It’s week four, and if you are like the rest of us, you probably have, or have had, a star wide receiver on the shelf. That means you’ve turned to players you didn’t think you would need this early in the season, especially in three-wide receiver leagues. With week four start or sits potentially being the difference between starting 1-3 or 0-4 (or 4-0!), each start or sit decision becomes increasingly critical. This week, we figure out if we should start or sit three wide receivers you likely ended up with as your #3 wide receiver, or lower. Let’s figure out if we should start or sit DeVante Parker, Allen Lazard, or Brandin Cooks in week four?
Start or Sit DeVante Parker versus Seattle
You likely selected DeVante Parker in the draft to be a WR2 for you, but so far in this young season, he hasn’t performed that way. After three weeks, he’s the WR31 in fantasy points. Last week, he battled a hamstring injury that made him look truly dreadful at times against Jacksonville. No disrespect to him, but he had Jags DBs draped all over him all night. He scored a touchdown in week two, but through three weeks, he’s averaging just about 5 catches for 56 yards. Nothing mind-blowing, and not really the thing you wanted when you took Parker in your draft. Well, good news is on the horizon. The Dolphins get the Seahawks this week, the 2020 passing game cure-all.
For NFC West fans who watched the Legion of Boom terrorize opposing passing games for years, watching Pete Carroll deal with this insanely awful secondary is a particular treat. Through three games (THREE) Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones, Russell Gage, Julian Edelman, Cedrick Wilson, Michael Gallup, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Damiere Byrd and N’Keal Harry all have at least five catches for 65 yards. While they’ve only distributed three touchdowns among them, I suspect Parker to make it a fourth TD. He’s also the odd-son favorite to become the seventh wide receiver to get at least 100 yards against the Seahawks this season. Yes, I am experiencing intense schadenfreude.
Start or Sit Allen Lazard versus Atlanta
This one is probably the hardest of the three to rank this week. After all, Lazard has a massive game last week and is likely your hot waiver wire pickup. But on the other hand, Aaron Rodgers said nice things about Marquez Valdes-Scantling. On the other, other hand, Aaron Rodgers also said nice things about Allen Lazard. Hoo boy. It sure has been fun guessing at which Packers WR we should slot into our lineups opposite Davante Adams based on whether that person remembered to get Aaron Rodgers his coffee that morning. Quarterback platitudes aside, Lazard made it clear that he’s the #2 WR in Green Bay, as he torched the Saints on SNF opposite the man with the most drops in the NFL (5).
The Falcons let opposing passing games do whatever they want against them, so you have to try to get into the mind of an Aaron Rodgers. He will pepper Davante Adams with targets, should he play. And, he said that MVS was due for more big plays. Rodgers has gotten extremely zen about his terrible weapons this season and just wants everyone to do well. I would think he spreads it around and lets all the wide receivers feast. The only question is if Lazard ends up the guy with six targets or ten targets. With that in mind, I am going to cautiously start Allen Lazard this week if I’m in a desperation matchup. It’s a smash play, but Rodgers also wants to dole out feel-goods throughout the crowded WR corps.
Start or Sit Brandin Cooks versus Minnesota
The Texans host the Vikings this week, in what might be the exact opposite matchup of last week’s tortuous Steelers opponent. The Vikings yield the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers through three weeks, though Davante Adams having a whole Sam Darnold passing game worth of receiving work (14 receptions, 156 yards, two touchdowns) all to himself. All told, five wide receivers have a touchdown or at least 110 yards against them in the first three weeks of the season. It’s an incredible matchup and one that Brandin Cooks will easily exploit.
That is, of course, unless it’s a Will Fuller game. Or a Randall Cobb game. Or, inexplicably, a Kenny Stills game. In three games, Cooks managed to display three very different games. In week one, he gutted out a hamstring injury, getting the “good effort” two catches for 20 yards. Then, in week two, he had the world’s quietest 5/95 receiving line. Then, in week three, he had a fully healthy stinker at Pittsburgh. I think this is a week where Cooks can go off, but I’m still wary to lean all the way into it. I’m cautiously recommending you start Brandin Cooks in your 3WR leagues, especially if you have a flex spot. He could smash the Vikings, or end up taking a back seat to the other wide receivers there.
All three wide receivers in this start or sit article have good matchups. Two of them have crowded receiving rooms, and no guarantee they will get targets. With that in mind, I’ll take the Miami Dolphins’ alpha, DeVante Parker, over the other two. With a question of who to start or sit between Brandin Cooks and Allen Lazard, I will lean toward Lazard; they both have great week four matchups, but Lazard has the less-crowded WR room.
[UPDATE: UH NEVERMIND ABOUT LAZARD]