SSSQ is a weekly look at under-the-radar fantasy players you should consider starting, and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
For the rest of your lineup decisions, consult our Week 4 rankings.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
Rivers’ yardage totals haven’t been impressive in the last two weeks, but his eight touchdowns on the year make him a reliable fantasy starter. The 49ers, reeling after losing Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn ACL, have allowed eight touchdowns through the air and are yet to record an interception this season. With Mike Williams emerging as a dangerous red-zone weapon, Rivers is poised to post his fourth straight multi-touchdown game.
Boone’s projection: 313 passing yards, 3 TDs
Other QBs to start
- Andy Dalton at Falcons
- Case Keenum vs. Chiefs
Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals
With Joe Mixon sidelined in Week 3, Bernard continued to prove he can be a fantasy RB1 when put into the lead back role, cracking the top 12 with 86 total yards and a score. He now heads to Atlanta for a potential shootout with the Falcons. Dan Quinn’s banged-up defense has held running backs in check on the ground, but has given up a pair of 100-yard receiving games to Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara. With little competition for touches, you can confidently fire up Bernard for another start.
Boone’s projection: 71 rushing yards, 74 receiving yards, 1 TD
Other RBs to start
- Sony Michel vs. Dolphins
- Philip Lindsay vs. Chiefs
- Austin Ekeler vs. 49ers
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
Shepard came alive in Week 3 thanks to an influx of quality targets after tight end Evan Engram went down. With Engram listed as week to week, Shepard is a strong play against a Saints defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing receivers. New Orleans also placed cornerback Patrick Robinson on injured reserve this week, making the Saints even more vulnerable in the secondary. In their last outing, Calvin Ridley dominated them for 146 yards and three touchdowns, while Julio Jones had 96 yards of his own. Expect Odell Beckham Jr. and Shepard to both go over over 100 yards in this one.
Boone’s projection: 102 receiving yards, TD
Other WRs to start
- John Brown at Steelers
- Calvin Ridley vs. Bengals
- Mike Williams vs. 49ers
Eric Ebron, TE, Colts
After scoring touchdowns in each of his first two games with the Colts, Ebron disappointed in Week 3 with Jack Doyle not in the lineup. Ebron did see 11 targets playing in the full-time role though, and chasing opportunity is normally a wise decision for fantasy owners. Doyle missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, making him unlikely to return against a Texans squad beaten for two touchdowns by tight ends in three contests. Don’t be scared to lean on Ebron again.
Boone’s projection: 64 receiving yards, TD
Other TEs to start
- Tyler Eifert at Falcons
- Ben Watson at Giants
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
We can safely say Luck isn’t the same player we knew prior to his shoulder injury. With the Colts’ passing attack much more focused on short to intermediate throws, Luck’s been held under 180 passing yards in his last two outings. Even against the Texans’ middling pass defense, don’t risk starting Luck when so many solid streamers are available.
Boone’s projection: 259 passing yards, TD, INT, 14 rushing yards
Other QBs to sit
- Ryan Fitzpatrick at Bears
- Baker Mayfield at Raiders
Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers
The Bears’ run defense will be a problem for Barber in Week 4. Chicago hasn’t let any back get over 50 yards this season, and it’s kept the end zone clear of rushers with the exception of a David Johnson receiving touchdown. We also have little reason to trust Barber, who’s seen his carry totals decline three straight games, and has managed yardage totals of 29 and 33 the last two weeks. My projection may be too generous.
Boone’s projection: 39 rushing yards, 6 receiving yards
Other RBs to sit
- LeSean McCoy at Packers
- Isaiah Crowell at Jaguars
- Derrick Henry vs. Eagles
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
Fitzgerald tried playing through a hamstring injury in Week 3 and the results were two catches for nine yards. He’s practicing this week and expected to play, but the 35-year-old’s recent history points to a decline as the season progresses. With this injury already slowing him down and rookie Christian Kirk starting to challenge him for targets, Fitzgerald needs to spend at least a week on your bench. See how Josh Rosen performs in his first start, then decide how to deal with Fitzgerald.
Boone’s projection: 54 receiving yards
Other WRs to sit
- Corey Davis vs. Eagles
- Jordy Nelson vs. Browns
- Marquise Goodwin at Chargers
George Kittle, TE, 49ers
Everyone on the 49ers offense gets downgraded with Garoppolo gone for the year. Kittle could still see volume as a safety net for C.J. Beathard, but the quality of passes coming his way will be affected and the scoring opportunities will be far less frequent. There’s almost nothing working in Kittle’s favor for Week 4, as the Chargers haven’t let a tight end eclipse 35 yards in 2018.
Boone’s projection: 48 receiving yards
Other TEs to sit
- Ricky Seals-Jones vs. Seahawks
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. Jets
Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos
Sutton was drafted as an eventual Demaryius Thomas replacement, and in limited opportunities has looked like a future star. He’ll continue to develop throughout the season and if Thomas were to miss time at any point, Sutton would enter the WR3 conversation. He may even be a sneaky flex play this week, as the Broncos try to keep up with the Chiefs’ high-powered offense.
Cameron Meredith, WR, Saints
Meredith was finally activated last week and played on 43 percent of the Saints’ snaps. He only came away with one catch, but it was an 11-yard touchdown. Despite a slow start as he completed his recovery from a torn ACL, Meredith could step up as the Saints’ third receiver behind Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn. Like Sutton, he also offers longshot appeal in Week 4 as a dart throw in deep leagues.
Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers
Garcon was barely doing enough to occupy a fantasy roster spot before Jimmy G’s injury. With Beathard at the helm, you can part ways with Garcon, who’s yet to catch a touchdown in 11 games with the 49ers.
Rashaad Penny, RB, Seahawks
Penny’s nightmarish rushing totals through three games have him with an early-season stat line of 20 carries for 43 yards. To make matters worse, the Seahawks decided to give Chris Carson a heavy workload in Week 3 and he answered with 102 yards on 32 rushes. Carson has also outgained Penny as a receiver, with 50 yards to the rookie’s 35. Penny is merely a handcuff or lottery-ticket option now, with no guarantees he could deliver if thrust into a starting role.