With the Seahawks favored by almost two touchdowns at home, this is projected as a positive game script for Carson. He could see 25+ touches in this game, and with C.J. Prosise declared out for Week 4, Carson can see extra opportunity in the passing game as well. The Colts haven’t been particularly porous against the run, but with the amount of touches Carson can see in this game at home, he’s a must start.
Even though Gillislee was supposed to be a good start last week, we can’t look at that game and determine how we roll for Week 4. Another positive game script at home for Gillislee means potential 2nd half volume and goal line carries. Carolina has been pretty good against the run, but on this high potent offense, I’m starting Gilly as long as I have some high floor options in my lineup to support him.
Jacksonville is ranked dead last DVOA in defending the run. With Matt Forte, expect Powell to get the majority of backfield touches, but also expect Elijah McGuire to get extra opportunity as well. It’s very possible that the Jets can look at this as an opportunity for McGuire to show what he can do with more touches. Either way, Powell should get more touches than usual and get goal line opportunities, so Powell will be in my lineup unless I have better options.
The Panthers figure to be down most of the game in New England, so McCaffrey should get extra opportunity in the passing game. McCaffrey had 11 targets last week, catching 9 of them for 101 yards. The Patriots have been pretty bad against pass-catching RBs so far. We all remember what Kareem Hunt did to them in the opener; Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined to catch 7 for 75 against them, and D’onta Foreman and Lamar Miller combined for 3 for 72. This is a game script in which you should have confidence in McCaffrey.
You might have already been starting Sanders, but he also might be an option for you in the flex. Keep him in your lineup this week. His target volume is very healthy, and he will primarily see David Amerson this week on the right side of the field, the side of the field that the Raiders have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to. The Raiders’ pass defense as a whole is ranked 28th DVOA, so start Sanders with confidence.
Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin
Even with Tyrell Williams playing 97% of snaps last week, he couldn’t get much going. This week, however, these receivers see Rasul Douglas and Jalen Mills, who’ve given up the 1st and 7th most fantasy points to their respective sides of the field. Benjamin primarily plays the right side of the field, and Williams moves all over the place. Keep in mind that Benjamin isn’t on for all plays (played on 60% of snaps in Week 3), but when he’s in the game, Rivers is looking for him.
Robert Woods if Sammy Watkins is out
If Watkins doesn’t play on Sunday, Robert Woods becomes the #1 receiver. Cooper Kupp isn’t getting the type of volume that we’re looking for when starting a slot wide receiver. Woods played very well in a good matchup against the 49ers last week, and Woods is playing on the right side of the field where the Cowboys have given up the 9th most fantasy points to WRs.
Jay Cutler couldn’t get anything going against the Jets in Week 3, but against the Saints, all options are viable. The Saints have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to the slot position, so Landry should be able to rack up some catches while being targeted 15 and 11 times in the last two games.
The Saints have had a full week in London, so they are already acclimated to the new city, while the Dolphins are making their way over the pond on Friday. The Dolphins have given up the 4th most fantasy points to wide receivers lining up on the right side of the field, and Ted Ginn has played there on a majority 43% of his routes. The Saints are just starting to click, and this Dolphins pass defense has been bad. Ginn is a great flier who can come out of London with a good fantasy day.
With Doug Baldwin hobbled, I expect the rapport between Paul Richardson and Russell Wilson to flourish. He’s had 7, 5, and 7 targets the last 3 games, and has had a touchdown in each of the last 2 games. The left side of the field has been a liability for the Colts defense, giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to wide receivers on that side of the field. The Colts have done a surprisingly good job in the nickel and the right side of the field, so I expect Wilson to look Richardson’s way a bit more in this one.
Janoris Jenkins will likely be shadowing Mike Evans, so with Eli Apple playing the other side of the field, I’m all over DeSean Jackson in this one. Pro Football Focus has given Apple a rating of 43.7/100, and the Giants have given up the 12th most fantasy points to that side of the field. Jackson is a home run hitter, and is set up to have a great fantasy day.
The Bills will likely be down early in Atlanta, so they might have to go away from running the ball to trying to catch up through the air. Matthews hasn’t gotten much volume, but he still is their #1 WR. The Falcons have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to the slot position, while doing a good job on the outside. If Taylor is going to throw the ball, I expect him to target Matthews and take advantage of the matchup.
Crabtree runs a combined 72% of routes from where Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. line up, so I’m not expecting Crabtree to light it up. He’s also banged up from the chest injury he suffered in Week 3, but it’s not considered serious. The Broncos have been a little shaky from the slot as far as giving up fantasy points, so there is some silver lining in keeping Crabtree in your lineup.
Cooper should mostly see Bradley Roby, who is definitely a liability in the Broncos passing defense. That left side of the field, where Cooper lines up 54% of the time, has allowed the 6th most fantasy points wide receivers. Cooper hasn’t been the most reliable fantasy option, but his upside makes me keep him in my starting lineup.
Adams gets a boost in targets any time Randall Cobb isn’t playing, but Cobb is set to play in Thursday night’s matchup. Adams runs 45% of his routes on the left side of the field where Prince Amukamara resides, and the Bears have done a good job on that side of the field so far this year. Cobb and Jordy Nelson have much better matchups, so I expect Rodgers to be looking at them a bit more in this game. Adams is always a TD threat, so I wouldn’t sit him.
TY Hilton is in for a rough day in Seattle. The Seahawks defense always plays better at home, and while Hilton does move around a lot, the only position that has been a liability for the Seahawks is the slot, where Hilton only plays 38% of the time. I expect the Seahawks to get after Jacoby Brissett, especially if the Colts will be in a negative game script the entire game. Sit Hilton only if you have a better option.
The Redskins have done an outstanding job on the outside this year, allowing the least fantasy points to the left side of the field, and the second least fantasy points to the right side of the field. Tyreek Hill plays a combined 56% of his routes on the outside, so hope that he can get something done when he’s in the slot; the Redskins haven’t been to shabby there either. Hill is a freak, so there’s no way I can bench him with his volume, and the fact that he has a chance to reach the end zone whenever the ball is in his hands.
Casey Hayward is set to shadow Jeffery, and Hayward is a shut-down type of guy. Jeffery is a guy who can catch any ball thrown his way, so if he gets any type of volume, he could have a decent fantasy day.
Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett
Baldwin is banged up and still might play this week despite his groin injury. The Colts have actually done a pretty good job against slot receivers (8th least fantasy points), where Baldwin and Lockett have lined up 68% and 58% of the time, respectively. Lockett lines up to the right occasionally as well, where the Colts have also allowed the 8th least fantasy points to wide receivers. Not as easy of a matchup as we think this week for the receivers.
Janoris Jenkins is set to shadow Mike Evans, and that’s no easy task. No way I’m sitting Evans, but I’m tempering my expectations for a huge week.
Crowell has been a huge disappointment this year, and I can’t start him against a staunch Bengals defense, even at home. The Browns haven’t led at all this year in any game, so I don’t think Crowell will be able to get the opportunity or game script to get the touches we want.
The Jets have done a surprisingly good job with receivers coming out the slot this year, allowing the 4th least fantasy points to slot receivers so far. Hurns has run 68% of his routes from the slot position, so he might not have such a great fantasy day. That combined with not trusting Blake Bortles, I’m fine sitting Hurns in this matchup.
Carolina has allowed the least amount of fantasy points to receivers coming out the slot, so the matchup isn’t ideal for Amendola. The matchups on the outside for Hogan and Cooks are a lot more ideal, so if you had to choose one of Brady’s plethora of options to fade this week, it would be Amendola.
The Ravens defense is legit, and I don’t want to play them at home. Combined with Big Ben’s affinity to suck away from home, it doesn’t look good for Martavis in this matchup. The Ravens have given up the 5th fewest fantasy points to WRs as a whole, and the 10th fewest fantasy points to WRs lining up on the right side of the field, where Bryant lines up 50% of the time. I am projecting the bust side of his boom/bust nature, and I’m sitting him in this matchup.
Any Jets WRs
The Jaguars have shut down opposing WRs this year, and since this group isn’t star-studded by any means, I have no problem keeping them on my bench or on the waiver wire.