Fantasy Football Week 4: Matt Camp's Fantasy Big Board
Last week looked like it might be a nightmare with such a long injury list full of superstars. For the most part, it turned out better than expected, although that all depends on how much faith you had in players who came into the week at less than 100 percent.
After a disappointing Week 2, you may have steered clear of both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen with Case Keenum getting another start in place of Sam Bradford (knee). That would have backfired, as Keenum played the game of his life, leading to a huge game from Diggs and a strong performance from Thielen.
Despite putting up a goose egg due to a quad injury in Week 2, Jordy Nelson practiced all week and wound up catching six passes for 52 yards and a pair of touchdowns. DeMarco Murray (hamstring) wasn't even a lock to play, yet he managed to run for 115 yards, including a 75-yard TD run that solidified his spot as the clear lead back in Tennessee.
Things didn't go as well for Jay Ajayi. The third-year RB popped up on the injury report with a knee issue but was still active in what looked like a fantastic matchup against the Jets. He was limited to just 16 yards on 11 carries. Was his role diminished by game flow or the injury? We'll learn more from his work in practice this week.
Check out my first look at the points-per-reception (PPR) rankings for Week 4. These will change throughout the week and up to Sunday's action as we get more information about injuries and limitations, so make sure to bookmark this page for my full rankings in both PPR and non-PPR formats.
I present my top 100 players (minus quarterbacks) for the week as a way to help determine your flex spots. You may favor a certain position or player over another based on his role and/or your scoring rules.
As an additional tiebreaker, here are the teams I like as a whole this week based on their matchups:
- Seattle Seahawks (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
- Green Bay Packers (vs. Chicago Bears)
Note: This usually includes up to four teams, but it's hard to endorse teams like the Carolina Panthers (at NE), Houston Texans (vs. TEN), New York Giants (at TB) and Cincinnati Bengals (at CLE) since they aren't very deep in starting-caliber fantasy talent right now.
Week 4 Top 100 PPR Rankings
# Player (team) Matchup 1 Jordy Nelson (GB) vs. CHI 2 Kareem Hunt (KC) vs. WAS 3 Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) at TB 4 Antonio Brown (PIT) at BAL 5 Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) vs. LAR 6 Todd Gurley (LAR) at DAL 7 A.J. Green (CIN) at CLE 8 Le'Veon Bell (PIT) at BAL 9 Michael Thomas (NO) at MIA 10 Devonta Freeman (ATL) vs. BUF 11 Dalvin Cook (MIN) vs. DET 12 Julio Jones (ATL) vs. BUF 13 Mike Evans (TB) vs. NYG 14 Ty Montgomery (GB) vs. CHI 15 Brandin Cooks (NE) vs. CAR 16 Leonard Fournette (JAC) at NYJ 17 DeMarco Murray (TEN) at HOU 18 DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs. TEN 19 Keenan Allen (LAC) vs. PHI 20 Rob Gronkowski (NE) vs. CAR 21 Doug Baldwin (SEA) vs. IND 22 Jay Ajayi (MIA) vs. NO 23 Dez Bryant (DAL) vs. LAR 24 Davante Adams (GB) vs. CHI 25 Stefon Diggs (MIN) vs. DET 26 Christian McCaffrey (CAR) at NE 27 Travis Kelce (KC) vs. WAS 28 Demaryius Thomas (DEN) vs. OAK 29 Melvin Gordon (LAC) vs. PHI 30 Tyreek Hill (KC) vs. WAS 31 Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) vs. SF 32 Golden Tate (DET) at MIN 33 Carlos Hyde (SF) at ARI 34 C.J. Anderson (DEN) vs. OAK 35 Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) vs. OAK 36 Alshon Jeffery (PHI) at LAC 37 Chris Carson (SEA) vs. IND 38 DeVante Parker (MIA) vs. NO 39 Jarvis Landry (MIA) vs. NO 40 Zach Ertz (PHI) at LAC 41 Joe Mixon (CIN) at CLE 42 Tarik Cohen (CHI) at GB 43 Chris Hogan (NE) vs. CAR 44 Pierre Garcon (SF) at ARI 45 Adam Thielen (MIN) vs. DET 46 Chris Thompson (WAS) at KC 47 Jordan Howard (CHI) at GB 48 Amari Cooper (OAK) at DEN 49 LeSean McCoy (BUF) at ATL 50 Martavis Bryant (PIT) at BAL 51 Javorius Allen (BAL) vs. PIT 52 Sammy Watkins (LAR) at DAL 53 DeSean Jackson (TB) vs. NYG 54 Mike Gillislee (NE) vs. CAR 55 Marshawn Lynch (OAK) at DEN 56 Jimmy Graham (SEA) vs. IND 57 Randall Cobb (GB) vs. CHI 58 Michael Crabtree (OAK) at DEN 59 Rishard Matthews (TEN) at HOU 60 Lamar Miller (HOU) vs. TEN 61 Willie Snead (NO) at MIA 62 Jamison Crowder (WAS) at KC 63 Marqise Lee (JAC) at NYJ 64 T.Y. Hilton (IND) at SEA 65 Theo Riddick (DET) at MIN 66 Mohamed Sanu (ATL) vs. BUF 67 Tevin Coleman (ATL) vs. BUF 68 Ameer Abdullah (DET) at MIN 69 Wendell Smallwood (PHI) at LAC 70 Terrelle Pryor (WAS) at KC 71 Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) at NE 72 Sterling Shepard (NYG) at TB 73 Jason Witten (DAL) vs. LAR 74 Delanie Walker (TEN) at HOU 75 Jeremy Maclin (BAL) vs. PIT 76 Tyrell Williams (LAC) vs. PHI 77 Allen Hurns (JAC) at NYJ 78 Brandon Marshall (NYG) at TB 79 Mark Ingram (NO) at MIA 80 Frank Gore (IND) at SEA 81 Kenny Stills (MIA) vs. NO 82 Eric Decker (TEN) at HOU 83 Danny Amendola (NE) vs. CAR 84 Benjamin Watson (BAL) vs. PIT 85 Devin Funchess (CAR) at NE 86 Cooper Kupp (LAR) at DAL 87 James White (NE) vs. CAR 88 Jonathan Stewart (CAR) at NE 89 C.J. Prosise (SEA) vs. IND 90 Alvin Kamara (NO) at MIA 91 Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs. DET 92 Jared Cook (OAK) at DEN 93 Tyler Lockett (SEA) vs. IND 94 Charles Clay (BUF) at ATL 95 Eric Ebron (DET) at MIN 96 Jermaine Kearse (NYJ) vs. JAC 97 Vernon Davis (WAS) at KC 98 Duke Johnson (CLE) vs. CIN 99 Giovani Bernard (CIN) at CLE 100 Isaiah Crowell (CLE) vs. CIN
Week 4 Top 100 PPR Rankings
|1||Jordy Nelson (GB)||vs. CHI|
|2||Kareem Hunt (KC)||vs. WAS|
|3||Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)||at TB|
|4||Antonio Brown (PIT)||at BAL|
|5||Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)||vs. LAR|
|6||Todd Gurley (LAR)||at DAL|
|7||A.J. Green (CIN)||at CLE|
|8||Le'Veon Bell (PIT)||at BAL|
|9||Michael Thomas (NO)||at MIA|
|10||Devonta Freeman (ATL)||vs. BUF|
|11||Dalvin Cook (MIN)||vs. DET|
|12||Julio Jones (ATL)||vs. BUF|
|13||Mike Evans (TB)||vs. NYG|
|14||Ty Montgomery (GB)||vs. CHI|
|15||Brandin Cooks (NE)||vs. CAR|
|16||Leonard Fournette (JAC)||at NYJ|
|17||DeMarco Murray (TEN)||at HOU|
|18||DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)||vs. TEN|
|19||Keenan Allen (LAC)||vs. PHI|
|20||Rob Gronkowski (NE)||vs. CAR|
|21||Doug Baldwin (SEA)||vs. IND|
|22||Jay Ajayi (MIA)||vs. NO|
|23||Dez Bryant (DAL)||vs. LAR|
|24||Davante Adams (GB)||vs. CHI|
|25||Stefon Diggs (MIN)||vs. DET|
|26||Christian McCaffrey (CAR)||at NE|
|27||Travis Kelce (KC)||vs. WAS|
|28||Demaryius Thomas (DEN)||vs. OAK|
|29||Melvin Gordon (LAC)||vs. PHI|
|30||Tyreek Hill (KC)||vs. WAS|
|31||Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)||vs. SF|
|32||Golden Tate (DET)||at MIN|
|33||Carlos Hyde (SF)||at ARI|
|34||C.J. Anderson (DEN)||vs. OAK|
|35||Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)||vs. OAK|
|36||Alshon Jeffery (PHI)||at LAC|
|37||Chris Carson (SEA)||vs. IND|
|38||DeVante Parker (MIA)||vs. NO|
|39||Jarvis Landry (MIA)||vs. NO|
|40||Zach Ertz (PHI)||at LAC|
|41||Joe Mixon (CIN)||at CLE|
|42||Tarik Cohen (CHI)||at GB|
|43||Chris Hogan (NE)||vs. CAR|
|44||Pierre Garcon (SF)||at ARI|
|45||Adam Thielen (MIN)||vs. DET|
|46||Chris Thompson (WAS)||at KC|
|47||Jordan Howard (CHI)||at GB|
|48||Amari Cooper (OAK)||at DEN|
|49||LeSean McCoy (BUF)||at ATL|
|50||Martavis Bryant (PIT)||at BAL|
|51||Javorius Allen (BAL)||vs. PIT|
|52||Sammy Watkins (LAR)||at DAL|
|53||DeSean Jackson (TB)||vs. NYG|
|54||Mike Gillislee (NE)||vs. CAR|
|55||Marshawn Lynch (OAK)||at DEN|
|56||Jimmy Graham (SEA)||vs. IND|
|57||Randall Cobb (GB)||vs. CHI|
|58||Michael Crabtree (OAK)||at DEN|
|59||Rishard Matthews (TEN)||at HOU|
|60||Lamar Miller (HOU)||vs. TEN|
|61||Willie Snead (NO)||at MIA|
|62||Jamison Crowder (WAS)||at KC|
|63||Marqise Lee (JAC)||at NYJ|
|64||T.Y. Hilton (IND)||at SEA|
|65||Theo Riddick (DET)||at MIN|
|66||Mohamed Sanu (ATL)||vs. BUF|
|67||Tevin Coleman (ATL)||vs. BUF|
|68||Ameer Abdullah (DET)||at MIN|
|69||Wendell Smallwood (PHI)||at LAC|
|70||Terrelle Pryor (WAS)||at KC|
|71||Kelvin Benjamin (CAR)||at NE|
|72||Sterling Shepard (NYG)||at TB|
|73||Jason Witten (DAL)||vs. LAR|
|74||Delanie Walker (TEN)||at HOU|
|75||Jeremy Maclin (BAL)||vs. PIT|
|76||Tyrell Williams (LAC)||vs. PHI|
|77||Allen Hurns (JAC)||at NYJ|
|78||Brandon Marshall (NYG)||at TB|
|79||Mark Ingram (NO)||at MIA|
|80||Frank Gore (IND)||at SEA|
|81||Kenny Stills (MIA)||vs. NO|
|82||Eric Decker (TEN)||at HOU|
|83||Danny Amendola (NE)||vs. CAR|
|84||Benjamin Watson (BAL)||vs. PIT|
|85||Devin Funchess (CAR)||at NE|
|86||Cooper Kupp (LAR)||at DAL|
|87||James White (NE)||vs. CAR|
|88||Jonathan Stewart (CAR)||at NE|
|89||C.J. Prosise (SEA)||vs. IND|
|90||Alvin Kamara (NO)||at MIA|
|91||Kyle Rudolph (MIN)||vs. DET|
|92||Jared Cook (OAK)||at DEN|
|93||Tyler Lockett (SEA)||vs. IND|
|94||Charles Clay (BUF)||at ATL|
|95||Eric Ebron (DET)||at MIN|
|96||Jermaine Kearse (NYJ)||vs. JAC|
|97||Vernon Davis (WAS)||at KC|
|98||Duke Johnson (CLE)||vs. CIN|
|99||Giovani Bernard (CIN)||at CLE|
|100||Isaiah Crowell (CLE)||vs. CIN|
Better Than Usual
Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. SF)
It hasn't always been pretty, but Palmer continues to post solid fantasy numbers. For the season, he completed just 56.8 percent of his attempts, yet he has 925 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He's averaging 44 attempts per game because his arm has been needed to carry an offense getting very little from its ground game. Chris Johnson is the team's leading rusher with 61 yards on 23 attempts.
Palmer gets a crack at a 49ers defense that allowed 292 yards and three touchdowns to Jared Goff and the Rams in Week 3. Other than Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona's WRs have been inconsistent, so the veteran should get plenty of targets, especially if he's matched up with slot CB K'Waun Williams. This is a bad secondary, so Palmer should have another strong fantasy outing.
Derek Carr, OAK (vs. DEN)
If you were hoping for Carr to bounce back from a dreadful performance against the Redskins in Week 3, it probably won't be coming in Denver on Sunday. While the Broncos gave up seven TDs to QBs in the first three weeks, they allowed just 643 passing yards in matchups with Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott and Tyrod Taylor.
Over the last two seasons against Denver (three games), Carr completed 58 of 99 attempts for 568 passing yards, three TDs and one interception. Michael Crabtree left Week 3 with a chest injury and Amari Cooper has struggled with six drops, so the Raiders aren't coming into this game riding high. While Carr is typically a weekly starter, you might be better off looking elsewhere for help in Week 4.
Cam Newton, CAR (at NE)
Newton's slow start in the first two weeks of the season was concerning, so Week 3 looked like a big opportunity to turn things around in a great matchup with the Saints. Newton ended up posting his worst numbers of the season with 167 yards, zero TDs and three interceptions on 17-of-26 passing with four sacks before he was benched in the fourth quarter.
Newton was already without Greg Olsen (foot), but Kelvin Benjamin also went down with a knee injury, and while an MRI came back with positive results, his status for Week 4 is unknown, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. Without two of his top options and Newton looking nowhere near the dominant player we've seen in the past, not even a good matchup with the Patriots is a good enough reason to use him this week.
Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. TEN)
Watson's first career start was a struggle, but he guided his team to a win over the Bengals in Week 2. He took the loss in New England in Week 3, yet had a much better game. The rookie completed 22 of 33 attempts for 301 yards with two TDs and two INT while adding eight carries for 41 yards in a wild game that saw the Patriots need five TDs from Tom Brady to squeak out a victory.
Although the Texans lost, Watson took the Patriots to the limit in Foxboro in just his second start, so while he wasn't perfect, the performance should build some confidence heading into a beatable matchup with the visiting Tennessee Titans this weekend. Tennessee's defense has allowed the third-most fantasy points to QBs this season and helped Russell Wilson bounce back from his slow start last weekend by allowing him to go for 373 yards and four touchdowns.
Obviously, Watson isn't on Wilson's level, but his performance in Week 3 showed he can already perform at a high fantasy level. Plus, he already has 124 rushing yards and a TD, so the bonus of his legs is a great boost to his fantasy value. He's worth a look if you're streaming or need an alternative to your typical starting QB.
Week 4 Quarterback Rankings
# Player (team) 1 Aaron Rodgers (GB) 2 Tom Brady (NE) 3 Russell Wilson (SEA) 4 Drew Brees (NO) 5 Matt Ryan (ATL) 6 Marcus Mariota (TEN) 7 Matthew Stafford (DET) 8 Kirk Cousins (WAS) 9 Carson Palmer (ARI) 10 Dak Prescott (DAL) 11 Eli Manning (NYG) 12 Carson Wentz (PHI) 13 Philip Rivers (LAC) 14 Deshaun Watson (HOU) 15 Jameis Winston (TB) 16 Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) 17 Derek Carr (OAK) 18 Jay Cutler (MIA) 19 Alex Smith (KC) 20 Cam Newton (CAR) 21 Jared Goff (LAR) 22 Tyrod Taylor (BUF) 23 Trevor Siemian (DEN) 24 Andy Dalton (CIN) 25 DeShone Kizer (CLE) 26 Case Keenum (MIN) 27 Joe Flacco (BAL) 28 Brian Hoyer (SF) 29 Blake Bortles (JAC) 30 Josh McCown (NYJ) 31 Jacoby Brissett (IND) 32 Mike Glennon (CHI) 33 Sam Bradford (MIN)
Week 4 Quarterback Rankings
|1||Aaron Rodgers (GB)|
|2||Tom Brady (NE)|
|3||Russell Wilson (SEA)|
|4||Drew Brees (NO)|
|5||Matt Ryan (ATL)|
|6||Marcus Mariota (TEN)|
|7||Matthew Stafford (DET)|
|8||Kirk Cousins (WAS)|
|9||Carson Palmer (ARI)|
|10||Dak Prescott (DAL)|
|11||Eli Manning (NYG)|
|12||Carson Wentz (PHI)|
|13||Philip Rivers (LAC)|
|14||Deshaun Watson (HOU)|
|15||Jameis Winston (TB)|
|16||Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)|
|17||Derek Carr (OAK)|
|18||Jay Cutler (MIA)|
|19||Alex Smith (KC)|
|20||Cam Newton (CAR)|
|21||Jared Goff (LAR)|
|22||Tyrod Taylor (BUF)|
|23||Trevor Siemian (DEN)|
|24||Andy Dalton (CIN)|
|25||DeShone Kizer (CLE)|
|26||Case Keenum (MIN)|
|27||Joe Flacco (BAL)|
|28||Brian Hoyer (SF)|
|29||Blake Bortles (JAC)|
|30||Josh McCown (NYJ)|
|31||Jacoby Brissett (IND)|
|32||Mike Glennon (CHI)|
|33||Sam Bradford (MIN)|
Better Than Usual
Christian McCaffrey, CAR (at NE)
While the rest of the Panthers underwhelmed in Week 3, McCaffrey had his best game yet in a loss to the Saints. Taking advantage of one of the better matchups for pass-catching RBs, McCaffrey racked up nine receptions for 101 yards on 11 targets and added four carries for 16 yards. He played 69.5 percent of the snaps and has now played at least 63.8 percent in each of his first three games.
Because the Panthers are already without Greg Olsen (broken foot) and don't know the status of Kelvin Benjamin (knee), McCaffrey's role could be even more important this week, especially as a reliable option for a struggling Cam Newton. Through three weeks, the Patriots allowed 17 receptions for 253 yards and two TDs to RBs in the passing game. McCaffrey is the only Panther with a real chance of posting great fantasy numbers.
Marshawn Lynch, OAK (at DEN)
The hot start in Lynch's comeback season has cooled off in a hurry. After rushing for 76 yards on 18 carries against the Titans in Week 1, Lynch scored on the Jets in Week 2 but had just 45 yards on 12 carries and followed that up with six carries for 18 yards in a disappointing performance against the Redskins. His snap percentage has gone from 47 to 40.4 to 31.4.
Unfortunately, this doesn't look like a good week for Lynch to turn it around with a stiff matchup against the Broncos. Only the Vikings have allowed less fantasy points to RBs this season. RBs have just 142 yards on 58 carries when facing the Broncos, which translates to just 2.4 yards per carry. While Lynch could always save his fantasy value with a short TD, he'll need it to have any chance of producing in Week 4.
Isaiah Crowell, CLE (vs. CIN)
If you checked out the BS Meter earlier this week, you already know about Crowell's struggles. He's not getting the volume (39 carries) or the yardage (114 yards) to be a reliable fantasy option right now. He's yet to score and has just four receptions for 43 yards on six targets on the season.
For Crowell to get volume, the Browns need to keep games closer instead of playing from way behind like they did for much of their losses to the Colts and Ravens in the last two weeks. While the Bengals have had their own troubles with an 0-3 start, they have firepower in A.J. Green and Joe Mixon to give the Browns a lot of trouble. If Cleveland can't slow them down, Crowell could be a victim of game flow costing him touches once again. He's just not a reliable fantasy starter until further notice.
Wendell Smallwood, PHI (at LAC)
The Eagles finally committed to the run in Week 3 and did so with a lot of success thanks to Smallwood, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement. However, it was Smallwood leading the way with 12 carries and team-highs in rushing yards (71) and snaps (56.6 percent), but could an even bigger role be coming?
Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said, per Aaron Kasinitz of pennlive.com "There's no doubt Wendell Smallwood is going to have an increased role. All the guys have some third-down ability, but Wendell has really improved in the area. He showed natural aptitude for it early, both from a protection standpoint and from a route running standpoint."
The pass protection is a real key to getting Smallwood on the field more, especially on passing downs, so he should have a chance to lead the backfield in snaps once again when the Eagles visit the Chargers in Week 4. San Diego allowed 411 rushing yards on 78 carries to RBs in the first three weeks, so this isn't a bad matchup. While Smallwood shouldn't be considered more than an RB3, his value is definitely on the rise.
Week 4 Running Back PPR Rankings
Week 4 Running Back PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. TEN)
Following his disappointing 2016 fantasy campaign, Hopkins hasn't blown up in 2017, but he's been consistent despite playing with two different QBs in three games, including rookie Deshaun Watson. Hopkins has seven receptions in each of the first three games with 204 yards and a TD on 37 targets, which is more than any other WR in the league. No other Texan has double-digit targets besides RB Tyler Ervin (11).
Watson is far from a finished product, but as we saw last week in New England, he's not afraid of being in the spotlight and wound up going toe-to-toe with Tom Brady and the Patriots in a tough loss. That should give Hopkins' owners some confidence in his QB for the first time in more than a year.
Hopkins might have his first chance at a breakout game on Sunday when the Titans visit for the first time this season. They allowed WRs to score the fourth-most fantasy points in the first three games thanks to 42 receptions, 502 yards and a league-high five TDs. It's the first time this season Hopkins can confidently be considered a WR1.
Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, OAK (at DEN)
Week 3 was one to forget for Cooper and Crabtree, as they both struggled in a bad loss to the Redskins. Cooper had just one reception for six yards on five targets and saw his drop total rise to six for the season. Crabtree was limited to a single catch for seven yards on three targets before departing with a chest injury.
According to Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News, head coach Jack Del Rio was asked about Crabtree and said, "Obviously, we'll take a close look at him and make sure there's nothing significant going on. I know the doctors cleared him to travel with us coming back, which is good."
Even if Crabtree is cleared to play, he and Cooper have to deal with an excellent Broncos defense and CBs Chris Harris and Aqib Talib. Denver held WRs to just 354 receiving yards this season, which is seventh-best in the league.
In four career games against Denver, Cooper has just 14 receptions for 142 yards and a TD. In four games against the Broncos as a member of the Raiders, Crabtree has 15 receptions for 147 yards and no TDs. History and current situations are not on Cooper or Crabtree's sides this weekend.
T.Y. Hilton, IND (at SEA)
Was it nice to see Hilton finally show some signs of life with seven receptions for 153 yards on nine targets including a 61-yard TD from Jacoby Brissett in Week 3? Of course it was, but don't get your hopes of anything close to a repeat performance in Week 4.
Building on a great game against the lowly Browns is tough to do when Hilton and the Colts have the tall task of taking on the Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday night in a primetime game. It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn WRs have scored the seventh-fewest fantasy points when facing the Seahawks in 2017. It's a brutal matchup for both Hilton and Brissett, so Hilton's only chance of producing would likely come in garbage time.
Kelvin Benjamin, CAR (at NE)
Other than Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers' passing game is a complete mess right now, and it starts at the top with the disappointing performance of Cam Newton. He has just 566 passing yards with two TDs and four INTs, and the trickle-down effect has hurt Benjamin.
After Benjamin had a respectable six receptions for 77 yards on eight targets in a Week 2 win over the Bills, he caught his only two targets for eight yards in Week 3 before departing with a knee injury. Benjamin was tackled with his leg caught underneath him, which took him out of the game and put his status in question for what should be a nice matchup against a beatable Patriots defense.
There's just no way you can trust Benjamin even if he does play because Newton looks completely lost and doesn't appear to be confident in his return from offseason shoulder surgery. Benjamin might be better off sitting out to rest consider the Panthers don't have their bye until Week 11.
Cooper Kupp, LAR (at DAL)
Some may have cut Kupp loose after failing to follow up on his strong NFL debut in Week 1, and now you might be looking at a Week 4 sleeper sitting on your waiver wire. While Kupp has just nine receptions for 126 yards and a TD on 14 targets in three games, his role may expand this weekend if Sammy Watkins isn't able to play.
In last Thursday's win over the Rams, Watkins came out of the game following a big hit on his second TD catch. According to Lindsey Thiry of the Los Angeles Times, Watkins was evaluated for a concussion, and there's been no update on his status. He'll have to be monitored throughout the week to see if he's cleared to play on Sunday in Dallas.
Kupp could see an uptick in targets if Watkins is out, but he might have a chance to do some damage anyway since Cowboys slot CB Orlando Scandrick clearly struggled trying to stop Larry Fitzgerald in Week 3. Only the Eagles (49) and Vikings (48) have allowed more receptions to WRs than the Cowboys (44) in the first three weeks of the season. WRs scored the 12th-most fantasy points against Dallas during that span.
If Watkins is cleared to play, Kupp is more of a deep reach because the matchup is still good, but if Watkins is out, you should make an effort to get Kupp in your lineup, especially in PPR formats.
Week 4 Wide Receiver PPR Rankings
Week 4 Wide Receiver PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
Jared Cook, OAK (at DEN)
After three games, who leads the Raiders in receptions? If you said Michael Crabtree, you'd be half-right. Both Crabtree and Cook have 13 receptions and Cook actually has 17 targets to Crabtree's 16 (Amari Cooper leads with 23). Cook also has 124 yards and a TD in what's become a solid, though not huge role in the Raiders offense.
He could play a bigger role on Sunday when Oakland travels to Denver to face the Broncos. While Denver has been tough against the run (142 rushing yards allowed) and boasts a strong pair of CBs in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, they've been vulnerable against TEs. In the first three weeks, they've allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to TEs thanks to 19 receptions, 184 yards and two TDs. If Crabtree and Cooper have a tough time getting open, Cook could find more targets coming his way.
Hunter Henry, LAC (vs. PHI)
In Week 1, Henry didn't have a target and set off complete panic in the fantasy community while playing just 39 percent of the snaps. Those who dropped him had immediate regret when he posted seven receptions for 80 yards on seven targets in Week 2 with his snap count jumping to 56.9 percent. The concerns returned in Week 3, when he once again failed to register a target despite playing 56.2 percent of the snaps.
So which version of Henry will be on the field when the Eagles visit the Chargers on Sunday? According to Ricky Henne of Chargers.com, head coach Anthony Lynn said the team has "got to get" Henry involved because he's too good to be lost in the shuffle. That's obviously true, and while Henry has been used to block more than fantasy players would like, it's hard to know if that will change against the Eagles.
In its first three games, Philadelphia allowed 18 receptions for 184 yards and a TD to TEs, so the matchup isn't a bad one, but starting Henry is a risk after such a weird start to the season.
Jordan Reed, WAS (at KC)
Despite being called "day-to-day" by head coach Jay Gruden early last week, Reed never appeared to make real progress toward playing in Week 3, so it wasn't a surprise when he was inactive against the Raiders. He's dealing with toe, shoulder and chest injuries. The Redskins had no problem winning that game with Vernon Davis doing a fine job stepping in for Reed, which might give the team second thoughts about rushing Reed back for Week 4.
According to the Redskins' Twitter account, Gruden called Reed "day-to-day" once again with the team looking to get him "limited work early this week." That doesn't sound promising for Reed's chances of getting back to action against the Chiefs. While he'll get an extra day to prepare with the teams meeting on Monday night, it also means you'll need to make a decision on him by Sunday unless you can fall back on some other fantasy option for the Chiefs or Redskins.
Reed is averaging just 7.4 yards per catch this season, so he's clearly not the same dynamic player we're used to seeing. You should make other plans for your TE spot this week.
Vernon Davis, WAS (at KC)
Speaking of other plans, Davis could be someone to consider as a replacement for Reed. Last week, the former San Francisco 49er got the start for Reed and hauled in all five of his targets for 58 yards and an 18-yard TD.
While handcuffs don't really exist at the TE position, Davis might actually be one. In a three-game stretch without Reed from Weeks 6-8 last year, Davis had 13 receptions for 176 yards and a TD. He basically took over as the top TE over the final five games of the season when Reed was a non-factor.
The matchup in Kansas City is a tough one, so Davis wouldn't be a top option, but he's definitely worth considering if you need to replace Reed or are dealing with other issues at your TE position.
Week 4 Tight End PPR Rankings
# Player (team) 1 Rob Gronkowski (NE) 2 Travis Kelce (KC) 3 Zach Ertz (PHI) 4 Jimmy Graham (SEA) 5 Jason Witten (DAL) 6 Delanie Walker (TEN) 7 Benjamin Watson (BAL) 8 Kyle Rudolph (MIN) 9 Jared Cook (OAK) 10 Charles Clay (BUF) 11 Eric Ebron (DET) 12 Vernon Davis (WAS) 13 Evan Engram (NYG) 14 Hunter Henry (LAC) 15 Martellus Bennett (GB) 16 Jordan Reed (WAS) 17 Jack Doyle (IND) 18 David Njoku (CLE) 19 Coby Fleener (NO) 20 Cameron Brate (TB) 21 Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ) 22 Ryan Griffin (HOU) 23 Austin Hooper (ATL) 24 Julius Thomas (MIA) 25 Jesse James (PIT) 26 Zach Miller (CHI) 27 Tyler Kroft (CIN) 28 Jonnu Smith (TEN) 29 Ed Dickson (CAR) 30 Marcedes Lewis (JAC) 31 Jermaine Gresham (ARI) 32 Tyler Higbee (LAR) 33 Antonio Gates (LAC) 34 Virgil Green (DEN)
Week 4 Tight End PPR Rankings
|1||Rob Gronkowski (NE)|
|2||Travis Kelce (KC)|
|3||Zach Ertz (PHI)|
|4||Jimmy Graham (SEA)|
|5||Jason Witten (DAL)|
|6||Delanie Walker (TEN)|
|7||Benjamin Watson (BAL)|
|8||Kyle Rudolph (MIN)|
|9||Jared Cook (OAK)|
|10||Charles Clay (BUF)|
|11||Eric Ebron (DET)|
|12||Vernon Davis (WAS)|
|13||Evan Engram (NYG)|
|14||Hunter Henry (LAC)|
|15||Martellus Bennett (GB)|
|16||Jordan Reed (WAS)|
|17||Jack Doyle (IND)|
|18||David Njoku (CLE)|
|19||Coby Fleener (NO)|
|20||Cameron Brate (TB)|
|21||Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ)|
|22||Ryan Griffin (HOU)|
|23||Austin Hooper (ATL)|
|24||Julius Thomas (MIA)|
|25||Jesse James (PIT)|
|26||Zach Miller (CHI)|
|27||Tyler Kroft (CIN)|
|28||Jonnu Smith (TEN)|
|29||Ed Dickson (CAR)|
|30||Marcedes Lewis (JAC)|
|31||Jermaine Gresham (ARI)|
|32||Tyler Higbee (LAR)|
|33||Antonio Gates (LAC)|
|34||Virgil Green (DEN)|
Best Streaming Options
Green Bay Packers (vs. CHI)
Surprisingly, the Packers' defense was outscored by the Bengals' defense in Week 3 thanks to the six sacks and pick-six Cincinnati managed against Aaron Rodgers. Using Green Bay with the thought they'd play with the lead for most of the game didn't work out last week, but it has a better chance of working out on Thursday night when they face Chicago.
Over the first three weeks, the Bears allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing defenses by giving up seven sacks, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a touchdown while scoring just 47 points. In last week's overtime win over the Steelers, Deonte Thompson had the lone catch by a Bears WR.
Chicago's lack of weapons will be easier for the Packers to defend, and if they can get out to a lead, they should be able to limit how much the Bears can use Jordan Howard. If that means relying on Mike Glennon, Chicago is in trouble, and the Packers will benefit.
Ownership percentages: ESPN – 7.2; Yahoo - 54
Cincinnati Bengals (at CLE)
As we saw against the Packers, the Bengals' defense had a surprisingly strong fantasy performance on a day when they were likely considered one of the worst options on the road in Green Bay. They'll go on the road again this week, yet their matchup won't be as tough with the Browns on deck.
Through three weeks, Cleveland allowed 11 sacks, eight interceptions, one fumble recovery, one TD and the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defense. Rookie DeShone Kizer is getting a chance to work through growing pains on a team willing to look at all of their options in the receiving corps and backfield. Cincinnati doesn't have to worry about any superstar talent like they did last week, so this should be a unit you can play with confidence in Week 4.
Ownership percentages: ESPN – 59.7; Yahoo – 22
Week 4 Defense Rankings
# Player (team) 1 Seattle Seahawks (SEA) 2 Jacksonville Jaguars (JAC) 3 Denver Broncos (DEN) 4 Arizona Cardinals (ARI) 5 Green Bay Packers (GB) 6 Kansas City Chiefs (KC) 7 New England Patriots (NE) 8 Minnesota Vikings (MIN) 9 Houston Texans (HOU) 10 Philadelphia Eagles (PHI) 11 Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT) 12 Baltimore Ravens (BAL) 13 Cincinnati Bengals (CIN) 14 New York Giants (NYG) 15 Atlanta Falcons (ATL) 16 Los Angeles Chargers (LAC) 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB) 18 Los Angeles Rams (LAR) 19 New York Jets (NYJ) 20 Tennessee Titans (TEN)
Week 4 Defense Rankings
|1||Seattle Seahawks (SEA)|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars (JAC)|
|3||Denver Broncos (DEN)|
|4||Arizona Cardinals (ARI)|
|5||Green Bay Packers (GB)|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs (KC)|
|7||New England Patriots (NE)|
|8||Minnesota Vikings (MIN)|
|9||Houston Texans (HOU)|
|10||Philadelphia Eagles (PHI)|
|11||Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT)|
|12||Baltimore Ravens (BAL)|
|13||Cincinnati Bengals (CIN)|
|14||New York Giants (NYG)|
|15||Atlanta Falcons (ATL)|
|16||Los Angeles Chargers (LAC)|
|17||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB)|
|18||Los Angeles Rams (LAR)|
|19||New York Jets (NYJ)|
|20||Tennessee Titans (TEN)|
Best Options Widely Available on the Waiver Wire
Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU (vs. TEN)
You probably never heard of Fairbaim until last week, but you should definitely be aware of him since he should be available to grab for Week 4. While the Texans came up short in New England, Fairbairn came through with four field goals and three extra points to finish the week as the No. 3 fantasy kicker. Houston has another favorable matchup at home with the Titans on Sunday, so look for Fairbairn to be busy.
Ownership percentages: ESPN – 1.7; Yahoo - 0
Cody Parkey, MIA (vs. NO)
It's rare to suggest picking up and using a kicker a week after he had no field-goal attempts and didn't convert his only extra-point attempt. However, it's fair to believe the Dolphins' offense won't lay another egg in an excellent matchup with the Saints on Sunday in London. After an awful performance on the road against the Jets in Week 3, Miami should be able to bounce back and actually give Parkey some opportunities. The Saints have allowed the third-most points to kickers this season.
Ownership percentages: ESPN – 2.2; Yahoo - 4
Week 4 Kicker Rankings
# Player (team) 1 Stephen Gostkowski (NE) 2 Matt Bryant (ATL) 3 Dan Bailey (DAL) 4 Blair Walsh (SEA) 5 Mason Crosby (GB) 6 Ka'imi Fairbairn (HOU) 7 Justin Tucker (BAL) 8 Matt Prater (DET) 9 Brandon McManus (DEN) 10 Wil Lutz (NO) 11 Cody Parkey (MIA) 12 Ryan Succop (TEN) 13 Dustin Hopkins (WAS) 14 Jake Elliott (PHI) 15 Giorgio Tavecchio (OAK) 16 Graham Gano (CAR) 17 Aldrick Rosas (NYG) 18 Phil Dawson (ARI) 19 Nick Folk (TB) 20 Greg Zuerlein (LAR)
Week 4 Kicker Rankings
|1||Stephen Gostkowski (NE)|
|2||Matt Bryant (ATL)|
|3||Dan Bailey (DAL)|
|4||Blair Walsh (SEA)|
|5||Mason Crosby (GB)|
|6||Ka'imi Fairbairn (HOU)|
|7||Justin Tucker (BAL)|
|8||Matt Prater (DET)|
|9||Brandon McManus (DEN)|
|10||Wil Lutz (NO)|
|11||Cody Parkey (MIA)|
|12||Ryan Succop (TEN)|
|13||Dustin Hopkins (WAS)|
|14||Jake Elliott (PHI)|
|15||Giorgio Tavecchio (OAK)|
|16||Graham Gano (CAR)|
|17||Aldrick Rosas (NYG)|
|18||Phil Dawson (ARI)|
|19||Nick Folk (TB)|
|20||Greg Zuerlein (LAR)|