3 Contrarian Starts and 3 Must-sits for Fantasy Football Week 4

by Conor O'Brien ·

The fantasy football season-long grind starts now. Which wide receivers are either strong contrarian plays or great under-the-radar starts in week 4? Conversely, which high profile wide receivers should be benched in fantasy football based on advanced stats, metrics, and analytics player profiles this week?


Golden Tate, Lions

Going against the Vikings in Minnesota this season has been a daunting tasks so far. The talented offenses of Tampa Bay and New Orleans averaged just 18 points per contest, and the two teams combined for just one score by a wide receiver. What both of these missed was a dynamic playmaker in the slot.

Enter Golden Tate, who has lined up in the slot on a whopping 75-percent of the Lions plays this season. While Tate isn’t transcendent in the slot, he will certainly offer the Vikings more problems than Tommy Lee-Lewis or Adam Humphries. By sliding into the slot, Tate is that he will be able to avoid Xavier Rhodes while in the slot and feast on the less impressive Terrance Newman and Trae Waynes. Detroit must be able to exploit the Tate-Wayne’s match up in the slot if Tate is able to have a good fantasy day.

Tyrell Williams, Chargers

Tyrell Williams is simply biding his time for a breakout game this season. A home game against the Eagles secondary is exactly what the doctor ordered. The Eagles will be without two starters as safety Rodney McLeod and Ronald Darby will both miss the game due to injury. Last week, this banged up Philadelphia defense almost blew the lead against an anemic Giants offense. Brandon Marshall, who looked liked a man ready to retire in the first two weeks of the season, suddenly came to life against the Eagles, posting 8 catches for 66 yards.


Tyrell Williams is too talented of a player to not take advantage of the Eagles this week. His posses excellent speed with a 104.1 (80th Percentile) Speed Score and a 130.7 (89th percentile) Burst Score. He is bound for a big play this week against the maligned Eagles.

Marqise Lee, Jaguars

Like Williams, Marqise Lee is due for a breakout game. The third year wideout has looked much improved this season, even if his production numbers don’t necessarily show it yet. With Allen Robinson out for the year, Lee has begun to shoulder a large chunk of the load in the Jaguars passing game. He boasts a 27.1-percent Target Share, which is currently No. 9 among all wideouts.

Check out Marqise on PlayerProfiler’s Weekly Player Rankings:

Opportunity will be available this week against the Jets as Marqise Lee will work mainly against Buster Skrine, who doesn’t match up as well as the Jets would like. The biggest standout is how much more explosive Lee is as a player, posting a 128.1 (83rd percentile) Burst Score compared to Skrine’s fairly average 123.9 (57th percentile) score. It might only take one play of Lee beating Skrine deep in order to justify starting Lee in your lineup.


Amari Cooper, Raiders

The Denver Broncos have proved to be the bane of Amari Cooper’s existence thus far in his NFL career. In four career games against the Broncos, Cooper has managed just 14 catches for 142 yards and one touchdown. Those numbers likely won’t change against the Broncos.

Amari Cooper Advanced Stats and Metrics Profile

Denver’s defense hasn’t been quite as stingy to opposing team’s No.1 receivers as they have been in past years, with Keenan Allen and Dez Bryant both managing to score touchdowns against them in the first few weeks of the season. The reason why this likely won’t translate for Cooper is because of his red zone struggles. Both Bryant and Allen’s touchdowns came from within the five yard line. Going back to the start of 2016, Amari Cooper has just 6 red zone catches. It is unlikely that he will buck his red zone struggles this week against the best cornerback group in football.

Martavis Bryant, Steelers

Martavis Bryant has so far been inconsistent to since his return from suspension. He turned in an excellent performance against Minnesota in week two, but followed that up with just a pair of catches last week against the Bears, making it hard to confidently start him against the Ravens.


Even in their surprisingly bad performance against the Jaguars last week, the Ravens didn’t allow too much production to Jacksonville’s wide receiver corp. Marqise Lee lead them with 65 yards receiving, and Allen Hurns touchdown grab remains the only score the Ravens have allowed to a wideout through three games. It will likely take Martavis Bryant several more weeks to get into a consistent rhythm after missing all of last year. He is currently posting a -4.3 Production Premium, so he is far too inconsistent to consider starting every week. On the road against a defense that has looked dominant in two of its three games this year will likely delay Bryant’s return to relevance for at least another week.

Pierre Garcon, 49ers

Pierre Garcon has been surprisingly effective to start the 2017 season. His recent 7 catch 142 yard outing against the Rams has some considering him an every week starter. That all stops this week, on the road against Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals.


This pick has everything to do with how players get targeted when Peterson is covering them. Peterson is only targeted 3.7 times per game. Despite Peterson not having a great outing against the Cowboys last week, Brian Hoyer will likely be smart to not test Peterson. With the numbers staying consistent, Garcon will have a very difficult time finding production against Peterson if the ball is only thrown his way a handful of times again. Against lesser secondaries, Garcon is a great start especially in PPR leagues, but against one of the stingiest cover men in the NFL, production will be hard to come by.