The 2016 Fantasy Football season is heading into Week 4, and Jake Ciely (@allinkid) of RotoExperts.com is providing exclusive expert Fantasy coverage for NewOrleansSaints.com. Throughout the season, Jake will give you the expert deal on Saints players from Fantasy perspectives, while letting you know which players will help you take home a championship, or more.*
The Saints head to sunny San Diego in Week 4, which gives us another opportunity for offensive fireworks. Quarterback Drew Brees has started the season in amazing fashion, and the success will continue Sunday. Brees has 1,062 yards through three games with eight touchdowns and just one interception. For reference, that's a 5,664 season-long pace! The Chargers have allowed the seventh most Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) to quarterbacks with 1,023 passing yards given up already. Brees is locked in as a Top 3 quarterback option.
The Chargers defense has been forgiving across the board, and as seen with the quarterback position, receivers will have plenty of success as well. Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead have more than 220 receiving yards and two touchdowns and will add to those totals. Michael Thomas has been impressive as a rookie with 185 yards, and he registered his first career touchdown in Week 3. Cooks and Snead are must-start options against the Chargers, and Thomas is worthy of WR4 status in all formats. Coby Fleener broke out against the Falcons with 109 yards and a touchdown, and the Chargers allow the sixth most FPPG to tight ends. You can trust Fleener again this week.
Running back Mark Ingram impressed, scoring his first touchdown of the season in Week 3. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and totals 107 yards with the receiving touchdown being the first of his career. It's clear that Ingram continues to be a big part of the offense whether it's rushing or receiving. The Chargers have allowed 21.7 FPPG to running backs on NFL.com with more than 400 total yards, including more than 200 receiving, and four touchdowns. Ingram is a rock-solid RB1 against the Chargers. Travaris Cadet had a nice game for PPR owners with six catches and 32 yards. As mentioned, the Chargers are especially susceptible to pass-catching running backs, which gives him sleeper value in those PPR leagues.
The Raiders defense has given up the third most points to quarterbacks. Joe Flacco is a nice option for those streaming quarterbacks. Flacco put up 302 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns and can post a similar line in Week 4. Trevor Siemian has been quite good, especially with his four touchdown passes in Week 3. The Broncos now face the Buccaneers, which presents Siemian with plenty of upside for another good week. The Chiefs have dominated opposing teams' passing games, which puts Ben Roethlisberger in the benchable conversation for higher-upside streamers if you need a big week.
As mentioned with Flacco, the Ravens have a terrific matchup this week. That makes Mike Wallace and Steve Smith both start-worthy in all leagues. In fact, with Smith rounding into form, both carry WR3 value with the potential for more. The Browns pass defense is among the most forgiving in the league. While you know about DeSean Jackson, don't overlook Jamison Crowder. He's second on the team in targets, catches and yards and is a WR3 in PPR leagues and on the fringe of carrying that value in standard leagues this week. The Redskins pass defense has also been rather forgiving, and with how involved Terrelle Pryor is in the Browns offense (even lining up at quarterback), he's a must-start in all leagues and formats. Not surprisingly, the Seahawks sit atop the league for fewest points allowed to receivers, making both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker riskier than normal. While you likely can't bench either, you should hold off on Quincy Enunwa this week. The same goes for Mohamed Sanu and Justin Hardy in a very tough matchup with the Panthers.
Zach Miller had better chemistry with Brian Hoyer than with Jay Cutler, and now the Bears host the Lions, a team allowing the most Fantasy Points to tight ends. Miller is in the TE1 conversation. As seen last week, the Falcons continue to give up touchdowns to tight ends, not only making Greg Olsen a top play (you're starting him in seasonal every week) but a terrific option in DFS too. Interestingly enough, the third and fourth highest FPPG allowed to tight ends comes from the Cowboys and 49ers, and they face each other this week. Jason Witten is a TE1 and Vance McDonald is a nice streaming tight end option with the matchups.
The Colts have struggled to stop the run, allowing the most FPPG to running backs. Look for Chris Ivory to get on track this week, which makes him a sneaky start in Week 4. Right behind the Colts are the Redskins. The Browns went run heavy last week with Cody Kessler at quarterback, and that makes both Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson valuable. Crowell is the better standard scoring play, and Johnson in PPR. The Steelers have been surprisingly forgiving to opposing running backs, giving Spencer Ware another week of RB2 value. The Falcons defense continues to struggle in all areas, especially against the run. The Panthers backfield is a bit unclear, but Cameron Artis-Payne has the chance to capitalize on the matchup and warrants RB3/Flex use. The Giants paid for defensive help and it's paid off when it comes to stopping the run. They're allowing the second fewest FPPG to running backs, and with Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata sharing the backfield, it would be wise to avoid both.
While the Giants run defense has been strong, overall they've still given up plenty of scoring opportunities to have the most kicker points scored against them. Blair Walsh is a strong kicker option as a result, as is Wil Lutz against the Chargers. With the number of turnovers given up, the Titans make the Texans a strong defensive play. If the Texans are owned in your league, the Bengals (against the Dolphins at home on Thursday night) and Patriots (hosting the Bills) make for nice streaming options.
For in-depth Fantasy advice and analysis throughout your season, including waiver tips, lineup rankings, statistical insights, live expert chats and more, register now for the RotoExperts.com *Xclusive Edge In -Season Fantasy Football Package. Saints fans can enter promocode "saints" at checkout for a discount.