Wolfpack! Three weeks have come and gone. Sample sizes are starting to become reliable and roles are starting to be clearly defined. However, much like life, with increased clarity comes increased murkiness. For example, should fantasy players be concerned about the future of Allen Robinson? What do we think of Damien Harris?
With a revolving kaleidoscope of variables ever evolving into a difficult calculus. Combing through the mess and solving the puzzle can feel a lot like solving a rigged Rubiks Cube. Decisions like these separate the sheep from the wolves and make fantasy football the intoxicating game we all love.
So who are your fantasy football Week 4 strong starts? Sits? Join me by raising your kaleidoscope to your eyes and solve this puzzle. Let’s do it!
Mac Jones vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The prodigal son returneth! Tom Brady aka the GOAT is returning to Foxborough to take on Bill Belichick. Brady is looking to alleviate any doubt about who was responsible for the Patriots dynasty. Jones has the unfortunate task of trying to fill the gargantuan shoes left behind by Brady.
Fortunately, taking over for Cam Newton and his disgusting quarterback play makes those shoes just a little easier to fit into. Jones has answered the bell this season. Despite not quite meeting up to fantasy expectations, Jones has still been the cream of the crop for the rookies thus far.
The Bucs secondary has been very generous to opposing offenses. With a run defense as stout as the Bucs, opposing teams have no choice but to funnel passes all game. In fact, the Bucs have allowed just south of 350 yards per game through the air — which is on pace to be an NFL record. While not being quite as imposing as the Dallas Cowboys and LA Rams passing attacks, Jones will still be in a positive passing game script.
Brady is going to look to pour on the points and the stats in this game. Jones will have to keep up and that bodes well for fantasy.
Honorable Mention: Jalen Hurts, Kirk Cousins
Derek Carr vs Los Angeles Chargers
Carr has been nothing short of spectacular thus far this season. He has yet to throw for less than 382 yards in a single game this season. Overtime or not, Carr has put up numbers.
Taking into account the Patrick Mahomes adjustment, the Chargers have done very well against opposing quarterbacks this season. Week 2 saw Dak Prescott throw for less than 250 yards and zero touchdowns with one interception. Mahomes threw for three touchdowns but also threw two interceptions.
Carr doesn’t have the offensive minds nor the weapons on his side to rival their production. Carr could be used as a streamer option this week, but it isn’t a stream this duck would be comfortable wading down.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Tannehill, Ben Roethlisberger
Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Philadelphia Eagles
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Rest in peace to a true American legend, Neil Armstrong. On the surface of the moon, there is an American flag planted proudly in lunar soil. America planted its flag and showed the world there was more than just the Earth.
I am planting my flag right now that last week was not a mirage for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Clyde saw a season-high in carries and rushing yards when he toted the rock 17 times for 100 yards and added a receiving TD. This week, Clyde has a matchup against a suddenly not so daunting Eagles rush defense.
I’m fairly certain the defensive line is still hiding in their ice baths after Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard stomped all over them last week. Edwards-Helaire is about to have a field day in Philly and pick up some major steam going forward.
Honorable Mention: Chuba Hubbard, Zack Moss
Damien Harris vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This shouldn’t come as a surprise because there is little path to fantasy relevance for Harris this week. Across three games, the Bucs have allowed a combined 172 rushing yards. That’s less than 60 rush yards per game.
Harris has yet to show any pass-catching upside and the Bucs should rain points down in bunches. This game should very quickly lead to a pass-heavy script for the Patriots. Harris should be phased out of this game quickly. As if the daunting rush defense he is facing wasn’t enough of a deterrent.
Honorable Mention: Ty’Son Williams, Javonte Williams
Allen Robinson vs Detroit Lions
This just feels weird to write. Not since the disastrous 2018 season has Allen Robinson been a start-sit question. This Bears offense is a steaming hot pile of garbage right now. Head coaching disaster Matt Nagy couldn’t gameplan his way out of a children’s escape room. Why should we have any hope that he could gameplan Robinson some more work?
Simple answer. Because Robinson is just that good. Need proof?
Well if his last two seasons aren’t enough proof, despite Nagy’s best efforts, then there isn’t much I can help you with. Still, I will do my best.
According to PFF, Robinson has caught 83.3% of his 13 catchable targets. For context, Robinson has only seen 20 targets so far. That also leads the team in total targets.
Andy Dalton has returned to practice in a limited capacity. Whether that is a boost or a bust remains to be seen. Last week Justin Fields was an unmitigated disaster. While the fingers can’t all be pointed at Fields it is what it is. Dalton at least kept the offense semi afloat as the starter.
Detroit’s defense offers as much resistance as a tissue paper finish line at the end of a 100m dash. Robinson should be able to separate at will and, hopefully, rip off some chunk plays through the air. Start Robinson with a sliver of confidence.
Honorable Mention: Odell Beckham Jr., Olamide Zacchaeus
Christian Kirk vs Los Angeles Rams
So far, Kirk has been the number two target for the Cardinals. Although an argument could be made for Rondale Moore. Fading Kirk this week comes down to the Rams defense and how the Cardinals will likely attack them.
Jalen Ramsey hasn’t exactly been a shadow corner this year. Even if he was, if DeAndre Hopkins is healthy he is still going to get his. That could theoretically draw softer coverage for Kirk. But that also opens up the quick dump-off game for Chase Edmonds and Moore.
Exploiting soft spots in the Rams’ defensive armor is the best way to succeed. This means high-value targets and quick strikes. Kirk is essentially an afterthought in the red zone. He has seen only two targets all year inside the 20. Kirk should get pinched by the matchup and the game plan.
Honorable Mention: Michael Pittman, Henry Ruggs
Tight End Streamers
Dalton Schultz vs Carolina Panthers
Dawson Knox vs Houston Texans
Tyler Conklin vs Cleveland Browns