NFL Week 4 Fantasy Football Rankings - The Blueprint

Sep 28th 2023

Hayden Winks

Every site has a fantasy football rankings column. None of them will be as charted up on a Thursday afternoon as this one. I'll go position-by-position with the charts, matchup notes, film, and injury nuggets that I view as worth your time. I also have my recap column where I have quick notes on the top 200 players' usage and film, in addition to their expected half PPR points based on their usage. Here is the data:

Week 4 QB Rankings

1. Josh Allen - Bills vs. MIA (28.75 team total, -3.0 spread)

Buffalo has been throwing underneath more and is getting efficient touches from the backfield for the first time in the Allen era. Offenses facing Dolphins DC Vic Fangio's two-deep defense are choosing to run the ball at the 3rd-highest rate in the NFL, so Allen may have to be patient here. Still, this is the only game with an over|under of 49.5 points or higher (54.0) and Allen can be a part of the ground game. I also believe CBs Xavien Howard, Eli Apple, and Kader Kohou are beatable through the air despite the early results. 22.15 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

2. Jalen Hurts - Eagles vs. WAS (26.0, -8.5)

It's impressive that Hurts is still the fantasy QB6 when the Eagles are 23rd in passing success rate to start the year. They'll close the gap on last year's No. 17 finish in that ranking, however, while relying on the big play. The Commanders are loaded up front, but so are the Eagles. Washington is 21st in passing EPA allowed and 20th against fantasy QBs. This is a decent matchup for Hurts through the air, in addition to his unstoppable goal line usage. His 3 rushing TDs inside the 5-yard line are tied for the NFL lead. 21.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

3. Patrick Mahomes - Chiefs @ NYJ (25.75, -9.5)

The Jets' offense has been so bad that their defense has allowed the most plays, and the Jets' defense hasn't been the elite unit it was in 2022. They're 22nd in sack rate and 25th in passing EPA allowed. CB Sauce Gardner isn't as much of a problem with the Chiefs spreading the ball out. The shootout potential is low here, however. Kansas City's team total sits at 25.75 points, which is slightly lower than normal. Also, keep an eye out on Mahomes' sack rate this year. It's never been better. 21.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

4. Justin Herbert - Chargers vs. LV (27.0, -5.5)

We're getting better offensive design, more downfield shots (see above), and better success on the ground than usual with OC Kellen Moore. Herbert has taken advantage, leading the Chargers to top-6 rankings in passing and rushing success rate. The Raiders don't have EDGE2 Chandler Jones, and 1st-round EDGE3 Tyree Wilson is 114th in pass rush win rate out of 115 qualifiers per PFF. Once again, Vegas is 29th in passing EPA allowed. The tricky part is filling Mike Williams' shoes, as Quentin Johnston profiles as a low volume option while he develops his hands and familiarity with the offense. It helps Herbert's projection that multiple key starters on his defense could miss this game. This game has the 2nd-highest over|under of the week (48.5 points). He's averaging 310 passing yards in his 6 career games against LV. 20.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

5. Tua Tagovailoa - Dolphins @ BUF (25.5, +3.0)

Revolutionizing the NFL like the Warriors did with 3-pointers, coach Mike McDaniel is using motion, RPOs, play action, and off-tackle runs to perfection. The Bills are somewhat used to it, playing them twice in the division last year. The Dolphins had a 44% neutral pass rate against this two-high defense last year, so a balanced approach can't be ruled out. With that said, opposing offenses have chosen to pass the ball at the 3rd-highest rate in the NFL against the Bills and the Dolphins project for a very healthy 25.5 points on the road in the highest-scoring game of the week. Tagovailoa is taking away the pass rush (where Buffalo ranks 1st in sack rate) by delivering passes just 2.2 seconds after the snap. That's an unheard of number. 19.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

6. Anthony Richardson - Colts vs. LAR (23.5, -0.5)

Due back from his concussion, Richardson looks to take advantage of an intriguing game plan. The Colts are 3rd in neutral pace per Sam Hoppen, and Richardson has 3 TDs on 9 designed QB runs already. As a passer, Richardson's No. 18 ranking in success rate is better than expected now that Michael Pittman and slot Josh Downs are making things easier underneath. In fact, Richardson is dead last in average depth of target (5.1 yards downfield) right now. If things begin to open up, Richardson has top-5 fantasy upside. The Rams are 23rd in sack rate and 15th in passing EPA allowed. 20.15 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

7. Kirk Cousins - Vikings @ CAR (25.0, -4.5)

This is a matchup featuring the 2nd-most pass heavy offense and a defense that's 2nd-worst defending the run. Minnesota could be tempted to run the ball more than normal with Carolina down to two backup LBs, but that'd be going away from their own strengths and Panthers S Xavier Woods was a DNP on Wednesday. Getting C Garrett Bradbury (limited on Wednesday) back would be a win against the Panthers' No. 4 sack rate defense. Cousins is fantasy's QB1 through three weeks. 19.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

8. Daniel Jones - Giants vs. SEA (24.25, -1.0)

This is a shocking ranking after Jones' cold start, but the Giants are projected for 24.25 points per the betting markets (10th highest). Jones is the entire offense while Saquon Barkley heals his high-ankle sprain. In fact, he only trails Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Fields in designed QB rushes (10) so far per Sports Info Solutions. Through the air, Seattle has struggled, ranking 29th in sack rate, 27th in passing EPA allowed, and 23rd against fantasy QBs. There are defensive injuries to monitor here throughout the week. 16.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

9. Lamar Jackson - Ravens @ CLE (20.25, -2.0)

This is a brutal matchup for Lamar, as the Browns have the top-3 success rate games of the year, while ranking 1st in passing EPA and 2nd in rushing EPA allowed. Cleveland has been best against fantasy QBs, RBs, WRs, and TEs!!! New DC Jim Schwartz is making a big difference, and the betting markets are taking notice. The Ravens only project for 18.75 points (27th) as road dogs. It's been disappointing to see Baltimore 30th in neutral pass rate and 28th in air yards per game after all the offseason hype, and we're back to Odell Beckham (ankle) and Rashod Bateman (hamstring) trending out. At least Jackson is 1st in rushing yards on QB designed runs. 19.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

10. Justin Fields - Bears vs. DEN (21.25, +3.5)

It was ugly again, but Fields at least had 7 QB designed runs in Week 3. They need more of that and more downfield shots (see above) out of their dual-threat QB to have a chance. Luckily they face a defense that arguably gave up last week against the Dolphins' ground game. The Bears' team total is up to 21.25 points this week, so it's a buy low spot for Fields. Denver is laughably last in passing and rushing EPA allowed on defense after letting stud DC Ejiro Evero leave this offseason. Broncos LB Frank Clark (hip), LB Josey Jewell (hip), and DT Mike Purcell (ribs) didn't practice on Wednesday, too. 16.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

11. Brock Purdy - 49ers vs. ARI (29.0, -14.0)

San Francisco's 29.0-point team total is the highest of the week, and Purdy is the QB14 so far. This assumes Brandon Aiyuk (shoulder) is back. 16.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

12. Trevor Lawrence - Jaguars vs. ATL in London (23.25, -3.0)

The Falcons have allowed the 6th-fewest plays on defense because of their identity, and FS Jessie Bates has made a difference in Atlanta's No. 20 passing EPA. For Lawrence, there's been a comedy of errors around him that've stalled drives. The offense is 10th in success rate, yet are 28th in EPA. That'll even out long term, as long as Calvin Ridley stops dropping passes (NFL-lead with 4). The Jaguars' No. 25 pass blocking PFF grade isn't helping the cause either, but the Falcons defense is 30th in sack rate with below-average edge rushers. This should be a more efficient but maybe less voluminous game from the fellow blonded man.

13. Geno Smith - Seahawks @ NYG (23.25, +1.0)

17.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

14. Joe Burrow - Bengals @ TEN (21.75, -2.5)

The Bengals don't have a single carry and only two dropbacks from under center this year, probably because Burrow's calf can't handle the movement required. The offense is stuck without creativity and mostly underneath passes, which is why Ja'Marr Chase moved into the slot in Week 3. The Titans' elite rushing defense will put more pressure on Burrow's quick-hitting pass game, but it's harder for Burrow to hit a ceiling without out-of-pocket throws and scrambling. The Titans are vulnerable in isolation in the secondary, however. Better results from Burrow and company are expected. Cincy's 21.75-point team total just means it's not fully back to normal yet. 17.55 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

15. Dak Prescott - Cowboys vs. NE (24.75, -6.5)

16.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

16. Russell Wilson - Broncos @ CHI (24.75, -3.5)

16.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

17. Jared Goff - Lions @ GB (23.0, +0.5)

17.35 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

18. Matthew Stafford - Rams @ IND (23.0, +0.5)

16.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

19. Jordan Love - Packers vs. DET (22.25, +1.5)

17.35 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

20. Kenny Pickett - Steelers @ HOU (22.75, -3.0)

15.15 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

21. C.J. Stroud - Texans vs. PIT (19.75, +3.0)

15.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

22. Derek Carr - Saints vs. TB (22.0, -3.5)

23. Dorian Thompson-Robinson - Browns vs. BAL (21.75, -3.0)

24. Baker Mayfield - Bucs @ NO (18.5, +3.5)

14.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

25. Aidan O'Connell - Raiders @ LAC (21.5, +5.5)

26. Bryce Young - Panthers vs. MIN (20.5, +4.5)

15.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

27. Sam Howell - Commanders @ PHI (17.5, +8.5)

28. Mac Jones - Patriots @ DAL (18.25, +6.5)

14.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

29. Desmond Ridder - Falcons @ JAX in London (20.25, +3.0)

30. Ryan Tannehill - Titans vs. CIN (19.25, +2.5)

13.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

31. Joshua Dobbs - Cardinals @ SF (15.0, +14.0)

32. Zach Wilson - Jets vs. KC (16.25, +9.5)

Week 4 RB Rankings

I can't recommend looking at the RB charts I have here more.

  1. Christian McCaffrey - This is an "eruption spot" per the chart.

  2. Tony Pollard - He's averaging 5.3 expected half PPR points more than any RB in the NFL through 3 weeks.

  3. Bijan Robinson - The Jaguars have already allowed 18 receptions to opposing RBs, and Atlanta can't afford to let Desmond Ridder run a real dropback passing game. The ball flows through the backs with Bijan schemed up most. The main worry is Tyler Allgeier's involvement in the red zone. Allgeier has a 3-to-1 touch advantage inside the 5-yard line so far.

  4. Kenneth Walker - This is an "eruption spot" per the chart. 13.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  5. Kyren Williams - The RB6 on RB2 usage. 13.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  6. Zack Moss - The RB4 on RB5 usage, but the return of Anthony Richardson works against Moss at the goal line and potentially as a receiver. 13.15 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  7. Raheem Mostert - The RB1 on RB9 usage so far. Last year against Buffalo, Mostert had a 17-136-0 rushing line in a 32-29 loss, when Miami had a 44% neutral pass rate (below their average). It's possible that Mostert is used as a counter to Buffalo's typical two-high shell. It certainly worked last week against Denver. 11.55 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  8. D'Andre Swift - After a huge Week 2 on 24.9 expected half PPR points, Swift's role changed slightly with Kenny Gainwell back in the lineup. He ran well (behind wide open rushing lanes) on 12.2 expected fantasy points. Swift's 50% route rate and 50% goal line role next to Hurts leave him with a boom-bust profile still, but things look nice in general. Washington is a neutral opponent with Philly opening as 8.5-point home favorites. 12.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  9. Travis Etienne - He's top-5 in carries and receptions at the position, but it's concerning that Tank Bigsby vultured (and converted) the Jaguars' lone goal-line opportunity last week. Etienne is the RB14 on RB21 fantasy usage despite a ton of raw snaps. The Falcons have improved defensively and will drain clock offensively. It's a neutral matchup.

  10. Josh Jacobs - Career worst start in yards *before* and yards *after* contact, largely because of poor blocking. More importantly, the Raiders are 31st in plays per game so far. There are some saving graces here, however. Jacobs has RB7 usage on an elite 79% snap rate, and the Chargers are 27th in rushing success rate allowed. He had a 26-144-1 rushing line against them last year. 12.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  11. Derrick Henry - If 1st-round OG Peter Skoronski (appendix rupture) is out again, the Titans very clearly have the worst OL in the NFL. It's playing into Henry's career-worst broken tackle rate as he's getting no momentum. The Bengals are at least allowing 4.4 YPC to RBs, but Henry's RB15 ranking in usage and 53% snap rate are concerning. 12.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  12. James Cook - This is an "eruption spot" per the chart. He's been the RB15 on RB16 fantasy usage so far, even though he's losing almost all goal-line opportunities. Opposing offenses have ran at the 3rd-highest rate against the Dolphins (see: Chargers Week 1). 11.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  13. Alvin Kamara - No Jamaal Williams, and rookie Kendre Miller didn't run away with the job in Week 3. Kamara has fresh legs off suspension and should be a focal point if this conservative offense is scared of unleashing Jameis Winston. The Buccaneers are no longer the intense defensive front against RBs. New Orleans is 3.5-point home favorites. 10.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  14. David Montgomery - projects Montgomery to be effective playing through his thigh bruise, and he had 12.7 and 12.5 expected half PPR points in his first two starts (equivalent to RB2 value). His early-down abilities play into the relative weakness of the Packers defense. Last year, the Lions had a 41% neutral pass rate in their two games against Green Bay, which is more run heavy than their baseline. Meanwhile, Jahmyr Gibbs will be back into his better role as a change-of-pace receiver and outside-the-tackles home run threat. He had 6.9 and 12.4 expected half PPR points with Montgomery early. He's yet to rip off that huge play, while struggling with drops and pass protection. A splash play is waiting for him.

  15. Aaron Jones - He's been limited and could be on a snap count in his return, but the Packers need him in this divisional game now that the Bears and Vikings are mostly out of contention. Jones balled out on 12.7 expected half PPR points in Week 1 thanks to some fun pass-game designs. Since then, AJ Dillon has ran with concrete ankles.

  16. Joe Mixon - CIN was 1st in neutral pass rate last week despite Burrow's calf issue, and this week Mixon faces the vaunted Titans defense. Offenses facing TEN chooses to pass the ball at the highest rate in neutral game scripts because of their alien defensive linemen. Opposing RBs are averaging a laughable 2.7 YPC so far. 12.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  17. Dameon Pierce - The OL has to get better before a full breakout, but All Pro LT Laremy Tunsil is expected to return this week after Pierce has had 15.2 and 14.2 expected half PPR points in the last two games. The Texans have a very watchable offense, aside from their between-tackles carries so far. Pittsburgh is 6th-worst against fantasy RBs on 5.4 YPC so far (though they've faced CMC, Chubb, and Jacobs). 8.55 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  18. Rachaad White - The RB12 usage has been nice, but White's struggled with efficiency again and now faces a Saints defense that's 7th-best against fantasy RBs while allowing just 3.8 YPC. The Bucs' 18.25 projected points are 5th worst this week. 11.35 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  19. Jahmyr Gibbs - See RB19 David Montgomery.

  20. Najee Harris - At least the schedule opens up. Houston is 6th-worst against fantasy RBs, while the Steelers have a season-high 22.25-point team total on offense. 8.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  21. Joshua Kelley - Ah shit, here we go again... It's hard to play 78% and 74% snaps on an offense that's been 7th in EPA during those starts and still fail in fantasy, but Kelley has pulled it off. The Chargers' 71% neutral pass rate over the last two weeks leads the NFL after lighting it up on the ground in Week 1. Will that change without Mike Williams? Maybe a tad. The Raiders are 8th-worst against fantasy RBs so far. 65.5 total yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  22. Miles Sanders (Questionable) - A groin injury has made him limited-limited-DNP, but RapSheet says it's "no issue". As for his play, it hasn't been pretty, but Sanders is the RB17 on RB8 fantasy usage with the Panthers being forced into targeting their RBs. Their team total is slightly up (21.0 points) at home against a vulnerable Vikings defense. They've blitzed at outlier levels, which has worked against RBs catching passes to date. The good news is Sanders has the only inside the 5-yard line RB opportunity on the team, and the Vikings are averaging 101 rushing yards to RBs so far. 11.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  23. Alexander Mattison - It's almost impossible to be the RB18 on RB4 fantasy usage, but that's the Vikings' injured OL and Mattison's lack of explosion for you. Cam Akers threatens this week for the first time, as Minnesota heads to Carolina. At least the Panthers are 31st in rushing EPA and 28th in rushing success rate allowed. 11.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  24. Jerome Ford - The Ravens have allowed 3.7 scoreless YPC to RBs so far and were elite last year since trading for LB Roquan Smith. It's a difficult matchup on the ground for Ford, who saw the only goal-line opportunity and played 60% snaps before garbage time ensued last week. Kareem Hunt (ribs, groin) was a DNP on Wednesday. 11.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  25. Rhamondre Stevenson - He's been sluggish in an early-down committee to start the year, and this isn't a cupcake matchup on paper. The Cowboys are 3rd-best against fantasy RBs so far, but game script works in Rhamondre's favor here as 7-point road dogs. Stevenson has played on 73% of the Patriots' dropbacks on the 3rd-most routes at the position. This could be a backdoor PPR outing. 11.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  26. De'Von Achane - MIA is 2nd in RB fantasy usage after a record-breaking Week 3 game where Achane was schemed up to his strengths. If this is a 65% to 35% split in favor of Mostert, then Achane most likely projects for about 7 to 10 expected half PPR points each week. For reference, Salvon Ahmed saw just 4.7 and 5.4 expected half PPR points in Weeks 1 and 2. Achane will be effective on his touches, so he's on the RB2-to-flex radar despite being his own team's No. 2 option. Jeff Wilson is at least another week away. 48.5 total yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  27. Javonte Williams - Game script works in Javonte's favor as the primary early-down rusher on a team projected to win by 3.5 points against Chicago's 31st-ranked fantasy RB defense. Williams has been stuck in the mud on his opportunities while working through a very serious multi-ligament knee injury, but he's at least the RB28 in fantasy usage. 9.15 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  28. Isiah Pacheco - A plethora of inside the 5-yard line opportunities helped Pacheco pay off in a blowout win last week, and things look similar this week as 8.5-point favorites against the Jets. New York, however, has been stingy against the run (3.6 YPC to RBs). 9.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  29. Brian Robinson - Philly is 2nd-best against fantasy RBs, allowing 2.8 YPC. Game script once again works against B-Rob's early-down skillset. In last week's blowout loss, Robinson had 8 routes and a season-low 7.2 expected half PPR points. The Commanders are 8.5-point road dogs. 10.85 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  30. James Conner - The RB1 on offense projected for fewest points (15.0) against a 49ers defense that's allowed the fewest rushing yards to RBs (37.0 per game). Conner's played on 51% of dropbacks, which is a concern as 14-point road dogs. 10.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  31. Tyler Allgeier - The RB22 on RB26 usage, but Atlanta is a 3-point dog.

  32. Matt Breida - New York is dead last in RB fantasy usage, and last week was an even touch split between Breida and Gary Brightwell before garbage time. That said, Breida played 82% of the snaps and the Giants are projected for a healthy 24.25 points at home against the Seahawks. 49.5 rushing yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  33. Khalil Herbert - This is an "eruption spot" after the Broncos were lifeless against the Dolphins RBs last week. The problem is this is a near even split backfield, and the Bears are still projected for just 21.25 points at home. This is a TD-or-bust proposition with completions almost non-existent in this backfield. 55.5 total yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  34. Ezekiel Elliott - See RB25 Rhamondre Stevenson.

  35. Breece Hall - 49% snaps were a season-high last week as they begin phasing him out of his snap count, but the Jets remain an abomination on offense, projected for just 16.25 points at home. Because of game scripts, the Chiefs are 4th-best against fantasy RBs, though schemed up receptions are expected for Hall. It's worth noting that since Hall has been the RB54 out of 55 qualifiers in PFF grade over the last two weeks, with just one forced missed tackle on a 1.6 YPC average. 8.15 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  36. Jaylen Warren - The RB33 on RB32 usage.

  37. Chuba Hubbard - See RB21 Miles Sanders.

  38. Roschon Johnson - See RB34 Khalil Herbert.

  39. Kenneth Gainwell - 11.6 expected half PPR points last week. 40.5 rushing yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  40. Latavius Murray - The RB36 on RB35 usage.

  41. Jerick McKinnon - The RB34 on RB53 usage.

  42. Justice Hill - See RB41 Gus Edwards.

  43. Gus Edwards - The Browns have allowed 83 scoreless total yards per game to RBs so far, ranking 1st in success rate allowed on the ground as well. Justice Hill is expected to play after a full practice on Friday.

  44. Cam Akers - Expected to be active.

  45. Rico Dowdle - The RB37 on RB41 usage.

  46. Samaje Perine - The RB42 on RB39 usage.

  47. Clyde Edwards-Helaire - The RB40 on RB45 usage.

  48. Antonio Gibson - Gamescript is the only positive.

  49. Zach Charbonnet - The RB54 on RB44 usage.

  50. Tyjae Spears - The RB51 on RB42 usage.

  51. AJ Dillon - Assumes Aaron Jones is back.

  52. Elijah Mitchell (Questionable)

  53. Tank Bigsby - See RB9 Travis Etienne.

  54. Dalvin Cook - The RB48 on RB40 usage.

  55. Kareem Hunt - DNP-limited-limited in practice.

Week 4 WR Rankings

  1. Justin Jefferson - The WR3 on WR2 usage.

  2. Tyreek Hill - The WR1 on WR1 usage.

  3. Keenan Allen - 15.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  4. Ja'Marr Chase - More slot usage was the changeup needed to provide Chase with a ceiling and floor while Burrow works through his calf injury. The Titans happen to be the NFL's biggest pass funnel this week, so double digit targets are fully expected. 15.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  5. Davante Adams - The WR4 on WR6 usage. The Chargers made CB1 J.C. Jackson a healthy scratch, and they could be without star SS Derwin James (hamstring) and star EDGE Joey Bosa (hamstring, toe) this week. Jimmy Garoppolo (concussion) is out. 15.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  6. Stefon Diggs - The Bills' more balanced offense and shorter average depth of target has dropped Diggs' expected half PPR points from 16.0 last year to 13.2 this year. This high-flying matchup isn't the game to worry about that, however. The Dolphins have played well through the air but are starting multiple backup CBs. CB1 Xavien Howard will see Diggs plenty. He's beatable. 14.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  7. A.J. Brown - His expected half PPR points are actually up this year (14.7) versus last year (11.9), so more huge games are coming. Washington has a rookie CB starting on the outside. 13.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  8. Amon-Ra St. Brown - He has 10, 9, and 9 targets against the Packers, as an extension of the ground game with underneath passes.

  9. Puka Nacua - The WR10 on WR5 usage. Even in last week's disappointment, Nacua saw a 21% target share. The Colts are 24th against fantasy WRs, while starting 2nd-round boom-bust rookie Julius Brents at outside corner. 4 different WRs have caught 7+ passes against Indy already in this projected volume fest. 12.55 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  10. Deebo Samuel (Questionable) - This assumes Brandon Aiyuk is back and Deebo is actually healthy. He's missed practice all week with his ribs, but the team is optimistic he'll play (likely after a pain injection). 12.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  11. CeeDee Lamb - A matchup with Bill Belichick is never fun, especially with the Patriots changing up their defensive personnel on a weekly basis now. Lamb worries me a tad with the more balanced play-calling at this point. He's the WR23 on WR28 usage so far, seeing his expected half PPR points drop from 12.9 points last year to 10.7 this year. 14.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  12. Chris Olave - Maybe losing Derek Carr (questionable) and adding Alvin Kamara hurts. He's been the WR17 on WR10 usage so far. Let's monitor the status of CB2 Jamel Dean (DNPx2). 12.55 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  13. Tee Higgins - The Titans are the biggest pass funnel. 10.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  14. Jaylen Waddle - He's one of the biggest boom-bust fantasy assets, but this offense is too potent to ignore right now even if he's nowhere near schemed up as much as Tyreek Hill. If the Dolphins build upon their ground game even more, that'd be somewhat troubling for Waddle. Still, there are 5-120-2 games coming. 10.55 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  15. Calvin Ridley - WR17 usage if he can fix the drops (4). He'll get CB1 A.J. Terrell in coverage this week. It's not as easy of a matchup as last week.

  16. DK Metcalf - The Giants are 30th in passing EPA allowed, and their outside CBs are two rookie CBs. Outside WRs Marquise Brown (6-54-1) and Deebo Samuel (6-129-1) just lit up this defense. 12.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  17. DeVonta Smith - The Commanders (26th vs. fantasy WRs) have surrendered big plays to Marvin Mims and Gabe Davis in recent weeks, which Smith has been reliant on. Smith is only averaging 7.7 expected half PPR points (WR47) with the offense running more than usual. He's too good for that not to improve, however. 13.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  18. Brandon Aiyuk - He's had 13.3 and 9.5 expected half PPR points in his starts before sitting out last week with an AC joint sprain. It's tough to play WR with that injury, but he'll get an injection most likely. The Cardinals have let lesser-talented X WRs Isaiah Hodgins (4-40-1) and Michael Gallup (6-92-0) to get home. 11.85 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  19. Michael Pittman - The WR16 on WR9 usage. They've played better than their talent, but I think the Rams will be a defense to attack over the course of the year. A Ja'Marr Chase 12-141-0 receiving line is the latest example. 10.85 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  20. George Pickens - Since Diontae Johnson's injury, Pickens has a spicy 27% target rate while operating over the middle more than he was last year. The Texans put CB1 Derek Stingley on IR last week, helping the Steelers project for a solid 22.75 points this week. 9.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  21. Mike Evans - It's CB Marshon Lattimore week, and both are playing at their peaks again. 10.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  22. Amari Cooper - This ranking updated for DTR starting... The WR5 in air yards, as the offense plays more boom-bust with Deshaun Watson. Spike weeks are available for Cooper, who drew a million DPI calls last week. The Ravens are very well coached on defense but CB1 Marlon Humphrey remains out. 12.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  23. Christian Kirk - This assumes Zay Jones (DNPx2) is out again. Kirk has 11.7 expected half PPR points per game with Jones injured, which is equivalent to WR20 usage. He should dodge CB1 A.J. Terrell in the slot, too.

  24. Jakobi Meyers - 16.8 and 17.2 expected half PPR points in his two starts, thanks to 5 red zone targets and some schemed touches. McDaniels is using heavy personnel, meaning it's Meyers vs. Adams for targets primarily. In fact, no other WR or TE has a 5% target share so far. Meyers gets an easy matchup with the Chargers' injured (and bad) secondary. 8.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  25. Tutu Atwell - The WR15 on WR15 fantasy usage, but he gets the Colts top CB in nickel Kenny Moore. 9.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  26. Marquise Brown (Questionable) - Offenses facing the Niners have the highest neutral pass rate in the NFL, and the Cardinals are 14-point dogs here. Volume shouldn't be a concern for Brown, who is the WR26 on WR31 usage so far. He's made some real nice plays on tape. 10.15 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  27. Courtland Sutton - The WR21 on WR24 usage. Chicago now, potentially without FS1 Eddie Jackson and CB1 Jaylon Johnson. He's been Sean Payton's intermediate target, while Jerry Jeudy and Marvin Mims have operated more downfield. 9.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  28. Jerry Jeudy - The hamstring injury isn't impacting his playing time any more, so spike weeks are back on the table. His 10.7 expected half PPR points from last week were far fewer than Sutton's but are more than enough for WR3|flex appeal against the hopeless Bears. 10.75 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  29. Nico Collins - The WR20 on WR26 usage, and now he faces the Steelers who are 28th against fantasy WRs. Outside WRs Brandon Aiyuk (8-129-2), Amari Cooper (7-90-0), Davante Adams (13-172-2), and Jakobi Meyers (7-85-0) have eaten against Pittsburgh. 8.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  30. Tyler Lockett - See WR17 DK Metcalf. 9.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  31. Jordan Addison - Still in the No. 3 role, Addison is living on the big play and in garbage time so far. That's scary, but the Vikings' No. 2 neutral pass rate and Addison's skills are worth banking on. Addison could leap K.J. Osborn, who is 2nd in the NFL in routes, at any time now that Minnesota is 0-3. 40.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  32. Zay Flowers - Usage has dropped to WR3|4 levels with Mark Andrews back, and his targets are less valuable this close to the line of scrimmage. The Ravens' team total sits at 5th-worst on the week, too. 9.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  33. Gabe Davis - He's averaging 10.8 half PPR points since 2022 when not on the injury report with an ankle injury. The Bills' shallower depth of target this year could work against Davis' spike week odds if that doesn't course correct. Miami has elite safety play but underwhelming CBs. They also play more zone than man (bad for Gabe). With that said, this is the highest over|under of the week. 43.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  34. DeAndre Hopkins - He was left off the injury report (ankle) on Wednesday, while Treylon Burks (knee) is out. Hopkins had 14.8 expected half PPR points while healthy in Week 1 then had 9.2 xFPs last week while improving his health. 8.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  35. Garrett Wilson - The WR39 in fantasy usage, and in 12 games with Zach Wilson he's averaging 6.8 half PPR points. The glimmer of hope is the very obvious game script at home against the Chiefs, but that's been true in almost all of the Wilson starts. 10.85 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  36. Adam Thielen - The QB downgrade, Jonathan Mingo's return (concussion), and natural regression work against Thielen's recent surge. Thielen is just the WR43 in yards per route run and the WR34 in fantasy usage, even with Carolina trailing for almost every single snap this year. 49.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  37. Tank Dell - Legit WR3 fantasy usage (10.7 exp half PPR per game) since Noah Brown was placed on IR. He's been the deep target for CJ Stroud, who is balling for a rookie. Like mentioned with WR22 Nico Collins, the Steelers have struggled with outside WRs so far. 45.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  38. Chris Godwin - The WR42 in usage so far and simply doesn't look the same after his brutal knee injury on tape. He's playing more outside (59%) than he did in the check-down Tom Brady era. That's not his best spot in my opinion. The Saints have allowed more production to slot and WR2 types this season, however, with CB1 Marshon Lattimore playing clean ball. 9.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  39. Joshua Palmer - 9.35 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby. Mike Williams was the WR22 in usage so far, while Palmer was the WR59. Palmer isn't good enough (career 1.2 YPRR) to be a high-volume guy week over week, but the Chargers offense is on fire and has been reliant on WRs without Austin Ekeler (see below). Palmer has been the Chargers' deep threat so far (13.1 aDOT), which is what Williams provided in this offense. There are big plays available if Palmer is ready for them. Quentin Johnston will join Palmer in 3-WR sets, but it's possible the Chargers play more heavy personnel as they did late last week. Johnston has been schemed up some screens on limited snaps as they slowly work him into the offense. He's not a developed player yet at all, so I expect limited targets early on. Johnston has the athleticism to make the most of them. They just didn't trust him to play much this early.

  40. Drake London - He's painfully WR51 in usage thanks to Desmond Ridder's suspect coverage reading and wild inaccuracies, but the Jaguars have been hit by outside WRs so far. Michael Pittman (8-97-1), Skyy Moore (3-70-1), Justin Watson (3-62-0), and Tank Dell (5-145-1) have made big plays in recent weeks.

  41. DJ Moore - The Broncos have been killed by X WRs so far (Adams, McLaurin, and Tyreek), even though they have CB1 Patrick Surtain. Let's see if star FS Justin Simmons (limited) returns this week as they could combine to limit Moore's downfield ability, but this is a get right spot on paper for Moore. He's the WR42 on WR55 usage so far. 11.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  42. Terry McLaurin - 10.55 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  43. DeVante Parker

  44. Michael Thomas - His usage is strong (WR19), but he's not a yards after the catch threat right now. I fear the increased pass-heavy nature of the offense takes a hit without Derek Carr in the lineup, too. 9.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  45. Christian Watson (Questionable) - He's expected to play, but Watson is reportedly on a snap count. The Packers have been aggressive through the air, with the highest aDOT in the NFL. In theory he's a great low-volume fit here, but Love's inaccuracies have been an issue. His return shrinks the target rates for Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed, who has been schemed up touches in particular.

  46. Elijah Moore

  47. Quentin Johnston - See WR39 Joshua Palmer.

  48. K.J. Osborn

  49. Josh Reynolds

  50. Romeo Doubs

  51. Jahan Dotson

  52. Jayden Reed

  53. Kendrick Bourne

  54. Brandin Cooks

  55. Jaxon Smith-Njigba

  56. Rashid Shaheed

  57. Josh Downs

  58. Nelson Agholor

  59. Robert Woods

  60. DJ Chark

  61. Allen Robinson

  62. Skyy Moore

  63. Michael Gallup

  64. Darius Slayton

  65. Isaiah Hodgins

  66. Kadarius Toney - He was still limited all week (toe).

  67. Rashee Rice

  68. Darnell Mooney - Chase Claypool is a healthy scratch.

  69. Tyler Boyd

  70. Marvin Mims

  71. Donovan Peoples-Jones

  72. Van Jefferson

  73. Marquez Valdes-Scantling

  74. Calvin Austin

  75. Rondale Moore

  76. Curtis Samuel

  77. JuJu Smith-Schuster

Week 4 TE Rankings

  1. Travis Kelce - The TE2 on TE1 usage. 15.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  2. T.J. Hockenson - The TE1 on TE2 usage. 10.05 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  3. Darren Waller - He's the TE10 in routes, half PPR points per game, and expected fantasy points per game so far, but the Giants are suddenly projected for 24.25 points (10th most) against the Seahawks. 9.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  4. Mark Andrews - The Ravens are 30th in neutral pass rate and are projected for the 27th-most points this week per the betting markets. That's a tough combo, even if Andrews remains the offensive focal point. He's been the TE5 in usage on a downsized 20% target share to start the year. Zay Flowers is stealing some underneath looks. 7.95 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  5. Sam LaPorta - 81% routes, and he's leading the position with 2.2 yards per route run as an early-season rookie. The Lions' lack of weapons beyond Amon-Ra St. Brown help his case as a legit TE1. He's the TE7 in usage already. 41.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  6. George Kittle - His splits when CMC, Deebo, and Aiyuk are healthy are iffy, but the Niners are projected for the most points this week so touchdowns can't be ruled out. 9.15 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  7. Evan Engram - 46.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  8. Luke Musgrave - DET has allowed the most receptions to TEs so far, and Musgrave is so beyond due for a big play after being sailed again downfield. His yards per route (1.4) and route participation (82%) are low-end TE1 worthy. In fact, his air yards per game are 2nd at the position (57.3). 35.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  9. Kyle Pitts - He leads all TEs in air yards per game (67.0) and is a major positive regression candidate after opening the year as the TE22 on TE8 usage. The problem has been awful QB play, game script, and his nagging knee injury that's visibly hindering his full stride on tape. The good news is his route volume is up (TE7), which increases his odds of a spike week. 33.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  10. Pat Freiermuth - His 9% target share has to improve to be a legit TE1 option, but the Steelers use him in the red zone and are projected to score more points than usual against the Texans after a brutal opening schedule. Engram just had a 7-67-0 game against Houston last week. 31.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  11. Hunter Henry - The TE4 on TE9 usage, while leading the position in slot routes. 7.65 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  12. Dalton Kincaid - The TE29 on TE27 usage, but he's at least the TE17 in routes. Kincaid is just running too many routes near the line of scrimmage, instead of being worked down the seam or on option routes. Maybe the Dolphins' offense will scare Buffalo into being more aggressive, and the Dolphins' two-high shell defense does open up check-downs. 24.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  13. Dallas Goedert - He's the TE24 in usage, as the Eagles have ran more than usual to start the year and continue to rely on their stud wide outs in the pass game. Goedert is TD-reliant, and he only saw 8 red zone targets all of last year. He's been overhyped in fantasy since the AJB trade. 8.25 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  14. Jake Ferguson - 6.0 half PPR points (TE13) on 11.6 expected half PPR points (TE3) is tilting me, and this is tough spot to course correct. The Patriots held Goedert catchless in Week 1 and have allowed 58 scoreless yards to the position so far. 30.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  15. Tyler Higbee - The TE12 on TE23 usage. 7.45 fantasy points in the Pick'em lobby.

  16. Dawson Knox - The TE23 on TE16 usage. 23.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  17. Donald Parham - The TE7 on TE20 usage, as the Chargers schemed up red zone target. Those aren't going away with Mike Williams (ACL) on IR. He's literally too big to fail.

  18. Gerald Everett - The TE19 on TE26 usage. It's possible the Chargers use more 2-TE sets without Mike Williams, especially in the red zone. Everett needs them, as he's only ran a route on 45% of Chargers' dropbacks so far.

  19. Logan Thomas - Washington's starting TE: 8.5, 8.6, and 15.2 expected half PPR points. Commanders new OC Eric Bieniemy is used to throwing to TEs. 19.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  20. Cole Kmet - The TE18 on TE18 usage. 28.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  21. Dalton Schultz - The TE41 on TE17 usage. 29.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  22. Kylen Granson - The TE17 on TE15 usage. 19.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  23. Hayden Hurst - The TE16 on TE25 usage.

  24. David Njoku (Questionable) - The TE24 on TE35 usage for no good reason. He's simply too good and too highly-paid to be phased out like this. Njoku is the TE8 in routes. 30.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  25. Juwan Johnson - The Bucs have allowed 21 catches to TEs (2nd most). 25.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  26. Taysom Hill - Alvin Kamara in hurts.

  27. Zach Ertz - 27.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  28. Chigoziem Okonkwo - 29.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  29. Durham Smythe

  30. Tyler Conklin - 28.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  31. Cade Otton - 27.5 receiving yards in the Pick'em lobby.

  32. Noah Fant

  33. Mike Gesicki

  34. Adam Trautman

Week 4 Fantasy Defenses For Sickos

The fantasy football defenses of Week 4 are the 49ers (vs. ARI), Eagles (vs. WAS), Chiefs (@ NYJ), Bengals (@ TEN), Cowboys (vs. NE), Browns (vs. BAL), Steelers (@ HOU), Jaguars (vs. ATL), Broncos (@ CHI), Ravens (vs. CLE), and Saints (vs. TB).

Week 4 K Rankings

Jk. I'm not a virgin.

Underdog Fantasy "Battle Royale" DFS

To me, this is the most beatable DFS game out there, as drafters too often go off the default rankings. Simply add one or two players who are commonly undrafted to get a unique DFS team. And of course, stack. I truly believe my readers/followers would enjoy the game theory (and the edge) of this contest.