Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 4 of the 2019 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FFN. FFN rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Travis Kelce, or DeAndre Hopkins. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
This is an easy start choice. Nobody allows more points on the board than Miami, so it comes as no surprise to see Rivers ranked 5th this week among all QBs. The Dolphins are giving up an average of 291 yards through the air and have surrendered 10 passing touchdowns already. They've given up an average of almost 27 fantasy points to Prescott, Brady, and Jackson.
Start 'em Jared Goff (LAR, QB)
Jared Goff completed 24-of-38 passes for 269 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Rams' Week 3 win over the Browns. We were expecting a bit more out of him, but he'll make it up to us this week against the Bucs who just got torched by rookie QB Daniel Jones for 32 fantasy points.
Start 'em Daniel Jones (NYG, QB)
He's got the starting job and he's ranked 12th this week on FFN. After completing 23-of-36 passes for 336 yards and two scores, PLUS adding four carries for 28 yards and another two touchdowns on the ground in New York's thrilling Week 3 victory over the Bucs, Daniel Jones was an upgrade over Eli. It's not a stretch to consider Jones a QB1 the rest of the way given his rushing floor. Look for a decent game against the Redskins who are giving up an average of 24 fantasy points on the season.
Start 'em Austin Ekeler (LAC, RB)
With Melvin Gordon returning to the team this week and on the field next week, this might be the last time that we see the kind of workload that we've become accustomed to with Austin Ekeler. Fortunately, he'll go out with a bang against the Dolphins who have given up more yards on the ground than any other NFL team.
Start 'em Marlon Mack (IND, RB)
Marlon Mack rushed 16 times for 74 yards and one touchdown in the Colts' Week 3 win over the Falcons. He added two catches for 14 yards on three targets. Playing through a minor calf issue, Mack took awhile to get rolling in this one, but a big 26-yard run late in the fourth quarter helped seal the three-point win. Mack will be all systems go as an RB1 in a gorgeous home draw against the 1-2 Raiders who were just steamrolled by Dalvin Cook in Week 3. Especially if the Colts are without T.Y. Hilton (quad), Mack should be the focal point of the offense.
Start 'em Chris Thompson (WAS, RB)
Chris Thompson rushed seven times for 29 yards and caught 4-of-5 targets for 78 yards in the Redskins' Week 3 loss to the Bears. It was a productive PPR night for Thompson, though it was definitely aided by garbage time where Thompson registered his longest catch-and-run of the evening for 33 yards. It also happened to be the Redskins' longest play from scrimmage. Thompson is averaging 5.3 catches for 64.7 yards through three games. He's 100% worth owning in PPR leagues ahead of Week 4 against the Giants. He's the pass-game back for an offense that will always be chasing on the scoreboard.
Start 'em Cooper Kupp (LAR, WR)
Ranked inside our Top 10 for the first time is Cooper Kupp who exploded for 102 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams' Week 3 win over the Browns. He tied Brandin Cooks for the team-lead in targets and finished just behind Cooks in receiving. It's the second straight week Kupp has went over 100 yards. Kupp has looked faster and stronger than he was before his 2018 knee surgery. He should stay hot with a matchup with the Bucs in Week 4.
Start 'em Terry McLaurin (WAS, WR)
Terry McLaurin has at least five catches, 60 yards, and one touchdown in all three games to open his rookie season and has been the lone bright spot on this entire team. McLaurin beat slot CB Buster Skrine for his 15-yard score Monday night. McLaurin took a hard fall on the final drive and wasn't in on the final couple plays to close out the game. It could be something to watch in practice this week ahead of a cake Week 4 matchup against the Giants. Ranked 25th this week, McLaurin will be a fringe WR2.
Start 'em D.J. Moore (CAR, WR)
The Texans gave up 43 fantasy points to Keenan Allen last week. Moore won't be able to do the same, but he's in line for a nice game. He only caught one pass last week, but he certainly made it count. Moore ran across the middle of the field, caught the pass from Kyle Allen in stride, and raced almost untouched to the end zone. Prior to this one, Moore had drawn a total of 24 targets through two games. Curtis Samuel and Greg Olsen were targeted seven times each to lead the team. Look for Moore to regain WR2/3 status this week in Houston.
Start 'em Will Dissly (SEA, TE)
Will Dissly has hauled in three touchdown in two weeks and his fifth in seven NFL appearances. He's not breaking any yardage records but the 2018 fourth-rounder makes for a perfectly suitable tight-end streamer. We'll see how he fares this week against a Cardinals defense that has been eaten alive by tight ends including Greg Olsen (6-72-1), Mark Andrews (8-112-1) and T.J. Hockenson (6-131-1).
Start 'em Greg Olsen (CAR, TE)
Greg Olsen caught 6-of-7 targets for 75 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers' Week 3 win over the Cardinals. Olsen picked up right where T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews left off and dusted Arizona for a pair of red-zone scores while running free in the middle of the field for easy pitch-and-catch with Kyle Allen. Olsen has turned back the clock to start the year and is a stud TE1 heading into Week 4 at Houston.
Start 'em Los Angeles Chargers (LAC, DEF)
The Chargers are playing Miami. Enough said.
Start 'em Ka'imi Fairbairn (HOU, K)
Don't give up on Ka'imi Fairbairn just yet. Last year's stud kicker should rebound nicely against the Panthers who have surrendered an average of 9.3 fantasy points to Zane Gonzalez, Matt Gay, and Greg Zuerlein.
Sit 'em Josh Allen (BUF, QB)
Josh Allen has done very well over the first three games of the season. That may change as he faces the Patriots who have surrendered the fewest yards through the air and points on the board this year.
Sit 'em Baker Mayfield (CLE, QB)
It's not time to panic on Baker Mayfield yet, but you may not want to start him this week. Even with an improved supporting cast, Mayfield has taken a step back through the first three games. Things won't get any easier for Mayfield with a matchup against the Ravens in Week 4.
Sit 'em Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
A quarterback that doesn't throw isn't a quarterback who can put up big fantasy numbers. The Vikings are a run-first team. Cousins has thrown just 21 passes per game including a career-low of just 10 times in Week 1. Combine that with a Bears defense that hasn't allowed any QB to get more than 13 fantasy points, and Cousins becomes completely unstartable.
Sit 'em Peyton Barber (TB, RB)
It's difficult to project which back is going to produce each week for Tampa Bay. Barber handled as many touches as teammate Ronald Jones but again looked the part of a backup in rushing for a measly 48 yards on 3.7 YPC. Coach Bruce Arians has remained insistent on keeping Barber as the team's starter, but a change is presumably coming before long given the explosiveness Jones has (surprisingly) showed in a limited showing through three games. Barber's merely a desperation play in Week 4 against the Rams.
Sit 'em Dion Lewis (TEN, RB)
It's the Derrick Henry show in Tennessee and there just isn't room for Dion Lewis. He rushed just three times for 13 yards in the Titans' Week 3 loss to the Jaguars, adding a seven-yard reception. Even with the Titans in negative game script all evening, Lewis could not break through for a bigger role. The change-of-pace back has just 14 touches through three games. His RB4 value is disappearing fast.
Sit 'em Jordan Howard (PHI, RB)
Jordan Howard handled 11 carries for 37 yards and one score in Philadelphia's Week 3 loss to the Lions. He got a majority of Philadelphia's goal line work, which allowed him to punch it in from one-yard out on the Eagles' second offensive possession. His 11 carries still trailed Miles Sanders' total (13), but the veteran did stay involved on the ground as the rookie was simultaneously used on the field at the same time as a receiver. Howard's weekly production is tied directly to his touchdowns at the end of the day, which isn't something worth chasing outside of deeper leagues.
Sit 'em Stefon Diggs (MIN, WR)
Diggs has been a casualty of a run-first offense. He has seen two, seven and three targets in the first three games of the season. He never had fewer than four targets in a game throughout the entire 2018 season. The stud fifth-year WR is certainly talented enough to mix in the occasional splash performance, but the floor will likely remain low for every pass catcher involved in the Vikings' run-first offense. Diggs is best approached as a WR3 for this week's tough matchup in Chicago.
Sit 'em John Brown (BUF, WR)
John Brown caught 4-of-5 passes for 51 yards in Week 3 against the Bengals. His biggest play was a 27-yard catch where he adjusted his route to get open for Josh Allen. He was otherwise quiet, with Cole Beasley (10 targets) and Dawson Knox (three catches, 67 yards) playing larger roles. Brown is still the clear No. 1 receiver, but Knox's emergence is a threat to his target share, and a matchup with the Patriots and their top-ranked secondary makes this an easy sit.
Sit 'em Emmanuel Sanders (DEN, WR)
Sanders will have big games like he did in the first two weeks and then come back to Earth like he did last week with just 2 catches for 10 yards. Sanders will be a volume-based WR3/4 this week against the Jaguars but his outlook is partially dependent on if Jalen Ramsey (back, illness, trade demands) suits up.
Sit 'em Jared Cook (NO, TE)
Jared Cook reeled in one catch for seven yards on two targets Sunday in the Saints’ Week 3 win over the Seahawks. He committed an embarrassing drop in the third quarter, showing non-existent reflexes on a well-thrown ball by Teddy Bridgewater. Cook was a staple of the Raiders' passing game last year but that hasn't been the case at all in New Orleans, where the veteran has quickly vanished from the TE1 radar with five catches for 69 scoreless yards through three games. Until the 32-year-old proves otherwise, Cook should be treated as a TE2 going forward. He'll be back home to face the Cowboys in Week 4.
Sit 'em Trey Burton (CHI, TE)
Trey Burton caught all four targets for 20 yards in the Bears' Week 3 win over the Redskins. It's an improvement for Burton after he went 2-5 on three targets in his season debut last week. Burton has zero upside and a scary-low floor as a mid-range TE2 ahead of a Week 4 draw against the Vikings.
Sit 'em Cleveland Browns (CLE, DEF)
The Browns defense looked scary good during the preseason, but they haven't shown up in the same way for the past three weeks. A matchup with a Ravens offense isn't likely to change that. They will need to bring pressure on Lamar Jackson all night if they want to do better than their average of just 3 fantasy points per game.
Sit 'em Cairo Santos (TEN, K)
Somehow the Titans put up points on the scoreboard but don't expect much from Cairo Santos. Atlanta has given up an average of just 6 fantasy points to Vinatieri, Elliott, and Bailey through three weeks.