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The Primer: Week 4 Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

The Primer: Week 4 Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

Washington Commanders vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Commanders have the tenth-slowest neutral pace and the eighth-highest neutral rushing rate.
  • The Eagles have moved back towards the 2022 model as they are 14th in neutral pace but have the highest neutral rushing rate in the NFL.
  • Philly is also second in red zone rushing rate.

Quarterbacks

Sam Howell: Howell is the QB25 in fantasy, as his passing numbers have sagged. He has the sixth-lowest passing grade while ranking 16th in yards per attempt. Howell might have the fourth-highest adjusted completion rate, but he also has the sixth-lowest aDOT. Short, easy completions have been his best attribute. The rushing upside we hoped to get from him has not materialized. Howell has not crossed the 20-rushing-yard mark in any game, and he has only five rushing attempts. The Eagles defense is not the shutdown unit they were last season. They have allowed the seventh-highest passer rating, the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, and the second-most passing touchdowns. They have also shown an easy ability to pressure quarterbacks as they rank second in pressure rate. That’s bad news for Howell, who has wilted against pressure. He has the second-lowest passing grade when pressured and the seventh-highest turnover-worthy play rate. Howell is the most sacked quarterback in the NFL. Week 4 Positional Value: worrisome QB2

Jalen Hurts: Hurts isn’t playing at last year’s MVP level, but he is definitely not struggling either. Hurts is the QB7 in fantasy ranking 15th in passing grade, sixth in adjusted completion rate, and 13th in big-time throw rate. He has destroyed zone coverage this season (WAS 68-76% zone). Hurts has the tenth-best yards per attempt, the tenth-highest passer rating, and the seventh-highest fantasy points per dropback against zone. Washington has allowed the 14th-highest yards per attempt while holding passers to the 13th-lowest adjusted completion rate. The Commanders biggest issue is their inability to stop downfield passing. Washington has permitted the fourth-most deep passing yards and the ninth-highest deep ball adjusted completion rate. Hurts is tenth in deep ball rate. Week 4 Positional Value: Top-three QB

Running Backs

Brian Robinson: Robinson has been balling out as the RB12 in fantasy, averaging 16.7 touches and 87.3 total yards. He played 52-61% of the snaps in the first two games before dropping to 37% last week in a blowout. Among 59 qualifying running backs, Robinson ranks 15th in explosive run rate, 39th in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 11th in yards after contact per attempt. The party comes to a halt this week against the Eagles’ elite run defense, though. Philly is the only run defense yet to allow an explosive run. They also have the second-highest stuff rate and have given up the lowest yards after contact. Robinson will be running into walls all day. Week 4 Positional Value: Volume-based RB2

Antonio Gibson: Last week was the perfect script for Gibson to get some extra run, and he still fell flat. Yes, he played 61% of the snaps, but he finished with five touches and 24 total yards. This season, he’s averaged 4.6 touches and 32 total yards. Gibson is a handcuff or middling stash only. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit / Handcuff

Week 3

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
D’Andre Swift 16 2 18 3
Kenneth Gainwell 14 2 15 4

D’Andre Swift: Swift has taken over as the team’s lead back. He has played 75% and 54% of the snaps over the last two games while averaging 24 touches and 159.5 total yards. Over the last two weeks, Swift has been the RB8 in fantasy. Among 59 qualifying backs, he ranks 14th in explosive run rate and tenth-best in yards after contact per attempt. Swift is the go-to back for Philly. Last week in the first half when the game was still within reach, Swift played 66.7% of the snaps when the team was in the red zone. If we expand that to include the first three quarters, Swift’s snap rate engulfs Gainwell inside the 20 yard line. Swift played 83.3% of the red zone snaps, so when the team gets in close Swift will be the player getting the money touches (per Fantasy Points Data). Washington is not a run defense to fear in 2023. They have allowed the fifth-highest explosive run rate while also logging the 12th-lowest stuff rate. They are also 17th in yards after contact per attempt allowed. Week 4 Positional Value: RB1

Kenneth Gainwell: In Gainwell’s two games played, he has averaged 54% of the snaps with 16.5 touches and 61 total yards. Among 59 qualifying backs, Gainwell ranks 32nd in explosive run rate, 50th in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 53rd in yards after contact per attempt. Basically, if you need two yards, Gainwell can get you three. If you need four yards, Gainwell can get you three. He can get what is blocked, and not much beyond that. With a plus rushing matchup and the possibility for some garbage time work, Gainwell could easily finish with 12-15 touches this week. Week 4 Positional Value: RB3 with RB2 upside

Wide Receivers

Terry McLaurin: McLaurin has a 16.2% Target share, a 24.8% air yard share, and a team-leading 23.8% first-read share. McLaurin ranks 59th in receiving grade and 57th in YPRR. Both marks are easily the lowest of his career. Blame Howell or McLaurin’s early season toe injury, but either way you slice it, something is off here. James Bradberry played some nickel last week, but I expect him to move back to the boundary full-time this week. McLaurin will run about 82% of his routes against Bradberry (55.6% catch rate and 115.0 passer rating) and Darius Slay (66.7% catch rate and 95.9 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR3

Jahan Dotson: Dotson is tied with McLaurin with a 16.2% Target share, but he only has an 18.4% air yard share. His first-read share is only 15.9% as well (second on the team). He has fallen off the shelf after a promising start to the season. He has only 0.74 YPRR at this point. Dotson will run about half of his routes on the perimeter against Slay and Bradberry. Week 4 Positional Value: WR4/5

Curtis Samuel: Howell’s replacement-level quarterback play is barely supporting McLaurin this year, so we can’t expect him to support the fourth option in the passing attack. Samuel has a 12.1% Target share with a 66.7% route run rate. Samuel hasn’t crossed the 60-receiving yardage threshold all year. Samuel will run about 68% of his routes against Mario Goodrich (100% catch rate and 150.4 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

A.J. Brown: After last week’s performance, can everyone finally take a deep breath and stop worrying about Brown? He’s the WR24 in fantasy now with a beautiful 31.2% Target share and a 42.8% air yard share. Brown has gobbled up a monstrous 41.4% first read share with 2.57 YPRR. Brown will be involved if Hurts is destroying Washington with deep heaves. Brown is second to only DeVonta Smith in deep targets on the team (four vs. five). Brown should also be the tip of the spear against their zone coverage as he leads the team with a 23.8% Target share and 34.3% first-read share against zone. Brown will run about 78% of his routes against Kendall Fuller (41.7% catch rate and 14.6 passer rating) and Emmanuel Forbes (75% catch rate and 81.9 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR1

DeVonta Smith: Smith is the WR19 in fantasy, commanding a 21.5% Target share and a 34.3% air yard share. He has a 27.6% first-read share and 2.06 YPRR. Smith leads the team in deep targets. If Hurts destroys this secondary deep, it’ll be with a heavy dose of Brown and Smith. Against zone, Smith ranks second on the team with a 22% Target share and 28.6% first read share. Smith will run about 74% of his routes against Fuller and Forbes. Week 4 Positional Value: WR1/2

Tight Ends

Logan Thomas: Thomas should be back this week after missing last week’s action due to a concussion. In Week 1, he handled a 22.6% Target share, a 24.5% air yard share, and a 22.7% first read share (tied for first on the team). Thomas has big-time upside this week. The Eagles have been bleeding out production to tight ends this season. Philly has allowed the third-most receiving yards, fourth-most receptions, and the most receiving touchdowns to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: TE1

Dallas Goedert: Dallas Goedert has soaked up a 16.1% Target share and a 9.9% air yard share. He has a 20.7% first-read share. His 5.3 aDOT isn’t doing him any favors this season (0.68 YPRR), but the real culprit has been his fall-off in YAC ability. Last year, he had 6.8 YAC per reception (ninth-best). That has fallen to only 2.4 YAC per reception this season. Against zone coverage, his Target share has bumped up to 19.0%, and his first read share has increased to 25.7%, so we could see a few more targets heading in Goedert’s direction this week. The problem for Goedert is that Washington has been exceptional at defending tight ends so far this season. They have surrendered the third-fewest receiving yards and the third-lowest yards per reception. Week 4 Positional Value: TE1

DET vs. GB | ATL vs. JAC | MIA vs. BUF | DEN vs. CHI | BAL vs. CLE | CIN vs. TEN | LAR vs. IND | TB vs. NO | WAS vs. PHI | MIN vs. CAR | PIT vs. HOU | LV vs. LAC | NE vs. DAL | ARI vs. SF | KC vs. NYJ | SEA vs. NYG

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Vikings know the way to my heart, with a blistering pace and a high passing rate. Minnesota ranks sixth in neutral pace while leading the NFL in neutral passing rate.
  • The Vikings are second in red zone passing rate.
  • With Bryce Young under center, Carolina has been the third-slowest neutral pace team with the 11th-highest neutral rushing rate.

Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins: The sim must be broken. Cousins remains THE QB1 in fantasy. He is seventh in passing grade, fourth in yards per attempt (tied with Justin Herbert), and seventh in adjusted completion rate. Cousins should eat up Carolina’s zone coverage (65-69% zone). Cousins has the 11th-highest yards per attempt and third-highest fantasy points per dropback against zone. Carolina has allowed the 12th-highest yards per attempt while ranking 15th in passer rating. Week 4 Positional Value: QB1

Bryce Young:Young has not been playing good football, and that’s being kind. Among 34 qualifying quarterbacks, he has the lowest passing grade, the fewest yards per attempt, and the tenth-lowest adjusted completion rate. The Vikings are not a problematic defense, but the young rookie is the QB29 in fantasy points per game. He has to show some life to be worthy of starting, even in Superflex formats. Week 4 Positional Value: Must sit in all formats

Running Backs

Alexander Mattison: Mattison finally got going last week. He played 80% of the snaps with 25 touches and 125 total yards. While Cam Akers could be active this week, I doubt he takes more than a handful of carries/snaps from Mattison. That could be a problem in the weeks to come, but I doubt it’s an issue in Week 4, especially with Mattison coming off his best game of the season. Among 59 rushers, Mattison ranks 34th in explosive run rate, 29th in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 37th in yards after contact per attempt. His inefficiencies as a tackle-breaker are nothing new. This shouldn’t stop him from posting another good fantasy day. Carolina’s run defense isn’t nearly as good as their pass defense. They have permitted the ninth-highest explosive run rate while flopping with the third-lowest stuff rate. Carolina has allowed the 12th-highest yards per carry to zone runs this season (Mattison 71.8% zone). Week 4 Positional Value: RB2

Miles Sanders: Sanders has played 57-65% of the snaps weekly, averaging 17.7 touches and 69 total yards. Sanders is seventh among backs in routes run while also seeing a 14.0% Target share (fifth) and the most targets among backs (tied). Sanders has been soaking up volume in all phases, but he’s been woefully inefficient with it. Among 59 backs with at least ten carries, he is 36th in explosive run rate, 53rd in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 48th in yards after contact per attempt. Temper your expectations for Sanders this week. Minnesota is not a pushover run defense. They have held backs to the fifth-lowest explosive run rate, the seventh-lowest yards after contact per attempt, and the eighth-lowest missed tackles allowed per attempt. Week 4 Positional Value: Volume-based low-end RB2

Chuba Hubbard: Hubbard is a handcuff only. Last week, despite playing 34% of the snaps, he had only four total yards with three touches. This is a putrid matchup for Hubbard on the ground, so don’t expect him to do much with his handful of touches this week. Week 4 Positional Value: Handcuff-only

Wide Receivers

Justin Jefferson: Is there anything I could say that would force you to sit Jefferson? I didn’t think so. Jefferson is the WR3 in fantasy with a 27.5% Target share, a 41.3% air yard share, and a 36.4% first-read share. Jefferson is fifth in receiving grade and YPRR. Jefferson will run about 68% of his routes against Donte Jackson (64.7% catch rate and 125.1 passer rating) and C.J. Henderson (75% catch rate and 116.7 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: Top-three WR weekly

Jordan Addison: Addison is inching closer and closer to benign a full-time player. Last week he saw his route run rate increase against from 71.7% to 76.4%. Just do it Minnesota. Get it over with. Make Addison an 80-90% route run per team dropback rate player. Your offense needs it. Addison also saw his Target share increase to 16.0% last week (20.1% air-yard share). Among 87 qualified receivers, Addison is ranked 50th in receiving grade and 38th in YPRR. Addison ranks fifth on the team with only two red zone targets, so if he scores this week it will likely have to be on a long reception. Addison will run about 78% of his routes against Jackson and Henderson. Week 4 Positional Value: WR3/4

K.J. Osborn: Osborn has a 6% Target share and a whopping 0.72 YPRR. He is droppable. Week 4 Positional Value: Droppable

Adam Thielen: Thielen is the WR13 in fantasy with a 19.4% Target share, a 23.5% air-yard share, and 1.7 YPRR. Thielen has a 27.9% first-read share while running about 72% of his routes from the slot. Brian Flores got back to his roots last week. The Vikings corners were deployed in man coverage last week on 62% of their snaps after spending the first two games in heavy zone coverage. Thielen’s numbers against man this year just made me double-take. He has a 42.3% Target share, a 50% first-read share, and a 3.35 YPRR against man coverage this year. While the sample is small, those numbers are ridiculous and eye-popping. I thought that when I saw Minnesota’s heavy man coverage last week, I was about to break the bad news that Thielen would be shut down this week, but that definitely does not seem to be the case. Thielen will face Josh Metellus in slot coverage this week (92.3% catch rate and 125.3 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: Borderline WR2/3

D.J. Chark: Chark ran a route on 75% of dropbacks last week with a 13.2% Target share and a 30.3% air yard share. He finished his first full game back with 1.3 YPRR. Last year, Chark was solid against man coverage with a 70.2 PFF receiving grade and 1.49 YPRR. He will run about 75% of his routes against Akayleb Evans (61.1% catch rate and 126.4 passer rating) and Byron Murphy (77.3% catch rate and 125.4 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR4

Tight Ends

T.J. Hockenson: Hockenson ranks fifth in Target share (20.6%) and 13th in YPRR. He is second on Minnesota in red zone targets (four). Hockenson is the TE1 in fantasy currently. Carolina has been a friendly matchup for tight ends this season. They have allowed the fourth-highest yards per reception, the 13th-most receiving yards, and the 11th-most fantasy points to the position. Week 4 Positional Value: TE1

Hayden Hurst: Hurst is a matchup-based streaming tight end better left on the waiver wire or bench this week. He has a 10.9% Target share with three red zone targets. Minnesota has allowed the ninth-fewest receiving yards and the second-lowest yards per reception to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit TE2

DET vs. GB | ATL vs. JAC | MIA vs. BUF | DEN vs. CHI | BAL vs. CLE | CIN vs. TEN | LAR vs. IND | TB vs. NO | WAS vs. PHI | MIN vs. CAR | PIT vs. HOU | LV vs. LAC | NE vs. DAL | ARI vs. SF | KC vs. NYJ | SEA vs. NYG

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Pittsburgh seems to be slowly reverting to last year’s ways. Their pace and passing rates are in slow decline. They rank 16th in neutral pace with the tenth-highest neutral rushing rate.
  • The Steelers rank first in red zone passing rate.
  • Houston is eighth in neutral pace and 14th in neutral passing rate.

Quarterbacks

Kenny Pickett: Preseason Pickett is gone. The hope has been extinguished. He looks like the same clueless rookie quarterback who hasn’t taken a step forward. He has the fourth-lowest passer grade, the 13th-lowest yards per attempt, and the second-lowest adjusted completion rate. There’s hope that Pickett can post a serviceable box score this week against Houston’s paper-thin pass defense. Houston has allowed the 13th-highest yards per attempt, the 12th-highest passer rating, and the second-highest adjusted completion rate. Week 4 Positional Value: QB2

C.J. Stroud: Stroud has been the most impressive rookie passer this season. Over the last two weeks, he is 12th in passing grade, third in yards per attempt, and 19th in adjusted completion rate. This week’s opponent is a huge test for him. The Steelers have held passers to 17th in yards per attempt, the third-lowest adjusted completion rate, and the 13th-lowest fantasy points per game. Stroud’s biggest hurdle will be facing the Steel Curtain pass rush. Pittsburgh is 13th in blitz rate and third in pressure rate. Stroud has been pressured at the seventh-highest rate this season. Stroud has the fourth-lowest passing grade and seventh-lowest yards per attempt when pressured. This week will be a good litmus test for the rookie. Week 4 Positional Value: QB2

Running Backs

Weeks 2-3

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
Najee Harris 29 3 24 0
Jaylen Warren 14 9 29 0

Najee Harris: Harris has played 50-57% of the snaps over the last two weeks, averaging 15 touches and 54.5 total yards. What if I told you that we need to lay off the “Najee Harris isn’t explosive” narrative? Well, it’s true. This season, among 59 qualified backs, Harris ranks second in explosive run rate, 15th in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 16th in yards after contact per attempt. I know I’m as surprised as you are. Harris deserves his flowers, though. Houston has had issues defending the run again this season. They have the eighth-lowest stuff rate, the eighth-highest missed tackles allowed rate, and the 11th-highest yards after contact per attempt allowed. The caveat is that they have defended zone runs well, holding rushers to the eighth-lowest yards per carry (Harris 54.3% zone). Week 4 Positional Value: Low-end RB2

Jaylen Warren: Over the last two weeks, Warren has averaged 44% of the snaps with 10.5 touches and 69 total yards. Warren is eighth-best in missed tackles forced per attempt and 27th in yards after contact per attempt. He has a plus matchup on the ground, as well as facing a defense that has allowed the ninth-highest yards per reception to running backs. Warren has a 13.5% Target share, a 31% TPRR, and leads all running backs in YPRR. Week 4 Positional Value: RB3

Dameon Pierce: Pierce has had a brutal start to the season, but it could begin to turn around this week. His offensive line hasn’t helped him much, and while it remains banged up, the matchup is pretty pretty good. Pierce has played 45-54% of the snaps weekly, averaging 15.6 touches and 47 total yards. Pittsburgh has allowed the eighth-highest explosive run rate, the ninth-highest missed tackle rate, and the second-highest yards after contact per attempt. Pittsburgh has given up the second-highest yards per carry to zone runs (Pierce 75% zone). Houston should look to feed Pierce this week and keep the pass rush heat off Stroud. Week 4 Positional Value: Borderline RB2/3

Wide Receivers

George Pickens: Pickens has seen elite volume without Diontae Johnson. He has a 25.9% Target share, a 39.2% air yard share, and a 35.3% first-read share over the last two games with 3.61 YPRR. Over that same span, Pickens has had a 27.8% Target share, a 47.4% first-read share, and 4.49 YPRR against zone coverage. Houston’s corners have operated in zone this year on 66-70% of their coverage snaps. Pickens should be a target hog this week, running about 91% of his routes on the perimeter against Steven Nelson (70% catch rate and 54.6 passer rating) and Shaquill Griffin (70% catch rate and 127.5 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR2 with WR1 upside

Calvin Austin: Over the last two weeks, Austin has played 73-76% of the snaps with a 15.5% Target share, a 34.6% air yard share, and 1.64 YPRR. Against zone in the same span, he’s been overlooked with only a 5.6% Target share and 10.5% first-read share. This is an extremely small sample size, but it has to be discussed. Austin hasn’t seen a red-zone look yet. He will run about 70% of his routes on the boundary against Steven Nelson (70% catch rate and 54.6 passer rating) and Shaquill Griffin (70% catch rate and 127.5 passer rating). The interesting thing is that over the last two weeks Austin has seen 50% of his target volume via the slot (29.4% TPRR!!), so he will get plenty of looks even on limited routes inside against Grayland Arnold (Career: 90% catch rate and 128.3 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR5 with sneaky WR3 upside

Allen Robinson: Robinson isn’t on the fantasy radar anymore. Without Johnson over the last two weeks, Robinson has disappeared into the background with a 12.1% Target share, a 9.5% air yard share, and 0.86 YPRR. If you added him to your team out of desperation, feel free to drop him. Week 4 Positional Value: Droppable

Nico Collins: Collins is the WR21 in fantasy points per game. Over the last two weeks, he has a 15.6% Target share, a 19.8% air yard share, and a 23.1% first-read share (second on the team). Collins began the season by smashing in Weeks 1 & 2, but he has taken a step back to Tank Dell since he hit the starting lineup. Collins will run about 80% of his routes against Patrick Peterson (56.3% catch rate and 94.3 passer rating) and Levi Wallace (64% catch rate and 82.4 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR2/3

Tank Dell: Dell is that dude. He immediately supplanted Collins as the team’s WR1 once he hit the starting lineup. Over the last two weeks, he has had a 22.1% Target share (first), a 33.0% air yard share (first), and a 25% first-read share (first). He’s done all of this while producing 3.35 YPRR while running 70% of his routes on the perimeter. This is king-level stuff here. Don’t dismiss Dell anymore because of size, draft capital, or anything ridiculous reason. He can play, and he’s showing the world that, like Stroud, he’s the real deal. Dell will see Peterson and Wallace in coverage on most of his routes. Week 4 Positional Value: WR2/3

Robert Woods: Over the last two games, Woods has a 19.5% Target share, a 26.4% air-yard share, and 1.61 YPRR as the dependable WR3 of this offense. Woods ranks third in first-read share with 21.2%. Woods will run about 55% of his routes from the slot against Minkah Fitzpatrick (60% catch rate and 67.9 passer rating. Week 4 Positional Value: WR4/5

Tight Ends

Pat Freiermuth: Freiermuth has faded into the background in the Pittsburgh passing attack. Over the last two weeks, he has had an 8.6% Target share, 0.93 YPRR, and a 14.7% first-read share, which is tied with Allen Robinson (not good). Freiermuth does lead the team with four red zone targets, so his touchdown equity in this offense is strong. The matchup is also a plus this week for Freiermuth. Houston has given up the ninth-most receiving yards and the tenth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: Borderline TE1

Dalton Schultz: Schultz is the lowly fourth receiving option for Houston. Over the last two games, he has had an 11.7% Target share, an 11.5% first read share, and 0.84 YPRR. The matchup is terrible for Schultz. Pittsburgh has allowed the seventh-fewest receiving yards and zero touchdowns to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit TE2

DET vs. GB | ATL vs. JAC | MIA vs. BUF | DEN vs. CHI | BAL vs. CLE | CIN vs. TEN | LAR vs. IND | TB vs. NO | WAS vs. PHI | MIN vs. CAR | PIT vs. HOU | LV vs. LAC | NE vs. DAL | ARI vs. SF | KC vs. NYJ | SEA vs. NYG

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Raiders have flipped the offensive design on its head again. They have risen to ninth in neutral pace with the eighth-best neutral passing rate.
  • This is the Chargers offense I thought we would see from Week 1. I’m not disappointed. I’m elated that it’s really happening. Los Angeles has the fifth-best neutral pace and passing rates.

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo: Garoppolo has been ruled out (concussion).

Aidan O’Connell: O’Connell gets the start today for the Raiders. He has a glorious matchup with the Bolts. The Chargers have allowed the second-highest yards per attempt, the sixth-highest passer rating, and the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Among 79 qualifying quarterbacks in the preseason, O’Connell ranked sixth in passing grade, 18th in adjusted completion rate, and 16th in yards per attempt. Week 4 Positional Value: QB2 with upside

Justin Herbert: Herbert has been hosting a master class in quarterback play. He is 12th in passing grade, eighth-best in adjusted completion rate, fourth-highest in yards per attempt, and ninth-best in big-time throw rate. The Raiders don’t have a chance to slow him down. Las Vegas has allowed the third-most passing touchdowns, second-highest passer rating, and the fourth-highest adjusted completion rate. The Raiders are tied for the 13th-most dropbacks defended in man coverage. Against man, Herbert has the fifth-best yards per attempt and second-highest passer rating. Week 4 Positional Value: Top-five QB

Running Backs

Josh Jacobs: Jacobs has played 73-82% of the snaps weekly, averaging 18.8 touches and 66.7 total yards. Among 59 qualified backs, Jacobs ranks 35th in missed tackles forced per attempt and 43rd in yards after contact per attempt. Jacobs’ 2.65 yards after contact per attempt in Week 3 isn’t something to write home about, but it’s his best single-game performance in 2023. The Bolts have allowed the 11th-highest missed tackles per attempt and the sixth-highest yards after contact per attempt. The only issue for Jacobs is that the Chargers have held gap runs to the tenth-lowest yards per carry (Jacobs 73.3% gap). Jacobs can also lean on his pass game role weekly to help pad his floor. He is sixth in targets, seventh in Target share, and fourth in YPRR. Week 4 Positional Value: low-end RB1

Austin Ekeler: Ekeler has been listed as doubtful. Assume he will be inactive again this week.

Joshua Kelley: Kelley probably draws another start this week. He has been a huge disappointment as the Charger’s lead rusher. In his two starts, he played 73-79% of the snaps, averaging only 12.5 touches and 28 total yards. Among 59 qualifying backs, he is 35th in explosive run rate, 45th in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 49th in yards after contact per attempt. The Raiders are a plus matchup, but Kelley has shown the inability to take advantage of those previously. Las Vegas is 19th in explosive run rate with the sixth-lowest stuff rate and the third-highest yards after contact per attempt allowed. Kelley is too risky of a play to trust in your RB2 spot. Week 4 Positional Value: RB3

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams: Adams is the WR4 in fantasy, leading the NFL with a 39.4% Target share. He is also third in air-yard share, sixth in YPRR, and tops in first-read share. He’s fourth in red zone targets and 12th in deep targets. Adams will run about 82% of his routes against Asante Samuel Jr. (76.5% catch rate and 113.4 passer rating) and Michael Davis (76.2% catch rate and 149.2 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR1

Jakobi Meyers: Meyers has been Adams’ running mate, leading the Raiders passing attack. He has a 31.4% Target share, 2.72 YPRR, and a 36.2% air yard share. Meyers is second on the team with a 34.0% first-read share. Meyers ranks fourth among wide receivers in red zone targets. He’ll run about 80% of his routes on the perimeter against Samuel and Davis. Week 4 Positional Value: WR2/3

Keenan Allen: Allen is THE WR1 in fantasy. He is in the top ten in the NFL in Target share, TPRR, receptions, receiving yards, and YAC. Allen is also 13th in red zone targets and fifth in YPRR. The common misconception around Allen is that he can’t beat man coverage, and that’s simply wrong. Allen ranks eighth in YPRR, fourth in Target share (36.7%), and fourth in TPRR against man coverage. Allen will run about 63% of his routes against Nate Hobbs (75% catch rate and 104.4 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR1

Josh Palmer: This season against man coverage, Palmer has played well in a small sample. Against man, he has a 21.1% Target share, a 19.0% first-read share, and 2.19 YPRR. His overall numbers are more saddening, with a 10.7% Target share, 1.04 YPRR, and a 12.6% first read share. This week’s matchup against the man coverage-hungry Raiders could allow him to post back-to-back solid games. Week 4 Positional Value: WR3/4

Quentin Johnston: Johnston looks to take over as a full-time starter for the Chargers this week with the loss of Mike Williams to a season-ending injury. In his final season in college, Johnston ranked 20th in YPRR and 28th in yards per reception against man coverage (among 274 qualifying wide receivers). In most cases, Johnston is a stash and must-sit this week until we see what his role looks like, but he has flashed the ability in college to defeat man coverage. If you are pressed in a deep league or dynasty format, there are worse players that you could shove into your starting lineup. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

Tight Ends

LV TEs: Neither Austin Hooper nor Michael Mayer has seen more than a 3.2% Target share or a 54.4% route run rate. Neither of those figures is high enough to consider rostering them in fantasy.

LAC TEs: The Chargers have split the tight end usage into four pieces. No LAC tight end has managed at least a 40% route run rate or 10% Target share. There’s no reason to take that dice roll in fantasy. It likely just ends in pain.

DET vs. GB | ATL vs. JAC | MIA vs. BUF | DEN vs. CHI | BAL vs. CLE | CIN vs. TEN | LAR vs. IND | TB vs. NO | WAS vs. PHI | MIN vs. CAR | PIT vs. HOU | LV vs. LAC | NE vs. DAL | ARI vs. SF | KC vs. NYJ | SEA vs. NYG

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2024 NFL Mock Draft With Trades: First-Round Picks

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