It’s a new week with a clean slate as we can forget about all those lineup gaffes we made last week, and instead focus on making all new ones. This week, we get an unexpected surprise as the Steelers/Titans game has been moved to Week 7 after several Tennessee players tested positive for COVID 19. That means some fantasy owners will get a chance to test out their depth a little sooner than later.
So, which players should be cracking your lineup? We have some suggestions for you.
Note: You won’t find all the regular stars who are considered auto-starts week in and week out. Instead, we’ll be looking at fringe players or possibly streaming options in shallow leagues.
It doesn’t seem ideal to play the quarterback of one of the weaker teams in the league against one of the stronger teams in the league. However, this is a game script that should feature a lot of passing, and it’s not a bad idea to get some of that. The Seahawks defense is allowing an average of 450 yards and two touchdowns per game, and Fitzpatrick himself is coming off two strong fantasy games. This game may be decided by halftime, but the fantasy points for Fitzpatrick will just keep coming.
If you jumped on the Foles bandwagon after he came in cold and threw for three touchdowns, great. That’ll come in handy later. But as for now, this is not the time to cash in on that move. The Indianapolis Colts have given up the fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season as no quarterback has reached 175 yards passing in all three games this season. Not only that, but the Colts defense has more interceptions than touchdown passes allowed. This is not the game you want to test out this new free agent acquisition.
It has been a little frustrating trying to guess how the Los Angeles Rams will divvy up their touches to their running backs so far this season, but it appears we now have a front runner in Darrell Henderson. In two straight games, he’s led the team in touches, which just so happens to include two consecutive 18+ fantasy games in half-PPR scoring. This week he draws the Giants defense which allows 27.5 fantasy points to running backs, including last week where they gave up 15+ points to two different running backs. With a game script that should feature a lot of running for the Rams, the opportunities should be there for Henderson to have a big game.
If you’re a Ronald Jones owner, it might be tempting to start him with the news that Leonard Fournette has been ruled out with an ankle injury. Finally, he gets the backfield to himself. Unfortunately, he draws some bad luck as the Chargers defense isn’t really what you want to see in your first game as the featured back. Los Angeles has given up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, which includes shutting down Joe Mixon (3.6 ypc), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (3.8 ypc), and Mike Davis (3.5 ypc).
DeVante Parker (Dolphins) vs. Seattle Seahawks (Week position rank: 21st)
After a breakout season last year, Parker has been relatively quiet, posting 6.7, 13.8, and 9.4 fantasy points so far in half-PPR scoring. While he hasn’t been explosive, he hasn’t been invisible either. This week, he faces the Seahawks that allows an average of 62 points a week to wide receivers. That is astounding.
A game containing the Patriots versus the Chiefs has that appeal of a potential shootout so the call to start as many players as you can may seem in order. It may very well go down that way, but if there is scoring for the Patriots, it might not come from the wide receivers. Despite a game script that forces opponents to try to keep up, the Chiefs have only given up one receiving touchdown this year and have yielded the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers so far. After erupting against a porous Seahawks pass defense in Week 2, Edelmen is coming off a game where he had just two catches for 23 yards. He should improve upon those numbers, but temper your expectations for him in this matchup.
Do you know who Robert Tonyan is? No? He’s just one of four different tight ends that have scored a touchdown against the Saints defense through just the first three weeks of action. New Orleans is the worst team in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to a tight end averaging 22.5 points per game. With second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson facing the Saints on Sunday, this matchup is very favorable.
Sit Ertz? Are you for real? Well, that goes against the golden rule of “always play your stars” so we’ll tread lightly on this one. It’s more important to realize that Ertz awaits an extremely tough matchup this week against the 49ers. San Fran has only allowed an average of 3.53 fantasy points to tight ends this year and not a single one of them has eclipsed 22 yards receiving. If you’re playing in any daily fantasy sports games, avoiding Ertz altogether might not be a bad idea.
Tampa Bay vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Week 4 position rank: 3rd)
We thought the Bucs were going to be known for their offense, but it’s their defense that has impressed so far this season. Tampa Bay’s defense is third in the league in both sacks (12) and takeaways (6). They have finished with a top three fantasy defense in each of the last two weeks. This week, they’ll play a Chargers team that has given up the ninth most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
Buffalo vs. Las Vegas Raiders (Week 4 position rank: 7th)
The Bills were touted as one of the top fantasy defenses this season, but so far they have failed to deliver upon those expectations. With a first couple games against AFC East foes, the Jets and Dolphins, you’d think they would’ve started out with a bang, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Now, they’ll face a surprising good Raiders offense that is top eight in points scored and first downs. And Derek Carr is yet to throw an interception. The Raiders are averaging 29 points a game, and this one could end up being a shootout.