Week 4 was a week of the team stack as the trios of Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, and Mike Williams from the Chargers and Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, and Mark Andrews from the Ravens both combined for over 110 fantasy points. Fantasy teams were killed by Saquon Barkley’s 0.9 points, Chase Edmonds’ 4.4 points, and TJ Hockenson’s 4.4 points. Here I will try to predict the best starts and sits for the week to help you win the week.
Start: Matthew Stafford QB LAR vs NYG
Matthew Stafford is coming off his worst fantasy game of the season against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The good thing about his “worst fantasy game” is that he still threw for 365 yards and a touchdown. A bounce-back is imminent against a banged-up Giants team. Stafford should return to having weekly QB1 finishes as his next three games are against the Giants, Lions, and Texans.
Other upgrades: Sam Darnold vs MIN and Teddy Bridgewater vs LV
Sit: Kirk Cousins QB MIN vs CAR
Carolina has quietly had one of the best defenses in the NFL this season as they have the best pass defense in the NFL and the eighth-best rush defense. Minnesota’s pass offense is very inconsistent, and this game screams downgrade for not just Cousins, but all Vikings offensive players. The Panthers’ secondary will go into the game looking to shut down the Vikings pass attack, and they have a high chance at succeeding in their mission.
Other downgrades Jalen Hurts vs TB and Mac Jones vs DAL
Start: James Robinson RB JAX vs MIA
Many were doubting Robinson after Etienne’s injury and below-average first two weeks, but I stayed confident on the Jacksonville ball carrier. That confidence has paid off as he has averaged 22.6 FPPG over the last three games. Weirdly, he has been getting most of his carries in the first half, and then Trevor Lawrence stops handing the ball off. Expect JRob to keep it rolling against the 9th worst rushing defense in the NFL—at least in the first half.
Other upgrades: Najee Harris vs SEA and DeAndre Swift/Jamaal Williams vs CIN
Sit: Aaron Jones RB GB vs CHI
One of the few bright spots for Chicago this season is that they have a top twelve rushing defense in the NFL. Jones has struggled thus far against top rushing defenses with 9 rushing yards against New Orleans and 48 rushing yards against Pittsburgh. A heavy dose of Aaron Rodgers will certainly be on the Packers’ game plan as they look to attack a weak Bears secondary, which could spell doom for the Green Bay running back.
Other downgrades: Chris Carson/Alex Collins (depending on who’s healthy) vs PIT and Antonio Gibson vs KC
Start: Mike Evans WR TB vs PHI
In almost every fantasy rankings list, Mike Evans was severely underrated. He was a bit volatile, but he is the clear WR1 in this offense and should be started almost every week. On Thursday, he plays a top-three pass defense, but without Rob Gronkowski, he should be a lock for 8+ targets. This is a gutsy pick, but Evans has been on fire thus far, and I expect him to keep that up this week.
Other upgrades: Stefon Diggs vs TEN and Chase Claypool/Diontae Johnson vs SEA
Sit: Marvin Jones WR JAX vs MIA
To put it lightly, Trevor Lawrence has struggled during his first five games as a professional football player. Marvin Jones has looked like his top target in those five games with 36 passes thrown to him. Jones has a tough matchup against star cornerback Xavien Howard, and Lawrence will likely look elsewhere in this Florida battle. I am not starting Marvin Jones in any of my leagues this week, and I am using bench players to replace him in a difficult game.
Other downgrades: Kadarius Toney vs LAR and Amari Cooper vs NE
Start: TJ Hockenson TE DET vs CIN
After a hot start to the season, TJ Hockenson has cooled off with performances of 3.0, 8.2, and 4.2 fantasy points. The Bengals’ defense has recently been the antidote for fantasy slumps. I am jumping on this trend and confidently starting Hock everywhere I can. Expect a performance from TJ Hockenson similar to what we saw over the first two weeks against a very weak defense.
Other upgrades: Mike Gesicki vs JAX
Sit: Dalton Schultz TE DAL vs NE
Dalton Schultz has been on fire lately as Dak Prescot has thrown him 23 targets in the last 3 games. However, he is my downgrade of the week against the New England Patriots. They have the fifth-best pass defense in the NFL and will be looking to shut down Dallas’ potent pass offense. If you are debating between Schultz and another tight end, choose the latter and keep the Cowboys’ tight end on your bench this week.
Other downgrades: Tyler Conklin vs CAR