Fantasy Football: Week 4 Start 'em Sit 'em

Fantasy Football: Week 4 Start 'em Sit 'em


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Get some insider tips on who to start or sit this week from our fantasy experts George Haraktsis, Jason Feiner!


Quarterbacks

Eli Manning

George: Eli Manning looked about 10 years younger against the Texans last week. He threw for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns, and zero interceptions against a J.J. Watt-led defense. He now faces the worst fantasy defense in the league against QBs and WRs at home. The Saints should score big in this matchup as well, forcing Eli to sling the ball and play catch up the entire game. With Beckham, Shephard, and rookie Barkley at his disposal, Eli should feast in this matchup and build upon his stellar week 3 play.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: Eli Manning hasn’t been great in a long time, but he showed last week that he can still play with the talented supporting cast around him. Against a talented Texans defense Eli recorded 297 yards and 2 touchdowns, and now he heads back to Metlife stadium to take on a porous Saints defense. The Saints have now let up 37 or more points in two out of the three games they have played. Although I expect the Saints defense to get better as the season progresses, this seems like a prime opportunity to stream the New York Giants signal caller. Drew Bree and co will put up points against this Giants secondary, and the G-Men will need to throw to keep their chances alive. Expect the opportunity to be in reach for Eli this weekend.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Kirk Cousins

George: Cousins put up a surprising stinker in his game against the Bills. He missed receivers left and right, could not get comfortable, and eventually had three forced turnovers. While I don’t think he’ll do as poorly this week as he did against the Bills, I still think there's better and safer options out there on waivers. Cousins is on a short week, coming off a terrible loss, and playing the Rams-the league's best defense. Yes a defense that lost their two starting corners, but they didn’t skip a beat without them- allowing Keenan Allen to 3 receptions for 44 yards. While Cousins could have a decent day, the upside just isn’t there and it's not worth the risk.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Kirk Cousins had a disappointing outing in a game where he turned the ball over three times against the Bills this past sunday. This game was supposed to be a lock, but the entire Vikings team looked to be in shambles against arguably the worst team in football. This thursday night, Captain Kirk will be playing Blitzlaytics number 1 ranked team in the Los Angeles Rams all but without both of their starting cornerbacks in Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Expect this to be a high scoring affair as two of the most dynamic offenses in the game battle it out. Kirk will need to throw often and with Stefon Diggs and Thielen working on the Ram’s backup corners the Vikings offense can get back on track in this Thursday night clash.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Running Backs

Phillip Lindsay

George: Lindsay was ejected from last week’s game for throwing a punch in a pile and could be disciplined by his coaching staff this week in some sort of way. I don’t see the staff benching him for more than a quarter if anything, against divisional leaders the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos will need every single advantage they can get to beat the Chiefs, and Lindsay is one. He is Denver’s clear-cut receiving back and since the Broncos will most likely play from behind for most of the game, due to the Chiefs high-powered offense, Lindsay’s presence will be necessary. I can’t see Vance Joseph being too hard on the young back in a must-win divisional game, so Lindsay will get the opportunity and succeed especially in any PPR formats.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: I am still very high on Phillip Lindsay and believe he will have a large share of the work in the Broncos backfield throughout the year. However, Lindsay was ejected in the first half for throwing a punch at the bottom of a pile and this is sure to cause ramifications in his workload. He could potentially serve as a risky flex option in week 4, but without being certain what his workload entails, it is a safer option to leave the talented runner on your bench.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


LeSean McCoy

George: Why start a running back who’s coming off a rib injury, that he says still has lingering pain against the Green Bay Packers 11th ranked fantasy defense? The Bill’s offensive line played great last week, but that was a mirage if anything. Shady has not gotten double-digit carries in any game this season, because of game script. The team has been playing from behind for a good portion of 2018, and Shady hasn't even been able to translate that into effective PPR usage. If you want to bank on touchdown, then go for it, but I would steer far away from a player whose offense is about to come crashing back down to earth.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: After seeing what the Bills did to one of the most feared defenses in the league a glimmer of hope was brought to Buffalo. In place of an injured Shady McCoy, Chris Ivory Accrued 14.1 fantasy points. If healthy, Shady will slot back into the number 1 option in this offense and could receive a similar workload to that of Chris Ivory’s 23 touches. Green Bay hasn’t looked great since Aaron Rodgers hurt his knee in week 1, and their defense just let up 120 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to an aging Adrian Peterson on the ground. Shady could serve as a shaky RB2 or flex option in week 4.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Wide Receivers

Sterling Shepard

George: The Giants just saw Eli Manning play his best game in recent memory, and now face the league’s worst fantasy defense. Evan Engram is officially out of this matchup, and Shepard should be the biggest beneficiary. In Engram absence, he caught 6 balls for 80 yards and a touchdown. He is the team’s clear number two option in the passing game now and should benefit in a game that is sure to be a shootout. If the Saints plan on double-teaming Beckham, which they should, Shepard will be free all day.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: The story of this season has been the amount of mouths to feed in the Giants offense, and the underwhelming production of their starting quarterback. However, if you read the section above this is the week to start Eli Manning and his plethora of pass catchers. With Evan Engram out for the next few weeks with a sprained MCL, opportunities should open for slot receiver Sterling Shepard. The Saints have given up an average of 34.3 points per game which ranks 32nd in the league. The Saints just lost Cornerback Patrick Robinson to a broken ankle leaving the slot open for opportunity. Expect Shepherd to reap the rewards as New Orleans looks to stop OBJ and Barkley.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Cooper Kupp

George: Kupp is third in targets (21) and receiving yards (181), on his own team, and has garnered six red-zone targets and is clearly a huge part of this offense. He has been fantastic in any PPR format this year and will continue to do so, but not this week. The Vikings have been the best defense against slot receivers since the beginning of 2017. With the likes of Harrison Smith, Mackensie Alexander, and Mike Hughes taking turns on Kupp he should have a tough day. The Viking's shut down both Randal Cobb and Pierre Garcon allowing just 51 combined yards between the two. Kupp should have a rough go come Thursday.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Cooper Kupp is a reliable weapon in the Rams passing attack, as he has become one of Jared Goff’s go to targets. However, he is going to be playing against one of the best defenses in the league at covering the slot. Although Goff may be targeting Kupp early in the game, Kupp will have a tough time finding separation from rookie standout Mike Hughes in the secondary. With Robert Woods healthy and Goff’s new toy in Brandin Cooks, expect Kupp to be the odd man out in this defensive slugfest. He is a reliable WR3 or flex play most weeks, but this is not one of them.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Tight Ends

David Njoku

George: Njoku did not catch a single ball until Baker Mayfield took the field last week. While it wasn’t much, 2 catches for 36 yards, it was still a promising stat line for the budding connection. While the Raiders defense has held most TE’s in check this year, they haven’t exactly faced the cream of the crop. With the TE position being so thin and erratic this year, Njoku makes for a great start. Rookie QBs love their TE’s and Njoku should be looked at often, especially in the red zone.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: With Baker Mayfield in the lineup, almost every skill position players stock rises. Njoku recorded both of his receptions this past Thursday after Baker took over for an injured Tyrod Taylor. He is a freakish athlete with a ton of upside. He will continue to get opportunities and could become Baker Mayfields redzone option in the coming weeks. In a thin position group, David Njoku presents the upside that fantasy owners want and he should be in lineups during the Browns week 4 matchup against the Raiders.

Verdict: START ‘EM


George Kittle

George: Losing your star quarterback to an ACL injury usually doesn’t bode well for that team’s TE. I think that Kittle may be the exception to that rule, but unfortunately not this week. While backup QB’s target their TE’s quite a bit, they usually don’t face the 2nd best fantasy defense against TEs when they do. The Chargers have shut down the likes of Travis Kelce, so Kittle should not be a problem for them this week. While I do think Kittle still has a great rest of the year, since he is their only viable passing option, the matchup this week is just too tough.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: It is always tough to start players after having your starting quarterback go down with a torn ACL, but Kittle’s situation is no different than it was last week. Although the talent level may dip, Kittle’s chemistry with C.J. Beathard is well documented. Expect Beathard to target his big bodied and athletic tight end more often than not, as Kittle is their most reliable target in an underwhelming offense. In a week position group, Kittle is one of the few tight ends that has upside each week, and although it isn’t a great matchup against a LAC Defense that shut down Travis Kelce in week 1, there aren't many options remaining. He is still worthy of remaining in lineups in this tough matchup.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Defense/Special Teams

Seahawks D/ST

George: The Cardinal’s offense is hot garbage, and it seems like the Seahawks defense is finally catching it’s stride. They have been ballhawks all year, securing 2 INTs in each game, and just put up 5 sacks on a Dallas offensive line who is injured, but still miles ahead of the Cardinals abysmal front. With Josh Rosen getting the start this week, expect quite a bit of turnovers for the Seahawks and Earl Thomas.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: Seattle ranks second in the league with 8 takeaways and they have held their last two opponents to under 20 points. Now getting healthy they will continue to improve and could become the dominant Seattle defense we were once accustomed too. Frank Clark ranks third in the NFL with 3.0 sacks and Earl Thomas currently has secured 3 interceptions ranking among the defensive leaders. They have the Cardinals offense up next, and Josh Rosen will make his first career start. The Cardinals offense was terrible under the guidance of Sam Bradford, and Rosen managed to throw two interceptions in relief during the final 4 minutes of regulation. Expect a dominant defensive showing from Seattle, in what could turn into a blowout in the Seahawks favor.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Vikings D/ST

George: The Ram’s own the league’s number 3 offense in terms of points scored. They play at home this week, and are clicking on all cylinders. The Vikings just got trounced by the Bills. Sit them.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Although I usually follow the mantra don’t bench your stars, this may be the week to stream a defense if you own Minnesota’s D/ST. The Rams are Currently averaging 34 points per game through the first three weeks of the season and this dates back to 2017 where they finished as the highest scoring offense in the league. Expect this game to be a shoot out, and the Vikings defense may be in unfamiliar territory when this game is over. Stream a defense in week 4 while the Vikings are on the road in LA.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM

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