The 2022 fantasy football season is now in full swing. Decisions will only get more difficult from here on out. Let’s take a look at our WR start/sit Week 4 plays.
Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints (vs. MIN)
I’d like to avoid telling you that last week’s breakout will once again be great, but there are a lot of factors playing in Chris Olave’s favor this week.
We have the Week 3 breakout, and it didn’t come out of nowhere. Olave leads the NFL with an absurd 147.7 air yards per game. The old Jameis Winston is back, and he just airs it out to Olave downfield. Olave’s nine deep-ball targets lead all wide receivers. Everything came together in Week 3, and Olave caught nine of his 13 targets for 147 yards.
This week, the Saints play the Vikings in London. Minnesota allows the 13th-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Additionally, Olave might very well be the Saints’ clear WR1 this week. Both Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry left last week’s game with foot injuries, and neither practiced on Wednesday. Landry got in a limited practice Thursday, but Thomas remained out.
It’s possible one or both ultimately suit up, but if not, that only raises Olave’s ceiling even higher. He could be in line for a 30% target share Sunday morning.
This rookie WR class is going to go down as one of the best of all time. Olave is just the latest of the bunch to break out, but he won’t be the last. Olave is here to stay and looks like a weekly fantasy starter already. Get him in Week 4 lineups.
Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills (at BAL)
Gabe Davis is not going to be a consistent weekly fantasy producer. You need to pick your spots with him (or just start him every week and take the good with the bad). I think we’re getting the good in Week 4.
Davis has seen just 11 targets in his two games played. He’s going to survive mostly on touchdowns. With that said, he could be in line for a larger target share this week.
Ravens’ opponents have targeted wide receivers an average of 29 times per game. That’s the most in the league by far. Unsurprisingly, this injury-riddled secondary allows the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers…also by a sizable margin (5.2 ppg more than second).
Lamar Jackson looks like he can’t be stopped, and all the Ravens do is score points. The Bills also like to score points. This game could be the closest thing we see to the historic 2018 Monday Night Football showdown between the Rams and Chiefs. You want pieces of both of these offenses in your lineups. Don’t fret over Davis’ dismal Week 3 showing. Start him against Baltimore this week.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (vs. NO)
Amidst back-to-back poor outings from Justin Jefferson, we finally saw Adam Thielen arrive in Week 3. Thielen posted season-highs in targets (8), receptions (6), yards (61), and scored his first touchdown of the season.
Despite Thielen’s slow start, he’s playing 96% of the snaps. His role hasn’t changed. That should continue this week against the Saints. Unfortunately, I don’t like this spot for Thielen.
Saints’ opponents have been reluctant to target wide receivers, throwing to them at just a 58% clip. That’s resulted in the Saints allowing a mere 29.9 ppg to the position.
Although Thielen was very productive last week, he still doesn’t appear to be an important part of the offense — not like he used to be. The Vikings will likely make it a point to get Jefferson going this week. I’m thinking we get something like a 4-40 game from Thielen, at best, this week. Enjoy last week’s points, but don’t chase them. Leave Thielen on benches in Week 4.
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (vs. ARI)
We’re going back to the well on DJ Moore because he continues to be ranked as a top-36 wide receiver. Fantasy managers just cannot justify starting him until he proves it.
Moore is talented, and he’s getting open. It just doesn’t matter with Baker Mayfield. Moore’s underlying metrics are quite concerning and do not point to an imminent turnaround.
Through three weeks, Moore is averaging 7.9 PPR fantasy points per game. His target share, routes run, and targets-per-route-run rate are all at career lows (excluding his rookie year). Mayfield is completing just 52% of his passes and averaging 183 passing yards per game. This offense is inefficient and ineffective through the air.
Moore enthusiasts will point to the favorable matchup with Arizona. It’s a game where, in theory, the Panthers will have to score points to keep up. Putting aside the fact that the Cardinals’ offense isn’t actually good, this matchup was great for Allen Robinson II last week, too. I had him as a fade, and he caught just two passes for 23 yards.
I’m not placing much of the blame on Moore himself, but for fantasy purposes, it doesn’t matter why a player is failing, just that he is. I don’t envision Moore suddenly breaking out of the funk. His only fantasy-relevant effort this season came in Week 2 because he found the end zone.
Moore has caught just seven passes for 88 yards on the season. It’s always possible he finds the end zone again and posts a WR3 week, but is that upside worth starting in Week 4 fantasy lineups? I don’t think it is.