Fantasy Football

2020 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview: Snap


We used to keep things fairly simple in fantasy as far as statistics go. The main one for matchups we see are those that rank teams on which give up the most fantasy points to a particular position. This stat remains a prominent rule of thumb among most fantasy advisories. Even in this piece, you’re likely to come across it.

Although this staple of weekly fantasy evaluation continues strong, other stats are gaining influence to compliment it.

The snap count is one example. We apply this stat primarily to receivers and tight ends. True involvement by the numbers guide us when putting into context a big performance by a player otherwise low on a team’s depth chart.

This affects our waiver choices. Cedric Wilson is a good example of this. As the fourth receiver on the Cowboys pecking order, we just cannot expect consecutive weeks of high production. Wilson is at best, a stash.

Snap counts do apply to running backs, but because of the committee systems of several teams, the carries and overall touch count matter more.

Remember too, the hunch. The hunch has some statistical basis, but generally it guides your final decision on setting tricky lineups.

Use all the tools at your disposal. Seek advice, but trust your own conclusions.

2020 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

Manage all your fantasy teams in every league in just one place. Sign up to use the Fantasy Pros Playbook.

Byes: Steelers, Titans

Games to Watch 2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. You have your fantasy lineups set, now it’s time to watch ’em play.

Early Sunday: Colts (2-1) at Bears (3-0) +2.5 45.0 (moved to late window)

Embed from Getty Images

I had this spot reserved for the Titans and Steelers, but you know all about the postponement by now. More on that later.

It is Nick Foles and the Bears hosting the Colts.

Foles somehow lost the job to Trubisky during August and by all accounts from the insiders, Trubisky won it handily.

The result turned out bad for fantasy as Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller began drifting down wide receiver rankings after the first two weeks. This despite the fact the Bears opened with two straight victories – including an insane 4th quarter comeback versus the Lions in Week 1.

Following a plodding win over the Giants 17-13 in Week 2, the Bears were losing to Atlanta in the 4th quarter. Trubisky could not mount a rally and Matt Nagy had enough. Foles was in.

So we had Bears Comeback II – this time against a team that fell victim to a comeback from a spin-a-roo onside kick the previous week against Dallas.

The Colts have their own issues going on. Philip Rivers has game managed the Colts these past couple of weeks. He had 46 attempts in Week 1, but the same total combined in Weeks 2 and 3.

It seems a bit odd considering they lost Marlon Mack and are trusting their rookie Jonathan Taylor to haul the team on the ground.

Over or Under?

I think in this game Rivers will have to throw. Foles is certain to get the Bears stretching the field. It stands to reason Rivers will need to as well.

If that’s the case, then Nyheim Hines might be a flex start for you. But…

Remember what I said about Vegas “45” O/U lines. It means they are unsure if this game will turn out low scoring or high.

Mo Alie-Cox and Jimmy Graham are good plugs for this game because either way of what character this game takes, they will surely have decent involvement.

Fun Fact: Last week, Rivers achieved two milestones. He has over 60,000 yards passing and 400 TD passes. With 20 completions Rivers will reach 5000 in that department. Only the fifth NFL quarterback to attain that mark.
Sleeper: Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief…

Jaguars (1-2) at Bengals (0-2-1) -3.0 48.0

Joe Burrow got his first NFL “non-loss” by way of the Eagles losing yardage at the critical moment in overtime. Burrow is settling into the job well, but 14 sacks is indicative of some lingering “collegiateness” and suspect pass protection. Joe Mixon could use help from that same o-line to calm fantasy bust fears. There are positive signs for D.J. Chark (chest) returning for the Jags.

2020 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

Browns (2-1) at Cowboys (1-2) -4.5 55.5

OBJ hasn’t seen his old nemesis for a couple of years. Probably a good thing. Outside of one game in seven, his numbers versus the Cowboys are far from impressive. Expect Baker Mayfield to help change that. The Cowboys were allowing deep shots like free balloons to the Seahawks, so Baker will certainly try his luck. Amari Cooper owners look for his first TD of 2020.

Saints (1-2) at Lions (1-2) +4.0 54.0

Drew Brees‘ frustrations began to show during SNF. His receivers were catching 80% of what Brees threw to them, but the playmaking beyond the catch from there was left to Alvin Kamara. Michael Thomas will miss another week. Adrian Peterson (age 35) leads the Lions’ backfield. Huh? He out-carried Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift by a wide margin last week.

Seahawks (3-0) at Dolphins (1-2) +6.5 54.5

Chris Carson looks on track to play. Both teams are fantasy friendly to quarterbacks in allowing fantasy points which can only mean the potential for heavy scoring. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a great start. As is Devante Parker. Do not be surprised if the Seahawks seem sluggish or flat. Trips to the farthest stretch across the continent tend to play tricks with the body clock.

Chargers (1-2) at Buccaneers (2-1) -7.5 45.0

Joshua Kelley seemingly established a decent share of carries for the Chargers after Week 2, but a 2nd quarter fumble in Week 3 may have hurt his workload. Kelley now enters similar RB auxiliary territory as Nyheim Hines – difficult to trust. On the other side, Leonard Fournette‘s workload on the Bucs suddenly fell off too. Passing game starters a must for this game.

Ravens (2-1) at Washington (1-2) +13.5 51.0

Battle of the Beltway 2020. Unlike other proximity rivals, these teams never play it up. Even if they did, fans of both teams would shrug. The Ravens will certainly force Dwayne Haskins to throw by controlling the line of scrimmage. We might, and must, expect a bounceback for Lamar Jackson after a 97 yard passing game versus the Chiefs. Mark Andrews should shine.

Cardinals (2-1) at Panthers (1-2) +3.5 52.5

DeAndre Hopkins became questionable this week and the return of Christian Kirk appears close, but uncertain. This leaves Andy Isabella and Larry Fitzgerald as the two main receivers. Isabella is arguably the better sleeper of the two if needs must. For the Panthers, it seems to take 2-3 players to cover the work of Christian McCaffrey. Look for D.J. Moore to get some highlights.

Vikings (0-3) at Texans (0-3) -3.5 54.0

Kirk Cousins entered last week at the lowest levels of quarterback stream facility. Then Justin Jefferson broke out. Zimmer will continue with Dalvin Cook at the forefront, but wasting Jefferson on just 3-4 targets is over. Expect Deshaun Watson to react with his own downfield threats with Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb, but Will Fuller (hamstring) sat out Thursday practice.

Steelers (3-0) at Titans (3-0) No Line – Postponed

Week 4 will count as a bye week for the Titans (previously 7) and Steelers (previously 8). The scenario put forward is to play this game in Week 7 and shift the Ravens’ bye from Week 8 to Week 7. Originally, the schedule had Week 7 set as Steelers at Ravens. Instead, they would play that game in Week 8.

Sign up for the Fantasy Six Pack Newsletter to receive email updates.

Late Sunday: Bills (3-0) at Raiders (2-1) +3.0 52.5

Embed from Getty Images

Some fantasy analysts penned Josh Allen as a bust candidate, but so far in 2020 that doesn’t appear anywhere near the mark.

Allen has 10 touchdown passes – second only to Russell Wilson. He has 1038 yards passing – second only to Dak Prescott. He has moxie – second to none.

The Bills nearly let the game get away from them against the Rams in Week 3, but Josh Allen managed a counter-rally for the winning touchdown in the final minute.

And that’s where Josh Allen is showing maturity. It wasn’t the prettiest of game winning drives; Allen himself had a facemask penalty in the middle of it, but to overcome a fierce Rams defensive rush showing determination? That elevates him as a true gamer QB in the NFL.

As for this game, the Bills can run the ball well even though it isn’t central to their attack. Their tactics may have adjusted without Zach Moss as their steamroll module from previous games. Devin Singletary can certainly present problems for opposing defenses on his own. Look for Singletary to remain as lead back with Moss more as relief than the 1b.

Since Week 1, Josh Jacobs has come into some sort of famine. We expected better after an unsuitable gamescript in Week 2, but against the Patriots the numbers continued to sag. The Bills aren’t the best team to revive his fortunes, but the goal line opportunities should be available. Look for him to return to good fantasy production.

Fun Fact: The Raiders look to continue their streak against visiting Bills’ teams in their new stadium. The Bills have lost their last five games visiting the Raiders – their last win was in 1991.
Sleeper: Gabriel Davis, WR, Bills

Other Late Sunday Games in Brief…

2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

Patriots (2-1) at Chiefs (3-0) -7.0 53.5 (PP – Mon-Tue)

A good game to switch on as well. Going into Arrowhead will still have that “Chiefs” atmosphere for the Pats – even without fans. Special place. The rush for Rex Burkhead on waivers this week made little sense since James White is ready to play again. It’s never a one-headed backfield in any case. Look for stiff resistance by the Patriots. Defensive focus will turn on Kelce I suspect.

Giants (0-3) at Rams (2-1) -12.5 48.0

The Rams’s inter-division tour of the NFC East ends next week against Washington. They need to take full advantage of the weak division. I saw drops of Malcolm Brown to waivers this week. Although Darrell Henderson is the one to start, keep Brown a bit longer. The Giants have no running game and Darius Slayton is automatic for Jalen Ramsey because there’s little else to cover.

Featured Games

Sunday Night: Eagles (0-2-1) at Forty-Niners (2-1) -6.5 45.0

Embed from Getty Images

The 49ers defense suffered several injuries to their defense in Week 2 and yet their depth essentially maintained the strength without their key starters.

However, although the 49ers remain strong on defense in arresting opposition drives, the translation to the fantasy DST is less so. They aren’t getting as many plums that an attacking DST would get as a by-product. They currently rank sixth among DSTs, but are actually second in real statistical defense. The Colts, of course, lead in both departments.

The Eagles, in particular Carson Wentz, can take little comfort that the 49ers have lost some teeth. While it is evident the 49ers have less bite, they certainly have no trouble chewing.

Wentz already has six interceptions, just one shy of his total of seven in 2019. Worse, fantasy hunters are digging around the waiver abandoned mines for guys like John Hightower in hopes that something resembling stardom emerges.

The injuries hurt. Jalen Reagor – out. Dallas Goedert – out. Alshon Jeffery – out. Desean Jackson – hamstring. There’s Zach Ertz, Greg Ward and well… John Hightower coming up from the mineshaft. Fortunately the running game is reliable enough with Miles Sanders.

Nick Mullens continues as the 49ers quarterback in the absence of Jimmy Garoppolo. This offense under Kyle Shanahan tends to avoid making his quarterbacks a focal point. Everything generally stays within shallow routes, screens, some gadgetry here and there, etc. This is why wide receivers have a low probability of breaking out on the 49ers.

The key is obviously to get Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson to push the ball down the field. Then open up the playbook wider and wider as the offense approaches the opposition 30 yard line.

Fun Fact: Carson Wentz has played the 49ers just once in his career. In 2017, he defeated Kyle Shanahan’s team 33-10 at Lincoln Field. This is his first visit to Santa Clara.
Sleeper: Kendrick Bourne, WR, 49ers

Monday Night: Falcons (0-3) at Packers (3-0) -7.0 58.0

Embed from Getty Images

Dan Quinn escaped the coaching hot seat last year, but finds himself in yet another this year. This is actually a worse start than in 2019 (1-2) for Atlanta.

Two comebacks against the Falcons have put them 0-3 instead of 2-1. Arthur Blank had his finger on the trigger last year, but relented when Quinn began winning games down the stretch.

The problems are serious, but not irresolvable. The Falcons have Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley both on the good side of questionable for this game and Matt Ryan looks fairly sharp. Russell Gage practiced on Thursday following the concussion protocol.

Concerns are growing with fantasy owners over Todd Gurley. Brian Hill made a long touchdown run last week which observers felt would not have happened if Gurley was in there. That’s not a good reckoning of the situation. Gurley could begin losing carries in the timeshare if he cannot do something explosive like that soon.

Meanwhile, the Packers have a revived Aaron Rodgers. Despite having a thin receiving corps, Rodgers with the great running of Aaron Jones, has this offense humming.

When I mean thin at wide receiver, I mean really thin. With Allen Lazard out for the most of the year and Davante Adams just coming back from hamstring issues, the team grasps for whatever they have on the practice squad. Darrius Shepherd and Malik Taylor are names to keep in mind.

However, Marquez Valdez-Scantling is the main serious scoop off waivers if available.

Fun Fact: This is 8th meeting of Rodgers and Ryan since 2008. Ryan leads 4-3.
Sleeper: Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers

In the Booth on Sunday

Embed from Getty Images
Kenny Albert (center)

CBS Early

Chargers at Buccaneers: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Colts at Bears: Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon
Ravens at Washington: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Jaguars at Bengals: Tom McCarthy, Jay Feely

FOX Early

Browns at Cowboys: Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston
Vikings at Texans: Chris Myers, Brock Huard, Greg Jennings
Saints at Lions: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Seahawks at Dolphins: Dick Stockton, Brady Quinn
Cardinals at Panthers: Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman

CBS Late

Patriots at Chiefs: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Bills at Raiders: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

FOX Late

Giants at Rams: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth

Check out the rest of our 2020 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.

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.