Week 4 is stacked with great matchups across the board. The Vikings and Saints start things off early when they travel to London to kickoff their matchup. The Bills and Ravens face off in a game featuring two of the best quarterbacks in Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen. Zach Wilson makes his season debut on Sunday when the Jets take on the Steelers. Derrick Carr and the Raiders look to get a win on the board against Russell Wilson and the Broncos.
The slate for Sunday is amazing, with a lot of games catching my eye. After going 2-1 on pick’s last week, I decided to drop three more for this weekend.
Falcons (+1) vs. Browns
I’m trusting Marcus Mariota and the Falcons for the second straight week as they prepare to take on the Browns.
I like how the Falcons have started this season. Despite their 1-2 record, the Falcons are playing much better football than most expected, and Marcus Mariota has been a big reason why. The numbers won’t wow you, but he has done just enough to keep this Atlanta team competitive.
Mariota has gotten some help from other guys on his offense like rookie receiver Drake London who currently leads the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. Cordarrelle Patterson has also started right where he left off as his 302 rushing yards puts him third in the league through three weeks. It’s uncertain whether we will see Patterson on the field come Sunday, but if he’s out there, that’ll be another concern for a Browns defense that is struggling.
This Cleveland defense will be without top defensive player Myles Garrett. Defensive linemen Jadeveon Clowney missed last week’s game against the Steelers with an ankle injury and has yet to practice this week. That is not good news for a defense that can’t afford to lose their top defensive players. Going up against an offense that is ranked 9th in points per game, the Browns defense will need to come correct.
The Browns offense is no joke, I must add. Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper, Kareem Hunt, Jacoby Brissett, and more than capable of taking over football games. The Atlanta defense has allowed running backs to have success on them allowing 109 yards on the ground, so expect for the backfield of Chubb and Hunt to have a day. However, cornerbacks A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward should be able to limit the Browns in the passing game.
This game has the potential to be a high scoring game, but with a Browns defense that will be short handed on Sunday, I’m expecting the Falcons to come out on top.
Chargers (-6) @ Texans
It’s time to speak on a Texans team that I’m not too high on. Yes, they’ve kept every game very close. But if you look at who they played, that isn’t really saying much. They tied the Colts in week one and lost to the Broncos and Bears.
The Texans haven’t faced a quarterback like Justin Herbert yet this season. Although he won’t be fully healthy as he has been getting treatment for his fractured rib cartilage, it shouldn’t bother this Chargers offense too much. Especially, considering they have Austin Ekeler in the backfield. Ekeler has yet to really break out this season, but anyone who has watched him play knows that it’s bound to happen very soon.
This may be the week for Ekeler, going up against a Houston defense giving up 207 yards on the ground per game. The Chargers should do everything in their power to take the pressure off Herbert, who will be without his top receiver Keenan Allen, and let Ekeler take over this game.
On the defensive side, Los Angeles will not have Joey Bosa, who went on IR after injuring his groin. That shouldn’t hurt an already pretty strong Chargers defense. Khalil Mack is more than capable of getting to the quarterback and I expect him to showcase that on Sunday.
With the Chargers coming off an embarrassing 38-10 loss to the Jaguars, I’m expecting them to come out hungry and beat the breaks off a winless Texans team.
Buccaneers (-1) vs. Chiefs
The NFL treats us Sunday night with a Super Bowl LV rematch when the Chiefs travel to Tampa to take on the Bucs. Both teams are coming off a loss, as the Bucs lost to the Packers and the Chiefs lost to the Colts.
The Bucs kept it very close against a Rodgers led Green Bay team. With a final score of 14-12, the offense didn’t have many bright spots. In a game where Russell Gage was the leading receiver for Tampa, I’d expect worse.
Now Brady gets back his number one target back, Mike Evans, coming off a 1 game suspension for an altercation with Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Evans isn’t the only receiver expected to be back for Tampa, as Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) have been practicing and are looking good for Sunday.
On the other side, Kansas City is coming off a game where they looked out of sync against a Colts team that hadn’t won a game all season.
Patrick Mahomes is still playing at an MVP level but aside from his tight end, Travis Kelce, Mahomes has yet to find real productivity from his receivers. With Tyreek Hill going to Miami, Juju Smith-Schuster was brought in to fill that role, but he has yet to do so. Juju has accounted for 178 yards on 14 receptions, while failing to score in three games.
The Chiefs receiving core has been very disappointing as newly signed receiver, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, has failed to bring in more receiving yards than running back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It’s safe to say the Chiefs offense isn’t the same one that we were used to with Tyreek Hill.
Going up against a Bucs defense allowing just 9 points a game, points will be hard to come by for this Chief's team. This defense has held their own against Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers and I expect to add Patrick Mahomes to that list. Tampa Bay shouldn’t take this matchup lightly as Mahomes is known for putting up some miraculous performances. But going up against a very similar defense to the one he saw in the Super Bowl, I’ll take my chances with Brady and company.
The Falcons, Chargers and Bucs all seem like they are the right side this weekend. Guys like Drake London, Austin Ekeler and Mike Evans should all have big weeks so if you have them on your fantasy team, make sure to start them. Let’s have a 3-0 weekend.