Start’em Sit’em Week 4
“You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun” – Shaun Hick
To say this fantasy football season has been challenging would be an understatement. Star players are underperforming, running backs seem as valuable as punters, and every week we scratch our head over a new upset spoiler. This past Sunday, the Buffalo Bills were 17 point underdogs, had a rookie QB starting, and were without the team’s star running back LeSean McCoy; somehow they stomped the Minnesota Vikings 27-6.
I’d like to say things will correct themselves soon, but I think we all expected more by now. Fantasy football is supposed to be a marathon, but it’s currently more like running backwards through a corn maze.
That being said, here’s my Start’em Sit’em Week 4.
Weekly Start’em Sit’em Recap
The following is a recap of my Start’em Sit’em picks for last week.
- Start Matt Ryan – Two weeks in a row I have featured the top fantasy QB in my article!
- Start Jimmy Garoppolo – Strong numbers for a player that wasn’t a lock weekly starter.
- Sit Philip Rivers – Did better than I thought, but still QB15 on the week.
- Sit Phillip Lindsay – I was heavily invested in the Ravens to win this game. Happy with this call.
- Start Kenny Golladay – Easy recommendation, but too chalky to mention in future articles now.
- Start John Brown – 5 catches for 86 yards.
- Sit Randall Cobb – 4 for 23 yards.
- Start Chris Godwin – 5 catches, 74 yards and a score.
- Sit Jesse James – Just one catch for 7 yards.
Not Bad, Not Great
- Start Lamar Miller – Touchdown saved his lousy day.
- Start Quincy Enunwa – 4 for 57 yards.
- Start Texans DEF – The 4 sacks saved it from being worse.
- Sit Broncos DEF – Did better than the defense I said to start.
- Start Carson Wentz – 265 total yards, 1 TD 1 INT. He was a little rusty but wasn’t too bad.
- Start Frank Gore – Both RB’s did nothing; Drake and Gore combined for just 15 rushing yards and the Dolphins still won.
- Sit Marshawn Lynch – 86 total yards and a score. Oops.
- Sit Pierre Garcon – Awful.
- Sit Nelson Agholor – Ice cold without Foles.
- Sit Mike Williams – Thought the coverage would be different. This was the worst call I have made thus far. I should have said, Keenan Allen.
- Start Peyton Barber – Only 8 carries, 10 total for the Bucs on Monday. It’s a passing league for sure.
Final Grade: Another strong week at quarterbacks, but overall my recommendations were better in weeks one and two. My Grade: C+
How Do You Pick Your Starts and Sits?
I plan to use a combination of matchup tools, data, and NFL Betting Lines to pick the best start’em sit’em players to recommend to you. Here is a list of sites I’ll be relying on:
- Daily Roto – I’m using Daily Roto for Redzone data, snap counts, targets, and play calling distribution.
- The Quant Edge – TQE has a WR/CB matchup tool that’ll be perfect for WR Start/Sits.
Start’em Sit’em Quarterbacks
Ravens at Steelers
It may be hard for people to believe, but Joe Flacco is having a pretty good season. He is currently QB14 in 2018 with 889 passing yards, 6 TDs, and 2 INTs. The Ravens offensively are scoring 32.3 points per game, which is a big jump from last season’s offensive output (+7.6).
This week the Ravens take on the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. The Vegas line has the Steelers as three-point favorites, but the over/under is a surprising 51 points. It’s a quick turnaround for the Steelers who played on MNF and have some huge concerns in their secondary. The Steelers have given up 10 passing touchdowns after three weeks, which ranks last in the NFL. If you’re looking to stream a QB in week four, Flacco is a solid Fantasy QB start.
Chiefs at Broncos
If you’re looking to replace Jimmy Garoppolo or you’re streaming your quarterbacks in 2018, Case Keenum would be a top waiver wire plug and play. The Chiefs pride themselves on being offensive juggernauts that aren’t concerned about their defense as they plan to outscore in getting the win. Opponents have been getting sucked into this shootout format and often need to take to the air to catch up with the scoreboard, or are playing from behind and fighting with the clock. It’s a fantasy football dream scenario.
The Chiefs are tied for last in the NFL for allowing the most passing yards per game (362) and have given up eight passing touchdowns. The Chiefs, despite their impressive 3-0 start to the season, are ranked 29th in the league for defensive points allowed, giving up an average of 30.7 points per game. Start Keenum, he has a great matchup at home on primetime Monday Night Football.
Start’em Sit’em Running Backs
Seahawks at Cardinals
The Seahawks have been a mess this season, but they got back on track last week for their season home opener. After weeks of using what looked like a broken RBBC, the Hawks decided to stick with Chris Carson and give him a heavy workload against the Cowboys. The strategy paid off. Carson had 32 carries for 102 yards and a score. He also had two receptions for 22 yards in the passing game. Carson was on the field for 50 of the Seahawks 69 plays (72.4% snap count) which dominated the backfield.
The Cardinals have allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL (5) after three weeks and rank 30th in the league for average rushing yardage allowed per game. Carson is not a sexy pick in fantasy football these days, but he has a great matchup.
Dolphins at Patriots
The Dolphins have a chance to not only extend their three-game winning streak on Sunday but also have an opportunity to take a commanding lead in the AFC East. To do that, the Dolphins will likely mimic the Detroit Lions gameplan from Sunday Night, which was to control the clock and run the ball. Kenyan Drake will be a key piece to the gameplan as the Dolphins will look to exploit the Patriots 31st ranked run defense.
Browns at Raiders
The Browns will feed on that positive energy as they try to duplicate all the things that were working for them against the Jets last week. The media is buzzing about Baker Mayfield getting the start, but Carlos Hyde was a big factor in the Browns first win of the season. Hyde’s 23 carries for 98 yards and two score performance hopefully won’t be overlooked when the team prepares for the Raiders this week.
The Raiders are tied for 29th in the league for defensive yards per carry and are giving up 5.1 yards per touch on the ground. Start Hyde this week.
Eagles at Titans
Jay Ajayi is rumored to be ready for his return this week against the Titans, however, the matchup isn’t great in terms of fantasy production. The Tennessee Titans are a very underrated defense in 2018. They have a defensive points per game average of just 16.7 and surprisingly have yet to give up a rushing score. Led by first-year head coach and former linebacker Mike Vrabel, the Titans are playing very stingy defensive football. If the Eagles RBBC didn’t worry you enough, with Clement, Sproles and even Smallwood getting carries, this week will really get under your skin as this looks to be a harder road game for the team than on first glance.
Dolphins at Patriots
Sony Michel showed flashes of potential against the Lions last week, but the Patriots offense was flat and could not sustain drives. The rookie RB managed just 50 yards on 14 carries (3.57 YPC) on Sunday Night Football. This week the Patriots will try to correct their offensive issues as they take on their AFC East division rivals the Miami Dolphins. Just about every football fan on the planet knows that you should never count out Tom Brady and the Patriots, but this matchup isn’t going to be a walk in the park. The Dolphins are allowing an average of just 89 rushing yards a game which ranks 7th best in the NFL. Until the Patriots can get back on track, it’s hard to have confidence in a player like Michel. The Patriots RBBC is always difficult to predict, even more so when the team is in a funk. Sit’em.
The New England Patriots placed RB Rex Burkhead (neck) on injured reserve Wednesday. It’s likely this is a season-ending injury.
While I’m not going to chicken out of my recommendation to sit Sony Michel, I will admit this does give him a few more potential snaps that I hadn’t expected. If Sony Michel exceeded 9 fantasy points in this game, I would be surprised.