Many fantasy football owners will be forced to make their first difficult decision regarding their starting quarterback in Week 4. Six NFL teams won’t play in the first bye week of the 2014 NFL season, meaning some of the league’s best signal callers won’t be in action.
Two of this year’s best fantasy quarterbacks won’t be in action in Week 4, as the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are idle. Peyton Manning ranks sixth with 814 passing yards and second with eight touchdown passes. Russell Wilson has been one of the biggest fantasy surprises in 2014, throwing six touchdown passes and adding 104 combined rushing and receiving yards.
This year’s No.1 and No.2 fantasy quarterbacks should have big performances in Week 4. Andrew Luck, who ranks third with 912 passing yards and first with 10 total touchdowns, could put up more impressive numbers against the Tennessee Titans. Matt Ryan is coming off one of the best games of his career, completing 21-of-24 passes for 286 yards and three scores.
Owners who start Manning or Wilson might have to pick up a quarterback off the waiver wire, and those who don’t have an elite quarterback could be debating which quarterback to insert into their lineups.
Below are quarterbacks to watch for in Week 4, as well as sleepers for the upcoming week of fantasy football.
The San Diego Chargers quarterback wasn’t projected to be a top fantasy quarterback in 2014, but he’s performed better than a lot of experts expected. He ranks seventh in points among quarterbacks, according to Yahoo Sports, even after facing the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. Rivers’ best game might be ahead of him, since he’s set to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. No team has allowed more passing yards than the Jaguars.
Kaepernick can be inconsistent when it comes to getting fantasy points, but Week 4 should be one of his better games of the season. He and the San Francisco 49ers will be home to take on the Philadelphia Eagles, who have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The Eagles may be 3-0, but it’s not because of their ability to slow down other quarterbacks. Philadelphia allowed 61 combined points to the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts. They’re tied for last in the league, allowing eight passing touchdowns, and even Chad Henne was able to throw for 266 yards against the top team in the NFC East.
Some owners might be willing to give Bortles a shot in his first ever start, considering he threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns in his only half of play this season. However, he’ll have a poor matchup when the Jaguars visit San Diego. Only three teams have given up fewer points than the Chargers, and they aren’t likely to have their first poor performance against a rookie. Bortles has thrown two interceptions in two quarters, and that kind of carelessness could get him into a lot of trouble on Sunday.
Rodgers was projected to be a top three quarterback in 2014, but that hasn’t been the case thus far. He put up a lot of points in Week 2, but failed to throw for even 200 yards in Green Bay’s other two games. The Packers’ offense has struggled, and that could continue in Chicago. Injuries to the offensive line have forced Rodgers to get sacked nine times, and the team’s 27th-ranked rushing attack is making things more difficult for the quarterback. Rodgers is a must-start for most fantasy teams, but he could have another disappointing week.
Tony Romo (Sleeper)
The Dallas Cowboys have played well at 2-1, but Romo’s fantasy numbers remain poor. That could change in Week 4 when the Cowboys take on the visiting New Orleans Saints. The Saints play much worse on the road, evidenced by their two losses to start the season. Matt Ryan threw for 448 yards in New Orleans in Week 1, and Romo is due for a big game.
Teddy Bridgewater (Sleeper)
Most fantasy teams should have a better option than Bridgewater available, but he’s not a bad play for those that start Manning or Wilson and don’t have a quality backup. He’s facing the Atlanta Falcons defense, which ranks 25th in passing yards allowed. Bridgewater didn’t make any major mistakes in his debut, and never threw an interception in the preseason. If he continues to protect the ball, he could score a few touchdowns and be a decent starting option.