Fantasy Football Week 4: Bold predictions

Our analysts reveal their boldest fantasy predictions for Week 4. Which will come to pass?

Andy Behrens: It appears as if the Chicago Bears believe there is no in-game predicament that can’t be resolved via the run. This team is averaging 34.7 rush attempts and just 15.0 passes per game, which is basically a 1970s game plan. (Actually, let the record show that in 1977, when Walter Payton ran for 1,852 yards, the Bears were still attempting 21.8 passes per game.) This week, Chicago’s ridiculous offense gets a date with the Giants D, a group that’s been horrendous against the run. New York has allowed 5.3 YPC and just gave up big weeks to both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. So things are setting up well for Khalil Herbert to erupt in Week 4. He’s been stellar through three games, producing nine carries of 10 or more yards and gaining 4.8 yards after contact per attempt. Herbert will see all the touches he can possibly handle this week; he’s about to deliver an easy top-five positional finish.

Dalton Del Don: Don’t judge Jerry Jewdy on his quiet last two weeks, when he played limited snaps while dealing with an injury. He’s returned to full practice this week and isn’t even listed on the injury report. Russell Wilson hasn’t exactly impressed this season, but Jeudy was a top-12 PPR WR in Week 1 when he was healthy. And this week, the Broncos play indoors against a pass-funnel Raiders defense that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to the slot this season (where Jeudy has run 66% of his routes). Meanwhile, Las Vegas has given the second-fewest fantasy points to outside receivers (where Courtland Sutton has run 85% of his routes). It doesn’t always work out the way matchups appear, but this certainly sets up for a Judy smash week.

Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jewdy is set up for a big week in fantasy football. (Photo by Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Need a tight end in DFS?

Scott Pianowski: The Arizona Cardinals have been scorched by opposing tight ends, although the schedule has something to do with that. After all, Travis Kelce and Darren Waller are two of the rare set-it-and-forget-it tight ends we have left. But Tyler Higbee also dinged the Cardinals for a useful 4-61-0 line last week, and I wonder if perhaps Ian Thomas could be in that neighborhood. I get it, the Carolina offense has been a wasteland, you’re not eager to use these guys. Baker Mayfield looks awful. But Thomas has picked up three targets a week, and if he can just mildly nudge past that in Week 4, he is at least worth a punt play at a frugal DFS ticket. (You want something bold but more actionable? Travis Etienne outscores James Robinson this week.)

Mariota delivers a top QB performance

Matt Harmon: It’s weird to me there is talk about Marcus Mariota potentially being benched. He’s had some gaffes and turnovers, but all things considered, he’s playing well in the context of this offense. It’s a beautiful setup for fantasy because the targets are so concentrated. The ball is going to Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Cordarrelle Patterson and that’s it. Atlanta has talented pass catchers for Mariota, who is a strong bet individually for fantasy because he is fourth among quarterbacks in rush attempts. The Browns’ offense has been sneakily efficient, which will keep Atlanta throwing the ball against a defense that’s been disappointing. Their passing success rate metrics are around the middle of the league but they’ve faced a soft schedule of quarterbacks with Mayfield, Joe Flacco and Mitchell Trubisky. Top pass rusher Myles Garrett might miss this game after being in a car accident this week. In a surprisingly high-scoring fantasy game script, I see Mariota turning in a top-five quarterback performance.

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