With three weeks behind us, the fantasy football season moves on with another week of interesting WR start or sit decisions. With not all matchups being created equal, here are our top fantasy football start ’em and sit ’em plays at WR for Week 4.
Week 4 Start ‘Em | Wide receivers
Which WRs have favorable matchups in Week 4 and need to be started across the board in fantasy?
Start ‘Em | Odell Beckham Jr., CLE (@ MIN)
With the Browns needing immediate help at receiver following the injury to Jarvis Landry (MCL), the return of Odell Beckham Jr. could not have come soon enough, and he was put to work right away. Beckham played on 52 snaps while leading the team in targets (9), receptions (5), and yards (77).
Cleveland is a run-first team, and it makes sense since they have two stud RBs and a tremendous offensive line. But Beckham’s volume — who does look fully recovered from his 2020 ACL tear — cannot be ignored by fantasy managers.
In Week 4, the Browns take on the Minnesota Vikings, who rank 29th in fantasy points allowed to WRs at 47.23 and lead the league in yards and touchdowns to receivers lined up out wide. Start Beckham with confidence in Week 4 in your fantasy football lineups.
Start ‘Em | Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. JAX)
Remember when there was all this talk about Ja’Marr Chase not being able to see the NFL football, and fantasy drafters started to fade him after some drops in games that didn’t mean anything? Yeah, good times. Well, in case you forgot, Chase is very good at football. There’s some hard-hitting analysis.
In three games, Chase is the WR11 in fantasy with 18.93 points per game (PPR). He has 11 receptions on 16 targets for 220 yards with 4 touchdowns, tied with Mike Williams for second-most in the NFL and only behind Cooper Kupp.
However, from an efficiency standpoint, Chase stands above them all. Of receivers who have seen 10 or more targets, Chase is No. 1 in points per target (3.56) and points per reception (5.18).
Tee Higgins (shoulder) has already been ruled out for Thursday night’s game, leaving Chase the unquestioned WR1 in a matchup against the Jaguars, who are 21st against WRs (40.57 points) but 29th in receiving yards allowed (218).
In just his fourth career game in the NFL, don’t be surprised if Chase ends the week well inside the top 10 in fantasy scoring. He’s a must-start in Week 4.
Start ‘Em | Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (vs. HOU)
The Buffalo Bills finally look like the team we all expected coming into 2021. And with that means fantasy points galore. It also seems that Emmanuel Sanders is taking a firm grasp of the WR3 role on the offense.
Sanders exploded in Week 3 with 5 receptions, 94 yards, and 2 scores. While both Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley saw more targets, Sanders led the team in snaps and routes run.
Sanders is coming off a one-year stint with the New Orleans Saints, recording 61 receptions on 82 targets for 726 yards and 5 touchdowns. Throughout his career, he has been a model of consistency.
Since 2012, Sanders has recorded less than 620 yards just once (2015) with seven seasons of 720+ receiving yards. Despite playing on a career-low 52% of snaps in 14 games, Sanders ended the 2020 season as the WR41 while averaging 11.8 ppg.
Although he’s 34 years old, Sanders is showing he has tread left on his tires. The Bills take on the Houston Texans in Week 4 and are currently 17-point favorites. Fire every Bills player you can into your starting lineups in Week 4 with Sanders a sneaky WR3 option.
Start ‘Em | Corey Davis, New York Jets (vs. TEN)
Revenge Game! Everyone’s favorite overused narrative. I honestly wonder what the production rates are like for players in a revenge game? Hmm, maybe a project for another day.
Anyways, Corey Davis was back to being the top target for Zach Wilson last week, recording 5 receptions for 41 yards on 10 targets which was a 28% target share for the week. Sure, he did nothing with them, but the volume is a great sign of things to come in favorable matchups. And wouldn’t you know it, he has one again this week.
The Titans are 30th in points allowed (50.1), having surrendered 6 touchdowns in three games while averaging 226.7 yards per game. The Titans have already allowed five receivers to score at least 12 PPR points, and with Elijah Moore likely out for the game (concussion), Davis should be a target machine in Week 4. Davis is a low-end WR3 in Week 4 who can be started if you are looking for a flex fill-in.
Start ‘Em | Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (vs. DET)
I honestly cannot believe it has come to this. I am having to convince myself that Allen freaking Robinson is a fringe starter. What is this world coming to? Apparently, head coach Matt Nagy decided to be 2021’s version of Adam Gase since Gase is now out of the NFL and is an OC for a high school team. That’s not even a joke. Okay, it kind of is, but it’s true.
The Bears’ offense is a mess. They are 31st in points (6.7 per game), last in yards (191.7), have 2 offensive touchdowns, and are an astonishing -50.24 in expected points, which is … you guessed it … dead last.
When Nagy was calling the plays last year, they were in the bottom two in virtually all offensive metrics — trading blows with, you guessed it again, Gase and the Jets. Nagy is in full send mode for destroying any joy at Soldier Field to the point they’re moving to Arlington to get away from this dumpster fire.
I am giving Robinson one last shot, only due to the immense skills he possesses. He is currently 35th in targets (21) with just 10 receptions and has yet to go over 35 yards receiving in a game.
The Bears take on the Lions in Week 4, and if not now, when? If Robinson and the Bears cannot get it together, Robinson might very well be in the sit ’em side of this article when we meet again in Week 5.
Week 4 Sit ‘Em | Wide receivers
After seeing the upside players at WR for Week 4, which start ’em or sit ’em decisions should fantasy football managers think twice about when setting their lineups?
Sit ‘Em | Kenny Golladay, New York Giants (@ NO)
There is something to being the guy. But when that comes because you are the only one left, it loses some of its lusters. With Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both missing practices (hamstrings), Kenny Golladay is the last one standing.
Yet, in three games, he hasn’t exactly been productive. Golladay has seen 19 targets, recording 11 receptions for 166 yards and no touchdowns. Shepard has been far and away the top receiver despite the contract handed out to Golladay in the offseason.
The WR58 on the season, Golladay gets the pleasure of facing Marshon Lattimore, who is having an incredible season as one of the best shutdown CBs in the NFL. I would not feel comfortable starting Golladay in Week 4. Thus, he lands on the sit ’em list at WR for me in Week 4 in fantasy.
Sit ‘Em | Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ GB)
The Pittsburgh Steelers are struggling. There are no two ways around it. They’re averaging just 4.9 yards per play, which is the eighth-fewest in the NFL, and are 28th in points scored (50). The OL is a mess, and Ben Roethlisberger is playing like a QB going on 40 and mulled retirement for the last two seasons. It’s difficult to have much faith, which is odd given the decades of success the franchise has seen.
The effect is also seen in the fantasy production of players like Chase Claypool, who is No. 36 in fantasy (12.77 per game) and averaging just 1.24 points per target. Roethlisberger is once again leading the NFL with the quickest time to throw (2.35) and is averaging just 4.3 completed air yards per attempt (fifth-fewest). For a player who is a deep-threat specialist, Claypool never gets a chance to impact the game.
The matchup is awful, too, as he will likely see shadow coverage from Jaire Alexander. As a whole, the Packers are sixth in points allowed to WRs at only 28.4 per game. Ideally, I would be sitting Claypool in Week 4 for fantasy.
Sit ‘Em | Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (vs. DET)
I can make the case to start Robinson because we have years and years of examples where he is the best player on the field. However, I cannot give Mooney, who I adore, the same benefit of the doubt. He was one of my top sleepers and breakout candidates, but with how things are going, the Bears can’t even support one WR, let alone two.
After recording 11 receptions on 15 targets for 92 yards in the first two games, Mooney had just a single reception for 9 yards on 4 targets last week.
We don’t even know who the starting QB will be in Week 4 because Nagy is going to do Nagy things. Honestly, I think I’m going to make a new verb. “Nagying.” When you really mess things up and ruin what could be a good thing. “Man, you are really nagying this whole thing.” Yeah, I like it.
I want to see Mooney succeed, and I believe better are days will come. But until he is no longer being Nagy-ied, I have to sit Mooney and find other WRs to start in fantasy for Week 4.
Sit ‘Em | Marquez Callaway, New Orleans Saints (vs. NYG)
We finally had a decent game out of Marquez Callaway. After two duds to start the season, Callaway hauled in 4 of 5 targets for 4 yards and a score to finish as the WR27 on the week (14.1 points).
But if you watched the game, Callaway did not deserve the touchdown. He bailed out Jameis Winston, who was in the middle of being sacked, and simply threw the ball up into the end zone and hoped it would find the right hands like a set of crab legs falling onto his plate at a restaurant.
For now, Callaway is a low-volume, touchdown-dependent WR. In Week 4, he will likely see a healthy dose of Adoree’ Jackson, who I personally would stay away from in fantasy. Sit Callaway again this week.