By: Andrew Jacques @mclovinffaffair
As with every week, who to start and who to sit is a big decision for fantasy managers. I’ll always try to get straight to the point with some very basic ground rules – If players were drafted in the top 36 or are top 6 at their position, I’m not going to talk about them in the “start” column. With that high draft capital and/or performance thus far, I’m assuming they’re in your starting lineup. I may mention them in the sit column if it’s a particularly bad matchup, they have some sort of injury, or their status as a startable asset is otherwise questionable. That said, let’s get to it!
Ryan Tannehill- The Jets have been a mess on both sides of the football – That means Tannehill should have an easy night against one of the league’s worst teams. AJ Brown may be out with injury, but don’t let that scare you away from a matchup that Tannehill should be dominant in.
Matt Ryan – The falcons have been uninspiring thus far, but the Washington Football Team’s vaunted defense has fallen very short in the first 3 weeks. They have the 32nd ranked pass defense and have essentially put no pressure on opposing quarterbacks. This should be a chance for the falcons to expose them further.
Sam Darnold – Again, he makes the list. The Panthers play the Cowboys and, without CMC in the lineup, they will have to rely pretty heavily on the passing attack. In this high-scoring matchup, I can see a ton of points being scored and most of it through the air for the Panthers.
Joe Burrow – The jaguars DB group is bad. They also just traded away their best one, CJ Henderson. They don’t have much of a pass rush, and I think they’re going to put up some points against the Bengals. Ride Burrow this week.
Robby Anderson – He’s honestly one of my least favorite players in the NFL, I think because of his weird profile picture on ESPN. That should tell you how strongly I feel about him starting this week. DJ Moore will likely be shadowed by Diggs and, if we rewind to last year, Robby Andersons targets were assured in weeks where CMC wasn’t playing. He’ll resume his “dump off” featured role again this week.
Bryan Edwards – He’s been getting more utilization of late. Playing against the rockstar Justin Herbert, this should be a fairly high-scoring affair. Carr has been on fire the past few weeks, and I expect any defensive coordinator worth their salt to try and take Darren Waller out of the picture. That leaves Ruggs and Edwards, and, between the two, Edwards has shown out more for Carr. The rapport is finally being built.
Any of the Cincinnati WR’s – I can see any or all of them finishing as top 24 WR’s. The Jaguars are a train wreck and are trading away CJ Henderson. That leaves an already weak DB group even further strapped.
James Robinson – The Jaguars finally gave him the workload he should have in a backfield devoid of talent. Volume is king in fantasy football and that applies here. Run JRob out there and don’t look back.
Zack Moss – I don’t really like him, but he was getting high-value touches last week against the WFT. They play a pretty meh Houston team this week and are expected to dominate. That leaves a lot of clock burning at the end of the game, and, between him and Singletary, I like Moss’s odds.
Josh Jacobs or Peyton Barber (if Jacobs is out) – This is gross, but the Raiders used Barber effectively in week 3, and he topped 100 yards. I don’t expect that exactly in week 4 against the Chargers, but let’s take a look at their stats. Week 1, they gave up 90+ to Gibson, Week 2, they gave up 60 to Pollard and 95 to Zeke, and week 3, they gave up 100 to CEH, who hasn’t been able to run on anybody. Whoever the lead RB is in that backfield, I’d consider playing them.
Dallas Goedert – The Chiefs will score early and often on this demoralized Eagles team. Jalen Hurts isn’t a very good QB and needs to target his TE’s. Last week it was Ertz; this week, it’ll be Goedert.
Noah Fant – Big letdown in week 3; look for him to bounce back in week 4. The Ravens defense is good, but I remember a freaky athletic TE tearing them up in week 1. With game script lending to more passing plays then against the Jets last week, play Fant with confidence.
Streaming defense of the week – New Orleans Saints. The Giants are bad; Shepherd is dealing with a hamstring injury. Engram isn’t reestablished coming off an injury. Saquon is still working back into his full-time role. Daniel Jones shows flashes but is somewhat uninspiring. The Saints have a good defense. Play em.
Teddy Bridgewater – Playing the Ravens defense and pass rush, I expect the yards to come hard. He’s also dealing with only 1 of his first-string WR’s. Sit him if you can.
Mack Jones – He’s playing against the TB Buccaneers, and there will be some unfortunate expectations as he tries to live up to the NFL GOAT. At best, the Patriots try to control the clock and establish the run (bad for Mac). At worst, they have him try to match the Bucs in some kind of a shootout because that’s not something he’s ready for (bad for Mac). Sit Mac.
Famous Jameis – The Giants Defense isn’t bad, and Jameis isn’t very good. I’d sit him if I could.
Ben Roethlisberger/Mason Rudolph – The oline is terrible, and even though they’re playing Green Bay, he’s washed and bad.If Mason comes in, I expect pressure he’s not used to and a banged-up WR group.
Chase Claypool – It hurts my heart to have him here. With Juju and Diontae banged up, you’ll be tempted to play Chase. But with Alexander playing at a very high level and Big Ben’s arm being completely dust, let him sit until something changes substantially in Pittsburgh.
De’Andre Hopkins – Look, I’m not putting his name in here lightly. But he was hurting last week, saw very little involvement, and will be up against a killer Rams defense this week. I wouldn’t be shocked if Ramsey shadows him and shuts him down, as he’s known to do. IF YOU HAVE A REALLY GOOD OTHER OPTION, I’d recommend playing them. Otherwise, go ahead and start him because you almost have to.
SF RB’s – Until we get some clarity on who is starting and what the workload looks like, I’m really not enthusiastic about any of them. Lightning could strike; I’m just not counting on it.
David Montgomery – He’s been solid so far, and I think the Bears are imploding. That leads me to think Montgomery could suffer another week like the last… and that’s gross.
Any Jets RB – They’re just a bad team, getting shut out twice in 3 weeks. Sit em.
Jonnu Smith/Hunter Henry – We all thought the offense would run through the tight ends, but that has failed to materialize thus far. We are still waiting after another disappointing week 3.