Week 4 was one of the most chaotic weeks in recent memory. From early in the week to the night before kickoff, COVID-19 scares threatened multiple games on the slate. In the end, we got all but one game (Steelers-Titans), with another moved to Monday night (Patriots-Chiefs). It’s the reality of playing football—and fantasy football—during this pandemic. Be prepared for this to happen again while being hopeful it won’t.
Before we turn the page to the Monday Night Football doubleheader and then the start of Week 5, here are my 20 fantasy football takeaways from Sunday, ranked in no particular order. Please note, this article will be updated with the final note after Sunday Night Football.
- NICK CHUBB/AUSTIN EKELER: The early portion of Week 4 looked a lot like Week 2, with several star players leaving with injuries. The two big names that didn’t return were Chubb (knee) and Ekeler (knee). Chubb got his legs rolled up on while blocking and Ekeler came up lame on an outside run. Fantasy managers hope to know more about the status of each in the coming days, but start making backup plans—especially with the Lions and Packers on bye next week. For Cleveland, Kareem Hunt is a potential low-end RB1 next week against the Colts if Chubb is out. For Los Angeles, Joshua Kelley doesn’t have a great matchup on the road on Monday night in New Orleans, but would be an RB2.
- ANTONIO GIBSON: As mentioned last week in this column, fantasy managers just needed to be patient with Gibson because he was looking good and was getting more usage in the offense. That paid off this week, as Gibson led Washington in rushing yards (46) and total yards (128), while also scoring. He finished with a career-high 17 touches and his arrow is pointing upward in the weeks to come.
- MARK ANDREWS: Much to the relief of those rostering him, Andrews found his way back into the end zone this week—twice. This is why you continue to start him. You might have to deal with a 3/22/0 week like he had against the Chiefs, but you’ll also get the 5/58/2 he had against Cleveland and the 3/57/2 he had on Sunday. You should very rarely be tempted to start anyone else at tight end.
- DALVIN COOK: I don’t need to tell you to start Cook every single week, but I do want to acknowledge that he’d be either the No. 1 or No. 2 overall pick if we re-drafted today and should be a surefire top-three pick in fantasy leagues next year unless he suffers a major injury. His toughness fighting through minor ailments is commendable and his 130-yard, two-touchdown performance was everything you could’ve hoped for and more. Spoiler: Cook will be ranked as my RB1 for Week 5.
- JUSTIN JEFFERSON: It was great to see a good follow-up performance to Jefferson’s breakout game last week. The rookie caught four of his five targets for his second straight 100-plus yard output (103). Jefferson is 100% for real and gets a juicy matchup against the Seahawks next week. He’ll be a borderline WR2 in Week 5 after being a top-30 player in my rankings heading into this week.
- WILL FULLER: Aside from the Ravens game in Week 2 where he was limited, Fuller has had a really nice season thus far. His best game of the year was in Week 4, where he finished with 6/108/1 (22.8 PPR fantasy points), but he had 19.2 points in Week 1 and 15.4 points in Week 3. The Texans are 0-4 so many have stopped paying attention, but he’s performing like most fantasy managers had hoped so far in 2020. He has a good matchup again next week at home against Jacksonville. He’s likely an automatic start in 12-team leagues and larger.
- KENNY GOLLADAY: Two games, two touchdowns for Golladay this season. His name makes this column this week only as a reminder that he was a top-10 wide receiver heading into the season and his two missed games didn’t change that. He had 17.7 points in his season debut last week and 16.2 points on Sunday. He’s a weekly must-start in all formats. I cannot fathom you’d have three or four better options on a weekly basis. He’ll be off in Week 5, but he shouldn’t be out of your lineup again the rest of the way if healthy.
- LATAVIUS MURRAY: I'm going to be eating some crow later on in this column, so I'll take a little time to pat myself on the back here. Murray made this week's "sneaky starts" column because of the matchup and the potential workload. He got the 15 touches I expected, but the two rushing touchdowns were a major bonus. Don't rush to the waiver wire to add him this week, but in certain matchups when you need help, Murray can be a solid play like he was on Sunday. Keep an eye on him as bye weeks begin.
- KENYAN DRAKE: I’ve reached the point where we’re now in wait-and-see mode with Drake. All the injuries at the position make it hard to outright sit him, but he’s not an automatic start anymore. Drake should have feasted in this matchup and ran for 2.7 yards per carry. The Jets and Cowboys are on tap for his next two matchups, so he’ll likely stay somewhere in your lineup, but view him as an RB2/flex moving forward, regardless of how high you drafted him.
- ROBBY ANDERSON/MIKE DAVIS: Both Anderson and Davis are for real. I’ve been talking up Anderson for a couple of weeks now and he continues to perform—another player excelling after getting out from under Adam Gase’s coaching. Anderson led all Panthers with 11 targets and caught eight of them for 99 yards. Davis continues to be used as Christian McCaffrey-light, finishing with 22.1 points on 21 touches. Davis is a must-start against the Falcons next week and really until McCaffrey returns. Anderson will be ranked as a WR2 in Week 5.
- JOE MIXON: That’s what we needed to see, Joe. Unlike Drake, Mixon took full advantage of his good matchup and reminded fantasy managers why they drafted him so high. Mixon was a matchup-winner on Sunday, with 181 total yards and three total touchdowns. It’s been a rough go so far and he’ll face a better Ravens team in Week 5, but your faith in Mixon should be restored, even if he has a modest output next week.
- D.J. CHARK: Like Golladay, please don’t send me start/sit questions about Chark moving forward unless you’re playing in a 10-team league or some weird family league where you have all the good players rostered. Chark is an every-week WR2 and likely near the upper portion of that tier, depending on the matchup. He’s averaging 17.8 points per game in his starts this season and will continue to be Gardner Minshew’s top receiving option and red zone threat.
- ODELL BECKHAM JR.: Beckham is returning draft-day value with three straight solid performances, with Sunday’s game being the best of the bunch. He was disappointing in Week 1 against the Ravens, but has 17.4, 9.9, and 38.4 performances in the subsequent weeks, respectively. He’s not going to be New York OBJ, but he’ll still be a weekly WR2 that can spike higher in favorable matchups.
- D.K. METCALF: I’m going to have an extremely hard time ranking Metcalf as anything other than a top-15 wide receiver moving forward—and a WR1 frequently. He came into Week 4 as the WR6 in total points and had a four-catch, 106-yard day on Sunday with more targets than any other Seattle wide receiver. His success can be independent of Tyler Lockett’s—as was shown Sunday—and he’ll be one of my biggest misses from this offseason. I was wrong, but I’ve already made the necessary adjustments.
- JUSTIN HERBERT: Herbert is going to be on everyone’s fantasy radar after his 290-yard, three-touchdown performance against a defense that is far from a pushover in Week 4. He’ll have another “meh” matchup next week against the Saints but gets the Jets the week after that. I said in the preseason that Herbert would be a top-20 fantasy quarterback once he got the starting job and that might have been too low. If Anthony Lynn gives Tyrod Taylor the starting job back, he deserves all the public ridicule that will be thrown at him and more.
- RONALD JONES: Given the opportunity to be the guy with Leonard Fournette out and LeSean McCoy getting injured in-game, Jones rushed for 111 yards on 20 carries. He also had a six-pack of catches, but should’ve had a couple more if he had better hands. Given the short week with the team heading to Chicago for Thursday Night Football, there’s a good chance Jones sees a similar workload in Week 5. He’s not a must-start, but he’ll be very much in the flex conversation.
- DARRELL HENDERSON: This was an extremely weird game for the Rams, so I'm going to write off this performance. While the split with Malcolm Brown has and will continue to happen, the Rams' lackluster day on offense in what should've been a great matchup didn't allow for garbage time. With all the running back injuries (and upcoming bye weeks), Henderson will still be in RB2/flex consideration in the near future.
- T.Y. HILTON: It's officially time to bench Hilton, who finished with just three catches for 29 yards on five targets. I ate some crow on Metcalf for being too low on him, now I'll do it for being too high on Hilton. The veteran just doesn't seem to have much chemistry with quarterback Philip Rivers. In addition to that, the mental errors/drops are becoming too much to stomach. I wouldn't outright cut him yet, but I'm not starting him next week.
- DAVID MONTGOMERY: It wasn't the fantasy day many had hoped for Montgomery—or any Bears playmaker not named Allen Robinson, really—but there was a silver lining. Although he ran for just 2.7 yards per carry, he received six targets, catching three for 30 yards, after getting exactly three targets in each of the first three weeks of the season. That was what I really wanted to see in this game, whether or not Montgomery would be more involved in the passing game with Nick Foles/without Tarik Cohen. If he continues to get this many looks, he'll give you plenty of value in the future.
- SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Check back after the conclusion of Sunday Night Football for the final fantasy note.
- Feb 01, 2023
- Feb 01, 2023