Week 4 - Players to Start and Sit

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2023 at 8:38 pm ET


This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 4 of the 2023 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 Justin Jefferson, Patrick Mahomes, or Christian McCaffrey. 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 Justin Fields (CHI, QB)
Justin Fields hasn't topped more than 14 fantasy points so far, but don't give up just yet. While he lacks the kind of maturity that we'd like to see from the QB position, the matchup is good. The Dolphins put up 70 points last week against Denver. 70 points! We're expecting a more robust defensive game from the Broncos, but even Sam Howell put up 21 fantasy points against them the week prior. Fields is in a great spot to have a nice bounce back game.
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Most pts to QB
Start 'em Brock Purdy (SF, QB)
Brock Purdy is flirting with low-end QB1 status. He's consistently putting up a very respectable 17 fantasy points each week on average. Now he gets to face an Arizona defense that ranks in the bottom third in points allowed. For comparison purposes, let's look at Daniel Jones who has largely had to scramble for his life behind an awful offensive line and with limited talent at receiver. He was able to put up 30 fantasy points against the Cardinals in Week 2. Purdy has a better line and more weapons at his disposal. While he won't match Jones on the ground, this is a great game for him to outperform expectations.
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9th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Zack Moss (IND, RB)
Zack Moss put up a career-high 122 yards on the ground last week and has been the guy to own in this backfield. We don't yet know the status of Jonathan Taylor after this week, but as long as Moss gets the bulk of the workload, he's in RB2 contention. We have some concerns over the matchup, but given the state of RB injuries, Moss remains a guy that we're willing to keep penciled into our lineups.
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11th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Kyren Williams (LAR, RB)
Without Cam Akers, it's the Kyren Williams show for the Rams, and he has definitely been heavily involved - rarely leaving the field last week. He's currently the 5th-best fantasy running back and he should keep the points coming against the Colts this week.
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14th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Michael Pittman (IND, WR)
Would you have guessed that Michael Pittman would be a Top 10 fantasy receiver? After three games, that's what we've seen. Anthony Richardson may return to this game, and we've seen the rapport that these two had prior to Richardson going out. Pittman is averaging 11 targets per game. That kind of volume is exactly what fantasy owners want to see. As long as he continues to see this amount of targets and continues to make the most of it, Pittman is a WR1 for fantasy.
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16th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Adam Thielen (CAR, WR)
The question here is who will be under center: Bryce Young or Andy Dalton. Thielen and Dalton connected 11 times on 14 targets last week to the tune of 145 yards and a score. He had 7 catches for 54 yards and a score the week prior making Thielen the top target in this offense. He'll face the Vikings this week who are fresh off surrendering a monster day to Keenan Allen last week (45 fantasy points). Minnesota has surrendered the 3rd-most fantasy points to the position on the season.
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3rd Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Pat Freiermuth (PIT, TE)
With two touchdowns already on the season, Pat Freiermuth has been very efficient with his targets. He put up double digits for the first time last week and we like his upside against the Texans this week. Evan Engram and Kylen Granson put up double digits against them the past two weeks.
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10th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Darren Waller (NYG, TE)
It's tough to get the ball out when your QB is running for his life every game. That's the situation for Darren Waller who has yet to see the endzone, but his breakout is going to come at some point here. If you drafted Waller, he was your TE1. While he presents risk, he could very well take advantage of this Seattle defense.
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14th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Kansas City Chiefs (KC, DEF)
With Zach Wilson under center, the Jets have simply not managed to be the offensive juggernaut that many expected when they had Aaron Rodgers at the helm. The Chiefs will absolutely bring pressure and we're anticipating several sacks this weekend. Outside of the Eagles, the Chiefs may be the best option to stream this week.
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4th Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Jake Elliott (PHI, K)
The number one fantasy kicker is not named Justin Tucker. Jake Elliott has been fantasy gold averaging 13.3 points each week. Now he'll face a Washington defense that has given up the second more fantasy points to the position.
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2nd Most Pts to K
Sit 'em C.J. Stroud (HOU, QB)
There's no doubt that C.J. Stroud has had a great start to the season. He's racked up the third-most passing yards through his first three career games in the NFL and has looked very poised for a rookie. A matchup with the Steelers should present a real challenge for him. Brock Purdy, Deshaun Watson, and Jimmy Garoppolo have averaged just 15 fantasy points against them this season. Stroud is still fine for Superflex leagues, but you may want to sit him for all other formats.
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16th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Baker Mayfield (TB, QB)
Baker Mayfield has performed better than many thought he would in his first season under center for the Bucs. He's coming off a rough game against the Eagles, and we're anticipating another rough start against the Saints. New Orleans has given up the 10th-fewest fantasy points to the position keeping Ryan Tannehill and Bryce Young to 16 fantasy points...combined. The Saints defense is going to bring pressure all day long.
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10th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Breece Hall (NYJ, RB)
There is so much talent here, but Breece Hall just isn't getting the touches and putting up the kind of numbers over his last two games that he did in the season opener. To be fair, he's had three straight games of tough matchups. He's caught just two passes on the season, and he's averaged just 1.6 yards per carry over the last two games. The Chiefs have largely played lights out on defense allowing the third fewest points to the position.
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3rd Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Antonio Gibson (WAS, RB)
It's time to throw the towel in on Antonio Gibson. He's averaging just two carries per game and has largely presented his value in the passing game catching 7 passes for 61 yards total. He's become an afterthought in this offense and has yet to produce double-digit points. Unless something happens to Brian Robinson, Gibson can be safely dropped in all formats.
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5th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Drake London (ATL, WR)
Drake London will play in...you guessed it...London this weekend. As much as we'd like to recommend him, the fact is that he's largely been absent in this offense. The Falcons have chosen to focus on their run game. London has seen an average of just 4.6 targets per game and managed to haul down just 2.6 receptions per game. He's going to be a boom or bust player. It would be nice to see him boom like Tank Dell did against the Jaguars last week, but it's tough to count on it.
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12th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Jahan Dotson (WAS, WR)
Fantasy owners had much higher expectations for Jahan Dotson. He has yet to see double digit fantasy production and is averaging a meager 6.1 points per game. This puts him well outside even flex territory. His targets have progressively gone down each week. Until we start to see some volume come his way AND he starts to capitalize on it, Dotson belongs on your bench.
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9th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em David Njoku (CLE, TE)
It's a shame that Deshaun Watson isn't targeting David Njoku more. He's a big, fast guy with good hands, but he has yet to top 7 fantasy points this season. He hasn't seen more than 4 targets in a game. Baltimore has done a nice job locking up opposing tight ends this season making Njoku a benchable player.
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3rd Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Dalton Schultz (HOU, TE)
It's going to turn positive for Dalton Schultz at some point, but we're not counting on it this week. The Steelers have kept talented opposing tight ends in check including George Kittle (4.9 points) and David Njoku (6.8 points). We're anticipating similar numbers for Dalton this week.
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5th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Buffalo Bills (BUF, DEF)
Normally the Bills would be in must-start territory, but after the huge 70-point victory that the Dolphins put up last week, we can't count on Buffalo's defense this week. The Miami ground and air games are just too potent right now.
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5th Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Chris Boswell (PIT, K)
Chris Boswell has been perfect on the season so far, but the Pittsburgh offense hasn't been as efficient as we might like. He'll face a Houston defense that has given up the 6th-fewest fantasy points to kickers this season.
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6th 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.

Ed Chan CommentedSep 28, 2023 5:18 pm

Got a dilemma in this superflex full-PPR league. I have A. Jones, Moss, Mostert, Pacheco, Jacobs, Edwards. Thinking of starting Jones (assuming he's ready to go) and Moss, flexing Mostert. On the WR side, is it worth considering starting Theilen and Meyers over Evans or Atwell? Diggs is my main guy as part of this 3-WR team. Or maybe flex a WR over an RB? Suggestions?

mrock CommentedSep 29, 2023 11:01 am

Thielen is a must start as is Zach Moss.

For that many guys to compare against, why not just put that into the lineup tool? or maybe you already did?

Ed Chan CommentedSep 29, 2023 1:56 pm

I put another team into the lineup tool already, lol. A big doh for starting Jones. I know he's coming back from injury, but didn't think the Pack would use him so sparingly. Montgomery also came back from injury and look what he did :-/

Was already benching Jacobs and Gus Bus, so it was down to Jones or Pacheco. Guess I chose wrong! :-(

Josef Acebedo CommentedSep 30, 2023 2:53 pm

I’m at a crossroads when deciding who to start at Flex. Options include Tank Dell, Adam Thielen, De’Von Achane, and Amari Cooper.

Puka Nacua and DeVonta Smith have the WR position locked down and should have a bounce back week. Kyren Williams and James Cook leads my backfield as Austin Ekeler sits out another week.

What should I do?

24/7 CommentedSep 30, 2023 5:25 pm

Amari Cooper

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 1, 2023 8:54 am

cooper or dell

Eric Perl CommentedSep 30, 2023 4:28 pm

Amari Cooper

Jessica Meberg CommentedOct 1, 2023 9:03 am

Dilemma - who to start: Fields, Smith, or Richardson?

Nerd CommentedOct 1, 2023 12:01 pm

It's Richardson for me. Good luck!

JessDee CommentedOct 1, 2023 12:00 pm

Jakobi Meyers or Gabe Davis flex?

Nerd CommentedOct 1, 2023 12:03 pm

For me, Meyers - but I understand the concern given the QB situation.

JessDee CommentedOct 1, 2023 12:03 pm

Or Pacheco

JessDee CommentedOct 1, 2023 12:15 pm

Thank you!


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