Fantasy Football

2019 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview: Reconciliation


2019 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

Holdouts often create interesting problems in fantasy. Generally, the high-ranked holdout has a wide-ranging ADP. The complications arise if an alternate starter during the holdout performs above expectations. Because Melvin Gordon suddenly dropped back into the fantasy scene, do we attempt to trade him away high or move Ekeler for whatever you can get?2019 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

And what is the value of Austin Ekeler now? Is it more or less the same as it was before Melvin Gordon made his stand in early July before training camp?

Probably not. Everything changes with time. The whole offense of the Chargers adjusted itself to Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. Melvin Gordon’s presence requires another adjustment. What will the coaches come up with?

With Justin Jackson out, Gordon has a chance to play in Week 4. If he does, it will be in limited fashion according to sources. This is the final week that Ekeler adds a similar touch total to the 18, 23 and 16 he has this season. How far will these typical totals fall in Week 5 and beyond?

Another factor. I guess we can pencil in another win since they play the hopeless Dolphins this week. For the sake of argument, let’s just consider the Chargers presumptively 2-2. Where do the Chargers stand as October rapidly approaches? They aren’t in that bad of shape.

Ekeler should see a better split than last year, and depending on game flow, sometimes even or better. Therefore, it’s Gordon’s usage I’d be concerned about. Moving on from Gordon seems the right idea, pro tempore, and not Ekeler.

2019 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview 2019 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

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Games to Watch 2019 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. You drafted your players and scooped up waiver prospects… now it’s time to watch ’em.

Byes: 49ers, Jets

Early Sunday: Chiefs (3-0) at Lions (2-0-1)

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Two teams coming off important wins within their conferences.

The Lions defeat of the Eagles in Week 3 on the road came without any stunning performances. Kerryon Johnson rushed 20 times for just 36 yards. Kenny Golladay with eight targets, caught two. Only Marvin Jones put up the meaningful numbers to help lug this team past the winning post with 100+ yards.

As for the Chiefs, they earned their victory much differently. The Ravens could not keep up after dropping 23 points in the 2nd quarter and their late rally came up short.

The Lions have the tools to match the Chiefs, but they’ll certainly need more team contributions than Marvin Jones this time.

Both teams have a similar capacity nearer the lower levels in both rushing and pass defense. This means we could see fireworks on both sides of the ball. Play-action and bootlegs are the order of the day. Detroit face the difficulty of ensuring they miss zero assignments in the secondary. Mahomes will exploit any mismatch.

For fantasy prospects, the workloads of J.D. McKissic and Ty Johnson behind Kerryon Johnson are worth monitoring.

Damien Williams looks doubtful for this game, so Darrel Williams and a banged up LeSean McCoy will see the bulk of the Chiefs’ backfield snaps.

Fun Fact: The Chiefs and Lions last played in London in 2015. The Chiefs won 49-10.
Sleeper: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief…

2019 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

Patriots (3-0) at Bills (3-0)

The Bills are proving themselves stiff competition and the Patriots know they’ll be coming hard. Both defenses are very tough and we can expect attrition until one side wears out first. Josh Allen is comfortable fleeing the pocket to pick up yardage, but Brady will rely purely on protection. Fantasy will monitor Sony Michel‘s usage closely.

Browns (1-2) at Ravens (2-1)

The Browns offense is underperforming; considering the talent on the team. Observers rightly claim play calling as the main suspect. For the Ravens, Lamar Jackson‘s passer rating sank to 70 against the Chiefs after opening the season averaging well over 100. Regaining his season inceptive levels won’t be easy against a top 10 Browns pass defense.

Raiders (1-2) at Colts (2-1)

Life goes on with the Colts. Initial fantasy concerns are melting away, except that T.Y. Hilton‘s status is up in the air for Week 4. Awkward timing, because the Raiders secondary is an exploitable unit. Parris Campbell is who I would put at the front of receiver DFS darts, but it is Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle with the most to benefit if Hilton sits.

Titans (1-2) at Falcons (1-2)

A run-first Titans offense versus a Falcons pass-first offense. It’s an interesting contrast, but Julio Jones gives the Falcons leverage in this type of conflict. Marcus Mariota now holds the distinction of the most sacked quarterback of 2019 with 17. He’ll need to stop wasting the talents of Corey Davis and A.J. Brown to compete with the Falcons.

Chargers (1-2) at Dolphins (0-3)

A game where the Dolphins have a chance of, well, competitiveness. Melvin Gordon’s return won’t address the real problems of the Chargers. Defensively, they give up heavy yardage per play to receivers. They also give up the 4th most fantasy points to tight ends. Mike Williams ruled out.

Redskins (0-3) at Giants (1-2)

Daniel Jones continues his journey. This time in front of a beaming New York crowd. As you know, he won’t have Saquon Barkley and that could spell less confident play-action situations. No matter, the Redskins might be missing Terry McLaurin, so the Giants may only have to respect lesser talents when on defense.

Panthers (1-2) at Texans (2-1)

Kyle Allen continues in place of Cam Newton. The Texans allow too many pressure sacks on Deshaun Watson for his usual chemistry with DeAndre Hopkins to click. Don’t worry, they’ll click anyway. Luke Keuchly and the gang will put the pressure on hard and heavy regardless; enough for Christian McCaffrey to make the Panthers’ ground strategy relevant.

Late Sunday: Seahawks (2-1) at Cardinals (0-2-1)

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Pete Carroll is sticking with Chris Carson despite his fumbling in three straight games. However, after his last one, the hook finally came out. C.J. Prosise, finally healthy, looked like an effective pass-catching back, but fell short with his ground carries.

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Russell Wilson provided a bonanza of fantasy points – adding a cherry on top with an untimed down for a touchdown. D.K. Metcalf is for real and Tyler Lockett is settling into his new role as the number one receiver.

Kyler Murray reminds me somewhat of Russell Wilson when he started out. Murray got the wheels going against the Panthers with eight carries for 68 yards. Wilson scrambled for 51 yards versus the Saints – his highest total of the season so far.

The main event should come down to a passing duel. Murray discovered early on how good Larry Fitzgerald is and as follows can’t help looking for him on every play.

Fun Fact: Kyler Murray (5′ 10″) and Russell Wilson (5′ 11″) are the two shortest starting quarterbacks currently in the NFL.
Sleeper: KeeSean Johnson, WR, Cardinals

Other Late Sunday Games in Brief…

2019 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

Vikings (2-1) at Bears (2-1)

An important game. Both Mitch Trubisky and Kirk Cousins have the lowest passing yardage among the 25 full-season starters. If you like defense and punts, this is the game for you.

Jaguars (1-2) at Broncos (0-3)

One thing I learned after the Jaguars win over the Titans is that Leonard Fournette is another plodder from the same mold as Eddie Lacy. The Broncos are a team that seem to get worse as the season goes along.

Buccaneers (1-2) at Rams (3-0)

The Rams modified their attack to emphasize Cooper Kupp at the forefront of workhorse yardage instead of Robert Woods. It’s working. Bruce Arians fixed something in the Buccaneers attack too. They look a bit more on track despite the missed field goal against the Giants that made Daniel Jones the toast of Broadway. Chris Godwin is questionable.

Featured Games

Sunday Night: Cowboys (3-0) at Saints (2-1)

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A critical showdown.

The Saints gave us some insight on how they’ll handle matters without Drew Brees. The offense runs through Kamara until Teddy Bridgewater acclimates further to pressing defenders into covering the deep threat receivers.

Dak Prescott holds the highest completion percentage in the league. As a result, Amari Cooper is exploding. Prescott is making every pass-catcher on the team a potential sleeper every week. This is a stunning development for fantasy. Nothing much came out of the offense except for Ezekiel Elliott up to this time.

I sense that home field will help the Saints. Were this played at Jerry World, I would not like their chances. Yes, even less so after their victory at Century-Link last week.

Fun Fact: Since Week 16 of 2016, the Saints have won seven straight games at home by an average score of 36-22 following a road victory.
Sleeper: Randall Cobb, WR, Cowboys

Monday Night: Bengals (0-3) at Steelers (0-3)

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We’re a fantasy sports site. However, I get extra latitude in this weekly piece to explore things tangential to fantasy football. I can tell you it sure is handy to know that fantasy is always there to lean on for games like this.

The restructuring of the Pittsburgh offense is something the fantasy world wants to unravel. I firmly believe that Mike Tomlin is calling every player to task.

The backfield doesn’t belong to James Conner. The receiving corps aren’t necessarily led by Juju Smith-Schuster. You can list every position on this team and they are all under review by this coaching staff. They want to find out what works and what doesn’t. The Steelers are not a team that sit around and wait for things to improve with the same system.

Thus, as the season wears on, we could be picking up players from the Steelers you never thought of looking at twice. Your scouting eyes need to look everywhere in this game.

As for the Bengals, it’s impressive how they are ramping up the passing game. They still have a lackluster defense, but it woke up John Ross and makes him matchup playable in games like this.

Joe Mixon had a soft breakout against the Bills last week. In this game, Mixon should provide better yardage on the ground to match his pass catches.

Fun Fact: The last time the Steelers started 0-4 was in 2013. They finished the season 8-8.
Sleeper: James Washington, WR, Steelers

In the Booth on Sunday

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Dick Stockton

CBS Early

Patriots at Bills: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Browns at Ravens: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Raiders at Colts: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Titans at Falcons: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Chargers at Dolphins: Tom McCarthy, Jay Feely

FOX Early

Chiefs at Lions: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Redskins at Giants: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Panthers at Texans: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber

CBS Late

Vikings at Bears: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Jaguars at Broncos: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton

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FOX Late

Seahawks at Cardinals: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth
Buccaneers at Rams: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston

Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

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