Week 4 NFL Matchup Preview Part Two
Be sure to check out Part One of the Week 4 Matchup Previews.
SUNDAY – October 2nd, 2016
1:00 PM EST
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
QB Matthew Stafford: Currently third in both passing TDs per game and average yards per game with 328 yards, Stafford is a must start against a shaky Bears defense.
RB Theo Riddick, Dwayne Washington: The rushing game for the Lions struggled last week, but a matchup against the Bears defense that is allowing the second-most rushing yards per game is a welcome site. I expect Dwayne Washington to take on a bigger role in the running game while Riddick is used in his typical role in the passing game. Both are good starts at flex.
WR Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Anquan Boldin: Marvin Jones is currently the #1 WR in fantasy football while Golden Tate has let his owners down. Jones is a locked-in WR1 while Tate is barely on the WR2 radar. Anquan Boldin has TDs in each of his past two games, making him a reasonable flex play in a pinch.
TE Eric Ebron: Ebron has been a consistent target for Stafford, posting at least 4 receptions for 46 yards in each of his games. He’s a borderline TE1 due to his TD potential in this offense.
QB Brian Hoyer: Let’s not pretend that Hoyer is a good NFL QB, but that isn’t necessarily important in fantasy football. He has great pass catchers and playing the Lions defense that has allowed 10 passing TDs this year, he’s actually a decent streaming option for Week 4.
RB Jordan Howard: Much like Hoyer, volume and opportunity make a huge difference in fantasy football. With Jeremy Langford out, rookie Jordan Howard projects to dominate the touches in the Bears backfield. He’s an RB2 play.
WR Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White: Alshon Jeffery hasn’t found the end zone in 2016, but that could easily change this week. Kevin White actually leads the team in targets and could have a breakout game with some serious garbage time potential for the Bears. Jeffery is a WR2, while White is a great flex start.
TE Zach Miller: Last week showed what Zach Miller is capable of, especially when the QB locks in on him. The Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to TEs this year, making Miller a must-start TE1.
SUNDAY – October 2nd, 2016
4:05 PM EST
Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Trevor Siemian: Coming off a breakout game, Siemian travels to Tampa Bay to take on a Buccaneers defense that just made Case Keenum look good. Siemian has the weapons to post another solid start and is a great streaming option for Week 4.
RB C.J. Anderson: The Buccaneers are decent against the run, allowing just 98 rushing yards per game. Anderson should still see the volume to push him into the RB1 ranks.
WR Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders: The passing game looked great last week and was hopefully a sign of things to come for the Dynamic Denver Duo. Both are borderline WR1 starts in a favorable matchup.
QB Jameis Winston: Winston leads the league in passing attempts after throwing it 58 times last week. A tough matchup against the swarming Denver defense is scary considering Winston’s turnovers this year, if you can bench him, I would.
RB Charles Sims: Sims posted a solid fantasy game for his owners, especially in PPR leagues with his 6 receptions. The Denver defense can be run on, so don’t bench Sims, he’s a solid RB2.
WR Mike Evans, Adam Humphries, Vincent Jackson: When your QB leads the league in passing attempts, the WRs are typically good starting options. Mike Evans is a must-start WR1, but the other two options are questionable starts this week. Adam Humphries looked great in the pre-season and has gotten better each week, topping out at 100 yards last week. The matchup is tougher this week, making him a flex play. Vincent Jackson has been highly inefficient with his targets and should not be a consideration moving forward.
TE Cameron Brate: With Austin Seferian-Jenkins out of the way, Brate stepped up and had a great game. The TEs have been getting good volume in this offense, making Brate a solid TE1 every week.
SUNDAY – October 2nd, 2016
4:25 PM EST
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
RB Todd Gurley: Todd Gurley finally rewarded his owners with a 2 TD game, but his 2.9 ypc on the season is scary. He’s a TD-dependent RB2 until this team can prevent opponents from stacking the box.
QB Carson Palmer: Palmer had a disastrous game last week, but he should rebound at home in a game the Cardinals expect to win. He should be a decent start.
RB David Johnson: David Johnson has been one of the few bright spots for those owners who drafted RBs early. He’s a must-start RB1.
WR Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Michael Floyd: Fitzgerald continues to lead this team at the WR position and has a nice matchup, making him a solid WR2. Keep an eye on the status of Michael Floyd after suffering a concussion. If he has a setback, John Brown becomes a must-start WR2. If both of them play, they are flex plays.
New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers
QB Drew Brees: Another week, another 350+ yards for Brees. He’s locked in as a top QB in a nice matchup.
RB Mark Ingram, Travaris Cadet: Ingram finally got it going last week, exceeding 100 combined yards and a TD. He has a nice matchup and should be a borderline RB1. Travaris Cadet has seen decent targets in the passing game making him a desperation flex play in PPR leagues.
WR Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, Michael Thomas: Fantasy owners were let down by Cooks and his 2 receptions for 13 yards in a game where Drew Brees threw the ball 54 times. Some people may question the matchup, but TY Hilton, a similar player, just torched the Chargers. Cooks is a must-start WR1. Signs are pointing to Willie Snead playing but check back Sunday morning to make sure. If he plays, he might be limited making him a flex play. If he doesn’t play, Michael Thomas becomes a solid flex play.
TE Coby Fleener: Finally lived up to his hype, he should remain a decent TE start moving forward.
QB Philip Rivers: the Saints secondary is allowing 299 yards per game, making Rivers a solid QB start.
WR Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams: Travis Benjamin lead the team in yardage, while Williams lead the team in receptions and targets. Both players are solid WR2 starts in a projected Week 4 shootout.
TE Hunter Henry: It’s looking like Henry will get the start again in Week 4, which automatically makes him a decent TE streamer in a shootout.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
QB Dak Prescott: Prescott has been used very strategically, limiting his upside. He’s only playable in 2-QB leagues.
RB Ezekiel Elliott: Elliott’s owners were extremely frustrated to see that the Cowboys scored three rushing TDs and Elliott had zero of them. But the 160 combined yards showed that the Cowboys are willing to ride their rookie. He’s a must-start RB1.
WR Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Brice Butler: Dez Bryant is out after suffering a hairline fracture to his knee. Don’t expect Beasley’s role to change much keeping him in the low-end WR2/flex range. Terrance Williams should hopefully be the player to take on a bigger role without Dez Bryant in the lineup, but keep an eye on the 6’3″ Brice Butler, who had a nice connection with Dak Prescott in the preseason.
TE Jason Witten: Witten continues to be a favorite of Prescott and may take on a bigger role in the red zone with Dez out, making him a must-start TE.
QB Blaine Gabbert: While Chip Kelly says he still has confidence in Gabbert, there are rumblings that he is on a short leash. He should not be started this week in a game that projects to be low volume and low scoring.
RB Carlos Hyde: Which Hyde will we see this week? The matchup is ok, but this projects to be a low scoring game while the Cowboys attempt to keep the 49ers offense on the sideline. He’s an RB2 for his TD potential.
WR Jeremy Kerley, Torrey Smith: Kerley leads the team in receiving, but neither player should be starting on fantasy teams.
TE Garrett Celek: The 49ers’ TE position has been useful for fantasy purposes and with Vance McDonald most likely out this week, Celek makes for a decent streaming option.
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
QB Alex Smith: Alex Smith wasn’t required to do much last week, but this week should see his volume increase. He’s a sneaky start as a QB streamer.
RB Spencer Ware, Jamaal Charles: Spencer Ware should again dominate the workload, even if Jamaal Charles makes his season debut. If Jamaal Charles plays, which seems unlikely, he will be eased back with minimal work. Ware is an RB2 and Charles is not startable, even if he’s active.
WR Jeremy Maclin: The stats for Jeremy Maclin are pedestrian, but his usage is encouraging. He’s a decent WR2 for Week 4.
TE Travis Kelce: On paper, the Steelers look to be a tough matchup for TEs, but digging a bit deeper you’ll see that it’s more about who they played and the game script. Kelce has 7 targets in each of his games and finally broken into the end zone last week. He’s a must-start TE1.
QB Ben Roethlisberger: Most Roethlisberger owners would like to forget last week even happened after he had zero passing TDs. He had 3 TDs in each of his first two games and should bounce back, even in a tough matchup against a solid Chiefs defense.
RB Le’Veon Bell: Welcome back! Owners who took the plunge and drafted Bell are salivating to finally be able to start him. regardless of the matchup, he’s a must-start RB1.
WR Antonio Brown: A monster game could have been even better if he caught a TD. Expect the volume to remain and let’s hope he can twerk his way into the end zone.
Monday Night Football – October 3rd, 2016
8:30 PM EST
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
QB Eli Manning: The Vikings Defense has been pretty nasty to opposing teams and Eli Manning is their next victim. If you have other options, most signs suggest benching Manning this week.
RB Orleans Darkwa, Rashad Jennings: The reports are cloudy on Rashad Jennings thumb injury, and the matchup makes this a situation to avoid. If you absolutely have no other options, Darkwa is in the position to see the most work but is nothing more than a desperation flex play.
WR Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz: You can’t bench Odell Beckham and the matchup looks scary, but Tajae Sharpe and Jordy Nelson had solid games against the Vikings before they shut out Kelvin Benjamin. Don’t bench your studs. Owners of Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz should be a bit more worried, as the Vikings had been very tough on the secondary WRs. both are merely flex options.
QB Sam Bradford: The Giants secondary has been a pretty tough matchup for opposing QBs, allowing similar fantasy points scored against them to the Vikings. Bradford should only be started in deep or 2-QB leagues.
RB Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata: The Vikings have the worst yards per carry in the NFL, with just 2.1 ypc. Now they face a Giants defense that is in the top 5 with just 77.3 rushing yards allowed per game. Neither player is a good start, with McKinnon just a flex play in PPR leagues.
WR Stefon Diggs: Diggs came back to earth last week after his stellar Week 2 performance, but he’s the only WR doing anything for the Vikings, making him a decent WR2 start this week.
TE Kyle Rudolph: Perhaps Rudolph is finally going to live up to the hype he’s had all these years. Currently, 3rd in TE scoring with TDs in each of the past two games and seeing at least 8 targets in every game, Kyle Rudolph has become a must-start TE1.
(*MNF special commentary – It’s not uncommon to see a game that is supposed to be a defensive matchup like this one turn into a shootout. Both teams have capable offenses, so don’t be totally shocked if this is a high-scoring prime-time game.)