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Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet Week 4: Jump on the Jaguars, Seattle set to surge, starts and sits

So much changes from week to week around the NFL, and we're here to make sure you're on top of it all heading into Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season.

The weekly fantasy football cheat sheet provides a rundown of the best tips from all the fantasy football content that ESPN has posted over the past seven days. You'll find answers to the biggest start/sit questions of the week and other pertinent matchup advice from our team, including Field Yates, Mike Clay, Eric Karabell, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Matt Bowen, Seth Walder, Al Zeidenfeld, Eric Moody, Liz Loza, Daniel Dopp and ESPN Insiders Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, plus all of NFL Nation. It's all the best advice in one handy article.

Here's what our experts are saying about Week 4 in the NFL:


Uncertainty in the backfield

While there are a lot of fantasy managers who are more than happy to be able to "set it and forget it" by starting Saquon Barkley or Jonathan Taylor every week, there seem to be far more backfield situations where there doesn't seem to be any true No. 1 option. Our NFL Nation team discussed a few of these murkier situations, which have arisen either by design or by necessity.

  • Is this a full-blown backfield committee where nobody matters for fantasy? The Kansas City Chiefs still don't seem comfortable using Clyde Edwards-Helaire in most third-down situations, and until they do the backfield is going to be more of a committee thing. But don't ignore that Edwards-Helaire has three touchdowns in three games. He probably won't maintain that pace, but he seems to be the Chiefs' favorite near the goal line. -- Adam Teicher

  • What should you expect the touch split between Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. to be moving forward? The way the game is playing out affects these splits, so it's hard to predict. Akers spent most of the first half against the Cardinals on the sidelines, but after an impressive series Sean McVay continued to lean on him, and he and Henderson ended the game with a 50/50 split in carries. I'd lean on close to that going forward, with the expectation that there will be several games this season in which McVay continues to ride the hot hand. -- Sarah Barshop

  • When David Montgomery went to IR with a knee injury in 2021, Khalil Herbert averaged 19.5 carries and over 70 rushing yards per game Weeks 5-8, providing the Chicago Bears a glimpse at how effective the run game can still be without its No. 1 back. When Montgomery exited the Houston game early with an ankle injury, Herbert ran all over the Texans (19 carries, 157 yards and 2 TDs) and leads all running backs in rushing yards over expectation per attempt, according to Next Gen Stats. In short, Herbert can be every bit of what Montgomery provides to Chicago's offense. The Bears are going to need to lean on the run game while they work through issues with their passing attack, so Herbert will have ample opportunity for a consistent workload no matter how much time Montgomery may have to miss. -- Courtney Cronin


Can you rely on rookie receivers?

Last season, Ja'Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals exploded onto the scene with a stellar rookie campaign that consisted of 81 catches for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. Let's be clear: That's not typical for a first-year player. However, fantasy managers are always hoping to catch that next bit of lightning in a bottle, even though it might not strike again for quite some time. Here's a quick look at how some of the newest rookie WRs are doing in 2022.

  • In Week 3, Treylon Burks of the Tennessee Titans saw just two targets (compared with six for Derrick Henry and nine for Robert Woods). Should we remain patient on the rookie or are we looking at an unreliable fantasy asset for the rest of this season? Remain patient. Burks is continuing to find an increasing role in the Titans game plan. The targets will come his way. Offensive coordinator Todd Downing wants to get him more opportunities with the ball in his hands to take advantage of his yards after catch ability. Downing said Burks has been growing every week and generating confidence with the coaching staff because of how he has taken advantage of the opportunities that have come his way. The play-action passes across the middle that used to result in touchdowns for A.J. Brown are now earmarked for Burks. Ryan Tannehill called Burks a big, strong, physical receiver with great hands and good body control. -- Turron Davenport

  • Is Romeo Doubs the WR1 in the Green Bay Packers' offense or is it going to change weekly? The way Aaron Rodgers raved about him after the latest game, Doubs just might be next in line for that role. While Rodgers is always going to rely on Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, there's no denying that Doubs can do things others can't. His combination of route running and athletic ability -- combined with fast-improving hands -- make him the most likely receiver to break out in this offense. That's not to say Christian Watson won't, but Doubs is off to a much faster start, and there might not be any looking back now. -- Rob Demovsky

  • With 13 targets in consecutive games for Chris Olave of the New Orleans Saints, is he someone we can now count on weekly? For now, yes, because the other options are dwindling by the week. With Taysom Hill, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Deonte Harty and Tre'Quan Smith all injured in some form, Olave just might be the last man standing. On a positive note, the rookie appears to be improving by the week. -- Katherine Terrell


Looking for the latest injury news leading up to kickoff? Check out all of the Week 4 inactives here.


Are veteran receivers any better?

While rookie receivers don't always live up to the hype, you're supposed to feel a bit more comfortable on a weekly basis with some of the wideouts with a bit of a track record in the NFL. So what do our experts have to say about a few of these WR options with a bit more experience who haven't quite performed up to the ADP in 2022?

  • Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings had a huge Week 1 (184 yards, 2 TDs) but has struggled since. Mike Clay believes the down days may continue: "The success defenses have had shadowing Jefferson this season suggests we can expect Marshon Lattimore to travel with him in Week 4. These teams last met in Week 16 of 2020, and Lattimore shadowed Jefferson on 35 of his 41 routes, including 33-of-34 on the perimeter. Jefferson had a solid day, posting a 6-85-0 receiving line on 10 targets, though 30 yards of that came away from Lattimore's coverage. Lattimore is playing well and the Saints have been solid against receivers, so this is another tough spot for Jefferson."

  • Here's what Field Yates thinks about DJ Moore of the Carolina Panthers: "Through three games, Moore has just 88 receiving yards after just 2 yards in Week 3. It's astonishing, as Moore is an incredible talent. The bottom line is that the passing offense he's in is among the least efficient and lowest volume in the league, so his 23% target share is offset by those factors. I love Moore, but he's a sit right now."

  • Meanwhile, Tristan H. Cockcroft is not feeling Rashod Bateman of the Baltimore Ravens this week against the Buffalo Bills: "The Bills have been dealing with a multitude of injuries on defense, including missing cornerbacks Tre'Davious White and Dane Jackson, safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer and defensive tackle Ed Oliver in Week 3, which made it all the more impressive that they limited the Dolphins' Jaylen Waddle to 15.1 PPR fantasy points and Tyreek Hill to 5.3 points in that game. What stands out on their side is their tendency to rein in vertical passes and big plays; the team led the NFL with only 25 receptions and no touchdowns allowed (everyone else afforded at least three) on throws at least 15 yards downfield in 2021, and they've allowed only six such receptions through three weeks this year. Bateman is the Ravens' deep threat, a boom-or-bust type who doesn't match up well against a defense like this."

  • Eric Karabell is left scratching his head as to why Chase Claypool of the Pittsburgh Steelers has been this disappointing in his second season: "Claypool scored 11 touchdowns as a Steelers rookie in 2020. We knew it was unlikely to last based on low volume, but still, for Claypool to have two touchdowns in 18 games over the past two seasons is quite the change in direction and value. The Steelers really need to do a better job involving Claypool. Only four teams average fewer passing yards per game than Pittsburgh, and Diontae Johnson isn't sharing much."


Jump on the Jaguars bandwagon?

Sitting at 2-1 and currently atop the AFC South, nobody is saying that the Jacksonville Jaguars (+6000) are going to win the Super Bowl just yet. That said, in terms of fantasy value? According to our experts, although you may not want to go "all in" with them, it's not that much of a gamble to get some of these guys into your lineups when the matchup is right.

  • We can see the development of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (25.18 fantasy points in Week 3) in his improved footwork and upper-body mechanics. The production in Doug Pederson's scheme gives the quarterback leveled reads. Lawrence gets a really good test in Week 4 versus an Eagles defense with a pass rush and urgent defenders in the secondary. -- Bowen

  • I'm as impressed as anyone by Lawrence's second-year progress, but he's no star ... yet. This is one of those prove-it matchups, a game in which continued Lawrence success might cement his status as a weekly top-15 quarterback with matchups-driven QB1 potential, but also one that could temper some of the enthusiasm surrounding him the past two weeks. ... Lawrence hasn't done much with his legs thus far, attempting only eight rushing attempts, but he might need to in this game. Regardless, I'm hoping for either a more proven, or stronger-matchup quarterback in my Week 4 lineups. -- Cockcroft

  • RB James Robinson has been one of the best stories in the league, as just nine months removed from a torn Achilles he looks ... incredible. He's the third-highest-scoring running back in all of fantasy and the only player with a rushing touchdown in each of the first three weeks of the season. He owns a decided edge in touches over Travis Etienne Jr. and is the clear-cut Jaguars back to play. He's a lineup lock (even this week). So is Christian Kirk, who went from Twitter's most overpaid receiver in NFL history to a fantasy bargain, as he enters Week 4 as the sixth-highest-scoring wide receiver in the league. ... He has been the real deal and, because he is often deployed as a slot receiver for Jacksonville, he will avoid Philly's incredible perimeter corners this week. -- Yates

  • Imagine if the Jaguars hadn't wasted an entire season of Trevor Lawrence on Urban Meyer? Or if they hadn't drafted Laviska Shenault Jr. in the second round last year, only to not use him and trade him away at the start of this season. So many disasters last year look like bright spots this year. Trevor looks like he's taking the next step and growing with confidence. Kirk is proving every hater wrong after signing a big $72 million deal this offseason, but how about Robinson taking the RB1 role away from Travis Etienne Jr.? The dude needs more credit than he's getting because he's been a steal as well. -- Dopp.


Seahawks set to surge?

Reports of the complete and utter fantasy demise of the Seattle Seahawks in the wake of the end of the Russell Wilson era seem to have been greatly exaggerated. Now, nobody is saying this is an offensive juggernaut, but that doesn't mean there isn't some value to be found in the Pacific Northwest.

  • WR DK Metcalf climbed a bit in my PPR ranks this week (WR24) after posting 17.3 points on a season-high 12 targets in the Seahawks' Week 3 game versus the Falcons. Metcalf caught a red zone touchdown on a vertical throw versus zone coverage in that game, too (climbed the ladder to finish there). And on his seven routes run in the red zone, he logged a total of five targets. Do I want to see more shot plays to Metcalf? Yes, as he's averaging just over 8 yards per reception this season. But with a positive matchup versus the Lions' defense on Sunday, plus the uptick we are seeing in red zone usage, I'll take Metcalf as a WR3 in the lineup. -- Bowen

  • WR Tyler Lockett is stuck with Geno Smith (or Drew Lock), but it is worth bearing in mind when trying to evaluate the skill of a receiver themselves. Lockett's red-hot Open Score start underscores the fact that he has long been one of the most underrated receivers in the league and was not simply a product of Russell Wilson. Even with Smith or Lock at QB, this ought to give fantasy managers a little more confidence in Lockett going forward. -- Walder

  • And, when it comes to putting your money where your mouth is, Jeremy Fowler likes the Seahawks (+4.5) over the Lions in Week 4: "I love how Detroit is improving but still don't trust the Lions to finish games just yet. Seattle's run defense has been shaky, so expect Pete Carroll's staff to address that issue with changes this week. D'Andre Swift's absence hurts Detroit's big-play potential out of the backfield. With Detroit averaging nearly 32 points per game, the Seahawks must be prepared to win a shootout if necessary. I think they are up for it."


Quick hits, starts and sits

  • Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (who has missed 22 games over the last two seasons) has missed two consecutive practices. Fantasy managers should not be optimistic. Before McCaffrey suffered a quad injury during Sunday's win against the Saints, he was listed on the Panthers' injury report due to ankle stiffness. Chuba Hubbard started 10 games as a rookie filling in for McCaffrey last season. The Panthers have also signed D'Onta Foreman, who started three games for Tennessee last season in place of Derrick Henry. If McCaffrey does not play, both will be involved in Carolina's running back by committee. My preferred option from a fantasy perspective is Foreman. -- Moody

  • Darnell Mooney of the Bears has aligned in the slot 57% of the time this season. That's notable this week because the Giants' Adoree' Jackson has shadowed in all three 2022 games, but almost all of that has come on the perimeter (7% slot). Expect Jackson to follow Mooney when he's outside, but again, that will be only about half the time. Mooney (27 yards on 10 targets this season) shouldn't be in lineups. -- Clay

  • Marcus Mariota has exceeded fantasy expectations at his DraftKings salary in all three weeks so far this year. His rushing ability, combined with two very stackable options in the passing game (Drake London and Kyle Pitts) make Mariota an extremely viable tournament play this weekend. Using him will allow you access to one-offs and secondary stacks that will cost a lot of salary around this extremely budget-friendly tournament stack. -- Zeidenfeld

  • Keep the faith on Javonte Williams. The Raiders are allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs so far this year. Vegas should be able to move the ball and score against the Denver defense to an extent the feeble "San Francisco Garoppolos" could not in Week 3, so the Broncos might need to run and throw to keep up. As good as Melvin Gordon III still looks, Williams is clearly the better player, and they've used him more in the passing game. I'd fire up either or both Broncos backs this week, but if you're worried about the time share and it's shaking your faith in Williams, I say give it at least this week before you consider moving off him. -- Graziano

  • Hunter Henry caught 50 passes for 603 yards and nine touchdowns last season, assuaging concerns that he and fellow newcomer Jonnu Smith would be able to statistically coexist. Smith was not a fantasy factor. This season is different. Smith is more involved, though not exactly someone fantasy managers can rely on yet. Henry is the most-dropped tight end in ESPN leagues, and perhaps past hot seat territory. We'll see where Brian Hoyer throws the football this week! -- Karabell

  • While I don't expect David Njoku to drop another 20-plus points this week, he does get a positive matchup versus the Falcons' defense this Sunday. Attack the underneath zones there and get "up the field" after the catch. ... Njoku was among the most-added players in fantasy this week, but it's worth checking to see if he's still out there in your league. -- Bowen

  • Amari Cooper has also gone over 100 yards in back-to-back weeks. And in a matchup against the Falcons -- a defense that ranks 30th in balls thrown under 20 yards -- I'm willing to bet he flirts with at least 60 total receiving yards. Given a projected point total of 49.5 and a per-week target average of 9, Cooper should clear at least seven looks. Assuming he doesn't dip below eight yards per target (8.1 is his season average thus far), he easily hits the over. I'm bullish enough to rank him well inside of my top 24 for the week. -- Loza