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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 4

Welcome back for the Week 4 edition of “Red Light, Green Light”, your matchup guide for all of this weekend’s (and Monday’s) NFL contests. While this piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used for some of those decisions as well.

In each NFL Week 4 game profile below, the players mentioned in the green light sections have a great matchup, and can be counted on as rock solid options for the week. Players mentioned in the yellow light sections have just an okay matchup and/or usage concerns, meaning they are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire. Players in the red light sections have serious concerns, and need to have expectations lowered for the week, and/or should be avoided if possible. Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not be the guy(s) carrying your team to victory this week.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system.

Bye Week Teams: Carolina, Washington

New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Jets Jaguars
Quarterback 26th 31st
Running Back 19th 23rd
Wide Receiver 17th 28th
Tight End 31st 28th
Defense/Special Teams 8th 18th
Vegas Line: Jaguars -9
Vegas Over/Under: 38.5
green-light
  • Jacksonville D/ST – Faces a rookie quarterback on home turf as 9-point favorites, while the Jets are leading the NFL with 8 giveaways through three weeks.
yellow-light
  • Leonard Fournette (hamstring) – Is he coming back? We thought so last week, only to have the rug pulled out from under us on gameday. If Fournette is active, draws a decent matchup against a Jets defense that has allowed 191 rushing yards and three scores to opposing backfields over the past two weeks.
  • Keelan Cole – His targets have been increasing every week (4,7,9), and seems to have a firm grasp on the Jags’ no. 1 wideout role.
  • Dede Westbrook – Has the best individual matchup among all Jaguar pass catchers, as the Jets are allowing 72 receiving yards per game to ancillary receiviers (non-no. 1 or no. 2).
  • Bilal Powell – The Jags’ will likely put his receiving skills to good use, especially if the game gets out of hand early.
  • Jets D/ST – The Jaguars are a difficult team to gauge in terms of offensive potency after struggling to put up points in Weeks 1 and 3, while also hanging 31 on the Patriots in Week 2. This contest features one of the lowest over/unders of the week.
red-light
  • Blake Bortles – Disappointed with just 158 scoreless passing yards in what projected as a good matchup in Week 3 against the Titans. The Jets are quietly ranked first in pass defense DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) per Football Outsiders.
  • Donte Moncrief– He went just 2-16-0 on three targets last Sunday, and has settled in as a touchdown-or-bust option on a team that would really prefer not to throw if they don’t have to.
  • Isaiah Crowell – With his team on the wrong side of a nine-point spread, Crowell may not see many rushing opportunities against a stout defensive front.
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Averaging just 22 receiving yards per contest, and faces a Jets defense that has allowed the fewest receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Dolphins Patriots
Quarterback 25th 10th
Running Back 8th 13th
Wide Receiver 25th 5th
Tight End 18th 24th
Defense/Special Teams 21st 15th
Vegas Line: Patriots -7.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
48
green-light
  • Rob Gronkowski – Has been quiet with just 6-66-0 over the past two weeks, and faces a Dolphins defense in which he’s scored five times over his last five contests against them.
  • Ryan Tannehill – Has tossed at least two touchdown passes in every contest this season, and gets a Patriots defense that has really struggled to contain opposing quarterbacks the past two weeks (638 passing yards and six touchdowns allowed over that span).
yellow-light
  • Kenyan Drake – Saw just 7 touches in Week 3 that he turned into a paltry 10 yards. The last time these two teams met came in Week 13 of the 2017 season, a game in which Drake steam-rolled the Pats to the tune of 193 total yards. If the Dolphins plan to win this contest, Drake needs to be a big part of the game plan as the Pats allow the third-most rushing yards per game to opposing backfields.
  • Kenny Stills – Leads the Dolphins in snap share by a healthy margin, though has caught just nine passes all season. The Patriots are struggling to contain opposing wideouts, allowing the 8th-most receiving yardage per contest to the position.
  • Tom Brady – faces a Dolphins defense that has allowed the sixth-most passing yards to opposing quarterbacks, but just two touchdowns and is also tied for the NFL lead with 7 interceptions.
  • Sony Michel/James White – Michel disappointed in his first game with extensive usage (14 carries for 50 yards last Sunday night), and will likely have early-down duties all to himself with teammate Rex Burkhead (neck) having been sent to injured reserve. Burkhead’s absence should help also help White gain a few extra reps on passing downs, though Pat’s scat back may be impacted negatively by game script if the team jumps out to an early lead. The Dolphins have allowed a running back to score in every game this season.
  • Josh Gordon (hamstring) – Didn’t play Week 3 versus the Lions, and will need to show something on the field before warranting a start.
  • Ancillary Dolphins Wideouts – DeVante Parker saw the second-most Week 3 snaps among Dolphins wide receivers, though turned them into just 2-24-0. Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant combined for three total scores last Sunday, but did so on just 19 total snaps combined, which is not usage you can bank on for consistent fantasy gains. Danny Amendola will likely be motivated to face his former team, though at this time is no better than Miami’s no. 3 wideout.
  • Chris Hogan – Two Week 2 touchdowns have saved his start to 2018 from being a complete disaster (just 84 receiving yards on the year). Hogan is the likely winner of the Xavien Howard sweepstakes, and figures to have minimal success getting open.
  • Phillip Dorsett – Put up a bagel in Week 3, and has just one more week of any hope of fantasy utility before Julian Edelman returns from suspension.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tennessee Titans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Eagles Titans
Quarterback 15th 21st
Running Back 31st 28th
Wide Receiver 9th 12th
Tight End 17th 32nd
Defense/Special Teams 7th 13th
Vegas Line: Eagles -3
Vegas Over/Under: 
41
  • Eagles D/ST – The Titans offense is struggling to muster much of anything.
  • Carson Wentz – The Eagles offense didn’t instantly morph back into a powerhouse upon his return last week, as the third year quarterback is still knocking off the rust.
  • Nelson Agholor – Dominating the Eagles wideouts in snap share (92.7 percent through three weeks). Titans have allowed the seventh-most receiving yards to opposing players at the position.
  • Zach Ertz – The Titans allow just 23 receiving yards per contest to opposing tight ends, though Ertz’ voluminous role (11 targets per game) should keep him from disappointing.
  • Titans D/ST – Currently allowing the third-fewest points per game, while the Philly offense is still getting acclimated to having Wentz back under center.
  • Jay Ajayi – Expected to return after sitting Week 3 with a back injury, though it sounds like his ailment is something that may linger. Tennessee has not allowed a running back to score yet this season.
  • Alshon Jeffery – Finally cleared for contact this past week, though it’s still not a guarantee he’ll suit up. If active, the Eagles’ coaching staff will almost certainly limit Jeffery’s playing time.
  • Corey Clement/Wendell Smallwood – Ajayi getting back on the field pushes both of them back into reserve roles, meaning neither will likely garner enough touches to make waves against a tough Titans rush defense.
  • Dallas Goedert – Went 7-73-1 last Sunday on seven targets after doing nothing the week prior. Goedert will continue seeing inconsistent usage as the Eagles’ no. 2 tight end.
  • Tennessee Offensive Players – The Titans offense has accounted for just one touchdown in their last 8 quarters of football (the other score came via special teams). Marcus Mariota (elbow) isn’t healthy, and is locked into a game manager role, which has had a trickle-down effect on the rest of the Titans’ skill players: the production of Corey Davis, Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis, and Rishard Matthews has all suffered as a result.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Texans Colts
Quarterback 19th 24th
Running Back 18th 6th
Wide Receiver 23rd 31st
Tight End 13th 3rd
Defense/Special Teams 12th 9th
Vegas Line: Colts -1
Vegas Over/Under: 
47
  • None of Note
  • Deshaun Watson – The Colts pass defense has been a surprise to start the season, having allowed just three touchdown tosses through three games. With the Colts unlikely to jump out to a large early lead, Watson may not have the benefit of catchup-mode to pad his stats like in Weeks 2 and 3.
  • DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller – The Colts secondary has only allowed one wide receiver to post more than 63 receiving yards against them this season. Fuller in particular comes into this contest hot though, with over 100 receiving yards and a score in each of his prior to contests after sitting out Week 1 with a hamstring injury.
  • Lamar Miller – Salvaged last Sunday’s 51 total yard effort with a garbage time receiving yard. Even when the stars appear to be aligned for Miller to break out, he finds new ways to disappoint. The volume won’t be going anywhere for at least another few weeks though.
  • T.Y. Hilton – Has been targeted at least 10 times in every game this season, yet averaged just 59.7 receiving yards over that span.
  • Eric Ebron – With Jack Doyle (hip) looking highly doubtful yet again, expect Ebron to continue gobbling up targets (he had 11 in Week 3 with Doyle sidelined). The Texans have already given up scores to tight ends so far this season.
  • Ryan Griffin – The Colts allow 91.7 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends, so if there were ever a week for Griffin to break out, it’s this one. For what it’s worth Griffin did manage 2-44-0 on four targets last Sunday after being nearly invisible in Weeks 2 and 3.
  • Texans D/ST – A unit that has underperformed to start the year, though faces a Colts offense that isn’t explosive like they have been in years’ past, and is ranked third in the NFL for most sacks allowed (10).
  • Andrew Luck – Has been held under 200 passing yards in two consecutive games (Weeks 2 and 3). Luck also remains dead last in average intended air yards per pass this season, indicating his surgically repaired shoulder may be holding him back.
  • Colts Running Backs – No Indianapolis running back recorded more than 10 touches in Week 3, and while Christine Michael has been cut, Marlon Mack (hamstring) appears on track to return.
  • Ryan Grant – Caught a touchdown last Sunday, but has just seven total targets the past two weeks after seeing 9 in Week 1.

Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Bills Packers
Quarterback 11th 9th
Running Back 8th 20th
Wide Receiver 15th 10th
Tight End 9th 11th
Defense/Special Teams 2nd 19th
Vegas Line: Packers -10
Vegas Over/Under: 
45
  • Aaron Rodgers – While his knee has clearly been a hindrance the past two weeks, Rodgers has no fewer than 265 passing yards over that span. Buffalo’s pass defense shouldn’t pose much of a challenge to Rodgers, though he may see his pass attempts scaled back if the game gets out of hand early.
  • Packers D/ST – While this unit has not been good to begin the season, they should be a serviceable streamer against a Bills team coming off an improbably upset victory over the Vikings last Sunday. Expect the Bills offense to look more like the one that only mustered 23 points combined between Weeks 1 and 2 than the one that hung 27 on the Vikings.
  • Aaron Jones – Upon return from suspension in Week 3, Jones saw the fewest snaps among Green Bay’s running backs, though his 42 yards on the ground (just six carries) were the most productive. If there were a week to get Jones going, this would be it, as the Packers are 10.5-point favorites over a Bills team that has allowed an NFL-worst six scores to opposing running backs.
  • Geronimo Allison – It’s only Week 4, and Allison is 45 receiving yards away from setting a new career high. The third-year UDFA should be able to take advantage of seeing single-coverage from backup CBs.
  • Jimmy Graham – Still hasn’t caught a touchdown pass, and has been targeted in the red zone just once. The Bills have allowed the 10th-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends.
  • LeSean McCoy (ribs) is expected to play, though is at risk for in-game aggravation given the nature of his injury. The Packers have ceded the sixth-most rushing yards to opposing running backs this season, so expect the Bills to lean on Shady if he’s healthy enough for a full workload.
  • Jamaal Williams/Ty Montgomery – Both backs saw heavy usage in Week 3 as the Packers spent much of the afternoon chasing the scoreboard via the pass game. The Packers may not need to be throwing as much in this contest if it goes according to script, so I’d expect both Williams and Montgomery to take a backseat to Jones.
  • Randall Cobb – Comes off a disastrous Week 3 that saw him covert less than 50 percent of the passes thrown his way. In a game that likely features lower than usual passing volume from the Packers, Cobb is the likely odd man out.
  • Bills Pass Catchers -Through three games, Zay Jones is the teams’ leading receiver with 6-106-0. Until QB Josh Allen an develop a consistent rapport with someone, they are all off-limits.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.