Fantasy Football Week 4 Start/Sit Advice: Riskiest & Safest Players (2022)
One of the oldest sayings in fantasy football is “start your studs,” meaning play your best players regardless of the matchup or their recent struggles. Star players will have a poor fantasy performance a few times during the season. However, their combination of floor and upside make them the best starting option, regardless of what is on your bench.
However, which players should fantasy managers feel safe starting, and which should they feel nervous about starting? Here are my recommendations for Week 4.
All stats used are based on half-point PPR scoring.
Joe Burrow (QB – CIN) vs. Miami Dolphins
While the Bengals have a 1-2 record this year, Burrow has played well for fantasy teams. He is the QB9 for the year, averaging 19.3 fantasy points per game. The former No. 1 overall pick has scored at least 16.6 fantasy points in every game this season. Furthermore, he scored 18.2 fantasy points against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 despite having five turnovers in the game.
More importantly, Burrow is coming off his best performance of the season, scoring 23 fantasy points against the New York Jets. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have given up an average of 359 passing yards, 2.5 passing touchdowns, and 34.7 fantasy points to Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen over the past two weeks. Expect Burrow to put up similar numbers against Miami tonight.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO) vs. Minnesota Vikings
The New Orleans running back has gotten off to a slow start this season, averaging 6.2 fantasy points per game. Kamara missed the Week 2 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a rib injury he suffered in the season opener. While he has struggled to produce fantasy points, Kamara remains a must-start for fantasy teams. Despite missing the Week 2 game, Kamara leads all New Orleans running backs in snaps played (86), targets (11), and routes run (26) this season.
Furthermore, the star running back was second on the team in targets last week with seven while also receiving 15 rushing attempts compared to five for Mark Ingram. Kamara is a safe start this week against the Vikings despite his struggles to start the year. Minnesota has struggled to stop the run this season, giving up an average of 110.3 rushing yards and 24.6 fantasy points per game to running backs. Furthermore, they surrendered 87 rushing yards, 23.7 fantasy points and a pair of touchdowns to Jamaal Williams in Week 3. Kamara has overall RB1 upside this week.
Tyreek Hill (WR – MIA) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Despite the downgrade in quarterback from Patrick Mahomes to Tua Tagovailoa, Hill remains one of the top wide receivers in fantasy football. The veteran wideout is the WR5 for the year, averaging 18.3 fantasy points per game. While he is coming off a disappointing performance last week, scoring only 4.3 fantasy points against the Buffalo Bills, Hill had only four targets in the game after seeing 25 over the first two games of the year. The drop in targets isn’t a concern, as the Dolphins had only 43 offensive snaps last week after averaging 65.5 over the first two games (a 34.4% decline). Tyreek is due for a bounce-back performance tonight against the Bengals.
Hill’s matchup is sneaky good for fantasy players. Cincinnati has held wide receivers to only 22 fantasy points per game this season, the fourth-fewest in the NFL. However, they have struggled to slow down No. 1 wide receivers the past two weeks. In Week 2, the Bengals gave up seven receptions on 11 targets and 11.6 fantasy points to CeeDee Lamb. Then they surrendered eight or more targets to four Jets’ pass catchers last week with Joe Flacco under center. With Jaylen Waddle nursing a groin injury, Hill will need to take on more of a role tonight and rip apart Eli Apple and the Cincinnati secondary.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The only running backs with more fantasy points than Edwards-Helaire over the first three weeks of the year are Nick Chubb, Saquon Barkley, and James Robinson. CEH has more fantasy points than Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, and Derrick Henry. The third-year running back has averaged 15.7 fantasy points per game this season, scoring at least 12.4 fantasy points in every game. Furthermore, Edwards-Helaire has three touchdowns this season, tied for the seventh-most this season.
While fantasy players should start CEH, they should feel nervous, given the matchup. The Buccaneers have held running backs to only 9.4 fantasy points per game this season, the fewest in the NFL. Running backs have averaged only 70.7 rushing yards per game against Tampa Bay this season, totaling under 85 yards in every contest. Furthermore, the Buccaneers are one of six teams not to surrender a touchdown to running backs this season. Hopefully, CEH can become the first to enter the end zone against Tampa Bay this year.
Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN) vs. New Orleans Saints
Most fantasy analysts had Jefferson as their WR1 entering the season. He is the WR8 for the year, averaging 15.2 fantasy points per game. However, Jefferson scored 34.9 fantasy points (76.5% of his season total) in Week 1. The third-year receiver has scored only 10.7 fantasy points over the past two weeks. Despite his recent struggles, Jefferson remains a must-start. He still leads the team in targets with 29, seeing 10 more than any other player. Jefferson also tied for the team lead in red zone targets with five.
Unfortunately, the star receiver has a tough matchup this week against Marshon Lattimore and the Saints. New Orleans has held wide receivers to 24.6 fantasy points per game this season, the ninth-fewest in the NFL. They have also surrendered only two touchdowns to the position this year. Furthermore, the Saints have made life difficult for opposing No. 1 wide receivers. They have given up only 6.5 fantasy points per game to DJ Moore, Mike Evans, and Drake London. Jefferson is a superstar and more talented than any of those other three receivers. However, fantasy players need to prepare themselves for potentially another disappointing performance from Jefferson.
George Kittle (TE – SF) vs. Los Angeles Rams
After missing the first two games of the year with a groin injury, Kittle played in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos. The veteran tight end played 91% of the snaps and caught four of his five targets for 28 yards. Fantasy players were happy to see Kittle on the field after using an early-round pick on the tight end. Furthermore, Kittle has averaged 12.5 fantasy points per game over his last three matchups against the Rams.
However, the Rams have done a good job defending tight ends this year. They have held tight ends to only 4.1 fantasy points per game this season, the third-fewest in the NFL. Furthermore, the Rams gave up only 10.4 fantasy points to Kyle Pitts and Zach Ertz over the past two weeks. More importantly, the 49ers could ask Kittle to block more this week with Trent Williams out for this game with a high ankle sprain. Last year Kittle had an 80.5% route participation rate. He had a 75.9% route participation rate last week by comparison. Fantasy players should start Kittle, given his talent, but be prepared for a potentially disappointing performance.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.
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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.