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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 4
QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Russell Wilson, Todd Gurley, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Wilson’s bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Gurley is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-RB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: Carolina, Washington

Case Keenum

Case Keenum gets the opportunity to improve his No.22 ranking with a Wk 4 date against the Chiefs.

Grab a Helmet

Kirk Cousins @ LAR (Thu): Nobody’s benefitted more from the NFL’s controversial QB protection program than Cousins, who shook off what should have been a game-losing, game-concluding interception at Lambeau late in Week 2 to post a bunch more fantasy points in regulation and into overtime. He now ranks 7th at the position (instead of 15th or so), exceeding this writer’s expectations through three weeks. The same cannot be said of his Super Bowl-contending Vikes, who are that Clay Matthews penalty away from being 1-2 and were inexplicably blasted by the lowly Bills in Minneapolis last Sunday. Lucky for the purple guys, they get a chance to put the ghastly loss behind them in a hurry. Beating the high-flying Rams in LA will be a tall order, but not having to face Aqib Talib or, most likely, Marcus Peters makes it doable. Expect Cousins to exploit that suddenly vulnerable secondary.

Eli Manning v. NO: Kid Bro has long been the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL quarterbacks, never garnering the respect a guy wearing two Super Bowl rings deserves. Yes, he turns it over too much, can’t move, and sports a career record barely north of .500. And yes, he’s only averaged 20 pts/game in 4 of his 14+ seasons. OK, so I’m not making a very compelling case here, am I? Eli’s strictly a streaming option these days, but this might be the week to stream him. What many thought would be a Saints strength (its secondary) has been anything but so far. Opposing QBs have compiled a 141.7 rating and are “chunking” New Orleans to the tune of 11.2 yards/attempt. For perspective, Patrick Mahomes sports a 137.4 rating and averages 9.6 yards/attempt. Manning isn’t Mahomes but he does have OBJ on his side. Start him.

Case Keenum v. KC (Mon): The super soph Mahomes has been a revelation under center for the Chiefs and, of course, for us. If you don’t own him, however, a pretty good consolation prize is owning whomever he squares off against on a weekly basis. The Chiefs field the league’s highest-scoring offense and its least stingy defense (nearly 475 yards/game surrendered), making for a perfect storm of fantasy goodness. Keenum’s the lucky beneficiary Monday night and could be in for a huge outing as Denver tries to keep up. The former Viking could be considered a poor man’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, in some respects, which would have sounded ridiculous a month ago but now sounds like high praise. When he’s good, he’s very good. When he isn’t...well, look away. I expect a bunch of points in primetime and Keenum will be good enough to keep the Broncos in the hunt.

Grab a Clipboard

Any Rookie Quarterback: One of these guys is bound to make a liar out of me and, if I had to guess, it will probably be Baker Mayfield. All the No.1 draft pick did in his first regular season action was take over for the concussed Tyrod Taylor and lead the Browns to a stirring come-from-behind victory, the team’s first since a certain real estate mogul/reality TV star became our nation’s President. Anything’s possible in the good ol’ U-S-of-A, it appears, but I’m not sure I’d gamble my fantasy fortunes on Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, or Josh Rosen. Not yet, at least. They’ve all shown some promise but have a LONG way to go to be considered viable NFL QBs, let alone fantasy options. Not to mention, two of them (Darnold and Rosen) face two of the league’s better defensive units. They might be stream-able soon, but be patient.

Marcus Mariota v. PHI: It’s been a predictably unpredictable start to the 2018 season (optimism in Cleveland, concern in Foxboro, magic in Tampa!), but for my money, nothing’s been more surprising/shocking than Tennessee’s sneaky 2-1 start. Though I was bullish on the Titans heading into the campaign, a brutal Week 1—including a scary Mariota injury—swiftly curbed any enthusiasm. It’s almost three weeks later, Mariota’s still limited, and his backup is now in the concussion protocol. Oh, and the Titans are coming off two huge wins, one against division rival Houston and the other against a Jaguars team many feel is ready to challenge New England for AFC supremacy. Mike Vrabel’s done it with smoke (fake punts), mirrors (wildcat, anyone?), and an ornery defense, but until he gets Mariota back at full strength, we won’t really know how good his team can be. Use someone else until that happens.

Dak Prescott v. DET: Los Angeles (Rams), Jacksonville, and Baltimore are allowing the fewest points to opposing QBs through the first three weeks of the season. That’s not terribly surprising considering LA and Jacksonville were widely projected to be top 5 defenses coming into the season and Baltimore fields, historically, one of the sounder stopper units. What IS terribly surprising is who sits right behind them in the No.4 slot, allowing a meager 15.8 fantasy points/game to the position: Detroit. A Week 3 suffocation of Tom Terrific certainly didn’t hurt and had to feel pretty sweet for the Pats’ former D Coordinator, Matt Patricia. Coach Pat obviously knows how to scheme his boys up and the scheming might not need to be terribly exotic in Week 4. Dallas’ receivers scare nobody right now, except for maybe the guy who’s trying to throw them passes. It’s time to panic, Dak owners.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers