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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 4

The NFL season is still young, but most fantasy football leagues are reaching the quarter point this weekend. Lineup decisions are going to be critical. Here is our start/sit advice for Week 4 fantasy football.

How many running backs do you have left? If you said at least two, you are probably in better shape than most fantasy owners. Injuries have taken a major hit on RBs so far in 2016, and now with bye weeks starting to come into play, it could be a tough road ahead.

Last week's start/sit was ... definitely not as good as Week 2. But that's OK, we're putting it behind us. We're focusing on the future. We're making fantasy great again.

Here are some of the matchups you should keep in mind when setting your Week 4 lineup.

Editor's update - One more reason to sit Spencer Ware: Jamaal Charles expected back on Sunday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.


QB Kirk Cousins vs. Browns
He's actually the QB15 for 2016, and he finished as the QB9 for Week 3 against a solid Giants defense. Cousins now faces the team that has allowed the seventh-most points to opposing quarterbacks. If he can start hitting his targets more near the end zone, we could see a big game for the Washington passing game.

QB Philip Rivers vs. Saints
The Saints haven't allowed as many points to quarterbacks because they've been so bad against running backs. But they've still allowed two 300-yard games so far. Another gem from Rich Hribar's Week 4 Worksheet, Rivers has the highest percentage of passes in the red zone. I'm buying Rivers at home against an altogether terrible defense.

RB Jordan Howard vs. Lions
Jeremy Langford is out for multiple weeks, leaving Howard in position to make his case as a starter. Howard played 75 percent of the Bears snaps in Week 3, finishing with 13 touches for 92 yards. Ka'Deem Cary looks like he'll sit again. Detroit is banged up along the front seven. Howard is in for another solid week.

WR Cole Beasley at 49ers
Beasley played 44 percent of the snaps against the Bears. Not great, right? Well, he managed to catch seven passes for 73 yards while playing under half the offensive time. Dez Bryant is now unlikely to play in Week 4. San Francisco is a middle-of-the-road matchup for wide receivers, but the lack of Dez and the share of the targets make Beasley a good flex option.

WR Terrell Pryor at Washington
Washington gives up the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Now DeAngelo Hall is out for the year with a torn ACL. Pryor's stock for Week 4 continues to rise. He's been a target monster for the Browns, partly because there's literally no one else to throw to. With Corey Coleman out and Josh Gordon still suspended, fire up Pryor again.

TE Kyle Rudolph vs. Giants
Rudolph owns the highest share of targets among all tight ends. We've seen Sam Bradford develop a rapport with his tight end, and Rudolph now has back-to-back games with a touchdown. With four red-zone targets, he's becoming a go-to near the goal line. Keep riding the momentum here.

TE Julius Thomas vs. Colts
Thomas played 88 percent of the snaps in Week 3. The Ravens are always a nightmare matchup for tight ends, so don't be too concerned about his production from that game. The Colts watched Hunter Henry go for 76 yards in his start with Antonio Gates out. A better matchup, along with an offense that desperately needs to find its rhythm, should lead to a plus week for Thomas.


QB Eli Manning at Vikings
You would think adding Sterling Shepard into the mix would boost Eli's stats. You would also be disappointed if you thought that way. Manning is the QB21 for 2016 after three weeks of favorable matchups. Minnesota has impressed everyone with their defense so far. They gave up one passing touchdown to Aaron Rodgers and kept Cam Newton's passing attack scoreless (he did score on the ground, but let's be real, Eli isn't replicating that performance). Time to sit Manning.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Seahawks
The Seahawks haven't allowed a passing touchdown through three games. Fitzpatrick is coming off a six-interception game. Eric Decker doesn't look like he'll play this week. What more do you need?

RB Spencer Ware at Steelers
For some reason the Chiefs thought Ware's 129 yards receiving in Week 1 warranted taking him out of the passing game. Totally makes sense. Ware has three receptions over the past two games. The Steelers have actually allowed the sixth-fewest yards to running backs. Most of the damage done against them have come in the receiving game (see: Darren Sproles, Gio Bernard). With Ware being taken out of the passing game and Charcandrick West taking snaps away, you should consider better options unless you're lacking depth.

Any Ravens RB vs. Raiders
Terrance West has 33 carries. Justin Forsett has 31. Both of them have been inefficient, averaging under 4.0 yards per carry and failing to find the end zone through three games. The entire fantasy community seems to believe Kenneth Dixon is the second coming of Walter Payton, but one thing we can be sure of is the fact that you should avoid West and Forsett unless someone clearly takes control.

WR Michael Floyd vs. Rams
He played 90 percent of the snaps and caught four passes in Week 3. Floyd's yards per target are way down from 2015, and his four receptions last week set a season high. The Rams have surprisingly only allowed one wide receiver touchdown, but this is more about Floyd's play/the Cardinals offense than it is the matchup. I'm sitting Floyd again until things start to change.

WR Tajae Sharpe at Texans
He's been on my start list for the past two weeks. Putting him on the sit list is presumably a reverse jinx. He's put up mediocre numbers the past two games despite playing the most snaps of any Titans receiver. Even head coach Mike Mularkey called him out by saying Sharpe has been "inconsistent." It's not looking good for the rookie wideout.

TE Dwayne Allen vs. Jaguars
Through three games, the Jaguars have given up 86 yards to tight ends. The Colts predictably went with more two-tight end sets with Donte Moncrief out, and Allen played 82 percent of the snaps in Week 3. However, he saw one fewer target than Jack Doyle, and he still hasn't caught more than four passes in a game this season. So much for Indy promising a bigger year for Allen.