Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Alvin Kamara will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system.
Be sure to check out my Week 4 PPR rankings before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings. Members also get access to myself and our team of high-stakes winners all week long to answer your specific fantasy questions.
Week 4 Start 'Em: Quarterbacks
Start of the Week
Matthew Stafford vs. Saints
Stafford hasn’t been great this season, but he did put up a respectable 18.5 points last week in his first game with Kenny Golladay back in the passing attack. I like the veteran in a potential shootout at Ford Field, as Drew Brees and the Saints visit the Motor City. Their defense has given it up to quarterbacks, allowing nine total touchdowns and more than 22 fantasy points per game to the position. This could be one of the highest-scoring games of the week, so Stafford should produce.
Gardner Minshew at Bengals
Minshew put up a stinker last week against Miami, but he’s still a borderline fantasy starter in 12-team leagues when the Jags head to the Queen City to face the Bengals. While their defense hasn’t allowed a ton of points to quarterbacks, they’ve also faced Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield in a run-based Browns offense and a struggling Carson Wentz (who scored over 21 points in five quarters). If you’ve lost Cam Newton and are in a pinch, I’d roll with the mustache this weekend.
Jared Goff vs. Giants
I’m not a huge believer in Goff, but he has had a good start to the fantasy season with a near 21-point-per game average. This week he faces the Giants, who just surrendered 343 yards and a touchdown to Nick Mullens on their home field. New York has also given up multiple touchdown passes to both Ben Roethlisberger and Mitchell Trubisky. The Rams figure to dominate the game, so Goff should find Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and crew for multiple scores at SoFi Stadium.
Joe Burrow vs. Jaguars
Hey folks, let me tell you something: Burrow is the real deal and should be owned in all fantasy leagues. He proved it again in Week 3, scoring 20-plus points in his second straight game. Burrow, who ranks second in the league in pass attempts (47 PG), is well worth a look when he faces the Jaguars. Their defense has been brutal against quarterbacks, allowing a league-high 118.6 passer rating and nearly 23 fantasy points per game to the position. Burrow could be a top-12 option.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Seahawks
Fantasy owners in deep leagues or super flex, multi-quarterback leagues should start Fitzpatrick this week. He’s averaged nearly 25 fantasy points over the last two weeks, during which time the bearded bomber has completed 73.1 percent of his passes and scored five touchdowns. Seattle has allowed eight total touchdowns and the second-most points (28.6 PPG) to quarterbacks, so Fitzpatrick is a nice streamer in a game with an over/under at 54 on DK Sportsbook.
- Aaron Rodgers vs. Falcons (MNF)
- Deshaun Watson vs. Vikings
- Joe Burrow vs. Jaguars (DraftKings: $6,300)
- Drew Brees at Lions (DraftKings: $5,800)
- Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Seahawks (DraftKings: $5,400)
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Week 4 Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks
Sit of the Week
Carson Wentz at 49ers
Wentz might have scored 21.5 fantasy points last week, but it took him five quarters to do it. He’s simply not playing good football right now, and it shows with his six interceptions against just three touchdown passes. This week he’ll travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers, who have allowed just 15.5 fantasy points to enemy quarterbacks despite all the injuries on the defensive side of the football. Wentz is simply too much of a risk to start outside of superflex or multi-quarterback formats.
Tom Brady vs. Chargers
Brady looked good last week, throwing for three touchdowns in a win over a banged-up Broncos defense. How good has he been, though? He’s outside of the top 20 in completion percentage and passer rating, and he’s barely in the top 20 in air yards per completion. He also has a difficult matchup against the Chargers, who have allowed fewer than 16 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks not named Patrick Mahomes in 2020. Their defense is also tied for fourth in QB pressures.
Kirk Cousins at Texans
Cousins rebounded well in last week’s loss to the Titans with three touchdown passes and nearly 20 fantasy points. However, I wouldn't chase the points in traditional leagues as he faces a Texans defense that's surrendered an average of 19.1 points per game to quarterbacks despite facing Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Ben Roethlisberger to start the season. The over/under is set at 53 on DK Sportsbook, but I still have concerns about Cousins this week in this roadie.
Philip Rivers at Bears
Rivers hasn’t been all that impressive for fantasy fans this year, averaging fewer than 13 points after three weeks. That’s due largely to the fact that the Colts are leaning on rookie back Jonathan Taylor and the run, as Rivers ranks 25th among field generals in pass attempts (30.7 PG). He also has a tough matchup next on the schedule, traveling to Chicago to face a Bears defense that’s allowed just two scoring strikes and the second-fewest points to enemy quarterbacks (11.8 PPG).
Nick Foles vs. Colts
Foles looked great in replacing Mitchell Trubisky last week with three touchdowns and 17.2 fantasy points in less than two quarters. Of course, that came against a brutal Falcons pass defense. He’ll find the competition to be much stiffer this week, as the Bears host a Colts defense that’s allowed an average of just 151.3 passing yards and the fewest points to quarterbacks (8.7 PPG). Unless you’re in a superflex league, Foles is better left on the fantasy football sidelines in this contest.
- Justin Herbert at Buccaneers
- Daniel Jones at Rams
- Teddy Bridgewater vs. Cardinals
- Tom Brady vs. Chargers (DraftKings: $6,100)
- Philip Rivers at Bears (DraftKings: $5,500)
- Kirk Cousins at Texans (DraftKings: $5,600)
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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!
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