Stars of Week 4

QB: Jared Goff, LAR: 26-33, 465 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs

RB: Alvin Kamara, NO: 19 carries, 134 yards, 3 TDs (5 catches, 47 yards, 0 TDs) 

WR: Cooper Kupp, LAR: 9 catches, 162 yards, 2 TDs           

TE: Jared Cook, OAK: 8 catches, 110 yards, 2 TDs

Are we bearing witness to the Greatest Show on Turf, Volume II? While the Rams have traded in the turf of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis for the grass of the Coliseum in Los Angeles, the team’s offense has exploded in Year 2 under Sean McVay. Third year QB Jared Goff achieved a perfect QB rating against the Vikings last Thursday night, and he appears to have come of age. We’ll take a closer look at Goff below. Goff’s teammate, Cooper Kupp, had a career game as well, finding the end zone twice while amassing 162 yards on 9 catches. Kupp has solidly planted himself as a weekly WR2 play. Alvin Kamara has been the top RB in fantasy this year, and he torched the Giants this past weekend, crossing the century mark in rushing while scoring three TDs. Won’t be the last time that Kamara appears in this space. Last but not least, Jared Cook caught two TD passes from Derek Carr to help the Raiders notch their first win of the season. Cook is having a strong start to the season, and he should be considered a low end TE1.

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.

- Jared Goff, QB – LAR 

Analysis: By now you’ve certainly heard the “system QB” comments made about Goff, which only intensified during the first few weeks of the season. That may have been a defensible position coming into the 2018 year, but any such comment is sensible no more. While coach Sean McVay is a bonafide QB whisperer, put on the tape against the Vikings and just watch Goff’s throw to Cooper Kupp in the back of the end zone, or the dime he dropped to Brandin Cooks. Look at the previous week’s tape against the Chargers, etc. Goff has pinpoint accuracy and incredible touch on his throws, and he delivers the ball in tight windows with ease. Combine Goff’s underlying skills with Coach McVay’s system, and you have a QB1. This offense is a juggernaut, and Jared Goff is becoming an elite QB. I’ll stop short of saying that Goff is a must start every week, but this is due to the incredible depth at QB this year. But Goff is a borderline top 5 option going forward, so start him with confidence.

- Mitch Trubisky, QB - CHI: 19-26, 354 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs (3 carries, 53 yards, 0 TDs)

Analysis: Moving from one young QB to another, second year signal caller Mitch Trubisky had by far his best game as a pro this past week against the Buccaneers. With Andy Reid disciple Matt Nagy taking over as the Bears’ coach this season, a “Jared Goff type ascension” has been expected by many within the industry. Trubisky looked very ordinary in his first three games this year, but he absolutely took a blow torch to the Bucs, playing a near flawless game. Not only did Trubisky throw six TDs with no picks, but he also completed five passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air. Has Trubisky turned the corner? The answer is that we don’t know yet. The Bucs have an awful pass defense, and we need to see repetitive performances like this one in order to elevate Trubisky as a QB. If you need a QB, add Trubisky, but note that he remains a matchups based QB2 at this very moment.

- Sony Michel, RB – NE: 25 carries, 112 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: With Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill both out with injuries, eyes were on Sony Michel to see if he can carve out a significant role alongside James White in the Patriots’ backfield. Mission accomplished against the Dolphins, as Michel surpassed one hundred yards rushing and also found the end zone. According to PFF, the Patriots’ RB snap count went as follows: James White 40, Sony Michel 33 and Kenjon Barner 10, with Michel serving as the primary ball carrier (25 carries to White’s 8 carries). Bill Belichick spent a first round pick on Michel, and while the coach is notorious for wrecking fantasy forecasts, there’s clear logic behind the thought that Michel will serve as the lead rusher for the next several games. In the off chance that Michel is available in your league, he needs to be the top priority add. Michel will be a solid RB2 at least until Burkhead returns, and possibly after that as well.   

- Aaron Jones, RB – GB: 11 carries, 65 yards, 1 TD 

Analysis: The Packers were down Aaron Jones for the first two weeks of the season due to suspension. Despite coach Mike McCarthy not realizing it, Aaron Jones is the Packers top running back. The evidence was there last season, and Jones’ return to the team has reinforced this. Short sample size with 17 carries, but Jones has averaged 6.3 yards per rush this season. McCarthy spread the snaps fairly evenly among the team’s RBs this past Sunday against the Bills – with Aaron Jones leading with 29 snaps, Jamaal Williams following with 28 and Ty Montgomery being on the field for 20 plays (numbers from PFF). Good things happen in the running game when Jones is on the field, and he’s the best rusher of the trio. For now Jones should be viewed as a flex option, and he’ll bump up to RB2 territory as his carries increase.

- John Brown, WR – BAL: 3 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: A story not receiving (no pun intended) much attention is the emergence of John Brown as the Ravens’ leading wide receiver. Brown has long been touted a sleeper going back to his time with the Cardinals, but he has had some health issues while also dealing with periodic inconsistent QB play (any time that Carson Palmer was out). Now with a new team and playing with a quarterback fighting to keep his starting gig, Brown has broken out over the first quarter of the 2018 season. Through four games, Brown has 15 receptions covering 338 yards, to go along with 3 TDs. QB Joe Flacco has targeted Brown 26 times in the past three games, and Brown has finished with a minimum of 86 yards receiving over those games. The talent has always been there on Brown’s part, and Flacco is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance, so Brown’s performance has staying power. Given that WR has great positional depth, Brown falls into the WR2/flex spectrum dependent upon matchup. You should start him with confidence, and if an owner in your league is looking to sell, kick the tires on his asking price. 

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we 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: Blake Bortles, JAC (juicy matchup against Kansas City this week)

RB: Nyheim Hines, IND

RB: Nick Chubb, CLE

WR: Dede Westbrook, JAC

WR: Keke Coutee, HOU

TE: Vance McDonald, PIT (last chance to snag him)

Week 5 Rankings



  1. Matt Ryan, Atl                  @Pit
  2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pit      Atl
  3. Aaron Rodgers, GB           @Det
  4. Cam Newton, Car             NYG
  5. Philip Rivers, LAC             Oak
  6. Deshaun Watson, Hou      Dal
  7. Drew Brees, NO               Wsh
  8. Jared Goff, LAR                @Sea
  9. Patrick Mahomes, KC        Jax
  10. Andy Dalton, Cin              Mia
  11. Matthew Stafford, Det       GB
  12. Kirk Cousins, Min             @Phi
  13. Carson Wentz, Phi            Min
  14. Russell Wilson, Sea          LAR
  15. Blake Bortles, Jax            @KC
  16. Alex Smith, Wsh              @NO
  17. Derek Carr, Oak               @LAC
  18. Baker Mayfield, Cle          Bal  
  19. Joe Flacco, Bal                 @Cle
  20. Marcus Mariota, Ten         @Buf   

Running Backs:

  1. Alvin Kamara, NO            Wsh
  2. Todd Gurley, LAR             @Sea
  3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dal            @Hou
  4. Melvin Gordon, LAC         Oak
  5. Christian McCaffrey, Car   NYG
  6. Saquon Barkley, NYG       @Car
  7. David Johnson, Ari           @SF
  8. James Conner, Pit            Atl
  9. Kareem Hunt, KC            Jax
  10. Devonta Freeman, Atl      @Pit
  11. Marshawn Lynch, Oak      @LAC
  12. T.J. Yeldon, Jax                @KC
  13. Joe Mixon, Cin                 Mia
  14. Carlos Hyde, Cle              Bal
  15. Matt Breida, SF                Ari
  16. Chris Thompson, Wsh      @NO
  17. Dion Lewis, Ten               @Buf
  18. Mark Ingram II, NO         Wsh
  19. Alex Collins, Bal              @Cle
  20. Jay Ajayi, Phi                  Min
  21. Phillip Lindsay, Den         @NYJ
  22. Chris Carson, Sea           LAR
  23. Adrian Peterson, Wsh      @NO
  24. Kerryon Johnson, Det      GB
  25. Tevin Coleman, Atl          @Pit
  26. LeSean McCoy, Buf         Ten
  27. Kenyan Drake, Mia          @Cin
  28. Austin Ekeler, LAC           Oak
  29. Royce Freeman, Den       @NYJ
  30. Aaron Jones, GB             @Det
  31. Bilal Powell, NYJ              Den
  32. Javorius Allen, Bal           @Cle
  33. Alfred Blue, Hou              Dal
  34. Alfred Morris, SF             Ari
  35. Isaiah Crowell, NYJ          Den
  36. Derrick Henry, Ten          @Buf
  37. Theo Riddick, DET           GB
  38. Latavius Murray, Min       @Phi
  39. Jamaal Williams, GB        @Det
  40. Duke Johnson, Cle           Bal

Wide Receivers:

  1. Antonio Brown, Pit          Atl
  2. Michael Thomas, NO       Wsh
  3. Julio Jones, Atl               @Pit
  4. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG   @Car
  5. DeAndre Hopkins, Hou    Dal
  6. Adam Thielen, Min          @Phi
  7. Keenan Allen, LAC           Oak
  8. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pit  Atl
  9. A.J. Green, Cin               Mia
  10. Davante Adams, GB        @Det
  11. Stefon Diggs, Min            @Phi
  12. Golden Tate, Det              GB
  13. Jarvis Landry, Cle            Bal
  14. Brandin Cooks, LAR         @Sea
  15. Robert Woods, LAR          @Sea
  16. Tyreek Hill, KC                 Jax
  17. Cooper Kupp, LAR            @Sea
  18. Corey Davis, Ten              @Buf
  19. E. Sanders, Den               @NYJ
  20. Alshon Jeffery, Phi            Min
  21. Calvin Ridley, Atl              @Pit
  22. Will Fuller, Hou                 Dal
  23. Kenny Golladay, Det         GB
  24. Amari Cooper, Oak           @LAC
  25. D. Thomas, Den               @NYJ
  26. Tyler Boyd, Cin                Mia
  27. Marvin Jones Jr., Det        GB
  28. Doug Baldwin, Sea           LAR
  29. John Brown, Bal              @Cle
  30. Sterling Shepard, NYG     @Car
  31. Devin Funchess, Car        NYG
  32. Larry Fitzgerald, Ari         @SF
  33. Michael Crabtree, Bal      @Cle
  34. Dede Westbrook, Jax       @KC
  35. Quincy Enunwa, NYJ       Den
  36. Keelan Cole, Jax             @KC
  37. Kenny Stills, Mia             @Cin
  38. Tyler Lockett, Sea           LAR
  39. Jordy Nelson, Oak           @LAC
  40. Mohamed Sanu, Atl         @Pit

Tight End:

  1. Travis Kelce, KC              Jax
  2. Zach Ertz, Phi                  Min
  3. Jordan Reed, Wsh            @NO
  4. Jared Cook, Oak              @LAC
  5. Jimmy Graham, GB          @Det
  6. George Kittle, SF              Ari
  7. Kyle Rudolph, Min            @Phi
  8. Vance McDonald, Pit         Atl
  9. David Njoku, Cle              Bal
  10. Austin Hooper, Atl            @Pit
  11. Benjamin Watson, NO      Wsh
  12. A. Seferian-Jenkins, Jax   @KC
  13. Jesse James, Pit              Atl
  14. Ricky Seals-Jones, Ari      @SF
  15. Rhett Ellison, NYG           @Car

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Los Angeles Rams           @Sea
  2. Baltimore Ravens            @Cle
  3. Tennessee Titans             @Buf
  4. Denver Broncos               @NYJ
  5. Carolina Panthers            NYG
  6. Philadelphia Eagles          Min
  7. Cincinnati Bengals           Mia
  8. Jacksonville Jaguars        @KC
  9. Los Angeles Chargers      Oak
  10. Houston Texans              Dal
  11. Minnesota Vikings           @Phi
  12. Cleveland Browns            Bal
  13. Dallas Cowboys              @Hou
  14. New York Jets                 Den
  15. Green Bay Packers          @Det