The early part of this season has been defined by injuries, and we saw another scary one Thursday night. Tua Tagovailoa was forced from the game against the Bengals after hitting his head against the turf on a sack, but he was released from a Cincinnati-area hospital Thursday night. That's the good news after such a scary sight.
The Dolphins ended up losing that game, and Tyreek Hill was the only player on the team who really performed all that well -- Jaylen Waddle, Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert all scored 10 or fewer PPR points. On the other side of that game, Joe Mixon had another OK game, as did Ja'Marr Chase, while Tee Higgins was a star and Joe Burrow hit on three plays of 36 yards or more -- a good sign given his struggles finding big plays so far this season.
The Bengals ended up winning 27-15, and Fantasy players left come out of the game mostly dissatisfied. That's been a theme through the first month of the season, and it might have left you in a hole. But don't worry; we also have plenty of injuries to wade through just in case the degree of difficulty wasn't already high enough.
I want to help out there, so send any questions you might have my way at Chris.Towers@ViacomCBS.com with the subject line "#AskFFT" and they'll get included in my Sunday morning mailbag. Plus, you can catch our YouTube stream Sunday morning at 11:30 EDT where Adam Aizer, Frankl Stampfl and I will be answering all of your lineup questions.
Get ready for Week 4 with all of our preview content here:
- Week 4 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: QB | RB | WR
- Starts, sits and sleepers for every game
- Cheat Sheet: |
- Week 4 Position Previews: QB | RB | WR | TE
- Week 4 Rankings: Jamey | Dave | Heath | Chris
And here's what the rest of today's newsletter has in store to help you get ready for Week 4:
- 🏈TNF Fantasy Recap: Bengals 27, Dolphins 15
- 🔍Week 4 Game Previews: Injury updates and lineup dilemmas
🏈TNF Recap: Bengals 27, Dolphins 15
- Winner: I don't think Ja'Marr Chase has a Tee Higgins problem, or anything, but Higgins is a problem for defenses. We knew this, of course, but the gap in the preseason ADPs of Chase and Higgins' suggests we might not have understood it well enough. Chase is an incredible player, of course, but Higgins is pretty good in his own right. And, as SportsLine's Jacob Gibbs has noted, Higgins has actually been targeted more than Chase when they've been on the field together in their careers. Both are great players -- top-12 WRs in my eyes -- and Higgins deserves more credit for what he's done right alongside his brilliant running mate.
- Loser: Chase Edmonds. You got bailed out if you started Edmonds this week, as he scored another touchdown from in close, but that's about all he's got going for him right now. Raheem Mostert is just a more effective runner in this system, and that was especially notable Thursday with Mostert rushing 15 times for 69 yards while Edmonds lumbered for 6 yards on five carries. Both players were targeted three times, with Edmonds' seeing two targets from inside the 10. That's the only saving grace for Edmonds, but you can't rely on touchdowns every week, especially if Teddy Bridgewater is playing QB for the Dolphins. Edmonds' Week 1 usage was pretty promising, but his snap share has fallen in each game since then -- cratering to 27% Thursday -- and he now has just 16 carries and seven targets over the past three weeks. He isn't droppable, but I'm not starting him next week.
- One more thing: Jaylen Waddle had a quiet game, going for two catches for 39 yards and five targets while Tyreek Hill went for 10 for 160. However, it's worth noting that Waddle was dealing with a groin injury on a short week and had a few more plays on the sidelines than we're used to seeing. I'm not worried about it, even if Bridgewater has to start a few games. This Dolphins offense is heavily concentrated between those two, and Waddle's 35 targets in four games is still a very healthy number.
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Know What Your Friends Don't
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
🔍Week 4 Game Previews
There's something to watch in every game on the NFL schedule every week, even if you have to squint to see it sometimes. Here's a look ahead at every Week 4 game, with some notes on what Vegas is expecting to see, some lineup help and one thing to watch for from each game:
All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
- Sunday, 9:30 a.m.
- Line: Vikings -2.5; 43.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Vikings 23-Saints 20.5
Remember, we have a 9:30 am EST start this week with the Vikings and Saints playing in London, so you have to make sure you have your lineups set early. And, unfortunately, there are plenty of injury question marks here that we may not have any clarity on before Sunday morning. That makes it hard to know exactly what to expect from this game as of Thursday afternoon.
- Toughest lineup decision: Dalvin Cook -- Start. Obviously, this depends on Cook being active, but you might be worried about starting him even if he is. Don't be. Cook has a lot of experience playing through shoulder injuries, and he's been mostly just fine -- he missed a game with a similar issue last December and returned with 27 carries for 205 yards and two touchdowns. He's not going to do that, in all likelihood, but I am expecting Cook to more or less play his usual role if he's out there. If not, start Alexander Mattison with confidence.
Injuries: There's a lot to keep track of here, starting with Jameis Winston (back, ankle), who has yet to practice this week. Andy Dalton would start in his place if Winston is unable to play, and I think it would be a downgrade for the offense as a whole. Michael Thomas (foot) was also unable to practice, while Jarvis Landry (ankle) was upgraded to limited participation Thursday, so he figures to be in better shape. On the other side, Cook was a full participant Thursday, so it looks like he's going to play.
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Browns -1.5; 47.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Browns 24.5-Browns 23
I'm surprised to see the Browns favored by just 1.5 against the Falcons. I guess Vegas isn't buying into the Browns sixth-ranked offense -- or they are buying into the Falcons ninth-ranked offense, which seems harder to believe. Both of these teams have found their greatest success on the ground, and that could lead to pretty low-volume game for both offenses if they can do so again.
- Toughest lineup decision: Amari Cooper -- Start. It probably isn't fair to Cooper that he has two consecutive top-10 finishes and is the No. 13 WR on the season and I still don't know if I trust him in my lineup. It's not about Cooper, to be clear -- I don't trust Jacoby Brissett, who held seeming-superstar Jaylen Waddle to just 258 yards and 11.36 PPR points per game in five games as the primary quarterback for the Dolphins last season. But the Browns are funneling a huge target share to Cooper, and he's still a really good player. He's not a top-20 WR for me, but I'm probably starting him where I have him.
- Injuries: Cordarelle Patterson (knee) -- Patterson has yet to practice this week, which is obviously a concern, especially given how he seemingly wore down toward the end of last season. He's been very active with 49 carries through three games, and it's fair to wonder if he can keep up his current usage. He's an RB2 if he plays, but he carries some risk here.
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Cowboys -3; 41.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Cowboys 22.25-Commanders 19.25
With Dak Prescott sidelined, the Cowboys have won consecutive games allowing 17 and 16 points, and they're doing it on the strength of what might be the NFL's best pass rush. The Commanders just got dominated by the Eagles, who sacked Carson Wentz nine times. The blueprint for the Cowboys is clear, and this could be another long day for Wentz and the Commanders offense.
- Toughest lineup decision: Carson Wentz - Sit. This is a really tough one because you may not have a good alternative -- quarterback has been pretty bad so far this season. Wentz is my 13th-ranked QB for the week, so I'm not saying he's an automatic sit, and the amount of drop backs for the Commanders offense so far -- 153 pass plays, the third-most in the league -- makes it especially tough to go away from Wentz. But we just saw him struggle against a very similar matchup, and the Cowboys might be even tougher. He's a risky start, at best.
- Injuries: Michael Gallup (knee) -- Gallup has practiced without limitations so far this week and looks in line to make his debut after saying he wasn't quite mentally ready in Week 3. I'm not starting him, but I'm definitely stashing him ... Dalton Schultz (knee) -- Schultz has been limited each day so far, which points to a decent chance at returning from a one-game absence. I wouldn't expect him to play his usual role, and he's more of a fringe starter if he does play.
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Lions -4; 48 O/U
- Implied totals: Lions 26-Seahawks 22
The Seahawks actually looked like a competent modern NFL offense in Week 3, and it wasn't just chasing points -- they put up 20 in the first half while throwing 25 times to just 14 carries. Are they going to keep that trend up? It would make me feel a bit more optimistic about their offense if they did, though if the Lions injury issues aren't cleared up by Sunday, this could be a more low-scoring game than expected.
- Toughest lineup decision: DK Metcalf -- Start. Even Metcalf's big game this season wasn't exactly a huge one -- he caught five of 12 targets for 64 yards and a touchdown. There were positive signs, however, as his average depth of target climbed to 12.5 yards down the field in Week 3, more in line with where he's been in years past. Tyler Lockett has been Geno Smith's favorite target dating back to last season, and he might even be the more reliable Fantasy option at this point. But Metcalf still has rare playmaking ability and is going to be tough to sit, even if he'll also be tough to trust as more than a WR3.
- Injuries: Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle) -- St. Brown has missed both days of practice so far, which makes an absence a real concern at this point. That doesn't mean he won't play, but he could be a game-time decision, and might even be limited. I would still start him, but there's some risk here, it seems. D.J. Chark (ankle) was also downgraded to a DNP Thursday after being limited Wednesday. The Lions could be quite shorthanded with D'Andre Swift (shoulder) not expected to play.
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Colts -3.5; 43 O/U
- Implied totals: Vikings 28.75-Lions 22.75
We thought the Colts were getting an upgrade at quarterback with the switch from Carson Wentz to Matt Ryan, but the old guy hasn't been that through three games. He's been under pressure a ton and hasn't responded well, with four interceptions and an absurd seven fumbles compared to just three touchdowns. The Colts offense is probably never going to put up a ton of points or big Fantasy production outside of Jonathan Taylor or Michael Pittman, but if Ryan continues to struggle, the ceiling is going to be capped for those two as well.
- Toughest lineup decision: Treylon Burks -- Sit. Burks is still out there in 32% of CBS Fantasy leagues, and he's well worth stashing in all of them. But I'm not ready to trust him just yet. He's shown the ability to earn targets in a more limited role, but had just two despite leading the Titans receivers in routes in Week 3. He's still a work in progress, and while the Titans will certainly try to get the ball in his hands more moving forward, we need to see it before I'm ready to trust him as a starter. He's more like a WR4/5 for me, with Robert Woods still ranked ahead of him for now.
- Injuries: Jonathan Taylor (toe) -- Taylor was able to get back to practice Thursday after a rare absence Wednesday. This injury never seemed to be a big concern, and it isn't.
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Giants -3; 39.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Giants 21.25-Bears 18.25
There have been just three games all season where a team has attempted 20 or fewer passes, and all three have been by the Bears offense. Incredibly, they also somehow rank sixth in the league in sacks. This is not a functional NFL offense right now, despite how well Khalil Herbert ran the ball last week. Until we see them trust Justin Fields to put the ball in the air, you can't trust anyone except the lead running back in this offense.
- Toughest lineup decision: Honestly, there really aren't any tough calls here. Saquon Barkley is the only player from the Giants you should be starting, and Khalil Herbert is the only player from the Bears you should be starting.
- Injuries: David Montgomery (ankle) -- Montgomery has yet to practice this week and is unlikely to play. He hasn't been ruled out yet, but I would be truly shocked if he played at this point ... Kadarius Toney (hamstring)/Wan'Dale Robinson (knee) -- Robinson and Toney are the only Giants pass catchers I have much interest in stashing at this point, but neither has practiced since their injuries, so I'm not expecting to see them out there in Week 4.
Jaguars at Eagles
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Eagles -6.5; 46 O/U
- Implied totals: Eagles 26.25-Jaguars 19.75
The Jaguars offense looks like it has taken a big leap forward this season, but they'll face a real test from this Eagles defense that just sacked Carson Wentz nine times and has allowed 15 points over the past two games.
- Toughest lineup decision: Zay Jones -- Sit. Jones is dealing with an ankle injury that has kept him out of practice both days this week so far. If Jones is able to play without limitations, he'd be an interesting option, but one I'm still not sure I'm ready to trust. The two games with nine or more targets are a great sign, but I'm not sure how much I buy that being his default role in this offense, and he probably needs that kind of volume given how many short-area targets he's getting. Jones has never been a consistent target-earner before, so I'm just not ready to write him into my lineup every week against a tough matchup. Now, if he's good in this game ... things could change.
- Injuries: Miles Sanders (hip) and Devonta Smith (back) -- Both were back to practicing in full Thursday after being limited Wednesday, so there's no concerns here.
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Steelers -3.5; 41.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Steelers 22.5-Jets 19
With Zach Wilson recovered from his preseason knee injury, we're going to see the Jets offense as it was meant to look like. Whether that means the offense will be better or worse depends on how much Wilson has improved from his rookie season.
- Toughest lineup decision: Elijah Moore - Sit. There's been a lot of talk about what Wilson's return means for Moore. Some have suggested that Moore will return to being the team's top target with Wilson, given their history together; others have mocked the idea, given how Wilson's play was often pointed to as a hindrance for Moore as a rookie. I'll just say that it's entirely possible Wilson's return ends up sparking Moore, but only because this more or less functions as a reset on the offense -- Wilson is a different quarterback than Joe Flacco, and the Jets aren't likely to have Wilson throwing the ball 50 times per game. I'm still treating Garrett Wilson like the team's top target, but he's more like a low-end WR2 until we see what he looks like with his new QB. Moore is more like a WR3/4.
- Injuries: With Wilson practicing in full and already announced as the starter, there are no injuries we're following here.
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Bills -3; 51 O/U
- Implied totals: Bills 27-Ravens 24
You might be looking at the two MVP frontrunners here with Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen going head-to-head, and Jackson may have the edge -- both for the award and for this week, given the Bills injuries on defense. The Bills only gave up 212 yards of total offense to the Dolphins in Week 3, but it was a much less impressive 5.73 yards per play. They might struggle to slow this fast Ravens offense given how Jackson is playing.
- Toughest lineup decision: J.K. Dobbins -- Sit. Dobbins made it through his return unscathed, and he actually played 45% of the snaps in Week 1, a decent total all things considered. However, he had just seven carries and two targets, and his value is going to be limited until the Ravens are willing to give him more opportunities in the run game. That may happen in this game, but I'm not ready to trust it -- especially with how well Justice Hill ran the ball last week. The Ravens need more from their non-Jackson running game, but Dobbins may not be ready to provide it yet.
- Injuries: Gabe Davis (ankle) -- Davis was downgraded to a DNP Thursday, but I'm not sure that's much to be concerned about right now -- he played through the injury last week, after all. Maybe he suffered a setback, so keep an eye out for Friday's report just in case ... Dawson Knox (back/hip) -- Knox has been limited as a result of this injury, so he should be OK to play this week. He's a touchdown-or-bust TE at this point.
- Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
- Line: Chargers -5; 44 O/U
- Implied totals: Chargers 24.5-Texans 19.5
I was surprised the Chargers were only favored by seven against the Jaguars last week and they got blown out, so I guess we'll find out if that said more about the Chargers or the Jags. This Chargers team is supposed to be one of the best in the league, but with Joey Bosa on IR with a groin injury and Justin Herbert dealing with a rib injury, they may not be the force we thought they would be.
- Toughest lineup decision: Brandin Cooks -- Start. The Chargers have a strong secondary, but I'm not too worried about the matchup here. The concern is that Davis Mills just may not be very good, and certainly hasn't played well so far this season. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that, given the connection they had last season. But obviously, patience is wearing thin with Cooks. The targets are still there, so I'll bet on them being more on line moving forward.
- Injuries: Keenan Allen (hamstring) -- Allen has been limited both Wednesday and Thursday, and given that he was reportedly pretty close to playing in Week 3, you have to like his chances here. He's a top-12 WR whenever he is healthy enough to play, so hopefully you can get him back in your lineup ... Justin Herbert (ribs) -- Herbert seems like he's going to be limited in practice moving forward, but he played through the injury last week and we're expecting him to do so again this week.
- Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
- Line: Panthers -1.5; 43.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Panthers 22.5-Cardinals 21
The Panthers being favored here is a surprise, even at home. Their defense has been pretty good, and the Cardinals haven't really hit their stride yet, but Baker Mayfield and the passing game for the Panthers have been such a mess that I can't really get behind the idea of them being the better team here.
- Toughest lineup decision: D.J. Moore -- Start. Please stop booing, I'm only trying to help. Look, I know you're frustrated. I'm frustrated, too. I don't have anything concrete I can point to to say things are going to get better, except for this: Things have to get better. Maybe Moore won't end up being a starting-caliber Fantasy option this season, but he'll have better than a 39% catch rate and 4.9 yards per target. This is a weirdly ineffective start from a player who has made the most out of bad situations for years. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he can turn this thing around, though, to be clear, he's more of a WR3 at this point than anything else.
- Injuries: Christian McCaffrey (thigh) -- McCaffrey has yet to practice this week due to the injury, though NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday there is "optimism" that McCaffrey will be able to play. Have a backup plan ready just in case, but hopefully that optimism doesn't prove misplaced. If McCaffrey can't go, a combination of Chuba Hubbard and D'Onta Foreman would likely replace him, but I have no idea who would be the lead back there or what the roles would be. Given that this just isn't a very good offense, it probably isn't worth chasing them unless you're desperate ... A.J. Green (knee) -- Green has yet to practice this week due to the injury, so I'm not expecting him to play. Greg Dortch (back) and Rondale Moore (hamstring) have been limited in practice this week as well, so they could be very short-handed. If Moore doesn't play and Dortch does, Dortch should remain the primary slot option and a viable PPR starter, while if Moore returns, he's an intriguing dice roll, but one I would prefer to have on my bench if I can at all afford it.
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
- Line: Packers -9.5; 40.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Packers 25-Patriots 15.5
That's one of the lowest implied team totals you'll see all season with the Patriots at 15.5, but it's hard to argue with it with Mac Jones likely out and replaced by the uninspiring Brian Hoyer. This Patriots offense was already nothing special, and while Hoyer probably isn't too much of a downgrade from Jones, he is a downgrade, and this is a good Packers defense, so expectations should be low.
- Toughest lineup decision: Romeo Doubs -- Sit. Week 3 was very promising for Doubs. who caught eight passes for 73 yards and a touchdown while playing 89% of the snaps. It's just one game, and it came with Christian Watson sidelined, so we can't know for sure whether this role is his for good. Doubs is a great player to have on your bench, but I'm going to let him prove it again before I'm willing to trust him.
- Injuries: Mac Jones (ankle) -- Jones hasn't technically been ruled out yet, but he hasn't practiced and was feared to have suffered a high-ankle sprain. That's usually a multi-week injury, so I'm not expecting to see him out there this week ... Jacobi Meyers (knee) -- Meyers has been limited both days this week, which would usually be a good sign. But he was limited Friday of last week before being ruled out, so we really don't know -- the Patriots usually don't let these things slip, either. He's a fringe starter at best if he does play ... AJ Dillon (knee) -- Dillon was upgraded to a full practice Thursday, a sign that this isn't a serious concern. That's a good thing, because he remains a key part of this offense in all facets of the game ... Christian Watson (hamstring) -- Watson was upgraded to a full participation in practice Thursday, a sign that he has a good chance of returning to action this week. He missed last week's game due to the injury. Watson remains worth stashing as an upside play in this offense, but he still has to earn a bigger role before he matters much for Fantasy.
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
- Line: Raiders -2.5; 45.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Raiders 24-Broncos 21.5
Neither of these two teams has figured out how best to integrate their two big offseason acquisitions. The Broncos have managed to eke out a couple of wins while still trying to figure out their offense, but the biggest issue hasn't been moving the ball so much as finishing drives off -- they rank 22nd in rate of drives scored on. The Raiders actually rank 10th in scoring despite Derek Carr completing just 50% of his passes to Davante Adams. If either team figures those things out, there will be fireworks in this one.
- Toughest lineup decision: Jerry Jeudy -- Start. Jeudy went for two catches for 17 yards in Week 3, as Courtland Sutton certainly looked like Wilson's favorite target in that one. However, Jeudy was coming back from an injury and didn't play his full complement of snaps, so I don't want to hold it against him too much. I'm treating Sutton like the No. 1 option here, but we've only seen one game where both were fully healthy and Jeudy matched Sutton in targets. There's still plenty of upside here for Jeudy, and I'm not willing to write him off just yet.
- Injuries: Hunter Renfrow (concussion) -- Renfrow has yet to practice since suffering the concussion in Week 2, so it doesn't look like he's going to play this week. Mack Hollins was excellent in Renfrow's absence last week, and is an intriguing streamer if Renfrow is out ... Melvin Gordon (neck) -- Gordon has been on the injury report pretty regularly this season, but this is the first time for the neck injury that has kept him limited the past two days. The fact that he's limited seems like it puts him in line to play this week, but it's something to keep an eye out for -- Javonte Williams would be even easier to trust if Gordon were to miss time.
Chiefs at Buccaneers
- Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
- Line: Chiefs -1; 45 O/U
- Implied totals: Chiefs 23-Buccaneers 22
The over/under on this one may be too low if the Bucs have their full complement of receiving weapons available. Obviously, that's a big if at this point, but the Bucs offense found some life late in Week 3 by leaning on the pass, and you can assume that's something they'll do more of if Tom Brady's top weapons are available. This could still end up being a shootout despite the disappointing start from these two offenses.
- Toughest lineup decision: Clyde Edwards-Helaire -- Sit. You might have trouble actually pulling the trigger on sitting Edwards-Helaire given how good he's been so far and how few good running back options there seem to be these days, but there's very little about his usage that inspires confidence. His passing game usage has been solid, but with just 22 carries and 12 targets through three games, we'd be panicking about Edwards-Helaire if it weren't for three touchdowns in as many games. Given his history -- or lack thereof -- as a goal-line back, it's safe to bet against that, and this Buccaneers defense is especially tough on running backs.
- Injuries: Chris Godwin (hamstring) -- Godwin didn't practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday, but he was listed as "hamstring/rest," so hopefully that was just getting a day off. He still seems like a bit of a long shot to return this week, and I wouldn't want to trust him if he did play, but it would certainly make me feel better about trusting Brady ... Julio Jones (knee) -- Jones has been limited both days in practice so far this week, but I'm still expecting him to play at this point. I wouldn't want to trust him just yet, but I'm excited to see what Jones can do in this offense if he makes it through a full game ... Marquez Valdes-Scantling (abdomen) -- Valdes-Scantling was downgraded to a DNP Thursday after being limited Wednesday, which puts his Week 4 status in question. With Mecole Hardman (heel) limited Thursday, there could be an opportunity for rookie Skyy Moore to see the field and make some plays. I'm not saying you should add him -- certainly don't start him -- but I'm keeping an eye on his usage just in case.
- Monday, 8:30 p.m.
- Line: 49ers -1.5; 43 O/U
- Implied totals: 49ers 22.25-Rams 20.75
In Week 3, Jimmy Garoppolo sure looked like a guy who got very few first-team reps in training camp. He looked rusty, but given his track record in this offense, we can expect better things in the future. Garoppolo has his flaws, but that was an especially poor showing. Don't give up hope on Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle just yet.
- Toughest lineup decision: Allen Robinson -- Sitt. It's not a must-sit scenario, if only because the Rams seem intent on getting Robinson going near the end zone. Given his ability to make contested catches, that makes sense. However, his limited ability to get open consistently seems to limit his usage between the 20s, and that makes it very hard to trust him. He seems like a touchdown-or-bust player at this point.
- Injuries: There are no serious injuries we're tracking for this game.