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Week 4 Start-Sit: Figuring Out the Defenses

Week 4 Start-Sit
Angie Six

Last week was my best week yet with my Start-Sit predictions, as my picks went 13-5 with 8 major wins. I hope I can keep this trend going with my Week 4 Start-Sit plays!

My “Sits” were especially on point last week, as all seven guys I said to sit failed to live up to their rankings. In fact, of the seven sits, six of them were major wins or they were at least 12 spots lower than their ranking.

For the Week 4 Start-Sit, we can start formulating opinions on which defenses are good against which positions. With so much changeover from year to year in the NFL, it can be tough to gauge how a defense plays from one season to the next.

As always I am keeping track of my predictions. Going into the Week 4 Start-Sit picks I am 32-19 with 20 major wins. Just a reminder, a “win” is correctly picking a start that out-performs his rankings or under-performs as a sit. A “loss” is the opposite happening. A major win is when a guy over- or under-performs by 12 or more spots.

So let’s get to the Week 4 Start-Sit plays. For our Week 4 Start-Sit projections, I am going to focus on guys ranked outside of the Top-24 RB/WRs and Top-10 QB/TEs for my Starts. I will focus on guys inside the Top-20 RB/WRs and Top-8 QB/TEs for my Sits.

Week 4 Start-Sit

(All rankings based off of the Fantasy Pros consensus PPR rankings as of 9/28)

Start

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Jay Cutler, QB, Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints (QB16)

Playing just two games, Jay Cutler’s statistics are pretty similar. You are going to get 225 yards and a touchdown with maybe a turnover. If you go outside the box though, Cutler has yet to play a home game and is still getting used to a team that he just joined a little over a month ago. What better spot to break out than against the Saints?

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans (QB20)

Watson had a monster game last weekend with 300+ passing and over 40 yards rushing. New England’s defense is pitiful, but that was still a road game against the world champs. I think he continues the hot streak this week against the third-worst defense against quarterbacks.

Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks (RB36)

There is still a stigma about looking at a running back playing Seattle that might need to be removed. The Seahawks are giving up 155 scrimmage yards per game to running backs. With Jacoby Brissett under center, the Colts are going to give Gore the rock (25 carries last week). By volume alone, he is Flex-worthy with touchdown upside.

Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers (RB38)

Ellington has become the screen and dump-off machine that boosted David Johnson’s stats a year ago. He is now second on the team in receptions and has increased his catch total each game. In PPR leagues he is definitely in the Flex conversation.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers (RB40)

After a super weird zero-carry game against Kansas City, Philly got back to its bruising back giving Blount 12 carries. He made the most of those touches as he bowled over at least one Giant on every carry. He is still the goal line monster but with a 4.4 YPC he can still contribute to your Fantasy team without scoring.

Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets (WR41)

Hurns has at least three catches in all three games this year and scored in each of the last two outings. The Jets have already given up five touchdowns to opposing receivers including a monster game to the second-option for the Raiders, Michael Crabtree.

J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers (WR42)

Yes, I know, Nelson put up a goose-egg against the young Dallas secondary last week. But hear me out: that was more on Carson Palmer than Nelson. Nelson was three steps past the corner, wide open for a 40-yarrd touchdown but Palmer overthrew him by 8 yards. How do you overthrow a guy with 4.2 speed? Anyway, I think he bounces back against San Francisco.

Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs (WR72)

I mean, did you see that catch he made Sunday night?


The second-year pro is finally getting healthy and if catches like that don’t increase your target-share than Kirk Cousins is worse than we all truly think. I’ve liked Doctson since the pre-season and think this will be a turning point.

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs (TE11)

If Reed plays, he is at least a Top-10 option. He has at least five catches in each game he has played and with Eric Berry out for the Chiefs, there will be openings in the middle of the field.

Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (TE24)

The Ravens have given up the second most Fantasy Points to tight ends this season and James looks to feast on the matchup this week. While I’m not predicting some super-elite outing, the Steeler is at least in the starter conversation.

Tennessee Titans, D/ST at Houston Texans (D/ST16)

Just because I think Watson will have a good game does not mean he won’t get sacked or turn the ball over. He is still a rookie prone to big mistakes. Houston is giving up the third most points to Fantasy Defenses so far this season.

Sit

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Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams (QB6)

Dak’s numbers were inflated by a couple of monster plays by receivers last week. The majority of the time, there would have been two more Ezekiel Elliott touchdown runs and Prescott would have looked un-startable. The Rams have been even better against the pass than Arizona, giving up just 230 yards per game. This will likely be a ground and pound, low-scoring game so I’m staying away from Dak.

Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (RB13)

Hyde has had a couple of big games in a row but the Cardinals are much tougher against the rush than the last two 49ers’ opponents. Expect them to stack the box and make Brian Hoyer beat them, which could leave Hyde drifting in the wind for Fantasy production.

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (RB17)

Mixon finally was the “lead” back last week with 21 total touches. His price and value have now sky-rocketed but there are still two other backs that Cincy will use. I think Marvin Lewis will keep his rookie from getting overloaded with touches, which means a step-back this week.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Washington Redskins (WR15)

There is the thought that the Redskins have a bad pass defense, but they are actually the third-best unit against wide receivers in Fantasy production. This has a lot to do with Josh Norman, who I’m sure will be on Hill as much as possible. Hill also has not been a factor in the running game, so he is a bit big-play dependent.

Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (WR24)

Cooper has seen a decrease in receptions and yards in each game this season and has reached the end zone just once, in the first game. He also is leading the league in drops. Toss in the best defense in the league, and I want nothing to do with Cooper until he gets his hands figured out.

Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams (TE8)

I would bet that Witten’s best two games of the season have already happened. Cole Beasley will get into the mix at some point and Scott Linehan will utilize Ryan Switzer’s speed in different ways even more than he did Monday night. There just is not enough touches for Witten to remain a high-end TE1.


That’s it for the Week 4 Start-Sit plays! If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter @Tomlin3 !

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Michael Tomlin
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Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog, Dirkland.blogspot.com, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.
Michael Tomlin
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