most 10-12 team leagues.
Other Wide Receiver Sits
Marquise Goodwin, WR San Francisco 49ers
DeSean Jackson, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tight Ends Sits
Cameron Brate, TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brate finally found the end-zone in week 3 so this might surprise you, but he was out targeted 8-4 by O.J. Howard in the same game. Targets are what we want in fantasy, and Howard is the favored passing target in this offense.
Other Tight End Sit
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE Arizona Cardinals
Defense/Special Teams Sits