Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 4: Smart Sleepers to Exploit and Lineup Advice

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 25, 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 23:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 31-21.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

If you made the right start 'em/sit 'em decisions in fantasy football last week and emerged victorious because of your astute observations, then congratulations are in order.

If you're like me and left 94 points on your bench Sunday, then you can take solace in the fact you have good depth at least.

The good news for the Week 3 losers is that the season is a marathon, not a sprint. We move forward and live to fight another day.

Here's a look at some start 'em/sit 'em candidates for quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end, along with a sleeper for each. Analysis on five of the picks can be found below.

         

Quarterback

Start 'Em: Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton at Atlanta Falcons

Sleeper: New York Giants QB Eli Manning vs. New Orleans Saints

Sit 'Em: Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson at Indianapolis Colts

               

Running Back

Start 'Em: Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard at Atlanta Falcons

Jason E. Miczek/Associated Press

Sleeper: New England Patriots RB Sony Michel vs. Miami Dolphins

Sit 'Em: Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Cleveland Browns

               

Wide Receiver

Start 'Em: New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. at New York Giants

Sit 'Em: Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson at Chicago Bears

Sleeper: Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison vs. Buffalo Bills

                

Tight End

Start 'Em: Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sit 'Em: San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle at Los Angeles Chargers

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Sleeper: Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert at Tennessee Titans

                  

Quarterback

Start 'Em: Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton at Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have lost three defensive starters to long-term injuries since the beginning of the year: linebacker Deion Jones and safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal.

Jones and Neal were injured prior to the team's 43-37 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in which the team allowed 534 yards of offense.

Allen was injured during the extra frame, and without him in the mix, the Falcons now have serious depth issues at safety.

They may not be able to rectify them in time for the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday.

While Cincinnati doesn't have the Saints' firepower, it has potent weapons in running back Giovani Bernard, wideouts A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd and tight end Tyler Eifert, all of whom can take advantage of the middle of the field.

They will be hard for a short-handed Falcons defense to contend with, meaning quarterback Andy Dalton could be in line for a great performance.

                        

Sleeper: New York Giants QB Eli Manning vs. New Orleans Saints

The Saints defense has been responsible for 96 of the 103 team's points allowed through three weeks, and that's not a good sign as they face a New York Giants offense that may have figured things out after a 27-22 win over the Houston Texans.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 25 of 29 passes as he received much better protection and time to throw than he did in his first two games, in which the team managed just 28 points.

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Although Manning will be missing tight end Evan Engram (MCL sprain), he still has three tough weapons in running back Saquon Barkley and wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.

The latter player may be one to watch, as No. 2 wide receivers have dominated New Orleans this year.

With No. 1 Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore presumably spending a lot of time on Beckham, Shepard could produce a gaudy stat line. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' DeSean Jackson went for five catches, 146 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, while the Falcons' Calvin Ridley had seven catches for 146 yards and three scores in Week 3. What can Shepard do in Week 4?

                   

Sit 'Em: Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Cleveland Browns

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch has been one of the league's best (and most fun) players this decade, but he's up against a stout Cleveland Browns defense on Sunday.

The Browns defense has been one of the game's most pleasant surprises. Most notably, Cleveland held the Pittsburgh Steelers and Saints to just 21 points each. In the Steelers' and Saints' other four games, those two teams have combined for 150 points (an average of 37.5 per contest).

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Oakland Raiders rushes for yardage during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

The Browns allow just 3.7 yards per carry, which is tied for the 10th-best mark in the league. They have a solid front seven led by defensive linemen Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi and linebacker Joe Schobert.

Now they face a Raiders team that has shown offensive potential (e.g. quarterback Derek Carr completing all but three of his 32 passes in Week 2) but hasn't been able to top 20 points in a game yet.

The guess here is Oakland's offensive inconsistency continues, leaving Lynch and all Raiders as sit 'em candidates.

           

Start 'Em: New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. at New York Giants

The Giants have encountered trouble with fast wideouts capable of breaking off big plays in recent weeks.

Against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in Week 2, Tavon Austin caught a 64-yard touchdown pass on the team's third play from scrimmage.

On Sunday, Houston Texans wideout Will Fuller had five receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown, with a long of 37 yards.

The G-Men don't get a break Sunday when New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. rolls into town. Granted, running back Alvin Kamara and wideout Michael Thomas soak up a massive amount of the team's touches, but Ginn can break off a long touchdown catch on just one target.

He was remarkably efficient last year, catching 75.7 percent of his passes in his first year in New Orleans. That number has dipped to a still-respectable 63.2 percent in 2018, but Ginn has still made an impact with 12 catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Look for him to break one versus New York.

              

Start 'Em: Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Although Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton has just nine catches through three weeks, there's no reason to give up on him yet.

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09:  Trey Burton #80 of the Chicago Bears participates in warmups prior to a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

He's played in 86.19 percent of his team's snaps and connected with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky four times in each of their last two games. Burton seems like he is on the cusp of a breakout, even if the Bears offense hasn't managed more than 17 points in a game.

They may get a chance on Sunday, however, as they face a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that has allowed up 90 points through three games.

Of note, their performance against tight ends has been shaky, as seen when the Pittsburgh Steelers' Vance McDonald caught four passes for 115 yards and one touchdown following a devastating stiff arm on Monday.

Make sure to start Burton, as the former Philadelphia Eagle has a chance to be one of the best fantasy producers at his position this week.

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