Fantasy Football: Projecting Top Performers at Each Position in Week 4

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Today is Sunday, September 29th and that means we are very close to kicking off the rest of week four. I’ve compiled a list of players who I believe will be the top performers for the week at each position. Last week wasn’t good at all for me (see below) but this week will be a bounce-back.

Quarterback

Russell Wilson vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Seahawks are a surprising 2-1 heading into week four against the Arizona Cardinals. The reason it is surprising is that they just lost at home to the Drew Bress-less Saints that were already written off by their fans and half of the nation. The Saints blew the Seahawks out of the water to start but Russell Wilson finished the game as the highest-scorer of the week three fantasy football realm. Whether it was due to garbage time touchdowns or not doesn’t matter in fantasy, they all count the same. Wilson finished last week throwing over 400 yards, two passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns.

Well, in this week he goes against the defense giving up the third-most points to quarterbacks and that is the Cardinals as mentioned earlier. Wilson is already a top-five fantasy quarterback on the season. Arizona has allowed nine touchdown passes through three weeks and I expect Wilson to add at least three more to that total. It’s hard to say anyone is going to outscore Patrick Mahomes but this week Mahomes does play in Detroit, I have Wilson going off and leading the Seahawks to 3-1 behind his arm, DK Metcalf, Will Dissly and Tyler Lockett.

Projected Game: 31/37, 280 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 5 car, 50 rushing yards, TD

Running back

Joe Mixon vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have given up the third-most fantasy points to running backs. The Bengals and Steelers are both 3-0 and are playing on Monday Night Football. Here’s the deal, the Bengals are going to have to pound the rock on the road and they are going to do so with Joe Mixon who looks to have gained some confidence after his solid performance in Buffalo. Mixon before last week had 5.5 fantasy points. Last week he had 94 total yards and found the end zone. Mixon plays pretty well against the Steelers normally but this team is all sorts of messed up this season. The Steelers made the 49ers look unstoppable last week on the ground.

In this game, it’s going to be up to the Bengals to attack Pittsburgh early and establish the running game. After that, Mixon has proven he can win as a pass-catcher as well. You saw him last week and this week expect Mixon to have a career breakout type of game in front of the national audience.

Projected Game: 26 car, 158 yards, TD, 5 rec, 65 yards, TD

Wide receiver

Sterling Shepard vs. Washington Redskins

This is the hardest one to predict and if you just go with the top receivers you may come close but I want accuracy with my predictions. Davante Adams looked incredible on Thursday Night Football, but he will not end up as the leading receiver this week. Hear me out, Sterling Shepard came back last week from injury to Daniel Jones, a quarterback who he had never truly played with in an NFL game. Well, those two found some chemistry right off the cuff as Shepard went for 100 yards on seven grabs, it was the first time since week 15 of last year in which he broke the century mark. Shepard was trending towards becoming a star early in his career but injuries and inconsistent quarterback play hurt him. Now, with Daniel Jones, I’m very high on Shepard and he’s about to blow up the Washington Redskins secondary like Taylor Gabriel did on Monday Night Football.

I expect Shepard to break out as he’s going up against a secondary that has given up 163 fantasy points to receivers entering week four. The Redskins needed that win on Monday Night Football and this week they were expected to be favorited heading into the season. Now, Danny Dimes has changed everything and the Redskins are looking like a rebuilding team that may want the draft to get here sooner than later.

Projected Game: 9 rec, 188 yards, TD

Tight end

Will Dissly vs. Arizona Cardinals

Yes, I know I mentioned Russell Wilson will be the highest-scoring quarterback and now I’m mentioning that Dissly will be the highest-scoring tight end this week. The light bulb should go off in your head immediately right now. If you play Daily Fantasy Football you need to make sure you stack Wilson with Dissly in every league. Dissly already has looked impressive and he did early last year before suffering a season-ending injury. The Cardinals are the worst defense in the league at stopping tight ends. They have given up more points than any team. Dissly also has three touchdowns on the season and finds himself in the top ten of fantasy tight ends.

This week, Dissly is going to go off. Keep in mind, the Seahawks just dealt their backup tight end who was the starter, Nick Vannett to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The targets should be of plenty for Dissly who was once dubbed as just a blocking tight end coming out of Washington.

Projected Game: 8 rec, 88 yards, 2 TDs

Defense/ST

Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Remember when the Buccaneers gave up two pick-sixes versus the 49ers to kick off the season? Yeah, I do too. The Los Angeles Rams defense is one of the best in football. If you follow Downtown Rams, you will know I’ve been saying this team will finish number one in the league in 2019. They are off to a great start as they have made Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, and Baker Mayfield look uncomfortable through three games. This week Jameis Winston comes to Los Angeles. The Rams are allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and while they are the 25th defense versus running backs, this is not a good Los Angeles will have to worry about on the ground. Ronald Jones is back at the Coliseum but that likely won’t matter as the Buccaneers continue to rely on Peyton Barber who is nothing special.

The interesting thing about the Rams defense is how they have had an interception in every game and have yet to have a multi-interception game. This game will change all of that. I do expect Winston to throw multiple picks and for the Rams to maybe force a fumble. The Rams defense plays a lot of bend-don’t-break and in that regard, they can keep the scoreboard low. Aaron Donald has been waiting to break out, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib are longing for that big-play and Dante Fowler Jr. is leading the team in pressures on the quarterback. Something has got to give, the Rams defense already looks great but this could be a huge explosion for the defense.

Projected Game: 10 PA, 2 INTs, 5 Sacks, FF, FR, TD

Kicker

Austin Seibert vs. Baltimore Ravens

When looking for a top-performing kicker you want to find someone with consistency, a good matchup and an offense that is good enough to get into field goal range and get past midfield consistently but still one that stalls out there as well. The Cleveland Browns have that offense. Freddie Kitchens play-calling has been questioned to this point and the Browns like to air it out often even when they do not need to. I think Seibert for that reason will be in a position to have plenty of opportunities for field goals versus the Ravens.

Seibert is a rookie and he’s having a great year to this point while the Ravens are giving up the sixth-most points to kickers this season in fantasy. It’s a credit to their defense for locking down offenses near the end zone but it also means they consistently allow teams to march down the field and take three points.

Projected Game: 5 FGs (4 -39 yard & 50+ yard) 1 XP


Last week…Week three

Quarterback

Dak Prescott vs. Miami Dolphins

I know what you are thinking, Dak Prescott? Really? Look, I’m not the biggest fan of Dak’s but there is no discounting how well he’s played to start the season. Albeit, it’s been against the Giants and Redskins but even still, Dak has an 82.3 completion percentage, seven passing touchdowns, one pick, 674 yards passing and a monster 142.9 passer rating. Of course, pepper in his 81 rushing yards and you can see why he would be considered valuable. Today, he plays the worst football team in the NFL. There really isn’t much else to say and even without young stud receiver Michael Gallup, Prescott will have plenty of weapons in his arsenal.

The emergence of 2015 second-round pick Devin Smith has been a breath of fresh air and he will likely have a big role today. Look for Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Jason Witten and of course, Ezekiel Elliott to be heavily involved in the passing game as well. I’m expecting five touchdown passes from Dak Prescott in a blowout win to send the Cowboys to a 3-0 record and take an early stranglehold of the NFC East division.

Projected Game: 30/36, 333 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs, 5 car, 40 rushing yards

Points Scored: 25 PTS

Running back

Josh Jacobs vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings just gave up over 100 yards to Aaron Jones right after shutting down the run and holding Atlanta to a mere 50 yards in week one. I don’t think Devonta Freeman is very good and while I like Ito Smith, the Falcons don’t use him as the go-to back. For this reason, I’m selling the Vikings run defense in week one and believing they will be a lot more like the week two run defense moving forward. As for Josh Jacobs, he’s looked good, really good in his first two NFL games. The first game was an impressive two touchdown workhorse performance that led to a win and the second game he ran for 99 yards on 12 carries against the Chiefs. He averaged over eight yards per carry and could have kept going but the Raiders were getting thrown on all game by Patrick Mahomes and so it took the running game out of the equation with a large deficit early on.

In this game, I expect the Raiders to be in the contest all the way through and have a legitimate shot at upsetting the Vikings at home. I’m not sold on Minnesota at all and I do think the Raiders are an intriguing team that can win a couple of these underdog games. I expect a heavy dose of Josh Jacobs in this one and a performance so great that leaves people wondering if Jacobs can be the highest-scoring running back in fantasy this season. It’s worth mentioning that Jacobs is one of only 14 running backs that is averaging at least 18 touches per game. It’s early but I love the usage and believe Jacobs is in for a monster day in Minnesota.

Projected Game: 28 car, 155 yards, 2 TDs, 2 rec, 20 yards, TD

Points Scored: 4 PTS

Wide receiver

Kenny Golladay vs. Philadelphia Eagles

How do you beat the Philadelphia Eagles? You pressure Carson Wentz and you throw on their secondary. The Lions can do both of those things but they can do the latter very well. Detroit has a passing attack led by Matthew Stafford that can take advantage of this but more so they have a physical freak in Kenny Golladay that is off to a great start early in his season. He truly went off last week with an eight catch, 117 yards and a touchdown performance in the win over the Chargers. The week prior he caught a touchdown. This is going to be a big game for Golladay and he’s going to be the highest-scoring wideout in the league in week three.

Golladay already has 19 targets through two games and this is a big game for the Lions who are 1-0-1 and will need to do everything in their power to attack the Philly defense. I believe the thing that makes Golladay such a problem is his size but also his speed. There isn’t a cornerback on the Eagles I would be worried about heading into this matchup if you are a fantasy owner of Golladay.

Projected Game: 12 rec, 189 yards, TD

Points Scored: 2 PTS

Tight end

George Kittle vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Nothing is going right for the Steelers and they just lost their quarterback for the season. However, on the other side of the coin, the 49ers are threatening in the NFC West and are off to a 2-0 start with an offensive explosion last week that may have put the league on notice that they might be in for a season. The craziest thing about last week’s 500-plus yard explosion was how little George Kittle was part of that. Don’t expect that to be the case versus the Steelers. Despite his slow start, Kittle is outscoring his 2018 first two weeks. I expect this to be the game where Kittle breaks out and silences the worried crowd. The Steelers gave up a big game out of Will Dissly and while I think Dissly is the real deal when healthy, he’s not anywhere near the level of Kittle.

Kittle is going up against one the 19th ranked defense versus tight ends according to ESPN fantasy.  Kittle leads all pass catchers on the 49ers in targets and has had multiple touchdowns called back due to penalties. His time is coming and it’s coming today against a Pittsburgh defense that was destroyed by the Patriots and picked apart by the Seahawks.

Projected Game: 8 rec, 100 yards, 2 TDs

Points Scored: 8 PTS

Defense/ST

Packers vs. Denver Broncos

I’ve completely given up on the Denver Broncos as long as Joe Flacco is the quarterback. They just don’t look like a legit NFL offense to this point. Even more so, they play Mike Pettine’s defense that is one of the top-scoring defenses to this point. With playmakers like Jaire Alexander, Preston Smith, Kenny Clark and Adrian Amos featured on this defense, Flacco’s days aren’t getting easier. Week one, the Packers defense held the Bears offense to three points, forced an interception and sacked Mitch Trubisky five times. Last week versus the Vikings, the Packers only gave up 16 points, intercepted two of Kirk Cousins passes, recovered two fumbles, added a sack and a blocked punt to their resume as well. They are the fourth-ranked defense and I expect them to tee off on the Broncos today.

Projected Game: 3 PA, 3 INTs, 6 Sacks, TD

Points Scored: 15 PTS

Kicker

Joey Slye vs. Arizona Cardinals

Why not ride out the league’s highest-scoring fantasy kicker? Joey Slye already has 27 fantasy points through two games as a kicker. You can thank the accuracy of Slye but also the fact the Panthers offense likes to stall out right in field goal range and do it quite often. Slye is three-of-four from 50-plus yards out. The Cardinals aren’t a great defense by any means but the Panthers are starting Kyle Allen so I don’t expect them to punch the ball into the end zone much. This is going to be a close game, the Panthers are 0-2 and are in some early trouble on the season. Slye is likely looking at another double-digit scoring game as long as he does his part because the opportunities will likely be there all game versus Arizona.

Projected Game: 4 FGs (3 50+ yard & 1 40 yard), 1 XP

Points Scored: 8 PTS

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