Fantasy Football Week 4 lineup decisions: Starts, Sits, Sleepers and Busts to know for every game


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Fantasy Football is all about the matchups. Even though you drafted your team with certain hopes and intentions, your weekly lineup decisions shouldn’t be determined by the order you picked your players in. You need to check who your players play and make sure you’ve got the right guys in — and the wrong guys out.

It’s too early to be absolutely sure on which matchups will be easy and which ones will be tough, but we can take some educated guesses based on healthy personnel, defensive schemes, track records and key details of offenses. The things we know can help us minimize the impact of the things we don’t know. This should lead to better decisions being made.

We’ll go through every game and highlight the players who aren’t obvious starts and sits (because you don’t need to be told to start Jonathan Taylor). You should feel more comfortable starting or sitting players based on the information given, and feeling comfortable with your Fantasy lineup before the games start is the best feeling in the world.  

All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)

Projections powered by

  • MIAMI: Offense played just 43 snaps last week, should be more rested than a typical offense playing on Thursday. That includes Tagovailoa, who didn’t practice much this week with ankle and back injuries. 
  • MIAMI: Because the Dolphins defense played 92 snaps, the onus might be on the offense to control the clock and play at a slow pace. However, per TRU Media, they’re already the third-slowest in seconds between plays.
  • TAGOVAILOA: has struggled against blitzes (higher completion rate, yards per attempt, TD rate, QB rating vs. non-blitzes) and has been less efficient versus zone coverages (higher completion rate, yards per attempt, TD rate, QB rating vs. man coverages).
  • BENGALS: have played the eighth-least zone coverage, but this is their first matchup against a potent passing offense. They’re expected to play more zone coverage. The Bengals have also blitzed less week over week, and with defensive tackle D.J. Reader out for a while, their blitz rate may fall below 20% for the first time this season. The more the Bengals play zone and not blitz, the worse things get for Tagovailoa. 
  • BENGALS: Have seen the second-most pass attempts of 20-plus Air Yards (15) to wide receivers this season, but only four have been completed and only one for more than 30 yards. The 26.7% catch rate allowed is sixth-best. The Bengals also lead the league in fewest YAC/rec (Yards After Catch per reception) allowed to receivers (1.61). 
  • BENGALS: Have not allowed more than 15 Fantasy points to a quarterback through three games. But, they’ve played Mitch Trubisky, Cooper Rush and Joe Flacco.

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)

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  • COUSINS: Struggled mightily with man coverage so far this year (-0.40 EPA/dropback, 42.2% completion rate), and outside of a terrific TD rate (10%!) has been equally bad when blitzed (-0.29 EPA/dropback, 42.5% completion rate). He’s been blitzed on one-third of his dropbacks and seen man coverage on one-third of his dropbacks (and both blitzed and versus man coverage on 21% of his dropbacks). 
  • COUSINS: Has to get rid of the ball faster — the Lions sacked him once but forced 10 incompletions on 14 pressures. 
  • VIKINGS: Have surprisingly allowed a pass rush pressure on 35.5% of Cousins’ dropbacks — including 34.1% last week against the Lions. 
  • SAINTS: Finally generated pass rush pressure (32.1% of snaps) and dialed up more blitzes (39.3%) in Week 3 against the Panthers. 
  • SAINTS: Played the least amount of zone coverage last week (50.8%) since the start of 2021. They usually play more zone but they’ve been getting more comfortable with man coverage over the past two weeks. 
  • SAINTS: No QB has 20-plus Fantasy points against them this year, but the defense has faced Mariota, Brady without top receivers and Mayfield.

Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)

Projections powered by

  • THIELEN: After closing Week 2 strong, Thielen landed a 21.6% target share and cashed in an 8-61-1 stat line against Detroit. 
  • SAINTS: Have allowed an impressive 61.5% catch rate to opposing receivers, especially since they’ve seen the sixth-most targets through three weeks, but they’re allowing 14.3 yards per catch and an egregious 6.25 YAC/rec (that’s third worst). 
  • SAINTS: If the Saints opt to play a lot of man coverage, which they might, considering the Eagles and Lions had some success with it against Minnesota, it’s assumed Thielen will draw lighter coverage than Justin Jefferson. Thielen is efficient versus both man and zone but better against man.

Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)

Projections powered by

  • HUNT: Exactly 15 touches in each game this year. Has averaged 4.2 yards per run and 6.0 yards per catch, both of which are lower for him compared to his career totals. He totaled at least 60 yards per game. 
  • HUNT: Had five touches inside of 10 yards compared to six for Chubb. Chubb has scored more often, including in Week 3 when Hunt had three straight goal-to-go carries and couldn’t score, but Chubb did on a fourth-down try. 
  • FALCONS: Allowing 4.49 yards per carry so far this season (a little above league-average), and no running back has more than 10 PPR or non-PPR points against them, but they haven’t exactly been tested. Of the 59 carries they’ve seen, only three have come from inside of 10 yards.
  • FALCONS: Seem especially deficient against runs to the edge (7.24 yards per carry allowed) compared to runs up the middle (4.22), and they’ve allowed much fewer yards before and after contact on edge runs compared to between the tackles. 
  • HUNT: Averaging 3.86 yards per carry on edge runs; Chubb is averaging 4.92. Chubb’s better than Hunt on between-the-tackle runs, but both are north of 4.40 yards per carry.  

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)

Projections powered by

  • NJOKU: Became a factor in Week 3 picking up a bunch of short-range targets from Jacoby Brissett. Only one target, and only two of his 27 routes, went beyond 10 yards downfield last week. 
  • NJOKU: Seemed to be more involved against Cover-2 and Cover-3 style defenses recently. Last week, 9 of 10 targets came against those specific coverages, and the week before he had two efficient catches against Cover-3. Both types of defense are designed to eliminate the big play while still fighting the run, which is perfect for a short-area outlet like Njoku. 
  • FALCONS: Lead the NFL in Cover-2 snaps played through three weeks (23.8%), and are just below league average in Cover-3 snaps played (32.8%).  
  • FALCONS: Rank bottom-five in catch rate allowed (78.3%) and receiving yards allowed (219) to tight ends. Also rank bottom-10 in yards per catch (12.17) and first-down receptions allowed (nine) to tight ends.

Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)

Projections powered by

  • RAVENS: Have allowed an 82.4% catch rate (third highest) and two TDs to tight ends through three games. Quarterbacks have earned a 158.0 QB rating when targeting tight ends against Baltimore. 
  • KNOX: It’s discouraging that in a game when Josh Allen was dinking and dunking for most of his 63 pass attempts last week that Knox saw just four targets. Knox played 71% of all snaps, but 68% of all pass snaps.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

Projections powered by

  • BILLS: Between the heat and the matchup, the Buffalo offensive line allowed a pressure on 45.1% of their snaps, more than double what they averaged in their first two games combined. That helped Singletary’s crazy-high target rate last week. Of Singletary’s nine catches, only two seemed like designed throws (including his touchdown versus man coverage). 
  • RAVENS: Rank 24th in pass rush pressure rate (28.8% of snaps) and 20th in blitz per dropback rate (23.5%). They don’t attack quarterbacks quite like they used to.
  • RAVENS: Their defensive breakdowns tend to happen further downfield against receivers and tight ends; as far as defending running backs through the air, Baltimore is a little better than league-average in catch rate and yards per catch allowed to running backs and top-10 in YAC/reception to runners.
  • SINGLETARY: Had 10 or fewer touches in Weeks 1 and 2, and may only see more than that in Week 4 as a way to slow down the pace of the offense after playing 92 snaps in the heat last week. Note the use of the word “may”; the Bills still throw the ball on 66.2% of their snaps, sixth-highest in the league. 

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

Projections powered by

  • DOBBINS: After playing just 44% of the snaps last week (Justice Hill played more), and turning seven carries into 23 yards, it’s quite a leap of faith to trust Dobbins. 
  • JUSTICE HILL: The Ravens’ other rusher last Sunday played more snaps (47%), was much better rushing (6-60) and took on 7 of 11 snaps on 3rd/4th downs as well as 5 of 7 snaps inside the 10. Dobbins used to share rushing work with Gus Edwards back in 2020, so that doesn’t seem to be changing. 
  • BILLS: Have given up just 2.66 yards per carry to running backs (second-best in the league). Their D-line has been something else, pinning running backs to a 0.23 yards before contact average (which is somehow only second-best). 

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

Projections powered by

  • BATEMAN: Start thinking about him like you used to think about Tyler Lockett — a boom/bust Fantasy receiver thanks to his big-play ability. He currently leads all qualifying receivers in yards per catch (28.25!) and YAC/reception (14.88!) and is fourth in average depth of target (17.56 yards). 
  • BATEMAN: There’s an obvious downside, which you saw last week. He dropped a deep ball that would have been a touchdown, and he’s only commanding an 18.8% target share in an offense throwing the ball 56.6% of the time. Bateman also has zero red-zone targets. 
  • BILLS: At 87.3%, the Bills play the second-most zone coverage of any team. Only five teams have allowed fewer completions of 20-plus yards (six). Buffalo’s secondary is thin on talent, but they’re typically one of the best-coached defenses in football. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combined for 135 yards last week on six catches/10 targets, but neither scored.

Analysis to come. 

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.

Analysis to come.



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