The NFL season is back for another round of action, and fantasy football managers are ready for a full slate of action to flood their TVs this weekend. As not all matchups or roles are equal, we’re breaking down our top fantasy football start/sit Week 4 plays.
Fantasy football start/sit Week 4 | Quarterbacks
Start: Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos at LVR
Three games into the season, and I’d say Russell Wilson looks closer to a kid on Christmas learning how to use an Easy Bake Oven than anything that remotely resembles cooking. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but Russ might put together his first three-course meal in Week 4.
As far as pairings go, the matchup is tasty. Las Vegas has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to QBs (22.63), and every QB to face them has topped 18 fantasy points. Benjamin Allbright of KOA also made an interesting point in a recent tweet. Aaron Rodgers started slowly in the first three games with Nathaniel Hackett in town, completing 62% of his passes while averaging 215 yards a game with four TDs and seven sacks. In the fourth game, he exploded for 442 yards and two touchdowns.
Is this grasping at straws while having blind faith in Wilson figuring this all out? Sure, it is. But I am hoping Wilson shows up and cooks like the Masterchef we know he has been in the past. No way this leaves us with a worse taste in our mouths than his Dangerwich commercial, right?
Start: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. NE
Sure, he is the QB26 at the moment, but Aaron Rodgers has played better than that reflects. Since his horrendous Week 1 outing, Rodgers has completed over 76% of his passes while averaging 8.2 yards/att with a four-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio. That’ll play.
By no means does he have anywhere near the upside he had when Davante Adams was prowling Lambeau Field. But once he develops more chemistry with Allen Lazard and, especially, Romeo Doubs, Rodgers will churn out the top-12 numbers we are more accustomed to from him. While not expected to be a shootout, Rodgers should be a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 who can be started in Week 4.
Sit: Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars at PHI
Trevor Lawrence deserves a ton of apologies from those saying he was a bust, as Lawrence looks like anything but a bust. He had arguably one of the best games of his career on Sunday against the Chargers, completing 28 of 39 attempts for 262 yards and matching his career-high with three touchdown passes. Lawrence now sits eighth in the NFL with six passing touchdowns and is averaging 19.0 PPR per game, good for 10th to start the season.
The issue is the matchup in Week 4, as the Jaguars take on the Philadelphia Eagles, maybe the top contender in the NFC. The Eagles are loaded with talent and have allowed just 11.6 fantasy PPG to QBs, the seventh-fewest in the NFL, and have yet to allow a passer to throw for over 225 yards. I’d stash Lawrence for better days ahead and sit him in Week 4.
Sit: Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders vs. DAL
Carson Wentz is a human roller coaster. One minute you are at the peak of the climb, enjoying the view; the next, you feel your lunch coming up as the bottom falls out. That is what happened last week as Wentz came back to Earth, averaging 4.0 yards/att with a 58% completion rate as the QB30 in fantasy.
Wentz melts under pressure quicker than Frosty in a greenhouse. Dallas’ defense is sixth in passing DVOA, fifth in touchdown rate, fifth in YPA, leads the league in sacks, and is third in pressure rate. Wentz’s fantasy football volatility is back, and he is someone I would sit in Week 4.
Fantasy football start/sit Week 4 | Running backs
Start: Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions vs. SEA
With D’Andre Swift ruled out, Jamaal Williams is a must-start in Week 4. Williams carried the ball 20 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings, adding two receptions for 20 yards. He gashed the defense with four rushes of 10 or more yards and is tied with Nick Chubb for the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL.
While Seattle is sixth in fantasy points allowed to running backs this year, they’re 26th in DVOA vs. pass receiving backs, allowing the sixth-most receptions and fourth-most yards. Add in Amon-Ra St. Brown and his 31% target share missing the week, and Williams has the upside to find himself in any starting lineup.
Start: Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears at NYG
Herbert is a top-10 play this week against the Giants with David Montgomery sitting out. Thrust into action following Montgomery’s injury last week, Herbert rushed 20 times against the Houston Texans for 157 yards and two touchdowns, ending as the RB1 in PPR formats with 30.9 PPR points.
Between Weeks 5 and 8 of last year, Herbert recorded 78 carries, 344 yards, and 22 opportunities per game with Montgomery out. Given how run-heavy the Bears are offensively (72%), Herbert could quickly see in excess of 25 carries. That’s volume you simply cannot pass up.
Start: Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots at GB
While he’ll never dominate the touches, as a single-back system is not in Bill Belichick’s style, Rhamondre Stevenson’s role in the offense is growing, and he’s seeing higher leverage opportunities. Stevenson not only led Damien Harris in snaps (62 percent) but had more carries (12 to 11) than Harris to go along with five targets.
Stevenson has taken over the receiving role but still finds usage in the rushing game, which adds to his weekly floor. With Mac Jones (ankle) set to miss Week 4, we could see more dump-offs from Brian Hoyer as he takes the easy completions. Aiding is the matchup, as the Patriots are No. 1 in DVOA, whereas the Packers are 32nd in rushing defense DVOA. With a strong likelihood that New England leans on their RBs, start Stevenson in Week 4.
Sit: J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens vs. BUF
Look, I know you have been waiting to plug J.K. Dobbins into your lineup like a kid being forced to wait for everyone to wake up before tearing into presents on a holiday. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you need to keep waiting.
Baltimore worked Dobbins slowly back into action, as he played on 44% of the snaps last week, rushing seven times for 23 yards and catching both of his targets for 17 yards. If this were an easy matchup, I might even consider Dobbins, but not against Buffalo. The Bills are No. 4 in fantasy points allowed (14.1 PPR), and if you want a Ravens rusher on your team, just play Lamar Jackson.
Sit: Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams at SF
After recording 18 touches and playing on 82% of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 1, Darrell Henderson Jr. has watched his usage continue on a downward spiral. While he played on 80% of the snaps in the first half of Week 3, Cam Akers dominated the reps in the second half. Henderson finished with just four carries for 17 yards and one target.
The only positive for Henderson is that he has been the starter for all three games, but the continual rotation is only hurting both players’ upside. LA’s offensive line continues to be a liability, sitting 22nd in adjusted line yards, RB yards, and open-field rank, and 23rd in stuffed rate. Add in the 49ers rush defense that is allowing just 2.9 yards per carry and 16.0 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, and I’d hold off on placing Henderson in your starting fantasy football lineups in Week 4.
Fantasy football start/sit Week 4 | Wide receivers
Start: Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns at ATL
After concerns arose about Cooper’s fantasy viability in Week 1, Amari Cooper has put those to rest. Over the last two weeks, Cooper ranks third in the NFL in target share (36%) and leads the league in air yard share (64%). He has seen double-digit targets in two straight games and is the WR4 in fantasy over the last two games (24.1 PPR/game).
He is the unquestioned top option for Jacoby Brissett. Copper also has a good matchup awaiting him. Atlanta has allowed the fourth-most fantasy PPG to receivers (47.63). Both A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward have struggled this year. Terrell has allowed a 72.7% catch rate and 133.9 passer rate when targeted, while Hayward has surrendered a 78.6% catch rate and 112.8 passer rating. Given the volume, Cooper is a reliable top-20 option at WR this week.
Start: Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills at BAL
For me, this is as simple as it gets. If Gabe Davis is playing, he is starting in lineups. Last week Davis entered the game questionable after missing Week 2, but he suited up against Miami, and he should have had a better game. Davis caught three of his six targets for 37 yards, but he should have had a touchdown late in the third quarter. A combination of Davis not securing the ball and a great play by the DB to knock it out at the last minute resulted in the ball hitting the turf.
Still, there are positives to take from his Week 3 performance. While he was fourth on the team in targets, Davis led the Bills in air yards which is the calling card of his game. This is a get-right game for Davis in what should be a shoot-out. Baltimore has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (56.1 PPR), and given Josh Allen’s otherworldly ability to hit anyone at any time at any depth, Davis is, at minimum, a high-end WR3 and could hit WR2 territory.
Start: Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars at PHI
I gave Jacksonville all kinds of flak when they signed Christian Kirk with a Brinks truck full of cash. Yeah, I owe them an apology, as the Jaguars are not only using him correctly, they’re a genuinely fun team to watch. I just can’t quite seem to put my finger on the reason why. Maybe it’ll come to me eventually.
Kirk is operating as a legitimate WR1. He has seen 25% of the team’s target share while playing out of the slot on 77% of his snaps. After a 98% route participation in Week 3, Kirk now sits as the WR6 in PPR scoring (20.9 PPR/game) with 18 receptions on 27 targets for 267 yards and three touchdowns.
We’ll find out this week how legit this offense is against arguably the best the NFC has to offer. Based on volume and a likely negative game script, start Kirk against a possible matchup vs. Avonte Maddox, who is allowing an 80% catch rate when targeted.
Start: Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions vs. SEA
With the news DJ Chark will join Amon-Ra St. Brown on the inactive list for Week 4, Josh Reynolds becomes an instant Flex option. Last week, Reynolds was busy, leading the team in targets (10) with an 84% route participation and was top 10 in the league in air yards. He also found the end zone the week prior on three-of-three receiving for 38 yards (12.8 PPR).
Rostered in just 4.5% of leagues, if you need to make a last-minute change, Reynolds might be the best option. If he’s already taken, Kalif Raymond (0.1% rostered) becomes very intriguing as the likeliest player to see the slot reps that would typically go to ARSB. Both benefit from a matchup against a Seahawks defense that ranks 32nd in EPA/dropback.
Sit: Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears vs. NYG
This brings me no joy. I have nothing positive to say that can soften this blow, but Darnell Mooney is borderline droppable at the moment, let alone not startable. It doesn’t matter that he led all WRs last week with 38% of his team’s targets. It also doesn’t matter that he has seen 34.3% of the Bears’ air yards.
All that matters is 72, 45, 32, 114. No, those aren’t the lottery numbers or some really oddly shaped measurements. They encapsulate why Mooney is not startable. Chicago’s offense is rushing on 72% of its plays, has attempted just 45 passes through three games, and thanks to sitting 32nd in pace of play, Mooney is the WR114 in PPR scoring. Until something drastically changes, the player you drafted as a 2022 hopeful breakout is crashing harder than the Blues Brothers going down Lower Wacker Drive.
Sit: Allen Robinson, Los Angeles Rams at SF
Apparently, I must like pain because I am talking about Mooney and Allen Robinson in the same article. I fully admit I was in on Robinson this year. Playing with the best QB of his career, Robinson would show the world who he was.
I guess I just wasn’t ready for the grand reveal. Through three weeks, Robinson has a new four-year low in target share, targets per route run, air yard share, catch rate, air yards per target, yards per route run, and aDOT. The worst part about it is Robinson has a 99.1% route participation rate, yet he has just 12 targets.
Is Robinson cooked? I don’t know. All I know is things aren’t likely to get better this week against a stingy 49ers defense that’s allowed the third-fewest points per game to the position (26.6 PPR). Just save yourself the pain and sit Robinson this week. It’s for your own good at this point.
Fantasy football start/sit Week 4 | Tight ends
Start: David Njoku, Cleveland Browns at ATL
I don’t want to jinx it, but the long-anticipated David Njoku breakout might actually be happening. Yes, I knocked on wood while writing this, but you aren’t allowed to judge me. Njoku finished as Cleveland’s second-leading receiver behind only Amari Cooper last week, catching nine of his ten targets for 89 yards and a touchdown over the Steelers. Jacoby Brissett has relied on Njoku as we hoped due to the lack of a reliable No. 2 option at wideout.
I do not think this is a fluke, either. Njoku was one of my top TE breakouts for 2022, and while it might have taken a few games to get here, Njoku is all the way up to my TE7 in rest-of-season rankings. Feed me all the Njoku I can get against a Falcons defense that has allowed the second most fantasy points to the position (20.4 PPR). He’s only rostered in 60% of leagues, too. I’d run to the waivers to check in your league.
Start: T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions vs. SEA
Addition by subtraction. That is T.J. Hockenson in a nutshell against the Seahawks. While Swift’s absence hurts the rushing game, the loss of Amon-Ra St. Brown obliterates the passing game and offense as a whole. His 31% target share is eighth amongst all WRs, and over his last nine games, St. Brown has averaged 8.2 receptions on 11.1 targets for 90.3 yards with 0.9 TDs for 22.9 PPR.
Coming off a Week 3 game against the Minnesota Vikings where he found the end zone for the first time this year, Hockenson’s 17% target share should be in the low-to-mid-20s against a Seahawks defense that has allowed the third-most receiving yards to tight ends thus far. Fire him up as a top-eight play this week in fantasy.
Sit: Jelani Woods, Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN
I love Jelani Woods as much as the next guy, but starting him in Week 4 against Tennessee feels like chasing points, if we are honest. Woods is coming off a massive breakout game in Week 3, where he found the end zone twice to finish as the No. 5 TE in PPR formats (15.3).
Sure, the ceiling is there, as is the athleticism, but Woods only caught two passes, meaning he had a 100% touchdown rate. I’ll take things that are unsustainable for $1,000, Alex. Could Woods become a starter down the line, especially if Matt Ryan targets him anywhere near the frequency he has with other tight ends in the past? Of course. But until that day comes, Woods is a low-volume touchdown-or-bust pitfall waiting to trip you up.
Sit: Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders at DAL
Fantasy managers ran to the waiver wire after Week 2 when Logan Thomas found the end zone for the first time since Week 13 of last year. But the progression has not been linear. If anything, Thomas has given us less to be enthusiastic about right now.
Thomas, rather expectedly, came back down to Earth against the Eagles, catching two of his three targets for five yards. That’s not what ultimately concerns me. Bad games happen. What concerns me is Thomas has yet to see his snap rate reach over 63%, and his 11% target share places him as the fourth option in the passing game and nearly tied with Antonio Gibson (10.3%).
He’s not the first option when they need a play or a touchdown. Dallas is ninth in DVOA and sits third in yards allowed despite yielding the 18th-most receptions. There are better options out there than to start Thomas in Week 4.
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