It’s Week 4 of the NFL season and that also means Week 4 for fantasy managers. Some are sitting pretty entering a big week while others hope to avoid a 0-4 start. This is typically where fantasy leagues start to see more activity as player sample sizes have reached the point where people can draw conclusions with more evidence.
Defenses can swing fantasy matchups in both directions. Pick the right defense and you can take an off week from your skill players. Pick the wrong one and even your best outing might not be enough. Here are two defenses to back and two defenses to avoid in Week 4.
D/ST Starts in Week 4
Washington Football Team vs. Falcons
Washington is coming off a horrendous performance against the Bills and has generally played below expectations this season. That should change against the Falcons, who are looking stuck in the mud under Arthur Smith. The Football Team should be able to generate pressure on Ryan routinely and deliver a big outing for fantasy managers.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jaguars
The Bengals are on a short week and have some injuries in the secondary but they did just shut down the Steelers in Week 3. Even with Ben Roethlisberger throwing the ball 58 times, Cincy’s defense held firm. Now the Bengals get to face a Jacksonville team which is struggling to generate points. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has thrown seven interceptions through three games, meaning the Bengals will have opportunities to make plays.
D/ST Sits in Week 4
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chiefs
The Eagles looked solid for the first two weeks of the season defensively but got absolutely worked by the Cowboys in Week 3. The unit may have helped fantasy owners out with a touchdown, although that’s unlikely to keep happening. It doesn’t get any easier for Philly with the Chiefs in Week 4. Patrick Mahomes has just lost two games in a row and you can bet that offense is hoping to make a statement in this game. The Eagles are a risky play this week.
The Patriots should actually have a good gameplan in play and keep this game competitive. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady know each other as well as anyone in the league and should be able to devise strategies to defeat each other. That being said, this is not a great matchup to get involved with. There’s too many storylines and outside noise to think either group is going to play its best ball and that typically leads to underwhelming fantasy performances. The Bucs won’t crush the Patriots but they won’t provide too many opportunities for the defense to score fantasy points.