Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 4

September 26, 2019

The fantasy football season goes fast, and if you aren’t actively working the waiver wire and keeping up on sleepers and watching out for duds, your season could be over before you know it. At this point, most leagues are a quarter of the way through their season and bye weeks begin this week.

In other words, Week 4 is a big week in fantasy football because for the first time in 2019, owners are going to have to go to their bench to find starters, so finding a few sleepers and avoiding duds is even more important starting this week.

Studs:

Austin Ekeler, RB, LAC:
The Miami Dolphins are the worst defense in the NFL and it isn’t close. Through three games, they are surrendering an astounding 208.0 yards per game…40 yards more per game than the next worst defense! As a result, for the foreseeable future, any running back facing the Dolphins defense should find their way into your starting lineup. This week, that running back is Ekeler. He is averaging nearly 125 yards from scrimmage and more than a touchdown per game. Expect another big week from Ekeler.

 

Russell Wilson, RB, Sea:
Wilson is having an incredible season, averaging 300+ yards and three touchdowns per game, is coming off a week of 400+ yards and four touchdowns, and now he gets a Cardinals defense which is giving up 306.0 passing yards per game and has surrendered nine touchdowns through the air – only the Dolphins are worse. Wilson could be the top quarterback in Week 4.

 

Keenan Allen, WR, LAC
Don’t look now, but Allen leads the NFL in receiving yards (404), yards per game (134.7), receptions (29), targets (42) and his three touchdowns trail only Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton and Amari Cooper (4)…and now he gets the Dolphins and their defense which is giving up 499+ yards per game, including 296+ through the air. If you happen to have Allen and Philip Rivers and/or Austin Ekeler, congratulations on your Week 4 win.

 

Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC:
Mahomes is leading the league in yards (1,195), yards per game (398.3), touchdowns (10), yards per attempt (10.5) and rating (134.9)…oh, and he has thrown exactly zero interceptions! It is almost unfair how good he is and he could probably just stay on the ‘Studs’ list all year. This week, he gets a Detroit defense which is surrendering nearly 400 yards of offense per week and their opponents have included a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start (Kyler Murray and the Cardinals) and an Eagles team with a dinged-up quarterback, depleted receiving corps and a weak running game. Mahomes 2019 MVP campaign is unlikely to slow down this week.

 

Darren Waller, TE, Oak:
If you have been following me all year, you know that Waller was my top breakout player for 2019 and he is living up to the hype thus far. Among tight ends, Waller is first in receptions (26) and third in yards and targets respectively. Waller has received at least seven targets per week and has hauled in 26 of his 29 targets, including 13 of 14 last week for 134 yards. Waller’s great season should continue this week against the Colts defense.

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Duds:

 

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cle:
All offseason, we heard about Mayfield and the Browns and how potent this offense will be. Well, thus far, Mayfield – and the offense as a whole – has been a huge disappointment in both fantasy and real football. Through three weeks, he is tied for 24th in touchdowns (3), ranks 2nd last in interceptions (5), 30th in completion percentage (56.7), tied for 4th in sacks (11), 22nd in QBR and 32nd in rating (70.3) – behind the likes of Eli Manning (benched) and Luke Falk (rookie third stringer). Things won’t get easier for Mayfield and the Browns in Week 4 on the road against the Ravens. If you have Mayfield, sit him.

 

Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chi:
I’m not sure if many people are starting Trubisky at this point, but if you were thinking about doing so after his Week 3 performance, don’t. Despite having his best game of the year (231 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 Interception), it came against a bad Redskins defense. This week, Mitch and the Bears get a good Vikings defense and he may be down Taylor Gabriel (concussion). Translation: you should be able to find a better quarterback to start this week.

 

Devonta Freeman, RB, Atl:
There have been fewer disappointments this year than Freeman – even more disappointing in non-PPR leagues. Going into Week 3, Freeman had 41 rushing yards in two games combined (2.2 ypc), and while he did show improvement last week – 88 yards on 16 carries (5.5 ypc) – he still has zero touchdowns and is averaging just 43 yards per game. The Titans defense isn’t great, but it is decent, so unless you have no other viable options, leave Freeman on your bench.

 

Nick Chubb, RB, Cle:
Chubb ranks 7th in rushing yards (233), but he has just one touchdown and his production level is certainly not what owners were looking for when using a first-round pick on him. Despite having his best performance of the year last week, I expect a down tick this week as the Ravens will clamp down on Chubb and force Mayfield to beat them in the air.

 

John Brown, WR, Buf:
After netting 123 yards and one touchdown in Week 1, ‘Hollywood’ has netted just 123 yards and no touchdowns in the two weeks since. While he is still seeing a healthy amount of targets, his targets and yards have decreased each week. I don’t see him as a starter in Week 4 against the Patriots.

 

 

Sleepers:

 

Wayne Gallman, RB, NYG:
With Saquon Barkley down, Gallman will see the bulk of the work in the Giants backfield. But, just because he is in line to get all the work, doesn’t – in and of itself – make him worthy of a start. Getting the bulk of the work whilst facing the Redskins 29th ranked run defense, however, does make him a viable option to start…just don’t expect Gallman to approach Barkley type numbers if you do start him.

 

Curtis Samuel, WR, Car:
Over the last two weeks, Samuel has seen 20 targets and pulled in 10 of those for 144 yards and a touchdown. While his yards went down with Kyle Allen at the helm, his seven targets were tied with Greg Olsen for the team lead and Allen got him into the endzone for the first time this year.

 

Andy Dalton, QB, Cin:
I know, he plays on Prime Time this week, and we all know about “Prime Time Andy,” but Dalton and the offense look different under the new coaching staff and the Steelers possess the second worst pass defense. Through three weeks, the Steelers are giving up 300+ passing yards per game and Dalton and the Bengals come in with the third ranked passing attack, throwing for 300+ yards per game. Put them together, and this should be a good matchup for Dalton and Dalton owners.

 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, GB:
Valdes-Scantling seems to have secured the number two receiver position on the Packers and that is a valuable role. Coming off a week where he saw 10 targets, bringing in six of the 10 for 99 yards and a touchdown, he is now tied with Davante Adams for the team lead in targets (21) and only trails Adams by 28 yards on the season. At this point, Valdes-Scantling is a viable Flex option.

 

Will Dissly, TE, Sea:
Dissly has been another of my breakout players for 2019, and if you have been a regular to the Waiver Wire Report and Studs, Duds, & Sleepers weekly pieces, you know this isn’t his first time finding his way onto one of my lists. As I mentioned in this week’s Waiver Wire Report, Dissly has seen 12 targets over the past two weeks and has hauled in 11 of those 12 for 112 yards and three touchdowns. With a Week 4 matchup against the Cardinals, Dissly is worth a start.

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