Tuesday - Jan 22, 2019

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THE DIVE: Week 4 “Great Expectations”

It seems apparent that the offseason rust may be gone as only nine teams failed to score less than 20 points in Week 3. In fact, ten teams scored 30 or more points. Even with the tremendous barrage of points scored, there were still some unexpected performances. Unless you were in the deepest of leagues, you likely did not start Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, Jacoby Brissett, Brian Hoyer, Jared Goff, or DeShone Kizer. These quarterbacks outscored fantasy studs like Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Joe Flacco, Cam Newton and Philip Rivers.   It was also a frustrating weekend for owners that may have decided against playing their studs due to a difficult matchup or injury concerns. Many owners benched Russell Wilson, DeMarco Murray, and Jordan Howard who each exploded in Week 3! Carson Wentz, Derrick Henry, and Rashard Higgins were touted throughout the week as excellent starts, but failed to erupt as many owners had hoped. Although it is important to take matchup, health, workload, and other factors into account each week, which the “The Dive” can help; we can also learn a lesson about starting your top draft picks as you had faith in them when you drafted them!

Other than some rain affecting the Tampa Bay and Miami games in Florida, the weather looks great for this week’s games.  Take a dive with me as we prepare for Week 4!

QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson struggled mightily to begin the season. His performance history points to slow starts, but then heats up as the season continues. Many analysts predicted a Week 3 bust for Russell Wilson on the road in Tennessee, which couldn’t have been more untrue. Although the Seattle Seahawks’ offense has been hit with injury woes and appears to be a work in progress, Wilson threw for 373 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. His career QB rating for October and later is at least 95. Wilson’s owners should take a deep breath for Week 4 with a home matchup against the Indianapolis Colts who have allowed the 9th most points and 3rd most passing yards to opposing quarterbacks through three weeks. Start Wilson as a QB1 with some risk, but high upside as well.

Week 4 projection: 250 passing yards; 25 rushing yards; 2 passing TDs

RB Javorius Allen

The Baltimore Ravens’ have primarily run the ball with a committee approach, but you can consider Javorius Allen (Buck) the chairman of the board. He appears to have taken the lead back role from Terrance West, although all three Baltimore Ravens’ running backs and the rest of the offense were completely dominated by the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense in last weekend’s London game. Buck Allen will look to rebound against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers who have given up the 5th most points to opposing running backs this season. He should also be the goal line back and in position for a solid start as low RB2 or Flex this weekend.

Week 4 projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD

WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver Adam Thielen was considered a popular sleeper pick after his breakout campaign in 2016 where he racked up almost 1,000 receiving yards. With Sam Bradford in the helm to begin this season, he was primed a potential encore. After Bradford’s injury following Week 1, an encore seemed like a pipe dream if backup quarterback Case Keenum would be throwing to him and leading Minnesota’s offense. Although Keenum was rusty in Week 2, he earned one of the top quarterback performances in Week 3 and targeted Thielen eight times for five catches and 98 receiving yards. Expect the wide receiver to have another solid performance in Week 4 when the Minnesota Vikings’ host the Detroit Lions who just allowed 210 receiving yards and two touchdowns to the Atlanta Falcons’ receiving corps. Detroit’s secondary is near the middle of the pack overall in guarding receivers. Regardless, Thielen has appeared matchup proof as well as quarterback proof, and will make a great WR3 or Flex start this weekend.

Week 4 projection: 75 receiving yards; 1 TD

TE Coby Fleener , New Orleans Saints

Coby Fleener is yet to have the breakout season that many hoped for despite having Andrew Luck and now Drew Brees as his quarterback.   Although he caught touchdowns in the first two games of the season, Fleener had only one catch last weekend. With a matchup against the Miami Dolphins who have surrendered the 6th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, look for Fleener to be a decent fill-in during the London game, especially if your tight end is injured or faces a tough matchup.

Week 4 projection: 50 receiving yards; 1 TD

D/ST Jacksonville Jaguars

With a 3-13 record in 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ projection was quite disappointing. However, the team has already won two games and tied for the AFC South division lead with the Tennessee Titans. Although the offense needs to show more consistency, the Jaguars’ defense has been a pleasant surprise and is currently ranked 2nd in fantasy points through three weeks. The Jaguars’ defense completely mauled the Baltimore Ravens’ in last week’s London game and looks to continue their strong play on the road against the New York Jets in Week 4. New York has not scored more than 20 points in a game this season and should struggle against Jacksonville’s defense, which leads the league in sacks and fumble recoveries.

Week 4 projection: 11 points

About Marc Griffis

Marc Griffis has competed in fantasy football, baseball, and basketball leagues since 2005. Marc has written "The Dive" for Fantasy Sharks since 2010. Additionally, his expertise is featured in David Gonos' E-books "101 Fantasy Baseball Tips" and "101 Fantasy Football Tips". Lastly, Marc competed in the Fantasy Sports Trade Association SiriusXM Fantasy Baseball experts' league from 2012-2014.