Week 4 Fantasy Football Projections: Flex, PPR Stat Predictions for Top 100

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2015

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 27: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers cSt. Louis Rams in the third quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on September 27, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Injuries are a major part of the NFL, and if they're starting to wreak havoc on your fantasy team, you can make up some ground at the flex positions. 

These early rankings will certainly change as various injury situations get sorted out, but the following rankings, broken down by position, give you a starting point for setting up your lineup for Week 4.

Top 40 Running Backs
RankPlayer/TeamOpponentProjected Stats
1Le'Veon Bell, PITBAL125 rush yards, 50 rec yards, TD
2Eddie Lacy, GBSF90 yards, 2 TD
3Latavius Murray, OAKCHI125 yards, TD
4Jamaal Charles, KCCIN100 rush yards, 20 rec yards, TD
5Matt Forte, CHIOAK90 yards, TD
6Devonta Freeman, ATLHOU90 yards, TD
7Adrian Peterson, MINDEN85 yards, TD
8Marshawn Lynch, SEADET75 yards, TD
9Joseph Randle, DALNO75 yards, TD
10Karlos Williams, BUFNYG75 yards, TD
11T.J. Yeldon, JACIND70 yards, TD
12Frank Gore, INDJAC70 yards, TD
13Jeremy Hill, CINKC70 yards, TD
14Justin Forsett, BALPIT80 rush yards, 50 rec yards
15Mark Ingram, NODAL60 yards, TD
16Demarco Murray, PHIWSH50 yards, TD
17Jonathan Stewart, CARTB90 yards
18Chris Ivory, NYJMIA85 yards
19Chris Johnson, ARZSTL75 yards
20Carlos Hyde, SFGB75 yards
21C.J. Anderson, DENMIN60 yards
22Giovani Bernard, CINKC30 rush yards, 30 rec yards
23Rashad Jennings, NYGBUF60 yards
24Isaiah Crowell, CLESD60 yards
25Lamar Miller, MIANYJ50 yards
26Melvin Gordon, SDCLE50 yards
27Alfred Blue, HOUATL50 yards
28Doug Martin, TBCAR50 yards
29Alfred Morris, WSHPHI50 yards
30Danny Woodhead, SDCLE15 rush yards, 30 rec yards
31Lance Dunbar, DALNO50 rec yards
32Darren Sproles, PHIWSH20 rush yards, 30 rec yards
33Matt Jones, WSHPHI45 yards
34Thomas Rawls, SEADET45 yards
35Todd Gurley, STLARZ40 yards
36Tre Mason, STLARZ40 yards
37Duke Johnson, CLESD15 rush yards, 25 rec yards
38Joique Bell, DETSEA40 yards
39Ameer Abdullah, DETSEA35 yards
40James Starks, GBKC35 yards

1. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger's injury is devastating for Steelers fans but good news for Bell's fantasy owners. 

Ranking him No. 1 is a somewhat risky play against the Ravens defense, but this feels like the perfect storm for a monster game from Bell. 

Final touch count in PIT backfield: Le'Veon Bell 26, DeAngelo Williams 1.

— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 27, 2015

With Roethlisberger out, the Steelers should feature Bell heavily both in the running game and as a receiver out of the backfield as a check-down option for Michael Vick. 

Bell has some built up frustration to take out on the Ravens after they held him to just 79 yards on 21 carries in two games last season. But this clearly isn't the same Ravens team, and Bell and the Steelers will be fired up about kicking them while they're down.

10. Karlos Williams, Buffalo Bills

According to Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News, LeSean McCoy may sit out this week due to a hamstring injury. 

This will open the door for Karlos Williams, who has already been a sneaky fantasy play this season with a touchdown in all three games of his pro career. 

The Giants have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher yet this season, but if McCoy sits out, Williams seems like a safe bet to reach the end zone at least once. 

34. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks

Closely monitor the Marshawn Lynch situation this week, because Rawls will be a great play (especially in DFS, given his cheap price tag) if he gets the start against the Lions defense. 

Carroll said Thomas Rawls "was one of my guys" during draft process. Said he was a personal favorite b/c of his style. #Seahawks

— Stephen Cohen (@scohenPI) September 28, 2015

The Lions have allowed 294 rushing yards in two road games this season (against San Diego and Minnesota), and Rawls would be a safe bet to rack up some yardage and potentially sneak into the end zone if he's getting the bulk of the carries. 

According to ESPN's Sheil Kapadia, Pete Carroll said, "We'll just have to wait and see" in regards to Lynch's hamstring injury, so this is a situation to monitor throughout the week. 

Top 40 Wide Receivers
RankPlayerOpponentProj. Stats
1Julio Jones, ATLHOU130 yards, TD
2DeAndre Hopkins, HOUATL125 yards, TD
3Amari Cooper, OAKCHI110 yards, TD
4A.J. Green, CINKC100 yards, TD
5Randall Cobb, GBSF100 yards, TD
6Demaryius Thomas, DENMIN90 yards, TD
7Antonio Brown, PITBAL130 yards
8Jordan Matthews, PHIWSH125 yards
9T.Y. Hilton, INDJAC60 yards, TD
10Brandin Cooks, NODAL110 yards
11Odell Beckham, NYGBUF110 yards
12Larry Fitzgerald, ARZSTL50 yards, TD
13Mike Evans, TBCAR50 yards, TD
14Emmanuel Sanders, DENMIN100 yards
15Brandon Marshall, NYJMIA100 yards
16Steve Smith, BALPIT100 yards
17Calvin Johnson, DETSEA40 yards, TD
18Keenan Allen, SDCLE90 yards
19Allen Robinson, JACIND90 yards
20Terrance Williams, DALNO30 yards, TD
21Donte Moncrief, INDJAC25 yards, TD
22Alshon Jeffery, CHIOAK85 yards
23Jeremy Maclin, KCCIN75 yards
24Ted Ginn Jr., CARTB75 yards
25Eric Decker, NYJMIA70 yards
26Devante Adams, GBSF70 yards
27Michael Crabtree, OAKCHI70 yards
28Pierre Garcon, WSHPHI70 yards
29John Brown, ARZSTL65 yards
30Jarvis Landry, MIANYJ65 yards
31Nate Washington, HOUATL65 yards
32Stevie Johnson, SDCLE60 yards
33Vincent Jackson, TBCAR60 yards
34Golden Tate, DETSEA70 yards
35Anquan Boldin, SFGB55 yards
36Leonard Hankerson, ATLHOU50 yards
37Marques Colston, NODAL50 yards
38Andre Johnson, INDJAC50 yards
39Percy Harvin, BUFNYG50 yards
40Mike Wallace, MINDEN50 yards

2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

According to Pro Football Focus, Hopkins has received double-digit targets in every game this season, making him a strong fantasy play regardless of the competition. But this matchup makes him an elite option this week.

The Falcons should produce strong fantasy numbers for opponents all season, as their defense can give up points and their offense can keep them in shootouts. 

After watching Brandon Weeden lead the Cowboys to 28 points against Atlanta in Week 3, concerns about Ryan Mallett's ability to get the ball to Hopkins should be minimal. 

According to OddsShark, this game has one of the highest over/unders of the week at 46.5, and Hopkins is a key component to the expected high score.

8. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles

Sam Bradford didn't play well on Sunday, but the Eagles offense appears to be getting closer to hitting its stride. 

For all those who panicked about the Eagles offense early, remember: Bradford missed an entire season and is playing in a brand-new offense. A learning curve should have been expected, and eventually he'll break out. 

It's only Week 4, but the wheels are already coming off for the Redskins, making this a great opportunity for the Eagles to open things up on offense and flex their muscles against a division opponent. 

This could be a breakout game for both Matthews and Bradford.

27. Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders

Crabtree is one of the top sleeper plays this week and could far exceed his projections in Week 4. 

While Amari Cooper is getting the attention (and rightfully so, given his production), Crabtree actually leads the Raiders in targets. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Crabtree is one of 12 receivers with at least 30 targets through three weeks, and Derek Carr should have no problem finding him throughout the game against Chicago. 

The Bears have allowed a league-worst eight passing touchdowns this season, and Carr is sure to add to that total on Sunday. Given his target numbers, there's a decent chance Crabtree will catch at least one.

Top 20 Tight Ends
RankPlayerOpponentProj. Stats
1Jimmy Graham, SEADET75 yards, TD
2Jordan Reed, WSHPHI65 yards, TD
3Tyler Eifert, CINKC50 yards, TD
4Travis Kelce, KCCIN45 yards, TD
5Dwayne Allen, INDJAC40 yards, TD
6Greg Olsen, CARTB65 yards
7Jason Witten, DALNO65 yards
8Eric Ebron, DETSEA55 yards
9Ladarius Green, SDCLE50 yards
10Charles Clay, BUFNYG40 yards
11Coby Fleener, INDJAC40 yards
12Kyle Rudolph, MINDEN40
13Jared Cook, STLARZ35 yards
14Jordan Cameron, MIANYJ35 yards
15Heath Miller, PITBAL35 yards
16Zach Ertz, PHIWSH30 yards
17Martellus Bennett, CHIOAK30 yards
18Gary Barnidge, CLESD30 yards
19Gavin Escobar, DALNO30 yards
20Virgil Green, DENMIN30 yards

1. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

Despite the quiet start to the season, Graham already has two touchdowns and will continue to be a red-zone weapon for Russell Wilson

The Lions have allowed touchdowns to tight ends in all three games this season, and the streak is a good bet to be kept alive by Seattle. 

7. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

It's tough to trust Brandon Weeden to put up huge numbers, but Witten should be a very safe play at tight end this week. 

Witten leads the Cowboys in targets this season and should continue to be heavily featured in the passing game as long as Weeden is at the helm. 

Greg Olsen lit up the Saints defense for 134 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3. And while Witten won't match those numbers, it's clear the Saints defense is vulnerable to a receiver with Witten's tools.