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Fantasy football week four: Start ‘em, Sit ‘em

Onto week four we go. Use this cheat sheet to help you win!

Chicago Bears v Washington Redskins Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

As you await kickoff for week three tonight between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers, have a look at my cheat sheet designed to help you decide on starts and sits for the week.

Good luck:


Start ‘Em:

Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett versus Oakland Raiders

Since Andrew Luck retired, the reigns were handed over to Jacoby Brissett, and thus far he has yet to disappoint. Brissett was the 11th-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy last week with 20.80 points against the Atlanta Falcons, even with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton eventually getting knocked out of the contest. Brissett has seven touchdowns on the year versus only one interception and gets the Raiders’ defense this week, which ranks 25th in yards per game allowed and 30th in yards per pass attempt allowed.

Los Angeles Chargers QB Phillip Rivers versus Miami Dolphins

You just knew the dreadful Dolphins would make an appearance here (and elsewhere on this list), and that’s exactly why Phillip Rivers is here. Rivers was the 13th-highest scoring quarterback last week with 19.62 points against the Houston Texans, though he’s trending upwards in a major way for week four. The Dolphins are 28th in passing yards per game allowed and 32nd in yards per pass attempt allowed.

Other potential starts: Case Keenum versus New York Giants, Mason Rudolph versus Cincinnati Bengals, Dak Prescott versus New Orleans Saints

Sit ‘Em:

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen versus New England Patriots

In somewhat of a surprise, Josh Allen is the 9th-highest scoring quarterback in the league this season. Allen is coming off an average week where he was the 15th-highest scoring quarterback with 18.32 points, and it doesn’t get any easier against the Patriots in week four. The Patriots’ defense hasn’t even allowed a touchdown to this point. They also rank 1st in both passing yards per game allowed and yards per pass attempt allowed.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady versus Buffalo Bills

It might be hard to pull the trigger on this one, but I’d leave Tom Brady on the bench against the Buffalo Bills, even if he is the 5th-highest scoring quarterback in the league this season. Brady has historically had some tough contests against the Bills, and it won’t get any easier this time around as the Bills are currently ranked 9th in passing yards per game allowed and 3rd in yards per pass attempt allowed.

Other potential sits: Matt Ryan versus Tennessee Titans, Jameis Winston versus Los Angeles Rams, Teddy Bridgewater versus Dallas Cowboys

Running Back

Start ‘Em:

Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler versus Miami Dolphins

Surprise, surprise, the Dolphins have returned, as has Austin Ekeler who should be an automatic start for you week-in week-out. Chargers’ running back Melvin Gordon has returned to the team, though he wont compete in this contest and is instead eyeing a week five return. The Dolphins are 32nd in rushing yards per game allowed and 31st in yards per rush attempt allowed. Ekeler is also the 3rd-highest scoring running back in the league through three weeks.

Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson versus Kansas City Chiefs

Kerryon Johnson hasn’t had the best start to the season, especially last week as he was the 27th-highest scoring running back, though the Philadelphia Eagles present an incredibly tough matchup for any and every running back. Johnson’s matchup this week is a lot easier as the Lions face the Kansas City Chiefs, who rank 27th in rushing yards per game allowed and 32nd in yards per rush attempt allowed.

Other potential starts: Josh Jacobs versus Indianapolis Colts, James Conner versus Cincinnati Bengals

Sit ‘Em:

Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones versus Philadelphia Eagles

Aaron Jones is coming off a week three that seen him land at 16th-overall in running back scoring with 15.30 points, though this matchup on Thursday Night Football is an incredibly tough one. The Eagles’ run defense is something else, ranking 2nd in both rushing yards per game allowed and yards per rush attempt allowed.

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Todd Gurley is currently the 26th-highest scoring running back in the league, coming in 53rd-overall in week three after a rough performance against the Cleveland Browns. Things don’t get any easier this week as the Rams face the Buccaneers, who’re currently 6th in rushing yards per game allowed and 3rd in rushing yards per attempt allowed.

Other potential sits: Derrick Henry versus Atlanta Falcons, Ronald Jones/Peyton Barber versus Los Angeles Rams

Wide Receiver

Start ‘Em:

Washington Redskins WR Terry McLaurin versus New York Giants

Arguably, the biggest surprise this season is the immediate stardom from the man known as “Scary Terry”. McLaurin has been incredible through three games, firmly entrenching himself as the #1 wide receiver on the Redskins and probably the best weapon on the entire team. McLaurin is currently the 10th-highest scoring receiver with 59.70 points and he now has a juicy matchup against the Giants which rank 32nd in passing yards per game allowed and 31st in yards per pass attempt allowed.

Cincinnati Bengals WR’s Tyler Boyd/John Ross versus Pittsburgh Steelers

I think I’d be comfortable slotting in either of Tyler Boyd or John Ross here, though I’ll slide with Boyd for now (with the thought that you couldn’t go wrong with either). Ross is the 11th-highest ranked receiver in the league with 58.20 points and Boyd is 22nd-highest with 49.30 points. The Steelers’ secondary are 31st in passing yards per game allowed and 29th in yards per pass attempt allowed.

Other potential starts: Mike Williams versus Miami Dolphins, Mecole Hardman versus Detroit Lions

Sit ‘Em:

New England Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett versus Buffalo Bills

Phillip Dorsett has quietly been one of the biggest surprises in fantasy football this year as he ranks 18th-highest in receiver scoring, though he’ll face a tough Buffalo Bills defense this week which ranks 9th in passing yards per game allowed and 3rd in yards per pass attempt allowed. Dorsett has two weeks of 18.5+ points and one with 6.9 points. My guess is this week ends up being closer to the latter than the former.

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery versus Green Bay Packers

Alshon Jeffery has played in one game this season, which happened to be in week one against the Washington Redskins. Jeffery had a great contest that seen him compile 22.10 points (two touchdowns), though he’s missed the past two contests with a calf injury. He’ll play tonight against the Green Bay Packers, who rank 5th in both passing yards per game allowed and yards per pass attempt allowed. The Packers’ defense is incredibly talented, with Jeffery potentially drawing the coverage of upcoming superstar cornerback Jaire Alexander.

Other potential sits: Chris Godwin versus Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills wide receivers versus New England Patriots

Tight End

Start ‘Em:

Seattle Seahawks TE Will Dissly versus Arizona Cardinals

Will Dissly is a touchdown machine. Known as a blocking tight end when he entered the league, Dissly has developed into a real consistent receiving threat, evidenced by his three touchdowns in the past two weeks. Dissly is the 8th-highest scoring tight end in the league with his 42.40 points and now gets the Cardinals defense who’ve been shredded by tight ends in the past (T.J. Hockenson).

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker versus Atlanta Falcons

Delanie Walker is the model of consistency and is clearly the first option for quarterback Marcus Mariota. Walker is currently 7th-highest in tight end scoring, and though he isn’t currently practicing, he’s an easy start who’ll receive every opportunity to score a lot of points.

Other potential starts: Jason Witten versus New Orleans Saints, Vernon Davis versus New York Giants, Eric Ebron versus Oakland Raiders

Sit ‘Em:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard versus Los Angeles Rams

O.J. Howard has been one of the biggest busts in fantasy football through three weeks, and it doesn’t get any easier with the Rams on the schedule. Howard finally seen some more usage in week three as a receiver, though it only amounted to 9.6 points, elevating him to 27th in tight end scoring for the year.

Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton versus Minnesota Vikings

Trey Burton is one of the most neglected players in football, seeing only three and four targets in the past two games. The matchup the Bears have this week against the Vikings is a terrible one to boot. Sit Burton until he and quarterback Mitch Trubisky give us a reason not to.

Other potential sits: Kyle Rudolph versus Chicago Bears, Tyler Eifert versus Pittsburgh Steelers


Start ‘Em:

New England Patriots versus Buffalo Bills

As I mentioned above, the Patriots haven’t even allowed a single touchdown to this point. Not only that, but they’re by far and away in the lead in scoring as their defense has 61 fantasy points, with second place a full 20 points behind. They face the Bills this week, meaning they’ll have a good shot to force quarterback Josh Allen into a handful of mistakes.

Los Angeles Chargers versus Miami Dolphins

Yeah, the Dolphins are pretty terrible offensively and though the Chargers are only decent defensively coming in at 22nd in fantasy points, they’re a definite start for the week.

Other potential starts: Los Angeles Rams versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars versus Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens versus Cleveland Browns

Sit ‘Em:

Philadelphia Eagles versus Green Bay Packers

The Eagles are currently the 27th ranked defense, scoring only 8 points all season. The test doesn’t get much easier tonight with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers coming.

Cleveland Browns versus Baltimore Ravens

The Browns are an above average defense that’s currently ranked 13th-overall in scoring with 22 points, though they face the high-flying and explosive Ravens offense this week, making them a sit for me. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has been nearly unstoppable this season, and I don’t see it happening that changing this week.

Other potential sits: Houston Texans versus Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions versus Kansas City Chiefs