The NFL gave us more insane fantasy football performances to analyze in Week 4, led by Christian McCaffery (RB – 49ers), who recorded four total touchdowns during San Francisco’s win over Arizona. A.J. Brown (WR – Eagles) finally got going against Washington, scoring two touchdowns and recording nine receptions for 175 yards after a slow start to the season. Stefon Diggs (WR – Bills) scored three touchdowns to function as the lead playmaker for the Bills’ offense in a dominant win over the previously undefeated Miami Dolphins, while David Montgomery (RB – Bears) gobbled up three rushing touchdowns during the Lions’ statement win over Green Bay at Lambeau Field on Thursday Night.
As always, while there were plenty of studs who showed out in Week 4, there were plenty of duds as well. Some of these names undoubtedly have fantasy managers concerned, including Raheem Mostert (RB – Dolphins) (RB43), Miles Sanders (RB – Panthers) (RB41), Jerry Jeudy (WR – Broncos) (WR46), Jordan Addison (WR – Vikings) (WR115) to name just a few poor performances.
NFL fantasy analyst Matt MacKay is back to give us his latest analysis on these stud and dud performances from a busy Week 4. All analysis is conducted using half-PPR scoring format to contextualize whether fantasy managers should remain calm or slam the panic button as we process the fallout from Week 4 entering the start of Bye Weeks.
Kyren Williams (RB – Rams)
The Los Angeles Rams are a tough out and their rushing attack has found new life with second-year running back, Kyren Williams. He handled over 69 percent of carries against the Colts in Week 4, while playing 72 percent of snaps, finishing as RB3 with 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Williams was free in drafts and likely available on waiver wires early on, but now, he’s a valuable commodity and looks to have a stranglehold on a backfield inside of an offense that moves the football with Matthew Stafford (QB – Rams). Fringe RB1 rest of season.
De’Von Achane (RB – Dolphins)
Rookie De’Von Achane continues to be the 1B to Raheem Mostert’s 1A in Mike McDaniel’s offense. After a monster outing in Week 3 against Denver, Achane still rattled off 101 rushing yards on just eight carries, winding up with two rushing touchdowns despite playing a tough Bills defense. Achane is quickly looking like a league-winner in Miami’s explosive offense, making him a mid-range RB2 with RB1 upside moving forward.
A.J. Brown (WR – Eagles)
It was only a matter of time before A.J. Brown began rolling. It happened against Washington in Week 4, as Brown was the overall WR1 with nine receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 13 targets. Brown had a slow start that concerned fantasy managers, and while it won’t be this productive every week, Brown quieted all doubts about his talent and usage in Philadelphia. There may be some WR3 and WR2 weeks ahead, but Brown is a bonafide WR1 when he gets the right matchup and game script. Brown should remain locked into all fantasy lineups as a low-end WR1.
Nico Collins (WR – Texans)
Houston has been a nice surprise this season, rattling off back-to-back wins behind rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud (QB – Texans). After a quiet Week 3, Nico Collins popped against Pittsburgh’s secondary in Week 4, seizing seven receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. Collins has two WR1 finishes through four weeks in an increasingly potent Texans’ passing attack, so until further notice, Collins is a mid-range WR2 with low-end WR1 upside.
Mark Andrews (TE – Ravens)
Mark Andrews returned to form against Cleveland in Week 4, scoring two touchdowns on just five targets against what was previously considered the top defense in the league. Lamar Jackson’s (QB – Ravens) favorite target looked dominant, catching all five of his targets for 80 yards and a pair of scores, finishing as the overall TE2 behind only Cole Kmet (TE – Bears). The lack of depth in Baltimore’s wide receiving corps is encouraging for any fantasy manager who used high draft capital to acquire Andrews during fantasy drafts, so keep the star tight end locked into lineups without hesitation.
Anthony Richardson (QB – Colts)
After sitting out a week due to a concussion, rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson nearly willed his team to a comeback against the Rams, losing a close game in overtime. Richardson scored another rushing touchdown, his fourth of the season, churning out 10 carries for 56 yards, along with a pair of passing touchdowns late in the game to perform in clutch moments. Richardson had a poor outing for his passing efficiency, but his rushing upside keeps him as a low-end QB1 in fantasy football leagues.
Rhamondre Stevenson (RB – Patriots)
New England’s offense is easily a bottom-five unit in the league right now, which is affecting Rhamondre Stevenson’s production. The third-year running back looks slower and is plodding behind a bad offensive line. Now that Ezekiel Elliot (RB – Patriots) is on the roster, Stevenson is ceding touches to the veteran, including in the passing game, which is where he made his living a year ago. Stevenson is a low-end RB2 with mid-range RB2 upside if he manages to fall into the end zone, which has only happened once through four games this season.
James Conner (RB – Cardinals)
It was a difficult matchup for Arizona, but they continued to battle, forcing the 49ers into a four quarter sweat at home to seize a hard-fought win. James Conner had next to no chance to produce RB1 numbers against the 49ers’ run defense, finishing with 11 carries for 52 yards, plus one reception for four yards and zero touchdowns. Conner has been solid through the first three weeks, scoring touchdowns, but without those, he’s limited to RB3/RB2 production. Better matchups await, so keep Conner plugged into lineups as a mid-range RB2 with high-end RB2 upside.
Ja’Marr Chase (WR – Bengals)
Cincinnati is performing much worse than expected to start the season. No longer can we blame Joe Burrow’s (QB – Bengals) calf injury for the bad play, as he was without injury designation in Week 4 against a bad Titans secondary. Instead, the Bengals scored three total points and their offense sputtered all game long despite getting a plus-matchup against a defense that Cleveland trounced in Week 3. Chase looked good against a tough Rams secondary, but until we see more consistency, he’s a mid-range WR2 with low-end WR1 upside. Don’t move Chase out of lineups, but he could be a solid trade piece for fantasy managers seeking to make a change, relying on his name recognition to get quality players in return.
Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – Colts)
Anthony Richardson’s bad passing day had a negative impact on Michael Pittman Jr., as he finished with one reception on five targets for 15 yards. Josh Downs (WR – Colts) and Alec Pierce (WR – Colts) both finished with more yards than the Colts’ WR1, who popped with Richardson in Week 1 against Jacksonville. Indianapolis’ identity is to establish the run, especially with Richardson’s skillset, so Pittman should be viewed as a low-end WR2 with high-end WR2 upside moving forward.
T.J. Hockenson (TE – Vikings)
Minnesota finally got its first win in a tough matchup against Carolina in Week 4, relying on star wideout Justin Jefferson (WR – Vikings) to make all of the plays for its offense. As a result, all of the other Vikings skilled players took big hits, including star tight end T.J. Hockenson, who caught two of three targets for 24 yards. Better days are ahead for Hockenson, but we did see the Vikings lean into their rushing attack more during Cam Akers’ (RB – Vikings) first game with Minnesota. Hockenson remains a must-start at a volatile tight end position in fantasy football leagues.
Kirk Cousins (QB – Vikings)
It was a weird game for Kirk Cousins, as the Vikings offense ran through its rushing attack to set up a couple of Justin Jefferson touchdowns. Cousins has been among the highest volume passers in the league, leading to huge fantasy production. However, now that the Vikings managed to win with a new approach, we could see more modest numbers from Cousins moving forward. He’s a fringe QB1 when he’s attempting 30-35 passes per game, but if he’s attempting fewer than 20 per game, drop Cousins down to a QB2 with mild streaming appeal.