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Week 4 Heat Index: Van Jefferson, Kenneth Gainwell, C.J. Uzomah (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Scott Youngson | @fantasymutant | Featured Writer
Oct 5, 2021
Kenneth Gainwell

Week 4 is in the books, and it was a bit of a slow week for newcomers to the Heat Index. However, some of our prior mentions continue to perform and are looking more and more like serviceable rest-of-season options. Most notably, Sam Darnold (QB – CAR), Cordarrelle Patterson (RB/WR – ATL), Hunter Renfrow (WR – LV), Dawson Knox (TE – BUF), and Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL) continue to impress.

Below are some players who stood out during Week 4. As usual, we’ll take a deeper look at each and rank them on a scale of 🔥-to-🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 for their prospects moving forward.

Note: the ranks below are based on half-point ppr scoring through Sunday’s games.

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Quarterbacks

Taylor Heinicke (QB – WAS)
Stat-line:  23-33 passing for 290 yards and 3 TDs, 43 yards rushing
QB Rank:  5

Analysis: It’s time we recognize what Heinicke has been doing since taking over for the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB – WAS). He’s been a borderline mentionable player on the Heat Index for the past three weeks as he finished as QB12 Week 2, QB9 Week 3, and now QB5 in Week 4. Heinicke has been incredibly consistent, and with The Football Team continuing to struggle defensively, there’s reason to believe he will need to continue airing it out. The only problem with Heinicke is that much like the guys we’ve mentioned here before (Daniel Jones (QB – NYG), Derek Carr (QB – LV), Sam Darnold, etc.), QB is so deep that he still falls into the streamer/bye week fill-in category.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Wide Receivers

Randall Cobb (WR – GB)
Stat-line:  5 catches on 6 targets for 69 yards and 2 TDs
WR Rank:  5

Analysis:  Old friend Randall Cobb stepped in for the injured Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – GB) and put up some fine numbers Sunday. He played only 33 snaps (similar to what MVS usually does), but was targeted on 6 of them and ended up scoring 2 TDs. MVS will be out for a few more weeks at least, so Cobb should continue to see the field. That said, MVS wasn’t a very consistent option, so it’s not likely Cobb will be either.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Kalif Raymond (WR – DET)
Stat-line:  3 catches on 6 targets for 46 yards and 2 TDs
WR Rank:  8

Analysis:  Heading into the season, we all wondered who would emerge as the Lions’ top Wide Receiver. Not many, if any, would have guessed that after four games Raymond would lead the team’s wideouts in snaps, targets, catches, and yards. He’s getting the playing time, unfortunately, he’s only been Fantasy relevant in one of the 4 games – this past week due to the 2 TDs he scored. We love the usage, but it’s hard to see him as anything other than a deep league streamer until it translates into Fantasy production.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Van Jefferson (WR – LAR)
Stat-line:  6 catches on 6 targets for 90 yards and a TD
WR Rank:  9

Analysis:  Jefferson seems to be trending up as an option for the Rams, and he’s playing a fair number of snaps behind starters Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR) and Robert Woods (WR – LAR). His average catch is for 17.4 yards, so he’s serving as a deep threat for Matthew Stafford (QB – LAR) so far. This profiles him as a boom-or-bust kind of player moving forward, but he’s someone to keep an eye on given his youth and upside. He’s out-produced Woods to this point and may eventually supplant him as the 2nd option.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Running Backs

James Conner (RB – ARI)
Stat-line:  50 yards rushing on 18 attempts and 2 TDs, 2 catches on 2 targets for 16 yards
RB Rank:  3

Analysis:  Conner has been out-snapped and out-touched by Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI) to this point in the season, but he does have more carries and appears to be the Cardinal’s preferred rusher in the red zone. He’s got 4 TDs the past two weeks while Edmonds has none for the season. His efficiency, however, hasn’t been great as he’s only averaging 3.2 yards per carry. Roughly half of Conner’s Fantasy points this season have come via the touchdown, so he’s not very relevant unless you play in a deep, standard-scoring league. If Chase Edmonds were to suffer an injury, however, he is a nice handcuff.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Kenneth Gainwell (RB – PHI)
Stat-line:  31 yards rushing on 3 attempts with a TD, 6 catches on 8 targets for 58 yards
RB Rank:  11

Analysis: It’s strange to put a Running Back with only three rushing attempts on the Heat Index, but Gainwell makes it due to his pass-catching. He’s behind Miles Sanders (RB – PHI) on the Eagles’ depth chart, but he has more targets and catches than him on the season despite this. Gainwell seems to have more momentum than Sanders currently and is developing into a PPR- league Flex option or bye-week spot starter at the very least.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Alex Collins (RB – SEA)
Stat-line:  44 yards rushing on 10 attempts with a TD, 2 catches on 2 targets for 34 yards
RB Rank:  15

Analysis: What’s notable about Collins this week is that he played a similar number of snaps to a seemingly healthy Chris Carson (RB – SEA) and out-performed him along the way. Even though it seems like the Seahawks want to cap Carson’s touches, it’s hard to see this as anything more than a one-week blip given the crowded Seattle backfield – especially with Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA) returning from the IR in a few weeks.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Tight Ends

C.J. Uzomah (TE – CIN)
Stat-line:  5 catches on 6 targets for 95 yards and 2 TDs
TE Rank:  1

Analysis: Uzomah’s now in his 7th season, and every once in a while, he pops out a big game. Last Thursday’s performance was perhaps his best thanks to the 2 TDs. He hasn’t done much the rest of the season, though, even while he leads all Bengals Tight Ends in snaps. Unless he starts getting targeted more consistently, it’s probably better to look elsewhere.

Heat Index:  🔥

Mo Alie-Cox (TE – IND)
Stat-line:  3 catches on 5 targets for 42 yards and 2 TDs
TE Rank:  3

Analysis:  It looks good on the stat sheet, but 2 of Cox’s 3 catches went for TDs. He played more snaps than usual as Jack Doyle (TE – IND) is ailing a bit, but much like Uzomah, he needs to show more before he becomes Fantasy Football relevant. On the plus side, he has one of the coolest names in the NFL…

Heat Index:  🔥

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Scott Youngson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Scott, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyMutant.

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