Week 4 WR-CB Matchups – Start/Sit WR Decisions

by Aaron Stewart · Matchups Start/Sit

Trust the process. The WR-CB Matchups series has had hits on WRs to SIT, but last week I nailed a START WR recommendation. Last week, Emmanuel Sanders was available in 80-percent of ESPN leagues after waivers had been processed. He torched the Washington defense for 5-94-2 (on 6 targets) stat line and finished as WR5 in PPR leagues.

As a reminder to old and new readers, the purpose of this article is to identify WRs that are starting in over 50-percent of leagues that you should SIT. The second purpose is to find WRs available in over 50-percent of fantasy league’s free-agent pools that can produce top-30 performances. Let’s dive into Week 4’s WR-CB Matchups!


Darnell Mooney (CHI) – START

The Chicago Bears offense is trash. Also, the Bears are a Vegas favorite home against the Detroit Lion. Vegas is telling us that somebody has to produce on this offense. The Lions defense is susceptible to the pass, especially the deep ball. According to Pro-Football-Reference, the Lions’ defense has allowed the seventh-most Completed Air Yards (508) and their 12.6 Average Target Distance is 2.5 yards more than the next team on the list.


Enter Darnell Mooney. After three games outside the top-40, managers in redraft leagues have moved on from him. As proven this past Thursday with Laviska Shenault, that breakout game can occur when the majority has moved on from a player.

Mooney is inside the top-30 in both Air Yards Share (33.5-percent) and Target Share (22.9-percent) for the Bears. Remember last week when Marquise Brown dropped two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions? Mooney is an equally as fast WR (4.38 40-Yard Dash, 95th-percentile) with better hands (two career drops on 117 targets). Speed is a problem for the Lions’ defense that allows a league-leading 15.4 yards per completion according to Pro-Football-Reference.

Brandin Cooks (HOU) – SIT

I get it. Brandin Cooks is No. 6 among qualified wide receivers with 20.6 Fantasy Points Per Game. He’s had back-to-back top-12 performances and hasn’t finished outside the top-24 in any week. He’s the only Texans WR guaranteed to receive volume. But he’s also going against the Buffalo Bills pass defense this week.

My bonus SIT on Twitter last week was Terry McLaurin because he faced the Bills. His situation is not much different than Cooks. He was the primary receiver (28.1-percent Target Share, No. 11) with a backup quarterback starting. The Bills jumped to an early 21-0 lead in the second quarter. The negative Game Script did not help McLaurin as he finished with 4-62-0 on seven targets.

Would we be surprised if Buffalo jumped out to an early multi-score lead over Houston? Proven by last week, the Bills defense is equipped to handle the pass. The Bills allow the third-fewest Completed Air Yards (262) and fifth-fewest YAC (222) according to Pro-Football-Reference. Oh, and Tre’Davious White (No. 7-ranked CB) will be Cooks’ primary coverage.

Nelson Agholor (NE) – START

If there is a player that reminds me of last week’s Emmanuel Sanders, it’s Nelson Agholor. Similar to Sanders last week, Agholor is coming off of back-to-back weeks outside the top-60. Because of this, he is rostered in under 30-percent of leagues. For perspective, the Patriots only needed to pass 30 times total in Week 2 against the Jets. The following week Agholor had 154 Air Yards, but only caught two of his eight targets against the Saints.


Agholor has an 84.8-percent (No. 24) Snap Share, 114 (No. 7) Routes Run, and a 95.0-percent (No. 18) Route Participation. Fantasy football is about opportunity and being involved on offense is the first step to productivity. With 6 (No. 5) Deep Targets and a 14.0 (No. 21) Average Target Distance, he has a defined role on offense too.

The Patriots are a touchdown underdog at home against the Buccaneers this week. The negative Game Script should lead to more passing opportunities for the team. The Buccaneers defense has allowed the third-most Completed Air Yards (584) to offenses and leads the NFL in YAC allowed (601) according to Pro-Football-Reference. With 161 (No. 12) Unrealized Air Yards, look for Agholor to have his first big game since Week 1.