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The Primer: Week 4 Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

The Primer: Week 4 Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

New England Patriots vs. Dallas Cowboys

Pace and playcalling notes

  • It’s still weird to say that New England is third in neutral pace and has the tenth-best neutral passing rate.
  • Dallas is 19th in neutral pace with the seventh-highest neutral rushing rate.

Quarterbacks

Mac Jones: Jones is the QB13 in fantasy. He is 18th in passing grade with the seventh-lowest yards per attempt and the ninth-lowest adjusted completion rate. Dallas has destroyed quarterbacks this season, allowing the fourth-lowest fantasy points per game. Dallas also has given up the ninth-lowest yards per attempt and the second-lowest passer rating. Jones will be running for his life against the Cowboys’ pass rush, which has the sixth-best pressure rate. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit QB2

Dak Prescott: Prescott is the QB26 in fantasy. The best weekly finish he has through three weeks is QB17. Prescott is 27th in passing grade with the tenth-lowest yards per attempt and 13th-lowest big-time throw rate. The Patriots have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. New England has held passers to the eighth-lowest yards per attempt and the ninth-lowest passer rating. The Patriots have deployed man coverage on 40-51% of their corner’s snaps this season. Prescott has actually been pretty good against man this year. He has the sixth-highest yards per attempt, the 12th-best passer rating, and the fourth-best adjusted completion rate against man coverage. Week 4 Positional Value: QB2

Running Backs

Week 3

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
Rhamondre Stevenson 19 3 21 0
Ezekiel Elliott 16 1 8 0

Rhamondre Stevenson: Stevenson is the RB20 in fantasy, playing 65-73% of the snaps weekly, averaging 18.6 touches and 70.4 total yards. Stevenson has not looked like his 2022 self this year. Among 59 qualified backs, he has the 14th-lowest missed tackles forced per attempt and the sixth-lowest yards after contact per attempt. This is a good matchup for Stevenson to get on track, possibly. Dallas has allowed the third-highest explosive run rate while also having the 11th-lowest stuff rate. The Cowboys have permitted the third-highest yards per carry to gap runs (Stevenson 63% gap). Update: The above report for RapSheet is concerning, but Stevenson should still see most of the work on the ground this week and all the passing down work. I’m downgrading him to an RB2, though.  4 Positional Value: RB1

Ezekiel Elliott: Elliott has seen 30-38% of the snaps weekly, averaging 11.3 touches and 47.7 total yards. Among 59 qualified backs, Elliott has the fourth-lowest missed tackles forced per attempt and the tenth-lowest yards after contact per attempt. Elliott’s best days are behind him. He’s a low-end stash, but you shouldn’t lose any sleep if you need to drop him. Week 4 Positional Value: Droppable

Tony Pollard: Pollard is the RB in fantasy averaging 24.7 touches and 104 total yards. Pollard ranks 30th in yards after contact per attempt and 18th in breakaway rate. He ranks second behind only Austin Ekeler in XFP/game. He has handled 72% of the inside the five yard line carries. Pollard will have his work cut out for him against a run defense that has the fourth-highest stuff rate, the seventh-best missed tackles allowed per attempt, and the fifth-lowest yards after contact per attempt allowed. Week 4 Positional Value: RB1

Wide Receivers

DeVante Parker: Parker has an 88% route run rate with a 15.5% Target share and 14.7% air yard share. Parker has a 1.12 YPRR and a 17.5% first-read share. Parker will run about 85% of his routes against Stephon Gilmore (52.9% catch rate and 101.8 passer rating) and DaRon Bland (60% catch rate and 30.0 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR5

JuJu Smith-Schuster: Smith-Schuster has a 47.4% route run rate this season with a forgettable 12.8% Target share and 1.03 YPRR. Smith-Schuster’s star has dimmed. He’s droppable. Week 4 Positional Value: Droppable

CeeDee Lamb: Lamb has a 23.3.% Target share and a 34.7% air yard share with 2.81 YPRR and a 24.3% first-read share. He’s the WR20 in fantasy with one red zone look and three deep targets. Lamb becomes the engine of the passing offense against man coverage with a 25% Target share, a 58.6% air yard share, 4.57 YPRR, and a 28% first-read rate. Lamb will run about 77% of his routes against Myles Bryant (85.7% catch rate and 98.8 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR1

Brandin Cooks: Against man coverage this season, Cooks has a 17.4% Target share, a 20.8% air yard share, and 0.29 YPRR. His first-read share is a distant third at 19%. Cooks will run about 76% of his routes against Christian Gonzalez (68.2% catch rate and 68.0 passer rating) and Shaun Wade (60% catch rate and 82.1 passer rating. Week 4 Positional Value: WR4/5

Michael Gallup: Gallup only has a 3.1% Target share and a 4% first-read share against man coverage this season. His 0.70 YPRR against man coverage barely registers a heartbeat. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

Tight Ends

Hunter Henry: Henry is the TE2 in fantasy, which says more about the state of the position than it does about Henry. Henry is 17th in Target share with a 76% route run rate and two red zone targets. Dallas has allowed the 11th-fewest receiving yards and the ninth-lowest yards per reception to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: TE2

Jake Ferguson: Ferguson is the TE13 in fantasy. He has an 18.2% Target share but only a 58% route run rate. He leads all tight ends in red zone targets (nine). Ferguson is a TE2 this week against the Patriots, who have given up the fourth-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

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Cardinals have the 12th-slowest neutral pace while rocking the 11th-highest neutral rushing rate.
  • The 49ers have regressed into pace and passing rates that were familiar when Jimmy Garoppolo was the starting quarterback. San Francisco is the second-slowest neutral pace team in the NFL, with the 13th-highest neutral rushing rate.

Quarterbacks

Josh Dobbs: Dobbs is the QB22 in fantasy with the 13th-lowest passing grade. He ranks 18th in yards per attempt and 11th in adjusted completion rate. San Francisco has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game, the second-lowest yards per attempt, and the fifth-lowest passer rating to quarterbacks. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit QB2

Brock Purdy: Purdy is still trying to shake off the rust. He’s 21st in passing grade with the 11th-highest turnover-worthy play rate. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. He’s also second in yards per attempt and 12th-best in adjusted completion rate as the QB15 in fantasy. Arizona has allowed the 11th-highest yards per attempt and the 13th-highest adjusted completion rate. Arizona has allowed the ninth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Last season, Purdy was amazing against zone coverage, ranking second in fantasy points per dropback. If he can rediscover some of that 2022 magic this week, he could sneak inside the top 12 quarterbacks. Week 4 Positional Value: Rock solid QB2

Running Backs

James Conner: Conner’s currently RB13, playing anywhere between 64-84% of the snaps averaging 19.3 touchest and 97.4 total yards. Conner has been running like he’s turning back the clock. He doesn’t look like a 28-year-old back out there. He ranks fourth in explosive run rate, 24th in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 20th in yards after contact per attempt. San Francisco is an elite-run defense. They have yielded the seventh-lowest explosive run rate, the sixth-lowest missed tackles allowed rate, and the fourth-lowest yards after contact per attempt.

Week 4 Positional Value: RB2/3

Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey played 85% and 100% of the snaps in Weeks 1-2, but the team finally felt it was wise to get Elijah Mitchell involved. McCaffrey has averaged 23.7 touches and 141 total yards. McCaffrey is the RB5 in fantasy, soaking up a 15.1% Target share while ranking second in weighted opportunity. Arizona has surrendered the seventh-highest yards after contact per attempt and the 14th-highest yards per carry to zone runs (McCaffrey 63% zone). Week 4 Positional Value: RB1

Elijah Mitchell: Mitchell played 34% of the snaps in Week 3 with 14 touches for 44 total yards. Mitchell ranks 16th in explosive run rate and 21st in yards after contact per attempt (62.5% zone). If this game is a blowout (which the betting line indicates), Mitchell could finish in the neighborhood of 15-17 touches this week. Week 4 Positional Value: RB3

Wide Receivers

Marquise Brown: Brown is the WR32 in fantasy with a 26.8% Target share and a 37.5% air yard share. He has drawn two deep targets and four red zone targets (13th-best). Against zone coverage, Brown maintains a strong 24.4% Target share with 2.53 YPRR and a 33.3% first read share. Brown will run about 81% of his routes against Deommodore Lenoir (73.1% catch rate and 76.8 passer rating) and Charvarius Ward (60.9% catch rate and 59.3 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR4

Rondale Moore: Moore has been invisible this season. He has an 11.1% Target share with a -0.6 aDOT against zone coverage. Moore is droppable. Week 4 Positional Value: Droppable

Deebo Samuel: Samuel is in the midst of a bounce-back campaign as he’s the WR19 in fantasy. Samuel has a 29.7% Target share, a 32.4% air yard hare, 2.68 YPRR, and a 33.3% first read share. Against zone coverage (ARI 61% zone), his Target share climbs to 34%, and his YPRR stands at a robust 3.62. Samuel also has almost a 40% first read share (3.94%) against zone. Samuel is the team’s primary zone-destroying weapon. Samuel is primed for a monster week. Samuel will run about 68% of his routes against Kei’Trel Clark (70.8% catch rate and 100.0 passer rating) and Marco Wilson (78.3% catch rate and 130.4 passer rating). Samuel’s availability for Week 4 is up in the air. He’s dealing with knee and rib issues while prevented him from practicing at all this week. He’s been listed as questionable. Week 4 Positional Value: WR1

Brandon Aiyuk: Aiyuk has a 25.9% Target share, a 42.3% air yard share, 3.66 YPRR, and a 26.3% first-read share. Against zone coverage, his Target share drops to 20.6%, his YPRR dips to 3.04, and his first read share checks in at 21.7%. He is tied with Kittle for second on the team with a 25% TPRR, though. If Samuel misses this week, it should be a more concentrated aerial attack with Aiyk and Kittle leading the way. McCaffrey is third among that trio in Target share and TPRR against zone coverage. Aiyuk is 13th among wide receivers in red zone targets. He will run about 72% of his routes against Clark and Wilson. Week 4 Positional Value: WR2

Tight Ends

Zach Ertz: Ertz’s role has declined sharply each week. In Week 1, he had an 84.8% route run rate, a 33.3% Target share, and a 34.8% first-read share. Now fast forward to Week 3, and Ertz has a 69% route run rate, a 9.5% Target share, and a 12.5% first-read share. Life comes at you fast. The 49ers have allowed the fifth-lowest yards per reception and the ninth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

George Kittle: Against zone coverage, Kittle sees marginal bumps in usage, with his Target share climbing from 19.8% to 20.0% and his first-read share moving from 20.6% to 21.2%. Kittle is the TE9 in fantasy with one deep target, and two red zone looks. Arizona has allowed the fourth-most receiving yards and the sixth-highest yards per reception to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: Top shelf 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

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Jets

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Chiefs are 14th in neutral pace and fourth-best in neutral passing rate.
  • The Jets are second in neutral pace with the eighth-highest neutral rushing rate.

Quarterbacks

Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes is the QB4 in fantasy with he third-highest passing grade, 12th-best big-time throw rate, and the third-most passing touchdowns. He faces a tough test against the Jets’ talented pass defense. They have held quarterbacks to the 12th-lowest yard per attempt while also ranking 17th in passer rating and adjusted completion rate. New York has given up the 11th-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Mahomes is matchup-proof as he chews up and spits out even superb defense. Week 4 Positional Value: High-end QB1

Zach Wilson: Never play Wilson, even if there’s a fire. He has the third-lowest passing grade, the third-lowest yards per attempt, and the 13th-lowest adjusted completion rate. The Chiefs secondary won’t give him any freebies. Kansas City has limited quarterbacks to the sixth-lowest yards per attempt, the seventh-lowest passer rating, and the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

Running Backs

Isiah Pacheco: Over the last two weeks, Pacheco has averaged 15 touches and 74 total yards while playing 42-51% of the snaps. Pacheco ranks 19th in explosive run rate and 20th in missed tackles forced per attempt. He has the fifth-most red zone touches and only one touchdown to show for it. The Jets run defense is nasty. They have kept rushers bottled up with the fourth-lowest explosive run rate, the second-lowest yards after contact per attempt, and the 11th-lowest yards per carry to gap runs (Pacheco 57% gap). Week 4 Positional Value: RB3

Jerick McKinnon: McKinnon has played between 29-32% of the snaps this season. He has averaged 3.3 touches and 20 total yards. Last week reminded everyone about something they already knew. McKinnon can pop off for multiple touchdowns at the drop of a hat. Last year’s scorching stretch run should have displayed that. This is a good week to go back to the well against a New York defense that has surrendered the fourth-most receptions and the fifth-most receiving yards to running backs. Week 4 Positional Value: Touchdown or bust flex

Breece Hall: Hall has seen his snaps increase each week. Last week, he played 49% of the snaps with 13 touches and 27 total yards. Without the threat of the pass, opposing defenses have no reason not to stack the line. Hall is facing the seventh-highest rate of defenders in the box and the ninth-highest stacked carry rate. Unless Wilson takes a miraculous step forward, we should expect this to continue for the rest of the season. Hall ranks eighth in explosive run rate, 13th-worst in stuff rate, and 14th-best in missed tackles forced per attempt. The Chiefs have permitted the 11th-highest explosive run rate and the sixth-worst stuff rate, but they have held zone rushers to the 11th-lowest yards per carry (Hall 57.7% zone). Week 4 Positional Value: RB3

Dalvin Cook: Cook has seen his snaps drop each week. In Week 3 he only played 25% of the snaps. He has averaged 10.6 touches with only 33.3 total yards. Cook looks like a shell of his former self. He has not recorded one explosive run thi season. He has the eighth-worst stuff rate and the 13th-lowest missed tackles forced per attempt. Cook is teetering dangerously close to drop territory. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

Wide Receivers

Garrett Wilson: Wilson has a 23.5% Target share and a 38.4% air yard share. He’s produced 1.76 YPRR while seeing a 42.5% first read share. Wilson has been walking a tight rope to exit the week with a productive stat line. The Chiefs could put a stop to it in Week 4. They have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Wilson will run about 78% of his routes against L’Jarius Sneed (56.3% catch rate and 74 passer rating) and Joshua Williams (28.6% catch rate and 41.4 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR3

**Garrett Wilson is the only fantasy viable NYJ pass catcher.**

Skyy Moore: Moore has an 11.5% Target share, a 68% route run rate, and three red zone targets as the WR62 in fantasy. Moore’s 1.37 YPRR and 15.1% first-read share are lackluster. Moore will run about 56% of his routes against Sauce Gardner (80% catch rate and 121.9 passer rating) and D.J. Reed (70.6% catch rate and 87.0 passer rating). Moore has three red zone targets and two deep targets this season. Week 4 Positional Value: WR4/5

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Valdes-Scantling leads the team with a 67% route run per team dropback rate, but he’s only drawn a 5.9% Target share. Valde-Scantling is just Kansas City’s new cardio king. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

Kadarius Toney: Toney only played two snaps in Week 3. He has yet to play more than 28% of the snaps or see more than five targets in any game this season. Sit Toney. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

Rashee Rice: Rice remains a stash only. Last week, he had an 18.4% Target share, which is great, but it’s more likely fool’s gold unless his snap rate continues to climb. He managed that Target share with only a 46.3% route run rate and an unsustainable 37% TPRR. Andy Reid loves to tempt us. To lure us in with these sexy TPRRs before stomping on our hearts when the player sees only two targets the next week with a similar snap rate. Week 4 Positional Value: Stash only

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce: Kelce’s route run rate remains depressed, with only 58% of the team’s dropbacks, but his other volume metrics are solid. He has a 21.5% Target share and a 22.5% air yard share. Kelce ranks third in receiving grade and fifth in YPRR. The Jets have given up the fifth-most receiving yards and the seventh-most yards per reception to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: Must start TE1 weekly

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

Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Seattle is 11th in neutral pace and passing rate.
  • Brian Daboll has scrapped any ideas of picking up the pace. New York has the seventh-slowest neutral pace while sitting at 21st in neutral passing rate.

Quarterbacks

Geno Smith: Chef Geno never leaves the kitchen. The cooking of NFL defenses is a 24/7/365 affair. He has remained stellar ranking ninth-best in passing grade, 11th-best in yards per attempt, and first in adjusted completion rate. New York will blitz Smith incessantly. Good think the Chef is adept at handling the blitz. He has the seventh-highest passing grade against the blitz with the tenth highest yards per attempt. New York has utilized man coverage on 44-46% of their corner’s snaps. Smith has the fourth-lowest yards per attempt but eighth-highest passer rating against man. Week 4 Positional Value: QB1

Daniel Jones: Jones has one spectacular game this season sandwiched in between to disgusting ones. Jones has the 11th-lowest passing grade and fifth-lowest yards per attempt while also ranking 20th in adjusted completion rate. The rushing equity remains as Jones is third in carries per game, fifth in red zone carries per game, and fourth in rushing yards per game. Seattle has allowed the sixth-highest yards per attempt, the ninth-highest passer rating, and the eighth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Week 4 Positional Value: QB1

Running Backs

Kenneth Walker: Walker has played 51-63% of the snaps weekly with 18.4 touches and 92.3 total yards per game. Walker ranks 11th in missed tackles forced per attempt and 13th in yards after contact per attempt. When Walker was a prospect, I was told he couldn’t catch. That receiving wouldn’t be part of his game. Well, don’t look know, Walker has made strides as a receiver. He ranks fourth in receiving grade and second in YPRR. New York has given up the sixth-highest explosive run rate while also ranking 18th in yards after contact per attempt. Week 4 Positional Value: RB1

Zach Charbonnet: Charbonnet played 43% of the snaps last week with eight touches and 45 total yards. Charbonnet has five red zoe totes and one carry inside the five yard line. Charbonnet is a steam roller ranking 24th in yard after contact per attempt and 30th in missed tackles forced per attempt. Week 4 Positional Value: Handcuff/low-end RB3

Saquon Barkley:Barkley has been listed as doubtful. Consider him out for this week.

Matt Breida: Breida played 82% of the snaps last week with seven touches and 18 total yards. Breida squared off with an elite run defense that he knows all too well from his time with San Francisco. His 28% missed tackles forced per attempt and 3.17 yards after contact per attempt are way above his career marks, so don’t draw much signal from that small sample variance. This is a tough matchup for Breida. Seattle has the sixth-highest stuff rate, the second-lowest yards before contact per attempt, and the fifth-lowest yards per carry allowed to gap runs (Breida 85.7% gap). Week 4 Positional Value: Volume-based RB3

Wide Receivers

D.K. Metcalf: Metcalf has commanded an 18.4% Target share, a 36.4% air yard share, and a 25.9% first-read share (2.6 YPRR). Against man coverage, Metcalf is the team’s best weapon. His Target share against man climbs to 25% while his air-yard share is 61% and his first read rate balloons to 30%. Metcalf will run about 79% of his routes against Tre Hawkins (60% catch rate and 97.1 passer rating) and Deonte Banks (53.8% catch rate and 95.4 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR1

Tyler Lockett: Lockett has compiled a 20.4% Target share, a 37% air yard share, and a 22.2% first read share. Against man coverage, Lockett’s Target share bumps up to 25%, but his air yard share drops to 19.3% and his first-read share dips slightly to 20%. Lockett with run about 53% of his routes against Hawkins and Banks. Week 4 Positional Value: WR2

Jaxon Smith-Njigba: Smith-Njigba remains a must sit. He only has a 60% route run rate and a 13.6% Target share. Even if you could talk yourself into starting him based off that his 2.2 aDOT says no way. Smith-Njigba needs more volume or some deep shots to make it into fantasy lineups. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

Darius Slayton: Slayton has a 66% route run per teamdropback rate. He has seen a 16% Target share and a 34.9% air yard share. Slayton has a 20.3% first read share. Against zone, (SEA corners 56-58% zone coverage) Slayton’s Target share drops to 13.6% and his first read share craters to 18.6%. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-sit

Parris Campbell: Against zone coverage Campbell leads the team with a 19.7% Target share and a 25.6% first-read share. Seattle’s pass defense has been a turnstile. Campbell could explode with a delicious game for PPR formats. He will run about 83% of his routes against Artie Burns (71.4% catch rate and 94.6 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR5 with PPR WR3 upside

Tight Ends

Darren Waller: Waller is the TE10 in fantasy commanding a 20.8% Target share (sixth-best) with two red zone targets. Waller also has a 26.2% air yard share. Waller is primed for huge bounceback week against a Seattle secondary that has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards and the highest yards per reception to tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: Must-start

Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Lions have been a disappointing team from a pace and passing rate perspective this year. They are 21st and 27th in neutral pace and passing rate.
  • This game will be one of the slowest of the Week 4 slate. The Packers are 18th in neutral pace while also ranking 24th in neutral passing rate.

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff: Goff continues to play, hands down, fantastic football. He ranks fourth in passing grade, third in yards per attempt, and fourth in adjusted completion rate. He’s also ninth in fantasy points per dropback. The Packers have held opposing passers to the 11th-lowest yards per attempt, but they are allowing the seventh-highest adjusted completion rate. Goff should have no problems shredding the Packers’ zone coverage (70-83% of their starting corners snaps). Goff has the eighth-highest yards per attempt and second-highest fantasy points per dropback this season against zone. I would worry about the Packers’ pass rush (11th-best in pressure rate and blitz rate), but Detroit has done a fine job keeping Goff clean (ninth-lowest pressure rate faced). Week 4 Positional Value: Borderline QB1

Jordan Love: Love hasn’t been impressive outside of running hot with touchdowns in the first two games. Among 34 qualifying quarterbacks, he ranks 22nd in passing grade, dead last in adjusted completion rate, and has the 13th-highest turnover-worthy play rate. Detroit has been a much-improved defense this season. They have held quarterbacks to the 12th-lowest yards per attempt and seventh-lowest adjusted completion rate. Detroit has permitted the 17th-lowest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Love will have to turn it up to another level that we have yet to see to walk away with a standout day in Week 4. Detroit has utilized zone coverage on 62-66% of their corners snaps. Against zone, Love is 19th in passer rating with the highest turnover-worthy throw rate. Week 4 Positional Value: QB2

Running Backs

David Montgomery: After some confusion Thursday morning, ilooks like Montgomery will be back this week. He practiced in a limited fashion on Monday and Tuesday. In the first two games of the season, Montgomery averaged 62% of the snaps played with 19 touches and 74 total yards. Montgomery ranks 12th in missed tackles forced per attempt and 26th in yards after contact per attempt (among 59 qualifying running backs). With only one target this season, his value is almost exclusively tied to early down production. The Packers’ run defense has been up and down. While they have held opposing teams to the sixth-lowest explosive run rate, they also have the fourth-lowest stuff rate and have allowed the tenth-highest yards per carry (4.67) to gap runs (Montgomery 56.8% gap). Week 4 Positional Value: low-end RB2/high-end RB3

Jahmyr Gibbs: I’d expect Gibbs’ workload in Week 4 to be comparable to his Week 2 usage. He played 48% of the snaps with 14 touches and 56 total yards. He had a scintillating 56.8% route run per team dropback rate with a 25.7% Target share (nine targets). I don’t know if he sees nine targets, but a median projection of 6-7 targets isn’t insane. Among 59 qualifying running backs, Gibbs ranks fifth in missed tackles forced per attempt and 25th in yards after contact per attempt. Gibbs should enjoy the same gap scheme production on the ground against Green Bay (Gibbs 67.7% gap). Green Bay has allowed the third-most receptions and receiving yards to backs, along with the tenth-highest yards per reception. Week 4 Positional Value: RB2

Aaron Jones: It sounds like Aaron Jones will be back this week. He was able to log limited practices on Monday and Tuesday (hamstring). Jones played 47% of the snaps in Week 1 with 11 touches and 127 total yards. Jones left midway through the third quarter of the game. Prior to his exit in the first half, Jones played 75% of the snaps, so don’t get it twisted. Jones was the workhorse back, with A.J. Dillon spelling him occasionally. Among 65 qualifying running backs, Jones ranks 37th in yards after contact per attempt. All I can say to Jones in Week 4 against the Lions’ run defense…good luck. Detroit has held rushers to the 12th-lowest explosive run rate, the seventh-worst stuff rate, and the third-lowest yards after contact per attempt. The Lions are 14th in yards per carry allowed to gap runs (Jones 55.6% gap). Jones should be able to make up for any rushing shortcomings in the passing game. Detroit has allowed the seventh-best receiving yards and yards per reception to running backs. Week 4 Positional Value: Low-end RB1/high-end RB2

A.J. Dillon: Dillon is a flex play best left on the bench. The rushing matchup is a tough one, and Dillon hasn’t been an elusive runner. Among 59 qualifying running backs, he ranks 38th in yards after contact per attempt with zero breakaway runs and the ninth-lowest elusive rating. Week 4 Positional Value: low-ceiling flex play

Wide Receivers

Amon-Ra St. Brown: St. Brown looked healthy in Week 3 as he ran a route on 100% of Goff’s dropbacks with a 36.4% Target share. St. Brown remains a locked-in must-play weekly. Among 124 qualifying wide receivers, he is 13th in Target share and eighth in yards per route run (YPRR) as the WR13 in fantasy. St. Brown is seventh in first-read share, immediately behind Tyreek Hill. He should run circles around Keisean Nixon (90.9% catch rate and 130.7 passer rating) on 51% of his routes from the slot. The Packers have struggled to defend the deep ball again this season with the sixth-worst passer rating and adjusted completion rate allowed to passes of 20 yards or more. St. Brown leads the team with five deep targets. Week 4 Positional Value: WR1

Josh Reynolds: Reynolds fell back to earth in Week 3 as he failed to draw a target. He has an acceptable 70.1% route run per team dropback rate, but the rest of his usage metrics are meh. He has drawn an 11.7% Target share, a 19.8% air yard share, and only one red zone target. Reynolds will run about 61% of his routes against Rasul Douglas (62.5% catch rate and 73.4 passer rating) and Corey Ballentine (66.7% catch rate and 92.4 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR5

Kalif Raymond: The Lions finally woke up and dropped Marvin Jones‘ route run rate to 35.3% in Week 3. Raymond was the big beneficiary, with a 50% route run rate and an 18.2% Target share. That route run per team dropback rate needs to be higher to consider him in fantasy, though. Asking him to reproduce his 35% TPRR (the same as St. Brown) is unreasonable. Raymond could walk away with a good day if he and Goff can connect on a deep shot, though. Green Bay is bottom of the barrel against deep passing. Raymond is second on the team with four deep targets. Week 4 Positional Value: Deep league flex or DFS Showdown play

Christian Watson: Watson is set to return in Week 4. He didn’t practice on Monday, but he did manage a limited practice on Tuesday. Watson should have a field day against Detroit’s zone coverage (65-66% of their corner’s snaps). Last year, after he was a full-time starter in the offense, Watson had a 17.8% Target share, a 38.1% air yard share, and a 22.9% first-read share (2.70 YPRR). Green Bay is notoriously careful with injuries, so if Watson is active, I’m treating him like he’ll be a full go. Watson will run about t67% of his routes against Cameron Sutton and Jerry Jacobs. Note that it’s reported he will be on a pitch count this week in his return, potentially limiting his upside. Week 4 Positional Value: WR2/3

Romeo Doubs: Doubs leads all Green Bay receivers with a 72.4% route run per team dropback rate. He is also tops with a 20.0% Target share. He has a 25.8% air yard share and 1.70 YPRR. Against zone coverage, Doubs ranks second on the team in Target share (18.0%) and first-read share (21.3%). He leads the team with 2.20 YPRR against zone, which he’ll see plenty of against Detroit. Doubs will run about 80% of his routes against Cameron Sutton (58.8% catch rate and 83.7 passer rating) and Jerry Jacobs (71.4% catch rate and 120.1 passer rating). Week 4 Positional Value: WR4

Jayden Reed: Reed continues to impress as the team’s starting slot receiver (73% slot). He has a 20% Target share, a 23.3% air yard share, and a 2.21 YPRR. The biggest issue for Reed is that Green Bay likes to utilize multiple personnel sets, so his role as the starting slot has his snaps capped (63.8% route run per team dropback rate). Against zone coverage, Reed is third on the team with a forgettable 14.8% Target share and a 17.0% air yard share. Reed will see Brian Branch (64.7% catch rate and 90.7 passer rating) for most of the day. Week 4 Positional Value: WR4/5

Tight Ends

Sam LaPorta: LaPorta is body-bagging every rookie tight end narrative. Among 47 qualifying tight ends, he ranks third in Target share (21.4%), second in TPRR (tied), and first in YPRR. Yes, I said first in YPRR. LaPorta has been carving out a larger role weekly. His target shares weekly have been 14.3%>17.1%>33.3%. His first read share has followed suit as well, going from 12.0%>5.6%>33.3%. LaPorta is second on the team behind only St. Brown in Target share against zone coverage. Green Bay is 15th and 18th in fantasy points per game and receiving yards allowed to tight ends. LaPorta has reached must-start status. Week 4 Positional Value: Top-six TE

Luke Musgrave: Musgrave’s usage has been in line with TE1 production, but we haven’t seen Musgrave marry the usage with actual production yet. He is eighth in route run per team dropback rate (76.2%), 12th in Target share (15.8%), 11th in YPRR (1.55), and 14th in first-read share among 47 qualifying tight ends. This week could be the monster breakout game that we have been waiting for. Musgrave leads the team in Target share (21.3%) and first read share (23.4%) against zone coverage. The Lions have allowed the most receiving yards and fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Week 4 Positional Value: TE1 with huge upside

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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All data utilized in this article is courtesy of Fantasy Points Data, PFF, FTN, 4for4, Rotoviz, RBdsm.com, The Edge from the 33rd Team, and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.

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