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The Game Plan: Week 4 Edition (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Sep 30, 2021
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I’m sitting down to write this intro on Wednesday evening and I didn’t think I would get here.

This article takes me all week to write and when I sat down on Sunday evening to begin writing this week’s edition of The Game Plan, I thought for sure that I was not going to be able to finish it. I didn’t think there was mentally any way that I could power through and write close to 20,000 words about fantasy football after what I had just experienced.

For those who are not aware, one of my best friends and my co-host on The FantasyPros Football Podcast, Mike Tagliere, lost his battle with COVID last Friday. Even as I type this sentence, it still doesn’t feel real. It’s been a difficult week of working through emotions of grief, sadness, anger, and essentially every other feeling known to mankind as I reconcile what life is going to be like moving forward without one of my best friends.

As I thought about what I wanted to talk about for this intro, I thought it would be appropriate to share the open letter that I wrote to him. I began writing this letter last Friday evening when I got the news that Tags was most likely not going to make it and that it was only a matter of time. It was a way for me to process the news and I thought it would be fitting to share it with you here today.

An Open Letter To One Of My Best Friends

I don’t know how to start this letter.

I never imagined that I would have to write something like this to someone so close to me and it still doesn’t feel real.

Tags, I’m going to miss you. As I write this now with tears in my eyes, I don’t want to have to admit that you’re no longer here on earth with us. It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t feel fair, and I feel robbed. I feel robbed of one of the greatest friendships I’ve had in my entire life. 

Back in 2017, I was enthralled with fantasy football and started out my own podcast just to have fun. I reached out to a few analysts that I listened to and followed and I could not believe that I was able to get the person known as “Tags” on this podcast that had five listeners on a good day. He was just as nice and welcoming as how he came across on his podcasts and I was thrilled to be able to chat with him for those twenty minutes or so.

As time progressed, I stayed in touch with Tags as I wasn’t even in the fantasy industry or doing anything remotely related, but I still had plenty of questions for this person who I held in high regard as I was setting my matchups, etc. He replied to every single one of my messages. Every. Single. One. 

I eventually got back into writing about football and fantasy and Tags was quick to bring me into a Dynasty league with a bunch of other industry people that knew way more than I did. However, he didn’t care what the number of Twitter followers I had was or what size my audience was. He was just welcoming and kind like that.

In January of 2020, I was hired on by FantasyPros and that meant that I was going to get to work side-by-side with Tags, which felt surreal. One of my all-time favorite memories with Tags was going on the company retreat and heading out to Universal Studios for the day. We ended spending the first part of the day hanging out with the group, but broke away later on to just chat. It was damp, it was cold, and our socks were soaked through due to stepping in the water-soaked paths in the park. However, we managed to find a table that wasn’t completely drenched and we sat and just talked. We talked everything from family, to music, to the state of current offensive lines in the NFL and the fantasy football implications. I’ve never been able to make conversation with someone that easily for that long, but that’s Tags for you. He’s one of the most welcoming and relaxed people you’ll ever get to know. 

Throughout our time working together, Tags and I went through some situations that were honestly horrific. And while I wish those had never happened in the first place (on so many levels), it brought Tags and I closer together. We were forced to lean on each other throughout the last NFL season and Dan Harris, Tags, and I legitimately became best friends during that time period. Countless people commented about our chemistry on-air, but it was the exact same outside of work. The friendship wasn’t exclusive to as soon as the recording button was pressed on Trycast (no matter how much Dan tries to deny it) and I was beyond saddened that we weren’t able to get together in-person this past off-season due to everything going on in the world and travel. That time together with the three of us would have been simply amazing. 

Unfortunately, we’re never going to get that opportunity, Tags. Again, I feel robbed. Your message to us just a couple of days before you were put on the ventilator will always stick with me. “Hi guys! I love you and miss you all.” Little did we know that that would be one of the last messages we would ever get from you, but I think it perfectly embodies the type of friend and the type of man you are. Loving, caring, kind, welcoming. All of these descriptors – and so many more – could be used to talk about you.

I wish I didn’t have to write this letter. I wish that I could snap my fingers and this would all be a bad dream and I’ll wake up to a million Slack messages from you talking about some obscure stat you found during your research, some big play that happened during the NFL game you were watching, or even about how you were excited to go watch a Monster Truck rally with your son. I would give anything to have that happen right now. But I know that that’s not possible and that I need to say goodbye. I’m not ready to, but I know I need to. 

Tags, I love you buddy. You’re truly one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had in my life and I don’t think that I ever told you that enough. If I could go back in time, I’d make sure to tell you that every day. You were an incredible mentor to me as I was getting my start in the industry and I owe so much of where I’m at today to you. You set an example of how to treat others and I’m going to do everything I can to follow that lead. 

You’ll always be one of my best friends. Always.

I shared this on social media shortly after the news of his passing was announced, but I know that there are plenty of people who read this article weekly that are not on social media and would want to read it. Now being several days removed from the gut-wrenching news of Tags’ passing, my grief looks different than it did on Saturday and Sunday. However, I am still hurting and missing my friend. Honestly, getting through this entire article (nearly 21,000 words) was not easy. There were several moments that I wondered if I should even be working, but I ultimately knew that Tags would want me to push through. He pushed me in everything I did in my career and I owe literally everything to him. I’ve achieved only so much as I have in my entire life up to this point professionally in the fantasy football space because I followed Tags’ example and had an excellent mentor in my corner.

I felt that finishing this article this week would be my best way of honoring him. There were moments where I wanted to give up and just say that people would understand if I didn’t cover every game, but I knew that he would want me to finish it. And so I did.

Tags, I miss you like you wouldn’t believe. And I’m always going to miss you. At this point though, you’d be sick of me talking so nicely about you and would want me to stop and get to talking about some football…so why don’t we do just that?

Ladies and gentlemen, the Week 4 Edition of The Game Plan.

If you would like to support Mike Tagliere’s family, we have created a GoFundMe where you can give and show your support. You can find that here.

JAC at CIN | TEN at NYJ | DET at CHI | IND at MIA | CLE at MIN | WAS at ATL | HOU at BUF | NYG at NO | KC at PHI | CAR at DAL | SEA at SF | ARI at LAR | PIT at GB | BAL at DEN | TB at NE | LV at LAC |

Get free start/sit and waiver wire advice for your fantasy team >>

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cincinnati Bengals

Date/Time: Sunday October 3, 1:00pm ET
BettingPros Consensus Spread: Bengals -7.5
BettingPros Consensus Over/Under: 45.5 points
Implied Vegas point totals
: Bengals 26.5, Jaguars 19

Jacksonville Jaguars

POS NAME COMP/ATT PASS YDS TDs INTs RUSH YDS TDs FPTS
QB Trevor Lawrence 23/36 227 1.8 1.4 19 0.3 17
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
RB James Robinson 13 59 0.5 4 30 0.3 15.92
RB Carlos Hyde 4 18 0.15 2 8 0.1 4.82
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
WR Marvin Jones Jr. 0 0 0 5 62 0.45 11.56
WR D.J. Chark Jr. 0 0 0 3 51 0.35 8.94
WR Laviska Shenault Jr. 0 0 0 4 30 0.2 6.05
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
TE Dan Arnold 0 0 0 2 20 0.25 4.4

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Cincinnati Bengals

POS NAME COMP/ATT PASS YDS TDs INTs RUSH YDS TDs FPTS
QB Joe Burrow 22/31 242 2.8 0.6 9 0.2 21.74
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
RB Joe Mixon 19 80 0.65 4 25 0 19.29
RB Chris Evans 2 10 0 1 6 0 2.25
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
WR Ja’Marr Chase 0 0 0 5 93 1 17.46
WR Tyler Boyd 0 0 0 5 53 1 12.42
WR Auden Tate 0 0 0 2 27 0 5.22
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
TE C.J. Uzomah 0 0 0 2 22 0 4.76

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Quarterback

Jacksonville: Trevor Lawrence certainly has had a rough start to his NFL career. With sky-high expectations coming into the league, Lawrence has Jaguars fans and fantasy managers alike concerned for his long-term outlook. Through three weeks, Lawrence has only five passing touchdowns to seven interceptions, he’s averaging only 5.7 Yards Per Attempt, and he has a Passer Rating of just 60.3. While a couple of the interceptions haven’t been his fault, he’s showing that he’s a rookie QB time and time again and we need to now adjust our expectations for him from a fantasy perspective. In this Jacksonville offense, Lawrence is a full-avoid for the time being until we start to see drastic improvement. He can be viewed as a low-end QB2 in week four against Cincinnati.

Cincinnati: Joe Burrow wasn’t needed all that much last week against the Steelers with how big of a lead the Bengals were playing with for the majority of the game, but we saw several positives signs that Burrow is starting to get back to the high-level QB we saw on the field before his injury in 2020. It’s been a bit of an up-and-down season so far for the second-year QB, but he’s still been working his way back from the horrific leg injury and they haven’t completely opened up the offense just yet. We could see that completely change here in primetime on Thursday Night Football. Burrow is taking on the Jaguars defense that is currently 30th in Pass DVOA (third-worst) and is allowing an average of 21.5 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. With the receiving weapons Burrow has around him – plus how sharp he’s looked recently – Burrow’s working his way back into the streaming conversation. He can be viewed as a mid-range QB2 with upside this week.

Running Backs

Jacksonville: After fantasy managers started panicking over James Robinson‘s usage in week one, we’re now back to the way things should be in Jacksonville. Robinson was one of the few bright spots on offense this past week for the Jaguars and he put together a very solid fantasy performance. He amassed 21 total touches in week three to Carlos Hyde‘s eight, which is great news for Robinson’s fantasy outlook moving forward. Even with a tougher matchup against Arizona’s defensive front, he was able to come through with a big day on the back of impressive volume. There was a bit of a scare to begin the season with his usage, but we now have seemingly put those concerns behind us. Cincinnati has clamped down opposing RBs so far this season, as they’re only allowing 78.3 rushing yards per game, but if Robinson is going to see north of 15 touches in week four he belongs in the mid-range/low-end RB2 conversation.

Cincinnati: We’re now through three weeks and Joe Mixon is second in the entire NFL in rush attempts. He’s trailing only Derrick Henry in this category and he’s also only behind Henry in total rushing yards as well. He’s seeing a massive workload in this offense and he’s producing with it. While the targets haven’t been there recently, he’s still seeing plenty of work on the ground to provide an extremely high floor. Against the Jaguars, who are allowing the 5th most fantasy points to opposing RBs, Mixon’s a top-5 start this week at the position.

Wide Receivers

Jacksonville: Marvin Jones continues to be “Steady Eddie” for fantasy managers through three weeks. While the Jacksonville offense hasn’t exactly been high-powered, he’s still providing a reliable and safe floor with his target share. He might not have the ceiling that some other options in his range of rankings have, but there’s something to be said for consistency in your lineup. Jones can be viewed as a mid-range WR3 yet again in week four against Cincinnati. DJ Chark came back onto the scene a little bit in week three after being essentially irrelevant for fantasy purposes the first couple of weeks. While he did find the end zone, he still only had a pedestrian performance with his reception and yardage totals (3-49-1). With Jones being the target hog in this offense, Chark’s going to continue to be a volatile play week in and week out. He’s worth considering for your lineups here against Cincinnati but as nothing more than a low-end FLEX play. Viewing him this way, you can live with the potential range of outcomes. Laviska Shenault became more involved in the offense this past week than he has in previous weeks, but it’s still not turning into reliable production for fantasy purposes. At this point, Shenault belongs on your bench as a bye-week fill-in option or merely a FLEX play in deeper formats.

Cincinnati: Fun fact about Ja’Marr Chase and his nuclear start to his NFL career: Chase has a 30-yard receiving touchdown in each of his first three games. He is currently the only player in the Super Bowl era to accomplish this ridiculous feat. There were plenty of people using the pre-season to take victory laps about their pre-draft evaluations of Chase and saying that he wasn’t a generational talent, but those people are very quiet right now. Chase is tied for second with four other players for the most receiving TDs on the entire season through three weeks and he’s been an absolute steal for fantasy managers based on how everyone panicked in the pre-season. Against a Jaguars defense that seemingly can’t stop anyone right now, Chase is a locked-and-loaded mid-range WR2. With the news that Tee Higgins has been ruled out for this matchup, Tyler Boyd gets a bump up into solid mid-range WR3 territory. He should see plenty of volume yet again and we should see the offense continue to get better with the improvement of Burrow coming off of his injury. Fire up Boyd with confidence on Thursday night.

Tight Ends

Jacksonville: The Jaguars just acquired Dan Arnold in a trade and there’s certainly an opportunity for him to carve out a more significant role in this offense. With that being said, this is too soon for us to even think about him for redraft purposes. In an offense that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, Arnold’s probably best just left on your waiver wire.

Cincinnati: None of the Bengals TEs should be considered for fantasy football this week.

FantasyProjection Buster: James Robinson should see plenty of volume, but the Bengals run defense has kept opposing RBs in check so far this year.

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Tennessee Titans vs New York Jets

Date/Time: Sunday October 3, 1:00pm ET
BettingPros Consensus Spread: Titans -7.5
BettingPros Consensus Over/Under: 46 points
Implied Vegas point totals
: Titans 26.75, Jets 19.25

Tennessee Titans

POS NAME COMP/ATT PASS YDS TDs INTs RUSH YDS TDs FPTS
QB Ryan Tannehill 19/28 220 2.1 0.7 12 0.6 21
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
RB Derrick Henry 23 108 0.9 3 20 0.35 21.54
RB Jeremy McNichols 4 14 0.2 2 14 0.2 6.35
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
WR Julio Jones 0 0 0 5 82 0.65 14.47
WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine 0 0 0 4 48 0.4 9.33
WR Chester Rogers 0 0 0 3 33 0.2 5.72
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
TE Geoff Swaim 0 0 0 1 13 0.1 2.6

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New York Jets

POS NAME COMP/ATT PASS YDS TDs INTs RUSH YDS TDs FPTS
QB Zach Wilson 21/35 218 1.4 1.5 10 0.2 13
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
RB Michael Carter 11 44 0.25 3 25 0.15 10.6
RB Ty Johnson 5 20 0.2 0 0 0.2 4.38
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
WR Corey Davis 0 0 0 5 59 0.45 10.98
WR Braxton Berrios 0 0 0 4 44 0.1 7.13
WR Elijah Moore 0 0 0 3 26 0.35 6.29
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
TE Tyler Kroft 0 0 0 3 23 0.15 4.43

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Quarterback

Tennessee: After starting off the season as the overall QB26 in fantasy football, Ryan Tannehill rebounded in a big way in week three and finished the week as the QB8. Through the first two weeks of the year, Tannehill had only thrown one touchdown, but he managed to find the end zone three times as a passer in week three and he also added on 56 rushing yards just to help out fantasy managers. We needed to see it happen on the field before we could trust Tannehill in our starting lineups and we now have that validation. The Titans get to take on a Jets team that is massively struggling right now and Tannehill should easily be able to lead this team to a victory, but the concern is whether or not they’ll need him a ton. This should be a game in which the Titans can just run the ball time after time and still escape with a victory, so there’s a wide range of outcomes for Tannehill from a fantasy perspective in this one. He could easily throw for a few touchdowns based on the secondary matchup, but he could also be left empty-handed as he watches all the touchdowns go to the RBs. Tannehill can be viewed as a high-end QB2 option for this matchup against the Jets.

New York: At this point, it’s hard to look at the move the Jets made this off-season to trade away Sam Darnold and draft Zach Wilson No. 2 overall and think that was a smart decision. Wilson has struggled through his first three games in the NFL and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be getting any better any time soon. While Wilson has faced the third-most Defensive Pressures in the NFL this season, he’s the lowest-ranked QB in the league in Passer Rating (51.6) for players with more than 50 pass attempts. This is a situation to avoid for fantasy football probably until next season.

Running Backs

Tennessee: After starting off the year a little bit slowly, Derrick Henry has come alive over the past two weeks and he’s getting right back to the massive workload we’re used to seeing from him. Henry has 63 carries just in the last two weeks alone and he has 295 rushing yards in that time span. In a matchup where some of the receiving options for the Titans might not be available or at 100% percent, we should see Henry cross over the 25-touch threshold yet again. In a matchup where the Jets are allowing the 6th most fantasy points to opposing RBs so far this season, Henry’s a top-5 option yet again.

New York: Well, there’s some good news to take away from week three for this Jets backfield and fantasy football! The good news is that Carter saw nine carries to Ty Johnson‘s three and he appears to have taken over this backfield as the 1A option. However, that’s pretty much where the good news stops. This Jets team isn’t going anywhere any time soon and they’re going to struggle to even put points up on the board any given week. Carter could see enough work to put him in the top-24 conversation if he was in a better offense, but this Jets team is even worse than we projected coming into the year. Carter’s merely just a bench stash currently in hopes that things start to turn around for this franchise sooner than later.

Wide Receivers

Tennessee: At the time of writing, it seems highly unlikely that AJ Brown is going to be able to suit up for this game. This leaves a massive opportunity for Julio Jones, but there’s currently some mystery as to his availability. Jones sat out the majority of the 4th quarter against the Colts on Sunday and Mike Vrabel commented that it was a “maintenance” issue. While it’s unclear exactly what that means, Jones appears to be trending towards playing this week against the Jets secondary that simply will not have an answer for him. If he does end up playing, Jones is a locked-in high-end WR2 with upside. If he doesn’t end up playing though, there might not be an option worth looking at confidently in this receiving corps.

New York: Corey Davis got back to being the main target in this offense in week three and he did provide a safe floor for fantasy managers that still started him in their lineups. The target volume is at least encouraging moving forward, but with the way the QB play is looking for this Jets offense, it’s difficult to get excited about Davis from a fantasy perspective. Moving forward, he should be viewed as nothing more than a low-end WR3. Elijah Moore saw a 17% target share in week three, but it didn’t really lead to much from a fantasy standpoint. There was one target in particular that demonstrates why we should probably just move on from Moore in our redraft leagues last week. On an out-route, Moore turns around to receive the ball just in time to see it skip off the ground a few yards in front of him. He never even had a chance to make a play for it and you could see Moore’s body language after the play was one of pure defeat. Unless we start to see Wilson improve drastically, Moore’s not worth holding onto in your shallower leagues this year.

Tight Ends

Tennessee: None of the Titans TEs are worth considering for fantasy football this week.

New York: None of the Jets TEs are worth considering for fantasy football this week.

FantasyProjection Buster: The entire Jets offense.

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Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears

Date/Time: Sunday October 3, 1:00pm ET
BettingPros Consensus Spread: Bears -3
BettingPros Consensus Over/Under: 42.5 points
Implied Vegas point totals
: Bears 22.75, Lions 19.75

Detroit Lions

POS NAME COMP/ATT PASS YDS TDs INTs RUSH YDS TDs FPTS
QB Jared Goff 27/38 263 1.8 1.4 14 0.05 17
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
RB D’Andre Swift 12 43 0.4 5 46 0.4 16.31
RB Jamaal Williams 8 33 0.4 3 24 0.35 11.88
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
WR Kalif Raymond 0 0 0 4 52 0.1 7.86
WR Quintez Cephus 0 0 0 3 30 0.25 5.92
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown 0 0 0 3 26 0.2 5.28
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
TE T.J. Hockenson 0 0 0 6 61 0.5 12.12

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Chicago Bears

POS NAME COMP/ATT PASS YDS TDs INTs RUSH YDS TDs FPTS
QB Justin Fields 17/28 146 1.7 0.75 30 0.55 17
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
RB David Montgomery 14 63 0.55 2 15 0.1 12.64
RB Damien Williams 4 14 0.05 2 15 0.05 4.69
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
WR Allen Robinson II 0 0 0 4 33 0.65 8.98
WR Darnell Mooney 0 0 0 4 35 0.5 8.43
WR Marquise Goodwin 0 0 0 2 17 0.1 3.06
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
TE Cole Kmet 0 0 0 3 22 0.2 4.69

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Quarterback

Detroit: After an impressive week one performance from a fantasy perspective, Jared Goff has come crashing back down to earth over the past couple of weeks. After putting up 29.92 fantasy points in week one against San Francisco, Goff has put up just 28.52 fantasy points over the last two games combined. He now gets to take on a Bears defense that he has historically struggled against, which means he’s not worth viewing as anything more than a high-end QB3.

Chicago: At the time of writing, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get any clarity on who the Bears starting QB will be before this weekend. If Justin Fields ends up suiting up, he’s worth considering starting in deeper formats, but it all depends on whether or not Matt Nagy will choose to alter his scheme to fit Fields’ strengths or even if Nagy is going to be the one calling plays. We might not get that clarity until right before game-time, which makes Fields a risky play. He’s just outside my top-15 QBs on the week currently.

Running Backs

Detroit: Surprise, surprise! D’Andre Swift is now the RB3 in all of fantasy football through the first three weeks of the season. While we all knew that Swift certainly had the talent to be a top-5 option for fantasy football, the amount of work that he has seen in this offense has certainly been surprising. Up to this point of the season, Swift ranks 7th in the entire NFL in terms of touches at the RB position with 52, according to Sports Reference. With so few targets being funneled to the WR position in this offense – plus Goff’s propensity for checking the ball down – Swift is feasting with this increased opportunity as a receiver. This is exemplified by the fact that Swift ranks first in the entire league at the RB position in Yards After the Catch and that he’s averaging over 10.5 YAC/Reception. I was wrong in my pre-draft evaluation of Swift in this offense due to how many targets are being sent his way and he’s now moving into an every-week must-start option if he continues to see this type of workload. Against the defense that just gave up plenty of receiving work to Kareem Hunt out of the backfield, Swift’s inside my top-10 RBs on the week. After week one, it looked like Jamaal Williams was on his way to being a late-round steal for fantasy managers. He finished week one as the overall RB4 and it appeared as though he was going to be an every-week starter moving forward. However, since then Williams has only put up 18.9 total fantasy points and he’s the RB27 from weeks 2-3. There’s certainly still value to rostering Williams and he’s not crushing your lineup if you’re forced into playing him, but we certainly can’t view him as an every-week starter like we thought we could after week one. Against the Bears’ defense this week, it’s probably best to view Williams as nothing more than a mid-range RB3.

Chicago: This Bears offense was an absolute mess last week and David Montgomery certainly didn’t help many fantasy managers to a victory. With the Bears’ offense struggling to even pick up first downs, Montgomery was barely utilized and struggled against a solid Browns defensive front. This matchup screams that you should be starting Montgomery in your fantasy lineups, but it’s very difficult to have faith in Matt Nagy and what he’s doing with this Bears offense this season. Until we see things start to turn around, Montgomery shouldn’t be viewed as anything more than a mid-range/low-end RB2.

Wide Receivers

Detroit: None of the Lions’ WRs are worth considering for fantasy football this week.

Chicago: Well, it can’t get much worse for Allen Robinson than it has through the first three weeks of this season. Robinson is currently the WR67 in fantasy and he’s quickly moving towards being someone that fantasy managers can’t trust in their starting lineups. This matchup indicates that you should start Robinson, but without the clarity currently on who the QB is even going to be, it makes this a volatile situation for fantasy. Robinson can be viewed as a high-end WR3 this year. Darnell Mooney should be a solid fantasy option in this offense with Fields at QB. Unfortunately, the play-calling has continued to be atrocious in 2021 and Mooney is struggling as a result. This matchup against the Lions should be one where Mooney has a big game, but we simply can’t trust him in our starting lineups with so may unknowns regarding the offense. Mooney is simply a FLEX play in deeper formats at best.

Tight Ends

Detroit: TJ Hockenson disappointed fantasy managers in week three after starting out the year on fire. However, after running 89 total receiving routes the first two weeks combined, Hockenson ran just 25 last week against Baltimore. With a much more neutral game script, Hockenson went from only 14 Run Blocking snaps in week two to 23 in week three. That certainly played a role in his decreased receiving production and he burned fantasy managers with just a 2-10-0 performance. Against the Bears, Hockenson should be more involved in the receiving aspect of the game, but there’s also the possibility that Chicago comes out flat yet again and Detroit’s able to lean on their run game more. This would keep Hockenson in line for blocking more and we could be disappointed yet again. He’s still worth starting in your lineups this week, but it’s probably best to temper your expectations. He can be viewed as a mid-range TE1.

Chicago: With the way the Bears offense is performing this year, Cole Kmet can’t be trusted in fantasy lineups just yet. There are better options that you can roll the dice with this week.

FantasyProjection Buster: The entire Bears offense.

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Indianapolis Colts vs Miami Dolphins

Date/Time: Sunday October 3, 1:00pm ET
BettingPros Consensus Spread: Dolphins -1.5
BettingPros Consensus Over/Under: 43 points
Implied Vegas point totals
: Dolphins 2.25, Colts 20.75

Indianapolis Colts

POS NAME COMP/ATT PASS YDS TDs INTs RUSH YDS TDs FPTS
QB Carson Wentz 22/35 240 1.85 1.2 12 0.2 17
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
RB Jonathan Taylor 14 59 0.65 3 22 0.25 14.78
RB Nyheim Hines 6 26 0.25 5 47 0.35 13.23
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
WR Michael Pittman Jr. 0 0 0 5 70 0.45 12.47
WR Zach Pascal 0 0 0 3 35 0.3 6.99
WR Parris Campbell 0 0 0 1 14 0.15 2.92
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
TE Jack Doyle 0 0 0 3 33 0.25 6.39

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Miami Dolphins

POS NAME COMP/ATT PASS YDS TDs INTs RUSH YDS TDs FPTS
QB Jacoby Brissett 27/40 235 2.3 1.3 10 0.15 18
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
RB Myles Gaskin 12 49 0.35 4 25 0.25 13.17
RB Malcolm Brown 6 19 0.25 1 8 0 4.81
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
WR Jaylen Waddle 0 0 0 9 69 0.55 14.53
WR DeVante Parker 0 0 0 5 58 0.4 10.43
WR Will Fuller V 0 0 0 3 25 0.25 5.4
POS NAME CARRIES RUSH YDS TDs RECS REC YDS TDs FPTS
TE Mike Gesicki 0 0 0 4 35 0.5 8.33

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Quarterback

Indianapolis: Carson Wentz was able to make it through all of last week without a setback, so he should be all systems go for this matchup against Miami. However, based on everything we’ve seen this year from Wentz and this offense, we shouldn’t be looking at him for our starting lineups this week.

Miami: Jacoby Brissett helped keep the Dolphins competitive all the way deep into overtime in week three against the Raiders, but he certainly didn’t do much for fantasy purposes. Brissett averaged a mere 4.4 Yards Per Attempt and he ended up with only 215 passing yards on the day with zero touchdowns. He was able to find the end zone as a runner, but that’s not going to do enough when not much else is happening through the air. In week four against the Colts, Brissett can be viewed as a low-end QB2 option.

Running Backs

Indianapolis: Heading into week three with Wentz banged up, I figured that the Colts would lean on their run game heavily and Jonathan Taylor would be in line for a massive performance. However, Taylor saw only 11 total touches and disappointed fantasy managers yet again. Now through three weeks, Taylor is only averaging 14 carries, 57 rushing yards, and zero touchdowns. Additionally, since seeing six receptions in week one, Taylor has only reeled in two over the past two games combined. We need to be very concerned with Taylor from a fantasy perspective and he now gets a matchup against the Miami Dolphins defense that’s only allowing 18.3 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. Taylor will need to find the end zone to crack the top-12 RBs this week. Nyheim Hines was one of the sole bright spots on offense for the Colts in week three. With the news that Marlon Mack has requested a trade, Hines’ fantasy managers should certainly have more confidence in him returning weekly value. He comes with a very safe floor each week due to his involvement in the receiving game, but he’ll need a touchdown to push his way into the top-24 at the position. He can be viewed as a high-end RB3 that gets a slight bump up in Full PPR formats.

Miami: Myles Gaskin was efficient on the ground last week as he averaged 5.0 YPC on his 13 rush attempts and he did end up seeing six targets through the air. While he only reeled in three of them for nine yards, it’s encouraging for fantasy managers to see that type of involvement. With that being said, Gaskin did witness Malcolm Brown come in and vulture the touchdown on the ground last week. At this point, Gaskin seems to be just a high-floor play that doesn’t present much upside any given week. He can be viewed as a low-end RB2 in week four against the Colts.

Wide Receivers

Indianapolis: As of right now, Michael Pittman is the only Colts WR that you should be looking to start. Even with Wentz banged up in week three, Pittman came through for fantasy managers with a solid performance in a plus matchup. He’s now seen 24 targets over the course of the past two weeks and is the WR18 over that time span. While this is a tougher matchup against Miami’s secondary, Pittman’s shown that he can succeed in tougher matchups and he’s seeing enough target volume to be a reliable high-end WR3.

Miami: Jaylen Waddle was certainly featured in this Dolphins offense last week against Las Vegas as he saw a 27.1% target share that resulted in 13 total targets. He reeled in an impressive 92.3% of those targets, but unfortunately only averaged 4.8 YPR with them. He had an ADOT of just 2.8 last week and he was simply out there as a substitute for the running game. With Jacoby Brissett, Waddle figures to remain heavily targeted, but it’s probably not going to lead to many scoring opportunities or big yardage performances. He still provided fantasy managers with a solid performance though in Half and Full PPR formats and he should remain in consideration for your starting lineups this week as a mid-range WR3. DeVante Parker was involved enough in this offense in week three to warrant consideration for starting lineups in week four, but there’s very little upside due to the state of the current offense. Parker is nothing more than a low-end FLEX play that has a very low floor.

Tight Ends

Indianapolis: None of the Colts TEs should be considered for fantasy football this week.

Miami: Mike Gesicki went from being barely on the field in week one to seeing 12 targets in week three. Gesicki has seen his snap count increase from 21 total snaps in week one to 55 in week three and it’s translating into opportunity. With Brissett at QB, there’s not much upside to be found in this offense, but due to so many other receiving options at the TE position falling flat this year, Gesicki needs to be talked about as a top-15 option moving forward. He has a tough matchup this week against the Colts, but the target volume should be there. He can be viewed as a mid-range TE2 this week.

FantasyProjection Buster: Mike Gesicki still is incredibly volatile despite the target totals we saw last week.

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