19 players to start or sit in fantasy football for Week 4

Business Insider Sports 2 months ago

Each week, we're putting together a list of players to start or sit in fantasy football. We try to avoid the obvious players who you're likely going to start, regardless of matchups.

Last week we fared pretty well. Of our eight "start" picks, six finished in the top 25 of their respective positions in standard scoring. Unfortunately, we missed on some "sit" picks, as players like Kerryon Johnson and Julian Edelman each got into the end zone to salvage quieter days.

With Week 4 of the NFL season upon us, here are our start 'em, sit 'ems for this week.

START: Jared Goff, QB

START: Jared Goff, QB
Jared Goff.

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Week 4 opponent: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Why you should start him: Goff hasn't been playing his best football, and it's understandable if fantasy GMs want to sit him. But the Bucs were just shredded by Daniel Jones in his first start, and it's their rushing defense that has been impressive, not the pass defense. Goff should be able to get it going at home vs. Tampa Bay.

SIT: Jameis Winston, QB

SIT: Jameis Winston, QB
Jameis Winston.

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 4 opponent: at Los Angeles Rams

Why you should sit him: We gave Winston a vote of confidence last week, and he did well, finishing as QB4 in standard scoring. We have less faith in him this week, as he plays on the road against a Rams team that continually flushed Baker Mayfield out of the pocket and gave him trouble in Week 3. Winston threw an interception and was sacked four times by the Giants in Week 3. It could get ugly in Los Angeles.

START: Jacoby Brissett, QB

START: Jacoby Brissett, QB
Jacoby Brissett.

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Week 4 opponent: vs. Oakland Raiders

Why you should start him: Brissett has been a startable quarterback in fantasy this season, and now gets a Raiders team that ranks 30th against the pass and is on the road for a second week in a row. Brissett does become a riskier play if wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is out for Week 4.

SIT: Matthew Stafford, QB

SIT: Matthew Stafford, QB
Matthew Stafford.

Team: Detroit Lions

Week 4 opponent: vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Why you should sit him: Stafford hasn't been reliable so far in fantasy. The Chiefs are OK against the pass, ranking ninth in pass DVOA, and they just forced Lamar Jackson into his worst game of the season. The Lions' game plan this week may be to run the ball against the Chiefs' porous run defense, so there's a chance Stafford doesn't even get to throw quite as much unless the game gets out of hand.

START: James Conner, RB

START: James Conner, RB
James Conner.

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 4 opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Why you should start him: Conner owners may be ready to dump him, as the Steelers running back has just 97 yards on 2.9 yards-per-carry with 1 touchdown on the season. But this week, he gets a Bengals defense that couldn't stop 36-year-old Frank Gore in Week 3. If Conner can't get it going at home vs. the Bengals, it's time to panic.

SIT: Todd Gurley, RB

SIT: Todd Gurley, RB
Todd Gurley.

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Week 4 opponent: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Why you should sit him: We understand if you can't sit Gurley, but this isn't a week to expect much. Gurley's rush volume has remained consistent this year, but he's not involved in the Rams' passing game at all. The Bucs are quite good against the run, ranking second in run defense DVOA. They've held several backs in check, from Christian McCaffrey to Saquon Barkley (and then Wayne Gallman, once Barkley left with an injury). The Rams have been cautious with Gurley this year, and if they take a big lead early, they may turn to Malcolm Brown to carry the load so as not to add extra miles to Gurley.

START: Chris Carson, RB

START: Chris Carson, RB
Chris Carson.

Team: Seattle Seahawks

Week 4 opponent: at Arizona Cardinals

Why you should start him: Carson has lost touches (and fantasy points) the last two weeks with fumbles. It may be tempting to bench him for it, but the Cardinals have been friendly to fantasy opponents. Backup Rashaad Penny is questionable and may be limited if he does play. We're betting Carson makes good on his touches this week and gets over the fumble issues.

SIT: David Montgomery, RB

SIT: David Montgomery, RB
David Montgomery.

Team: Chicago Bears

Week 4 opponent: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Why you should sit him: Montgomery saved his first two weeks with touchdowns but wasn't particularly productive on the ground until Week 3 against Washington. He now gets a Vikings defense ranked eighth against the run.

START: Carlos Hyde, RB

START: Carlos Hyde, RB
Carlos Hyde.

Team: Houston Texans

Week 4 opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers

Why you should start him: Hyde is averaging an excellent 4.8 yards-per-carry and is currently 25th among running backs in standard scoring, despite scoring only one touchdown. The Panthers are on the road for a second straight week and are worse against the run than the pass. We're betting Hyde has a productive day and finds the end zone again.

SIT: Frank Gore, RB

SIT: Frank Gore, RB
Frank Gore.

Team: Buffalo Bills

Week 4 opponent: vs. New England Patriots

Why you should sit him: Gore has been a viable fantasy option the last two weeks, but that run ends this week. He takes on the No. 1 defense in the league and could well be scripted out of the game plan if the Patriots take a big lead.

START: Terry McLaurin, WR

START: Terry McLaurin, WR
Terry McLaurin.

Team: Washington Redskins

Week 4 opponent: at New York Giants

Why you should start him: Your WR8 on the season is — that's right, McLaurin, a rookie receiver picked in the third round. McLaurin has 16 catches for 257 yards and 3 touchdowns on the year, even proving useful against the vaunted Bears defense in Week 3 by posting 6-70-1. Start him against the Giants.

SIT: Stefon Diggs, WR

SIT: Stefon Diggs, WR
Stefon Diggs.

Team: Minnesota Vikings

Week 4 opponent: at Chicago Bears

Why you should sit him: Diggs is among the most disappointing players in fantasy this season, with just 6 catches, 101 yards, and 1 touchdown on the season (he did have one long TD called back in Week 2). He may rebound, but on the road vs. Chicago is not the time to chase it.

START: Will Fuller, WR

START: Will Fuller, WR
Will Fuller.

Team: Houston Texans

Week 4 opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers

Why you should start him: Coming into the season, every bit of fantasy analysis on Fuller suggested his touchdown rate would regress, and it has — he hasn't scored yet this season. He feels due for one. That's a flawed way of thinking in fantasy, but the Panthers did allow Chris Godwin to go off for nine catches, 120 yards, and a touchdown in Week 2 while blanketing Mike Evans. Fuller could shake loose if the Panthers key in on DeAndre Hopkins.

SIT: Josh Gordon, WR

SIT: Josh Gordon, WR
Josh Gordon.

Team: New England Patriots

Week 4 opponent: at Buffalo Bills

Why you should sit him: Gordon might be a dart-throw. The Patriots offense is tough to predict week to week, but Julian Edelman is recovering from a rib injury (though he's expected to play). While that could mean more targets for Gordon, he may also be the focus of the Buffalo secondary, which ranks fourth against the pass this season. It could also mean being shadowed by Tre'Davious White, one of the best DBs in the league.

START: Mike Williams, WR

START: Mike Williams, WR
Mike Williams.

Team: Los Angeles Chargers

Week 4 opponent: at Miami Dolphins

Why you should start him: It's worth trying everybody against the Dolphins. Williams hasn't delivered a big week yet, but if he's going to this season, doing so against Miami's league-worst defense seems likely.

SIT: Mecole Hardman, WR

SIT: Mecole Hardman, WR
Mecole Hardman.

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Week 4 opponent: at Detroit Lions

Why you should sit him: Hardman is the latest Chiefs player to put up monster fantasy stats, but there is some concern about volume and efficiency. He's caught just six of 12 targets on the season and has benefited from several huge plays. In Week 2, 83 of his 97 yards came on one play, and in Week 3, 42 of his 61 yards came on one play. Perhaps he repeats that in Week 4, but DeMarcus Robinson seems like the safer Chiefs receiver to play.

START: Will Dissly, TE

START: Will Dissly, TE
Will Dissly.

Team: Seattle Seahawks

Week 4 opponent: at Arizona Cardinals

Why you should start him: The Cardinals have allowed huge games to tight ends each week this season. Expect no different from Dissly, who has 112 yards and 3 touchdowns over the last two weeks.

SIT: T.J. Hockenson, TE

SIT: T.J. Hockenson, TE
T.J. Hockenson.

Team: Detroit Lions

Week 4 opponent: vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Why you should sit him: After a huge Week 1, Hockenson has just two catches for eight yards the last two weeks. Perhaps he snaps that streak against the Chiefs, but as mentioned, Kansas City's pass defense isn't its weakness.

START: Greg Olsen, TE

START: Greg Olsen, TE
Greg Olsen.

Team: Carolina Panthers

Week 4 opponent: at Houston Texans

Why you should start him: Keep on rollin' on the Olsen train. The 34-year-old tight end is the TE4 on the season and has gone for 185 yards and two touchdowns the last two weeks. The Texans' pass defense isn't necessarily one to target, but they haven't faced any strong tight ends either.

Now, check out which teams are atop our NFL power rankings...

Now, check out which teams are atop our NFL power rankings...
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