Joe Burrow may have saved the Bengals season by hobbling through a Week 3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Six days later he will be asked to do the same against the Tennessee Titans, and I wouldn't be surprised if he pulls it off. But Burrow didn't help your Fantasy team in Week 3, and I wouldn't expect his help in Week 4 either, despite the great matchup.
The matchup is fantastic. Since the start of last season the Titans have had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL and one of the best defenses against the run. The only quarterback this season who has failed to top 20 Fantasy points against them was Derek Carr, and Carr threw for 305 yards.
- Week 4 previews: | |
The problem is I'm not sure Burrow can stand in the pocket long enough to take advantage of it. While there were a couple of great throws mixed in, the story mostly remained the same; Burrow is not taking deep shots and he's not accurate when he does. Both his 6.5 air yards per attempt and his 55.4% completion percentage are career lows. That's an unfortunate combination.
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Further complicating things is that Burrow's calf will not allow him to run. He had five rushing touchdowns last year and 10 in his first three seasons in the league. He has two rushing yards in three games this season.
There's really no reason to expect Burrow's calf is going to be better on a short week. The question is whether he can be precise enough to dink and dunk all the way down the field and then get the ball into the end zone twice as he did in Week 2. The Titans defense should help, but I am not convinced that will be enough. For that reason, Burrow is outside of my top 12 this week and he'll remain there until after the Bengals bye, or until he looks like Joe Burrow again. I'm not making a waiver claim to pick up one of the waiver wire guys, but there are more than a handful of guys who were drafted as QB2s that I would start over Burrow this week including Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins. Jared Goff, Jordan Love, and Anthony Richardson if he clears the concussion protocol
Let's get to the rest of the preview:
Week 4 QB Preview
Numbers to know
- 29.6 -- Kirk Cousins leads all quarterbacks at 29.6 FPPG. Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert are the only other quarterbacks above 27 FPPG.
- 5.6 -- Justin Fields has scored 5.9 FPPG with his legs the first three weeks of the season. He averaged 10.8 FPPG rushing in 2022.
- 16.7% -- 16.7% of Jordan Love's throws have been off-target this season, the highest mark in the league.
- 21.2% -- Tua Tagovailoa has been pressured on 21.2% of his dropbacks. No starting QB has been pressured less often.
- 16.1% -- Sam Howell has been sacked on a league-worst 16.1% of his dropbacks.
- 906 -- C.J. Stroud has 906 passing yards. Only Cam Newton and Justin Herbert had more in their first three games.
- -0.20 -- Trevor Lawrence's -0.20 EPA per dropback is the worst mark of his career, even worse than his rookie season.
- 3 -- Anthony Richardson has rushed four three touchdowns in a little over five quarters of play in the NFL. He's a start this week.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
PIT Pittsburgh • #8
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Pickett finally played a defense that wasn't elite and turned in a 22-point performance. The matchups against the Texans is more complicated, but nowhere close to as difficult as what he saw the first two weeks of the season. Even with those tough matchups, Pickett has shown marked improvement statistically in yards per attempt, yards per game, and touchdown rate. That being said, Dak Prescott is the only guy who was maybe drafted as a starter that I would start Pickett over this week.
C.J. Stroud QB
HOU Houston • #7
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
It's early and I don't want to overreact, but C.J. Stroud's first three NFL games have gone about as well as anyone could have hoped. His 906 yards are the third best mark ever for a QB's first three starts, behind only Cam Newton and Justin Herbert. He's done that without throwing one interception and playing behind a patchwork offensive line. This is a big test in Week 4 against Pittsburgh's pass rush. If Stroud passes the test, we may be talking about him as a top-12 QB in Week 5 against the Falcons.
Kirk Cousins QB
MIN Minnesota • #8
Age: 35 • Experience: 12 yrs.
Cousins is the No. 1 QB in Fantasy and for the second week in a row he's the No. 1 QB in my projections. He's still not priced as one of the top options, so I'm going to keep riding him in cash games. The way his defense is playing, 40 pass attempts seems like a near lock.
Last week didn't work out too well for anyone on the Broncos, but I'm going right back to Wilson against the Bears this week. These are two of the worst defenses in the NFL right now, a great spot for both Wilson and Justin Fields to get right.
My full set of Week 4 Fantasy football projections for every position are now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don't live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 4. Projected stats for all starting quarterbacks are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections at SportsLine.