Week 4 Fantasy Football Rankings: Positional Overview, Guide and Advice

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2018

Aaron Rodgers should get the Packers on track against the Bills.
Aaron Rodgers should get the Packers on track against the Bills.Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

We have reached one of the key demarcation points of the 2018 season. Week 4 means that nearly all 32 teams have shown their hands and demonstrated what kind of team they will be in the 2018 season.

Yes, there can be some improvement throughout the remainder of the season, and other teams will suffer injuries and lose ground, but the majority of teams will have revealed their offensive personality by the time Week 4 action has concluded.

One of the key questions this week involves the Minnesota Vikings. Ranked by many of the preseason magazines as the team to beat in the NFC, the Vikings were overwhelming 17-point home favorites over the Buffalo Bills.

The game turned into a rout, but it was the lowly Bills who triumphed by a 27-6 margin. Will Kirk Cousins and the Vikings bounce back in a short week when they face the Los Angeles Rams, or is this an indication of a bigger problem?

The vote here is that Kirk Cousins and the Vikings bounce back and play solid football against the undefeated Rams.

Here's a look at our positional rankings headed into Week 4.

Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Bills, 335 yards, 3 TDs 
2. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs at Broncos, 325 yards, 3 TDs 
3. Drew Brees, Saints at Giants, 315 yards, 3 TDs
4. Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. 49ers, 325 yards, 2 TDs
5. Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Bengals, 305 yards, 2 TDs
6. Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Dolphins, 295 yards, 2 TDs 
7. Carson Wentz, Eagles at Titans, 290 yards, 2 TDs
8. Kirk Cousins, Vikings at Rams, 285 yards, 2 TDs
9. Jared Goff, Rams vs. Vikings, 305 yards, 1 TD
10. Russell Wilson, Seahawks at Cardinals, 275 yards, 1 TD

The Green Bay Packers should be in an excellent spot at home against the Bills, similar to the one the Vikings were in last week.

Rodgers and his teammates see how that favorable position went for Minnesota, so it should ensure that the Packers come with their best effort. Green Bay lost at Washington in Week 3, and the Packers will have to turn it on.

While divisional positioning means little at this point, the 1-1-1 Packers have to look up at the 2-1 Chicago Bears. That goes against everything the Packers stand for, and they should be ready for a big game.

Look for Rodgers to have a huge game. He will get excellent protection from his offensive line and he should be razor-sharp with his throws.

No quarterback has been more explosive than Patrick Mahomes to this point, and he has thrown for 896 yards and 13 touchdowns in three games. Mahomes has not thrown an interception yet, and even though he is going to Denver this week, he should have another stellar game.

Ezekiel Elliott remains one of the elite running backs in the NFL.
Ezekiel Elliott remains one of the elite running backs in the NFL.Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Running Backs

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys vs. Lions, 155 yards, 2 TDs
2. Saquon Barkley, Giants vs. Saints, 135 yards, 2 TDs
3. Alvin Kamara, Saints at Giants, 125 yards, 2 TDs
4. Kareem Hunt, Chiefs at Broncos, 100 yards, 1 TD
5. Jordan Howard, Bears vs. Buccaneers, 90 yards, 1 TD
6. Todd Gurley, Rams vs. Vikings, 89 yards, 1 TD
7. Tevin Coleman, Falcons vs. Bengals, 86 yards, 1 TD
8. Kenyan Drake, Dolphins at Patriots, 80 yards, 1 TD
9. Giovani Bernard, Bengals at Falcons, 75 yards, 1 TD
10. Lamar Miller, Texans at Colts, 85 yards

The Dallas Cowboys need to get their passing game going if they are going to have a chance to win the division and play in the postseason. Right now, their offensive game plan looks limited. However, Ezekiel Elliott is a game-changing running back who can carry the offense in many weeks.

This should be one of them, as the Cowboys host the Detroit Lions. Look for Elliott to take advantage of Detroit's inconsistency. Additionally, the Lions are coming off a shocking win over the Patriots, and they may not be ready for another top effort.

Rookie Saquon Barkley appears to have a chance for a huge game against the New Orleans Saints. Barkley's speed, power and balance should be too much for a New Orleans defense that has been struggling throughout the season.

Wide Receivers

1. Julio Jones, Falcons vs. Bengals, 135 yards, 2 TDs
2. A.J. Green, Bengals at Falcons, 130 yards, 2 TDs
3. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants vs. Saints, 125 yards, 2 TDs
4. Cooper Kupp, Rams at Vikings, 100 yards, 1 TD
5. Antonio Brown, Steelers vs. Ravens, 95 yards, 1 TD
6. Davante Adams, Packers vs. Bills, 90 yards, 1 TD
7. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans at Colts, 88 yards, 1 TD
8. Michael Thomas, Saints at Giants, 85 yards, 1 TD
9. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs at Broncos, 95 yards
10. Keenan Allen, Chargers vs. 49ers, 93 yards

The Atlanta Falcons had an offensive explosion in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints, but even though Matt Ryan threw five touchdown passes, the Falcons lost the game. Atlanta gets another chance at home this week against the Cincinnati Bengals, who remain on the road after playing at Carolina last week.

This should play into the hands of Jones, who has caught 20 passes for 329 yards and no touchdowns. He has five receptions of 20 yards or more, so this should be the week he finds the ends zone.

This is likely to be a back-and-forth game, and the Bengals will counter with A.J. Green. The Bengals' top wideout caught three TD passes in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens, and he should be primed for a big game against the Falcons.

Odell Beckham Jr. also sets up to have a huge game against the Saints. New Orleans had a surprisingly strong year on defense in 2017 after finishing near the bottom of the league for two years, and now that performance looks like a fluke.

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, Packers vs. Dolphins, 125 yards, 1 TD
2. Travis Kelce, Chiefs at Broncos, 115 yards, 1 TD
3. Evan Engram, Giants vs. Saints, 100 yards, 1 TD
4. O.J. Howard, Buccaneers at Bears, 85 yards, 1 TD
5. Eric Ebron, Colts vs. Texans, 95 yards
6. Zach Ertz, Eagles at Titans, 90 yards
7. Jimmy Graham, Packers vs. Bills, 88 yards
8. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings at Rams, 85 yards
9. Trey Burton, Bears vs. Buccaneers, 82 yards
10. Jared Cook, Raiders vs. Browns, 80 yards

The selection of Rob Gronkowski at the top of the tight end list is usually one of the safest plays in fantasy football. Gronkowski is the top player at his position, and the only thing that has held him back over the years has been injuries.

However, the Patriots are severely lacking at the wide receiver position early in the season, and that means opposing defenses are focusing on putting the clamps on Gronkowski. He has caught 13 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown in New England's first three games. 

Gronkowski may have problems once again when the Patriots host the Miami Dolphins, but the belief here is that Gronkowski and the Patriots will wake up from their malaise and have a big game. When the Pats move to Week 5, they will get Julian Edelman back from a suspension, and that should make Gronkowski an even better target. 

Travis Kelce should also be productive for the Chiefs at Denver. Kelce has caught 16 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos will have to concern themselves with Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, so that should give Kelce an excellent opportunity.

           

Placekickers

1. Justin Tucker, Ravens at Steelers
2. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots vs. Dolphins
3. Harrison Butker, Chiefs at Broncos
4. Jake Elliott, Eagles at Titans
5. Matt Bryant, Falcons vs. Bengals
6. Wil Lutz, Saints at Giants
7. Mason Crosby, Packers vs. Bills
8. Matt Prater, Lions at Cowboys
9. Dan Bailey, Vikings at Rams
10. Adam Vinatieri, Colts vs. Texans

       

Defenses

1. Chicago vs. Tampa Bay
2. Dallas vs. Detroit
3. Minnesota at Los Angeles Rams
4. Green Bay vs. Buffalo
5. New England vs. Miami
6. Miami at New England
7. Seattle at Arizona
8. Houston at Indianapolis
9. Tennessee at Philadelphia
10. Philadelphia at Tennessee

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