Well, that was interesting. Because all of us fantasy football prognosticators envisioned Rex Burkhead, James Robinson, Cedrick Wilson, and Allen Lazard being top 12 players this past week. So let’s review our Fantasy Football Consistency Score (CS), and Defensive Points Allowed Consistency Score (DPACS) after what we have learned and highlight the top Week 4 matchups and players to start or sit for your fantasy lineups.
If you would like more detailed information on how the CS and DPACS works, please refer to the Introduction to the Fantasy Football Consistency Score. But the basic premise is, the higher the CS, the more consistent a player is scoring high-level fantasy points. Or, in the case of DPACS, the consistency in which that team allows high-level fantasy points to the position.
PSA: I don’t feel the need to tell you, the savvy fantasy G.M., to start a player like Patrick Mahomes every week. I abide by the golden rule: start your studs. However, if there is glaring evidence to sit a bonafide starter, we will discuss that as needed.
Quarterbacks to start/sit in fantasy football Week 4
Start Joe Burrow
In his young rookie career, Joe Burrow is averaging 30 passing attempts per game and has over 300 yards in each of the past two games as well as a combined five touchdowns. The first-round pick is really starting to come into his own and live up to the hype, despite the team being 0-2-1. He might even still be available on your league’s waiver wire.
Burrow has been everything fantasy football managers could have wanted. He has the 10th most fantasy points on the season for all quarterbacks and is averaging 20.41 fantasy points per game. We don’t have enough of a sample size to include Burrow in the CS rankings yet. But if we did only three games for CS, he would be second among all QBs with a 12.19 CS. Burrow has been a stud and is still looking for that first win.
In Week 4, Burrow’s managers get a lovely matchup to start him in as the Bengals host the 1-2 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the QB position and own the third-highest DPACS at 9.76. We just saw Ryan Fitzpatrick pick this defense apart with a 90% completion percentage, two passing touchdowns plus a rushing score in prime time. Now, these two teams match up with the ninth highest projected total for the week. Fire up Burrow with confidence in this matchup.
Sit Cam Newton
Cam Newton might very well be the fantasy football MVP come the end of the year, mainly because savvy fantasy football managers were able to load up at other positions and snag Newton super late. But this week, there is a strong reason to stream someone else and sit Newton.
In a Monday Night Football game that was hardly competitive, we just watched the Kansas City Chiefs completely stifle the 2019 NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson, to a rough line of 97 yards in the air and one touchdown. His 83 yards rushing saved him from a completely loaded fantasy football diaper situation, but he still finished the week with only 14.18 fantasy points, coming in 23rd on the week.
We would have been better off starting Nick Foles, who didn’t come into the game until the fourth quarter, over Jackson. Now, Newton faces off against this defense in Kansas City. No, thank you.
Newton is no longer matchup proof. His 5.04 CS is ranked 28th among all signal-callers, and he has thrown as many touchdowns as he has interceptions so far this season.
Against the Las Vegas Raiders this past week, Cam put up less than 200 yards passing and failed to score on the ground. His 11.18 fantasy points was his lowest total on the year, ranking 28th for the week. This matchup highly suggests that he is a sit in Week 4.
Which running backs should you start/sit in Week 4?
Start Kenyan Drake
It has been a rough couple of weeks for Kenyan Drake, but I agree 100% with Ben Rolfe, and now is the time to go out and try to “buy low” when it comes to Drake. After this matchup, that window is going to close.
Drake is averaging just under 20 opportunities a game in 2020, so the volume is there. His -19% Fantasy Point Differential (FPD) is the only concerning part. But his FPD during his time in Arizona last season was the exact opposite, so we should see some regression towards the mean as the season continues, especially with that many opportunities on a weekly basis.
Drake gets a Week 4 matchup versus the Carolina Panthers, whose DPACS of 25.88 is easily the highest in the NFL – 8.49 points higher than the next highest defense. Over the past six fantasy-relevant weeks, the Panthers are averaging 37.62 fantasy points allowed to the RB position. In 2020, they are averaging 42.8. This is one of the softest positional matchups in the NFL, and despite Drake letting you down for two weeks in a row, start him everywhere you can in Week 4.
Sit Chris Carson/Carlos Hyde
As of right now, I don’t know if Chris Carson is going to be suiting up for Week 4 or not. But, be it Carson or Carlos Hyde, who cares? Don’t start either one. If Carson does play, there is a better than zero chance he re-injures his knee that was sprained after a dirty alligator roll by Trysten Hill. And let’s face it, if we roll the dice and start Hyde, Carson will play the whole dang game.
Aside from that ambiguity, the Seattle Seahawks travel to south beach and take the field against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins DPACS is 23rd, 8.26, and their average points allowed, 24.98, ranks 17th. This isn’t a great matchup for running backs, but especially when they are banged up or middling on the depth chart.
With the fourth-highest over/under for the week, this is aligning to be a shoot out between Russell Wilson and Fitzpatrick. Wilson is “cooking” with gas recently and the Seahawks are not going to need to lean on the ground game. Start all your pass-catchers in this matchup, but sit the Seattle running backs.
Continue onto page 2 for which WRs and TEs you should start or sit for Week 4 in fantasy football.