Week 2 brought fantasy owners a ton of injuries. Week 3 brought positive COVID-19 tests. Because it's 2020, we should have expected these things, because nothing is quite normal this year. Sure, injuries happen all the time (but so many to so many key players, in one week?). But at least fantasy owners know that the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers won't be playing this week so they (and commissioners) can plan accordingly.
There are a lot of question marks in the football — and fantasy — universe right now. All you can do is look at your lineup, look at the teams that are playing, and put the best guys out there.
START These Quarterbacks
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons (Mon.)
Some fantasy owners drafted Rodgers as their second quarterback on draft day. They may have another quarterback that they are starting instead, but this week, Rodgers is an excellent start. The Packers play the Falcons, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. In the past three weeks, they have allowed all opposing quarterbacks to put up four touchdowns (technically last week, Mitchell Trubisky threw one TD pass and Nick Foles threw three, but the team total was four). Even potentially without Davante Adams, Rodgers is a clear QB1 this week.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints
The Lions missed Kenny Golladay. They lost the first two games of the season when he didn't play. Stafford threw the ball more when he didn't play, but he also threw two interceptions in those two games. In Week 3, with Golladay, Stafford had 270 yards and two touchdowns. In Week 4, the Lions get to face the Saints. This DST has allowed three touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks each week of the season. Stafford will flirt with QB1 status this week.
START These Tight Ends
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Often, fantasy owners are nervous about starting a player coming off of injury. Kittle missed the past two games with a knee injury. However, he is on track to return for Week 4. He only played in Week 1 so far this year, where he had four receptions for 44 yards. The 49ers are running out of options in the passing game, and they play the Eagles, who allowed three touchdown catches to Tyler Higbee in Week 2. Have no fear about starting Kittle this week.
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team
The Ravens offense, especially the passing game, was a disaster in Week 3. Do not shy away from them as they face Washington in Week 4. Andrews' owners are likely frustrated at this point. Week 1 provided fantasy owners with what they were hoping for: five receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Weeks 2 and 3 combined produced four receptions for 51 yards and no touchdowns. Shake off the past two weeks and keep Andrews in your lineup as a TE1.
START This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Los Angeles Rams vs. New York Giants
The Rams face the Giants in Week 4. The Giants showed in Week 3 that they are not a very good football team without Saquon Barkley. They aren't able to put up a lot of points and their offensive line cannot protect their quarterback. Expect the Rams to sack Daniel Jones and come up with a turnover or two.
SIT These Quarterbacks
Nick Foles, Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts
Foles took over for Mitchell Trubisky in Week 3 and he looked good. He proceeded to throw three touchdown passes and lead the Bears to a come-from-behind victory. Despite that, Foles isn't going a recommended fantasy option for Week 4. The Bears face the Colts, who have been tough against opposing quarterbacks, but also haven't faced any elite ones (Gardner Minshew, Kirk Cousins, Sam Darnold). It will be a test of both the Colts DST and Foles to see who wins out, but fantasy owners might not want to see how It goes rather than put your team's chances on the line.
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears
Rivers has been a decent quarterback, but he has yet to be truly challenged in 2020. He's thrown for under 220 yards in each of the past two weeks, mostly because he didn't need to. In Week 1 against Jacksonville, he threw for 363 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. The Colts face the Bears in Week 4, and that defense should get to him. This isn't the week to start Rivers.
SIT These Tight Ends
Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (Mon.)
Week 3 was tough for Hurst: one reception for a one-yard touchdown. However, it was his second touchdown in two weeks. In Week 2, he had five receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. But Week 1 saw him finish with three receptions for 38 yards. The Packers have yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end, and it doesn't seem like that streak will be broken in Week 4. Hurst isn't a large part of this offense, and is simply touchdown-dependent.
Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Herbert does seem to look for Henry in the passing game: 15 targets in the last two weeks. Henry has yet to find the end zone, and the Buccaneers have yet to allow a tight end to score a touchdown this year. They've allowed plenty of targets to tight ends (10 to Noah Fant in Week 3 alone) but he only managed five receptions for 46 yards. Henry is likely looking at a similar stat line.
SIT This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs
Typically the Patriots DST is a solid unit that fantasy owners can just leave in their lineup until the bye week. However, against the Chiefs in Week 4, you may want to try to find a replacement. The Chiefs put up plenty of points and yards don't help DSTs. Patrick Mahomes is hard to take down (he's only been sacked twice this season). This game should be a good one, but not for the DSTs.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo courtesy of chicagobears.com)