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Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 4


Hi, y'all! Three weeks of NFL action are in the books and we're moving on to another. Welcome to our Week 4 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. Each week we'll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Be sure to check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information.

Frank Ammirante will start off by covering the first set of games that begin at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, and Justin Carter will take you home with his analysis of the late afternoon and evening games. You can also read about the Monday Night Football matchup. Let's help guide you to that Week 4 victory!

If you have any additional lineup questions, follow us on Twitter @FAmmiranteTFJ and @juscarts and feel free to ask away! Let's get on to the matchups!

Editor's Note: Love the strategy of season-long fantasy sports? Live for the short term gratification of DFS? Try Weekly Fantasy Sports on OwnersBox - a new weekly DFS platform. Sign up today for a FREE $50 Deposit Match. Sign Up Now!

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 PM ET Games

Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL), Marquise Brown (WR, BAL), & Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Lamar Jackson is fresh off a disappointing effort on Monday Night Football against the Chiefs, finishing as QB23 for the week and now ranking as QB12 on the season. He has a get-right matchup against a Washington defense that will be without pass-rushers Chase Young and Matt Ioannidis. Washington's defense allowed Kyler Murray to rush for 67 yards and two touchdowns on eight attempts, so Jackson has a good chance at racking up yardage on the ground. Washington's secondary has allowed three 40+ yard receptions already this season (Jalen Reagor, Christian Kirk, and Andy Isabella), so this is an exploitable matchup for Marquise Brown. Jackson underthrew a would-be touchdown to Brown late in Monday's game, so you can bet that the two are hungry to get back on track. Brown has caught 7-of-12 targets for 55 yards in the last two games, but his 36.11% air-yard share (8th in NFL) and 24.00% target share (19th in NFL) remain strong, so make sure he's in your lineup for this one. Mark Andrews also had a tough night on Monday, catching 3-of-8 targets for 22 yards, but we should see a bounce-back here, as Washington's defense is tied for 27th in fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Logan Thomas (TE, WAS)

Logan Thomas currently ranks as TE18 in PPR formats, but his usage has been highly encouraging. Thomas has posted a 24.24% target share (2nd among tight ends, 18th overall), 24.58% air-yard share (5th among tight ends), and 41.67% red-zone target share (2nd among tight ends, 6th overall). He's primed for a breakout against a Ravens Defense that is tied for 27th in fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Other Matchups:

Mark Ingram II (RB, BAL), J.K. Dobbins (RB, BAL), & Gus Edwards (RB, BAL)

The Ravens backfield is tough to rely on due to their three-headed monster of a committee: J.K. Dobbins (37.22% of snaps, 6.67% target share), Mark Ingram (36.67% of snaps, 5.33% target share), and Gus Edwards (26.67% of snaps, 0 targets) are cutting into each other's value. However, we could see them get more work in a game that profiles as a blowout. The Ravens might also opt to feature Dobbins more after their offensive struggles last week - it's intriguing to see his passing game usage against the Chiefs (4 targets, 4 receptions, 38 yards). Consider Ingram as a decent FLEX with Dobbins as more of a dart-throw and DFS tournament play, while Edwards is just a desperation play who could see more volume with the Ravens likely up multiple scores.

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS) & Antonio Gibson (RB, WAS)

Terry McLaurin has been solid despite poor quarterback play, ranking as WR15 on the season. While he could see volume in garbage time here, the Ravens pass-rush will likely make things difficult for Dwayne Haskins, so it's going to be a challenge to find McLaurin deep. It's unlikely that McLaurin hits his ceiling in this one, so consider him more of an upside WR3. Antonio Gibson (7.07% target share, 2nd behind J.D. McKissic) needs to be used more in the passing game. This would be a good spot to rack-up check-down targets, but until we see that happen, he's more of a middling FLEX. The only reason why he's not on the "hate" section is because we could see some garbage time goodness for rookie Gibson here.

 

Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears

Matchups We Hate:

Philip Rivers (QB, IND) & Nick Foles (QB, CHI)

Both quarterbacks are off the streaming radar in this one, as the Colts (1st in fantasy points per game, 2nd in yards per attempted) and Bears (2nd in fantasy points per game, 3rd in yards per attempt allowed) have been stingy against opposing passers. These are two players who need juicy matchups for consideration in any format, so you can forget about them here.

Other Matchups:

T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND) & Mo Alie-Cox (TE, IND)

With injuries to Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell, T.Y. Hilton could be line for a bump in targets. While he only had three targets last week, that was in a blowout game against the hapless Jets. This projects as more of a close game against a tough Bears Defense (9th in fantasy points per game), but Hilton's potential volume keeps him in-play as a WR3. Mo-Alie Cox (9 targets, 8 receptions, 161 yards, and two touchdowns in the last two games) has supplanted Jack Doyle as the primary tight end in Indy. The Bears rank 17th in fantasy points per game to tight ends, so they're more vulnerable here. Consider Cox as a tight end streamer this week.

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND) & Nyheim Hines (RB, IND)

Jonathan Taylor (47.83% of snaps) is not getting the bell-cow usage that most expected, as Nyheim Hines (32.85% of snaps) has retained a role in this offense. The Bears are rank 19th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, so they're not as stout on the ground. If the Colts get out to an early lead, we could see some strong production for Taylor, but if they're trailing, then we might see more work than usual for Hines. Consider Taylor as a high-end RB2 and Hines as a mediocre FLEX in deeper leagues.

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI) & Jimmy Graham (TE, CHI)

Allen Robinson is going to love life with Nick Foles under center, but he goes up against a Colts Defense that has stymied passing games and slowed down wide receivers (tied for 10th in fantasy points per game). A-Rob will see his usual high volume, but it'll be tough for him to hit his ceiling here. Jimmy Graham (10 targets, 6 receptions, 60 yards, and 2 touchdowns) broke out last week with Foles in a triumphant return to the fantasy radar. Consider him a streamer against a Bears defense that ranks 17th against the tight end in fantasy points per game.

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

David Montgomery could see an increase in workload with the season-ending injury to Tarik Cohen, particularly in the passing game, but the Bears have worked out veterans like Lamar Miller this week, so temper your expectations there. Monty is a lukewarm play here against a stout Colts defense that is allowing 3.98 yards per carry and the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs.

 

New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions

Matchups We Love:

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Alvin Kamara has been on another planet this season, ranking as RB1 with 35.6 PPR points per game, which is *nine* more than second-place Aaron Jones. Kamara's 31.00% target share ranks 1st among running backs by 13% and 3rd overall. He takes on a Lions Defense that got shredded by a similar back in Aaron Jones (18 carries for 168 rushing yards, 4 receptions for 68 receiving yards, and three total touchdowns). With Michael Thomas on the shelf, Kamara has become the entire Saints offense. He's the overall RB1 in this matchup and a must-play in DFS.

Matthew Stafford (QB, DET) & T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

The Saints Defense has been vulnerable against the pass this season, allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. With Kenny Golladay back in the lineup, Stafford now has all hands on deck in this one and we saw what he can do with these weapons last year (QB4 in fantasy points per game). Stafford threw for 270 yards (8.7 yards per attempt) against the Cardinals last week, so it looks like he's turned the corner and primed for a breakout here. T.J. Hockenson is in a smash-spot against a Saints defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to tight ends, including a monster game from Darren Waller (12 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown) on Monday Night football. Hockenson had a season-high seven targets last week, so perhaps the coaching staff is starting to trush him more. Fire him up as a streamer and lock him in your DFS lineups.

Matchups We Hate:

Adrian Peterson (RB, DET)

Adrian Peterson surprisingly dominated snaps last week (59.70%) as he has become the lead back on a team that just invested second-round picks in D'Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson - simply an egregious misuse of talent by this coaching staff. Peterson has a tough matchup against a Saints defense allowing 3.53 yards per carry (8th in NFL).

Drew Brees (QB, NO), Tre'Quan Smith (WR, NO), & Emmanuel Sanders (WR, NO) 

Drew Brees takes on a Lions defense that ranks 26th in fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, but he's currently QB18 and not worth using as long as Michael Thomas is out of the lineup. Tre'Quan Smith (13 targets) and Emmanuel Sanders (8 targets) will cut into each other's value and are players to avoid in a passing game dominated by check-downs to Kamara.

Other Matchups:

Jared Cook (TE, NO)

Jared Cook is currently TE19, but his 29.74% air-yard share (3rd in NFL) indicates that better days are ahead. This is a lukewarm play against a Lions defense that is tied for 13th in fantasy points per game to tight ends. While many believed that Cook would see a bump in value in Thomas' absence, that has not been the case. It looks as if we'll have to wait for MT's return for Cook to get back to form.

UPDATE: Jared Cook has officially been ruled out for Week 4.

Kenny Golladay (WR, DET) & Marvin Jones Jr. (WR, DET)

Kenny Golladay (7 targets, 6 receptions, 57 yards, and a touchdown) played well in his debut, but he only received 73.13% of the snaps as the Lions eased him back into action. Consider him more of a mid-range WR2 here with Jones as a low-end WR3. They take on a Saints defense that just got shredded by Allen Lazard for six receptions, 146 yards, and a touchdown. It's just hard to love them as Golladay gets back up to speed and Jones loses some value with his teammate's return.

 

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

Matchups We Love:

Kenyan Drake (RB, ARI)

Kenyan Drake is in a smash-spot against a Panthers Defense allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs. With DeAndre Hopkins banged-up and possibly missing this game, we could see the Cardinals opt to lean on Drake more. Despite a disappointing start to the season, Drake is still averaging 19.7 touches per game, so the volume is there for the breakout game in a terrific matchup.

UPDATE: DeAndre Hopkins is officially active for Week 4.

Mike Davis (RB, CAR)

Mike Davis immediately stepped into the bell-cow role for Christian McCaffrey, totaling 21 touches against the Los Angeles Chargers. Davis has now caught 16-of-17 targets in his two games this season, so it's clear that Teddy Bridgewater loves to check it down to CMC's fill-in. This kind of usage puts Davis firmly on the RB2 radar against a Cardinals Defense that ranks 22nd in fantasy points per game to running backs.

Matchups We Hate:

Teddy Bridgewater (QB, CAR)

It's tough to use Teddy Bridgewater (currently QB24) as a streamer, especially against this Cardinals defense that has been stout against the pass, tied for 7th in fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. If Hopkins misses this game for Arizona, it decreases the chances for a shootout with the Cardinals likely focusing on the running game. I'd only consider using Bridgewater in Superflex formats as a desperation play.

Robby Anderson (WR, CAR) & Curtis Samuel (WR, CAR)

Robby Anderson has been one of the surprises of the season, ranking as WR8 in PPR leagues, but I'd consider him a risky WR3 against a Cardinals defense allowing the second-fewest points per game to wide receivers. Curtis Samuel (16.47% target share) is not seeing enough volume to be anything more than a stash at this point, as he's been supplanted by Anderson as the WR2 in this offense.

Other Matchups:

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

This looks like more of a floor game for Kyler Murray, as the Cardinals should be able to run all over this Panthers defense. There's a chance that Murray will be without DeAndre Hopkins, who's missed practices on both Wednesday and Thursday. The Panthers' defense has also been decent against the pass, allowing only 6.89 yards per attempt (7th in NFL). While Murray should be able to produce on the ground, he's more in the 6th-8th range than a bonafide Top-5 option this week. I'd prefer to look elsewhere in DFS.

D.J. Moore (WR, CAR)

D.J. Moore is one of the best buy-lows in fantasy football right now, as his actual production (WR28 in PPR formats) does not match his volume. Moore's 49.02% air yard share ranks 2nd in the NFL while his 30.59% target share is 4th, so it's only a matter of time before he breaks out. It might be tough for a ceiling game here against a stingy Cardinals defense, but Moore's usage raises his floor, even in a difficult matchup like this one.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals

Matchups We Love:

James Robinson (RB, JAX)

James Robinson has been the biggest steal of the season, coming out of nowhere as an undrafted running back to burst onto the scene as the RB5 in PPR formats. He gets another smash-spot against a Bengals Defense that has been among the worst in the NFL against the run. The Bengals rank 28th in fantasy points per game to running backs, allowing 5.24 yards per attempt and establishing themselves as a run-funnel defense. Look for the Jags to continue riding their rookie as they try to exploit this weakness.

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN) & Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN)

The Jaguars Defense is allowing 25.8 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks (T-24th) along with 8.47 yards per attempt (29th). This is good news for Joe Burrow, who has gotten off to a flying start as QB10 through the first three weeks of the season. While the Jags have done a decent job at limiting opposing wide receivers (T-13th in fantasy points per game), Tyler Boyd has established himself as the top option in this passing game, coming off a big game against the Eagles where he caught 10-of-13 targets for 125 yards. Look for Burrow to connect with Boyd early and often in this exploitable matchup.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

The Jags have been decent against the run, allowing 3.21 yards per attempt (4th), but this is a positive game-script for the disappointing Joe Mixon, as the Bengals are home favorites in this one. While Mixon hasn't translated his volume (19.67 touches per game) into production (RB38 in PPR formats), he could see more work if the Bengals get out to an early lead. The Jaguars also have allowed the fifth-most receptions to running backs, so this is a good opportunity for head coach Zac Taylor to finally get Mixon more involved in the passing game. Look for Mixon to finally get on track this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Gardner Minshew II (QB, JAX), Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR, JAX) & Keelan Cole (WR, JAX)

Gardner Minshew let us down on Thursday Night Football, turning in a dud in an exploitable matchup against a vulnerable Dolphins Defense. The Bengals have actually been decent against the pass, tied for the seventh-fewest fantasy points allowed and surrendering only 6.52 yards per attempt. This defense has been so vulnerable against the run that teams have focused their gameplan on the ground, so we could see the same for the Jags here. Expect an improvement on last week for Minshew, but I wouldn't be too excited about the matchup. Laviska Shenault and Keelan Cole were disappointments last week - I'd suggest to avoid them in all formats for this one in a game where the Jags try to establish the run.

Other Matchups:

D.J. Chark (WR, JAX) 

D.J. Chark has a good chance to get back in the lineup this week against a Bengals secondary that has limited opposing wide receivers (fourth-fewest fantasy points per game). Since it'll be his first game back from injury in a tough matchup, consider Chark more of an upside WR3 than the every-week WR2 that I expect him to be when he gets back on track. Chark is the only Jaguars' receiver worth starting in this game.

A.J. Green (WR, CIN) & Tee Higgins (WR, CIN)

Don't look now, but we could be witnessing a changing of the guard in Cincinnati, with rookie Tee Higgins starting to eat into A.J. Green's volume. Higgins had a breakout game last week, catching 5-of-9 targets for 40 yards and two touchdowns and leading the Bengals' receivers with a 79.17% snap share. Green has been unable to convert his volume (33.71% air yard share, 20.59% target share) into production (46.4% catch rate, WR63 in PPR formats), so there's a decent chance that he starts to take a back-seat to this talented rookie. While I'd still rank Green over Higgins in season-long leagues, I'd prefer to use the rookie as a cheap tournament play in DFS.

 

Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys

Matchups We Love:

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR, CLE) & Jarvis Landry (WR, CLE)

The Browns' wide receivers have a great matchup against a Cowboys Defense that's allowing the second-most points to the position. Seahawks' deep threat D.K. Metcalf (4 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown) got loose deep against this secondary, which bodes well for OBJ, while slot receiver Tyler Lockett exploded (9 receptions for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns), which is great for fellow slot-man Jarvis Landry. This is the perfect spot for the Browns passing game to finally smash.

Austin Hooper (TE, CLE)

The Cowboys have also been generous to tight ends, ranking 21st in fantasy points per game allowed. Austin Hooper has struggled this season (TE36) has been a massive disappointment, but the Browns signed him to a lucrative contract this offseason, so you have to figure that he eventually gets things going. There's no better spot than in this shootout against the Cowboys.

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

The Browns have struggled against the pass this season, ranking 27th in fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Prescott is an elite option every week with the Cowboys playing at such a fast pace and struggling to stop anyone on defense. Dak has thrown for an absurd 922 yards in the past two weeks, so it's a good idea to keep riding this streak in another exploitable matchup.

Amari Cooper (WR, DAL) & Michael Gallup (WR, DAL)

Amari Cooper leads the Cowboys with a 25.18% target share, so it's clear that he remains the top dog in Dallas, making him an every-week WR1 in fantasy football. The Browns rank 27th in fantasy points per game to wide receivers, so we could see a ceiling game from Cooper this week. Michael Gallup (6 receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown) finally broke out last week and is back on the WR2/3 radar. Gallup (85.37% of snaps, 9 targets) is starting to re-establish himself as the clear-cut WR2 for the Cowboys.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Dalton Schultz has caught 13-of-16 targets for 136 yards and a touchdown in the past two games, establishing himself as a terrific replacement for the injured Blake Jarwin. He has a chance to keep it rolling against a Browns Defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Other Matchups:

Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE)

While Baker Mayfield has a terrific matchup against a Cowboys defense allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, it's tough to love him this week given his mediocre production (QB25) at the deepest position in fantasy football. Mayfield is on the streaming radar if you're hurting at QB or as a tournament play in DFS, but I wouldn't be overly excited about him - he's a lukewarm play.

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE) & Kareem Hunt (RB, CLE)

The Cowboys are starting to establish themselves as a pass-funnel defense, as they've been stout against the run, ranking 8th in fantasy points per game to running backs and only allowing 3.32 yards per attempt (6th in NFL). Nick Chubb (RB8 in PPR formats) has delivered on his ADP, but we could see the Browns air it out and possibly play catch-up in this one. Chubb would receive a significant bump in value if Kareem Hunt (minor groin injury) were to miss the game or see reduced snaps. If Hunt does play at full capacity, this is a good matchup for him as the superior pass-catcher in a potential shootout. Consider Chubb a low-end RB1 and Hunt as an upside FLEX play.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

Like the Cowboys, the Browns are a pass-funnel defense, ranking 8th in fantasy points per game to running backs. I'd consider Zeke as a lukewarm play in a game that I expect the Cowboys to air it out. It's encouraging to see Dak peppering him with targets (22 targets in three games), so perhaps Zeke eats more in the passing game this week. While he's still a slam-dunk Top-3 running back, I'm avoiding him in DFS games because I'd prefer to spend those funds elsewhere.

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

CeeDee Lamb saw his snap share decrease from 82.93% to 59.76% as the Cowboys got Cedrick Wilson more involved (snap share increase from 4.88% to 29.27%) against the Seahawks last week. This puts the impressive rookie as the clear-cut WR3 on this Cowboys offense, as Gallup has become the preferred option here. Lamb remains in-play as an upside FLEX, but temper your expectations for the rookie.

 

Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans

Matchups We Love:

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Dalvin Cook had a breakout game last week, totaling 181 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts against the Titans. He gets another strong matchup against a Texans Defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Fire up Cook as a sure-fire Top-5 RB1 in his potential shootout.

Deshaun Watson (QB, HOU)

Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense FINALLY get a break from their three-game gauntlet to open the season against the Chiefs, Ravens, and Texans. They take on a Vikings Defense that has allowed 8.48 yards per attempt (30th in NFL), so we could see Watson connect downfield with one of his deep-threats in this one.

David Johnson (RB, HOU)

David Johnson also gets a break to take on a Vikings defense that just got shredded by Derrick Henry (26 carries for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns). DJ has upside to rack up receptions in this potential shootout and we could also see him find the endzone. The Texans have had to play catch-up all season so far, so his volume (14 touches per game) hasn't been there yet, but make no mistake: he's the bell-cow in Houston (90.30% of snaps, 2nd in NFL).

Will Fuller (WR, HOU) & Brandin Cooks (WR, HOU)

Will Fuller (22.84% air-yard share, 16.30% target share) and Brandin Cooks (26.49% air-yard share, 19.57% target share) have a chance at a field day against a Vikings defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game against wide receivers. Fuller is my preferred choice here, despite the lower numbers, because they're skewed by a game where he was shutout against the Ravens as he was slowed by a hamstring injury. Consider Fuller an upside WR2 and Cooks a strong WR3 in this one.

Matchups We Hate:

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Despite the shootout potential here, Kirk Cousins is off the streaming radar even though he's coming off a QB12 performance against the Titans. The Texans' defense has been surprisingly stout against the pass, allowing only 7.09 yards per attempt (T-10th) and 20.6 fantasy points per game (9th). I expect the Vikings to feature Cook in this game as they try to exploit this vulnerable run defense.

Other Matchups:

Adam Thielen (WR, MIN) & Justin Jefferson (WR, MIN)

Adam Thielen saw his target share drop from 33.33% to 20.00% as the Vikings finally got their promising rookie involved in the offense. After combining for only 5 receptions and 70 yards in the first two games, Justin Jefferson exploded against the Titans, catching 7-of-9 targets for 175 yards and a touchdown. I would bet that he's here to stay so you can fire him up as an upside WR3, while Thielen gets downgraded to more of a high-end WR2. The Texans have stymied opposing receivers, tying for 10th in fantasy points per game, so these are lukewarm plays.

 


Hi, Justin taking over now. Thanks, Frank!

 

Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins

Matchups We Love:

Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)

Russell Wilson is the hottest quarterback in the NFL right now. The Miami Dolphins allow the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Don't overthink this, y'all.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, MIA)

Speaking of not overthinking things, the Seahawks allow the second-most points to quarterbacks. Fitzpatrick's a gunslinger who has had consecutive strong fantasy games. No, you aren't starting Fitzpatrick over an elite QB, but he might be the top streaming option available this week.

D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA)

Look, I've got to write a lot of words in this article, so we're keeping this whole game simple. Metcalf and Lockett are playing like elite receivers. Both are high-end WR2s at worse heading into this matchup.

DeVante Parker (WR, MIA)

Parker is the No. 1 receiver on this Dolphins team. Seattle allows the most fantasy points to wide receivers. Again, easy play. He's a WR2 this week.

Mike Gesicki (TE, MIA)

While Seattle has only allowed the fourth-fewest points to tight ends, they've faced three teams who lack an elite receiving tight end. Gesicki is arguably the second-best receiver on this Miami team in a game that is going to be really pass happy. He's a TE1 option.

Matchups We Hate:

Jordan Howard (RB, MIA)

All he does is fall into the end zone on one-yard dives. That's not a secure-enough role for a meeting with a Seahawks Defense that's done well at controlling opposing run games.

Greg Olsen (TE, SEA)

Like Seattle, Miami hasn't allowed many fantasy points to tight ends. Unlike Seattle's defense, though, I expect the trend to stay mostly the same this week for this defense. Seattle will focus on their receivers in the passing game. Olsen won't see a lot of targets this week, limiting his upside and putting him in the TE2 tier.

Other Matchups:

Carlos Hyde (RB, SEA)

Don't think the run games see too much usage this week, but with Chris Carson likely out, Hyde should get enough work to make him a decent floor play.

UPDATE: Carlos Hyde has been ruled out for Week 4, and Chris Carson is officially active.

Myles Gaskin (RB, MIA)

Gaskin is the RB1 in Miami now, which is a huge surprise for pretty much everyone. Volume makes him a fine play this week, but Seattle's run defense has been significantly better than it's pass defense, which almost led me to putting Gaskin in the hate section.

Preston Williams (WR, MIA)

Even in a game that will feature a ton of pass attempts, can we really trust someone with just five receptions in the first three games? He has matchup-based upside, but also is an incredibly risky play based on his 2020 performance.

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matchups We Love:

Mike Evans (WR, TB)

I really don't love anyone in this game, but if I had to highlight someone, it's Mike Evans, solely for his projected target share with Chris Godwin not expected to play. He's a must-start WR2, even though he's had an up and down season, because he's set to see enough opportunities to give him a high floor in a bad matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Herbert's first two starts went relatively well, but now he faces a Buccaneers Defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. Even if the Chargers wind up passing a lot, I can't justify playing Herbert this week. He's going to finally look like a rookie.

Joshua Kelley (RB, LAC)

This is the kind of game where the Chargers could fall behind really far, which kind of game scripts Kelley out in the second half. If he can get in the end zone early, he'll be fine, but if not, this can be a long, long day against a strong run defense.

Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II (RB, TB)

This is a confusing backfield. I'll put this simply: there's not been enough rushing opportunities here for me to trust either guy right now as more than maybe an RB3.

UPDATE: Leonard Fournette has officially been ruled out for Week 4. Jones gets an increase in value, likely to see more touches and is in FLEX consideration.

Other Matchups:

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

Even if the Chargers Defense isn't quite as good as we expected, they're still only allowing the 16th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, so they aren't a total disaster. And that number would look even better if they hadn't had to face off against Patrick Mahomes in Week 2. Tom Brady in 2020 is no Patrick Mahomes. He's a solid play, but don't expect QB1 upside, especially with an injured receiving corps.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

Game script will likely call for a lot of passing in the second half. Ekeler can be the primary check down for Justin Herbert, who'll need to get the ball out fast to avoid the pass rush. Consider him a solid RB2, though his involvement in the run game could be limited by how good the Tampa run D is.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

Justin Herbert does like to target Allen and Mike Williams is dealing with a hamstring injury and the game script is likely going to be pass heavy. But Tampa has a good passing defense that can clamp down on Allen, and even if Herbert throws a lot, how much do we trust a receiver who'll be catching passes from a rookie facing one of this year's best passing defenses?

Hunter Henry (TE, LAC)

The Bucs allow the 10th-fewest points to tight ends. Hunter Henry is one of the most reliable targets in Los Angeles. It just feels like those things cancel out and lead to a mediocre outing for Henry.

 

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:05/4:25 PM ET Games

Three games on the afternoon slate for y'all. Let's break them down.

New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams

Matchups We Love:

Darrell Henderson (RB, LAR)

I'm in the "Henderson is the guy right now" camp, so against a Giants Defense that allows the 10th-most points to opposing running backs, I'm targeting Henderson as my primary guy. He's a low-end RB2 and a fun GPP play for me.

Robert Woods (WR, LAR)

His versatility makes him a strong play every week. Woods has become the No. 1 guy in L.A., and can make plays near the line of scrimmage, down the field, and occasionally in the run game. He's a easy WR2 play.

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

I might like Kupp even more than Woods, because while Woods will get stuck with a tough matchup on the outside, Kupp gets to play against a Giants defense that has struggled against slot receivers. Kupp should get a lot of targets in this one and is a solid WR2, with upside to sneak into the WR1 conversation in full PPR.

Matchups We Hate:

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

Jones hasn't thrown a touchdown since Week 1. He's thrown four interceptions. The Rams have picked off three passes already and have held two of the three QBs they've faced in check. Jones will probably toss a touchdown pass because starting NFL quarterbacks aren't going to go three weeks without one, but I wouldn't feel good about him posting more than a low-end QB2 day.

Giants Running Backs

Maybe you take the dart throw at Devonta Freeman, but I think the smart move here is to avoid this backfield for at least a little longer until we really see Freeman take it over.

Darius Slayon, Golden Tate, etc. (WR, NYG)

I like Slayton a lot. I don't like that he's potentially getting the Jalen Ramsey assignment. I also like Golden Tate, but I don't trust this pass offense at all in Week 4. Both guys might have decent floors in this game, but hate their ceilings.

Other Matchups:

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)

Goff hasn't been a high-volume guy this year and the Giants defense has held opposing quarterbacks mostly in check from a fantasy perspective. I don't hate Goff this week -- there are enough weapons here to give him a high floor -- but I think his upside is fairly capped.

Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers (RB, LAR)

The Giants run defense is bad enough that one of these guys can have a solid game even if Darrell Henderson operates as the lead back. I guess the question is this: do you bet on Brown as a touchdown-dependent red zone option or do you think Akers can get some targets against a team that's allowed two receiving touchdowns to backs? They probably both won't hit.

UPDATE: Cam Akers has officially been ruled out for Week 4.

Evan Engram (TE, NYG)

Meh. Talented player, obviously, but it's just not happening so far this year, as he has 96 yards through three games. The Rams allow the 13th-most fantasy points to tight ends, so there's upside, but also...meh.

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Don't love Higbee's usage. Just two targets against Buffalo? We thought he'd break out this year, but aside from the whole "three Week 2 touchdowns" thing, his numbers are concerning. We can't disregard those touchdowns, but Higbee doesn't seem like he's going to win via piling up yardage this year and will need to get into the end zone on the targets he gets.

 

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs

UPDATE: The Chiefs-Patriots game will not to be played on Sunday after Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19. It may be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday, or pushed until later in the season.

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

New England has allowed seven passing touchdowns already. Patrick Mahomes is Patrick Mahomes. Add those things together and you get Mahomes as an obvious top-end QB1.

Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)

Per Rotowire, Hill has played 188 snaps and has lined up in the slot on 125 of them. The Patriots have struggled to contain slot receivers. This feels like the big Hill game that we've been waiting for, and I think it's worth paying up for him in DFS this week.

Travis Kelce (TE KC)

I know that Bill Belichick has done a good job game-planning Kelce out of things, but the Patriots don't have the same defensive talent they've had in the past and while they're allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position, Kelce is Kelce. He's a TE1. He's the TE1 with Kittle not at 100 percent.

Matchups We Hate:

Cam Newton (QB, NE)

Ugh, I hate saying this. But the Chiefs have done a good job limiting mobile quarterbacks this year, forcing Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson to play below their usual level of play. Newton will run more than both of those guys, but this really doesn't feel like the matchup for Newton, who just seems more like a QB2 than a QB1 this week.

UPDATE: Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19 and is out for Week 4.

Patriots Running Backs

Yes, Rex Burkhead had three touchdowns last week. But this is still the murky, Bill Belichick running back situation that we've seen for years, with it being really tough to predict what will happen on a week-to-week basis here with Burkhead, Sony Michel, James White, and Damien Harris.

N'Keal Harry (WR, NE)

The Chiefs have allowed just 315 yards and one touchdown to wide receivers and Harry is coming off season lows in targets, receptions, yards, and snap share. This is not a game where I want to have Harry in my lineup outside of a deep league where I don't have a better option.

Other Matchups:

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB, KC)

Give the Patriots Defense some credit here, as they allow the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. I'm fairly confident that Edwards-Helaire's workload makes him a solid RB2 play this week, but I know a lot of people are treating him as an elite RB1 already. I would temper those expectations just a bit.

Julian Edelman (WR, NE)

I don't love the Patriots passing attack this week, but Edelman should see plenty of volume. He's gotten at least six targets in each game and should rebound from last week's two-catch, 23-yard outing. I think my overall pessimism about the Patriots this week drags Edelman down a bit for me, but he's easily the one pass catcher here I'd want to play.

The Other Chiefs Receivers

Sammy Watkins. Mecole Hardman. Demarcus Robinson. There's upside to all three guys, but the Patriots defense isn't terrible, and none of these guys have really established themselves as a consistently fantasy-relevant play. Watkins is the highest floor guy of these three. Hardman is the highest upside play. And Robinson is...ehh, maybe a value play in DFS.

 

Buffalo Bills at Las Vegas Raiders

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

I don't care that the Raiders defense is allowing just 16 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Josh Allen is having an incredible season and I'm not fully sold on the Raiders defense yet. Allen's a QB1.

Devin Singletary (RB, BUF)

The Raiders have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this year, including giving up three touchdowns to Rex Burkhead last week. Fire up Singletary as an RB2.

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Volume, volume, volume. Jacobs has 68 carries in three games. The yardage isn't there and all three touchdowns were in the first game, but he's just running the ball so many times, which gives him one of the highest floors in the league at the running position plus very good upside against a defense that's allowed three touchdowns to running backs so far.

Stefon Diggs (WR, LV)

Diggs is off to a hot start and with John Brown not expected to play, Diggs will be a huge deep threat with a chance to see an uptick in targets. I expect to see Diggs get loose for a big touchdown in this one and would start him as a WR2 with no reservations.

UPDATE: John Brown has been removed from the injury report, is expected to play in Week 4, and should be in WR3/FLEX consideration.

Cole Beasley (WR, BUF)

I'm still the captain of the Cole Beasley hype train, who'll I'll write about in my waiver column every week until enough of y'all are rostering him. In this 2020 Bills offense that actually throws the ball, Beasley's role in the slot gives him a high floor. I don't love Beasley in, like, a 10-team standard league, but for where he's at in the rankings and what his DFS salary is, I think he's an incredible value.

Darren Waller (TE, LV)

The Bills allow the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Waller's the best available receiver on a beat-up Raiders offense. Confidently start him as a TE1.

John Brown (WR, BUF)

Probably will not play due to a calf injury.

UPDATE: John Brown has been removed from the injury report, is expected to play in Week 4, and should be in WR3/FLEX consideration.

Matchups We Hate:

Derek Carr (QB, LV)

No. Just..no, not this week. Nothing positive in the forecast with Carr, who will be missing multiple receivers and facing a stingy Bills Defense. Even if he throws for 400 yards somehow, benching him will still have been the right decision because Process > Results, and the process here is screaming "don't play Carr."

Other Matchups:

Zack Moss (RB, BUF)

The bad Raiders run defense could benefit Moss...if he plays. Moss is an interesting deep-league play this week because he may just need a few touches to go off against this porous run defense.

Hunter Renfrow (WR, LV)

Do the Raiders have another healthy receiver? Sure, but are you really playing Zay Jones? Personally I don't love Renfrow's matchup, as the defense may key in on him as the No. 2 receiving option after Darren Waller, but his volume will give him a pretty high floor.

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

Matchups We Love:

Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)

There's no Dallas Goedert this week, so expect some vintage Zach Ertz, which means double-digit targets are a distinct possibility. The 49ers have been incredible at limiting TEs this year, but they've also faced Arizona and the Jets, two teams who just don't have a threat at the position, and then holding Evan Engram in check last week might say more about Engram than this defense. Start Ertz comfortably as a top-four tight end this week.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

He's (probably) back! The Eagles are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to the tight end position, so let's keep this simple: even a limited Kittle is a must-start. If he's at or near 100 percent, he's a good bet to be the overall TE1 of the week.

Matchups We Hate:

Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)

Quarterbacks I'd start over Carson Wentz this week include Ryan Fitzpatrick, Baker Mayfield, and Kirk Cousins. Even with injuries, this Niners defense is allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and the safe thing here is to keep Wentz far away from your lineups if possible.

Nick Mullens (QB, SF)

I'd probably start Wentz over Mullens. The Eagles Defense does allow 19.1 fantasy points per game to QBs vs. SF's D allowing 16.2, so the matchup's a little better. But Mullens will be leading a run-first offense and while he attempted a lot of passes last week, I don't think he's a very safe play in this. Probably a higher ceiling than Wentz, but a really low floor.

Alshon Jeffery (WR, PHI)

Jeffery might make his 2020 debut this week. Personally, I've got to see him on the field playing effective football before he's back in my fantasy lineups.

UPDATE: Alshon Jeffery has officially been ruled out for Week 4.

49ers Receivers

Just too hard to predict things here. Brandon Aiuyk was good last week, but if Darius Slay is matched up on him, I don't expect a repeat. Beyond that, there's just no consistency to bet on here. Kendrick Bourne keeps getting targets but is a weekly risk. Mohamed Sanu has just one target in two games. Meh. Don't see much reason to start a 49ers wideout in Week 4 unless I'm desperate.

UPDATE: Deebo Samuel is set to make his return from injury in Week 4, and is in WR3/FLEX consideration.

Other Matchups:

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

Not my favorite matchup for Sanders, as the 49ers Defense has allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards to opposing backs. But I'm predicting a pretty nice volume of work for Sanders in this one, as the Eagles may run the ball a lot early to keep Wentz from throwing the game away. He's a solid RB2 play.

San Francisco 49ers Running Backs

This offense uses the backs so much that I can't hate them, but it'll be tough to predict how this week goes. Jerick McKinnon should be the lead back, except is he fully healthy or will his rib injury still impact things? Will Jeff Wilson get a larger role? Will Raheem Mostert make a miraculous return? There are situations where you play these guys, especially Wilson in DFS, but it may be risky. McKinnon and Wilson are at least FLEX considerations for Week 4, but I wouldn't consider either of them slam dunks.

UPDATE: Raheem Mostert has officially been ruled out for Week 4. 

Greg Ward (WR, PHI)

He'll get the targets to be a WR4 in PPR. Anything more than that against this 49ers defense would be a surprise.

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

Click here to read about the Monday Night Football matchup between the Falcons and Packers as well...



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Week 6 was like the 2020 of fantasy football weeks. All those great matchups meant nothing, those studs let you down, and your bench likely went crazy. The good news is that we didn't have any season-ending injuries to running backs or games canceled due to COVID, so in retrospect maybe we shouldn't complain. The... Read More


FAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More