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Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 4: Sterling Shepard and Other WR/TE Start/Sit Fantasy Advice

Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 4: Sterling Shepard

Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 4: Sterling Shepard

The bye weeks are here and usually this would wreak havoc to your fantasy football team, causing you to scramble to find and start players you would never start otherwise.

Luckily this week, it’s only the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins on bye, so from a wide receiver and tight end standpoint, your fantasy team should be just fine, other than those who have Jordan Reed on their roster.

So that actually means more tough decisions on who to start and who to sit. For example, should you start Geronimo Allison or Randall Cobb? Which Chargers wide receiver could be a fantasy star this week? And what to do wtih the 49ers' wideouts (and TE George Kittle) now that Jimmy Garoppolo is out for the season?

These answers and more can be found in the Week 4 star/sit suggestions for WRs and TEs. But before we get into that, here's how the Week 3 advice panned out.

Good Calls for Week 3...

Start Robert Woods (23.7 fantasy points) – If you started Woods last week, you probably won your matchup.

Sit Randall Cobb (0.30 FP) – It’s Geronimo Allison you want (outside of Davante Adams), as Cobb isn't really involved in the Packers' offense anymore.

Sit Jesse James (0.70 FP) – On Monday it was Vance McDonald who went off for a huge fantasy performance. You just don’t know which Steelers tight end will produce each week, which is too much of a gamble.

Bad Calls for Week 3...

Start Keelan Cole (4 FP) – Cole’s bad week is more of a Blake Bortles sucks kind of problem.

Start Austin Hooper (4.3 FP) – One week after looking fantasy relevant (finally), Matt Ryan throws for five touchdowns and 374 yards and Hooper only has 23 of them.

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

Teams on bye: Carolina, Washington

Wide Receivers


Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. NO)

Shepard gets the matchup Calvin Ridley did last week against P.J. Williams, and the Saints also are down slot corner Patrick Robinson. Shepard  had seven targets and a touchdown last week, and Evan Engram's knee injury should afford him even more looks for the Giants in Week 4 against a defense allowing 336.7 passing yards per game (30th in the NFL). New Orleans also has given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.

Tyler Boyd, CIN (at ATL)

There’s no way to know whether Boyd would’ve played 51-of-65 snaps on Sunday had A.J. Green not gotten hurt, but the results are still strong and look even better relative to John Ross’ 31 snaps (though both saw seven targets). The Bengals are basically using just one running back with Joe Mixon out, as Mark Walton barely subs in for Giovani Bernard. The Falcons have allowed at least seven receptions or a TD to eight receivers in their first three games and Boyd has commanded a target share between 15-21 percent in each of the Bengals’ first three contests.

Mike Williams, LAC (vs. SF)

Philip Rivers’ top two targets thus far have been Keenan Allen (26 targets) and Melvin Gordon (24), but Williams is gaining ground fast. In Week 3, the second-year wide receiver outperformed Allen, hauling in four receptions for 81 yards and two TDs. Considering the 49ers are so stingy on the ground, holding opponents to just 3.7 yards per carry, the Chargers' passing game could be the focal point on Sunday.


Geronimo Allison, GB (vs. BUF)

Allison boasts the most receiving yards for the Packers with 209. He has emerged as a go-to option for a still somewhat limited Aaron Rodgers. His 13 catches and two touchdowns this far should increase against a Bills defense giving up 256.7 passing yards a game.


Marquise Goodwin, SF (at LAC)

Goodwin ascended to fantasy relevance last year following the acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo, so he takes a hit with his starting quarterback lost to a torn ACL. While everyone hangs onto the hope that George Kittle will take advantage of his relationship with college roommate C.J. Beathard, Goodwin benefits most with a strong-armed signal-caller. Pierre Gacron could emerge as the most targeted wideout with Beathard at the helm.

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Kenny Golladay, DET (at DAL)

The Cowboys have only allowed 182.7 passing yards and 98.3 rushing yards per game. The Lions in Week 3 had their first 100-yard rusher since 2013. Dallas' stingy run defense will make Detroit one-dimensional on offense, allowing its pass rushers to pin their ears back and get after Matthew Stafford.

Quincy Enunwa, NYJ (at JAC)

Enunwa saw the most targets last week (eight against the Browns), which gives him the highest floor of any Jets receiver heading into a tough matchup with the Jaguars. Jacksonville is giving up 171 passing yards per game (third in the NFL) and just the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.


Chris Hogan, NE (vs. MIA)

Hogan caught three passes last week for the Patriots, but has been far from the Julian Edelman replacement fantasy owners were searching for. With Edelman set to return, Hogan's last hurrah could be Sunday against a Dolphins defense that's done a good job against wide receivers (10th-fewest fantasy point allowed) in the early going.

Tight Ends


Benjamin Watson, NO (at NYG)

The New York Giants have actually performed well against opposing tight ends thus far, yielding a combined 8-140-0 line on 17 targets. That’s encouraging, right? Well, yes, but they’ve yet to face a real tight end on a team that’s willing to use one. The Giants have faced Austin Seferian-Jenkins (JAC), Rico Gathers (DAL), Jordan Thomas and Ryan Griffin (HOU) – and actually let both Thomas and Griffin top 40 yards last week. Watson is coming off of a 5-71-0 line against the Falcons and has seen a slow uptick in targets with each game.

Trey Burton, CHI (vs. TB)

Remember when it was fantasy football draft season and there was all that chatter about how new Bears head coach Matt Nagy was going to use Burton the same way he used Travis Kelce in Kansas City? By those expectations Burton has been a colossal bust, but this is the week he finally produces as the Buccaneers have given up the most fantasy points to tight ends so far this season.

Jimmy Graham, GB (vs. BUF)

Green Bay is favored by 10.5 points and Graham has a great matchup this week. While fantasy owners have been disappointed by his fantasy output thus far, Graham could be due for a big game on Sunday. The Bills have struggled against tight ends this season and have yet to play an elite player at that position. Expect more red-zone targets for Graham this week.


Eric Ebron, IND (vs. HOU)

Through three weeks Ebron has 12 receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Last week against Philadelphia he was targeted 11 times. With Jack Doyle still nursing a hip injury, Ebron is a safe play. Especially against a Houston Texans defense that can’t seem to find its identity. Allowing a total of 350 yards a game, 238.3 of those via the pass, along with 24.7 points per contest, Ebron is a sneaky play for Week 4.


David Njoku, CLE (at OAK)

Njoku is not producing for fantasy owners and had another let down last week with two catches on two targets, however both of his catches came from Baker Mayfield, who will be starting for the Browns in Week 4. Optimism aside, the Raiders are giving up fewer than five fantasy points per game to tight ends this season.

Jesse James, PIT (vs. BAL)

James followed up his huge Week 2 with a dud in Week 3, catching his only target for five yards. Next up is a tough matchup against the Ravens and it'll be hard to play James with Vance McDonald clearly back in the mix.

Jared Cook, OAK (vs. CLE)

Cook made the most of his opportunities last week, catching five of his six targets, but they only went for 31 yards. The Browns have yet to allow a touchdown to a TE this season, so it could be another meh outing from Cook.


George Kittle, SF (at LAC)

Kittle is the “safest” fantasy start of the 49ers with Jimmy Garoppolo out for the season, but not safe enough to stay in the TE1 conversation. The Chargers have only faced one threatening tight end thus far, and they held Travis Kelce to a lone six-yard catch. Part of that had to do with Tyreek Hill gobbling up all the yardage, but Los Angeles also limited Charles Clay (2-29-0) and Tyler Higbee (2-35-0) in the following games. Kittle owners (not to mention the 49ers) are relying on a backup QB to deliver on the road in a tough matchup.

— 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.