Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 4 quarterbacks

There were quite a few surprises among the top-ranked quarterbacks of Week 3. Should any of them be trusted to start in Week 4?

Fifteen quarterbacks scored over 20 NFL fantasy points in Week 3. That is almost twice as many as accomplished the feat in the first two weeks combined. Such fantasy luminaries as Case Keenum, Brian Hoyer, and Jared Goff joined rookies DeShone Kizer, Deshaun Watson, and Jacoby Brissett in the group.

Can we expect more of the same in Week 4? Or will only four or five top the magical number again this week? Here are at least three quarterbacks I think will top 20 points and three I am sure will not.

Start this guy: Carson Palmer, Arizona (vs. San Francisco)

Assuming he can get out of bed after the beating he took against Dallas this week, Carson Palmer will find life much easier passing against the San Francisco 49ers. Dallas’ pass rush, especially DeMarcus Lawrence, came alive in Arizona. Palmer showed a great deal of mobility in limiting the Cowboys to six sacks. Seriously, it could have been 12 or 14. The Cowboys young secondary is also coming together.

The Niners do not offer that type of threat. The Cardinals can win a bunch of games with the receivers and running backs they have in place of David Johnson. It starts against San Francisco Sunday when Palmer tops 300 yards again with multiple touchdowns.

Sit this guy: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (at Baltimore)

It’s not just Ben Roethlisberger’s debatable road versus home stat lines that make him a sit this week. It is also the Baltimore defense limping home after the shellacking they took in London at the hands of Blake Bortles. The Ravens want to get back to playing defense like they did in the first two weeks of 2017.

In last week’s game in Chicago, Roethlisberger got sacked three times and never got comfortable in the pocket. He is in for another week like that in Baltimore. If Le’Veon Bell does not round back into form soon, Pittsburgh could face a second straight upset loss.

Start this guy: Trevor Siemian, Denver (vs. Oakland)

Buffalo gave Trevor Siemian a reality check in Week 3, which was exacerbated by the loss of his starting left tackle. Siemian threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. This week, he returns to Colorado to face the Raiders, ranked number 21 against the pass after three weeks.

Siemian topped 25 NFL fantasy points in each of his first two starts in Denver. He will approach that number again in Week 4.

Sit this guy: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (vs NY Giants)

The Giants are having a tough season so far, but one thing they still do well is defending the pass. Jameis Winston has a losing record against top-ten pass defenses. Although the Giants are flawed in just about every other aspect of the game, this game might not help that record.

Mike Evans will fight another top-five shutdown cornerback in Janoris Jenkins. Slot corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is another top-ranked defender.  Eli Apple is the weak link, but he will get help from the Giants’ excellent safeties. All in all, it sounds like a day for short passes to tight ends and running backs for Winston, who will be lucky to gain 200 yards through the air.

Start this guy: Phillip Rivers, LA Chargers (vs Philadelphia)

Philadelphia has a few good young players in their defensive secondary. They know this because they are all being forced to play while the starters are on the injury list. They also lost two starters this week, including Fletcher Cox, arguably the heart of the defense. They played spirited ball for three quarters against the Giants before making Eli Manning look like Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.

Rivers comes into this game with a chip on his shoulder. He suffered through a 50% completion rate and three interceptions without a touchdown in Week 3. Against Philadelphia, he wants to give the fans their first Charger victory and pile on some stats. He will not wait until the fourth quarter to attack the Eagle secondary on his way to 300 yards and three touchdowns.

Sit this guy: Jared Goff, LA Rams (at Dallas)

Jared Goff is a different quarterback than we saw last season, but the Dallas defense is stepping up big time. They will put the clamps on Goff’s prolific start to 2017. Veteran Carson Palmer avoided turnovers despite constant pressure and hits. The less-experienced Goff will make a mistake or two in the face of a massive pass rush.

If Goff can stay composed enough and have enough time to find Watkins deep and Kupp in the middle, he can drum up some stats. But my guess is that the Cowboys humble the second-year passer in front of the Dallas crowd. I will give him 250 yards, a touchdown and three turnovers on the day.

Week 4 flash-in-the-pan prediction

Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer throws touchdowns to three different tight ends and runs for a fourth in Cleveland’s first victory of 2017.

Full disclosure on Week 3: Better than average

My Week 3 start ‘ems included Carson Palmer and his 21.7 fantasy points. Unfortunately, they also included Matt Ryan (13.66) and Jay Cutler (11.7). My sit ‘ems were all good calls with Jameis Winston (15.5), Carson Wentz (13.24) and Trevor Siemian (7.56 all finishing well outside the top-12 NFL fantasy quarterback leaders.

Week 4 will be perfect, so play it smart. Remember, you can send any NFL fantasy questions to us at [email protected] We’ll answer them in our weekly Mailbag post each Wednesday.

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