Week 4 Starts and Sits September 29, 2016  |  Jackson Safon

It’s only week four and bye weeks are already here. With the Eagles and Packers off this week, you’ll have to find replacements for several fantasy difference makers.

We’re finally moving from the “attack the waiver for breakouts” period where we see how good everyone’s roster construction is. As is important every week, take this as your reminder to leave players with injury concerns in your flex, to give yourself as many options as you can.

For a quick week three in review…let’s just say I had a rough week. Sitting Blake Bortles was just about my only hit, although I’m gonna give myself a pass on Willie Snead and Antonio Gates both being out with injuries. I was wrong about starting Andrew Luck and Theo Riddick, and painfully wrong about sitting LeGarrette Blount and Demaryius Thomas.

Here’s to a better week four for my predictions and your fantasy teams.


Start: Blake Bortles vs. Ind

Bortles has been a disappointment so far this year, and my cursing roommate knows that as well as anyone. The good news for him is he’s in the game with the third highest over/under of the week, according to the Westgate Superbook. While the Colts defense hasn’t allowed a passing touchdown since week one, they’ve let up an abundance of yards, and the Jaguars running game is far from inspiring.

Plus, while the sample size is small, Bortles has had overwhelming success against the Colts in his career. He’s scored over 29 points per game against Indy and is averaging two touchdowns per game along with zero interceptions. Turnovers have been a problem for Bortles this season as he has six already, but the Colts defense only has one on the season. The game should be a shootout, and Bortles has a great chance at multiple touchdowns.

Sit: Russell Wilson @ NYJ

Talk about a disappointment…Wilson was considered by many to be the number three quarterback in fantasy, but he he’s not even in the top-25 through three weeks. He’s been hobbled by a knee injury, and things don’t look to improve this week going against a tough Jets defensive line. The Seahawks’ offensive line has been rated one of the worst in football by Pro Football Focus, and the Jets’ defensive line, behind Leonard Williams’ breakout year, looks to feast like Evan Silva and Ross Tucker.

Even if you subscribe to “don’t sit your studs” (which you shouldn’t subscribe to), Wilson has been far from a stud so far this year. This matchup has one of the lowest over/unders of the week, and it’s never good when a team from the west coast has to travel for a 10 A.M. start time. Wilson just has too low of a floor this week to be worth starting.

Running Backs

Start: Jordan Howard vs. Det

Fantasy Twitter rejoices as Jordan Howard finally unseated Jeremy Langford as the Bears’ starting running back. Nobody cheers for injury, but Jordan Howard owners are cheering for his outstanding first matchup as starting running back. The Lions are the best possible matchup for fantasy running backs according to NumberFire.

While it’s likely the Bears are going to lose this game, most likely eliminating the possibility that Howard hits 20 carries, the opportunity is still a great one. Howard had four catches for 47 yards in last week’s game, so he should be plenty involved in the passing game. There’s a good chance that Howard ends up taking the job and running with it, starting with a great week four.

Sit: Orleans Darkwa @ Min

The running back portion of this week’s column looks like everyone’s waiver adds from last week. While Howard might end up being a league winner, Darkwa is not looking as enticing as everyone had hoped. At least not for this week. The Giants are hopeful Rashad Jennings will be back this week, relegating Darkwa to competing with Paul Perkins for third down snaps.

To make matters worse, just look at who the Giants are playing. The Vikings defense just made Cam Newton and the dynamic Panthers offense look like the Rams in week one. The purple people eaters should strike fear into fantasy opponents, and Darkwa is a guy to avoid this week.


Wide Receivers

Start: Willie Snead @ SD

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

I feel like I jinxed Snead by putting him as a start last week, but assuming he’s healthy for week four, you should roll him out with confidence. Jason Verrett has been a lockdown corner for the Chargers this season, but he tends to shadow and will most likely follow Brandin Cooks around. Snead will be able to operate freely from the slot and has a great chance to score in the game with the week’s highest expected point total.

The new Fast Willie has a great chance to lead this game in receiving yards. He’s a strong WR2 this week in a very enticing matchup.

Sit: Tajae Sharpe @ Hou

After a great week one, Sharpe has come back to Earth the last two, totaling only seven PPR points in each week. Things don’t get any easier this week as he takes on a Texans team that has allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to receivers so far this season. Losing J.J. Watt is obviously a blow to the defense, but this game is expected to be really low scoring, and Sharpe hasn’t scored a touchdown yet in his pro career.

The Titans’ “exotic smashmouth” has been far from that, only averaging 14 per game, and Sharpe won’t have the volume to survive without reaching the end zone.

Tight Ends

Start: Hunter Henry vs. NO

Henry had more receptions in his first career start than Antonio Gates did in week one or two of this year. Aside from his fumble at the end of the game, Henry looked like the complete package and has a cake matchup this week against New Orleans. The Saints are allowing the sixth most fantasy points to tight ends this year, and this game should feature a ton of opportunities for touchdowns.

Sit: Jimmy Graham @ NYJ

As you can tell, I’m off the Seahawks offense this week. Graham looked as close to his old self last week as we’ve seen in years, but I’m preaching patience until I feel comfortable starting him. Seeing him succeed multiple weeks in a row would be surprising given such a touch matchup against the Jets. Graham proved last week that he still has an extraordinarily high ceiling, but the floor is so low that I’m hesitant.

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