Hardwired for Sports

NFL Week 4 Start/Sit


With just a few hours to go until Week 4 starts, here is what HFS has to offer as a start/sit for this week. Remember, if you have any fantasy questions about this weekend or the season moving forward, you can tweet them at me @hardwiredsports.


In the shootout of the week, the two main quarterbacks to start this week are Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. There should be a ton of points and without huge running games, both quarterbacks should be prepared for big weeks. Outside of that game, it is also worth looking into starting Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins. I have mentioned Stafford in plenty of articles due to his chemistry with Marvin Jones and the offense run by Jim Bob Cooter. Cousins, on the other hand, has the luxury of playing against the Cleveland Browns’ defense, which has allowed seven touchdowns in the first three weeks of the season.

Marcus Mariota has to be a sit this week, even without J.J. Watt for the Texans. Delanie Walker is still not guaranteed to play this week, and without him, Mariota is very limited in his receiving targets. Another second year quarterback in the NFL, Jameis Winston is another quarterback to sit. He goes up against the Denver defense, which is stout against the run as well as the pass.

Running Backs

Sure, I mentioned that Mariota will struggle this week, but DeMarco Murray is still a top start this week against Houston. He has been exception in the passing game for Mariota and he will continue to snag about 5 passes per game. Along with that, Murray is going to get plenty of carries that gives him a nice floor for every single week. Another player that has a tough matchup this week is Charles Sims. However, he is going to get a ton of snaps and carries, which could net him plenty of yards and a high possibility for touchdowns. The problem with Sims, on the other hand, is that if Denver jumps out to an early lead, Jameis Winston will spend much of the game throwing the ball instead of running.

Latavius Murray is getting killed in terms of his carry number. He has seen a tremendous drop in his production since last season, and that has definitely hurt his fantasy value. Yet again, he should stay firmly on your bench. I would also bench Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon, for the reason that Blake Bortles will be throwing all day long. Jacksonville and Indianapolis will certainly be a shootout, and starting running backs from either team would be a mistake.

Wide Receivers

So I already mentioned that Matthew Stafford is going to have a big week. With that being said, he cannot do it without his #1 receiver, Marvin Jones. Jones has been one of the top receivers for fantasy production this season, and he will keep that up into Week 4. I would also say that starting Travis Benjamin would be a good bet. As I mentioned in the quarterback section, the Chargers-Saints matchup will include so many points that receivers are going to be very valuable for fantasy. Lastly, I expect Amari Cooper to finally get into the end zone this season while also eclipsing the 100-yard mark. He could easily be a top-5 receiver this week.

As for receivers to leave on your bench, sit both Jets’ receivers: Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. We saw how Ryan Fitzpatrick played last week, and his matchup does not get any easier this weekend. When you combine that with the injury woes from these two receivers, bench both. Also avoid Julian Edelman, even if he gets snaps at quarterback. LeGarrette Blount is going to get a steady dosage of carries and with Gronk getting healthier, the targets for Edelman will go down.

Also, for your information, if you have Josh Gordon on your roster, drop him now. He has decided to forgo the possibility of a return coming soon, so keeping him on your roster is worthless.

Tight Ends

In his return, Dennis Pitta was not great, but I think that he will continue to move forward and get plenty of targets from Joe Flacco. Also, go all in on Jimmy Graham. Outside of Gronk, I think that Graham could easily be the top tight end of the week. Russell Wilson‘s injury leaves him as mainly a pocket passer and that is where Graham excels. He has not been great in the Seattle system so far, but this is his chance to become a top tight end.

And with Gronkowski coming back with more snaps this week, Martellus Bennett is the tight end to drop. There is no reason to have him on your roster unless Gronk goes back down with injury, so avoid starting him. Also, Jesse James of Pittsburgh should stay on your bench. The Chiefs are one of the top defenses against tight ends in the league, so please leave James on the bench, for the sake of your fantasy team.

Defenses/Special Teams

Start: Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals

Sit: Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs

Photo courtesy of ESPN.