Defense and special teams options in fantasy football present an opportunity for managers to leverage key matchups to their advantage, and making the right choice to start or sit a D/ST can give you the edge in your matchups for Week 4. With notable injuries and favorable matchups playing a part in this week’s NFL slate, we spotlight which D/ST options you should start and which you should fade to win your Week 4 fantasy football matchups.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders
The Cowboys may have caught the injury bug on offense but their defense seems ready to keep them competitive in games. On Monday night Dallas’ pass rush had five sacks on Daniel Jones, and according to Pro Football Focus, the Cowboys generated a whopping 35 pressures against the New York Giants. With the added advantage of playing at home, the Cowboys' D/ST should benefit from some turnover opportunities against Carson Wentz.
After being diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain, quarterback Mac Jones is expected to miss multiple games in the aftermath. That puts 36-year-old veteran Brian Hoyer under center for the Patriots, which means you should absolutely be looking to start the Packers D/ST in your lineups. Even more convincingly, Green Bay’s defense is coming off a Week 3 win in which they held Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to just 12 points. New England’s offensive potential should take a hit, making the Packers' defense an attractive play for Week 4.
The Bengals are coming off a short week in their Thursday night matchup with the Dolphins, who rank eighth in the NFL in points per game (27.7) Miami has arguably the best receiver duo in the game with Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle, and Tua Tagovailoa has taken a leap in Mike McDaniel’s system. It’s hard to picture Cincinnati shutting down or even containing this offense, which means they’re better suited out of fantasy lineups for Week 4.
The Eagles are 3-0 and are arguably the favorites in the NFC through three weeks, led by their offense which ranks fifth in points per game (28.7). Jacksonville’s defense is surprisingly ranked third in fantasy points per game (12.0), but Week 4 feels like the game in which they're tested against a contender at full strength. Jalen Hurts is leading the Eagles’ offense to new heights, which means it should come at the expense of Jacksonville’s defense this Sunday.