NFL Week 4 Starts and Sits
By: Logan Lepiscopo
Back with another week of starts and sits! Last week out of the 12 starts and sits 50% of the players selected ended up being the correct decision. The biggest hits in my opinion were the decisions to sit Russell Wilson and start Greg Dortch. We have a great slate of games for week three, so let us hop right into the guys on your fantasy teams you need to start or perhaps bench this week.
Start ‘em – Geno Smith (@ DET) Projected: 20.9
This may sound foolish to tell somebody to start Geno Smith, but why tell you to start the obvious guys like Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts when I could give a person that has a favorable matchup and the opportunity to destroy his projection. The Lions are allowing roughly 266 passing yards per game and 31 points per game. This past week versus the Falcons Geno Smith passed for 300 yards and piled on two touchdowns, he also had an interception but still ranked 7th among all quarterbacks for week three. The Lions give up the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks (23.9), week one allowing 24.7, week two Detroit allowed 28.8, and last week giving up 18.3. If necessary, start Geno Smith in your league, obviously if you have a better starting quarterback with a good matchup do not replace them for Geno Smith. Smith should have a good week against the Detroit Lions but do not force him into your starting lineup because his matchup is really good.
Sit ‘em – Matthew Stafford (@ SF) Projected: 19.8
Stafford has not been well this season, averaging an interception a game and less than a touchdown a game. Matthew Stafford has one top 10 QB finish in the first three weeks of the season and that came in week two versus the Atlanta Falcons. Through the first three weeks of the season Matthew Stafford ranks 22nd among quarterbacks, behind names like Daniel Jones, Baker Mayfield, and Ryan Tannehill none of which somebody would want to have in their starting quarterback spot. Stafford finds himself matched up against a very tough 49ers defense that is allowing just 9.6 points (lineups.com) to opposing quarterbacks on average. Stafford’s season average is 14 points per game, and yet he is still projected 19.8 points. The 49ers are averaging over two sacks per game and the Rams are giving up three sacks per game. Sit Stafford this week with confidence, he has not been performing well this season and the trend will continue in week four.
Start ‘em – Jamaal Williams (vs. SEA) Projected: 14.2
D’Andre Swift has officially been ruled out for week four versus the Seattle Seahawks which means Jamaal Williams will be the starting running back in Detroit. Last week Jamaal Williams stole the show racking up 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Jamaal Williams is currently the RB8 in PPR formats and this week should do nothing but benefit Williams. If Cordarrelle Patterson can go 17/141/1 against the Seahawks there is no reason Jamaal Williams cannot do the same thing, maybe slightly better because of the significantly better offensive line. Amon-Ra St. Brown is also out this week with an ankle injury which means Jared Goff’s top passing option will be excluded from the game plan, leaving Jamaal Williams in position to get even more targets out of the backfield. For those that are in desperate need of a running back and were able to scoop Jamaal Williams off of the waiver wire, make sure that he is plugged into your starting lineup.
Sit ‘em – Clyde Edwards-Helaire (@ TB) Projected: 11.9
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is currently the RB4 in PPR scoring formats which to me is very surprising considering last week against Indianapolis he finished with 0 rushing yards on just 7 carries. Edwards-Helaire has been used predominantly as a pass catching running back through three weeks of football averaging four receptions for 38 receiving yards and a touchdown. While his average receiving performance is able to cover his 11.9 projection the odds are unlikely that he does so versus this stout Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. The Buccaneers defense allows 11.6 PPR points on average to the running back position, to get a little more in depth the defense allows running backs roughly four receptions for 15 yards a week. The 11.9 projection does not look like starter quality as it is and the matchup against the Buccaneers should be more the reason to sit him right onto your bench.
Start ‘em – Isaiah McKenzie (@ BAL) Projected: 9.6
The Baltimore Ravens are allowing wide receivers 56.1 PPR points per week, the most in the league up to this point. The Bills love to throw the football and against such a favorable matchup I see no reason as to why they would not continue that trend. Despite being the wide receiver three on Buffalo’s offense he still gets his fair share of targets, including last week’s matchup against the Dolphins where he saw nine targets and put together seven receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. This week I expect a very similar stat line for McKenzie, Gabriel Davis has said that he is going to play Sunday, but if he is not 100% expect to see limited snaps considering he completely missed practice on Thursday. McKenzie is in line to have a big week for the Bills, in a game that I expect to be a shootout Josh Allen is going to be letting the football fly and McKenzie is going to be the guy to get the football thrown his way early and often.
Sit ‘em – Allen Lazard (vs. NE) Projected: 11.2
Despite having a lack of big-name talent in the secondary the Patriots defense has been very impressive defending the pass so far this season. Lazard missed the opening week for the Packers but since that missed first week, he has managed to grab a touchdown in each of the two contests he has appeared in. I hate to break it to Allen Lazard but there is a new sheriff in town, and he goes by the name of Romeo Doubs. In Doubs first NFL start he posted a stat line of eight receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown… he caught 100% of passes thrown his way. The Packers would be foolish to not start Doubs in week four against the Patriots especially considering the lack of film that the team will have on him going into the week. Lazard will still get his fair share of targets, and yes it was just one week of Romeo Dobs starting but with a bad matchup and a new wide receiver on the rise in Green Bay it is all adding up to equal a down week for Allen Lazard.
Start ‘em – David Njoku (@ ATL) Projected: 9.9
David Njoku balled out last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, nine receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown. Njoku did not practice on Thursday which could be a bad sign about his ability to play on Sunday, but nonetheless this is what I am riding with. The Atlanta Falcons have been terrible at stopping tight ends so far this season, allowing 20.4 fantasy points per game to tight ends and giving up 6.3 points per game in the red zone. David Njoku should be used as a big-time red zone threat for the Browns, especially with the average of a six-point touchdown right there for him to be able to grab. Through the first three weeks of the season Njoku has progressed into a bigger role in the offense, last week’s 10 targets may not be retainable considering his injury that he is dealing with but if he is labeled as good to go for the week expect Jacoby Brissett to target him early and often.
Sit ‘em – Logan Thomas (@ DAL) Projected: 7.4
Logan Thomas went M.I.A in the Commanders last matchup versus the Philadelphia Eagles catching two passes for a measly five yards. That was after coming off of a 3 reception, 37 yard, and one touchdown game. I will say I was one of those to scramble to get Logan Thomas off of the waiver wire after that performance and he was disappointed. There may be a little bit of a grudge being held here but coming off of a bad week into a bad matchup adds up to it being another poor fantasy performance for Logan Thomas. The Dallas Cowboys give up just 6.3 PPR points per week to tight ends and have yet to allow a single point to tight ends when the opponent enters the redzone.
Start ‘em – Green Bay Packers (vs. NE) Projected: 8.2
No Mac Jones, leaves Brian Hoyer in as the starter for the New England Patriots and I expect the Packers defense to jump at every opportunity they get to create turnovers and sack Hoyer. The defensive unit for the Packers has been very solid through the first three weeks of football and I expect the trend to continue this week against the Patriots. The New England Patriots allow opposing defenses to score 9.7 points on average each week, allowing almost two sacks every game and even almost two interceptions every game. A veteran backup quarterback is coming in to play a defense that has been shutting down opposing quarterbacks allowing less than 200 passing yards a game and just 15 points per game. #GoPackGo is the motto this week, start the defense with confidence against the mastermind Bill Belichick.
Sit ‘em – Philadelphia Eagles (vs. JAC) Projected: 5.6
The Jacksonville Jaguars have come out of nowhere this season shocking everybody with how they have performed through the first three weeks of the season. The Jaguars average 28 PPG and the Eagles average 28.7 PPG so I expect this matchup to be a full-on shootout. Trevor Lawrence has looked like a much better passer so far this season, and despite the Eagles defense being very stingy against the pass allowing the fifth least passing yards per game (296.7). Due to the high probability of this game being very high scoring despite the eagles being a standout defense so far this season I think this week would be a good move to sit them.
Start ‘em – Greg Joseph (@ NO) Projected: 7.5
A little bit of kicking action in London this week, both my start and sit of the week for kickers will be playing at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Greg Joseph needs to be in your starting lineup this week, after pulling from behind a 28-24 win over the Lions last week the Vikings offense has been in question. But I think this week against the New Orleans Saints is when the team gets back into a rhythm and Greg Joseph finds himself on the field often whether that be extra points or a field goal. The New Orleans Saints are allowing opposing kickers 13.3 fantasy points per game through the first three weeks and with a high-powered offense like the Vikings I can see that average being covered no problem by Greg Joseph.
Sit ‘em – Wil Lutz (vs. MIN) Projected: 7.2
Wil Lutz you disappointed me last week as my start of the week putting up zero points, and I refuse to make the same mistake again. Sit Wil Lutz, the Saints will be led by Andy Dalton this week, and quite frankly I do not see that as much of an upgrade from Jameis Winston. The Saints offense has been struggling this season, the teams 1-2 record shows that putting the ball into the endzone has been a struggle. The Saints have scored just 17 points per game this season and with all the weapons on that offense it seems almost impossible to not be scoring 21+ points every week. I doubt many people will be starting Wil Lutz regardless of his zero-point week last week or not but the Saints offense being terrible and this week having no Jameis Winston and likely no Michael Thomas and perhaps no Alvin Kamara, I find it too risky to put Lutz into a fantasy lineup.