Fantasy Focus – Week 4 Matchups
Week 3 was another week of upsets, as the Chiefs, Bills, Chargers, Bucs all ended on the losing side. Looks like Amari Cooper and Saquon Barkley are very reliable fantasy plays this year! Having Derrick Henry back on track was also a pleasing change. Here are my favourite Fantasy Focus games to look out for in week 4:
Dolphins @ Bengals
They’ve beaten the Bills and the Ravens in back to back weeks. But now the Dolphins travel to Cincinnati to go up against last year’s Super Bowl runners up. The Dolphins are flying high at 3-0 for the season thus far but the Bengals will humble their early season hype. The AFC North is still wide open with all four teams within a win of each other. The Bengals will win this game and stop their downward slide in the AFC standings.
Mixon a full participant in practice on Tuesday
Good news for Mixon, as he seems to have recovered from his ankle injury. He was registered as a full participant in training on Tuesday. Frustratingly, Mixon is without a touchdown this season. But there is high scoring potential for this matchup and the Dolphins secondary have been playing at an elite level. Mixon should be the safety valve for Burrow in a high scoring affair.
Cheetah vs Apple
Tyreek Hill has publicly called out Eli Apple, and if this season is a benchmark for taking Tyreek Hill for his word. The Cheetah is forecasted to have a big game. The Dolphins will play from behind as the Bengals will need the win here to keep up the remainder of the AFC North. This game script will fall hugely in favour of Tyreek.
- Dolphins lose their first game of the season as Bengals remind everyone they still there.
- Mixon the safety valve for Burrow, as he has a season high in scrimmage yards
- Cheetah destroys Apple
Jaguars @ Eagles
Even though the Chargers had a weekend of injuries from hell, a lot of credit has to go to the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence. It is incredible what a year as a starter can do for a rookie quarterback and Lawrence is really growing into this role and making the Jags a serious contender in the AFC South.
Another Quarterback worth mentioning on his rise this year is Jalen Hurts. The Eagles backed him in the off season, acquiring AJ Brown. And Hurts is proving he can be that franchise double threat quarterback Philly have always hoped for. Eagles will win this matchup comfortably to go 4-0.
Hurts to keep the Eagles marching on
Hurts has been a revelation this season so far. He has thrown for over 900 yards and rushed for over 150. The receivers, mainly AJ Brown and Devonta Smith, have both been huge benefactors of Hurts’ efficiency improvement. Having a fit Miles Sanders also helps Hurts on the ground rushing and having more time to pass. Although Sanders has had 45 carries this year for 200+ yards, he will have a low yardage game but should cross for a touchdown. And it’s odds on that AJB will be the WR1 for Philly this week.
Don’t underestimate this Jags team
TLaw has had a brilliant start to the 2022 season. He has improved all his career stat lines so far this year, with his TD:INT ratio being the greatest benefactor. James Robinson has healed incredibly from his Achilles injury last season. But the game script in this game won’t be in his favour. The Eagles on paper are a better oiled machine and the Jags will have to play from behind. As the Eagles have a pretty scary secondary this will be the true test for Lawrence and although he should surpass a 300 yard game passing for the first time this year, it will inevitably be in a loss. There should be a number of positives to take from this game though – and the battle for the AFC South is still up for the taking.
- Eagles win, but Jags take away a lot of positives
- AJ Brown big yardage, Sanders crosses for a touchdown
- Lawrence throws for over 300 yards, Robinson kept quiet
Chiefs @ Buccaneers
Hurricane Ian. This is the most important information and any updates on this hurricane need to be a priority if you are to stay on top of this matchup. The NFL is in the process of looking at emergency alternatives if Tampa is unable to host the matchup due to the severe weather warning. But, for fantasy purposes, let’s break this down assuming it all goes ahead according to plan.
Mahomes’ and Chiefs’ immediate reaction to week 3
Let’s assume the weather has settled. And the damage is not severe (if any damage at all). The Bucs and Chiefs game will be one of entertainment. The Chiefs stuttered last week against a well prepared Colts defence. And facing the Bucs defence won’t be any easier. Mahomes will need to have a statement game as there are a few doubters out there now. Can the Chiefs can cope without Tyreek? Mahomes is good enough. So this battle will be incredibly interesting, with one of the best defences in the NFL vs one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league. Mahomes will turn up to beat the Bucs in Tampa.
Can Evans keep the Bucs in the game?
This Tampa offence is starting to raise a few question marks. The majority of these concerns can be excused by injuries and suspensions. But these answers will not take away from the fact the Bucs need a win – and to start finding their stride. The Bucs are fortunate to be in the NFC South, but they have to take advantage of the other teams in this division struggling. Evans will need to come back from his suspension and ball out against the Chiefs. But the Chiefs will be prepared for this and keep Evans under wraps. It will be a tough game for the Bucs and Evans will be kept to sub 60 yards receiving.
- Chiefs to bounce back from week 3’s loss with a good win in Tampa
- Mahomes to orchestrate another victory over Brady
- Evans held in check, and more questions asked about the Bucs offence
Rams @ 49ers
This NFC West battle will be fiercely contested. The Rams have steadied their season after losing to the Bills in week 1. Their aim to win this weekend will reassure their position at the top of the NFC West at 3-1. Similarly, the 49ers will want to bounce back from a disappointing loss last week to the Broncos. By winning, they go top of the NFC West. There is little love lost between these two head coaches. And, provided the Rams can control the game in the manner they have the last two weeks, they will surely take this and move to 3-1.
Can the 49ers stop Kupp?
The Cardinals found a way to keep Kupp in check in week 3. But this seemed to be game script orientated too. The Rams controlled the score line and kept the ball on the floor. Kupp was kept to only 4 receptions but was still able to crash over for an impressive 20 yard rush on the sweep. Last year’s WR1 will find himself in the same scenario here. The Rams will get a lead against a tough 49ers defence, who have only allowed 37 points against all year. But Kupp will have sub-75 total scrimmage yards and no touchdown.
Is Kittle the missing link for the 49ers offence?
It was great for all NFL fans to see George Kittle back on the field last week. He has had some incredible plays in his 5 seasons in the NFL so far. And a player that is a real weapon for the 49ers. Kittle is the missing link in this offence and adds another explosive dimension for them. That’s generally straight down the seams, keeping the opposition Linebackers in check. This will be a tough game for the Rams defence but Bobby Wagner is no stranger to Kittle. Deebo Samuel should be the real benefactor of Kittle’s fitness and should see over 100 scrimmage yards.
- Rams control game in narrow victory
- Kupp sub par, other Rams receivers to be relevant
- Deebo to be the key man benefitting from having Kittle back