We’ve made it through 4 weeks of a crazy NFL Season. The first quarter of games have happened and we’ve had a good look at which players have broken out and which we’re waiting to see more from. Check out our quarterly awards article to see who we have winning what so far based on their current performance. In this article, we’ll break down other players who are on the rise and should be starting in your lineup or sit if they are fading. We intentionally exclude players such as Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson who should be in your starting lineup every week.
Quarterbacks to Start:
Teddy Bridgewater – Bridgewater is a trendy waiver wire stream this week as he plays a quarterback-friendly defense in the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have allowed 4+ touchdowns to every quarterback this season. Although the quarterbacks they have faced so far have been much better than Bridgewater has been with Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, and Aaron Rodgers leading the pack of these quarterbacks. Bridgewater might not put up the numbers these quarterbacks have put up, but in this division rival matchup, Bridgewater is still in for a good game against the Falcons.
Kirk Cousins – If you manage to have Kirk Cousins on your fantasy team currently, we know he has been a bit of a disappointment so far and has been to the Minnesota Vikings proving he was not worth the lucrative contract deal he managed. Cousins has been on the decline and with a favorable matchup against the Seattle Seahawks this week, this could be the perfect opportunity for a bounce back week that Cousins is looking for. Cousins was able to find rookie Justin Jefferson for two large games in a row with his breakout game two weeks ago going for 175 yards and a touchdown together. Cousins has thrown 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions so far and is looking to have this game be the difference maker in turning that statistic into a positive differential between touchdowns and interceptions. Cousins has a rising star in Jefferson and Pro Bowlers Adam Thielen which will help him against a Seattle Defense that is allowing over 400 yards per game.
Justin Herbert – The rookie has been impressive through the few games he’s played in place of Tyrod Taylor this season. Herbert has been so impressive that he was given the starting nod moving forward over veteran Taylor. Herbert has been averaging over 310 yards per game and over 23 fantasy points per game. This has been exceeding the expectations set for Herbert and he’s been one of the lone bright spots on the Chargers this season who have been struggling to start the season. The Saints defense is battered up with Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Davenport being dealing with their own injuries which helps the receiving corps for the Chargers being helped. Herbert is a sleeper start for this week on your team if you’re needing a medium risk, higher reward starter.
Quarterbacks to Sit:
Matt Ryan – The Atlanta Falcons are facing a Carolina Panthers defense who has allowed the 6th fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks which you would think wouldn’t stop Matt Ryan for being a reliable starter in this game with Atlanta’s high powered offense. However, Matt Ryan has taken a bit of a dip the last 2 weeks without Pro Bowl Wideout Julio Jones and has struggled in these games against the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Ryan has shown he needs Julio to truly succeed from a yardage standpoint as he is someone who can convert key first downs and get Atlanta in the field position that they need. Matt Ryan will most likely be without Julio for another week and this will be costly for the Falcons as Calvin Ridley and Russel Gage are not in top shape either. With these players playing at less than 100%, Ryan might not have his best performance and would be better left on your fantasy bench.
Baker Mayfield – Despite the injury to star running back Nick Chubb, the Browns still have a strong rushing game in Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson. The Browns are heavily reliant on their rushing game and are in the bottom of the league in pass attempts and yardage. Mayfield has failed to reach over 170 passing yards since his week 2 performance. Mayfield might break this amount but not by much more as the Colts have the best defense in the NFL from a fantasy standpoint against quarterbacks. The Colts have only allowed 5 touchdowns and have more interceptions than passing touchdowns allowed with 7 which sets up Mayfield and the Browns in for a long matchup. We’d recommend looking into other options for this week and the foreseeable future as Mayfield has seen better days.
Joe Burrow – The #1 overall pick has been playing surprisingly well to start the season for the Cincinnati Bengals. A big reason for Burrow’s success has been purely based on the volume of pass attempts he’s recorded through the last few weeks. With Mixon having an off-season, this has set up the Bengals to rely more on the passing game. Mixon had a bounce back week last week and is hoping to capitalize off of his huge performance which will limit the attempts that Burrow will potentially see. However, the Bengals are facing a tough division foe in the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are a super bowl contender and one of the top teams in the AFC which will make this a tough game for the Cincinnati Bengals all around. Burrow might put up big numbers playing from behind in this game, but in terms of going neck and neck with the Ravens, we don’t see the production from Burrow coming this way. It would be safer to leave Burrow on your bench for this week’s match up until he can prove himself as a reliable starter in touch matchups.