Fantasy Football Week 4 Rankings: Top 7 Players at Every Position

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IISeptember 29, 2011

Fantasy Football Week 4 Rankings: Top 7 Players at Every Position

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    Week 4 of the fantasy football season is just around the corner and today we have ranked the top seven players at every position. Yes, we have even ranked the kickers.

    So far in this young fantasy season, we have seen top players (Chris Johnson) play poorly and usually poor players (Ryan Fitzpatrick) play superbly.

    Through all this, we have seen players emerge as the top fantasy players at their position. So, here are the fantasy football rankings for Week 4 and the top seven players at every position.


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    1) Drew Brees vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

    This game is going to be brutal for the Jaguars, so don' t be surprised if the New Orleans Saints put up over 40 points. Most of those touchdowns will go to Drew Brees which will result in a monster fantasy week.


    2) Aaron Rodgers vs. Denver Broncos

    Much like the game above, the Broncos have no chance against the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league so far and will have a field day against a weak Denver defense.


    3) Philip Rivers vs. Miami Dolphins

    Before the season started, Miami's defense was supposed to be the strength of this team. That hasn't happened as its pass defense ranks near the bottom of the league in yards given up. Even if Rivers doesn't have Antonio Gates to throw to, he will still find plenty of open targets to produce a good fantasy game.


    4) Tom Brady vs. Oakland Raiders

    Tom Brady should never be left out of the top five in any rankings involving quarterbacks and certainly not one for fantasy rankings. This game is going to be a shoot-out—a fantasy owner's dream if he or she has Mr. Brady on his or her team.


    5) Eli Manning vs. Arizona Cardinals

    I'm done bashing on Eli; even if I don't think he is a great quarterback, he proved last week to be a viable fantasy option. He had a good game against a talented Philadelphia Eagles' defense and now he gets to play a team that got beat by the Seattle Seahawks. Advantage Manning.


    6) Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Cincinnati Bengals

    I've guessed wrong on Fitzpatrick three times this year, so I won't go down that road again. He's the real deal and so are the Bills.

    Fitzpatrick has a great receiving corps, and the Bengals don't have enough quality cornerbacks to stop them.


    7) Matthew Stafford vs. Dallas Cowboys

    I originally had Stafford ranked much higher, but then I remembered this guy named DeMarcus Ware and how he likes to eat quarterbacks. After taking Stafford completely off the list I then remembered this other guy named Calvin Johnson. I went back and forth so many times between Ware and Johnson that my mind exploded into seven pieces, so I took seven as a sign and put Stafford there.

    In all seriousness though, Stafford is playing like an elite quarterback right now and I can't see Dallas slowing him down too much.

Running Backs

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    1) LeSean McCoy vs. San Francisco 49ers

    McCoy is quietly turning into fantasy gold, and he should continue his fantastic all-around season this week against the 49ers. Even with VIck playing, McCoy is the best fantasy option for the Philadelphia Eagles. He should see plenty of touches in this game to rack up the fantasy points.


    2) Darren McFadden vs. New England Patriots

    Run DMC is all that and more. There will be a time coming in the near future where he will be the top ranking running back no matter who he is playing.

    This week, the Patriots get a taste of McFadden, and there won't be any stopping him. He will run the ball well and catch plenty of passes to continue his fantasy dominance.


    3) Adrian Peterson vs. Kansas City Chiefs

    This game is the ultimate battle of underachieving teams. Peterson has said he wants more carries and honestly, who is going to argue with that?

    Expect him to get 20 or more carries this game to push him over the century mark for yards. A touchdown or two is also almost guaranteed.


    4) Fred Jackson vs. Cincinnati Bengals

    Jackson is this year's fantasy Arian Foster as he proves he belongs in the discussion as a top running back in the league. He is another dual-threat back who is just as good as a receiver out of the backfield as he is at taking a hand-off.

    However, Jackson getting the ball doesn't really matter because he is guaranteed to put up points in bunches this week.


    5) Tim Hightower vs. St. Louis Rams

    Hightower is putting together his best season in the NFL as he becomes the go-to guy for the Washington Redskins.

    His versatility is a huge bonus for the Redskins and there is no doubt that he is the focal point of this offense. The Rams have had a difficult time slowing down opposing running backs, and Hightower is the next player to add to that list.


    6) LeGarrette Blount vs. Indianapolis Colts

    Blount certainly isn't having the fantasy year that many expected, but he should be able to change that this week against the Colts. This is a prime-time game, so Blount will be looking to make a statement.

    Also, Indianapolis is giving up over 100 yards per game to running backs, which is great news for owners of Blount.


    7) Daniel Thomas vs. San Diego Chargers

    This rookie will continue his hot streak against the Chargers. With Chad Henne continuing to struggle and Reggie Bush being the same old Reggie Bush, Thomas is emerging as a true offensive weapon.

    Even though Miami will lose this game, Thomas will be the lone bright spot.

Wide Receivers

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    1) Mike Wallace vs. Houston Texans

    The Texans got torn up by Drew Brees last week, which proved that their secondary really isn't that improved.

    Wallace is coming off a huge fantasy week and will have a field day against Houston.


    2) Calvin Johnson vs. Dallas Cowboys

    Will anyone ever be able to stop Johnson? He is currently on pace to have 32 touchdown receptions this year, and I'm pretty sure that will be an NFL record.

    The Cowboys don't have a cornerback who will even come close to shutting down Johnson, and all Matthew Stafford will have to do is throw the ball in his direction and watch Megatron do what he does best.


    3) Wes Welker vs. Oakland Raiders

    Welker is without a doubt Tom Brady's favorite target, and that bodes well for him. As long as Brady keeps throwing the ball, Welker will keep putting up gigantic fantasy numbers.


    4) Stevie Johnson vs. Cincinnati Bengals

    When you consider that Johnson put up a solid fantasy week against the New England Patriots while playing injured, he should be able to produce quite the week against the Bengals on Sunday.

    The Buffalo Bills' passing game is for real, and Johnson is the top target. Until we are proved otherwise, he will continue to be the near the top of fantasy rankings.


    5) Andre Johnson vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

    There was just no way that I could keep one of the best wide receivers in the NFL off this list. The Houston Texans will be forced to throw the ball quite often in this game—which is a good sign, if you own Johnson.

    He's clearly the top target in Houston and will continue to be until teams start putting three or four players on him in coverage.


    6) Denarius Moore vs. New England Patriots

    It's been rather easy for teams to throw against the Patriots so far this year. I'm pretty confident at this point that I could throw for 300 yards against their defense.

    Moore is putting together quite the rookie season as he has established himself as the number one guy in Oakland. He will get the most looks this week and should be able to break away from a weak secondary.


    7) Greg Jennings vs. Denver Broncos

    The only possible knock about Greg Jennings is that he doesn't find the touchdown often enough. However, after a career game last week, Jennings is settling into his role as the top target for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

    We won't see another three-touchdown performance from Jermichael Finley, so expect Jennings to at least come out of this game with one touchdown.

Tight Ends

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    1) Jermichael Finley vs. Denver Broncos

    Finley's three-touchdown performance last week proved that he has all the potential in the world. He was simply unstoppable. No matter what the Chicago Bears attempted to do, Finley was just too good.

    He'll keep on rolling this week against a defense worse than Chicago. While I don't expect another three touchdowns, two is certainly a possibility.


    2) Jimmy Graham vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

    I've already commented on how brutal this game is going to be for Jacksonville and how spectacularly Drew Brees is going to play. Well, the main beneficiary of Brees' dominant play will be Graham, who had a great fantasy week last week.

    Expect similar stats this week from Graham as the New Orleans Saints score plenty of points on the Jaguars.


    3) Rob Gronkowski vs. Oakland Raiders

    I'm fairly certain that Gronkowski is good for at least one touchdown a game. He'll keep that trend this week against Oakland.

    Gronkowski is Tom Brady's favorite target in the red zone; until Aaron Hernandez returns from injury, expect him to get even more targets and more fantasy points.


    4) Greg Olsen vs. Chicago Bears

    This game is all about revenge for Olsen as he travels back to the team he was called his own.

    The Carolina Panthers will use Olsen frequently due to the success they saw the Green Bay Packers and Finley have last week. Players always seem to play better when it's for revenge and Olsen is no different.


    5) Jermaine Gresham vs. Buffalo Bills

    Gresham has been relatively quiet this year for the Cincinnati Bengals, but he should have a breakout game against a Buffalo defense that struggled covering the tight end last week.

    This will be the game for Gresham to finally get him back into the offensive groove for the Bengals.


    6) Vernon Davis vs. Philadelphia Eagles

    Davis finally played the way we are used to him playing last week when he went over 100 yards receiving. He plays a more difficult defense this week, but the Eagles don't have anyone athletic enough to keep up with Davis.

    I'm predicting an upset by the San Francisco 49ers in this game, and Davis having a big game is the reason why.


    7) Tony Gonzalez vs. Seattle Seahawks

    The one word to describe Gonzalez is consistent. Game in and game out, all he does it catch the football. We expect nothing less from him and he rewards us with consistently solid fantasy output.

    Thanks Tony.


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    1) Dan Bailey vs. Detroit Lions

    How can you not rank No. 1 a kicker that kicked six field goals last week?


    2) John Kasay vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The New Orleans Saints are going to score a lot of points against the Jaguars. Someone needs to kick all those extra points—that "someone" is Mr. Kasay.


    3) Ryan Longwell vs. Kansas City Chiefs

    Both the Minnesota Vikings and the Chiefs have had trouble scoring points, so I'm predicting a field goal shootout with Longwell as the victor.


    4) Neil Rackers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

    If the Steelers can stop the Houston Texans' offense, Rackers will have a monster week. If they can't, Rackers will have a monster week. Win, win, win.


    5) Rob Bironas vs. Cleveland Browns

    This is going to be an ugly offensive game in which there will be plenty of field goal opportunities for Bironas.


    6) Mason Crosby vs. Denver Broncos

    Look at why I ranked Kasay so high for the Saints and expect just a little less from Crosby.


    7) Adam Vinatieri vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    I'm seriously running out of reasons for ranking kickers. The Colts are going to score some points, and no one believes that Curtis Painter is going to score them, so it has to be Vinatieri.


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    1) New York Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens

    This game is going to be a defensive fist fight with low scores and plenty of turnovers. Since I expect the Jets to win, I expect them to have a better fantasy week.


    2) Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers

    The Eagles need to rebound after Eli Manning tore through this defense. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Philadelphia is going to rebound on them.


    3) Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos

    Green Bay will finally begin to shore up their secondary issues. Since we know that no team can run on the Packers, Denver will air the ball out and Green Bay will get plenty of interceptions.

    We will also see Clay Matthews finally unleashed.


    4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts

    I hate to pick on the Colts, but at least I gave them Adam Vinatieri on this list. That counts for something right?

    Whenever a defense is facing Curtis Painter, the advantage goes to the defense.


    5) Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers

    We need to remember that Cam Newton is still a rookie and rookies make stupid mistakes. No defense is better at making people make stupid mistakes than Chicago.


    6) Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets

    Here is the other half of the defensive fist fight. They lost the war and the battle, but they still made this list. Well done Baltimore.


    7) New Orleans Saints vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

    I really hate picking on the Jaguars like this, but honestly, this game isn't even going to be close. When you factor in Blaine Gabbert to the equation, it isn't pretty.