by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We get our first taste of bye weeks in Week 4, though with only two teams sitting maneuvering the quarterback position shouldn’t be too difficult. In part that’s due to the return of Carson Wentz, but we also get a few more intriguing options as three teams are set to turn things over to their first round rookies. Maybe we wouldn’t start them this week, but they all have the potential to emerge in short order.
Who are we trusting? Who is a tough play? Let’s take a look at how things shake out for Week 4:
- Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. Buffalo
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Cincinnati
- Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. San Francisco
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at New York Giants
- Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – at Indianapolis
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Miami
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at Arizona
- Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Tennessee
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – at Dallas
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Atlanta
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Chicago
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at Pittsburgh
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Minnesota
- Case Keenum – Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. New Orleans
- Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Houston
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings – at Los Angeles Rams
- Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – at New England
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – vs. Tampa Bay
- Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills – at Green Bay
- Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns – at Oakland
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Detroit
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. New York Jets
Bye Week – Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton), Washington Redskins (Alex Smith)
- The New Orleans Saints are generally known as an offense that thrives at home, so you have to at least wonder if his Week 3 performance (at Atlanta) changes the outlook for Drew Brees as he threw for 396 yards, 3 TD and 0 INT. That said that game was still played inside a dome, so we’ll get the real test this week when Brees and company travels to New York for a game late Sunday afternoon. No one is about to drop him significantly down the rankings, but keep in mind that there’s a little bit of risk.
- Over the past two weeks, both at home, Matt Ryan has thrown for 7 TD vs. 1 INT while racking up 646 yards (374 yards and 5 TD in Week 3 against the Saints). He gets a third straight start at home, this time against a Cincinnati defense that’s allowed 845 yards and 6 TD to opposing quarterbacks over the first three weeks. Often undervalued, Ryan belongs on all radars as a QB1 for the upcoming week.
- Russell Wilson hasn’t been able to make an impact with his legs over the first three weeks (21 rushing yards) while he’s also watched his passing yards regress each week (298 to 226 to 192). Maybe part of it is due to the health of his receiving corps, but those types of numbers are going to help to cap his value as more of a mid-to-back end QB1.
- Obviously we aren’t going to write off Tom Brady, despite his miserable Week 3 performance (133 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT). With Josh Gordon expected to be active for Week 4 he’ll get a big boost in the receiving corps. At the same time Brady didn’t surpass 233 yards in a pair of matchups against the Dolphins last year. He’s going to be a QB1 and there obviously is a little bit of risk, but the Patriots feel like they are almost due for an explosive performance.
- It wasn’t a spectacular performance for Carson Wentz in his 2018 debut, throwing for 255 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT, but it also wasn’t a bad one. With Alshon Jeffrey potentially back in the mix, as well as a boost to the running game, look for Wentz to settle back in as a QB1 moving forward.
- There had been questions about Eli Manning and the offense, but they showed signs of waking up in Week 3 as he completed 25-29 passes for 297 yards and 2 TD. Taking on a Saints’ defense that has been torched to the tune of 1,037 yards and 10 TD over the first three weeks and facing the prospect of having to throw early and often in an effort to try and keep up, Manning has backend QB1 potential (but should be seen as a locked in QB2).
- Andrew Luck got a lot of hype after Week 1 (319 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT), but things have gone in the wrong direction since. He’s failed to top 180 yards in the subsequent two games, throwing just 3 TD vs. 2 INT (he has 5 TD vs. 3 INT over the first three weeks). A matchup with the Texans shouldn’t be viewed as an easy one, despite what Manning accomplished in Week 3, and he could easily continue to struggle.
- After entering in relief for Week 3 Baker Mayfield is set to be the Browns’ starting quarterback moving forward. He draws a favorable matchup against Oakland in Week 4 (they’ve allowed 744 yards and 5 TD over the first three weeks) and will benefit from a strong supporting cast, though as we’ve learned with Sam Darnold any rookie can flash and then struggle. Be cautious, but Mayfield could emerge quickly.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 4 rankings: