Thursday, September 27, 2018

Week 4 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Philip Rivers is listed below as a "start" for Week 4. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 47 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Rivers, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Rivers.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 4 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 4 Fantasy Football QB Start'em


QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CHI)

While he threw three picks in the first half of the MNF loss, Fitzpatrick rallied the troops in the second half although the Bucs fell three points shy of a come-from-behind victory. In the process, he became the first quarterback in league history to throw for at least 400 yards in three consecutive games.

On the year, Fitzpatrick has thrown for a league-high 1,230 yards to go along with an 11-to-four TD-INT ratio. Only Patrick Mahomes, who broke Peyton Manning's record for most touchdown passes in the first three games of the season, has more touchdowns than Fitzpatrick, who has scored the most fantasy points through Week 3.

Even though former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston is eligible to play following his three-game suspension, it makes sense for the team to continue with Fitzpatrick for at least one more week. Tampa has a bye next week and have a short week in Week 4 following their MNF matchup.

QB - Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. SF)

One of my favorite quarterbacks in the preseason due to his ADP (QB16), Rivers is off to a strong start -- 906 passing yards, eight touchdowns and one interception. Heading into Week 4, Rivers has scored the seventh-most fantasy points amongst quarterbacks and he gets a favorable matchup against the 49ers, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. In addition, the 49ers have allowed three consecutive top-10 weekly finishes and 20-plus fantasy points to Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford and Mahomes over the first three weeks of the season.

QB - Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (at DEN)

As noted above, it's been a record-breaking start for Mahomes. As great as Peyton Manning was for the Broncos, Mahomes if off to a hotter three-game start for the Chiefs with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions through three weeks. Only Fitzpatrick has more fantasy points than Mahomes to start the season. As a young quarterback, Mahomes is bound to experience some bumps in the road, but he's as good of a bet to score the most fantasy points in any given week as any quarterback and he has a talented group of offensive weapons at his disposal.

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CIN)

Following a slow start on the road in the season opener, Ryan has posted strong back-to-back fantasy performances with 30- and 40-point outbursts at home. With another home matchup this week, Ryan ranks as a high-end QB1 this week against the Bengals. Counting two rushing touchdowns in Week 2, Ryan has accounted for nine touchdowns -- seven passing and two rushing -- over his past two games.


Week 4 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em


QB - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (vs. HOU)

Luck started the season with 319 passing yards and two touchdowns in the opener against the Bengals, but he has struggled in back-to-back weeks. Over his past two games, Luck has failed to reach the 200-yard mark in both games despite 71 combined pass attempts and he has just three touchdowns and two interceptions. I think better days are ahead for Luck, but for now, it makes sense to continue to take a wait-and-see approach with Luck.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at DAL)

The volume has been there for Stafford, who has thrown 135 pass attempts through three games. Only Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins (139 each) have thrown more often. Despite the volume, Stafford ranks only 17th in fantasy points through three games as he has thrown almost as many interceptions (five) as touchdowns (six). To be fair, four of those five interceptions occurred in Week 1 and he has finished as the weekly QB9 and QB14 over the past two weeks, respectively.

That said, the Cowboys have allowed the eighth-fewest Y/A (6.58) and only the Jaguars, Rams and Dolphins (two each) have allowed fewer passing touchdowns than the Cowboys (three). Only five teams are projected to score fewer points than the Lions based on implied totals from Vegas odds.

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. DET)

The Cowboys passing game is so bad that Prescott has become a "sit" even in 2-QB leagues as he's outside my top 24 fantasy quarterbacks. Through three weeks, he has yet to exceed 170 passing yards in a game and he's on pace for 2,656 passing yards and 10.7 touchdowns.

Through 48 NFL games this season, there are 11 instances of a quarterback throwing at least 25 pass attempts but no more than 170 yards. Prescott has three of those 11 games and Sam Bradford, benched for rookie Josh Rosen, is the only other quarterback to do that more than once this season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 4

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