Friday - Oct 23, 2020

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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 4

Welcome to the Week 4 edition of “Red Light, Green Light,” a matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests (and Monday night).

In each NFL Week 4 game profile below, I will choose a total of 3 players to highlight as green, yellow or red light options.

green-light Green Light: Players who have a great matchup. These guys are usually flying under the radar, and can be counted on as a strong source of fantasy production.
yellow-light Yellow Light: Players with just an OK matchup and/or usage concerns. These guys are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire.
red-light Red Light: Players with serious matchup/usage concerns, thus requiring lowered expectations lowered for the week, and/or should just be avoided altogether 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 carry your team to victory.

As always, the information conveyed below is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, but can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default points per reception (PPR) scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Bye Week Teams: Pittsburgh, Tennessee

Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Ravens Football Team
Quarterback 8th 12th
Running Back 29th 21st
Wide Receiver 17th 25th
Tight End 4th 6th
Defense/Special Teams 18th 4th
Vegas Line: Ravens -13.5
Vegas Over/Under: 47

Green Light – Logan Thomas (TE, Washington)

Though the production hasn’t quite been there, 8 targets per game is all you can ask for from your fantasy tight end. The Ravens have allowed the fourth-most receiving yards to Thomas’ position, and he’ll continue to get peppered by quarterback Dwayne Haskins once the Football Team is inevitably trailing.

Yellow Light – Terry McLaurin (WR, Washington)

Currently 6th in NFL receiving yards (269), McLaurin is making lemonade with lemons, just as he did in his 2019 rookie season. Similar to teammate Logan Thomas, garbage time should be kind to F1 McLaurin, though the Ravens’ coverage against opposing wideouts is a bit tighter.

Update: No bueno. McLaurin (thigh) was limited participant in Thursday’s practice, and missed Friday’s altogether, putting his Week 4 status in doubt. This will be one to monitor up until kickoff, though fortunately it is a 1pm EST start.

Red Light – Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins (RBs, Baltimore)

This three-way committee the Ravens insist on running with Gus Edwards in addition to Ingram and Dobbins has made all three Baltimore running backs virtually unusable for fantasy purposes. The Ravens’ run game should get back on track here in a pristine matchup as favorite’s of nearly two touchdowns, but its a total crapshoot to try and figure out which guy will cash in.

Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Chargers Buccaneers
Quarterback 18th 30th
Running Back 28th 10th
Wide Receiver 24th 20th
Tight End 19th 23rd
Defense/Special Teams 15th 10th
Vegas Line: Buccaneers -7.5
Vegas Over/Under: 45

Green Light – Austin Ekeler (RB, Los Angeles Chargers)

After many fantasy analysts were preaching gloom and doom following Ekeler’s one-reception performance in Week 1, he’s amassed a 15-139-0 receiving line in two games since. Only three other NFL teams have allowed more receiving yards to opposing backfields, so look for Ekeler to continue serving as a regular chain mover for the Bolts as they try to keep up as heavy underdogs.

Yellow Light – Mike Evans (WR, Tampa Bay)

Through three games, Evans has a 7-104-1 line sandwiched between a combined 3-4-3 (not a typo). The Buccaneers head into Week 4 with a banged up wideout corps, as Chris Godwin (hamstring) is all but ruled out, while Scotty Miller (hip) looks to be questionable as well. Evans will no doubt be force fed a few extra targets, but this contest could end up being another one where Tampa dominates via defense and their ground game.

Red Light – Joshua Kelley (RB, Los Angeles Chargers)

The Bucs’ boast a top-three rush defense, though have been hemorrhaging receptions and receiving yards to opposing backfields. The projected game script here make the conditions more favorable for Austin Ekeler to put up a big performance than Kelley, who will find himself stymied for the second week in a row.

Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Seahawks Dolphins
Quarterback 2nd 4th
Running Back 25th 16th
Wide Receiver 1st 12th
Tight End 30th 26th
Defense/Special Teams 29th 13th
Vegas Line: Seahawks -6.5
Vegas Over/Under: 54

Green Light – DeVante Parker and Preston Williams (WRs, Miami)

The Seahawks have allowed 1,136 receiving yards to opposing wideouts this season, most in the NFL. The next highest number? The 736 allowed by the Falcons. Parker looked hobbled in Week 3 while playing on a bum hamstring, but will be ready to rock on Sunday after an extra few days off with Miami having played the Thursday night game. Williams saw his snap share plummet from 81 percent in Week 2 to just 57 percent in Week 3, though the Dolphins nursing a large lead in the second half certainly played a role in that. Both Dolphins wideouts are strong plays in Week 4, with Parker obviously the safer option.

Yellow Light – Mike Gesicki (TE, Miami)

While Gesicki did score his second 2020 touchdown in Week 3, it was disappointing to see that be his only catch of the contest. Seattle has allowed just the 8th-fewest receiving yards to opposing tight ends, though Gesicki’s matchup gets a boost if S Jamal Adams (groin) cannot suit up.

Red Light – Seattle D/ST

If you look the Seahawks’ defense is littered with injuries (too many to list). Even against an error-prone quarterback such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, this unit can’t generate a pass rush (just five sacks on the year), and their secondary has not stopped any opponent from piling on yards through the air.

Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Vikings Texans
Quarterback 19th 24th
Running Back 7th 4th
Wide Receiver 4th 22nd
Tight End 20th 12th
Defense/Special Teams 7th 6th
Vegas Line: Vikings -3.5
Vegas Over/Under: 54.5

Green Light – Will Fuller (WR, Houston)

Fuller acquitted himself nicely (4-54-1 on five targets) last Sunday after a no-show the week prior. Leading the Texans with a robust 35 percent share of the team’s total air yards, Fuller has eruption potential against a Vikings defense that has allowed the 3rd-most receiving yards to opposing wideouts.

Yellow Light – Deshaun Watson (QB, Houston)

It has been an uneven opening three games for Watson’s 2020 season (792 passing yards with 5 total touchdowns), though Week 4 could be a turning point. Minnesota’s inability to pressure opposing quarterbacks gives Watson plenty of time to find his speedy receivers downfield. The Vikings have allowed the 3rd-most passing yards to opposing quarterbacks, but just 5 touchdowns to the position.

Red Light – Adam Thielen (WR, Minnesota)

While Thielen did score last Sunday, he’s amassed just 60 receiving yards over his last two games after going for 110 in the Vikings’ season opener. Some may see rookie first-round draft pick Justin Jefferson‘s breakout in Week 3 as a good sign for Thielen’s fantasy prospects, as now opposing defenses will have to account for two receiving threats instead of just one. Alternately, Jefferson could simply end up siphoning more targets away from Thielen given the Vikings aren’t a team that wants to be passing the ball in the first place. Houston has allowed just the 5th-fewest receiving yards to opposing wideouts.

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.