Week 4 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Look at Top Plays for Every Position

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Week 4 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Look at Top Plays for Every Position
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy football rankings must be taken with a grain of salt.

Who expected Colin Kaepernick to bomb at home against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3?

Nooooo-body!

Anyone who says they know what's going to happen in the NFL from week to week is lying, but there's nothing wrong with taking some educated guesses. 

With that in mind, here's a look at the top fantasy players at each position for Week 4 in the NFL. 

 

Quarterback

Week 4 Rankings: Quarterback
Rank Name Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Philadelphia Eagles 30
2 Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys San Diego Chargers 28
3 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints Miami Dolphins 25
4 Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars 24
5 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons New England Patriots 24
6 Tom Brady New England Patriots Atlanta Falcons 23
7 Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles Denver Broncos 22
8 Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions Chicago Bears 21
9 Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins Oakland Raiders 19
10 Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers St. Louis Rams 18

There aren't a lot of tremendously favorable matchups for the top fantasy quarterbacks in Week 4. 

Andrew Luck could potentially have a huge game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has shown a desire to establish a strong running game with Ahmad Bradshaw and newly acquired Trent Richardson.

Peyton Manning should be able to take advantage of the Philadelphia Eagles' exploitable secondary. He's clearly the top quarterback this week, and given the pace of play for both teams involved in this contest he could have another monster game like he did in Week 1.

The Miami Dolphins have been phenomenal this year on both sides of the ball. It will be interesting to see if Drew Brees can work his magic and have a big game. 

Colin Kaepernick has been atrocious the past two weeks. He will be hard-pressed to revert to his Week 1 form against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday Night Football, but his ability to run could come in handy against a team that allowed 175 yards to DeMarco Murray in Week 3. 

 

Running Back

Week 4 Rankings: Running Back
Rank Name Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs New York Giants 22
2 LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles Denver Broncos 21
3 Matt Forte Chicago Bears Detroit Lions 20
4 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Pittsburgh Steelers 20
5 Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers St. Louis Rams 18
6 Reggie Bush Detroit Lions Chicago Bears 17
7 Trent Richardson Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars 16
7 Doug Martin Tampa Bay Buccaneers Arizona Cardinals 16
9 DeMarco Murray Dallas Cowboys San Diego Chargers 15
10 Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks Houston Texans 14

LeSean McCoy has been unstoppable this year, but he'll be tested against a Broncos defense that has allowed just two yards per carry this year—the best in the NFL

On the other hand, you can be sure Frank Gore will come out red hot against the Rams. He gained 82 yards on 11 carries in the team's Week 3 loss to the Colts and was reportedly hot under the collar about his lack of touches in the second half, as noted by Kevin Lynch. 

Adrian Peterson hasn't been as dominant as he was last season, gaining 281 yards in his first three games. Pittsburgh is allowing just 3.3 yards per carry this year, and Peterson could be frustrated once again in Week 4. 

New Colts running back Trent Richardson could be in for a monster game against the Jaguars. It won't surprise anyone if Indy jumps out to a huge lead in the first half, meaning Richardson could receive plenty of work. 

 

Wide Receiver

Week 4 Rankings: Wide Receiver
Rank Name Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Wes Welker Denver Broncos Philadelphia Eagles 27
2 Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys San Diego Chargers 26
3 A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns 25
4 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Chicago Bears 22
5 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Philadelphia Eagles 19
6 Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears Detroit Lions 18
7 Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons New England Patriots 17
8 DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles Denver Broncos 16
9 Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars 16
10 Victor Cruz New York Giants Kansas City Chiefs 15

When looking at the matchups for the top receivers in Week 4, Dez Bryant stands out as a potential fantasy gold mine. He'll be going up against the secondary of the San Diego Chargers and could legitimately go for 200 yards. 

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Wes Welker is another guy you'll be thrilled to start. The Eagles haven't been able to stop anyone on offense to this point in the season, and Peyton Manning is going to pick that secondary apart. Welker will work magic underneath coverage. 

A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson face difficult opponents this week and could see their production dip.

Green and the Bengals face the Browns. Joe Haden is going to give him all he can handle, and the matchup between these two young stars will be fun to watch. 

Johnson will face divisional rivals this weekend against the Bears. Chicago has done a good job keeping him locked up in the past, and Megatron was held to eight catches with zero touchdowns in two games last year.

 

Tight End

Week 4 Rankings: Tight End
Rank Name Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints Miami Dolphins 18
2 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Atlanta Falcons 16
3 Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns Cincinnati Bengals 15
4 Julius Thomas Denver Broncos Philadelphia Eagles 15
5 Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers Dallas Cowboys 13
6 Tony Gonzalez Atlanta Falcons New England Patriots 12
7 Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys San Diego Chargers 11
8 Vernon Davis San Francisco 49ers St. Louis Rams 10
9 Coby Fleener Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars 9
10 Martellus Bennett Chicago Bears Detroit Lions 9

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

If Vernon Davis can play without any pain on Thursday night, he will face a tough matchup against the St. Louis Rams. You might consider starting someone else in his stead, but his rapport with Kaepernick could be good for at least one red-zone touchdown. 

Rob Gronkowski hasn't played yet this year, but Ian Rapoport and Mike Silver of NFL Network recently reported the Patriots "definitely" expect him to play in Week 4, as noted by Chris Wesseling of NFL.com:

The Falcons are vulnerable to getting burned, and Gronk should have a triumphant return. 

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Given the success of Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron early this season, it seems safe to say they'll both have big games against the Eagles and Bengals.

As usual, Jimmy Graham will be among the highest scoring tight ends. He faces the Dolphins this week and will likely be heavily targeted by Brees, who will be under pressure often by Miami's impressive pass-rushers. 

 

Defense

Week 4 Rankings: Defense
Rank Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns 16
2 Seattle Seahawks Houston Texans 15
3 Kansas City Chiefs New York Giants 14
4 Chicago Bears Detroit Lions 13
5 San Francisco 49ers St. Louis Rams 13
6 Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills 12
7 New York Jets Tennessee Titans 12
8 Dallas Cowboys San Diego Chargers 11
9 Houston Texans Seattle Seahawks 11
10 Minnesota Vikings Pittsburgh Steelers 9

The battle between Houston and Seattle on Sunday will be treasured by those who appreciate defensive slugfests. 

Seattle's defense is the best in the league and should force at least a couple of turnovers, while Houston will make life difficult for Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch

You've got to love Kansas City's chances of scoring big against the New York Giants, too. Eli Manning has zero protection, and he has no complementary running game behind him. The Chiefs have feasted early this year, and this game could be the cherry on top. 

Also, Cincinnati should dominate the line of scrimmage against Cleveland's porous offensive line. The Bengals should force a few turnovers and easily win the game. 

 

Kicker

Week 4 Rankings: Kicker
Rank Name Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots Atlanta Falcons 15
2 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens Cleveland Browns 14
3 Matt Prater Denver Broncos Philadelphia Eagles 14
4 Garrett Hartley New Orleans Saints Miami Dolphins 13
5 Dan Bailey Dallas Cowboys San Diego Chargers 13
6 Steven Hauschka Seattle Seahawks Houston Texans 12
7 Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons New England Patriots 12
8 Caleb Sturgis Miami Dolphins New Orleans Saints 11
9 Robbie Gould Chicago Bears Detroit Lions 11
10 Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars 9

Tom Brady is slowly but surely working his young receivers into the swing of things for the New England Patriots. By the time the playoffs arrive, this group will likely score more touchdowns than field goals, but right now Stephen Gostkowski is the team's surest offensive weapon. 

It's a similar story for Justin Tucker in Baltimore. Joe Flacco is working with a skeleton crew, which has given Tucker plenty of opportunities to convert three points. 

Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka should also have a big impact on the game in Houston this weekend. It's likely he'll finish off more than a couple drives with his leg. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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