Week 3 was a nightmare for some Fantasy managers — specifically those who managed to acquire Christian McCaffrey in their drafts. We now turn the page to Week 4. There are glaring Week 4 examples of players you should start and sit. There are also examples of sleepers who could provide unexpected production and big names who could flop based on these Week 3 matchups. Every week we’ll break down every game on the slate and pinpoint the players you need to know in every matchup.
All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.
The line wants us to believe: The Jaguars are incapable of competing. The oddsmakers have probably realized no one will take the Jaguars unless given a ton of points. Not that the Bengals have a positive public perception, but a 14-point win at Pittsburgh will go a long way. The Bengals’ defense isn’t that terrible, and of the six wins the Bengals have with Zac Taylor, four have been by eight-plus points. The short week should help Joe Mixon revive his numbers and thus pace the Bengals to a lopsided win.
The line wants us to believe: Jacksonville is competitive. Carolina is an overrated 3-0 team. It sure feels like the oddsmakers are trying to push you toward taking the Cowboys after convincing wins against the Chargers and Eagles. They could have gotten away with more points, especially since the Panthers will play without Christian McCaffrey. Carolina, like Dallas, has a better-than-expected defense, but they haven’t been tested yet. This should be another solid win for the Cowboys, but maybe by six or seven.
The line wants us to believe:
The line wants us to believe: Week 3 was an aberration for the Bears. The public has watched the Lions play three competitive games while the Bears were smashed in Weeks 1 and 3. But I’m not sure the Lions have the kind of defense that can mangle the Bears quarterbacks like others before them. Chicago found a way to bounce back in Week 2, the hunch is they’ll do it again.
The line wants us to believe: The Saints are capable of blowing another team out. I know the New Orleans defense is good and the Giants lost their top receiver and top run-stopping linebacker, but I cannot feel comfortable laying eight points with a Saints offense that hasn’t been real consistent. New York has just six losses under Joe Judge (out of 13) by nine or more points. My gut tells me the Giants keep it close by the end.
The line wants us to believe: Buffalo’s dominance on both sides of the ball is just getting started. The Texans have played hard through three weeks, but I have a hard time believing they’ll have a chance at scoring even 14 points (their implied point total is a shade higher at 15.5). Can the Bills hit over 30 points? We’ve seen it countless times including the last two weeks. The only catch is that this is a possible trap game for the Bills because they play the Chiefs next week. I just doubt the Texans can capitalize.
The line wants us to believe: The Eagles aren’t as bad as they’ve been the past two weeks. I’m not sure the betting public believes that, and it feels like the oddsmakers are counting on exactly that. No doubt they could have gotten away with as many as nine points as the Chiefs are in a good bounce-back spot against a beat-up and not-so-well-coached Eagles team. I can’t help but fall for the trap here as Patrick Mahomes should rebound; the Chiefs as a whole have scored at least 32 points in each of four games after Mahomes had multiple interceptions. I don’t think the Eagles can get past 24.
The line wants us to believe: The Titans aren’t good enough to blow out the Jets. The oddsmakers are literally begging you to take the Titans. Why else would they not be favored by 10-plus points against a completely undermanned Jets team? This is where I’m supposed to explain how the Jets will keep it close, but I can’t think of a way, even with a mobile quarterback and against a below-average Titans defense. They’ve scored 20 points in 12 quarters! I guess I’m getting trapped by taking Tennessee.
The line wants us to believe: The Falcons will keep it close for the second week in a row. I can’t say the Football Team is poorly coached, but I can say they were out of gas last week. This is a terrific bounce-back spot for them versus a Falcons offense that hasn’t been imaginative at all and a defense that hung tough against a beat-up Giants offense in Week 3. I doubt many people will race to put their bucks on the Falcons, so maybe the line is a little fishy in that regard, but I think Washington steps up in a close game.
The line wants us to believe: The Cardinals can keep it close. That’s something Arizona hasn’t done in their past four meetings with the Rams, all with Kyler Murray. They’ve lost all four by at least seven points. Moreover, the Rams have done a great job containing Murray on the ground in the series. It feels like the Rams have too much of an edge on both sides of the ball, especially against the Cardinals’ pass defense.
The line wants us to believe: Seattle’s defense is really that bad. The 49ers found a way to score 28 points last week without a reliable run game, which was impressive. The 49ers’ run defense isn’t bad, but the secondary has some serious concerns that the Seahawks will be sure to test. The larger issue is that Seattle has been out-schemed the past two weeks and out-scored in their last two second-halves. For a guru like Kyle Shanahan, it’s the right setup for him to take advantage.
The line wants us to believe: Denver is for real. The Broncos are 3-0 thanks to wins over the winless Giants, Jaguars and Jets. The Ravens are a real test, but they’re also a team that has been stuck in close games every week. Count on the Broncos defense to contain Lamar Jackson as best as it can to help give the offense a chance to score. The oddsmakers want you to take the Ravens — this is one that should be easy enough to go the other way.
The line wants us to believe: The Steelers can keep it to one score. After getting blown out at home by the Bengals last week, how in the world could anyone confidently take the Steelers here? That’s what the oddsmakers want you to think! Pittsburgh’s defense would get a big boost if T.J. Watt played, perhaps enough to keep Aaron Rodgers from completely decimating them. It’s also wild to think the Steelers won’t come up with answers for their Week 3 mistakes. Pittsburgh might not win, but they’ll indeed keep it within one score.
The line wants us to believe: Bill Belichick will have an answer for Tom Brady. There’s no other explanation for this line being as low as it is. The whole universe will put their coins on Brady knowing how well he’s played and how stinky the Patriots have been — and the oddsmakers are counting on it. That’s the side they want us on. Believing Belichick will devise a way to stymie Brady isn’t hard — it’s believing Mac Jones and the Patriots offense will find a way to score three touchdowns that’s impossible. New England has yet to score more than two offensive touchdowns in a game this season.
The line wants us to believe: The Raiders are overrated. Maybe Las Vegas is overrated (the team, not the city!), but they’re finding ways to stay in games and win. Teams like that are dangerous, especially against mistake-prone teams like the Chargers who have lost over 200 yards of passing and five touchdowns to drops and penalties through three games. Derek Carr has been on an absolute roll and should test what’s been a pretty good L.A. secondary. It’s a fair line but one that the Raiders should cover.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 3 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that has out-performed experts big-time.