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.
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Week 4 Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Start of the Week
Odell Beckham Jr. at Cowboys
It feels odd to mention OBJ as a start ‘em, but look at his numbers. Since the start of 2018, he’s 25th among wideouts in fantasy points and is averaging fewer than 13 points a game. In 2020, he’s scored fewer than 10 points in two of three contests. Not good. However, I wouldn’t consider sitting him this week. The Cowboys have allowed the third-most points to receivers lined out wide. Also, OBJ has five touchdown catches and has averaged 16.3 points in his career versus Dallas.
D.K. Metcalf at Dolphins
Metcalf might be remembered for last week’s gaffe at the goal line against the Cowboys, but it shouldn’t take away from the fact that he’s been an absolute stat-sheet monster this season. He’s in a great spot to continue that success too, as the Seahawks travel to South Beach to take on a vulnerable Miami defense. After three weeks, the Dolphins have allowed an average of 21.1 fantasy points to receivers who line out wide. Consider Metcalf a borderline No. 1 receiver this week.
DeVante Parker vs. Seahawks
Parker has not been 100 percent in recent weeks, but he’s still posted five catches in back to back games and has had 10 days to heal for a matchup against the Seahawks. It’s a very attractive matchup too, as their defense has allowed an average of 11.3 catches, 179 yards, and a league-high 31.3 fantasy points per game to receivers lined out wide. That’s where Parker has run 82 percent of his routes this season. DK Sportsbook has the over/under in this contest at 54.
CeeDee Lamb vs. Browns
I absolutely loved Lamb last week, but unfortunately, I didn’t see the Cedrick Wilson breakout game coming. Oh well. Still, I’m sticking with the talented rookie when he and the Cowboys host the Browns at the Jerry Dome. Their defense has been bad against slot receivers this season, allowing an average of 201 yards and the second-most fantasy points (23.9 PPG) to the position. Lamb, who runs an average of 31 routes out of the slot per game, should benefit in the stat sheets.
Allen Lazard vs. Falcons (MNF)
Lazard went bananas last week, posting 146 yards and 26.4 fantasy points in a win over the Saints. He’s in a good spot to produce on Monday night, as the Packers host a vulnerable Atlanta pass defense. They’ve been smoked by wideouts, regardless of their location on the line of scrimmage, allowing the third-most points to the position. The status of Davante Adams (hamstring) does affect Lazard’s stock, but he’s startable regardless based on this sweetheart of a matchup.
- Will Fuller vs. Vikings
- Marquise Brown at Football Team
- Corey Davis vs. Steelers
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Week 4 Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Sit of the Week
Julian Edelman at Chiefs
Edelman is coming off a stinker in last week’s win over the Raiders, and an upcoming matchup in Kansas City is anything but favorable. While it is a short sample size, no defense in the league has allowed fewer receptions (9), yards (104), or fantasy points (6.5 PPG) to opposing slot receivers. Even dating back to last season, the Chiefs have surrendered an average of just 4.7 catches and 48.6 yards to the position. So while it’s hard to sit Edelman, he’s not in a great spot to score points.
A.J. Green vs. Jaguars
This looks like a get-right game for the struggling Green, at least on the surface. However, the numbers might suggest a different outcome. The Jaguars have allowed an average of just 71 yards per game and one touchdown to receivers lined out wide, and the position has produced a modest 16.7 fantasy points a game. What’s more, Green basically played the same number of snaps as Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins last week and was outscored by both! Green is a risk-reward No. 3.
Darius Slayton at Rams
Slayton has cooled off since his hot start in the opener, as he’s put up a combined 12.6 points in his last two games. On the bright side, he does lead all Giants wideouts in routes run and snaps played, and Sterling Shepard is hurt. The bad news is that he’s likely to draw Rams top cover CB Jalen Ramsey for most of the afternoon. When you also factor in that the G-Men are 30th in time of possession, 31st in both points scored and total net yards, and Slayton becomes a big gamble.
Robby Anderson vs. Cardinals
Anderson ranks an impressive eighth in fantasy points among wideouts this season, posting 20 catches and 278 yards through three games. As a result, he’s certainly in the mix as a starter in most leagues. However, a matchup against the Cardinals does make him less attractive. After three weeks, Arizona has allowed just 76 yards, and the third-fewest fantasy points a game to receivers who line out wide. That’s where Anderson has run an average of 25.3 routes per game in 2020.
Justin Jefferson at Texans
Jefferson went wild last week, posting 175 yards, one touchdown, and more than 30 fantasy points in a loss to the Titans. However, I wouldn’t chase the points this week as a tougher matchup against the Texans looms. Their defense has been tough on receivers lined out wide, allowing an average of 66.3 yards and the seventh-fewest points to the position. The Vikings offense is also dead last in time of possession and offensive plays per game, which won’t help Jefferson’s case.
- Keelan Cole at Bengals
- Emmanuel Sanders at Lions
- Brandon Aiyuk vs. Eagles
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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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