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Fantasy Football: Week 4 Quarterback Matchup Report

Have yourself a game, Mr. Watson. While I was watching the rookie out of Clemson break dozens of tackles while torching the Patriots defense, one thought came to my mind: “We have a future elite fantasy quarterback on our hands.” Watson proved that he’s not going to be like most dual-threat QBs before him and flame out rather quickly into the world of being a backup. This kid is here to stay, and we all need to start taking notice in fantasy. Oh yeah, he has a favorable matchup this week, too.

2017 NFL Team Passing Defense Statistics

Favorable Matchups

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans vs Tennessee

Ladies and gentlemen, Deshaun Watson is for real. You can certainly call what he did last week as him announcing his arrival as an enticing fantasy quarterback option, and he should only continue to get better as the season progresses. Watson through for 301 yards, two TDs, two INTs, and added 41 more yards on the ground against the Patriots last week and almost became the first rookie QB to beat Brady/Belichick in New England.

Watson’s strong arm and rushing ability should be on full display again this week against a subpar Tennessee passing defense. The Titans have given up 825 passing yards and seven touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season and will have a tough time limiting Watson this week. Expect an encore performance out of Watson, which makes him a very strong QB2 and DFS option.

 Week 4 Projection: 260 yards (plus 30 rushing), 2 TD, 1 INT

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers at New England

This New England defense is in shambles right now. Just look at what Deshaun Watson did to them last week. If it weren’t for another last-minute drive from Tom Brady, Watson would’ve become the first rookie QB to win in New England in the Bill Belichick era. Cam Newton might not be at his best right now, but he’s still a former MVP with monster upside this week.

Like Watson, Newton is a dual threat QB that can hurt you both ways. With New England’s defensive line and linebackers getting basically no pressure on the quarterback this year, Newton should have a field day. There’s definitely some concern here, too. Newton hasn’t looked like himself all season and has been limited in practice all week to help give some rest to his shoulder. Regardless, Newton should have an easy day on Sunday in what is likely to be another shootout in New England. Consider him a strong QB1 play this week.

Week 4 Projection: 250 yards (plus 40 rushing), 2 TD (plus 1 rushing), 0 INT

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions at Minnesota

Coming off a strong showing in week 3, Matthew Stafford finds himself with a favorable matchup this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Through the season’s first three games, the Vikings are allowing the 5th most passing yards per game and have the 4th fewest sacks. With all the options Stafford has at his disposal to throw to, Minnesota is going to need to get some pressure on him, which they haven’t had much success doing so far.

On paper, the Vikings have a solid defense but haven’t been able to live up to expectations, evidenced by the statistics in the last paragraph. Stafford, on the other hand, is playing some of the best football of his career and has thrown only one interception so far this season. He should be able to rack up the yards this week and is a borderline QB1.

Week 4 Projection: 300 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos vs Oakland

You know what? Trevor Siemian might just be a decent NFL quarterback after all. He’s thrown for 709 yards, six TDs, and four INTs this season and has even added 45 yards and a score on the ground as well.  This week, he gets a favorable home matchup with a subpar Oakland passing defense. The Raiders have yet to pick off a pass this season and have allowed opposing QBs to compile a 112.0 QB rating, which is the third highest in the NFL only behind Miami and New England.

Interceptions have been a problem for Siemian this season, but if he can limit the mistakes and play a smart game, he should have a fairly easy time putting up solid stats against this Oakland defense. Siemian is firmly on the QB2 radar this week and makes for a sneaky good DFS play.

Week 4 Projection: 255 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

Unfavorable Matchups

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins at Kansas City

Coming into the season, Kirk Cousins was one of my favorite non-elite QB options and one I advised drafting as your starter once the big names were off the board. However, this week will not be easy for him against the Chiefs. Through three games, opposing QBs have only a 64.1 rating and twice as many interceptions (4) as touchdowns (2). The Chiefs weren’t playing any shmucks either, as those numbers have come against Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, and Philip Rivers.

This week, Cousins has the daunting task of taking on this strong Kansas City defense. This Washington offense hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, either. Cousins can’t seem to get on the same page with his top wide receiver, Terrelle Pryor.  Many thought the duo were in for a strong season, but that hasn’t been the case so far. Cousins has thrown to Pryor 19 times this season and completed only 10 of those passes for 116 yards and no touchdowns. With all that being said, Cousins should not be started in single-QB leagues this week.

Week 4 Projection: 230 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Rams

This is one of those weeks where the game plan limits the fantasy ceiling of the quarterback. The Rams have one of the best passing defenses in the NFL but also one of the worst run defenses. When a defense is allowing 139 yards and two touchdowns per week on the ground, you’re damn right there are going to be a lot of run plays called. Especially when the man taking most of those handoffs is Ezekiel Elliott.

The Rams have allowed only 205 passing yards per game and a total of three touchdowns on the season. They’ve also racked up 10 sacks, which is tied for the 6th highest total in the NFL. If Dak Prescott is going to have a productive week, he’s going to have to chip in with his legs. That could definitely happen, but bank on Elliot being the one to have a big game this week. Prescott is a risky play as a starter in single-QB leagues this week.

Week 4 Projection: 225 yards (plus 20 rushing), 1 TD, 1 INT.

Sleeper of the Week

Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins vs New Orleans

I swear I don’t have a fathead of Jay Cutler on my bedroom wall. I really don’t, my wife wouldn’t allow that even if I wanted to. Cutler has been a key component in this weekly series this season and finds his way into this week’s report, as well, with a pathetic Saints defense waiting for him on Sunday. The Saints are 2nd to last in both opponents passing yards per game, completion percentage, and have allowed the 4th highest QB rating. Cutler is going to be able to really put up some solid fantasy points here. He’s on the QB2 radar this week and makes for a decent DFS play.

Week 4 Projection: 290 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Thank you for reading this week’s quarterback matchup report on Fantrax. I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members.  Got a question about a player not covered here? Ask in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there. Make sure you check back in next Friday as we break down quarterbacks for Week 5.

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