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Fantasy Football Forum Week 4: Intriguing Targets & Young QBs

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New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
Is Baker Mayfield your savior?
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Welcome to week 4 of the fantasy football season. Hopefully you’ve recorded at least one victory so far and can survive September with a .500 record or better. A good fantasy draft can get your team off to a fast start, but leagues are won and lost on the waiver wire every year. Also, get active in the trade market! If you’ve got a glaring weakness somewhere, look around for a trading partner.

A couple of guys really established themselves as legitimate receiving options last week and they square off this Sunday. Tyler Boyd of the Bengals has posted two good weeks in a row and with the Bengals providing a lot of volume in the passing game, I think he’s a safe bet to keep that going. The Bengals travel to Atlanta who just saw rookie Calvin Ridley blow up last week against the Saints for 3 scores. You’re probably not going to get that effort from Ridley again but that’s two straight weeks he has been integral to that offensive attack. With injuries to Keanu Neal and Deion Jones on that Atlanta defense, the Falcons are going to be slinging it around the yard all year. I’m signing off on Boyd and Ridley as WR3 / Flex starts herein with the chance to be in that WR2 range.

It’s also interesting to note that as we enter week 4, all 4 of the top rookie signal callers have now won their starting gigs. Sam Darnold won the job out of camp for the Jets and has predictably been up and down on an offense with limited weapons. Baker Mayfield came off the bench to help the Browns win their first game since 2016 against Darnold’s Jets last Thursday, and was named the starter this week. Josh Allen won his second start against the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings in a game that ruined survivor pools for most people (including me). Finally, Josh Rosen entered the game late last week to throw the ball at the Navy and Orange team a couple times as he tried to avoid decapitation by Khalil Mack.

My general rule is that rookie QBs aren’t going to be particularly useful so avoid them, particularly when there are plenty of solid choices in established veterans. However, if you’re playing in a 2 QB league or you’re caught flat footed with an injury to Jimmy G, or you’re just looking for some upside, you may be dipping your toe in the water. My preference out of this group is probably Mayfield because I do believe there are good weapons in this offense and he seems fearless to throw the ball down the field. Rosen was my favorite coming out of the draft, but they need to shift their offensive philosophy if he’s going to be useful and I don’t think that’s likely. The Cardinals do have a few interesting matchups where they’ll likely be trailing early, which may force them to abandon their conservative approach and sling it. Related: keep an eye out for Christian Kirk. I’m not as sold on Darnold or Allen for this year, but there’s at least a good floor on Allen with his running ability. Again, if you’re dipping your toe into these waters, it’s either out of desperation or curiosity – just don’t get too cute.

Finally - I was a guest on the RB1 fantasy podcast this week and got a chance to talk about some start / sit options on a few games including the Bears / Bucs. Take a listen! As always, I can be found @gridironborn on the Twitter for last minute fantasy advice.

Your turn – what’s on your mind as we close out September?