Week 4 fantasy football matchups preview

New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Jets

Sam Darnold: Sit
Isaiah Crowell: Sit
Bilal Powell: Sleeper
Quincy Enunwa: Flex
Robby Anderson: Sit
Jets DST: Sleeper

The Sam Darnold hype has dulled to a whisper after that opening game and this week's matchup isn't going to get too many people excited. However, it could foster a bigger reliance on Gang Green's short passing targets, Bilal Powell and Quincy Enunwa. Anyone else in the Jets offense is a questionable start this week. New York's defense could be a look, however, versus a consistently inconsistent Jaguars offense.

Jaguars

Blake Bortles: Sit
Leonard Fournette: Start
T.J. Yeldon: Sit
Keelan Cole: Flex
Dede Westbrook: Sit
Austin Seferian-Jenkins: Sit
Jaguars DST: Start

When you get good Blake Bortles, the Jaguars offense is a sight to behold. When you get bad Blake Bortles, things grind to a halt. This is likely to be a bad Bortles week against a good Jets defense. Leonard Fournette should be a start simply because of the volume of touches he gets when he's on the field. Everyone else comes with varying degrees of caution. Keelan Cole has sleeper appeal as Bortles' favorite target but it's best to avoid the rest of Jacksonville's pass-catchers. As always, you're starting the Jaguars defense.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill: Stream
Kenyan Drake: Start
Frank Gore: Deep sleeper
Kenny Stills: Start
Jakeem Grant: Beware
Albert Wilson: Deep sleeper
Dolphins DST: Stream

Ryan Tannehill is the baseline for fantasy starters this season. Last week's game against the Raiders was a nice one but, generally, he's been a study in fantasy mediocrity. Such could be the case on the road against a frustrated Patriots team. Meanwhile, Kenyan Drake could have some opportunity versus a defense that allowed a big rushing game to Kerryon Johnson and the Lions. That could carry over to Frank Gore, who's been efficient with his limited touches this year. Kenny Still remains the lead receiver in the offense with Albert Wilson offering some occasional splash plays. Beware of chasing the points with Jakeem Grant after last week. The Dolphins defense has been surprisingly tough and could be worth a stream in deeper leagues but it's always worth approaching the Patriots offense with caution.

Patriots

Tom Brady: Beware
James White: Flex
Sony Michel: Sleeper
Josh Gordon: Sleeper
Chris Hogan: Sit
Phillip Dorsett: Sit
Rob Gronkowski: Start
Patriots DST: Sleeper

Let's not be coy, the Patriots offense has not been the juggernaut we're used to seeing. Tom Brady is QB21 after three weeks and there is some reason to be concerned. Hopefully, Josh Gordon can inject life into an inconsistent passing game, though his health (hamstring) could have something to say about it. Without Rex Burkhead (injured reserve -- neck), the running back duties will now be split between James White and Sony Michel, though Michel has been uninspiring so far this season. Gronk has been lackluster the past two weeks, but his role in the offense makes him impossible to sit. For those of you who don't believe in Miami's early-season surge, the Pats defense could be a streaming play.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Eagles

Carson Wentz: Beware
Jay Ajayi: Beware
Corey Clement: Deep sleeper
Alshon Jeffery: Flex
Nelson Agholor: Flex
Zach Ertz: Start
Dallas Goedert: Sit
Eagles DST: Start

The Eagles have been rebuilding their offense piece-by-piece early in the year. Carson Wentz returned last week and now Philly could be getting Jay Ajayi (back) and Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) back this week. They're still cautious starts against a Titans defense that hasn't allowed much this season. Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz should continue to be the most consistent targets, though Dallas Goedert proved last week that he's worthy of a larger role in the offense. It's hard to start the rookie until that role actually materializes. It's not hard to start the Eagles defense, though, and you should definitely do it.

Titans

Marcus Mariota: Sit
Dion Lewis: Sleeper
Derrick Henry: Sit
Corey Davis: Beware
Titans DST: Stream

The Titans offense will never truly prosper until Marcus Mariota can make the leap to the next level. It's hard to make that leap when your throwing hand still isn't right. That makes an already bad matchup look even worse and will have a ripple effect throughout the offense. The best hope is that it injects some life into Dion Lewis, who has fallen off the map since a solid Week 1 performance. The only other Titan to consider is the defense against an Eagles attack that's still trying to find its way.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Texans

Deshaun Watson: Start
Lamar Miller: Start
DeAndre Hopkins: Start
Will Fuller: Start
Texans DST: Sit

The Texans might still be looking for their first win but that hasn't done anything to hurt Deshaun Watson's fantasy production. Heading into Sunday, Watson is the QB11 and has had back-to-back 20-point outings after a poor start. As long as Watson is playing, Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller should be in your lineups. The Texans defense, once expected to be one of the league's tougher stop units, has become a questionable start. It might be worth trying to stream another option.

Colts

Andrew Luck: Beware
Jordan Wilkins: Sleeper
Nyheim Hines: Deep sleeper
T.Y. Hilton: Flex
Ryan Grant: Deep sleeper
Eric Ebron: Stream

Andrew Luck says he can still make all the throws but fantasy managers should be dubious about that claim. Luck has become a checkdown specialist, which has limited T.Y. Hilton's deep ball chances. Nonetheless, Hilton's volume in the passing game makes him a tough sit. Indy's backfield still doesn't have a breakout star but Jordan Wilkins is starting to take control and should get sleeper consideration this week. With Jack Doyle out another week, Eric Ebron should absorb more targets -- especially in the red zone.

Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Bills

Josh Allen: Sit
LeSean McCoy: Flex
Chris Ivory: Deep sleeper
Kelvin Benjamin: Sit
Bills DST: Sit

Last week was fun for the Bills but don't expect the Packers to get caught looking ahead. LeSean McCoy could get back on the field, which means he should at least get a flex look. If he can't go, Chris Ivory will once again get a full workload. There aren't any other Bills you should be thinking about this week.

Packers

Aaron Rodgers: Start
Jamaal Williams: Flex
Aaron Jones: Flex
Ty Montgomery: Deep sleeper
Davante Adams: Start
Geronimo Allison: Start
Randall Cobb: Flex
Jimmy Graham: Start
Packers DST: Stream

We're back to targeting the Bills defense in fantasy. Aaron Rodgers has still been a solid quarterback despite having a bad knee. This will be another week where picking a Packers running back could be a tough chore, especially with Ty Montgomery in the mix. At this point, it's worth starting both Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison while the up-and-down Randall Cobb could have flex appeal. Jimmy Graham has to have a breakout game at some point, right? It's not like you're sitting him anyway, right? The Packers defense has streaming potential this week.

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Lions

Matthew Stafford: Start
Kerryon Johnson: Flex
LeGarrette Blount: Sit
Theo Riddick: Deep sleeper
Golden Tate: Start
Marvin Jones: Start
Kenny Golladay: Start
Lions DST: Stream

The absence of Sean Lee opens things up for the Lions offense. Matthew Stafford is a QB1 candidate for the week while strengthening the credentials for all three of his wide receivers. After last week's 101-yard performance, here's to hoping Kerryon Johnson creates some clarity in Detroit's backfield. Either way, he appears to be the back to have in this offense. Detroit's defense has shown occasional signs of life and is streamable against a Cowboys offense lacking multiple weapons.

Cowboys

Dak Prescott: Sit
Ezekiel Elliott: Start
Cole Beasley: Sit
Deonte Thompson: Sit
Tavon Austin: Sit
Cowboys DST: Sit

There's Ezekiel Elliott and ... that's it. There's really no one else on this roster worth starting in fantasy. In fact, there's really no one else on this roster worth having on your fantasy roster unless you're in the deepest of leagues. The little hope that the Cowboys defense might have offered takes a severe hit without Sean Lee on the field.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Buccaneers

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Beware
Peyton Barber: Sit
Mike Evans: Start
DeSean Jackson: Beware
Chris Godwin: Sleeper
O.J. Howard: Beware
Cameron Brate: Beware
Bucs DST: Sit

There was still a little bit of Fitzmagic left in the tank last week but that was against a bad Steelers defense. This week doesn't look quite as encouraging. Peyton Barber has offered nothing in the running game and should barely be on rosters. Mike Evans' weekly potential makes him impossible to sit. DeSean Jackson's boom-or-bust tendencies make him a scary proposition. Chris Godwin has some flex appeal but comes with risk against a good Bears defense. The O.J. Howard/Cameron Brate conundrum has suddenly gotten difficult to parse and might be best to avoid if possible.

Bears

Mitchell Trubisky: Sleeper
Jordan Howard: Start
Tarik Cohen: Sleeper
Allen Robinson: Start
Taylor Gabriel: Deep sleeper
Trey Burton: Start
Bears DST: Start

There aren't many chances to start Mitchell Trubisky but this is one of them. He's a must-start in two-QB leagues and has appeal as a streamer in deeper one-QB circuits. Jordan Howard should be started every week because of his volume in the offense while Tarik Cohen could at least be a flex in most leagues. Allen Robinson has been a target monster and it could pay off with an end zone visit this week. If this really is a Trubisky week, Trey Burton could finally have the breakout game we're waiting for. The Bears defense has become a weekly must-start. This week is no exception.

Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Bengals

Andy Dalton: Stream
Giovani Bernard: Start
A.J. Green: Start
Tyler Boyd: Flex
Tyler Eifert: Beware
Bengals DST: Sit

The Dalton rollercoaster should be on the rise this week against a depleted Falcons defense. Likewise, the rest of the skill position guys in the Bengals offense need to be in your lineup as well. Gio Bernard has major PPR potential against a defense that has allowed 26 receptions to top running backs in the past two weeks. The only concern comes with Tyler Eifert, who has found himself in a timeshare with C.J. Uzomah against a defense that has been decent against tight ends. Avoid the Bengals defense against a resurgent Falcons attack.

Falcons

Matt Ryan: Start
Tevin Coleman: Flex
Julio Jones: Start
Calvin Ridley: Flex
Austin Hooper: Stream
Falcons DST: Sit

The Bengals defense is decent but Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense has caught fire since being stymied in Week 1. Calvin Ridley has been a revelation the past two weeks, which should help Julio Jones in the long run. With Devonta Freeman out for another week, Tevin Coleman will continue to occupy a large role in the offense. As we continue to seek quality tight end options, give Austin Hooper a shot this week. The Falcons defense? Not so much.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX

Seahawks

Russell Wilson: Start
Chris Carson: Start
Rashaad Penny: Sit
Doug Baldwin: Start
Tyler Lockett: Flex
Brandon Marshall: Sit
Will Dissly: Stream
Seahawks DST: Stream

The past couple of weeks haven't been great for Russell Wilson but getting Doug Baldwin back should make things a little better. He and Tyler Lockett have solid scoring potential against a Cardinals defense that isn't what it once was. If Chris Carson truly is Seattle's new workhorse back then he should at least be flexed this week. The Will Dissly train has slowed down but this could be his chance to redeem himself. Stream the Seattle defense against a rookie quarterback.

Cardinals

Josh Rosen: Sit
David Johnson: Start
Larry Fitzgerald: Beware
Christian Kirk: Sit
Ricky Seals-Jones: Stream
Cardinals DST: Stream

Josh Rosen has taken over at the helm of the Cardinals ship. That's overall encouraging but starting the rookie in his proper NFL debut isn't advisable. However, Rosen's tendency to push the ball downfield offers hope for David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. The former should be in your lineup -- even if it's a bit scary right now. All other pieces of this offense should be approached with caution. Arizona's defense could get sacks against a bad Seattle offensive line and is a streaming candidate.

Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX

Browns

Baker Mayfield: Sleeper
Carlos Hyde: Start
Duke Johnson: Sit
Nick Chubb: Sit
Jarvis Landry: Start
Antonio Callaway: Flex
Rashard Higgins: Sleeper
David Njoku: Start
Browns DST: Start

After a successful debut last week, Baker Mayfield makes his first start and sits just outside of starting range in 12-team leagues. He should definitely get a look in two-QB leagues. Carlos Hyde is the only running back seriously worth a look on this roster but Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and David Njoku are all viable starts this week. The Browns defense has become a reliable option week after week and should give the Raiders trouble.

Raiders

Derek Carr: Sit
Marshawn Lynch: Start
Amari Cooper: Sit
Jordy Nelson: Sit
Jared Cook: Stream
Raiders DST: Sit

The Raiders have been far too consistent an offense to really consider many of their skill position players. The only one worth a starting spot has been Marshawn Lynch, who has looked rejuvenated but has been ignored in the second half as Oakland has frittered away leads. Stream Jared Cook if you must but he's fallen back to Earth hard after a huge season opener.

New Orleans Saints at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

Saints

Drew Brees: Start
Alvin Kamara: Start
Michael Thomas: Start
Ted Ginn: Flex
Benjamin Watson: Stream
Saints DST: Sit

This could be one of the higher scoring games of the week and as usual, most of New Orleans' offensive options are on the table for you. The triumvirate of Brees, Kamara and Thomas have long since reached must-start status but if this contest truly becomes a track meet, there will be volume for Ted Ginn and Benjamin Watson. Cameron Meredith is a deep sleeper but it's hard to trust him in your lineup.

Giants

Eli Manning: Stream
Saquon Barkley: Start
Odell Beckham, Jr.: Start
Sterling Shepard: Sleeper
Rhett Ellison: Stream
Giants DST: Sit

Stream Eli Manning! That's a thing you can do with confidence this week. Saquon Barkley will continue to see plenty of touches and Odell Beckham could have the breakout game we've been waiting for this season. Sterling Shepard is a nice sleeper and Rhett Ellison could get some looks in the red zone with Evan Engram expected to miss the game. New York's defense has been respectable but it's hard to start against the high-powered Saints attack.

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

49ers

C.J. Beathard: Sit
Matt Breida: Sleeper
Alfred Morris: Sleeper
Marquise Goodwin: Beware
Pierre Garcon: Sit
George Kittle: Sleeper

The loss of Jimmy Garoppolo has changed the outlook of this offense. The running backs -- Breida and Morris -- could get more opportunities to take pressure off of C.J. Beathard. George Kittle should maintain a decent floor as an outlet but the production of Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon remain in doubt. Even against a shaky Chargers defense, it's hard to recommend too many 49ers this week.

Chargers

Philip Rivers: Start
Melvin Gordon: Start
Austin Ekeler: Flex
Keenan Allen: Start
Mike Williams: Flex
Tyrell Williams: Deep sleeper
Antonio Gates: Deep sleeper
Chargers DST: Stream

The 49ers defense hasn't offered much resistance while the Chargers continue to be one of the more productive offenses in the league. Philip Rivers and his primary pass-catchers should all be in your lineup ... that includes Austin Ekeler, who has become a weekly flex option. If Keenan Allen can't go, Tyrell Williams moves up a bit in the pecking order. Antonio Gates has deep sleeper potential against a defense that has struggled against tight ends. The Chargers defense has been vulnerable this year but should get a look against the inexperienced Beathard.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

Ravens

Joe Flacco: Stream
Alex Collins: Flex
Javorius Allen: Beware
John Brown: Start
Michael Crabtree: Flex
Willie Snead: Sleeper
Mark Andrews: Sleeper
Nick Boyle: Deep sleeper
Ravens DST: Beware

The Steelers defense hasn't offered much resistance, which makes Joe Flacco and the rest of his Ravens cohorts solid plays this week. Alex Collins has been worthy of more work but has ceded opportunities to Buck Allen. The hope is that Collins can continue to be efficient while turning some of his touches into scores. John Brown has been the best of the receiving bunch but all three wideouts could earn some love. The tight ends have been confusing but Mark Andrews seems to have emerged as the main target at the position. Avoid this defense against the Steelers.

Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger: Start
James Conner: Start
Antonio Brown: Start
JuJu Smith-Schuster: Flex
Vance McDonald: Stream
Jesse James: Beware
Steelers DST: Sit

There is some reason to be concerned this week about Pittsburgh's offense though Ben Roethlisberger at home has been vastly better over his road persona. James Conner's volume means he should be in your lineup and the top two receivers have been far too good to bench. Vance McDonald's return to health puts him atop the tight end depth chart and should make him a Week 4 streamer.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes: Start
Kareem Hunt: Flex
Tyreek Hill: Start
Sammy Watkins: Flex
Travis Kelce: Start

The Chiefs offense is a juggernaut. Start your Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes has been the hottest quarterback on the planet through three weeks and everyone in this attack is eating. Even Sammy Watkins has become a thing. Start your Chiefs. Except for the defense. Don't start them.

Broncos

Case Keenum: Sleeper
Phillip Lindsay: Flex
Royce Freeman: Sleeper
Emmanuel Sanders: Start
Demaryius Thomas: Start
Broncos DST: Beware

The Chiefs defense has been awful. Start your Broncos. The Chiefs defense has made every quarterback it's faced looks respectable and nearly every skill position player on the opposing offense is eating. Start your Broncos. Except maybe the defense. Be wary of starting them against Mahomes.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who should probably learn to finish one sentence before starting a new one. Tell him your own personal speech pathologies via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9).

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