In this article I will cover my top fantasy relevant takeaways from every team that played on the main slate this past Sunday!
Los Angeles Rams: Sean McGOAT- The Los Angeles Rams have scored the most points in the NFL through 4 weeks. Yes, you read that correctly. Rookie HC Sean McVay looks to be the real-deal and he's transformed Jeff Fisher's disaster into one of the most high powered offenses in the NFL. Their schedule gets a lot tougher moving forward, but Todd Gurley and Jared Goff are both having fantastic seasons. Gurley is on pace for over 400 touches this season and has been a volume KING thus far.
Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliot volume- Volume is king in DFS, especially for cash games and Zeke is one of the top volume backs in the NFL this season. His new found passing game role has led him to be one of just 4 running backs to play 90% of the snaps for their teams this season and he's averaging 4 catches per game. Yes, I've talked about it before I think he is slower, but that won't stop him from putting up big fantasy games in this offense. What can stop him? A suspension. Keep an eye on his status this week.
Cleveland Browns: Duke!- Duke Johnson might be the Browns only good playmaker on offense. He's their best runner, and best pass catcher and this team as a whole is not helping their rookie QB at all. The Browns are inside the top three in the NFL in terms of dropped passes and Duke will continue be pretty much the only fantasy viable player as long as they are this bad...which will be the whole season. He out-snapped Isaiah Crowell 36-22 in week four.
Cincinnati Bengals: It's Mixon time!- It looks to finally be Mixon time in Cincinnati under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Through Lazor's first two games, Mixon has out-touched Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard 42-15-11 and I only expect this trend to continue as the season progresses.
Minnesota Vikings: RIP Dalvin Cook- Dalvin Cook was off to a huge start to his rookie campaign before it all came crashing down on Sunday afternoon. Cook suffered a torn ACL which has officially ended his rookie season early. Without Cook, that leaves us with Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon in Minny but both are also banged up and not 100%. With Keenum running the offense for now and no Cook this affects the whole Vikings offense drastically. Teddy B can't come back fast enough!
Tennessee Titans: Week of injuries- You'll notice that injuries are a common theme this week in this article. Marcus Mariota left the game Sunday with an injured hamstring and is expected to be a game-time decision this Sunday. If he should miss, that will negatively effect the entire Titans offense with Matt Cassel stepping in and is one of the top situations to monitor going into week five.
Houston Texans: Will Fuller V- Welcome back young man! Fuller retuned from injury in week four and promptly caught 4 of 6 targets for 35 yards and 2 touchdowns. The touchdowns are sort of flukey, but the biggest thing is that he looked healthy and will only get better with time. Fuller is going to be a huge boost for target monster DeAndre Hopkins as well, because the defense will actually have something else to focus on. This Houston offense looks to be high powered now with Deshaun Watson running the show and they draw an interesting matchup with the Chiefs this week who have struggled against the pass.
Buffalo Bills: Charles Clay- This guy is literally all they have to catch passes outside of LeSean McCoy. Jordan Matthews is going to miss the next few weeks due to him needing thumb surgery and that boosts Clay's stock even more. He hauled in 5 of 7 targets against the Falcons for 112 yards and is by far their top pass catcher going forward (not named Shady). He ranks top 5 in catches at the Tight End position this year with 18 so far.
Atlanta Falcons: No Sanu- Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu both left the game Sunday due to injury against the Bills. Julio is expected back, but Sanu will miss a few weeks. In his absence we could see an increase in work for speedster Taylor Gabriel, monitor this situation this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Run defense woes- The Jaguars secondary is absolutely ELITE. But, for as good as their secondary is, they are beatable on the ground. The Jaguars rank dead last in the NFL giving up 165 yards per game on the ground through 4 weeks of action and both Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire ran wild on them for the Jets last week.
New York Jets: RB split- I noted on the week four #GoodKarma podcast that I thought the Jets would not make Bilal Powell the bell cow. Powell and Elijah McGuire both saw work, around 65%-35% and I expect that trend to continue. Volume is a concern for Powell but he does see value due to his pass catching ability in full PPR formats. But, he will take a hit when Matt Forte returns from injury, thus eliminating them all from DFS consideration.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Le'Veon Bell- He's baaaaaack! For the first time this season Bell looked like Bell, and we knew it was coming. Bell had the usage we wanted the past two weeks and he carried the ball 35 times for 144 yards in week four...Jaguars next up...remember what I wrote earlier?
Baltimore Ravens: Running back situation- No Ravens running back saw more than 10 carries on Sunday. Alex Collins saw 9, Terrence West saw 5 and Buck Allen saw 2. Buck Allen was way more involved with the offense, due to his pass catching ability and he saw the most snaps by far (40). This really isn't a place we want to look going forward in DFS despite my soft spot for Buck Allen.
New England Patriots: Chris Hogan- Keep sleeping on Chris Hogan! Through 4 weeks of action Hogan has seen 31% of his targets come in the red zone and 15 caches on 26 targets. He's not going away and is clearly one of Brady's favorite weapons, he has out-targeted Brandin Cooks so far this season.
New York Giants: Lack of run game- Nobody can run the ball on this team, and I mean nobody. It boosts the pass game value a ton but it isn't good for the team in real-life. Eli Manning is tied for the 2nd longest run on the team this season with a huge 14 yard gain...yeah, let that sink in.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Blowup spot looming- I've been waiting for this matchup for a few weeks, though I'm pretty upset it comes on Thursday instead of Sunday. The Patriots defense is legit bad. Yeah, I said it and I've been saying it for two weeks. If anything it boosts the value for Tom Brady and the offense because they are going to be in shootouts every week, and it's great news for the Bucs this week. The Pats rank dead last in the NFL giving up 324 yards per game though the air. I played a lot of the Monday-Thursday slate just so I could use Jameis and this is a huge blowup spot for him and the offense.
Philadelphia Eagles: Secondary Slump Buster- The Eagles secondary is #bad. They're giving up 285 yards per game through the air and Jalen Mills has been getting walked around repeatedly by opposing WRs. Target WRs against the Eagles...Cardinals next up.
Los Angeles Chargers: Forgot about Ty- Just when people had forgotten about Tyrell Williams he comes out and drops a 6-5-115 line on the Eagles secondary (I told you so). He will see the Giants next week and should see a lot of Eli Apple, who has given up a touchdown every game this season.
San Francisco 49ers: X receiver- It's long been known that the X receiver in Kyle Shanahan's offense gets fed, see Julio Jones last year. Garcon had a monster game against the Rams on Thursday night in week three, and then was shadowed by shutdown corner Patrick Peterson in week four (over 80% of the time). People could be off Garcob based off name and recency bias, and we can look to use that to our advantage in DFS. Colts next up...
Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer isn't dead- Carson Palmer isn't dead, but his offensive line wants him to be. Palmer comes into week 5 third in the NFL in passing yards and gets that matchup with the Eagles secondary I've written about 700 times this week already. He was hit 15 times on Sunday, but as long as he's alive I will use him in DFS in the right matchup.
Oakland Raiders: Injuries continued- Yay more injuries! Derek Carr is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a back injury and that does not help an already slumping Raiders offense. Like the Titans, this negative affects the offense as a whole and we can take a wait and see approach with them moving forward.
Denver Broncos: DEFENSE- The Broncos defense just might be better than it was a year ago. They have yet to allow 300 yards of offense in a game, and they have fixed the run game issues that plagued them a year ago. Melvin Gordon, LeSean McCoy and Zeke Elliot have all faced them to start this season and they combined for LESS THAN 100 yards. This defense is #good.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)