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Fantasy Insider: Running Backs, Wide Receivers & Quarterbacks To Start In Week 4 

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Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com has more than 20 years of experience in the Fantasy industry and is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame. This is his seventh season providing Fantasy Football coverage and advice on Seahawks.com.

The bye weeks begin now, and so does living in the present instead of the past. Where players were drafted no longer matters, how they are performing and their matchups should often be predominant factors when making lineup decisions. If one of your top drafted players is not producing up to par, don’t hesitate to consider benching him. Also, if you lost a player to a season-ending injury, it’s unlikely that you will find the ideal replacement on the waiver wire. Now is an optimum time to make trades to improve your team. With injuries to consider and two teams on byes in Week Four, you will have to start going to your bench more and streaming starters from depth in certain cases. This rundown should help you with those challenging lineup decisions.

Running Backs

Chris Carson vs. Arizona: Last week vs. Dallas, Carson signaled his official arrival as a solid Fantasy consideration, carrying the ball 32 times in the first 100-yard game of his career. The return of standout run blocker D.J. Fluker certainly helped, as did the impressive play of Joey Hunt at center. This week Carson has an even better draw, as the Cardinals have allowed a league-high 32.60 Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing running backs on NFL.com. Carson fought for tough yardage last week and should see even more daylight in this matchup. He must be in your lineup, at least at the flex spot.

Phillip Lindsay vs. Kansas City: The electrifying and versatile rookie is an ideal flex play in a Monday Night matchup with the Chiefs that could produce the most NFL points of Week Four. The Chiefs have allowed an AFC-high 29.80 FFPG on NFL.com to opposing RBs. They have also yielded a league-high 334 receiving yards to the position. Ride with Lindsay in this very friendly matchup for Fantasy players.

Marshawn Lynch vs. Cleveland: He is a must-start RB1 this week, because Lynch has been a consistent scoring force so far. He has scored in all three of Oakland’s games and you can bet he will find the end zone again as the winless Raiders push hard for a victory at home. Cleveland has surrendered an AFC-high four rushing TDs so far. The Browns have also allowed 305 rushing yards so far, the third-highest total in the AFC.

Tevin Coleman vs. Cincinnati: Look for Coleman to issue a bounce-back performance in what should be the highest-scoring game of the Sunday slate. The Bengals have also allowed 306 rushing yards, tied with Cleveland for third-most in the AFC. Coleman should get more than one opportunity to finish off scoring drives and he certainly has more upside than last week’s 33 rushing yards indicate.

Wide Receivers

John Brown vs. Pittsburgh: Joe Flacco has taken to the former Cardinal, who has quickly emerged as a consistent playmaking force in a revived Ravens passing attack. He scored in each of the first two games and has received 19 targets in the past two outings. The Steelers have allowed an AFC-high 33.47 Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing WRs, highest among AFC teams so far.

Mike Williams vs. San Francisco: The friendly matchup may be obvious to you, but we have to include Williams here to stress to you that not only is he is a viable option this week, he is a must-start as a Fantasy WR3 or flex. The second-year receiver is making his mark as the No. 2 wideout the Chargers have been seeking to pair with Keenan Allen. The 49ers have allowed 29.43 FFPG to opposing wide receivers, the third-highest total in the NFC.

Tyler Boyd vs. Atlanta: Like Williams, Boyd has to be locked in your lineup somehow, whether it’s as a WR3 or in your flex spot. Boyd has 12 receptions for 223 yards and two TDs over his past two games, as he seems to be indicating that he should be viewed as a clear threat opposite A.J. Green in the Cincinnati passing game. He should make some more noise against the Falcons’ 26th-ranked pass defense. 

Kenny Stills vs. New England: The surprising 3-0 Dolphins will slug it out in the air with the Patriots, and Stills is their most prominent playmaker at WR. New England has allowed an AFC-high six TD passes and Ryan Tannehill is certainly going to test the Patriots secondary with Stills, who can score from anywhere on the field.

Quarterbacks

Case Keenum vs. Kansas City: Look for Keenum to regain the form that saw him throw three TD passes in opening week, but he is less likely to incorporate three interceptions this time, as the Chiefs have just one pickoff so far. K.C. has allowed the most FFPG to opposing QBs, letting up 30.09 per contest.

Joe Flacco vs. Pittsburgh: The Baltimore passing game ranks ninth in the NFL after three weeks, generating 292 passing yards per game. Flacco is playing at a very respectable level with improved weaponry around him. The Steelers have allowed 29.19 FFPG to opposing QBs, the third-highest total on NFL.com.

Defenses, Tight Ends and Kickers

The Seahawks defense is a top streaming option this week, as they have intercepted an NFL-high seven passes and should also keep the score down in a divisional matchup with the Cardinals. … The Colts are a nifty option, as they have generated 10 sacks and Houston has allowed 10 … The Lions have the best pass defense in the NFL so far and face Dallas’ 31st-ranked passing offense. … Trey Burton should fare well enough against Tampa Bay, which has allowed an NFC-high 12.97 FFPG to TEs. … Austin Hooper should at least have a respectable day vs. Atlanta. … Mason Crosby is the third-best kicker on NFL.com, yet remains available in over 37 percent of leagues as he readies to face Buffalo. Don’t ignore kickers, as they can boost your team to a win, as Crosby did with 17 points in Week Two. Stay updated on who is performing well at the position, rather than just sticking a familiar name in the spot and moving on. Cody Parkey is fifth best at the position, yet is only owned 21.7 percent of leagues.

Seahawks Fantasy Focus

A quality ground game behind Carson, along with more solid protection and quick-hitting passes, should mean Russell Wilson will have a good Fantasy floor against Arizona, Tyler Lockett has scored in all three games so far and has re-emerged for consistent Fantasy WR3 consideration. Will Dissly is a quality streamer with some potential to find the end zone again. Bobby Wagner will lead the charge to keep David Johnson in check, forcing the Cardinals to go to the air against an opportunistic secondary that has been led by Earl Thomas’ three interceptions. The Cardinals have the lowest-ranked passing game in the NFL and have moved to a rookie at QB for this week.

For more Week Four advice and tips from Scott Engel and the RotoExperts team, get the Xclusive Edge Fantasy Football Package on RotoExperts.com. Use promocode “seahawks” at checkout for a special discount.

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