Fantasy Football: Week 4 Start ‘Em – Elite Eli vs. The Saints?

Fantasy Football Expert Nate Weitzer provides you with a few fringe players you may want to consider plugging into your Week 4 starting lineups!


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In seasonal fantasy football, matchups often boil down to which owner makes the right start/sit decisions. You can’t hold allegiances to projections or name recognition, you simply have to play the guys you think will wind up with the most fantasy points.Here are the fringe options that might should be in your fantasy lineup in Week 4.

QB Eli Manning vs. NO 

With struggling RT Ereck Flowers benched, the Giants offensive line gave Eli Manning enough time to throw last Sunday, and he looked comfortable while completing 25-of-29 passes for 297 yards and two TD s. Now he faces a Saints defense that ranks dead last in DVOA pass defense and is coughing up the third-most passing YPG (337.4) through three contests. In his hometown New Orleans, Eli got into a highlight 52-49 shootout with Drew Brees a few years ago. He doesn’t have the same upside at home this Sunday, but with the Saints losing their best CB in Patrick Robinson (ankle), it should be easy for Manning to hit his talented receivers all afternoon.

RB Kerryon Johnson @ DAL 

The Lions are starting to roll with their RB of the future, giving Kerryon Johnson snap counts of 36 and 32 (45.4%) over their last two games. He’s a talented receiver with 10 catches for 52 yards through three NFL games and the Lions will be able to attack the Cowboys linebackers with tackling-machine Sean Lee (hamstring) out of the lineup. Lee is one of the best coverage men in football and Cowboys SS Jeff Heath (ankle) is also dinged up. Johnson popped off the screen with explosive moves during training camp and has exciting upside in Dallas.

RB James White vs. MIA 

With Rex Burkhead (neck) headed to I.R., James White becomes an even more secure start as the Patriots preferred back. New England simply isn’t run blocking well enough to feed rookie Sony Michel a ton of carries. The Dolphins have been stout between the tackles, as they rank sixth in DVOA rush defense on the season. But Miami ranks 22nd in DVOA pass defense against opposing RBs and White has basically emerged as the Patriots No. 1 receiver given the circumstances. Julian Edelman (suspension) will be out one more game and Josh Gordon likely isn’t ready for a huge workload, but White has earned the coaches’ trust time and time again.

WR Tyler Boyd @ ATL 

He may disappoint in DFS contests relative to last week, but Tyler Boyd is a definite start in seasonal formats. He’s corralled 12-of-16 targets for 223 yards and two TDs over his last two appearances and faces a Falcons defense that’s been ravaged by injuries. Atlanta lost two safeties (Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen) to season-ending injuries along with excellent coverage LB Deion Jones (foot). That makes the Falcons even more vulnerable over the middle of the field, where Boyd should operate while A.J. Green (groin) battles with top CB Desmond Trufant. And if Green sits, Boyd would see more targets in various spots on the field.

WR Ted Ginn Jr. @ NYG 

The Saints offense has predictably run through Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas with Mark Ingram suspended over the first four games of the season. Ted Ginn Jr. is serving as a reliable third option in situational spots for crafty coach Sean Payton. He’s scored in two of three games to open the year and was narrowly missed on a potential 50-plus yard TD in Week 2. This week Ginn will either square off with backup B.W. Webb, or Eli Apple (groin), who has been limited in practice and could struggle to contain the speedster.

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