Week 4 Fantasy Football Studs and Duds

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Week 4 of the NFL Season holds special significance in fantasy football for a few reasons.  First, it marks the quarter pole of the season.  With a significant sample size, owners can take an informed look at their rosters and determine what is working and what isn’t.  Second, Week 4 comes with the first pair of bye weeks.  This puts additional stress on fantasy rosters.  The byes really test roster construction and depth.  And finally, Week 4 can represent a tipping point for your season, are you 0-4? 4-0? If you have any players listed on this week’s Mahomes-Bradford Index, it may go a long way to indicate how you’re doing.


Mitchell Trubisky vs TB
354 passing yards, 6 TDs, 53 rushing yards
Nobody beats Mitch!

Jared Goff vs MIN
465 passing yards, 5 TDs, 7 rushing yards
The greatest show on grass looks unstoppable.  Even the feared purple people eaters couldn’t slow them down.

Andrew Luck vs HOU
464 passing yards, 4 TDs, 11 rushing yards, fumble, 2 pt conv
There has been much hand-wringing and worry about Luck’s shoulder and arm strength in recent weeks.  Weakness or not, Luck was dealing against the division rival Texans.

Kirk Cousins @ LAR
422 passing yards, 3 TDs, 28 rushing yards, fumble, 2 pt conv
In the modern NFL, 400 passing yards is the new 300 passing yards.  All of the cool kids are doing it.

Derek Carr vs CLE
437 passing yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 2pt conv
See? Everybody.

Deshaun Watson @ IND
375 passing yards, 2 TDs, INT, 41 rushing yards, TD
The Texans needed everything Watson could give them to get their first win of the season, and if not for a questionable coaching decision by Frank Reich in OT, Watson’s best wouldn’t have been enough.

Marcus Mariota vs PHI
344 passing yards, 2 TDs, INT, 46 rushing yards, TD
Wow.  I mean… Imagine if he could feel his fingers.

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Matt Ryan vs CIN
419 passing yards, 3 TDs, 5 rushing yards
The Falcons defense has been decimated by injuries.  This, in addition to the absence of Devonta Freeman, means that the success of this team rests entirely on the arm of Matt Ryan.  The Falcons may not win many games this way, but Ryan’s fantasy owners sure will.

Andy Dalton @ ATL
337 passing yards, 3 TDs, INT, 13 rushing yards
As I said, the Falcons defense is “pliable”.

Blake Bortles vs NYJ
388 passing yards, 2 TDs, INT, 28 rushing yards
If you are new to Bortles ownership, you are beginning to learn what others already know.  It is best to avert your eyes.  It’s never pretty, but he gets it done in the stat sheets.

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott vs DET
25 carries, 152 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 88 receiving yards, TD
This isn’t sustainable for the Cowboys to have Elliott lead the team in rushing and receiving.  But I’m sure they are going to try to stick with it as long as it works.

James White vs MIA
8 carries, 44 rushing yards, TD, 8 receptions, 68 receiving yards, TD

Sony Michel vs MIA
25 carries, 112 rushing yards, TD

Its truly incredible how much difference an injury can make.  Before the Rex Burkhead injury, this backfield was a quagmire and was feeding the legend that is the Bill Belichick-Patriots backfield.  However, with Burkhead out of the picture, this backfield came into focus in a big way.

Tarik Cohen vs TB
13 carries, 53 rushing yards, 7 receptions, 121 receiving yards, TD
This was the perfect game script for The Dinosaur Hunter.  If this offense under Matt Nagy can keep up the pace, Cohen is going to have more big games like this. Even if Trubisky doesn’t have 6 TDs every game, there will be enough to make Cohen relevant.

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Mike Davis @ AZ
21 carries, 101 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards
Because when Chris Carson was on the inactive list you started Rashaad Penny, didn’t you?

Nyheim Hines vs HOU
4 carries, 10 rushing yards, 9 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 2 TDs
This was a breath of fresh air for Hines.  I was worried that he wasn’t going to be able to shake his disastrous preseason.  He’s settling in nicely and is the only RB in Indy with a defined role carved out.

Todd Gurley vs MIN
17 carries, 83 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 73 receiving yards, TD
It wouldn’t be an RB Studs article without some Todd Gurley.

Giovanni Bernard @ ATL
15 carries, 69 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 4 receptions, 27 receiving yards
Gio might be the best RB in the league that isn’t the starter.  That sort of feels like his NFL career in a nutshell.

Alvin Kamara @ NYG
19 carries, 134 rushing yards, 3 TDs, 5 receptions, 47 receiving yards
I’d share Kamara’s 16-game statistical pace with you, but this is a family-friendly website, and the numbers are obscene and not suitable for all readers.

Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp vs MIN
9 receptions, 162 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 11 targets
What can I say?  Kupp is good.  Goff is good.  McVay is a genius.

Golden Tate @ DAL
8 receptions, 132 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 8 targets
The Lions have remembered how to run the ball on the ground.  As for ‘running through the air’, don’t worry.  They still know how to do it.

DeAndre Hopkins @ IND
10 receptions, 169 receiving yards, TD, 12 targets
And he dropped another pass in the end zone.

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Taylor Gabriel vs TB
7 receptions, 104 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 7 targets, 10 rushing yards
Gabriel is an offensive weapon for the Bears, but his production will be too inconsistent to benefit fantasy owners.

Corey Davis vs PHI
9 receptions, 161 receiving yards, TD, 15 targets
Rishard Matthews is gone.  Delanie Walker is gone.  Corey Davis has arrived.

Adam Thielen @ LAR
8 receptions, 135 receiving yards, TD, 12 targets
He’s being overshadowed by Michael Thomas, but Thielen deserves the same praise.  His 40 receptions through 4 weeks are historic.

Amari Cooper vs CLE
8 receptions, 128 receiving yards, TD, 12 targets
Cooper can be a headache to own when you have to face those sit/start decisions on Sunday morning but when he has games like this, it all starts to seem worth it.

Brandin Cooks vs MIN
7 receptions, 116 receiving yards, TD, 8 targets, 10 rushing yards
There’s a very good reason the Rams gave up a 1st round pick and all of that money to get Brandin Cooks. He fast.

Julio Jones vs CIN
9 receptions, 173 receiving yards, 12 targets
Only the great Julio Jones could catch a hail mary pass and not score a TD.

Calvin Ridley vs CIN
4 receptions, 54 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 6 targets
Ridley came back down to earth after an unbelievable Week 3 performance.  Except that he didn’t really.  Another set of TDs brings his 2-week total to 5.

Alshon Jeffery @ TEN
8 receptions, 105 receiving yards, TD, 9 targets
Shoulder injury, illness, questionable to play.  He looks fine to me.

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Donte Moncrief vs NYJ
5 receptions, 109 receiving yards, TD, 5 targets
Moncrief has always had a nose for the end zone.  This affinity for scoring will lead to some boom games like this one.

Robert Woods vs MIN
5 receptions, 101 receiving yards, TD, 5 targets
Robert Woods is a beast at home in the familiar confines of the LA Memorial Coliseum.

Stefon Diggs @ LAR
11 receptions, 123 receiving yards, 15 targets
Diggs has been great, it’s incredible that he’s doing this while effectively serving as the WR2 on his own team.

Tight Ends

Jared Cook vs CLE
8 receptions, 110 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 13 targets
I can’t believe I’m going to say this but, maybe you can trust Jared Cook this season with Jon Gruden.  Looking around at the TE landscape, it’s not like we have much of a choice.

George Kittle @ LAC
6 receptions, 125 receiving yards, TD, 8 targets
An 80+ yard TD will make anyone’s day look good.  That being said, Kittle looked pretty good running away from defenders on that HUGE play.

Zach Ertz @ TEN
10 receptions, 112 receiving yards, 14 targets
Carson Wentz is back and healthy, NFL Safeties and Line Backers are in trouble.


Ryan Fitzpatrick @ CHI
126 passing yards, INT
[Insert Fitzmagic pun here].  In all seriousness though, Fitzpatrick was benched in this contest, possibly for good.  This is Jameis Winston‘s job once again.

Drew Brees @ NYG
217 passing yards
This was a bizarre game plan for the Saints.  They went to packages with Taysom Hill at QB frequently, their first 4 scoring drives ended with field goals, and Alvin Kamara scored all 3 TDs on the ground.  Brees owners are just going to have to pick themselves up and brush this one off.

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Russell Wilson @ AZ
172 passing yards, 21 rushing yards
Yikes.  The Cardinals are bad, and they made Wilson look bad too.  Though this can happen sometimes in divisional games because the teams are so familiar with each other.

Ryan Tannehill @ NE
100 passing yards, INT
I don’t know if Tannehill qualifies as a dud since we wouldn’t usually have high expectations for him.  However, the Dolphins were 3-0 and this looked like a solid streaming opportunity that did not pay off.

Running Backs

Kenyan Drake @ NE
3 carries, 3 rushing yards, 1 reception, 13 receiving yards
This is the second consecutive week that Drake has disappeared in what should’ve been a favorable matchup.  I’m starting to get concerned with his season-long outlook.

Jordan Howard vs TB
11 carries, 25 rushing yards
Everyone got involved in the Chicago scoring bonanza, except Howard.  The only explanation is that they were taking it easy on Howard because they won this game very very early.

Leonard Fournette vs NYJ
11 carries, 30 rushing yards, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards
Fournette is no eligible for the free pass we give to players who get injured.  He’s done this to his owners too often.  He’s very quickly earning the ‘injury prone’ label.

Isaiah Crowell @ JAX
4 carries, no rushing yards, 1 reception, 3 receiving yards
There’s probably a pretty good reason that the Jets have been linked to Le’Veon Bell.

Dalvin Cook @ LAR
10 carries, 20 rushing yards
The Vikings rushed Cook back from his hamstring injury on a short week on the road.  Hopefully, you showed a bit more patience and left him on your bench.  He now gets the ‘mini-bye’ and should be fine for Week 5.

Derrick Henry vs PHI
8 carries, 24 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 7 receiving yards
It’s like the Titans feel pot committed with Henry.  He isn’t very good, but they keep trying.

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Wide Receivers

Michael Thomas @ NYG
4 receptions, 47 receiving yards, 4 targets
Stop crying, Thomas owners.  Nobody feels bad for you.

Keelan Cole vs NYJ
2 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 3 targets
In the offseason, the Jaguars had talked about using a committee approach at WR, but it started to look like Cole was solidifying himself as the lead dog.  Unfortunately, it looks like the WR by committee nightmare may be coming true.

Chris Hogan vs MIA
1 reception, 25 receiving yards, 1 target
Abandon ship!  Edelman returns next week and it’s all over for Chris Hogan.

Josh Gordon vs MIA
2 receptions, 32 receiving yards, 2 targets
While Hogan’s ship is sinking, Gordon’s is showing some buoyancy.  Maybe this experiment will work out in New England, though it may take some time for Gordon to become an asset you can trust in your lineup.

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Kenny Stills @ NE
3 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 6 targets
Considering that Tannehill only completed 11 passes for 100 yards, this could’ve been much worse.

Tight Ends

Rob Gronkowski vs MIA
4 receptions, 44 receiving yards, 7 targets
This feels helpless because you can’t do anything else but start him.  You just start Gronkowski and take what he gets you.  Most weeks he will get you much more than this.

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