Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Best fantasy football plays for Week 4 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Week 3 was not a good one for many fantasy players (besides Alvin Kamara owners), as several big-name players did not live up to expectations.
Well, the good news is that Week 4 is upon us, and a chance for redemption for many.
Here are the best plays in fantasy football this week.
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Watson has been a middle-tier fantasy quarterback through three weeks of the season, but things are about to trend upward for the star passer real soon. After getting through the gauntlet of Kansas City, Baltimore and Pittsburgh to open the season, Watson has a favorable matchup against a Minnesota secondary that has let anyone get behind it. Through three weeks, Joe Burrow has proven he belongs on all rosters in fantasy football. Burrow has topped 20 points in all three outings this year, and the Jaguars have allowed the fifth-most points to opposing passers. Start Joey B. And lastly, Fitzpatrick just continues to get it done. This week, he faces a beat-up Seattle secondary that has allowed the most passing yards to quarterbacks this season. He might be the start of the week.
Foles came off the bench in favor of Mitch Trubisky last week and shined, throwing for three touchdowns in the Bears' come from behind victory over the Falcons. Foles won't have that same luck against the Colts, who have hauled in a league-best six interceptions and have allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2020. Wentz has yet to find a rhythm in 2020, and despite facing an injured San Francisco team, has an unfavorable matchup this week down arguably his favorite target in Dallas Goedert. And while Brady may be the GOAT, he has a tough matchup against a Chargers defense that slowed down the high-powered Chiefs offense just two weeks ago.
It's completely fair to say that through three weeks, Drake has failed to live up to his lofty preseason expectations. However, the running back has a prime opportunity to bounce back against Carolina, a squad that has given up seven rushing touchdowns already this season and the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Ekeler has looked exceptional since Justin Herbert took over as QB, and will likely continue his strong start to the season with a favorable matchup against Tampa. And Henderson has put together back-to-back 20-point outings, clearly emerging as the best running back of the Rams' trio. Now, he has a favorable matchup against the lowly Giants defense.
- Mark Ingram, BAL (vs. WFT)
- Antonio Gibson, WAS (vs. BAL)
- Leonard Fournette/Ronald Jones II, TB (vs. LAC)
Sunday's matchup between the Ravens and Washington Football Team features two running backs -- Ingram and Gibson -- that fantasy owners should absolutely leave on their bench this week. Ingram's glory from 2019 is well in the past with the addition of J.K. Dobbins and continued use of Gus Edwards, while Gibson is facing arguably the best defense in the NFL in Baltimore. Down in Tampa Bay, it's best to avoid both Fournette and RoJo until Bruce Arians figures out which running back is going to be a guy. So far, it doesn't look like he knows.
Lazard is coming off the best game of his young NFL career, hauling in six receptions and 146 yards on Sunday with Devante Adams sidelined. Lazard looks like a legit No. 2 wideout and has a favorable matchup this week in Atlanta. Beckham is no longer an every-week play -- especially in Cleveland's run-first offense -- but he's a must-start this week against a Dallas secondary that has had all kinds of issues covering pass-catchers thus far. And if there's any secondary worse than Dallas' thus far, it's Seattle's. Expecter Parker to have a big day.
- Terry McLaurin, WAS (vs. BAL)
- A.J. Green, CIN (vs. JAX)
- D.J. Moore, CAR (vs. ARI)
McLaurin is the lone true offensive threat in an otherwise stagnant Washington attack, but the second-year wideout is facing a daunting task this week against Baltimore, arguably the best secondary in the NFL. A.J. Green's comeback tour has been nothing like he expected; he's a must-bench until he produces. And D.J. Moore has been one of the earliest flops of the draft thus far, averaging the third-most receptions on his team thus far.
- T.J. Hockenson, DET (vs. NO)
- Dalton Schultz, DAL (vs. CLE)
- Darren Waller, LVR (vs. BUF)
Hockenson's second season has been a nice surprise, as the first-round pick has hauled in four-plus catches for 50-plus yards each week thus far. New Orleans has given up the most points to tight ends thus far this season. Schultz has been the sixth-best tight end over the past two weeks and now faces a Browns defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position so far. And Waller should be a must-play every week, but even more so against a Bills defense that has struggled to defend the position in 2020.
- Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. SF)
- Hayden Hurst, ATL (vs. GB)
- Hunter Henry, LAC (vs. TB)
Ertz is now the clear No. 1 in the Eagles' offense following the injury to Dallas Goedert, but the 49ers defense as a whole has been stout against tight ends. Despite a likely increase in targets, it'll be difficult to see Ertz establishing himself this week. Hurst was figured to pick up where Auston Hooper left off last season in Atlanta, but the tight end caught just one pass last week in a game without Julio Jones. And Henry faces a tough matchup this week in Tampa Bay, a defense that has not allowed a TD to a tight end yet this season.
- Baltimore DST (vs. WAS)
- Tampa Bay DST (vs. LAC)
Baltimore's defense is entering Week 4 an angry bunch after giving up 385 passing yards to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Well, they get quite the favorable matchup against Washington, one week after Dwayne Haskins had four turnovers in Cleveland. Expect Baltimore to be clicking on all cylinders in this game. Tampa Bay's pass rush has been exceptional the past two weeks, notching a total of 11 sacks over that span. Now, they get a rookie quarterback traveling across the country for his first road start. Good luck.
New England DST (vs. KC)
Cleveland DST (vs. DAL)
The Patriots defense has been stellar against interior opponents, but we saw what Patrick Mahomes and co. just did to Baltimore on Monday night. Keep New England's defense sidelined this week. Cleveland had an excellent performance last week against Washington, but Dak Prescott isn't going to make the same mistakes Dwayne Haskins did.