Stars of Week 4 

QB: Deshaun Watson, HOU: 25-34, 283 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT (4 carries, 24 yards, 1 TD)          

RB: Le’Veon Bell, PIT: 35 carries, 144 yards, 2 TDs (4 catches, 42 yards, 0 TDs)

WR: Devin Funchess, CAR: 7 catches, 70 yards 2 TDs

TE: Tyler Kroft, CIN: 6 catches, 68 yards, 2 TDs

Could we have a new rookie superstar QB on our hands? If the last few weeks provide any indication, the answer is yes. Deshaun Watson took a blowtorch to the Titans defense, tying the rookie touchdown record with five scores. We’ll take a closer look at Watson below. Le’Veon Bell’s owners can breathe a sigh of relief, as the stud RB finally had a game commensurate with his top pick status. No reason to worry here. Our top receiving honors go to Devin Funchess of the Carolina Panthers. Funchess found the end zone twice against the Patriots in what was a quiet week from wide receivers. We’ll dig further into Funchess’ fantasy prospects below. So who’s Tyler Kroft? The backup Cincy tight end had a career game with Tyler Eifert out, finding the end zone twice against the Browns. Croft has value only in games with Eifert out, and even in such a case, he’s nothing more than a TE2. Chalk this up as a career game.

Week 4 Takeaways – A Closer Look 

Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.

- Deshaun Watson, QB - HOU: 25-34, 283 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT (4 carries, 24 yards, 1 TD)

Analysis: The Texans’ opening game of 2017 started out as a train wreck with Tom Savage at the helm. But smartly – and to avoid a mutiny from Texans nation – Savage was benched in favor of Watson in the second half of the opener, and the Texans haven’t looked back. Watson struggled in his first career start (game 2 of the season), but has since set the league on fire. Watson set the Texans up to beat the Patriots in week 3, only for Bill O’Brien to screw things up. So, Watson took matters into his own hands against the Titans, throwing for four TDs and running for another. Watson’s emergence is good news for the entire fleet of Texans’ offensive players – starting with DeAndre Hopkins. As for Watson himself, he now merits conversation as a low end QB1, dependent upon matchup. Needless to say, Watson should be rostered in all leagues.

- Alvin Kamara, RB - NO: 5 carries, 25 yards, 0 TDs (10 catches, 71 yards, 1 TD)

Analysis: While many on the west coast were asleep, the New Orleans Saints' defense pitched a shutout against the Miami Dolphins in London. I’m comfortable going out on a limb and stating that no one in the football world saw that coming. But I digress – we need to take a closer look at Saints’ rookie running back Alvin Kamara. While Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson had the bulk of attention at fantasy drafts, it’s the rookie RB from Tennessee who has become the Saints’ RB with the most value. The key to understand here is that Kamara’s role within the Saints’ offense is secure, while Ingram and Peterson cannibalize each other. Kamara’s the clear third down RB in a prolific passing offense, and he’ll get 5-8 carries per game. Kamara profiles as a flex option in standard leagues, and can be bumped up to RB2 status in PPR leagues. In case he’s still available in your league, this is your last chance to snag Kamara. 

- Isaiah Crowell, RB – CLE: 7 carries, 20 yards, 0 TDs                                    

Analysis: Isaiah Crowell was a popular third round pick in drafts, with the expectation that he would be a solid RB2. The logic was sound – the Browns massively upgraded their offensive line, and otherwise had improved tools on offense, which would allow the ground game to make a bigger impact this year. Well, we’re now four games in, and while rookie QB Deshone Kizer has flashed at times, we now know that the Browns are still the same lowly, incompetent franchise that they’ve been since their return to the NFL. It’s unfortunate for the Dawg Pound as well as Crowell’s fantasy owners, but if Crowell couldn’t get going against the Bengals, why should there be optimism that he can make a difference against the Jets next week? I’d use duct tape to tie Crowell to your bench until he shows any signs of life. But in the absence of a jolt in performance, Crowell should not be in any lineups going forward.

- Bilal Powell, RB - NYJ: 21 carries, 163 yards, 1 TD (4 catches, 27 yards, 0 TDs)

Analysis: In yet another surprise, the “tanking for Sam Darnold” Jets beat the Jaguars to reach 2-2 for the year. What’s not a surprise is that Bilal Powell is the top Jets player to own. Powell very quietly had a solid 2016 season, and after quiet start to the 2017 season, it looks like he’s ready to carry the production forward into this year. Powell usually does a significant portion of his damage as a receiving threat, but he’s also able to tote the rock as the lead back, as he showed this week. Powell should be a solid RB2 in PPR leagues, and he’ll be on the RB2/flex border for standard leagues.

- Will Fuller, WR – HOU: 4 catches, 35 yards, 2 TDs

Analysis: Will Fuller made his 2017 debut this past Sunday, and he provided a nice jolt to the select few who started him. Fuller found the end zone twice against the Titans, catching four balls on six targets. With the ascent of Deshaun Watson, Fuller provides an interesting add for those who need a WR. How will Fuller perform over the course of the season? Last year Fuller struggled with week to week consistency, as is normal for rookie wide receivers. A big question here is how teams adjust to Watson and the Texans’ passing game as they get more footage in the coming weeks. A breakout season is certainly possible for Fuller, but I would advise that you temper your expectations. The more likely scenario is a matchup dependent flex option, with too much boom and bust to be a weekly option. But if you need a WR, Fuller is a solid pickup with upside. 

- Devin Funchess, WR – CAR: 7 catches, 70 yards, 2 TDs

Analysis: The Carolina Panthers passing game has endured wild swings so far this year, with Cam Newton looking great one week, then out of sync the next, and now fantastic again this past week against the Patriots. In Devin Funchess’ first two seasons, he has yet to make much of a fantasy impact, but could this, his third season, be the magic charm? Funchess has had three consecutive strong starts, this time finding the end zone twice. Even more promising, Newton has looked for Funchess quite often, targeting the WR six, ten and nine times in the last three games. With added weapons on offense, Funchess will be facing favorable coverage and will have the opportunity to settle in for six to ten targets per game, with TD upside. You should view Funchess as a WR3/flex option going forward, and he’s a must add in all leagues. 

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we’ll throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in most leagues. 

QB: Tyrod Taylor, BUF

RB: Wayne Gallman, NYG

RB: Aaron Jones, GB (he’s the guy in Ty Montgomery’s absence)

WR: Cooper Kupp, LAR

WR: Tyler Lockett, SEA

TE: Evan Engram, NYG


Week 5 Rankings


  1. Aaron Rodgers, GB (at DAL)
  2. Dak Prescott, DAL (vs. GB)
  3. Russell Wilson, SEA (at LAR)
  4. Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. CAR)
  5. Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. KC)
  6. Carson Palmer, ARZ (at PHI)
  7. Cam Newton, CAR (at DET)
  8. Carson Wentz, PHI (vs. ARZ)
  9. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. JAX)
  10. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. LAC)
  11. Tyrod Taylor, BUF (at CIN)
  12. Philip Rivers, LAC (at NYG)
  13. Alex Smith, KC (at HOU)
  14. Andy Dalton, CIN (vs. BUF)
  15. Jacoby Brissett, IND (vs. SF)
  16. DeShone Kizer, CLE (vs. NYJ)
  17. Jay Cutler, MIA (vs. TEN)
  18. Jared Goff, LAR (vs. SEA)
  19. Jacoby Brissett, IND (vs. SF)
  20. Joe Flacco, BAL (at OAK)

Running Backs:

  1. Le'Veon Bell, PIT (vs. JAX)
  2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. GB)
  3. Kareem Hunt, KC (at HOU)
  4. Todd Gurley, LAR (vs. SEA)
  5. LeSean McCoy, BUF (at CIN)
  6. Leonard Fournette, JAX (at PIT)
  7. Carlos Hyde, SF (at IND)
  8. Jay Ajayi, MIA (vs. TEN)
  9. Melvin Gordon, LAC (at NYG)
  10. Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. KC)
  11. Jordan Howard, CHI (vs. MIN)
  12. DeMarco Murray, TEN (at MIA)
  13. Bilal Powell, NYJ (at CLE)
  14. Joe Mixon, CIN (vs. BUF)
  15. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (at DET)
  16. Marshawn Lynch, OAK (vs. BAL)
  17. Duke Johnson, CLE (vs. NYJ)
  18. Ameer Abdullah, DET (vs. CAR)
  19. Aaron Jones, GB (at DAL)
  20. Frank Gore, IND (vs. SF)
  21. LeGarrette Blount, PHI (vs. ARZ)
  22. Isaiah Crowell, CLE (vs. NYJ)
  23. Tarik Cohen, CHI (vs. MIN)
  24. Jonathan Stewart, CAR (at DET)
  25. Latavius Murray, MIN (at CHI)
  26. Alex Collins, BAL (at OAK)
  27. Wayne Gallman, NYG (vs. LAC)
  28. Derrick Henry, TEN (at MIA)
  29. Javorius Allen, BAL (at OAK)
  30. Eddie Lacy, SEA (at LAR)
  31. Andre Ellington, ARZ (at PHI)
  32. Thomas Rawls, SEA (at LAR)
  33. Theo Riddick, DET (vs. CAR)
  34. Giovani Bernard, CIN (vs. BUF)
  35. Corey Clement, PHI (vs. ARZ)
  36. Shane Vereen, NYG (vs. LAC)
  37. Jerick McKinnon, MIN (at CHI)
  38. D'Onta Foreman, HOU (vs. KC)
  39. Elijah McGuire, NYJ (at CLE)
  40. Jalen Richard, OAK (vs. BAL)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Jordy Nelson, GB (at DAL)
  2. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (vs. LAC)
  3. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. JAX)
  4. A.J. Green, CIN (vs. BUF)
  5. Dez Bryant, DAL (vs. GB)
  6. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. KC)
  7. Stefon Diggs, MIN (at CHI)
  8. Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ (at PHI)
  9. T.Y. Hilton, IND (vs. SF)
  10. Doug Baldwin, SEA (at LAR)
  11. Tyreek Hill, KC (at HOU)
  12. Keenan Allen, LAC (at NYG)
  13. Devante Parker, MIA (vs. TEN)
  14. Golden Tate, DET (vs. CAR)
  15. Pierre Garcon, SF (at IND)
  16. Adam Thielen, MIN (at CHI)
  17. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (vs. ARZ)
  18. Randall Cobb, GB (at DAL)
  19. Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs. TEN)
  20. Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. BAL)
  21. Jaron Brown, ARZ (at PHI)
  22. Tyrell Williams, LAC (at NYG)
  23. Sammy Watkins, LAR (vs. SEA)
  24. Michael Crabtree, OAK (vs. BAL)
  25. Martavis Bryant, PIT (vs. JAX)
  26. Kelvin Benjamin, CAR (at DET)
  27. Rishard Matthews, TEN (at MIA)
  28. Devin Funchess, CAR (at DET)
  29. Jeremy Maclin, BAL (at OAK)
  30. John Brown, ARZ (at PHI)
  31. Will Fuller, HOU (vs. KC)
  32. Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. LAC)
  33. Marvin Jones, DET (vs. CAR)
  34. Marqise Lee, JAX (at PIT)
  35. Cooper Kupp, LAR (vs. SEA)
  36. Mike Wallace, BAL (at OAK)
  37. Donte Moncrief, IND (vs. SF)
  38. Eric Decker, TEN (at MIA)
  39. Jermaine Kearse, NYJ (at CLE)
  40. Robert Woods, LAR (vs. SEA)

Tight End:

  1. Travis Kelce, KC (at HOU)
  2. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. ARZ)
  3. Delanie Walker, TEN (at MIA)
  4. Charles Clay, BUF (at CIN)
  5. Evan Engram, NYG (vs. LAC)
  6. Jimmy Graham, SEA (at LAR)
  7. Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at CHI)
  8. Hunter Henry, LAC (at NYG)
  9. Jared Cook, OAK (vs. BAL)
  10. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. GB)
  11. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (at CLE)
  12. Martellus Bennett, GB (at DAL)
  13. Eric Ebron, DET (vs. CAR)
  14. Benjamin Watson, BAL (at OAK)
  15. Antonio Gates, LAC (at NYG)
  16. Jack Doyle, IND (vs. SF)
  17. Tyler Kroft, CIN (vs. BUF)
  18. Julius Thomas, MIA (vs. TEN)
  19. Ed Dickson, CAR (at DET)
  20. Jesse James, PIT (vs. JAX)

Defense/Special Teams: 

  1. Minnesota Vikings (at CHI)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. JAX)
  3. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. ARZ)
  4. Buffalo Bills (at CIN)
  5. Kansas City Chiefs (at HOU)
  6. Arizona Cardinals (at PHI)
  7. Seattle Seahawks (at LAR)
  8. New York Jets (at CLE)
  9. New York Giants (vs. LAC)
  10. Houston Texans (vs. KC)
  11. Oakland Raiders (vs. BAL)
  12. Tennessee Titans (at MIA)
  13. Jacksonville Jaguars (at PIT)
  14. Detroit Lions (vs. CAR)
  15. Los Angeles Rams (vs. SEA)