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Fantasy Football: Week 4 Start, Sit and Sleepers

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Another week, another chance for craziness. Let’s break out the crystal ball!

Miami Dolphins v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

If last week in the NFL and in fantasy football taught us anything, it’s that we know nothing.

Let’s take a look at how the crazy Week 3 impacted our projections.

QUARTERBACK (3/3): Arizona hadn’t looked very good coming into Week 3, but neither had Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky. This continued as Chicago got the win, but Trubisky finished 26th among fantasy quarterbacks. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins both delivered on their respective start and (anti)sleeper predictions. Granted, Cousins’ drop in points came for other reasons.

RUNNING BACKS (3/3): Saquon Barkley bad good on my starting advice while Jordan Howard was able to bounce back into the Top-15. Lamar Miller was my sit and while he finished 20th (RB2 in 12-team leagues), sitting him was definitely the right choice for your DFS players.

RECEIVERS (1/3): Once again my worst grouping of the week. Fitzgerald’s PPR machine didn't get going against Chicago. Austin Seferian-Jenkins made good on my sit advice after being a popular sleeper option in Week 3, and while I got my sleeper tight end team right it was Vance McDonald who racked up the points, not Jesse James.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS 2.5/3): Chicago finished with fantasy football’s third ranked defense in Week 3, making those who started them very happy. Pittsburgh was gifted a few turnovers and even forced one. But, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense didn’t quite turn-in starting points, so we’ll call that half a point for the sits. Our sleeper (Philadelphia Eagles) came in as DST9, so you were in the green if you play in anything bigger than an eight team league.

OVERALL (79%): An increase in overall accuracy this week. But we want to get it higher. Let’s get to it.

QUARTERBACKS

Los Angeles Chargers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

START: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (vs San Francisco)

Rivers has been strong and steady through three weeks putting up 68 total points while completing nearly 75% of his passes thus far.

San Francisco is surrendering 23.43 points per game to quarterbacks so far, and Rivers should be able to come in somewhere around 25 points for you this weekend.

SIT: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs Cleveland Browns)

The Browns have a solid defense, and the Raiders have sputtered out of the gates in the second Gruden era of their franchise history.

Oakland could get the win, but Carr’s two touchdown to five interception ratio up to this point doesn’t inspire any confidence in this match-up.

SLEEPER: Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs New Orleans Saints)

New Orleans still doesn’t have their secondary figured out and this is only going to help the younger Manning brother get it figured out, for one week.

Manning has completed 80% of his aimed throws this year, tied for seventh on the season. He should be able to aim plenty against this Saints defense.

RUNNING BACKS

Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

START: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (vs Detroit Lions)

Concerns about the Cowboys offense could be put on hold for one week. Especially if they ride the legs of the their star running back.

The Lions are allowing more than 25-points per week in fantasy football leagues to running backs, and Elliott is still Top-10 despite his team’s struggles early on.

SIT: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Tampa’s defensive worries are in the back end more than the front.

With one of the better linebacker duos in Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David, along with the defensive line stacked with Gerald McCoy, Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry, Howard figures to do little against this unit.

SLEEPER: Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

If there is a Bears running back who could make a splash play or two and end up with some contributing points to your fantasy success this week, it’ll be Tarik Cohen.

The second-year running back hasn’t touched the ball more than eight times in a single game this season. He had eight or fewer touches in 2017 eight times, and the Bears went 2-6 in those games.

In their 2017 loss to the Buccaneers, Cohen had eight touches in the receiving game alone, and he turned those into 55-yards. His running totals were significantly lower, but his ability to impact the game on offense is clear.

Chicago will need to get both backs involved to enjoy sustained success, and given Cohen’s performance as a receiver last season, he should get some opportunities here.

RECEIVERS (WR/TE)

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

START: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (vs Denver Broncos)

A no-brainer for year-long leagues. But is he worth the price tag in DFS? Yes.

Currently the league’s top tight end in fantasy football production, Kelce has scored seven more points than the second-place guy (Tampa Bay’s O.J. Howard) despite having more than ten fewer targets than the league leader in that stat-line (Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz).

Playing the Broncos this week, big players show up in big games, and this rivalry is one of those.

Also, Denver is allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends among active teams this week.

SIT: Dallas Cowboys Receivers (vs Detroit Lions)

Lets see. Tavon Austin has the most fantasy points of any Cowboys receiver with 29 (WR50). Cole Beasley has the most targets (16), but has only converted those in 25 fantasy football points. Michael Gallup has the team’s largest average depth of target according to Pro Football Focus, and it’s only 13-yards.

Until Dak Prescott and this pass offense get things figured out, it’s a hard pass on any receiver with a star on his helmet.

SLEEPER: Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (vs Cincinnati Bengals)

We’re going for it here, folks. Hooper is far from a focal point of this offense, but is still 17th among fantasy football tight ends in targets with thirteen.

Only eight tight ends have more than fifteen right now, so he isn’t far off from being a Top-10 targeted tight end.

This week he draws a Cincinnati defense which gave up three catches to the PanthersIan Thomas who had been targeted no more than six times coming into Week 3.

Hooper may not be a star, but he’s better than Thomas. So is his quarterback. With the Bengals focused on the myriad of other weapons Atlanta possesses, this is a sneaky spot for Hooper to have a good week.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

New England Patriots v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

START: Jacksonville Jaguars (vs New York Jets)

The Jaguars have the eighth highest fantasy football points output in the NFL right now. Going up against this Jets offense should help them climb in or near the Top-5.

SIT: Denver Broncos (vs Kansas City Chiefs)

I don’t think the Chiefs offense will play the way they have every week, but I don’t think it’s going to stop this weekend.

The Chiefs are allowing negative points per game on average for opposing fantasy defenses. Yeah. Stay away from that.

SLEEPER: New York Jets (vs Jacksonville Jaguars)

The Jets have a really solid defense. It’s the offense that’s the problem.

Jacksonville knows the struggle all too well, and we may see a game where both defenses come in producing points which make every player happy.

Poll

Which Week 4 Sleeper is the best fantasy football play?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Jets Defense vs Jacksonville
    (7 votes)
  • 16%
    Austin Hooper vs Cincinnati
    (6 votes)
  • 16%
    Tarik Cohen vs Tampa Bay
    (6 votes)
  • 47%
    Eli Manning vs New Orleans
    (17 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now

This wraps up Week 4 of our fantasy football start, sit and sleeper projections! The Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins are on byes this weekend. Good luck!