It’s time to set those fantasy football lineups for Week 4 of the 2016 NFL season. With quite a few surprises in Week 4, and the power rankings adjusting accordingly, we should see even more craziness in the week ahead. There’s no better place to begin the start ’em/bench ’em breakdown than by looking at the quarterback position. We kick things off with a quarterback who’s facing one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL.
Start ’em: Philip Rivers vs. New Orleans Saints
Not only has Philip Rivers gotten off to an impressive start in 2016, completing 68.7% of his passes for 789 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions, but he now draws a defense that’s allowing 32 points-per-game and 299 yards-per-game through the air. Basically, Rivers is set up for success in Week 4. If you’re debating between him and pretty much anyone else, then Rivers is probably the right play this week.
Bench ’em: Eli Manning vs. Minnesota Vikings
Eli Manning is going up against an incredible Vikings defense on the road in prime-time. Minnesota is fresh off an eight-sack, three-interception performance against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers last weekend. If you think they won’t tee off on Manning in this game, think again. The Giants have some offensive weapons, but Manning just won’t be able to put up the type of numbers you need from a legitimate starting quarterback this weekend. Look elsewhere, and hit the waiver wire.
Start ’em: Joe Flacco vs. Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders had a solid showing in Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans and Marcus Mariota. Unfortunately, they’re still the worst pass defense in the NFL (statistically). This sets up nicely for Joe Flacco and playmakers like Steve Smith, Mike Wallace, and Dennis Pitta, specifically. Flacco should have no problem tossing two or three touchdowns and experiencing a great start this week for fantasy football owners.
Bench ’em: Derek Carr vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore defense is surprisingly stellar through three games. Through the air, they’ve allowed just 168.3 yards-per-game, while giving up only 14.7 points-per-game as well. Essentially, Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders offense could be in for a rough game in Week 4. Tack on the fact that we saw Carr come back down to earth in Week 3, throwing for 249 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, and it’s understandable why you may want to leave him on the bench for this one.
Start ’em: Tyrod Taylor vs. New England Patriots
This pick is a whole lot riskier than any other start above, but the Buffalo Bills are pretty excited about taking on the Patriots. With that said, expect New England to do all they can in order to shut down LeSean McCoy and the run game. This means that Taylor must air it out fairly often, while using his legs too. These things combined should help him have a strong fantasy football day; one that few people will expect to see. Taylor is an under-the-radar start this week. However, the team may wind up being great if their QB can connect on one or two long touchdowns.
Bench ’em: Jameis Winston vs. Denver Broncos
While Jameis Winston did toss for 405 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s 37-32 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, except the team to focus much more on running the ball against the Denver Broncos. Even if they choose not to do that, though, you’re still talking about Winston going up against one of the best pass defenses in the NFL. The Broncos have allowed just 178.3 yards-per-game through the air, which ranks them No. 4 in the league. Regardless of how you look at it, we suggest avoiding Winston at all this weekend.