Top 5 Positional Matchups of Week 4
Schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA, is 4for4’s answer to biased statistics. By removing bias, we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. As the season marches on, the data will change and once we hit Week 12, the numbers shown will be based on a rolling 10-week data set.
Each week until the end of the fantasy football season I will be looking at five matchups to target or avoid based on updated aFPA data.
Steelers Passing Offense @ Green Bay Packers
The decline of Ben Roethlisberger has been apparent over the past couple of seasons but he still is a fantasy commodity in the right scenario. Injuries to his wide receivers remain a concern with Diontae Johnson missing Week 3 and JuJu Smith-Schuster day-to-day with bruised ribs. If one or both are active in Week 4 when Pittsburgh travels to Green Bay, starting Steelers passing game weapons is very much in play.
The Packers are 27th against quarterbacks using aFPA and 23rd and 32nd against opposing receivers and tight ends, respectively. Green Bay has allowed three pedestrian quarterbacks to throw for nine touchdowns and two interceptions. Opposing offenses are averaging seven receptions per game at the tight end position with three of four tight ends scoring double-digit fantasy points in all formats.
But what about the Steelers' offensive line issues? The Packers have five sacks this season. Only four teams have fewer. It is safe to assume Roethlisberger will take some lumps because he is as mobile as my 70-year old father, but he has one of the better offensive groupings in the NFL.
Derrick Henry @ New York Jets
The Jets' passing defense rated well in the update, ranking top five against opposing quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends. You see running back is missing.
Tennessee’s offense has not clicked as well without Arthur Smith, but Derrick Henry has once again been a monster to slow down. After his Week 1 disappointment, Henry has logged 295 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. For the season, Henry also has 12 receptions – not targets – receptions, for 105 yards in the passing game. Without A.J. Brown and Julio Jones Week 4, Henry will have a massive target on him. Expect a lot of stacked boxes and success from Henry. He is the favorite to be the Week 4 and overall RB1 on the season.
Jameis vs. New York Giants
The Saints' offense is tied for fourth with seven passing touchdowns (10 total) and face a Giants defense allowing 26.3 points per game. Despite committing resources to the defense in the off-season, the Giants defense has been torched through three games and is currently 26th in aFPA to opposing quarterbacks. Winston has utilized his assortment of passing options to the point that it is better to target Winston in season-long and DFS formats this week. Give me the syrup that goes over pancakes.
Dawson Knox vs Houston Texans
It would be lazy to say ‘start all your Bills against the Texans’ in part because the defense has been okay through three weeks (13th in total offense aFPA). Houston has struggled against opposing tight ends, ranking 31st against them and allowing 17.8 points per game in half-PPR formats. Knox has averaged over three catches and 35 yards per game to start 2021 and has two touchdowns as icing on the cake. In Buffalo’s two wins, Knox has played at least 78.5% of snaps and is fifth on the Bills in air yards and target share. Knox is also tied with Emmanuel Sanders for third on the Bills with two red-zone targets.
Jonathan Taylor at Miami Dolphins
The news that the Colts are looking to trade Marlon Mack alleviates some concern with Taylor’s touch share, but when Mack was made inactive Week 3 it showed the Colts are ready for JT to be the lead rusher. The Colts travel to Miami to take on the 31st ranked defense against running backs. The Dolphins defense has allowed top 10 production in rushing yards and touchdowns while being run on the fifth-most through three weeks. Part of that is due to the Bills blowing out Miami Week 2.
Taylor has seen his total touches decrease in each of the past two weeks due to negative game scripts, but one way to make life easier for Carson “Two Sprains” Wentz is to run the ball and eat clock. The Colts are only 1.5-point underdogs as of Tuesday afternoon, a sign that Vegas believes this game will be competitive and lead to keeping Taylor in the game plan longer.