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Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 4: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Other QB/DST Start/Sit Fantasy Advice

Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 4: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 4: Ryan Fitzpatrick

So by now you know that it’s a good idea to start Patrick Mahomes every week seeing that as of right now he is the fantasy football MVP through the first three weeks of the season.

But who would have thought that Andy Dalton and Matt Ryan would be better options to start than Russell Wilson so far this season?

Plus, if you are into streaming quarterbacks or you just lost Jimmy Garoppolo for the season, there are two really sneaky signal-callers you could start this week.

But before I share my QB secret and some tips on defense/special teams (DSTs) let's see how the Week 3 suggestions panned out. Also don't forget that this is the first week that byes come into play. No Panthers or Redskins are available this week.

Good Calls for Week 3...

Start Matt Ryan (40.16 fantasy points) – Ryan is starting to look more like the MVP he was two years ago thanks to more production from Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper.

Sit Carson Wentz (11.2 FP) – The Eagles may have won, but it is going to take a couple weeks until Wentz starts looking like the touchdown-throwing machine he was last year.

Sit Andy Dalton (14.08 FP) – Dalton was very good for the first two weeks, but on the road against Carolina, it was a tough matchup that led to him throwing four interceptions.

Bad Calls for Week 3...

Start Blake Bortles (8.9 FP) – One week after leading his team to a win over the Patriots, Bortles looked like the worst quarterback in the league against the Titans.

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

Teams on bye: Carolina, Washington



Andy Dalton, CIN (at ATL)

Dalton’s place here in the “start” section hinges on A.J. Green playing, but with the emergence of Tyler Boyd, the receiving chops of Giovani Bernard, the increased usage of Tyler Eifert and maybe even John Ross, Dalton should finish the week as a top-five fantasy quarterback. Dalton has averaged 38 pass attempts per game, which puts him 10th in the NFL, and he has a good matchup in Week 4, as the Bengals take on the Falcons, who have allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game and have already lost both starting safeties to season-ending injuries.

Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. CIN)

Ryan has been on fire the past two weeks. Any questions about this offense’s potential or lack thereof have been silenced. The past two games, “Matty Ice” has thrown for 646 yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception. Last week, he scorched the Saints' 31st-ranked pass defense for 374 yards and a career-high five touchdown passes. This week Ryan has another great matchup against Cincinnati. The Bengals enter this game giving up 25.7 points and 395 yards per game with 270 of those coming through the air.

Case Keenum, DEN (vs. KC, Mon.)

If you’re looking to replace Jimmy Garoppolo or you’re streaming quarterbacks, Keenum would be a top plug-and-play option. The Chiefs are tied for last in the NFL at 362 passing yards per game allowed and have already surrendered eight TD passes. Despite their impressive start, Kansas City's defense also is ranked near the bottom in points allowed at 30.7 per game. Start Keenum, he has a great matchup at home and should shine in the "Monday Night Football" spotlight.


Joe Flacco, BAL (at PIT)

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Flacco is in an offense that seems to focus on passing first, as he has the third-most pass attempts in the NFL, and in Week 4, he has a great matchup against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has given up the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.


Russell Wilson, SEA (at ARI)

Wilson has scored fewer than 20 fantasy points in his last two games and expect him to fall short of that benchmark again this week. Arizona has only allowed three TD passes while collecting two interceptions against Alex Smith, Jared Goff and Mitchell Trubisky. The Seahawks should be able to lean on their ground game for the second week in a row with Chris Carson leading the way. The over-under for this game is 37.5, and Wilson isn't expected to light up the scoreboard in Week 4.

Matthew Stafford, DET (at DAL)

No quarterback has scored more than 19 fantasy points against Dallas this year, and that includes matchups against Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. And Detroit should last week against New England that it can run the ball with Kerryon Johnson, who should benefit from the absence of standout linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring). Stafford could easily expose this Dallas secondary with his standout receiving corps, especially if the Lions are chasing points because Ezekiel Elliott runs through their defense. But this game should be low scoring – Las Vegas has the over-under at 44 points – so don't expect a big fantasy day from Stafford this week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB (at CHI)

The magic could continue into Week 4, a likely last start before Jameis Winston starts after the bye. But do you really want to roll the dice against Khalil Mack and the Bears' defense?


Carson Wentz, PHI (at TEN)

Wentz and the Eagles are four-point favorites in a game that features a lowly 41-point total according to Vegas. In his first game back, Wentz went 25-for-37 for 255 yards, a touchdown and an interception with 10 rushing yards. That was against the Colts at home, and now he and the Eagles hit the road against a Titans defense that forced Deshaun Watson to bail from the pocket constantly in Week 2 and limited the Jaguars to 232 yards of total offense. Tennessee’s 16.7 points against per game allowed is fourth in the NFL and the Titans' beleaguered offense may hand points over to the Eagles' defense. Look elsewhere for a starting QB in Week 4.

Defense/Special Teams (DSTs)


Los Angeles Chargers (vs. SF)

The Chargers are 11.5-point favorites over the Jimmy G-less 49ers this week. The Chargers have been torched by the Chiefs and Rams but should respond at home against an injury-plagued offense. If you’re in need of a plug-and-play DST, the Chargers should be available on your waiver wire this week.

Cleveland Browns (at OAK)

The Browns DST has averaged better than 10 fantasy points over its first three games, and that's a very attainable projection against the Raiders this week.


Baltimore Ravens (at PIT)

The Ravens DST put up 17 fantasy points against the Bills in their opener. Since then, this unit has scored a combined five fantasy points. Not good. Things don't figure to improve when Baltimore heads to the Steel City to face Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, who have averaged 33.3 points in their last five home games.

Miami Dolphins (at NE)

Believe it or not, the Dolphins' defense ranks in the top five in fantasy points after three weeks, but do you want to tempt fate and start this DST in a road matchup against angry Tom Brady and the Patriots who have lost two straight?

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

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