Week 4 Preview and Planning for Bye Weeks

Friday, Sep 29, 2023 at 9:21 am ET

Bye weeks begin in Week 5. That means your best players are going to start missing when you need them. The most-prepared owners are already looking ahead at who is off next week and picking up players now to play in Week 5. I will point out the teams that have their bye next week and give a few options you could probably pick up now to be ready.

Early Games

Atlanta Falcons vs Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)

Obvious Starters

Bijan Robinson, Falcons RB; Travis Etienne, Jaguars RB: Jacksonville has given up the third-least fantasy points to running backs through three weeks. Atlanta has allowed the seventh-least. That means tough matchups for these two running backs, but they are both stars on their offense and will get fed the ball. They should be in your lineup every week.

Evan Engram, Jaguars TE: Engram is third among tight ends in targets, tied for second in catches, and third in yardage. He gets consistent volume like few at his position, and Engram is a weekly starter. Atlanta has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends, making this a good matchup.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Kyle Pitts, Falcons TE: Pitts is 19th in PPR scoring and 25th in standard among tight ends and hasn't shown anything to make me think he will become a factor. Atlanta has run the ball the eighth-most this season and thrown the fifth-least number of passes. Last year was even more extreme on both sides. Jacksonville has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends, so it's a decent matchup, but I'm not counting on Pitts to be productive any week.

Others to Consider

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars QB: Atlanta has allowed the fourth-least passing yards and 12th-least fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Lawrence is 18th among fantasy quarterbacks. He does have the 10th-most passing yards, but he has only thrown three touchdowns. Lawrence hasn't been using his legs much, averaging just 20 yards per game on the ground. He's still a decent option, and you might not have a better one, but Lawrence has fallen from must-start status.

Calvin Ridley, Jaguars WR: Ridley had eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, but the last two weeks have produced just five catches for 72 yards combined. He has fallen with his quarterback, so maybe all it takes is for Lawrence to find his way. Atlanta has allowed the fourth-least receiving yards and 10th-least fantasy points to wide receivers. I'm looking at Ridley as a WR3 at best.

Tyler Allgeier, Falcons RB: Jacksonville as allowed the ninth-most rushing yards to running backs in 2023, but they haven't allowed a touchdown and have given up the seventh-least fantasy points to the position. Allgeier had at least 15 carries each of the first two games, but that fell to just seven in Week 3 as the Falcons were losing most of the game. Allgeier is a flex option most weeks, but he will continue splitting touches with Robinson and needs to score touchdowns to excel in fantasy. You can probably find a better flex option.

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills

Obvious Starters

Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins QB: We saw Miami dominate in Week 3 with 70 points, but things won't be as easy against the Bills. Buffalo has allowed the third-least passing yards and least fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2023, but Tua is third among QBs in scoring. I'm guessing Tua and the Dolphins will find some answers, and I'm not benching him after what we've seen so far.

Tyreek Hill, Dolphins WR; Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins WR; Stefon Diggs, Bills WR: These are three of the top receivers in the league and will be starters every week. Waddle missed Week 3 in concussion protocol but will play this game.

Josh Allen, Bills QB: Allen has disappointed a bit in fantasy, but he ranks 10th in QB scoring. He should be in your lineup weekly.

James Cook, Bills RB: Cook has back-to-back weeks with over 100 scrimmage yards but no touchdown, as his backups have poached three scores in those two games. Cook is dominating the touches and will surely get in the endzone, and Miami has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards and seventh-most fantasy points to running backs.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox, Bills TEs: Miami has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, and they allowed the eighth-most receiving yards and fourth-most fantasy points to the position in 2022. Knox had six catches for 98 yards in Week 15 against the Dolphins last year. It's hard to choose one of these players and expect him to produce, but I'd say Kincaid is your best bet if you need a streamer.

Others to Consider

Raheem Mostert, Dolphins RB; Devon Achane, Dolphins RB: Mostert and Achane combined for 375 yards and EIGHT touchdowns in Week 3, yet neither is an "obvious start": Buffalo was a top-10 team against running backs last season and is back in that group this year. Mostert ran for 136 yards in that Week 15 game last season against the Bills, and he should be in your lineup unless you have a great backup plan. Achane is tempting and probably earned himself more touches, but he's still second in line and just a flex option.

Denver Broncos vs Chicago Bears

Obvious Starters

No obvious starters in this one. There are a lot of good matchups and players who could have big weeks, but they will have to be compared to the rest of your team before inserting them into your lineup.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Javonte Williams, Broncos RB: The Bears have given up the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season; they also gave up the second-most points to backs in 2022. Williams is RB38 in standard and 31st in PPR. He has been middling in all three games and hasn't shown anything great in his return from a major knee injury. If ever there was a week to break out, though, it's Week 4 against the Bears. Williams is a RB2 and very good flex option unless you're stacked at running back.

Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson, Bears RBs: The only team worse against backs this year than Chicago is the Broncos. They were just gashed by Miami for 726 total yards, 350 of those on the ground. Neither of these players has carried the ball more than nine times in a game or gained more than 38 yards. They both have over 55 receiving yards, but Herbert and Johnson haven't be relevant in fantasy any week. That could change against Denver, but I don't know who to expect more from: Herbert has 29 touches to Johnson's 27 with similar production. I give it a 50/50 on who to trust, but I'll give Herbert the slightest edge because he's starting. Both players can be considered for your flex.

Justin Fields, Bears QB: I was among the crowd who saw Fields as a weekly fantasy starter with top-five potential. His running was phenomenal last season but has fallen off this year, severely affecting his fantasy production. He did run the ball 11 times for 47 yards in Week 3, but this isn't the player we saw last season. Denver has allowed the fourth-most passing yards and second-most fantasy points to QBs, so Fields has a chance to calm some chatter with a big Week 4.

Russell Wilson, Broncos QB: The Bears are just below Denver, giving up the fifth-most passing yards and fantasy points to quarterbacks. Wilson threw for over 300 yards each of the last two weeks and has six touchdowns to just two interceptions. He is ninth in quarterback scoring and should be a top-10 player against the Bears.

Jerry Jeudy, Broncos WR; Courtland Sutton, Broncos WR: Along with great matchups for each quarterback, both of these teams are among the top 12 in the league in most receiving yards and fantasy points given up to wide receivers in 2023. Jeudy is the top guy, but Sutton had 91 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. Both are at the WR2/3 level in Week 4.

Others to Consider

D.J. Moore, Bears WR: Moore had over 100 yards in Week 2 and followed it up with 41 yards and a touchdown last week. I don't trust him as a consistent fantasy player because Fields hasn't performed, but Moore has been a fantasy starter in two of the three weeks. He has a good matchup against Denver and can be considered as a WR3 or desperate WR2.

Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns - BROWNS ON WEEK 5 BYE

Obvious Starters

Mark Andrews, Ravens TE: You're going to start Andrews because he's a top-five tight end, but Cleveland has allowed the least fantasy points and receiving yards to tight ends this season. Close your eyes and hope for the best.

Amari Cooper, Browns WR: Baltimore is middle-of-the-road against receivers. Cooper had 116 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 and has improved every game this season. It might be an ugly one, but Cooper is a top-20 WR pretty much every week.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

No good matchups in this one. These are two stout defenses.

Others to Consider

Lamar Jackson, Ravens QB: You're probably going to start Jackson because he's your guy, but the Browns have been shutting everyone down. Jackson had middling rushing production the first two games but went for 101 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in Week 3. Running like that makes him a weekly starter with the potential to break out any week. Cleveland has allowed negative-four rushing yards to QBs on non-kneel downs, though, so it could be a tough day at the office.

Deshaun Watson, Browns QB: Watson is similar to Jackson in that his rushing production is a big part of his game, and Baltimore is also a tough defense that won't make things easy for the Cleveland QB. Watson is 11th in quarterback scoring, and Baltimore has allowed the ninth-least fantasy points to the position. Like Jackson, most owners will probably start Watson, but this has the makings of a low-scoring affair. If you need to replace Watson in Week 5 with Cleveland on the bye, Ryan Tannehill plays a soft Indianapolis defense and could run a little, like Watson does.

Jerome Ford, Browns RB: Ford is the starter with Nick Chubb out, but he won't have the same iron grasp on the role as his predecessor. Ford scored two touchdowns in Week 3 but had just 18 yards on 10 carries after a strong Week 2. Baltimore is league-average against running backs in all facets, so Ford has a chance, but he needs to show more to keep the reins.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Houston Texans

Obvious Starters

No one obvious here. Some good matchups and players who could perform are listed below but don't fret if you have no players in this game.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Dameon Pierce, Texans RB: Pierce was drafted as a weekly starter but is near 30th among running backs in both standard and PPR. He has just 100 rushing yards on 40 carries, a 2.5 yards-per-rush average. Pittsburgh has allowed the second-most rushing yards and fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this year. Pierce has a good matchup, but I can't call him anything more than a flex option based on what we've seen.

Najee Harris, Steelers RB: Houston has allowed a league-average number of rushing yards to running backs but the fifth-most fantasy points (five rushing touchdowns allowed; the league high is seven). Harris had his best fantasy game in Week 3, but it took him 19 carries to gain just 65 yards. Harris has been disappointing all season on a Pittsburgh offense that struggles to move the ball. This is a decent matchup, but don't expect anything more than flex points.

Tank Dell, Texans WR; Nico Collins, Texans WR: The Steelers have allowed the fifth-most receiving yards and fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Dell has scored in consecutive weeks and seems to have made a real connection with C.J Stroud. Collins started the season hot with 13 catches for 226 yards in two games, but he was finally slowed down in Week 3 with just two receptions for 34 yards. The value of these players will be tied to Stroud's performance and continued volume, but they should both be thought of as solid WR3s this week to consider for your WR2 spot.

Others to Consider

C.J. Stroud, Texans QB: Stroud has burst onto the scene, throwing 44 and 48 passes to start the season before 30 attempts last week. He is fifth in completions, sixth in pass attempts, and fifth in passing yards. Stroud is a borderline fantasy starter, 14th in QB points on the season and 11th over the last two weeks. Pittsburgh has allowed the 13th-least fantasy points to quarterbacks, decent but not daunting. It could be a tough day against a good Steelers' defense, but Stroud has shown he can compete.

Pat Freiermuth, Steelers TE: Houston has allowed the ninth-most receiving yards and 11th-most fantasy points to tight ends in 2023. Freiermuth had three catches for 41 yards and a touchdown last week against a terrible Raiders defense, but he had just one reception in each of the first two games (one of which went for a touchdown). There's a chance for decent play, but I'm not recommending Freiermuth.

George Pickens, Steelers WR: Houston has allowed the 13th-least receiving yards and fifth-least fantasy points to receivers this season. Pickens is working as the number one option while Diontae Johnson is out, and, despite his talent, he is part of an underwhelming offense. Pickens is a WR2 who would look fantastic in your WR3/flex spot.

Minnesota Vikings vs Carolina Panthers

Obvious Starters

Kirk Cousins, Vikings QB: The Panthers have allowed the ninth-least receiving yards and eighth-least fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, but I can't make a case for them shutting down Cousins: he has the most attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns in the league. Minnesota loves to throw and even a decent Carolina defense will have trouble containing them.

Justin Jefferson, Vikings WR: Jefferson finally scored a touchdown in Week 3, and he has had at least seven receptions and 149 yards in each game. Just a wildly effective player.

T.J. Hockenson, Vikings TE: Hockenson has the most targets and receptions, second-most yards, and tied for second-most touchdowns among tight ends. He has been as good as anyone at his position.

Alexander Mattison, Vikings RB: It's scary to put Mattison here after a terrible first two games, but he bounced back last week with 125 total yards on 25 touches. One game doesn't erase two bad ones, but we were expecting Mattison to be a good back coming into the season, and Carolina has allowed the fifth-most rushing yards and third-most fantasy points to running backs. I like Mattison to have his second straight good game.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Bryce Young, Panthers QB: Minnesota has allowed the 12th-most passing yards and third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Young missed Week 3 and had under 155 passing yards in each of his first two games. It wasn't a good start for the first overall pick, but he is facing one of the most generous defenses in the league over the past two seasons. I'm not recommending Young as even a top-10 option, but there are much worse streaming options this week.

Adam Thielen, Panthers WR; D.J. Chark, Panthers WR: Thielen is an ex-star of the Vikings, and he has a good chance to do damage in Week 4. The Vikes have allowed the third-most receiving yards and fantasy points to wide receivers this season, and Thielen has scored in back-to-back weeks (with 11 catches for 145 yards in Week 3). Chark saw 11 targets last week and caught just four of them, but he went for 86 yards and a touchdown. I don't trust either of these receivers most weeks, but Thielen is a solid WR3 against Minnesota (who could be your WR2), and Chark is an option to consider for your WR3/flex if you need a spot starter.

Others to Consider

Jordan Addison, Vikings WR: Addison has started his career with at least 50 yards in all three games and two total touchdowns. Carolina has allowed the eighth-least receiving yards and fourth-least fantasy points to wide receivers in 2023. It could be hard for Addison to find space, but this Vikings' passing game is for real. He is still a WR3.

Miles Sanders, Panthers RB: Sanders only had nine carries in Week 3 while Carolina threw the ball 58 times, and they could see a repeat in Week 4. Minnesota throws as often as any team, and the Panthers might be in a position where they have to throw to keep up. Minnesota has been better than league-average against backs, and Sanders will continue getting the bulk of the work as a flex option.

Los Angeles Rams vs Indianapolis Colts - RAMS ON WEEK 5 BYE

Obvious Starters

Puka Nacua, Rams WR: Nacua had a down Week 3: five catches and 72 yards is his down week, so it wasn't a disaster. Nacua should be starting every week. With two fantasy-relevant receivers on bye Week 5, fantasy owners will have to look elsewhere. I will name other receivers with good matchups in Week 5 who may be available throughout this article, and D.J. Chark had 86 yards and a touchdown last week and has a good matchup with Detroit.

Tutu Atwell, Rams WR: Atwell hit 50 yards three times last year; he's already done that in the first three weeks of 2023, reaching 77 and 119 along the way. Indianapolis has allowed the seventh-most receiving yards and eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Atwell is a WR2 right now or outstanding WR3/flex for those who loaded up at the position early.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Matthew Stafford, Rams QB: Indianapolis has allowed the seventh-most passing yards and fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Stafford has the fourth-most passing yards through three weeks but just two touchdowns and four interceptions, pulling him down to 19th in fantasy scoring. Touchdowns will come, and the Colts have been near league-average allowing passing scores. Stafford is someone to consider as a streamer.

Others to Consider

Anthony Richardson, Colts QB: Richardson is in concussion protocol but has a chance to play. If he does, he has proven his running skills make him a weekly starter, though the Rams have given up the sixth-least fantasy points to QBs. There's a lot of uncertainty here, so it's good to have a backup plan, like Stafford.

Kyren Williams, Rams RB: Williams hasn't been efficient, but he scored two touchdowns in each of the first two weeks and had six receptions for 48 yards in Week 2. Week 3 was his first down fantasy week, with just 6.5 standard points and 8.5 PPR. Indianapolis has been league-average against backs, and Williams will get the ball, so he's a RB2/flex on most teams.

Michael Pittman, Colts WR: I'm done doubting Pittman: he has at least 11 targets and eight receptions in every game this season. His totals haven't always been great, but that volume makes him a great WR3 and a contender for a WR2 spot every week. You can trust Pittman to see the ball against a Rams team that's been near league-average against receivers.

Zack Moss, Colts RB: The Rams have been near the middle against running backs as well, and Moss has had two great weeks after missing the opening game. He had over 100 total yards and a touchdown in both Weeks 2 and 3, and he has taken over as the bell cow, touching the ball nearly 30 times more than any other Colts' back in Week 3. Moss is worth a flex spot and could be your RB2.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints - BUCS ON WEEK 5 BYE

Obvious Starters

Chris Olave, Saints WR: Olave is a weekly starter, but it will be worth watching how he connects with Jameis Winston if Derek Carr is out (which sounds like the case). This is a good matchup, as Tampa has given up the sixth-most receiving yards and 10th-most fantasy points to receivers.

Mike Evans, Bucs WR: Evans was around the 25th-30th receiver drafted but is the fifth-highest scorer in both standard and PPR. He has scored a touchdown all three weeks and hasn't come in below 60 yards. The Saints are a tough defense, and I can see a scenario in which Evans is held down as Baker Mayfield struggles, but Evans has proven himself as a weekly starter. With the Bucs on bye next week, fantasy owners will need to look somewhere else; Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman play a Pittsburgh team that has been gashed through the air.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Michael Thomas and Rashid Shaheed, Saints WRs: I mentioned the good matchup for Saints' receivers in Olave's blurb, and these two are OK to consider for your WR3 spot. Winston starting would throw a lot of uncertainty into things, but Thomas has seen at least eight targets in each game, and Shaheed has scored a receiving and punt return touchdown and has three carries. I don't want to count on them often, but there are worse options to consider (especially Thomas).

Others to Consider

Alvin Kamara, Saints RB: I wanted to put Kamara in the must-starts, but it's hard to know what to expect in his first game. The Saints have run for 69, 134, and 77 yards over the first three weeks, an average of 93.3 yards per game (21st in the league). Kamara is a better player than any of Jamaal Williams, Kendre Miller, or Tony Jones, who have handled a large portion of the carries. Tampa is near league-average against running backs, and I'm comfortable with Kamara as a flex player who can be considered for your RB2 spot.

Rachaad White, Bucs RB: White has had bad games in Weeks 1 and 3 and mixed in a 100-yard, touchdown performance against the terrible Bears Week 2. New Orleans is allowing the seventh-least rushing yards and sixth-least fantasy points to running backs. You can probably find a better option, but White will touch the ball.

Chris Godwin, Bucs WR: Godwin had five catches and over 50 yards in Weeks 1 and 2 against bad Minnesota and Chicago defenses, but he was held to three catches for 32 yards in Week 3 against the Eagles. New Orleans has allowed the 10th-least receiving yards and 13th-least fantasy points to wide receivers, and I'm not looking at Godwin as anything more than a WR3/flex consideration.

Washington Commanders vs Philadelphia Eagles

Obvious Starters

Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB: The Commanders have allowed lower-than-average passing yards and fantasy points to quarterbacks through three weeks, but they have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks on just 14 attempts (tied for 12th-most). Washington allowed the eighth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks in 2022. Hurts, sixth among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring, has 28 points from rushing yards and touchdowns, 46.2% of his total score. Close to half of his production comes on the ground, and Washington has struggled in that aspect. This could be a big day for Hurts.

D'Andre Swift, Eagles RB: Washington is close to league average against running backs this season, and probably a little better. Swift touched the ball twice in Week 1 before turning 28 carries into 175 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. He added 130 yards on 16 carries last week. Swift is going to get at least half the touches and has shown consistent running ability, making him a fantasy starter. Kenneth Gainwell struggled in the same number of carries in Week 3 but will likely be part of the gameplan against Washington.

A.J. Brown, Eagles WR; DeVonta Smith, Eagles WR: Smith had a big Week 2 while Brown was frustrated with his lack of touches, but Brown bounced back with nine catches for 131 yards. Both are weekly starters, and Washington has (surprisingly) allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to receivers, including four touchdowns (with the league-high at six). This could be a big game for one or both receivers.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

There are a few decent matchups, but I mention those in other blurbs here.

Others to Consider

Brian Robinson, Commanders RB: Robinson has 50 touches versus just 14 for Antonio Gibson, quieting a preseason worry. He scored a touchdown in each of the first two weeks before being limited to 10 carries for 70 yards as Washington was losing big last week. Philadelphia has allowed the second-least rushing yards and least fantasy points to running backs in 2023, and it's going to be a tough game for Robinson. He will get the ball and is still under flex consideration, but you can probably find a better matchup.

Terry McLaurin, Commanders WR: This isn't the worst matchup for McLaurin based on the numbers (Philly has given up the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers), but I can't trust Sam Howell against the Eagles' defensive front. He will get at least a few catches every week, but it's going to be hard to put up big performances. McLaurin is outside the top 40 receivers in both standard and PPR, and he's a WR3/flex consideration at best.

Dallas Goedert, Eagles TE: Washington is allowing the fourth-least receiving yards and fantasy points to tight ends in 2023 after finishing fifth and fourth in the same categories last season. Goedert was shut out Week 1 and has 11 catches since, but those receptions have gained only 63 yards. Goedert is TE27 in PPR and TE40 in standard, and he shouldn't be starting this week.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Tennessee Titans

Obvious Starters

Joe Burrow, Bengals QB: Tennessee has allowed the third-most passing yards and 10th most fantasy points to quarterbacks. In 2022, it was the third-most passing yards and most fantasy points. They have been very giving to quarterbacks for over a year.

Ja'Marr Chase, Bengals WR; Tee Higgins, Bengals WR: Everything from the Burrow section applies here. The Titans allow production to receivers, and these guys will go as Burrow goes. This trio has been disappointing so far.

Joe Mixon, Bengals RB; Derrick Henry, Titans RB: These are two lead backs who have been steady but not great this season. Both Cincinnati and Tennessee are better-than-average against running backs, meaning this isn't a great matchup for either, but they are weekly starters and will be in your lineup unless you have a phenomenal backup plan.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Despite a good matchup on paper, I refuse to recommend Chigoziem Okonkwo in Week 4. He is 40th or worse in both standard and PPR among tight ends, and I have never bought the hype.

Others to Consider

DeAndre Hopkins, Titans WR: Cincinnati is league-average against receivers, and Hopkins has struggled to make a big impact all season. He had great volume in Week 1 with 13 targets and seven receptions, but he only had seven catches on 12 targets over Weeks 2 and 3. Ryan Tannehill hasn't been consistent, and, while Hopkins has led the team in targets each game, production has been uneven. I don't see this as the game he breaks out, and Hopkins is a WR3 at best.

Late Games

Las Vegas Raiders vs Los Angeles Chargers - CHARGERS HAVE WEEK 5 BYE

Obvious Starters

Justin Herbert, Chargers QB: Herbert was the top-scoring QB in Week 3, and he ranks second (barely) behind Cousins on the season. Herbert being absent in Week 5 will hurt, but there are a few streamers with good matchups. Jordan Love plays a bad Raiders' defense Monday night next week, and Sam Howell is matched up with the even worse Bears on Thursday night.

Keenan Allen, Chargers WR: Allen caught 18 of 20 targets(!!!) for 215 yards in Week 3, and he threw a 49-yard touchdown to fellow receiver Mike Williams for good measure. Williams tore his ACL and is out for the season, so Allen will surely keep up his big target share. With Allen off next week, the Titans and Colts play each other and both struggle to stop the pass. Tennessee's Treylon Burks had 76 yards in Week 2 and is a former first-round pick. Colts' rookie Josh Downs caught eight passes last week and could keep getting volume if Gardner Minshew is starting.

Austin Ekeler, Chargers RB: Ekeler has missed two straight games, but he might play this Sunday. If he's active, get him in your lineup. Vegas has allowed the third-most rushing yards and eighth-most fantasy points to running backs, so Joshua Kelley is a good RB2/flex option if Ekeler is out.

Davante Adams, Raiders WR; Jakobi Meyers, Raiders WR: Adams is a weekly starter and doesn't need much explanation. Meyers missed Week 2 in concussion protocol, but he had at least 10 targets and 80 receiving yards in Weeks 1 and 3, with two touchdowns in the opening game. The Chargers have allowed the most receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and fantasy points to wide receivers in 2023. The only thing that could complicate matters is the status of Jimmy Garoppolo, but I'm trusting both receivers in a game where the ball might fly around.

Josh Jacobs, Raiders RB: Jacobs has been down to start the season, especially with negative rushing yards in Week 2, but he's an unquestioned starting running back. The Chargers have allowed the 12th-most rushing yards and fantasy points to backs this season and the ninth-most receiving yards. Jacobs has a chance to produce.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Josh Palmer, Chargers WR; Quentin Johnston, Chargers WR: I wanted to make a case for Palmer as a must-start player, but the numbers didn't bear that out. The Raiders have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to wide receivers (and second-most touchdowns) but haven't allowed many yards (11th-least). The Chargers will throw, Herbert is great, and Williams being out opens a lot of opportunities; Palmer is next in line. Johnston looked great in college but has had a slow start to his rookie season, and he will have a chance to expand his role moving forward. I like Palmer for Week 4 and Johnston as a lottery ticket.

Jimmy Garoppolo, Raiders QB: Jimmy G is in concussion protocol, but Vegas is confident he can play, and, if he does, he will be facing the defense that has allowed the most passing yards and fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. He's strictly a streaming option, but there are worse places to look if Garoppolo plays.

Others to Consider

There's a chance for a lot of yards and points in this game, and we've hit everyone. If Garoppolo is out, the Los Angeles Chargers defense would be a good option, even if the ball does fly around.

New England Patriots vs Dallas Cowboys

Obvious Starters

Tony Pollard, Cowboys RB; CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys WR: Two players near the top of their respective positions, these guys can be plugged in and left until the bye week (or an injury).

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

These are two really good defenses, and there aren't any good matchups.

Others to Consider

Hunter Henry, Patriots TE: Henry is close to a must-start player at his position, but this is a bit of a tough matchup. The Cowboys have allowed the 11th-least passing yards and ninth-least fantasy points to tight ends on the season. There's always the chance for a touchdown, and Henry is likely to catch the most passes on the team, but things are set up for a tough week.

Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots RB: Stevenson was racking up raw stats, if not efficieny, in the first two weeks, but that stopped in Week 3. Stevenson had just 62 yards on 20 touches against a tough Jets' D. Backup Ezekiel Elliott had 17 touches for 87 yards. Dallas has allowed the ninth-least rushing yards, fifth-least receiving yards, and fourth-least fantasy points to running backs (with one total touchdown), and Stevenson is likely to struggle (along with Elliott). It might be tough, but I am benching Stevenson unless I don't have any other options.

Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers

Obvious Starters

Christian McCaffrey, 49ers RB: The most consistent running back in fantasy, McCaffrey should always be in your lineup.

George Kittle, 49ers TE: Arizona is tied for third-most receiving yards allowed to tight ends, though they have only allowed league-average fantasy points to the position. Kittle struggled the first two games before securing seven catches for 90 yards in Week 3. He is a weekly starter, though I'm not forgetting those first two weeks.

Deebo Samuel, 49ers WR; Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers WR: Aiyuk had a phenomenal Week 1, racking up 129 yards and two touchdowns. He was injured in Week 2 and missed Week 3, but he is expected to play Week 4. The Cardinals are middling against receivers on the season. Samuel had a rushing touchdown in Week 2 before turning six receptions into 129 yards and a touchdown with Aiyuk out in Week 3. They are both weekly starters in the WR2 range.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

These defenses have both been good, and there aren't any good matchups.

Others to Consider

James Conner, Cardinals RB: San Francisco has allowed the least rushing yards and 14th-least fantasy points to running backs; they led the NFL in both categories last season. I said to sit Conner last week against a tough Dallas D, and he had 116 total yards with a rushing touchdown. I'm going back to the well in Week 4: Conner is going to be shut down by the 49ers.

Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore, Cardinals WRs: Both Brown and Moore scored a touchdown in Week 3 (Moore rushing). I was down on the whole Arizona team, but they have surprised with competency. I don't want anything to do with these players against San Fran, but they showed they can be fantasy-relevant.

Zach Ertz, Cardinals TE: I didn't believe in Ertz, but he has the fourth-most receptions and tied for fourth-most targets among tight ends. That volume makes him attractive, just not against the 49ers.

Sunday Night

Kansas City Chiefs vs New York Jets

Obvious Starters

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs QB; Travis Kelce, Chiefs TE: Mahomes is a starter every week, even against a stout Jets' defense. Same story with Kelce, who seems healthy after missing Week 1.

Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs RB: The Jets have allowed the seventh-most rushing yards and fifth-most receiving yards to running backs this year. Pacheco, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Jerick McKinnon (two receiving) all scored touchdowns in a Week 3 blowout of Chicago, but Pacheco is the main guy and will touch the ball most.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Two good defenses here and no good matchups other than for Kansas City running backs.

Others to Consider

Garrett Wilson, Jets WR: Wilson fell out of weekly status once Aaron Rodgers went down, and now he plays a tough Kansas City defense. The Chiefs have allowed the seventh-least receiving yards and sixth-least fantasy points to receivers, and I'm benching Wilson. He's talented and could score any week, but this doesn't seem like a game to trust him.

Any Chiefs WR: New York has allowed the ninth-least receiving yards and fourth-least fantasy points to wide receivers, but anyone can have a big game with Mahomes. Skyy Moore, Rashee Rice, and Kadarius Toney (probably in that order) are worth consideration for your WR3/flex spot most weeks, but a good Jets' pass D could limit their opportunities.

Breece Hall, Jets RB: Hall had a big Week 1 but has been anonymous the last two games. Kansas City has allowed the 11th-least rushing yards, third-least receiving yards, and sixth-least fantasy points to running backs. I'm finding it hard to trust Hall. Dalvin Cook hasn't done anything and should stay at the end of your bench. He's worth rostering in case Hall gets injured, but he won't make an impact until further notice.

Monday Night

Seattle Seahawks vs New York Giants - SEAHAWKS ON WEEK 5 BYE

Obvious Starters

DK Metcalf, Seahawks WR: The Giants have given up league-average numbers to receivers, and Metcalf is one of the best in the game. He should be in your lineup every week. Given the bye week, Metcalf owners might be scrambling in Week 5. The Chiefs have three receivers you could potentially grab in Moore, Rice, and Toney, as they have a good matchup against the generous Vikings coming up next.

Kenneth Walker, Seahawks RB: The Giants have allowed the fourth-most rushing yards and sixth-most fantasy points to running backs. Walker has established himself as a weekly starter and should excel in Week 4. Running backs are hard to plan for on the bye because there just aren't many options out there. Hopefully, you have a few players on your roster to consider, but, if you want to pick someone up, AJ Dillon was probably dropped after struggling two weeks in a row, but he faces a weak Raiders' defense Week 5. He has a chance for production even behind Aaron Jones.

Darren Waller, Giants TE: Seattle has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards to tight ends (but only 17th-most fantasy points), and Waller is a top-10 player at his position in both standard and PPR scoring. He has two rough games sandwiching a good showing, but Waller has a chance for big things any week.

Good Matchups and Streaming Options

Daniel Jones, Giants QB: Jones was the top-scoring quarterback in Week 2 before falling to 31st place against the 49ers in Week 3. He has a better matchup here, as Seattle has allowed the second-most passing yards and eighth-most fantasy points to QBs. I'm not as high on Jones as these numbers would suggest, though, because Seattle has allowed the fifth-least rushing yards to quarterbacks. Jones has scored close to 40% of his fantasy points from rushing yards and touchdowns, so being robbed of that production would seriously hurt his value.

Admittedly, Seattle has faced Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, and Andy Dalton; that group isn't setting the field on fire with their feet. There is a chance Jones can find space and put up fantasy points, and he's a streaming option.

Others to Consider

Matt Breida, Giants RB: Breida took the starting role after Saquon Barkley went down, and he scored a rushing touchdown in Week 3, though his seven touches produced just 18 yards. I don't trust Breida, but the Seahawks have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to backs and tied for the third-most rushing touchdowns. He's a consideration for your flex spot.

Tyler Lockett, Seahawks WR: Lockett had two touchdowns in Week 2, but he had only five combined catches for 44 yards in Weeks 1 and 3. A middling matchup and middling production lines up for a middling Sunday. Lockett is just a WR3.

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