Week 4 Start'em/Sit'em

Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021 at 7:37 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. Rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelce, or Davante Adams. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Start 'em Matthew Stafford (LAR, QB)
It's only been three weeks, but the fact that Matthew Stafford's name has been floated as a potential MVP candidate, and for good reason as he's averaging almost 24 fantasy points every week. The best QB that has faced Arizona so far has been Kirk Cousins who put up 25 fantasy points in Week 2. Look for Stafford to continue rolling.
11th Fewest Pts to QB
Start 'em Jalen Hurts (PHI, QB)
Jalen Hurts' passer rating has averaged just 83 over the past two weeks and the Eagles are currently sitting at 1-2, but he's delivered for fantasy owners with more than 20 points every week. Keep him locked into your lineup in what will likely be a shootout with KC. Herbert and Jackson averaged 31 fantasy points against them the last two weeks. Hurts should easily deliver mid/upper 20's in this one.
4th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Tom Brady (TB, QB)
Perhaps no other game is going to be as anticipated this year than Sunday night's homecoming game for Tom Brady. On paper, this looks like a tough matchup, but the Pats haven't faced a legitimate QB of Brady's caliber yet (Winston, Wilson, and Wentz). Brady and his receiving corp will likely be too much for New England to try and contain.
6th Fewest Pts to QB
Start 'em Chuba Hubbard (CAR, RB)
Without Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers will turn to Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman - though Hubbard is the play here. The matchup is not great as the Cowboys have largely kept running backs in check, but the volume should be there to make Hubbard an RB2/Flex option on Sunday.
7th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Kareem Hunt (CLE, RB)
The Browns did much of their damage on the ground last week, and Hunt was equally effective in both the ground and passing games. He remains a solid RB2/Flex play against a Vikings defense that has given up an average of 17.6 points to Chris Carson and Joe Mixon.
15th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC, RB)
We finally saw Clyde Edwards-Helaire come alive last week hitting 100 yards rushing and finding the endzone. It's still incredibly disappointing that Andy Reid isn't using him in the passing game like he has historically with other backs, but the potential for points is still here. Zeke Elliott just put up 23.6 points against Philly on Monday night.
9th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Mike Williams (LAC, WR)
Is Mike Williams a default starter now? Given his production over the first three games, it's hard to argue against it. His lowest outing has been 22 points. He's seeing an average of 10.3 targets per game and comes into our rankings this week at #13 overall - essentially a high-end WR2. If Williams is on your team, you're starting him.
12th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Brandin Cooks (HOU, WR)
Perhaps no other player last week garnered as many questions as Brandin Cooks as far as startability goes. Our answer this week remains the same as last week: start him. Cooks is the single most effective player that the Texans have to move the ball downfield. He is the 5th-most targeted player in the NFL so far. That kind of volume places him in strong contention for starts every week.
2nd Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Cole Beasley (BUF, WR)
Like Cooks above, Cole Beasley needs to be in starting discussions simply based upon volume. Beasley is the 11th-most targeted player in the NFL with two games of 13 targets. He's ranked 31st this week on Fantasy Nerds making him a low-end WR3/Flex option for fantasy owners.
7th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Logan Thomas (WAS, TE)
Atlanta gives up the 6th-most fantasy points to tight ends including double-digit days to Rob Gronkowski and Dallas Goedert. Although he fumbled, Thomas caught all of his targets and found the endzone last week. This is a great matchup where another trip beyond the goal line is easily within reach.
5th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Rob Gronkowski (TB, TE)
Nobody has given up fewer points to tight ends this year than the Patriots, but they also haven't faced any significant talent. It's been a while since Gronk has spiked a ball at Foxborough, but in this highly-hyped revenge game, look for the Gronk spike when Brady targets him near the endzone.
2nd Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Tennessee Titans (TEN, DEF)
If you're streaming defenses (and you probably should be if you aren't), it's quickly becoming a weekly habit to look at who the Jets are playing that week. In this case, the Titans get their turn.
Most pts to DEF
Start 'em Robbie Gould (SF, K)
The San Francisco running game may have question marks surrounding it, but the kicking game is well established. Look for Robbie Gould to flirt with double digits this week facing a Seattle defense that has surrendered the 3rd-most fantasy points to kickers after three games.
4th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Carson Wentz (IND, QB)
With two sprained ankles, Carson Wentz could not be relied upon to deliver much for Colts fans or fantasy owners. He's ranked 22nd this week on Fantasy Nerds facing a Miami defense that ranks in the bottom half of points allowed to QBs. Wentz is tough to trust right now even in SuperFlex formats.
14th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Derek Carr (LV, QB)
After three weeks, Derek Carr leads the NFL in passing yards and has made the Raiders relevant again. His connection with TE Darren Waller is impressive, but a matchup with the Chargers is problematic as they give up the 7th-fewest fantasy points. Mahomes has his worst week against them and they kept Dak Prescott and Taylor Heinicke to an average of just 9 fantasy points.
7th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Matt Ryan (ATL, QB)
On paper this looks like a phenomenal matchup. Nobody has given up more fantasy points to QBs than Washington, but they've faced a string of top fantasy QBs including Josh Allen, Daniel Jones, and Justin Herbert. Ryan hasn't played to their level thus far, so it's difficult to trust what he can produce. Kyle Pitts and Calvin Ridley have largely been non-factors and Ryan's inability to produce puts him out of QB1 contention even in a favorable matchup.
Most pts to QB
Sit 'em Ty'Son Williams (BAL, RB)
This one really has nothing to do with workload or target share, but rather the matchup. The Ravens give up the 2nd-fewest points to running backs after three weeks including matchups with James Robinson, Michael Carter, and Saquon Barkley. Williams is ranked 39th this week making him a stretch for even flex consideration.
2nd Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Josh Jacobs (LV, RB)
Jacobs hasn't practiced since Week 1 as he deals with an ankle injury. While he was closer to starting last week, the Raiders ultimately held him out. He's trending towards playing, but his workload will remain a big question mark and we haven't heard anything from HC Jon Gruden on that topic. Assuming he practices, it's reasonable to think that Jacobs will likely be on a snap count.
10th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL, RB)
The back to own in the Atlanta backfield so far has been Cordarrelle Patterson with double-digit production over the past two weeks. While the Washington Football Team hasn't lived up to early expectations overall, they have been pretty dominant against running backs giving up the 7th-fewest fantasy points to them including Barkley, Ekeler, and Devin Singletary.
8th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Will Fuller (MIA, WR)
Will Fuller made his Dolphins debut and landed with a thud. Arguably one of the most talented receivers for Miami, he was targeted six times but only managed to pull in three catches for just 20 yards. He missed practice on Wednesday and his status (as of now) is in the air. If you drafted Fuller, perhaps there will be days ahead where he returns to fantasy relevance. This isn't that week.
6th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Marquise Brown (BAL, WR)
If you had Marquise Brown in your lineup last week, hopefully you've settled down after watching him drop three passes that could easily have been touchdowns. He's certainly a focal point in the passing game which keeps him in starting consideration, but our confidence was definitely shaken after last week. He's ranked 26th among all wide receivers this week with a tough matchup against Denver who has given up the 7th-fewest fantasy points to receivers. He'll need to play flawlessly to come out ahead in this one.
9th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Kenny Golladay (NYG, WR)
With a banged up receiving corp, this should be a recipe for fantasy success, but Kenny Golladay has not lived up to the deep-threat hype that he was supposed to. He's averaging a career-low 15.1 yards per catch and just barely cracked double digits against a weak Falcons defense. The Saints are going to present a much more difficult matchup for him.
14th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Evan Engram (NYG, TE)
Engram finally returned to action although it was pretty disappointing - bad enough that he had to endure Giants fans booing him after a costly fumble. He remains a risky fantasy play against New Orleans who have not allowed a tight end to see double digits this season.
8th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Mike Gesicki (MIA, TE)
On the bright side, Mike Gesicki was targeted 12 times last week which was four more targets than he saw in the previous two games combined. Still, a matchup with the Colts isn't exciting as they've given up the 10th-fewest fantasy points to tight ends including keeping Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett in check.
11th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Austin Hooper (CLE, TE)
With Jarvis Landry on the sidelines and Odell Beckham Jr easing back into the rotation, plenty of analysts expected Mayfield to lean on Austin Hooper. Although Hooper managed to score his first touchdown of the year, he was only targeted three times catching two for just 19 yards. He has not been able to hit double digits at all this year, and a matchup against the Vikes doesn't seem like an opportune time for that to happen.
16th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Arizona Cardinals (ARI, DEF)
The Arizona Cardinals have drawn the red hot Los Angeles Rams who have surrendered the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Rams offense is firing on all cylinders so any expectation of the Cardinals being able to keep them in check is unwarranted.
2nd Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Jake Elliott (PHI, K)
No kicker has put up more than six fantasy points against the Chiefs so far this year, so that may be the ceiling for Jake Elliott in this one.
4th Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

Geoguy CommentedSep 30, 2021 8:04 am

FYI.. your weekly rankings have no TEN or PIT players included this week.

Nerd CommentedSep 30, 2021 9:23 am

Thanks - should be resolved now

OldGeezer CommentedSep 30, 2021 6:06 pm

Who would you recommend keeping on the roster, half per E Sanders or S Shepard.

Nerd CommentedSep 30, 2021 6:41 pm

Sanders for me. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 3, 2021 8:51 am


SKELETOR619 CommentedSep 30, 2021 7:29 pm

Do you recommend starting J Chase over DJ Moore half point ppr ?

Nerd CommentedSep 30, 2021 7:39 pm

You must have a stacked team - can't go wrong with either guy, but I'd start Moore. Good luck!

OldGeezer CommentedOct 1, 2021 8:46 pm

Need choose one for my flex half PPR. Hunt, Fournette or E Sanders. Already starting Chubb, Montgomery, DK Metcalf, C Godwin. Brady is QB

Nerd CommentedOct 2, 2021 10:03 am

I like Hunt there. I've seen quite a few folks do the Chubb/Hunt combo. So far, it's been working. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 3, 2021 8:52 am

Sanders for me in a PPR

The Mormon Battalion CommentedOct 1, 2021 9:01 pm

I'm trying to trade Mattison and Hubbard. I already have Mixon, Elliott and Ekeler. Would you rather have Barkley and Hockenson or Taylor and Andrews for Mattison and Hubbard or should I stay put? Thomas is my TE. Thanks Tons for your input.

Nerd CommentedOct 2, 2021 10:07 am

Alexander Mattison and Chuba Hubbard have a shelf life - they will be relegated to backup roles rather quickly. If you are able to convince someone to take them and trade away the players you mentioned, by all means - do it. As far as who I like for the choices, it's close and probably comes down to scoring format. Our ROS (rest of season) rankings or our Trade Analyzer are going to be useful here. Having said that, I'd take the Taylor/Andrews side, but it's close.

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 3, 2021 8:54 am


The Mormon Battalion CommentedOct 1, 2021 9:03 pm

Washington or Tennessee or Panthers defense this week? Thanks Tons!

Nerd CommentedOct 2, 2021 10:08 am

Titans against Zach Wilson - yes please!

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 3, 2021 8:54 am

Titans easy. Carolina is about to get spanked I think…

cparent8532 CommentedOct 2, 2021 2:32 am

Start 1. Cousins, carr or tannehill

Nerd CommentedOct 2, 2021 10:09 am

No Julio or AJ Brown removes Tannehill from the equation for me.

I like Cousins a bit more over Carr this week. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 3, 2021 8:55 am

Carr. Least reliable run game

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 2, 2021 10:28 am

Gronk not going is starting to concern me, so drop SMichel or EMitchell for who? Brate, Gisecki, Cook, Knox or Ertz? PPR, thanks!

Nerd CommentedOct 2, 2021 10:31 am

Ugh. That's a tough dilemma. The easier of the two decisions for me is who to start in his place. I'd start Cook, but who to drop to make room? Tough. I might drop Elijah Mitchell, but I wouldn't feel good about it. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 2, 2021 11:44 am


Hinzie22 CommentedOct 3, 2021 9:12 am

Happy Sunday! Which two would you start (.5ppr): Corey Davis, Jakobi Myers, or Trey Sermon. Thanks!

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 3, 2021 10:59 am

Sit sermon

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 3, 2021 11:00 am

Sit sermon

Nerd CommentedOct 3, 2021 11:08 am

Agreed - I'd sit Sermon

azzkicka#08 CommentedOct 3, 2021 10:00 am

Start Terrance Mitchell, Robbie Anderson or Ruggs today? PPR

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 3, 2021 11:00 am


Nerd CommentedOct 3, 2021 11:09 am

I'd go Anderson

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