Fantasy football is many things. It’s fun. It’s nerve-wracking. It’s unfair. There are a lot of uncontrollable factors. Sometimes players become injured; other times a player will go through a slump and lose touches. But arguably the most frustrating occurrence in fantasy football is when you have a high-scoring team with a losing record. In one of my leagues, I’ve scored the fourth-most points, yet after three weeks, I’m winless. Statistically speaking, teams that score high but have a bad record should return to the norm sooner rather than later. I’m done venting. Here are three players to start and three to sit in Week 4.
Phillip Rivers, quarterback, San Diego Chargers
Rivers faces the Saints defense Sunday. Start opposing quarterbacks against the Saints. Wash, rinse and repeat. The Saints, who are coming off a short week, allow 299 yards per game through the air and a 104.8 passer rating. Rivers has tossed five touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception this season.
Ezekiel Elliot, running back, Dallas Cowboys
After a rough debut, Elliot is showing why he was picked fourth overall in April’s NFL Draft. He’s averaged at least 4 yards per carry in each of his past two games and is coming off a game that he rushed for 140 yards. The best thing for Elliot’s fantasy outlook is the fact he ranks fourth in the league in carries, rushing the ball about 25 times per game.
Dez Bryant, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Bryant seemed frustrated after catching only one pass in Week 1. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott fixed things the following week, throwing Bryant’s way 12 times. Bryant caught seven of them for 102 yards. Bryant received only six targets against the Bears on Sunday night, but much of that had to do with the Cowboys jumping out to an early lead. The Cowboys face the 49ers this Sunday, who allowed Seahawks No. 1 receiver Doug Baldwin to rack up 164 yards and a touchdown Sunday.
Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have been a bit of a surprise team to start this season. Much of that has to do with Ryan, who ranks as fantasy’s top player through three weeks. Keep in mind, however, that Ryan has faced the Buccaneers, Raiders and Saints. Ryan will face the Panthers defense Sunday, which allows only 183 passing yards per game.
DeAngelo Willams, running back, Pittsburgh Steelers
Williams benefited from star Le’Veon Bell’s three-game suspension, which is coming to an end Sunday. In his debut last season, Bell scored 19 fantasy points while Williams scored zero. While Bell is out, Williams is a top 10 option, but as long as Bell is active, it’s smart to stay away.
Sterling Shepard, wide receiver, New York Giants
Shepard has scored double-digit fantasy points in each of his first three career games, rewarding those who used a late-round draft pick on him. The Vikings defense has more interceptions than touchdowns and sacked Carolina quarterback Cam Newton a whopping eight times last weekend. I think Giants quarterback Eli Manning is going to struggle, which will affect Shepard’s production.