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Week 4's fantasy football playbook
The latest fantasy football news, rankings, start/sit advice, and more to help you avoid misery on Sunday.
Thanks again for being a loyal reader and subscriber! Keep reading for the latest fantasy football rankings, news, and analysis from the 5th Down Fantasy team and around the web. Best of luck in Week 4!
🚨 Important: Please Read!
A reminder that you no longer have to enter passwords for the rankings! Thanks for hanging in there with me while I figured this out, and my sincere apologies for the previous inconvenience.
📰 Week 4 news you can use
Who is trending up and down heading into Sunday’s action, courtesy of our friends at FantasyPros.
🙌 D.K. Metcalf was sidelined at practice on Thursday as he continued to nurse his sore ribs. He was upgraded to full participation on Friday, however, and it looks like he will be 100% healthy for Week 4. You can feel confident starting him in what should be a favorable matchup against the Giants’ defense.
😌 Brandon Aiyuk was out last week thanks to a shoulder injury, but he has recovered now and will head into the weekend without an injury designation. He should play at full capacity and projects to be a strong starting option with Jauan Jennings (shin) likely out and Deebo Samuel (ribs/knee) questionable to play against Arizona.
❌ Austin Ekeler is doubtful to play, setting him up for a potential return in Week 6 following a bye. Despite some optimism for Joshua Kelley as a fantasy asset in Weeks 2 and 3, he seems like nothing more than a desperation play after consecutive duds, as the Chargers have focused their sans-Ekeler offense on the passing game.
🤷 Saquon Barkley has logged limited practice time in each session this week as he recovers from a high-ankle sprain. Fantasy managers will have to just monitor his injury designation heading into his matchup with Seattle.
👍 Anthony Richardson has cleared concussion protocol and will start in Week 4 … Joe Burrow is also injury-free (technically) heading into his matchup. It remains to be seen if is actually 100% healthy, but no injury designation is a good sign that he will be closer to his usual form … Jerome Ford was on Cleveland’s injury report earlier in the week, but it isn’t a serious issue and he’s good to go too. He should play without limitations and is a solid flex play against the Ravens coming off of the big game he had in Week 3.
📋 Week 4 rankings update
Insights on key fantasy matchups from the 5th Down team and my favorite experts from around the web, and a fresh update on my player rankings below…
📈 3 guys up
Keenan Allen (WR, LAC vs. LV) — “Last week, Allen was targeted a whopping 20 times and finished with 18 catches for 215 yards. He didn’t have a touchdown catch but actually did throw a touchdown to Mike Williams (knee), who was lost later in the game to injury. Williams’ absence will open up even more looks for Allen, who already has been a go-to option all season for Justin Herbert. That big game from Allen was his second straight week exceeding salary-based expectations, and his average Plus/Minus in those two games has been a jaw-dropping +23.03 DraftKings points.” — Zach Thompson, FantasyLabs
Justin Fields (QB, CHI vs. DEN) — “Fields hasn’t exactly lived up to fantasy managers' expectations so far, averaging just 14.6 fantasy points per game. He was drafted to be a top-six fantasy quarterback, and his opponent this week is a prime opportunity for him to turn his season around. The Bears have the sixth-best matchup for quarterbacks this week, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool. They play the Denver Broncos, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.” — Nathan Jahnke, PFF.com
Tutu Atwell (WR, LAR at IND) — “Atwell has been a top-12 fantasy WR to open the year and should remain busy while Cooper Kupp is out (Kupp doesn’t sound like he’s returning any time soon) … Atwell has seen more targets than Calvin Ridley and CeeDee Lamb this season. The Colts have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to perimeter receivers, where Atwell has run 75% of his routes.” — Dalton Del Don, Yahoo Sports
📉 3 guys down
Joe Mixon (RB, CIN @ TEN) — “I'm still starting Mixon as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues, but I don't have a lot of confidence in him against the Titans. While Tennessee did allow Jerome Ford to score two touchdowns in Week 3, no running back has more than 52 total yards against the Titans this year. And Ford was the first running back to score against Tennessee this season. Mixon scored a touchdown in Week 3 against the Rams, which was his first of the year, but he's yet to run for more than 65 yards in any contest.” — Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports
Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU vs. PIT) — “Pierce capitalized on his teammate being tackled inside the five-yard line, forcing his way into the end zone. Devin Singletary has run more routes than Pierce in each of their last two outings, plus he came in late to close out the victory with nine carries. It's hard to get excited about Pierce's usage, which is a shame given his talent as a pure runner. He's a touchdown-or-bust back that's better to bench if possible.” — Josh Constantinou, RotoBaller
Elijah Moore (WR, CLE vs. BAL) — “Elijah Moore is on pace for 85 receptions, but his production thus far has been little more than empty PPR calories. He has 15 catches for 128 yards and no touchdowns. Moore is averaging 8.5 yards per catch and 5.1 yards per target. His average depth of target is 7.8 yards, which is almost four yards shorter than his career average. This week, Moore faces the Ravens in a game that sets up as a classic, low-scoring AFC North rock fight.” — Pat Fitzmaurice, FantasyPros
🚨 Our Week 4 fantasy football rankings for PPR, Half-PPR, and Standard scoring formats will update frequently up until kickoff on Sunday.
💸 Wanna bet?
Here are two lineups I’m going with in Week 4 DraftKings based on some of my favorite matchups.
Week 4 wisdom for DFS players
Here are some thoughts on DraftKings strategy from 5th Down’s Ryan Pickard…
Josh Allen or Jalen Hurts? Josh Jacobs or Derrick Henry? Netflix has blessed all men in a relationship with a TV show called Love is Blind. You try to avoid it because it is such a ridiculous TV show. Yet, once you engage and continuously trash-talk it for its 45-60-minute runtime, the next episode starts, and you begin the cycle anew.
It got me thinking about player values and how we hold them by name and matchups. What if there was a way to apply the Love is Blind methodology to fantasy football?
The show’s concept is that two people are placed in separate pods and communicate without seeing one another. Falling in love with their personality is the accomplishment vs. appearance. So let’s put two players in pods, and we will use our love language—statistical data of Vegas odds.
Sometimes, your gut tells you one thing, and data tells you another. Vegas does not put up wagers that are easily guessable. We can use this to our benefit by looking at player prop bets. Here are two examples for this week.
Josh Allen has an over/under of:
35.5 Rushing Yards
23.5 Passing Completions
36.5 Passing Attempts
268.5 Passing Yards
Jalen Hurts has an over/under of:
42.5 Rushing Yards
20.5 Passing Completions
31.5 Passing Attempts
230.5 Passing Yards
If you are torn by these two players, this gives you an easy view of their expected outcomes. The more you can simplify and refine your process, the more effective you will be. Use these numbers to help you find that 1% edge needed to beat your competition.
6-point Teaser of the Week
Courtesy of 5th Down’s Martin Grisko…
Eagles (-2) vs. Commanders – While I don’t think the Commanders get beat as badly as last week, I do think the Eagles have more than enough firepower on both sides of the ball to win by at least a field goal. The biggest mismatch of the game looks like the Eagles’ ferocious D-Line against Washington’s O-line and Sam Howell. Expect the pressure to get to Howell and some turnovers to follow. On the offensive side, Hurts is 22-8 straight up since taking over as starting QB and will do enough on offense to get the W.