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FANTASY IMPACT: Week 4

We have another week of sample size to go off of and time to evaluate each team after the major injuries. Many of the mid-round quarterbacks continue to put up insane numbers that are 8-12 points higher than the best streaming option. Most of the top RBs drafted are playing similar to their position. Joe Mixon and Kenyan Drake have massively disappointed so far with not much room for optimism. Many of the top receivers played about as expected so far, minus the injuries. The Bills and Seahawks receivers continue to outperform their ADP. Tight End is a madhouse trying to guess the breakout star of the week. This week it was Jimmy Graham, Tyler Kroft, and Eric Ebron. Let us get into the analysis. In parenthesis is the weekly finish in ½ PPR points leagues.

Running Backs

There is no way to sugarcoat how bad Kenyan Drake (RB28) and Joe Mixon (RB33) have been in fantasy. Both teams decided to use neither in the passing game so far, despite game scripts that would encourage it. Both are top of the league in snap percentages and rushing attempts. Drake has better days ahead and is a buy-low option as his best match ups are still to come. Mixon is worrisome as he is averaging 3.2 yards per carry against questionable defenses. Mixon only has faced a stacked box on 7.7 percent of his carries. If you can sell him at 3rd round player value, go for it. Drake is a buy-low if you can get him for cheap (4th round value) as his usage will be on the rise.

James Robinson (RB3) is the star of the week with just 46 rushing yards but he had 6 catches for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns in a terrible game script. He was fed targets and carries despite losing terribly the whole game. Robinson is only seeing about 50% of the snaps the last 2 games but actually has the same amount of snaps as Nick Chubb (RB7) and Kareem Hunt (RB20) due to the high-play volume. Similar to those two, when on the field, he is used.

Many might be jumping to use Rex Burkhead (RB2 last week) but his snap percentage was actually very low (46%) considering he had no competition. Add with James White and Damien Harris coming back, he becomes not very useful. His three touchdowns this week were lucky against a terrible run defense and overshadow the fact that he didn’t even have 100-yards. He received 6 carries on average this season but we may never see that again with Harris back. Sell for anything you can.

Similar to how I said earlier this year that Cam Akers was worth owning at 6th round value, this applied to whomever is starting at RB for the Rams. Darrell Henderson has been the RB9 the past 2 weeks combined, which is no small feat. Whomever is starting for them can be used in DFS but I would still do my best to buy Cam Akers for cheap once he returns from injury. Speaking of pickups, Jeff Wilson (RB9) is the top pickup this week as he may not have legitimate competition for carries the next week or so. Like Henderson, whomever starts at running back will be RB20 value at the very worst.

Adrian Peterson (RB27) and Antonio Gibson (RB25) are emergency backups that appear to average 10 points per week and both may be worth buying with bye weeks approaching. Brian Hill (RB18) may be the best season long pickup of the year. Hill has potential to replace Todd Gurley and enter fantasy relevance for the year. He had 14.5 points this week which could be an average if he overtakes Gurley. He is still highly available so he must be bought. In my preseason article I outlined the top running backs to keep on the bench. I included Joshua Kelley and Mike Davis (RB10) as stashes who were going undrafted. Damien Harris and Anthony McFarland also still have potential to be relevant. Brian Hill would be my priority over any of the above now. With GB, CAR, and MIN approaching and rapid increase in snaps each week, the time to strike is now.

Wide Receivers

This section is less volatile than running back so it will not take as long to cover. Keenan Allen continues to be the biggest winner of the year in terms of beating ADP. There is no way to get around his league leading targets and his 19 targets last week. After Allen, the leaders in targets are as follows: DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, Alvin Kamara, Tyler Lockett, Darren Waller, Stefon Diggs, A.J. Green, Travis Kelce, D.J. Moore, and Tyler Boyd. Trade for Keenan Allen, Calvin Ridley, Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, or Tyler Boyd if possible. The last 3 will be a lot easier as someone may think they are selling high. Players such as Allen Robinson, Keenan Allen, Julian Edelman, John Brown, Tyler Boyd, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Darren Waller were in this range last year and massively outplayed their ADP. (Weekly finishes in parenthesis)

Players that had a flash this week but will disappear soon are: Andy Isabella (WR14), Braxton Berrios (WR24), Mecole Hardman (WR21), and Greg Ward (WR20). Each is losing their position once another starter comes back this week or had a lucky break in snaps. Berrios is worth monitoring for this week if the Jets receivers are still out and Andy Isabella is a dart throw if Christian Kirk is out again.

Randall Cobb (WR15) has had 3, 6, and 4 targets so far so his production is luck based. If Will Fuller is out, he easily could be relevant as the team enters easier matchups. He is worth a bench spot as the connection is clearly there with Watson. Brandon Alyuk (WR12) is another player that is worth selling high if you can. With George Kittle back, his targets will likely dip very low again (<5) and can no longer be trusted. Cedrick Wilson came from nowhere and his place in the offense is unknown until we see more.

In terms of players on the rise, players such as Allen Lazard (WR5), Tee Higgins (WR13), and Hunter Renfrow (WR17) are the only surprises. All are dependent on other players being out. Lazard is the clear leading receiver when Davante Adams is out but is a questionable play at Flex when he is in. Tee Higgins has taken the spot of John Ross III for now but is dependent on A.J. Green and the TEs receiving less work. He is worth an add but not start for now. Hunter Renfrow has the clearest path to WR3 or Flex value after all the injuries. If the others are out, start him.

About Justin Weigal

Medical professional turned fantasy football pro... I hope. Love best ball and the Packers.