This a snippet of Adam Pfeifer’s NFL matchups column, previewing the Washington Redskins & New York Giants for Fantasy Football Lineups. Fantasy rosters needed protective spray because players were bit hard by the injury bug in Week 3. Multiple backup quarterbacks made starts, and running backs and wide receivers all suffered injuries this past weekend, with a handful of key offensive linemen also going down. As a result, we missed on plenty in this article, but we hit on plenty, as well. Back on the horse. With that in mind, let’s dig into some NFL matchups and NFL game breakdowns for your Week 4 Fantasy Football Lineups. It’s Terry McLaurin F1 vs. Daniel Jones time…
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Washington Redskins @ New York Giants
Line: NYG -3
Redskins passing game
While many people think it is time to see Dwayne Haskins, Washington will continue to roll with Case Keenum, who was brutal on Monday night, turning the ball over five times. He never stood a chance against that Bears defense but things should be much better this week against an atrocious Giants defense. So far this season, New York is coughing up 2.85 points per drive, the third most in football. The team allowing the second-most points per drive? That would be the Redskins at 3.22, meaning this should be a pretty high-scoring game. The Giants are also coughing up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, as well as the second-most fantasy points per pass attempt. New York is also one of the five-worst teams at pressuring the quarterback, which is great news for a shaky passer like Keenum. I will have some GPP exposure at just $4,900 this weekend. The Giants are that bad.
How good has Terry McLaurin been? Well, he’s the first wide receiver in NFL history with at least five catches and a touchdown in each of his first three games. So… yeah. Pretty good. The rookie is clearly Washington’s number-one wideout already, handling 46 percent of the team’s air yards, tied for the highest mark in the NFL. It was awesome to see McLaurin produce last week despite the tough matchup with the Bears defense. McLaurin will line up against Janoris Jenkins, who was just torched last weekend. He has now allowed a whopping 2.16 fantasy points per target, while McLaurin is inside the top 15 in fantasy points per snap (0.33). He should be viewed as a borderline top-20 wide receiver in seasonal leagues and because the Redskins played on Monday night, his $4,500 price tag is laughably low, meaning he will surely be the chalk this weekend.
Paul Richardson could be an interesting pivot in tournaments, however. He had a great game on Monday night, catching eight of nine targets for 83 yards and a score. Richardson has the same amount of targets as McLaurin through three weeks (19) and he’ll get to face rookie DeAndre Baker, who has allowed 13 catches for 296 yards (2nd-most) and two touchdowns in coverage so far this season. The Giants defense is bad enough that even multiple Washington pass-catchers are viable this week.
Vernon Davis is likely to start again at tight end but you shouldn’t feel great about him, even against the Giants. He played 71 percent of the snaps last week, but the younger Jeremy Sprinkle has seen his snap count rise each week this season. Still, the Giants are so bad, especially to tight ends, that Davis could easily find the end zone, and many people will need to replace Kittle this week, while other tight ends remain hurt.
Redskins running game
I will always prefer to play Chris Thompson over Adrian Peterson. Thompson is averaging a strong 7.6 targets per game and since the 2017 season, he has been inside the top-five among all running backs in targets per game. No running back in the league is currently averaging more yards per touch than the efficient Thompson (8.5) and these Giants linebackers are truly awful in coverage. Thompson is a viable PPR flex, though you hope the Redskins are chasing points again.
Peterson, meanwhile, will be limited when the Redskins are playing from behind. If you are using Peterson, you are praying that he falls into the end zone from a yard out, though the Giants are coughing up 1.3 rushing touchdowns per game, tied for the fifth most in football. Washington will have no problem giving Peterson 15-20 carries if the game script allows it, and AP is three rushing scores away from tying Walter Payton for fourth on the all-time list.
Giants passing game
The future looks bright, Giants fans. Daniel Jones made his debut last week and it was a memorable one. He passed for 336 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 28 rushing yards and an additional two scores. Jones led the Giants to an 18-point comeback and he made play after play in this game. The rushing production isn’t a fluke, as Jones averaged around 40 rushing yards per game during his time at Duke. If you picked up Jones off waivers in your league, you should honestly view him as a borderline QB1, at least for this weekend. The Redskins, as we mentioned, are allowing the second-most points per drive on the year, as well as the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (24.7). They are also coughing up 25.3 rushing yards per game to passers, the fourth most in the league. Meanwhile, only the Dolphins are allowing more passing touchdowns per game than Washington this season (3.0), who just allowed Mitchell Trubisky to toss three scores on Monday night. Jones is a really strong play here in his second career start.
It was great to see Sterling Shepard have a great game in his first week back from concussion. He caught seven of nine targets for 100 yards and a score while adding a two-point conversion and 21 rushing yards. Shepard looked really good in this game and the Giants offense just looks more explosive with Jones under center. He’ll be mainly used in the slot for at least one more game (77.4%), which means he’ll see rookie corner Jimmy Moreland, who has surrendered 10 catches on 11 targets for 124 yards and a touchdown in coverage, to go along with a 143.9 passer rating. No team in football is allowing more fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts this season than the Redskins, making Shepard a top-25 wide receiver play for me this weekend.
Evan Engram exploded against the Buccaneers on Sunday, hauling in six passes for 113 yards and an impressive 75-yard touchdown where he clocked in at over 20 mph. 19 of Jones’ 36 passes went to either Shepard or Engram, which is what we love to see. With how Engram has looked this season and the usage, Kelce is the only tight end I have ranked above him this week.
Giants running game
It really sucks that Saquon Barkley is going to miss some time but the show must go on for the Giants (and fantasy owners). Wayne Gallman is the next man up and should be in line for 15-18 touches in a strong matchup. A lot of people spent a ton of their FAAB on him and while I don’t know if I would have done that, there is no denying that he should be viewed as a borderline top-25 running back for at least this week. The Redskins are allowing 4.8 yards per rush and 142 rushing yards per game (4th-most). Gallman isn’t particularly good, as three of his 220 career touches have gone for 20 yards or more. But it also doesn’t matter, at least for this week. He’ll have all the opportunity against a struggling defense as a home favorite. Gallman is a back-end RB2/FLEX option in his first start of the year.
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