Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 4 wide receivers

There are some tough matchups for wide receivers in Week 4… and some not-so-tough. Check who you should sit and start.

There were some mild surprises among the NFL fantasy receiving leaders, but at least we recognized all the names. Will there be bigger surprises in Week 4? If you read our start ’em and sit ’ems, at least these six shouldn’t surprise you.

Start this guy: Keenan Allen, LA Chargers (vs Philadelphia)

Keenan Allen will face a youthful and inexperienced Philadelphia defensive backfield in Week 4. He is the go-to receiver for Phillip Rivers. Last week’s horrific game against Kansas City has Rivers and Allen eager to get back on the field and that does not bode well for the Eagles defense.

Keenen had 61 yards last week. In Week 2, Keenan gained exactly 100 yards. With an angry quarterback and a suspect defense, Allen will break that mark and score a touchdown in LA’s first victory.

Sit these guys: Rashard Higgins and Kenny Britt, Cleveland (vs Cincinnati)

Cleveland will win their first game this week, but it won’t be because of stellar play from their wide receivers. DeShone Kizer was victimized by multiple wide receiver drops in Week 3. He definitely seems more locked in with his tight ends and running backs, particularly Duke Johnson.

Play none of the Cleveland wide receivers until the timing and trust develop between them and their quarterback.

Start this guy: DeVante Parker, Miami (vs New Orleans)

Usually, I am hesitant to predict anything that will happen in London games. Between jet lag and warm beer, I can’t tell how players will react. In this case, I am counting on Jay Cutler, who always plays like he is asleep anyway, to salve his ego, seriously bruised by the New York Jets last week, by throwing early and often down the field.

London native Jay Ajayi will be the bulk of the Miami offense. But Miami wants to reassert their offensive swagger and will go after the weak defense of the New Orleans Saints. In Cutler’s mind, that means hitting deep passes to DeVante Parker more than once. Kenny Stills could also worth a start for the same reasons.

Sit this guy: Amari Cooper, Oakland (at Denver)

You know what has to be tough? To have a bad game you really want to forget and then look up and find the Denver Broncos defense waiting for you. Especially a Denver Broncos defense coming off a loss.

Derek Carr won’t have as bad a day as he had against Washington last week, but Denver will come after him and play their usual tough pass defense. I believe Michael Crabtree will be the receiver who recovers while Cooper struggles again in Week 4.

Start this guy: DeSean Jackson, WR Tampa Bay (vs NY Giants)

The Giants continue to defend the pass well, but they wear down towards the end of games as the Giants offense keeps them on the field way too long. There is one defect present right from the beginning of games. That is cornerback Eli Apple. The second-year defender has regressed from last season. He cannot make a play on the ball and waits too long to turn around on passes.

While Mike Evans has another tough matchup with Janoris Jenkins, look for DeSean Jackson to score another touchdown and flirt with the 100-yard mark again this week.

Sit this guy: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City

Washington’s defense completely shut down the Oakland offense last week after feeling insulted by Amari Cooper, who said the Raiders receivers would each catch 200 yards of passes. Andy Reid will send flowers and chocolates trying to lull the Redskins defense into a false sense of mutual love. Jay Gruden will intercept them and leave forged notes about Josh Norman’s mother signed ‘Tyreek H’.

One week after seeing over 75% of air yards from Alex Smith, Tyreek Hill will be completely shut down by the Redskins. Smith will go back to his first love, Travis Kelce, and trust Kareem Hunt to deliver the victory without his explosive wide receiver.

Week 4 flash-in-the-pan prediction:

In a tight defensive game, Washington holds Kansas City in check until Albert Wilson takes a short pass and breaks it for a 75-yard touchdown to secure the win.

Full disclosure on Week 3: Not too bad

AJ Green and DeVante Parker, thanks to a last-second touchdown grab, came through for me on the start list. Devin Funchess was fed ten targets but could only come up with four catches for 54 yards and WR54 finish. Ted Ginn had a 40-yard touchdown catch early but still finished outside the top 24 receivers, making all three of my sit recommendations accurate, although I would have taken his 11 points.

As the weeks go on, my advice gets stronger. Believe the Week 4 start ‘ems and sit ‘ems and play wisely! And, if you have any NFL fantasy questions, be sure to send them to [email protected] so we can include the answer in our weekly Mailbag post this Wednesday.

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Pat Opperman


Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.