By Jeff Hicks, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
Schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA, is 4for4’s answer to biased statistics. By removing bias, we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. We have reached the first week in which aFPA gives us the edge in season-long and DFS. As the season moves along, the data will change. Regardless, aFPA is arguably the best tool available to gain an edge when using waivers and building lineups.
Here are the best plays for Week 4.
Only two teams have allowed more schedule-adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks than the Browns — Baltimore and Atlanta. Jacoby Brissett is also a nice option, but Mariota at home, and with a solid running floor, gets to sling the ball to some of the best young pass catchers in a dome.
Browns-Falcons has the fourth-highest Over/Under as of September 28. Mariota has been one of the better stories in fantasy to open the season, and Week 4 should add to the narrative.
The collective butt cheeks of fantasy Twitter clench whenever you say the name Rashaad Penny. He has only averaged 50 total yards per game on 11.67 touches, but he has been on the field 69 percent of the time in Seattle’s two competitive games. Kenneth Walker III and DeeJay Dallas loom and will continue to lower Penny’s ceiling, but a road match against the worst team against opposing running backs is the confidence booster Penny needs.
Despite the Lions having a strong offense, their defense continues to allow games to stay close, meaning Penny stays fantasy-relevant for another week.
Bills Wide Receivers at Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens have already dealt with injuries, and their cornerback depth has been exposed. The Ravens have had four corners on the injury report through three weeks, with Marcus Peters appearing on all three. It makes sense that they are dead last in WR aFPA.
It gets worse. Baltimore has allowed 18.67 receptions to wideouts PER GAME. Sure, 25 to the Dolphins is a great way to up the average, but the Ravens allowed 20 in Week 1 to the Jets as well (in a clinched win). Only two receivers that recorded at least one catch have finished with fewer than 37 receiving yards against the Ravens, and one of those two secured his only reception for a touchdown.
We could see a repeat of Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle with Diggs and Davis this week, but all four of the expected top receivers on the Bills' depth chart are in play.
Ian Thomas vs. Arizona Cardinals
You may ask yourself, haven’t the Cardinals been a team to target with tight ends in the past? Yes, yes they have. The recent vintage of Cardinals is last in scheduled-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the position by 1.4 points in half PPR formats. They are kind enough to reprise their role in 2022, which means it is time to play Ian Thomas.
Thomas already has 30% of his targets (9) and 28% of his receptions (5) from 2021. Baker Mayfield is contributing to the Panthers' offense! The veteran Panther is not a dark horse candidate to finish Week 4 as the TE1, but with the position already down bad in 2022, he has a chance to be a top-10 tight end so long as the Panthers' head coach doesn’t dig the team’s grave before kick-off.
Broncos Defense at Las Vegas Raiders
New head coach Nathaniel Hackett can’t break the defense, thankfully. Three games into 2022, the Broncos are allowing 194 passing yards and 81 rushing yards per game. They have not faced good offenses to this point, but you play who is on your schedule. Next is the 0-3 Las Vegas Raiders. Despite adding WR Davante Adams, the offense has struggled and Adams is already disgruntled. Only two offenses allow more schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to opposing defenses than the Raiders’ 12.3 (half PPR).
The defense is locked in for Denver. It is up to the offense to show any signs of life for the Broncos to take a game in Sin City this weekend.
Baker Mayfield vs. Cardinals
Geno Smith at Lions
Jamaal Williams vs. Seahawks (if D. Swift is out)
Khalil Herbert at Giants
Drake London vs. Browns
Noah Brown vs. Commanders
David Njoku at Browns
Tyler Conklin at Steelers
T.J. Hockenson vs. Seahawks
Packers vs. Patriots
More from 4for4.com: 9 stash candidates ahead of Week 4
Jeff has played fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered fantasy and traditional sports at the pro, semi-pro, and amateur level for the better part of a decade. Born in Illinois and currently living where James Robinson made a name for himself in college, Jeff enjoys running (establish it), followed by doing absolutely nothing.