Start: Andy Dalton
After facing a stingy Panthers defense that gives opposing quarterbacks, especially when playing in Carolina, problems every week, Andy Dalton gets an Atlanta team that is riddled with injuries on the defensive side of the ball.
The Falcons have lost both of their starting safeties for the season and stud linebacker Deion Jones is still nursing a foot injury that he sustained in week one.
Despite the tough matchup last week, Dalton still threw for over 350 yards and recorded 18 fantasy points last week. Atlanta poses a softer matchup for the “Red Rifle.” They’ve given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season as they’ve given up six touchdowns to just one interception to go along with 731 passing yards to quarterbacks not named Nick Foles.
Dalton has had a pretty impressive start to the season and should be treated as a top ten quarterback this week.
Sit: Russell Wilson
If you’ve watched any of the Seattle Seahawks games then you understand that the dysfunction on this team starts on the offensive line. Couple that with the scarcity of impact skill players and you’ve got the reason why Russell Wilson, a player that was selected top five at his position in most fantasy drafts, is on the Sit Em’ list for me this week.
Although the Arizona Cardinals lost their defensive coordinator James Bettcher who left to take the same role with the New York Giants, the defense has been pretty solid to start the season despite the mess they’ve got on offense. The Cardinals have surrendered the tenth fewest average fantasy points per game to opposing QBs this season (15.52) with a TD/INT ratio of 3:2. They’re also tied for tenth in the league in sacks as they face an offensive line that has allowed 14 so far this season, tied for most in the league.
All of these factors make this a matchup I’d want to stay away from if I’m a Russell Wilson owner. Players that I’d start over him that could be questioned would be Andy Dalton, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck.
Sleeper: Eli Manning
Coming off the first win on the season, Eli Manning and the New York Giants offense started to look like the unit everyone was so excited to see before the season. The 37-year old looked like he does have enough in the tank for a few more years of playing football and the skill position stars. Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. both totaled over 100 total yards in the win to provide a balanced offense that hadn’t been there in the first two games of the season.
With Drew Brees and the high powered Saints offense coming into town, Manning will need to come out as sharp as he did in Houston, which I believe he will. The Saints give up the most points to opposing quarterbacks and have given up 40 points twice this season – to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Ryan.
They’ve also surrendered 10 passing touchdowns while only intercepting one pass so far. The Saints have only recorded six sacks through three weeks of the season, tied for fourth fewest in the league, which should bode well for a Giants offensive line that has been known for their poor play over the last two seasons.
This matchup seems to have shootout written all over it with explosive players all over the field on both sides. With the liability on the defensive side for the Saints, I expect Manning to have at least a top 15 day at the position if not top 10.
Running Back (PPR)
Start: Lamar Miller
Lamar Miller heads into a week four matchup against an Indianapolis Colts defense that has given up the seventh most fantasy points to running backs this season. Each matchup has had one back with 18 or more points.
Miller has gotten off to an average start to the season, in part to a poor offensive line that ranked 30th by Pro Football Focus for Week 3, but his opponent this week has allowed over 166 yards from scrimmage for running backs, especially in the passing game where they’ve surrendered 27 catches to backs for 230 yards.
Miller should reach his RB2 floor at the very least in this matchup and could push RB1 numbers against a young Indianapolis Colts defense that’s still a work in progress.
Sit: Isaiah Crowell
In his first time returning to Cleveland since leaving in free agency after four seasons with the team, Isaiah Crowell was the MVP of the game for the first half with two rushing touchdowns before Baker Mayfield came in and stole the show.
Up next for him, a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that, aside from a 68-yard touchdown from Saquon Barkley, hasn’t allowed a score and has held backs to less than 57 rushing yards on the season.
Sleeper: Royce Freeman
A breakout star in the preseason, Royce Freeman was highly touted in fantasy drafts as his ADP according to ESPN was higher than proven vets such as Alex Collins, Mark Ingram, Lamar Miller as well as all other rookie backs not named Saquon Barkley.
So far this season, Freeman has passed the 10-point mark just once and has been outshined by fellow rookie back Phillip Lindsay who has 46 more yards on three fewer carries.
With a home matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that gives up the most fantasy points to RBs this season, I anticipate Vance Joseph realizes that his offense can’t go shot for shot with the Chiefs so he runs the rock in an effort to keep Patrick Mahomes and Co. on the sidelines. Although Lindsay has looked the like the better back, his 5-foot-8 165-pound frame would make him the less ideal choice compared to Freeman who’s 6-foot 229 pounds for this strategy.
In a very favorable matchup at home where I see an emphasis on the running game, Freeman should get his third double-digit carry game of the season and has a good chance at his first 100-yard contest.
Wide Receivers (PPR)
Start: Allen Robinson
In his first three games for the Chicago Bears, Allen Robinson has fit the bill for what he was asked to do which is to be a number one option for second-year QB Mitch Trubisky. The fifth-year man is the team leader in targets, catches and yards.
Next on the schedule is the shaky Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary. This group has allowed 48.73 points per game, which is the second most in the league with five players recording 17 or more points. I expect Robinson to bounce back after his lowest fantasy performance this season and should flirt with WR1 type numbers.
Sit: Quincy Enunwa
With rookie quarterback Sam Darnold under center, it has become very clear that Quincy Enunwa is his favorite target. Enunwa has more than double the targets and catches of the next closest guy as well as the tie for the lead in yards and touchdowns. Having to travel down to Jacksonville and face the Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye duo makes me want to stay as far away as possible.
I expect him to be blanketed in coverage and his quarterback to be under duress for the entire game from this elite defense. I look at him as a low-end flex option that should put up 8-10 points due to the volume of targets he should expect.
Sleeper: Sterling Shepard
With Evan Engram going down in the last game, Sterling Shepard was able to put up his best game of the season. A New Orleans Saints secondary that gives up the most fantasy points to wide receivers in town this week and Evan Engram out with an injury.
Shepard, who has at least five targets in every game, should see plenty of looks against a defense that is very vulnerable against the pass. He should be looked at as a flex option but has a good chance of putting up a WR2 stat line.
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