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NFL Week 4 fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em

2RXJ44D Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Ford (34) runs for a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Cleveland. The Browns won 27-3. (AP Photo/David Richard)

• Start Justin Fields: The Chicago Bears‘ 2023 season hasn’t gone according to plan, but a game against the Denver Broncos can help put Fields back on the right path.

• Sit Breece Hall: Hall’s playing time is trending up, but that doesn’t mean he will produce this week against the Kansas City Chiefs.

• Start Adam Thielen: While there are plenty of revenge games this week, trust Thielen for more reasons outside of the fact he’s playing the Minnesota Vikings.

Estimated Reading Time: 13 minutes

Deciding who to start or sit in fantasy football can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and going with the higher-ranked player. This start ’em, sit ’em column digs a step deeper, looking into why someone you might typically start might not have a good week, or why someone overlooked might have a good week. In many cases, it’s the usual starters who should star, but we want to explore the borderline players, too.

WR:CB Matchup Chart



Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
  • Tagovailoa is off to an excellent start this season. His 92.2 PFF grade is the best among quarterbacks.
  • His 23.3 fantasy points per game ranks third among quarterbacks, and he ranked among the top three fantasy quarterbacks in two of the first three weeks.
  • The only thing holding Tagovailoa back is he hasn’t been throwing as much as other quarterbacks. The Dolphins have built early leads and then haven't needed Tagovailoa to continue throwing.
  • That should change this week, as the undefeated Dolphins are underdogs to the Buffalo Bills.
  • The Bills have a great secondary but not a strong pass rush.
  • Tagovailoa is averaging 10.6 yards per attempt with an 82.5% adjusted completion percentage without pressure. He has thrown a touchdown on 10% of his attempts.
  • Even if Buffalo tries to generate pressure with a blitz, Tagovailoa has earned 91.0-plus PFF passing grades both with and without blitzes this season.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
  • Fields hasn’t exactly lived up to fantasy managers' expectations so far, averaging just 14.6 fantasy points per game.
  • He was drafted to be a top-six fantasy quarterback, and his opponent this week is a prime opportunity for him to turn his season around.
  • The Bears have the sixth-best matchup for quarterbacks this week, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool.
  • They play the Denver Broncos, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
  • Denver has the fifth-highest rate of using man defense so far this season.
  • Fields has a 7.1% big-time throw percentage against man coverage and a 3.1% rate against zone coverage over the past two seasons.
  • He also has a higher rate of scrambling against man defenses compared to zone, which should help his fantasy production.


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