Start: Philip Rivers
The ninth-ranked quarterback for fantasy points, Philip Rivers has been rewarding his fantasy owners with 17 or more points in every game this season. This week he gets an Oakland Raiders defense that allowed Ryan Tannehill and Baker Mayfield, in his first start, to throw for a combined 584 yards as well as five touchdowns. With an average 322 yards vs. the Raiders in 2017 while throwing a combined 4 TDs and zero interceptions), Rivers is a top-7 play for me.
Sit: Russell Wilson
Since putting up 22 points against the Denver Broncos in week one, Russell Wilson has been held to less than 17 points in his past three matchups, including a nine-point performance vs. the Arizona Cardinals in week four. Now, he faces the 4-0 Los Angeles Rams and their star-studded defense. The unit has allowed the seven fewest fantasy points to QBs this season with just Kirk Cousins putting up more than 17 points when he did so last week. I expect Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh to live in the Seattle backfield with a Swiss cheese of an offensive line matching up against them. Wilson is outside my top 15.
Sleeper: Josh Rosen
Josh Rosen’s numbers in his first career start don’t do him justice to how much better he played. Under center with an offense that averaged 133 passing yards per game for the three games, Rosen put up 180 yards on the day, which is a season-high. He also had opportunities to put up bigger stats, but his receivers dropped the ball. With the San Francisco 49ers next on tap, a team that has given up the eighth most fantasy points to QBs, Rosen might not find a better matchup this season when it comes to opposing defense and quarterback. The 49ers have also severely struggled to stop the air attack for both yards and touchdowns. They’ve allowed over 300 yards in two of the four games and have surrendered 11 touchdowns to just one interception in that span. Rosen is an interesting option in 2-QB leagues.
Running Backs (PPR)
Start: T.J. Yeldon
A top ten running back a quarter of the way through the season, T.J. Yeldon has been a bargain beast for fantasy owners with the injury to Leonard Fournette as he’s averaging 16 fantasy points per game with three matchups having 15 or more points. With the undefeated Chiefs coming to Jacksonville with its high-powered offense, I expect Jacksonville to pound the rock to keep Patrick Mahomes on the sidelines. Kansas City gives up the most fantasy points to running backs this season with eight, yes eight, players from the position to score more than 11 points in the first four games. Yeldon is a top-15 play for me with top-10 upside.
Sit: Dalvin Cook
With an average draft position of 13.6, according to ESPN, Dalvin Cook has been a complete disappointment so far for fantasy owners. His 28.50 points in PPR scoring is behind the likes of Wendell Smallwood, Mike Davis and Corey Clement. Two of those guys are Eagles and neither is the leading point scorer for the team. The offensive line has been atrocious and I don’t see it getting any better with the Philadelphia Eagles next up on the schedule. The unit has given up a season high of 36 yards to one running back so far this season and has allowed just one rushing touchdown. There’ve been two out of eight backs that have scored more than 10 points against the Eagles with one of them scoring the only touchdown they’ve allowed and the other recording nine catches. Cook is an RB2 for me this week.
Sleeper: Aaron Jones
After coming back from a two-game suspension, Aaron Jones has looked very impressive averaging over six yards a carry and a touchdown on 17 carries through two games. Jones also saw nearly double the carries (6 to 11) from week three to four and should consider seeing a solid workload as the most explosive option in the backfield. He’ll be facing a Detroit Lions team that has allowed three running backs to score more than 22 points against them and have given up the fifth most fantasy points to RBs this season. Jones is a top-30 play for me.
Wide Receivers (PPR)
Start: Stefon Diggs
Despite a new quarterback under center, Stefon Diggs has continued to put up numbers without missing a beat. The Minnesota wideout has the ninth most fantasy points amongst wide receivers a quarter of the way through the season including two performances where he put up more than 23 points. In a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game against the Eagles, Diggs will be going up against a secondary that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers with nine players scoring 10 or more points against this unit. Coming off a long week where they haven’t played since last Thursday, I expect Diggs to have a top-10 week.
Sit: Sammy Watkins
Sammy Watkins left Monday night’s victory with a hamstring injury that left fantasy owners relying on him to win them close matchups out of luck. He’s expected to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars but doesn’t mean you should play him in your fantasy lineup. Although Watkins had two straight games with more than 18 points before last week’s early exit, those defenses are nothing compared to the secondary that Jacksonville deploys. Just two wide receivers have scored more than 11 points against this unit (Odell Beckham Jr. and Chris Hogan). Those receivers have accounted for the only player with more than 66 yards (Beckham, 111) and the only touchdowns surrendered (Hogan, 2) by this secondary. Watkins is best to be left on the bench unless you want to take a chance on a long touchdown, which he’s always a threat for with Patrick Mahomes under center.
Sleeper: Christian Kirk
After an underwhelming week one, Christian Kirk has rebounded with four receptions and at least five targets in his past three matchups. The 49ers have allowed eight receivers to score more than 13 points, over 100 receiving yards and/or a touchdown so far this season. With a more effective quarterback under center that Kirk has been able to work with Josh Rosen in a game that should be competitive or in Arizona’s favor, Kirk could have a game similar or better than week three where he had 16 points vs. Chicago.
Also: Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. Detroit and Ryan Grant vs. New England
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