FANTASY PLAYS: Burning fantasy questions for Week 4
A look at some key fantasy questions going into Week 4:
IS THIS AS GOOD AS IT GETS FOR ANDREW LUCK?
Fantasy players rejoiced when Luck was finally cleared to play this preseason. Not only would they be able to once again roster the gritty QB, but they also hoped a healthy Luck would help the production of his former top 5 fantasy receiver, T.Y. Hilton. Some suggested Luck had lost some of the old zip on his throws this preseason, and although he's made all three of his starts, his yards per pass attempt has dipped each week. Entering Week 4, Luck is QB21 in fantasy scoring. Is Luck throwing short quick passes to offset his still underachieving offensive line, or is he throwing short because Hilton is his only deep ball threat?
The fact that backup QB Jacoby Brissett was called upon to throw the last Hail Mary pass in their last game is telling. We might not see the old Luck until next season, if ever.
WHICH UNDER-THE-RADAR RB HAS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR A BIG WEEK?
Last week, rookie Kerryon Johnson became the first Lions RB to rush for over 100 yards since 2013. This week he has a very appealing matchup against the Cowboys, who will be without their big-time defensive playmaker, linebacker Sean Lee. He has been ruled out due to a hamstring strain.
The Cowboys defense has been notoriously bad when Lee has been forced to miss games. Last season, opposing RBs ran for almost 2 more yards per carry without Lee in the Cowboys lineup. Since 2015, the Cowboys have yielded almost 8 more points and 56 more yards per game when Lee has been sidelined. Johnson's carries per game have increased each week and without Lee, the Cowboys defense could let Johnson run for another 100-plus yards.
CAN I START PATRIOTS RB SONY MICHEL EVERY WEEK?
If you've been playing fantasy for a while you know how tough it is to figure out what type of offense the Patriots will run in any given week. Still, Michel carried the ball a career high 14 times last week, and with Rex Burkhead on injured reserve it would make sense for Michel, a first-round draft pick, to get the majority of the early-down work. But this is still the Patriots. Start him, but be aware that one week he could carry the ball 20 times and then the next week he might see reduced touches.
WHICH UNDER-THE-RADAR WR HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR A BIG WEEK?
Giants WR Sterling Shepard. The Saints have given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs this season. With their best cornerback, Marshon Lattimore, likely covering Giants WR Odell Beckham, and heavily-targeted TE Evan Engram out this week, Shepard should see an uptick in opportunities. Shepard is already averaging just over six targets per game and he scored a TD off in a six-catch, 80 yard performance in Week 3.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM KAREEM HUNT GOING FORWARD?
Coming off a season in which he led all RBs in rushing yards (1,327), Kareem Hunt was the eighth RB selected in preseason drafts. However, in point-per-reception leagues, he is 22nd in scoring. Hunt is coming off a two-TD performance but his overall rushing numbers are way off the pace he set in his rookie season. His fantasy production is also suffering because new Chiefs starting QB Patrick Mahomes doesn't check down as much as former QB Alex Smith used to.
With Mahomes behind center, it's going to be hard for Hunt to replicate his 53-catch 2017 season. Hunt is still far and away the Chiefs leader in rushing attempts (52). Hunt forced more missed tackles than any other RB last season and plays in a high-powered offense that executes the seventh-highest percentage of run plays. If you own him, keep him. If you don't, you might want to try to buy low on him.
WHICH QBS SHOULD I CONSIDER STREAMING WEEKLY?
If you're looking to stream quarterbacks it might be best to think two weeks ahead, to ensure you're able to pick up the QB you want off the waiver wire. Unfortunately, this approach will force you to have to roster two QBs at a time and you may end up dropping a valuable player in the process. Denver's Case Keenum has taken a step back after a good Week 1. He's got two very good receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas and a good Week 4 matchup against the Chiefs, but his long-term favorable matchups are too few and far between.
Miami's Ryan Tannehill squeaks by as a top 12 option for Week 4. The Dolphins have been running a creative offense and have some interesting weapons including Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant in their passing game. Joe Flacco is averaging 296 yards passing per game and the Ravens offense is ranked fifth and scoring 32 points per game. WR Michael Crabtree knows how to find the end zone and John Brown is healthy, scoring TDs and is a big-play threat.
SHOULD I ADD BAKER MAYFIELD?
It's OK to add the Cleveland quarterback off of the waiver wire if he is still available, but beware of starting rookie passers. Look at how Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has gone up and down. Mayfield has favorable matchups in five of his next seven starts. He zips the ball to his receivers and exudes confidence. Mayfield has excellent offensive weapons in Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway and David Njoku and he'll get them the ball. Just be careful. There'll be times, take Week 5 against the Ravens as a possibility, that he'll look like a rookie.
For more Week 4 fantasy lineup advice, visit RotoExperts: http://rotoexperts.com