Week 4 NFL Matchup Preview Part One
Be sure to check out Part Two of our Week 4 NFL Matchup Previews.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – September 29, 2016
8:25 PM EST
Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals
QB Ryan Tannehill: Thursday Night Football is notorious for low scoring games. I could see a defensive battle here despite the fact that the Bengals have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs this season. I would not consider Tannehill more than a low-end QB2 this week vs the Bengals.
RBBC: Kenyan Drake had the most touches last week, over Jay Ajayi, Isaiah Pead, and Damien Williams. Jay Ajayi did score the winning touchdown last week which could lead to more touches this week. Avoid the Miami backfield until Foster returns. You cannot rely on any of the current options for decent fantasy production.
WR Jarvis Landry: Has 35 targets and 314 receiving yards through the first 3 weeks of the season. A solid WR1 option this week, even if it is low scoring, Landry will take advantage of his targets.
WR DeVante Parker: Listed as questionable this week but who isn’t. You can expect Landry to dominate in targets but Parker is a top option in the red zone. Parker is boom or bust for me this week. His value lies in red zone opportunities at the moment.
WR Kenny Stills: Keep on the bench and see what he does this week. You may want to drop him if he doesn’t produce Week 4 vs the Bengals defense that has allowed 9 touchdowns in the first 3 weeks.
QB Andy Dalton: Has thrown for almost 1,000 yards in his first 3 games but has yet to throw multiple TDs in a game. Low scoring game or not, this could be the game Dalton has multiple touchdown passes. The Dolphins defense has been decent so far but Dalton has put up some yardage and it’s bound to lead to scores. Look for Dalton to throw for over 300 yards with a couple of TDs and an INT.
RB Jeremy Hill & Giovani Bernard: Jeremy Hill had himself a game last week against a very tough Denver defense. Has a much better matchup this week and has a good chance of eclipsing 100 rushing yards if it remains a close game. Bernard can go off any week but is only a filler flex option in full PPR leagues at the moment.
WR A.J. Green: a WR1 this week against Miami. Expect double-digit fantasy points in both standard and PPR formats.
TE Tyler Eifert: Listed as doubtful so not a fantasy option Week 4. Looking to return Week 5 so he is worth a mention.
SUNDAY – October 2, 2016
9:30 AM EST
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
QB Andrew Luck: Has thrown for over 300 yards in 2 of his 3 games this season and you can expect it again this week against the Jaguars in London. Consider Luck a top fantasy quarterback this week.
RB Frank Gore: Had his first fantasy relevant game last week vs the Chargers. Anticipate his second productive week in a row against the mediocre defense of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
WR T.Y. Hilton & Phillip Dorsett: Andrew Luck leaned heavily on his number 1 wide receiver, T.Y. Hilton last week. It paid off in a big way for Hilton who is a clear WR1 going forward, especially without Moncrief on the field.
TE Jack Doyle: Jack Doyle is the clear number one target in the tight end position for Andrew Luck. Doyle is a not a bad stream play this week.
QB Blake Bortles: Would have much better fantasy production this season if it weren’t for the turnovers. He has a good chance of putting up QB1 numbers vs a terrible Colts defense. If you have him, play him.
RB T.J. Yeldon & Chris Ivory: Yeldon has yet to impress after 3 games as the starting RB for the Jaguars. Chris Ivory did very little in a game despite out-touching T.J. Yeldon last week. It’s hard to trust either at the moment. Ivory is worth a bench spot in deeper leagues as a “wait and see” option given the situation in Jacksonville’s backfield.
WR Allen Robinson: A high-end WR2 option Week 4 who could see his first 100-yard game vs the Colts. You can’t bench him this week.
WR Allen Hurns: Very hard to trust as a viable fantasy option right now but is not short of targets through the first 3 games with 23. I have him as a WR3/flex option if you are looking to gamble on a high risk, high reward WR this week.
TE Julius Thomas: Put up a dud last week but stick with him this week as I expect him to be a TE1 vs the Colts. He did miss practice on Wednesday with an apparent elbow injury and should play on Sunday but worth keeping an eye on his status as we get closer.
SUNDAY – October 2, 2016
1:00 PM EST
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
QB Cam Newton: This game spells high scoring and you can bet on Newton producing great fantasy numbers in both the pass and run game vs the Falcons this week. Look for him to rebound in a big way from last week’s tough matchup vs the Vikings.
RB Cameron Artis-Payne & Fozzy Whittaker: Both have a chance to produce this game if you are looking for a streamer in deeper leagues. I expect Payne to lead in carries but Whittaker has big play potential through the air.
WR Kelvin Benjamin: After posting a goose egg last week vs the Vikings defense, look for Benjamin to be a bounce back performance candidate in a game that will feature a heavy offensive attack.
TE Greg Olsen: The best tight end in the league right now and should continue with his top production this week.
QB Matt Ryan: Has been the most consistent fantasy QB thus far. Has his toughest matchup by far this season but should still produce decent fantasy numbers vs the Panthers at home in Atlanta this week.
RB Devonta Freeman & Tevin Coleman: After last week’s performance, how do you bench either RB here? Simple, you don’t. Yes, this is a tough matchup, but I expect a very balanced game plan vs the Panthers this week and that could lead to another productive week for this pair of RBs.
WR Julio Jones: At first glance, this looks like a tough game for Julio Jones who doesn’t appear to be 100% going into Week 4. He is up against a defense that has allowed the 2nd fewest points to WRs through the first 3 weeks. The truth is the Panthers faced a shaky Broncos offense in Week one, the terrible 49ers in Week 2 and an Adrian Peterson-less Vikings in Week 3. I expect Julio to have a big game against this defense.
WR Mohamed Sanu: Boom or bust Week 4 vs the Panthers. Could see more targets than he did last week but is a tough play in your fantasy lineup.
TE Jacob Tamme: Did not have a great week last week but I see him bouncing back with 60+ yards and a few red zone opportunities making him a great play at the TE position.
Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens
QB Derek Carr: A tough matchup in Baltimore this week but expect him to at least put up high-end QB2 type numbers. Carr has done a great job protecting the ball this season and has an opportunity to put up some yards if the Raiders are forced to play keep up vs the Ravens.
RB Latavius Murray: Murray has scored in each game so far this season. Without the scores, he has not been impressive this year. Play him if you must but you can’t expect him to score every week and he could lose more carries to Washington if he doesn’t step up his game. He is nothing more than a flex play this week in standard leagues.
WR Amari Cooper: The targets just keep coming for Amari Cooper and it will not be any different this week. Cooper is a WR2 with WR1 upside in this matchup.
WR Michael Crabtree: Out-targeted Cooper last week and should not be short of targets this week in a game where the ball should be thrown a ton by Carr. Crabtree is a safe WR2 option Week 4.
QB Joe Flacco: Will bounce back from last week’s performance. He is at home vs a team that has given up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season. Look for Flacco to produce as a QB1 this week.
RB Justin Forsett: No one has stepped up in the run game for the Ravens. Avoid this backfield altogether.
WR Mike Wallace: Has proven to be a TD-reliant type player so far this season. I’m not crazy about starting Wallace every week but you cannot bench him in this matchup vs the Raiders.
WR Steve Smith Sr.: One of Flacco’s top targets, do not be surprised if Smith Sr. has his best game of the season this week. Safe to play as your WR2.
TE Dennis Pitta: A top 3 option at the TE position this week. Could flirt with his second 100-yard game vs Oakland’s terrible defense.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
QB Marcus Mariota: Had a terrible week last week against a team that gives up a ton defensively. He should have shined and failed to do so. This does not bode well for his matchup this week away, vs Houston. Look elsewhere for a viable option at QB week 4.
RB DeMarco Murray: Will likely be the most productive Titans player on the field this week. Play Murray as a low-end RB2 in a tough matchup vs the Texans defense.
WR Tajae Sharpe: I am officially off the Tajae train until he can prove that he can produce as the number one wide receiver in the Titans’ offense. Safe to bench him this week.
TE Delanie Walker: Walker was a late scratch in last week’s game but is in line to start Week 4. Risky play, given the matchup but you can’t bench a guy that could easily lead in targets this week.
QB Brock Osweiler: The Titans have held Stafford and Carr in check the past 2 weeks. That said, look for Osweiler to have his best game of the season this Sunday at home vs this tough defense. He is bound to have a breakout game with the talent he has around him and I believe it happens for him this week.
RB Lamar Miller: Miller has been held without a TD this season. I expect his scoreless streak to end this week. Play him as you RB1 and you will be happy you’ve stuck with him this season.
WR DeAndre Hopkins: Hopkins tried to spark some motivation for his team last week vs the Patriots making some very difficult catches. Hopkins and the rest of the Houston offense will be happy to move on from last week and point points on the board again.
WR Will Fuller: Fuller can expect to rebound from last week’s tough matchup. Insert him in your lineups as your WR2 with WR1 upside.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
QB Tyrod Taylor: Difficult matchup away against the Patriots defense. It is always a crapshoot in divisional games but this doesn’t look like the type of game Tyrod will put up a ton of points in. He is a weekly boom or bust in my opinion.
RB LeSean McCoy: McCoy had himself a game last week vs a tough defense. Look for him to be the most productive Bills player this week. Play him as your RB1 but calm your expectations of a repeat of last week.
WR Sammy Watkins: Still battling a foot injury and his status is highly questionable for this game. Even if he plays, I would bench him this week. My advice, wait until his next productive game and sell high on him unless you are ok with an on and off injury player on your roster.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo and/or Jacoby Brissett: In true Patriot fashion, we do not know who will start Week 4 for New England. They are hopeful that both QBs will be ready to go on Sunday but that tells us nothing. Neither are worth a start in an unpredictable divisional matchup this week.
RB LeGarrette Blount: Blount will be force fed the ball in this final week without Tom Brady. Safe to insert him as your RB2 with RB1 upside.
WR Julian Edelman: Hasn’t done any “Julian Edelman” type things without Brady under center. Given the QB situation this week, I would consider benching him if you have the depth in the position. He will be a safe WR1 beginning next week when his buddy, Tom is back.
TE Rob Gronkowski: Same situation as Edelman. There are safer options at the position this week. You can put him back in your lineup after this week.
TE Martellus Bennett: I expect Bennett to be on the field more than Gronk and could find a few red zone opportunities but a very shaky play as we have no idea who would be throwing him the ball.
Seattle Seahawks @ New York Jets
QB Russell Wilson: Hasn’t lived up to his expectations thus far this season and don’t expect it to start this week vs the NY Jets defense. Wilson will have limited mobility as he deals with his MCL sprain in an away game. The Seahawks will once again rely heavily on their run game.
RB Christine Michael: Tougher matchup than last week but I fully expect this to me the Christine Michael show this week. Play him as a solid RB2 in your lineups.
WR Doug Baldwin: Even with Wilson not 100%, Baldwin will get his targets and I expect him to do some damage with them. Play him as you normally would.
TE Jimmy Graham: Showing signs of life after last weeks 100/1 performance. I don’t see him doing this every week but he is a solid TE2 vs the Jets in a game where he could easily see red zone targets.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: I do not like Fitzpatrick in this matchup. Struggled against the Chiefs last week and the Seahawks will not make things easier for him Week 4. I expect this to be a defensive, ground and pound type game regardless of the fact that both of these teams can put up 30+ points any given week with the offensive weapons they have.
RB Matt Forte: Forte will get another heavy workload vs a very tough defense. It is hard to consider him more than a low-end RB2/flex play vs the Seahawks.
WR Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker & Quincy Enunwa: WR Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker & Quincy Enunwa: Very hard to bench Marshall but could see another limited opportunity game. Decker isn’t practicing and reports are not optimistic that he’ll play. Enunwa could pick up the slack while Marshall works under 100% this week. Consider Enunwa a boom or bust flex play against the Seattle defense.
Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins
QB Cody Kessler: Not a fantasy factor. Didn’t play terribly last week and did not throw any INTs but no TDs either.
RB Isaiah Crowell & Duke Johnson Jr. : I actually love Crowell this week on the road against the Redskins that has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to running backs this season. Play him as a solid RB2 with RB1 upside. Duke Johnson will get his carries as well in this matchup. Not a bad flex play in deeper leagues. Could see his role increase going forward as the Browns are hurting in other positions at the moment.
WR Terrelle Pryor: Will be heavily involved in all phases of the offense again this week. Great WR2 or flex play just based off of his inevitable opportunities.
TE Gary Barnidge: Had a decent game last week for the TE position but I don’t see a lot happening for Barnidge this season. If he has a below average performance this week like I expect him to, I would drop him for other more reliable talent that is available on the waiver wire.
QB Kirk Cousins: Cousins was 4 yards shy of having his 3rd consecutive 300-yard pass game in a row. He has so many weapons around him and should produce a QB1 type game vs the struggling Browns. Cousins will have plenty of opportunities as I do not expect the Browns offense to be on the field too much.
RB Matt Jones: Not a bad RB2/flex play this week as the Redskins could get ahead in this game through the air but will want to control the clock which will lead to Matt Jones getting a decent workload in.
WR DeSean Jackson: WR1 play this week. He is looking like DeSean Jackson again with his big play ability and will see plenty of targets in a game where Cousins will throw a ton as he normally does.
WR Jamison Crowder: Crowder has stepped up as the WR2 on the Redskins offense. Consider him a WR3/flex play given he is behind Jackson and Reed for targets.
TE Jordan Reed: Everyone is waiting for that monster game from Reed given his hype going into this season. Look for him to go off this week at home vs the terrible Browns defense. Will have plenty of opportunities to have a big fantasy game and I expect he will take full advantage of them.
–The Fantasy Footballers Preview on YouTube (coming Friday)