Things are starting to feel different outside. The leaves are changing colors and the mornings are a lot colder. Things are changing in the NFL too. Cooper Rush is making a legitimate case to start over Dak Prescott after winning his third straight game this season. Oh, and we were one more Isaiah Wynn missed blocking assignment from watching the New England Patriots run a wildcat offense with special teams captain Matthew Slater at quarterback.
Wouldn’t that have been the whipped cream on our pumpkin spice latte? Nothing goes together like fall and football, and Week 4 was a breath of crisp autumn air. On Sunday, we only saw one game with a victory margin of more than 10 points, with stars and unknowns taking turns in the spotlight. As a fantasy owner, there is a lot you can do to change the fortunes of your team. Even if you are 0-4, this year has been so crazy there is still time to turn it around. Here’s what I took away from Week 4.
Pickett Starting Over Trubisky is the Right Move
The Steelers reportedly named Pickett their starter yesterday, and they should be optimistic about their future because of that. This doesn’t usually ring true about a team that just lost a home game to the New York Jets, but this time is different. After 3.5 games of a Mitch Trubisky-led offense, Steelers fans finally got what they’ve been asking for: Kenny Pickett.
The second Pickett got out on the field, he was immediately willing to take risks. He was throwing it deep downfield, using his legs to create plays and bringing a ton of energy to the team. This was the first time all year the Steelers’ offense looked like they wanted to play football. Pickett scored two rushing touchdowns and supplied the Steelers with a 10-point lead. Ultimately, the defense collapsed, allowing the Jets to score on back-to-back drives. Another reason for optimism in Pittsburgh is the performance of rookie wide receiver George Pickens. He finally broke out of his shell and hauled in six receptions for 102 yards. The Steelers should be excited about their long-term future with Pickens and Pickett leading the way. They have tons of weapons on offense, and if Pickett can maximize their potential, the sky’s the limit.
The Steelers should still be wary of their short-term future. In the next four weeks, they play the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles. That is a brutal first four starts for Pickett. He will be immediately tested against some of the best defenses in the NFL. Regardless of Pittsburgh’s success this season, Steelers fans finally have a reason to turn on the TV on Sunday with Pickett running the offense.
WATCH MORE: Trey Wingo and Matt Cassel Discuss Pickett’s Play Against the Jets
Start Everybody On Your Roster In Detroit Lions Games
Right now, the team with the most points scored in the NFL is the Detroit Lions with 140. Second place is Kansas City with 129. The team with the most points allowed in the NFL is the Lions with 141. Second place is Seattle with 115. It seems pretty obvious the Lions have had the most explosive offense and the most porous defense in the NFL.
In Week 4, the Lions played the Seahawks in a game featuring 12 total touchdowns, six from each team. The Lions were missing their WR1 (Amon-Ra St. Brown) and their RB1 (D’Andre Swift), but they put up 45 points. It should go without saying by now, but if you have a fantasy player who is playing for or against the Lions, start them! Jared Goff looks better than he has ever looked in his career, and the Lions deserve props for sticking with him this year. The offense looks motivated and ready to win after last year’s mess. Swift and Williams look like the best fantasy RB duo in the NFL.
If this team had a decent defense, they would be contending in the NFC North. However, they don’t have a decent defense. They don’t even have a “pretty bad” defense. The Lions have an atrocious defense. Lions fans will have to sit through a lot of games where Detroit plays flawlessly on offense and still loses thanks to the defense. For fantasy owners with Lions players on their roster, this means no matter how well the Lions are playing on offense, they will still be trying to score until the clock reads 0:00 in the fourth quarter. Going forwards, Goff, Swift, Williams, St. Brown, Hockenson and anyone playing against the Lions are all “must-starts” in fantasy.
The Kansas City Chiefs are Still the Team to Beat in the AFC
Going into the season, I thought the Bills were going to establish themselves as the best team in the AFC. This is a title the Chiefs have held since the rise of Patrick Mahomes. The Bills started the season looking like it would be their title this season. They had back-to-back blowout victories against the Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans. However, they have looked vulnerable the past two weeks, losing to the Dolphins and narrowly securing a comeback victory against the Baltimore Ravens. While the 3-1 Bills have very little to be worried about moving forwards, they still aren’t as good as the Chiefs.
After trading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins this offseason, I believed the Chiefs were headed towards some sort of regression in the 2022 season. I was wrong. It’s only Week 4, and the Chiefs have already scored 40+ points in multiple away games. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire have all been heavily involved in the offense in place of Hill, and it has worked. The offense looks just as scary as it has been in recent years. Aside from their Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Chiefs have played nearly perfect football this season. The Bills travel to Kansas City in a couple of weeks hoping to establish themselves as the better team. However, the Chiefs might still be the team to beat in the AFC.
This week, we saw standout performances from Lions’ wide receiver Josh Reynolds, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew and Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox. All of these players are sitting on waivers in most leagues. Studying which streamers are due to have a breakout week is what will win you games. There are plenty of breakout candidates available for Week 5, and any fantasy owner that cares about their team will be making bids. Waivers are how you get to savor the sweet taste of victory.