Against all odds, the 2020 NFL season is on, which means so is your fantasy season. You already got our “Kill, Marry, Chill” draft advice, but now you need to know whom to play each week. Well, we also have you covered there. You have your top guys you’re always starting, but it’s those borderline calls you need to get right to win. So, each week, we’ll go through some guys that we want to “kill” (not looking to start), “marry” (locking into our lineups), and “chill” (considering as sleeper options) to help you fill out your lineup and lead you the promised land of a fantasy championship. Here’s what you need to know for Week 4 of fantasy football.
Quarterback – Jared Goff (vs. NYG)
On the surface, this looks like a great matchup for everyone on the Rams’ offense. Opponents are scoring on the Giants on 53.6% of drives and they’re allowing the 11th highest net yards per pass attempt in the league. Goff is also one of the most efficient passers in the league, posting the eighth-most passing yards after three weeks despite being 25th in pass attempts.
Problem is, the Rams are going to run the ball a lot this game. The Giants’ offense is so bad, teams only need two or three scores to secure a W. The rest of the time, they’ve been milking the clock. That’s why opponents’ drives against the Giants last, on average, a league-high 3:47. The Rams already lead the league in rushing attempts after Week 3, and they’ll probably still lead the league in that category after Week 4. Goff’s not getting a large enough workload to be a top-10 QB in fantasy this week. Leave him out of the lineup.
Running Back – Ronald Jones (vs. LAC)
I could have lumped in Leonard Fournette here, but the way I see it, Jones is the only one consistently worth starting consideration. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out what Bruce Arians is doing.
Jones out-touched Leonard Fournette in Week 1, Fournette took the reins in Week 2, and then Jones led the backfield again in Week 3. Arians said that Jones would stay atop the depth chart after the Buccaneers signed Fournette right before the season, and sure enough, Jones has been the starter every game. Crucially, he’s also getting more opportunities in the red zone than Fournette, including inside the 10.
He’s a solid flex play when the touches are there, but there’s no consistency to this pecking order so far. The matchup isn’t helping either. The Chargers are giving up a sizable 4.6 yards per carry, but they’re one of the stingiest teams in the league when it comes to allowing fantasy points to running backs, mostly due to their stout red zone defense. I’m out on Jones this week.
Pass Catcher – Jarvis Landry (@ DAL)
Landry’s struggled so far in Cleveland’s run-heavy scheme under new Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, but there’s some hope he can turn things around against a Dallas squad that’s allowed the fifth-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns this season. I’m here to tell you to stop trying to make Jarvis Landry a thing. He’s not a thing anymore.
Landry’s out of the top-50 for wide receivers, and that’s despite his unsustainable efficiency. He has the highest catch rate in the NFL among wide receivers and tight ends with at least 10 targets, hauling in 92.3% of passes that have gone his way. That rate isn’t going to continue. He also has yet to see a red zone target this year, so touchdowns are going to be hard to come by for him.
The Browns have scored 69 combined points the past two weeks on the back of the run game. Even if the Cowboys have a vulnerable pass defense, Stefanski isn’t about to abandon what this team does best. Go ahead and scratch Landry from the lineup.
Quarterback – Matt Ryan (@ GB)
Matt Ryan’s currently eighth at the quarterback position in fantasy, but he’s not getting too much love for Week 4—FantasyPros ranks Matt Ryan 10th for Week 4 based on the consensus of experts. It makes some sense. Ryan is coming off a stinker against the Bears last week, and the Packers’ defense hasn’t given up too many fantasy points to quarterbacks relative to the rest of the league, ranking 13th in that category.
These are two of the best offenses in the league, though. The Packers rank first in scoring and second in total yards this season, while Atlanta ranks sixth and seventh, respectively, in those categories. The Falcons have the worst defense in the league and Aaron Rodgers is going to absolutely pulverize them, so Atlanta’s offense is going to have to respond in kind.
I’m looking back at Ryan’s 54 passes for 450 yards back in Week 1 while trying to keep pace with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense. I see Matty Ice taking on a similar workload this week, which makes him a must-start.
Running back – Mark Ingram (@ WFT)
That Monday night game was rough for the Baltimore offense. Kansas City quickly took a two-possession lead, and it revealed the biggest weakness in the Ravens’ offense: playing from behind and needing to abandon the run game. The Chiefs were able to expose that vulnerability thanks to their high-powered offense, but the Football Team and their horrible offense certainly won’t.
Baltimore uses the ultimate RBBC, featuring Ingram, J.K. Dobbins, and Gus Edwards. No one in that backfield has topped 11 touches in a game so far, but I like the veteran Ingram to break that mark this week. Dobbins is the highly-touted second-round pick and he’s doing well with the analytics crew, but Ingram is still the head of the committee, and he’s comfortably outpacing Dobbins and Edwards in touches.
The Washington No-Names haven’t given up many fantasy points to running backs so far, but they only have a middle-of-the-road run defense. The Ravens are going to beat up on this team, and Ingram is going to feast. Make him a flex play in all formats.
Pass Catcher – Cooper Kupp (vs. NYG)
Yep, sit Goff but start one of his receivers. Like with quarterbacks, it’s tough to judge a wide receiver’s fantasy value in lopsided matchups like this one; If the game doesn’t end up being close, will a guy get enough volume to make him a viable starter in your lineup? Sometimes, no. But for Kupp this week? Oh, hell yes.
Kupp mostly lines up in the slot, so he’ll see a lot of the rookie Darnay Holmes, who is the third-worst cornerback in the league according to PFF. Meanwhile, James Bradberry, whom PFF grades as the third-best cornerback in football this season, is likely to shadow Robert Woods. If Jared Goff is smart, Kupp will be his first, second, and third option in this one. Make that man your WR2.
Quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. SEA)
The Seattle passing game is going to have to come back down to earth at some point, but it won’t be happening this week against a Miami defense that’s having a tough go of it. So, it’ll be up to Fitzmagic to keep pace with current MVP favorite Russell Wilson. Fitzpatrick probably won’t be able to pull it off, but he’ll certainly rack up some fantasy points while trying.
He had a tough time against the Patriots in Week 1, but the past two games showed why Fitz is starting over fifth overall pick Tua Tagovailoa. The Harvard grad is coming off consecutive games with two touchdown passes and no picks while completing 73% of his passes over that span. He also put up 328 passing yards against a talented, if underachieving, Buffalo defense in Week 2.
If he can do that against a good defense, then the Seahawks won’t cause any problems. Here are some categories that the Seattle defense is last in: passing yards, net yards gained per pass attempts, net yards per drive, and finally, total defense. The Amish Rifle very well could be a top-10 QB this week.
Running back – Carlos Hyde (@ MIA)
We’ve past the initial waiver period for Week 4. Did you pick up Hyde like I told you to do? I hope so, because Chris Carson is likely to miss this game with the knee sprain he suffered in Week 3, and Hyde will probably start in his place. Travis Homer figures to see some action too, considering the two backs both saw 16 snaps in Week 3. Even if Hyde and Homer see a 50-50 split for Carson’s workload though, that would mean Hyde is in-line to get 15 touches this week.
Moreover, the veteran should be the preferred option for the red zone, including goal-to-go snaps. Against a Miami defense that’s allowing touchdowns on a league-worst 87.5% of red-zone trips, Hyde carries RB2/flex value for standard.
Pass catcher – Marquez Valdes-Scantling (vs. ATL)
This was originally going to be on Allen Lazard after he went off on Sunday night, but news of a core injury that required surgery popped up yesterday, and now he’s going to be out indefinitely.
Look, I won’t sugar coat it—Valdes-Scantling is just a vertical threat and not someone who will ever see a heavy workload on a regular basis. I mean, he got the start against the Saints after Devante Adams became a late scratch, the Packers put up 37 points, and all he could produce was one catch for five yards???
Like I said in the section above on Matt Ryan though, this game’s going to be a shootout (the over on that 56.5 point total is looking real nice). The Falcons’ defense is an abomination, and Aaron Rodgers is going to have an absolute field day slinging the ball. Devante Adams is also no guarantee to play this week either after he was only able to log a limited practice on Thursday, so Valdes-Scantling should be on the other end of many of Rodgers’s passes, if only by default. MVS is a flex in standard if Adams plays and a flex/WR2 in all formats if the Pro Bowler sits.