NFL Fantasy Week 4: Sleeper Quarterbacks

Picking sleepers is a tricky business. We can’t pick someone who makes you say, “Duh!” and we can’t pick someone who is such a long shot you can’t fathom a worthy performance coming out of him.

Technically, there’s always a chance a rookie coming off an unimpressive debut will drop 27.74 NFL Fantasy points on one of the top defenses, but it never really happens. Well, except for Josh Allen against the Vikings in Week 3.

But we’re not here to reach for unreasonable expectations. Here are some of the quarterbacks our vast NFL and NFL Fantasy experience tell us could have a surprise breakout in Week 4.

Best Bet: Case Keenum, Broncos vs. Chiefs

Case Keenum has been bitten by the interception bug early in the season. His five picks through three games are only two less than he threw all last year. Complicating matters, Keenum has not thrown a touchdown since Week 1, nor has he been asked to throw for many yards in support of the Broncos’ resurgent rushing attack.

This week will be different as Pat Mahomes comes to the Mile-High City with his troupe of offensive skill players. Kansas City’s defense allows almost 31 points per game and hasn’t cost the team a victory yet. That is because the Chiefs score 39 points per game.

Denver will have no choice but to pass, whether they are playing catch-up or trying to protect a lead. Keenum has a pair of former All-Pro wide receivers, and a rookie they say is better than they are. Keenum will exploit the Chiefs’ defense by default and become the fourth Kansas City opposing quarterback in a row to crack the top ten NFL Fantasy scoring quarterbacks.

Good Bet: Eli Manning, Giants vs. Saints

New York made two big changes in their offensive line last week, one by necessity and one by choice. Veteran John Greco took over at center for an injured John Halapio and right tackle Eric Flowers was benched in favor of second-year lineman, Chad Wheeler.

Wheeler got run over a few times by JJ Watt, but overall, Eli had more time to scan the field and deliver the ball to Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, and Saquon Barkley. They also had but one penalty, keeping the Giants moving in the right direction all day.

Manning showed what he can do when he has that extra second or two, completing 25 of 29 passes for 297 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Manning should do at least that well against a New Orleans defense that gave up the most points per game in the NFL before losing Patrick Robinson for the year.

Peyton’s baby brother just missed scoring 20 standard NFL Fantasy points last week. He should cross that threshold in Week 4.

Not a bad bet: Mitchell Trubisky, Bears vs. Buccaneers

Remember… these sleepers get less likely as you read down the page. Not that Trubisky exploding for 25 NFL Fantasy points would be on the scale of Josh Rosen’s performance against the Vikings.

For one thing, the Bears face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa showed some pass-rushing moxie last week, making things difficult for Ben Roethlisberger, especially in the second half.

Offhand, that doesn’t bode well for Trubisky who does not have the experience and size of Big Ben. But, he does have speed and an offensive-minded coach who made it a point to address the Bears’ biggest problem this season- red zone scoring.

The Bears’ offense is moving the ball down the field. Look for something crazy to happen in the red zone this week, whether it be Trubisky running out of an option play or taking chances on fourth down. I believe the Bear defense ends Fitz-Magic this week, but they won’t shut him out. Trubisky needs to get points on the board.

Don’t bet on it: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buccaneers at Bears

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a “bad” game last week because he threw three interceptions as he was harassed by the Steelers’ defense. He also managed to accumulate over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns, landing in the QB-8 spot for the week with 25.14 standard NFL Fantasy points.

He will skip a “worse” week and dive right into a worst-case scenario against the Bears. Not only can their defense get at the quarterback as well or better than Pittsburgh, their unit is faster and won’t let Fitzpatrick escape as often as he did Monday night.

Fitz-Magic hit some potholes against Pittsburgh. It drives off the road in Chicago.

What do I know?

I warned you all about Andy Dalton last week. Four interceptions made me look good. Deshaun Watson did get the Texans’ first win, but he got his first top-ten NFL Fantasy points finish, as predicted right here.

My other sleepers were a little further down the board, but their 16 points probably didn’t kill many NFL Fantasy rosters this week.

So don’t be surprised if these three sleepers are leading a bunch of NFL Fantasy owners to victory in Week 4!