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Fantasy Football Matchups That Matter - Week 4

By Jared Smola | Updated on Sat, 20 Apr 2024 . 11:15 AM EDT

Welcome to Week 4’s Matchups That Matter.

The goal of this article is to give you a look into the process that fuels our weekly projections and rankings.

The information below is all stuff that we use when formulating those rankings. Hopefully taking a look through it helps you make better lineup decisions each week.

With three week’s worth of 2023 data, we’re starting to get a good idea of what all of these offenses and defenses will look like this season. 

And this week is the debut of our 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed. This metric shows the percentage by which each defense has boosted or reduced fantasy production to each position.

As always, you should check the Week 4 Rankings and your Team Intel page for customized start/sit advice.

Good luck in Week 4!

  

Highest Game Totals

1. Dolphins at Bills (53.5)

2. Raiders at Chargers (48.5)

3. Seahawks at Giants (47.0)

t-4. Broncos at Bears (46.5)

t-4. Vikings at Panthers (46.5)

6. Rams at Colts (45.5)

   

Lowest Game Totals

28. Steelers at Texans (42.0)

t-29. Bengals at Titans (41.5)

t-29. Chiefs at Jets (41.5)

31. Buccaneers at Saints (40.0)

32. Ravens at Browns (38.5)

   

Highest Implied Points

1. 49ers (28.75)

2. Bills (28.25)

3. Chargers (27.25)

4. Eagles (26.0)

5. Vikings (25.5)

6. Dolphins (25.25)

    

Lowest Implied Points

27. Patriots (18.75)

28. Buccaneers (18.5)

29. Browns (18.25)

30. Commanders (17.0)

31. Jets (16.5)

32. Cardinals (14.75)

   

Pass Rate Over Expected + Neutral Pace

Here's where every team ranks in Pass Rate Over Expected and neutral pace (average seconds per snap) through 3 weeks:

   

Fastest-Paced Games

(Average of neutral seconds/snap)

1. Chiefs at Jets (23.5 seconds)

2. Rams at Colts (24.5 seconds)

3. Patriots at Cowboys (24.7 seconds)

4. Raiders at Chargers (25.3 seconds)

5. Buccaneers at Saints (25.5 seconds)

 

Slowest-Paced Games

(Average of neutral seconds/snap)

28. Falcons at Jaguars (27.2 seconds)

29. Commanders at Eagles (27.3 seconds)

30. Cardinals at 49ers (28.8 seconds)

31. Broncos at Bears (29.0 seconds)

32. Bengals at Titans (29.4 seconds)

    

Weather Concerns

No weather to worry about this week.

   

Quarterback

5 Best QB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Chargers (+235.4%)

2. Matt Stafford vs. Colts (+125.5%)

3. Justin Fields vs. Broncos (+109.6%)

4. Ryan Tannehill vs. Bengals (+101.9%)

5. Geno Smith vs. Giants (+67.6%)

 

5 Worst QB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

28. Anthony Richardson vs. Rams (-46.3%)

29. Mac Jones vs. Cowboys (-48.4%)

30. Lamar Jackson vs. Browns (-53.4%)

31. Tua Tagovailoa vs. Bills (-53.8%)

32. Dak Prescott vs. Patriots (-60.4%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Daniel Jones, Giants

Jones has bombed in Weeks 1 and 3 against the Cowboys and 49ers, who look like two of the toughest QB defenses in the league.

In Week 2? 30.7 fantasy points in a plus matchup vs. the Cardinals.

Jones gets another plus matchup on Monday night vs. the Seahawks, who rank 25th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs and 28th in pass defense DVOA.

Russell Wilson, Broncos

Wilson delivered 306 yards and one TD as a sneaky starter for us last week.

He’s opened the season with fantasy finishes of QB16, QB3, and QB19

Week 3 brings his most favorable matchup yet. The Bears rank 21st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs and 31st in pass defense DVOA.

Denver’s defense is so bad that it might even allow Chicago to score some points and make this game fun for fantasy.

Brock Purdy, 49ers

All this guy does is record multi-TD games. 

Purdy’s 310-2-0 passing line last week gives him 2+ TDs in 9 of his 11 full games in the NFL.

His 49ers’ 28.75-point implied total vs. the Cardinals is the highest on the week, making Purdy a good bet for another multi-score outing.

    

Running Back

5 Best RB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Bears vs. Broncos (+275.9%)

2. Broncos vs. Bears (+246.7%)

3. Dolphins vs. Bills (+140.0%)

4. Vikings at Panthers (+99.0%)

5. Steelers at Texans (79.3%)

 

5 Worst RB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

28. Jaguars vs. Falcons (-48.2%)

29. Jets vs. Chiefs (-48.6%)

30. Bengals vs. Titans (-51.9%)

31. Patriots vs. Cowboys (-52.3%)

32. Titans vs. Bengals (-52.5%)

 

Sneaky Starter

Matt Breida, Giants

Breida was predictably stymied by the 49ers last week.

But, despite finishing with just four carries and three targets, his playing time was strong:

  • 82% snap rate
  • 55% route rate

If Breida gets anything close to that type of usage this week, he’ll be a fine fantasy start in a better matchup against the Seahawks, who rank 19th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs.

  

Wide Receiver

5 Best WR Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Texans vs. Steelers (+69.3%)

2. Raiders vs. Chargers (+66.8%)

3. Lions at Packers (+65.3%)

4. 49ers vs. Cardinals (+58.1%)

5. Bengals at Titans (+50.1%)

 

5 Worst WR Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

28. Colts vs. Rams (-29.8%)

29. Vikings vs. Panthers (-32.0%)

30. Cowboys vs. Patriots (-42.5%)

31. Jets at Chiefs (-43.3%)

32. Ravens at Browns (-59.5%) 

 

CB Matchup Upgrades

Bengals WRs Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins vs. Titans CB Kristian Fulton

Raiders WRs Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers vs. Chargers CB Michael Davis

Vikings WRs Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison vs. Panthers CBs C.J. Henderson and Donte Jackson

Panthers WRs Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark vs. Vikings CBs Akayleb Evans, Josh Metellus, and Byron Murphy

CB Matchup Downgrades

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans vs. Saints CB Marshon Lattimore

Ravens WR Zay Flowers vs. Browns CB Greg Newsome

  

Sneaky Starters

Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, WRs, Broncos

Sutton has totaled 18 targets on a 28% target share over the past two weeks. He’s turned that volume into WR42 and WR10 PPR finishes.

Jeudy, meanwhile, is ramping back up from that late-August hamstring injury. He registered a 19% target share in Week 2 and then 21% in Week 3.

Both guys are good target bets this weekend in a pristine spot vs. the Bears.

Jakobi Meyers, Raiders

Meyers has drawn a huge 33% target share in his two games with the Raiders so far, finishing WR3 and then WR23 in PPR points.

Next up is a leaky Chargers secondary that ranks 31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs.

There's added risk here with QB Aidan O'Connell making his first career start. But the rookie looked excellent this preseason.

Tutu Atwell, WR, Rams

Atwell did the impossible last week: He out-targeted Puka Nacua!

The Rams’ other breakout WR has tallied 8, 9, and 9 targets over the first three games of the season and finished as a top-30 PPR WR in all three.

Week 4 brings a Colts defense sitting 23rd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs.

 

Tight End

5 Best TE Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Raiders vs. Chargers (+366.8%)

2. Titans vs. Bengals (+215.5%)

3. Chargers vs. Raiders (+155.0%)

4. Broncos vs. Bears (+150.1%)

5. Jaguars vs. Falcons (+134.3%)

 

5 Worst TE Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

28. Texans vs. Steelers (-52.9%)

29. Ravens vs. Browns (-54.9%)

30. Colts vs. Rams (-55.2%)

31. Buccaneers vs. Saints (-55.5%)

32. Eagles vs. Commanders (-61.9%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Luke Musgrave, Packers

Musgrave is coming off a 6-49-0 line against a tough Saints TE defense. He gets a much better matchup on Thursday night vs. the Lions, who rank 25th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.

The rookie’s usage continues to be strong. Here’s where Musgrave ranks among TEs through three weeks:

  • 6th in route rate
  • 13th in target share
  • 11th in targets
  • 4th in air yards

Gerald Everett, Chargers

We’ll see how things shake out between WRs Quentin Johnston and Josh Palmer. But Everett figures to benefit from WR Mike Williams’ absence, too.

In the three games Williams missed and WR Keenan Allen played last season, Everett totaled 18 targets on a 12.4% share.

He’s worth spot-start consideration in Sunday’s potential shootout vs. the Raiders. Vegas ranks 30th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.

  

Defense/Special Teams

5 Best DST Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Eagles vs. Commanders (+385.7%)

2. Dolphins vs. Bills (+322.0%)

3. Chargers vs. Raiders (+220.0%)

4. Bengals vs. Titans (+157.1%)

5. Browns vs. Ravens (+155.7%)

 

5 Worst DST Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

28. Colts vs. Rams (-61.5%)

29. Bills vs. Dolphins (-69.6%)

30. Raiders vs. Chargers (-74.1%)

31. Patriots vs. Cowboys (-86.0%)

32. Cardinals vs. 49ers (-89.6%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Broncos

It seems crazy to start a defense that just gave up 70.

But it seems crazier to not start a defense against the Bears.

Chicago has coughed up the second most sacks and the fifth most giveaways through three weeks.

DSTs to face the Bears this season have turned in weekly finishes of fourth, second, and fifth.

Saints

The Saints DST is playing well in real life and fantasy. It ranks sixth in defensive DVOA and ninth in fantasy points.

Baker Mayfield reminded us of his downside in last Monday night’s loss to the Eagles.

Tampa’s 18.5-point implied total is the fifth-lowest on the week.

Bengals

Cincinnati’s defense is coming off a strong outing in the Monday night win over the Rams.

Next up is a Titans offense that’s struggling badly.

Tennessee ranks 30th in both points scored and sacks allowed.

 

Kicker

5 Best K Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Dustin Hopkins vs. Ravens (+136.4%)

2. Jake Elliott vs. Commanders (+100.0%)

3. Jake Moody vs. Cardinals (+85.1%)

4. Chase McLaughlin vs. Saints (+74.3%)

5. Justin Tucker vs. Browns (+71.4%)

 

5 Worst K Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

28. Jason Myers vs. Giants (-33.3%)

29. Chad Ryland vs. Cowboys (-37.3%)

30. Joey Slye vs. Eagles (-40.0%)

31. Brandon McManus vs. Falcons (-47.8%)

32. Matt Prater vs. 49ers (-48.7%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Brandon Aubrey, Cowboys

Aubrey remains available in over 50% of Yahoo leagues, despite leading all kickers in fantasy points through three weeks.

Sunday’s matchup vs. the Patriots isn’t ideal. But the Cowboys are still implied for a strong 25.0 points.

Wil Lutz, Broncos

Denver’s offense has been fine so far, supplying Lutz with seven XP and six FG tries through three games.

Sunday’s matchup vs. the Bears is so good that the Broncos are implied for 25.0 points – tied for sevent most on the week.

 

Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

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