Fantasy Football Week 4: Top Players Sure to Bounce Back After Down Games

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2013

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09:  Wide receiver Eddie Royal #11 of the San Diego Chargers catches a six-yard touchdown in front of cornerback Brice McCain #21 of the Houston Texans at Qualcomm Stadium on September 9, 2013 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Eddie Royal, who entered Week 3 as the No. 1 fantasy receiver in 2013, was held to only two catches in his last game, and he is one player who is sure to bounce back this week after a disappointing performance.

Whether they didn't have a lot of yards or were just ineffective, the players on this list are due for strong performances in Week 4.

Fantasy football owners have tough decisions to make. It's always difficult to start a player after a down week, but the odds are that they will rebound nicely.

Take a look below to see which top players will have strong Week 4 performances.


Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers rolls out to pass during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Candlestick Park on September 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Hende
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After one of the best games of his career to start the season, it has been a rough couple of weeks for Colin Kaepernick. He has thrown for a total of 177 yards and has zero touchdowns with four interceptions in the last two games. The dual-threat quarterback has added 107 rushing yards but has failed to reach the end zone.

His ineffectiveness has led the 49ers to consecutive blowout losses. They have scored a total of 10 points in the last eight quarters, which is a trend that is not likely to continue.

San Francisco's Week 4 opponent, the St. Louis Rams, were tough on the 49ers last season. The Rams went 1-0-1 against the 49ers in 2012, and they were the team that knocked Alex Smith out to give Kaepernick an opportunity. 

Kaepernick led his team back from a 17-7 deficit in the fourth quarter of the first meeting before the two teams tied, and San Francisco lost in overtime in the next meeting. The 25-year-old averaged 162.5 passing yards and 75 rushing yards per game against the Rams last year. He accounted for only one touchdown, but both meetings came in his first four weeks as the No. 1 quarterback.

St. Louis ranks 23rd in pass defense and 17th against the run. It is tied for 28th with an average of 28.7 points allowed per game, so this looks like a favorable matchup for the 49ers.

With a touchdown in Week 1, Kaepernick had thrown for at least one score in six straight games and accounted for a touchdown in seven consecutive games. It will be tough for the Rams to contain him as he has something to prove this week.


Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Trent Richardson #34 of the Indianapolis Colts runs against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

After a midweek trade sent Trent Richardson to Indianapolis, fantasy owners weren't sure what to expect out of the star. He did about has well as one could have expected in terms of points in his debut with the Colts. He recorded nine points on Sunday.

It was a decent output in fantasy leagues, but Richardson is capable of having much better games. He had only 35 yards on 13 attempts but scored a touchdown on his first carry.

Week 3 was the first time in his career that he did not have a reception. Now that he will have a full week to work with the team, the 22-year-old will be more involved in the team's offense.

Indianapolis will now head to Jacksonville to face the NFL's worst team. The Jaguars have allowed 157.7 rushing yards per game this season, and opposing running backs have averaged 11 points in fantasy leagues when they have played Jacksonville in 2013.

Richardson has averaged nearly 84 total yards per game in his career, and those numbers came when he was the only playmaker in Cleveland's offense. He does have 13 career touchdowns, which help his fantasy output.

Look for the former No. 3 overall pick to get a lot of carries and be involved in the passing game against the Jaguars.


Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Wide receiver Eddie Royal #11 of the San Diego Chargers scores a touchdown past safety Nate Allen #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 15, 2013 in Philadelphia, Penns
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Even after a down game in Week 3, Royal is still the No. 1 fantasy receiver in ESPN leagues. He has only 148 yards on 12 receptions, but his five receptions lead the NFL.

It has been a strong comeback season for both Royal and quarterback Philip Rivers. However, he was held to 34 yards on two catches against Tennessee last week.

San Diego will host Dallas this week. The Cowboys rank 22nd in pass defense, and they are tied for the fourth-most touchdown passes allowed through three games with seven.

Royal's fantasy value has been directly tied to touchdowns. He does have one season with more than 900 receiving yards, but that has not been his game in San Diego. Rivers has been able to find him for scores with great frequency.

Some fantasy owners will wonder if Royal's hot streak is over, but give the receiver another week before giving up on him. 


*All stats are courtesy of