Week 4 Rankings

Patrick Daugherty
September 29, 2013
Daily Dose: Foster Lost Again
Jeff Brubach recaps the fantasy football happenings from a busy Sunday in Week 7

Updated 9/29/2013 at 2:40 PM ET. Kenny Britt deleted from ranks. 

Arian Foster is out-touching Ben Tate 57-35. So why does he have just 21 more yards from scrimmage?

Film review reveals a player who isn’t emerging from piles with as many extra yards as we’re used to seeing. Houston’s run blocking actually appears improved on it's down — by its standards — 2012, while Foster has been typically making the right reads. He simply isn’t getting to the second level as easily as he once did. It’s to be expected for a player who pushed his touch odometer past 1,000 the past three seasons, and led the league in carries in 2012. That being said, Foster hardly looks out of gas. In fact, he looked as good as he had all season in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, but didn’t get a chance to get into a second-half groove and wear down the defense with Houston falling behind 24-9 early in the third quarter.

Truth be told, there hasn’t been much difference between Foster and Tate since Week 1, where Tate looked shot out of a cannon against San Diego’s terrible run defense and Foster looked tired. Since, Foster has actually appeared a tad more slippery, with Tate looking a bit sluggish, particularly Sunday. Since Tate’s 60-yard scamper on his first carry of Week 2 — where he got run down by (admittedly athletic) Titans LB Zach Brown — Tate has averaged just 4.05 yards on 17 carries. Foster, meanwhile, has averaged 4.29 yards on 31 totes since Week 2. We’re doing some serious cherry picking here, but the point is, the emerging narrative that Foster is on his last legs while Tate is being unjustly reduced to second fiddle is overblown.   

What’s not overblown are Foster’s usage concerns. This is very much a committee for the time being, one that’s running into the Seahawks’ buzzsaw defense this weekend. With Foster-Tate in essentially a 60-40 timeshare, neither are particularly high-upside plays in a game where the Texans could again fall behind early. Foster is an RB2, Tate a shaky FLEX option. But Foster owners shouldn’t give up hope. Perhaps his RB1 days are behind him. The film suggests he’s going to hit fewer home runs than he did in 2010-12. What it also suggests, however, is that he still has plenty of useful football left in his 27-year-old legs. It just might not be elite.   

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Week 4 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Peyton Manning vs. PHI -
2 Drew Brees vs. MIA -
3 Michael Vick at DEN Probable (foot)
4 Robert Griffin III at OAK -
5 Tony Romo at SD -
6 Matthew Stafford vs. CHI -
7 Matt Ryan vs. NE -
8 Russell Wilson at HOU -
9 Tom Brady at ATL -
10 Andrew Luck at JAC -
11 Colin Kaepernick at STL -
12 Philip Rivers vs. DAL -
13 Jay Cutler at DET -
14 Ben Roethlisberger at MIN -
15 Eli Manning at KC -
16 Joe Flacco at BUF -
17 Ryan Tannehill at NO -
18 Sam Bradford vs. SF -
19 Alex Smith vs. NYG -
20 Matt Schaub vs. SEA -
21 Andy Dalton at CLE -
22 Carson Palmer at TB -
23 Brian Hoyer vs. CIN -
24 E.J. Manuel vs. BAL -
25 Jake Locker vs. NYJ -
26 Geno Smith at TEN -
27 Matt Cassel vs. PIT -
28 Blaine Gabbert vs. IND Probable (-)
29 Mike Glennon vs. ARZ -
30 Matt Flynn vs. WAS -

QB Notes: Peyton Manning might as well build a beach house and putting green in the Eagles’ secondary. This could get ugly. … Drew Brees has yet to throw for fewer than 322 yards in a game this season. A touchdown avalanche is coming. … Michael Vick is predictably taking a ton of hits, but has thus far been standing and delivering, both to his wideouts and fantasy owners. He’s out-pointed every quarterback not named Peyton Manning. … Robert Griffin III’s play has hardly warranted a top-five ranking, but he’s been just good enough, and is facing a Raiders defense allowing a mind-boggling 76.5 completion percentage. Throw in Oakland’s soft front seven, and all the ingredients are there for an RGIII breakout outside of garbage time. … Tony Romo is off to a slow-ish start, but eased by the Rams in Week 3 and is facing a Chargers defense that’s allowed the most passing yards in the league through the season’s first three weeks (1,022). Start him with confidence.

The Patriots’ pass defense looks to be for real, but with Roddy White finally trending back toward full health, Matt Ryan remains a safe QB1. The game is at the Georgia Dome, where Ryan boasts a career 34-5 record compared to 23-19 on the road. … Russell Wilson’s 9.10 YPA is third in the NFL. … After one week in the QB2 wilderness, Brady is back in QB1 territory. Is the promotion warranted? It’s hard to say. He’d be no better than No. 11 were Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton not on bye, while his 5.5 YPA is the worst in the NFL. Brady is coming off a good game against a great defense, however, while he finally appeared to be on the same page with rookies Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson in Week 3. Throw in the possible return of Rob Gronkowski, and you have a future Hall-of-Famer who’s not worth betting against in a dome versus an injury-decimated defense.

The Colts are likely to go run heavy against the Jaguars’ league-worst run defense, but playing as sound of football as any quarterback in the league, you don’t bench Andrew Luck against a team missing both of its starting cornerbacks. Luck’s usage has been frustrating — his 93 pass attempts are 25th in the NFL — but talent always wins out. Luck shouldn’t even need more than 25 attempts to put up QB1 numbers against the Jags. … Philip Rivers’ numbers — 70.0 completion percentage, 7.98 YPA, 116.2 QB rating and 8:1 TD:INT ratio — are great, but it’s easy to forget he’s surpassed 200 yards just once in three games. That was against the Eagles, who should surrender 200 yards to most quarterbacks before halftime this season. Facing a Cowboys team on the road that’s forced seven turnovers through three games, Rivers’ hot start will be put to the test.

Quarterbacks never blame their supporting cast for slip ups or poor performances. That’s Quarterbacking 101. But if Colin Kaepernick were allowed a moment of honesty? He’d probably say something like, “how am I supposed to guide this team to more than seven points when Vernon Davis is out and Kyle Williams is starting?” Outside of Anquan Boldin — who doesn’t win with separation, but toughness — Kaepernick flatly didn’t have a receiver capable of getting open last weekend, and the Colts responded by bearing down on the box and eliminating his running lanes. Kaepernick has been far from perfect the past two weeks, as his six turnovers would attest. But what’s he supposed to do? Hole up in an Alex Smith-like shell as the 49ers defense gets embarrassed by Seattle and run all over by Ahmad Bradshaw? Maybe Kaepernick has been forcing the issue. It would be tough to pin all six turnovers on his teammates. But someone needs to try to make plays for the 49ers while they wait on Davis — who should be back this evening — and Kaepernick has continued to do so, perhaps at the expense of your fantasy matchup. Maybe he’ll break back out tonight, maybe he won’t. It’s going to be tough in a short week on the road. But to suggest that defenses have figured Kaepernick out is a lazy assumption devoid of context. There are few better buy-low targets.

Terrelle Pryor (concussion) could be absent from these rankings by this time tomorrow if he doesn’t gain clearance, but the early signs suggest he’ll play against the Redskins, and the season-long signs suggest he’ll shred them. Washington has allowed a hard-to-believe 1,464 yards through its first three games, and is 31st both against the pass (333 yards per game) and run (155). If there was ever a week to start Pryor in a one-QB league, this is it. … Jay Cutler is off to a strong, if measured, start under new coach Marc Trestman. 300 yards might not be in the offing against the Lions, but there are few stabler plug-and-play QB2s. … Eli Manning’s 931 yards are sixth in the NFL, but coming off a game where he absorbed a preposterous seven sacks, he might not make it out alive against the Chiefs’ league-leading pass rush on the road. … Maybe Ben Roethlisberger will survive the year as a solid QB2, after all. How he fares against the Vikings’ shaky secondary and pass rush will be a huge indicator.

Lace Joe Flacco up against the league’s most injury-ravaged defense, which permitted 11.4 yards per attempt to Geno Smith last Sunday. … The fantasy numbers aren’t quite there yet for Ryan Tannehill, but the peripherals (66.4 completion percentage, 7.73 YPA) suggest they soon will be. He needs to stop fumbling and taking so many sacks, however. Only (vastly) improved protection will ensure that. … Sam Bradford: Pretty Sam Bradford-y thus far in 2013, though — as usual — he’s been hurt immensely by drops. Per Pro Football Focus, his pass catchers have already muffed 12 passes. … Alex Smith: What quarterbacking at 55 miles per hour looks like. … Game-manager Matt Schaub has watched his yardage totals go from 346 to 298 to 194. Don’t be surprised if he sets another new low vs. Seattle this weekend. … Although they’re both coming off strong fantasy efforts, start Geno Smith and Brian Hoyer at your own risk.

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Week 4 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adrian Peterson vs. PIT -
2 Jamaal Charles vs. NYG -
3 LeSean McCoy at DEN Probable (ankle)
4 Doug Martin vs. ARZ -
5 Matt Forte at DET -
6 Alfred Morris at OAK -
7 Marshawn Lynch at HOU -
8 DeMarco Murray at SD -
9 Frank Gore at STL -
10 Trent Richardson at JAC -
11 Reggie Bush vs. CHI Probable (knee)
12 Ray Rice at BUF Questionable (hip)
13 Chris Johnson vs. NYJ -
14 Arian Foster vs. SEA -
15 C.J. Spiller vs. BAL -
16 Darren Sproles vs. MIA -
17 Bilal Powell at TEN Probable (illness)
18 Stevan Ridley at ATL -
19 Darren McFadden vs. WAS -
20 Knowshon Moreno vs. PHI -
21 Lamar Miller at NO -
22 Bernard Pierce at BUF -
23 Maurice Jones-Drew vs. IND Probable (ankle)
24 David Wilson at KC -
25 Ryan Mathews vs. DAL -
26 Jacquizz Rodgers vs. NE -
27 Giovani Bernard at CLE -
28 Le'Veon Bell at MIN Probable (foot)
29 Joique Bell vs. CHI -
30 Ben Tate vs. SEA -
31 Daryl Richardson vs. SF Probable (foot)
32 Fred Jackson vs. BAL -
33 Rashard Mendenhall at TB Probable (toe)
34 Jason Snelling vs. NE -
35 Pierre Thomas vs. MIA -
36 Danny Woodhead vs. DAL -
37 BenJarvus Green-Ellis at CLE Probable (ankle)
38 Brandon Bolden at ATL Questionable (knee)
39 Willis McGahee vs. CIN -
40 Montee Ball vs. PHI -
41 Daniel Thomas at NO -
42 Michael Bush at DET -
43 Andre Ellington at TB -
44 LeGarrette Blount at ATL -
45 Donald Brown at JAC -
46 Brandon Jacobs at KC -
47 Chris Ogbonnaya vs. CIN -
48 Jonathan Dwyer at MIN -
49 Alex Green at TEN -
50 Robert Turbin at HOU -
51 Da'Rel Scott at KC -
52 Jackie Battle vs. NYJ -
53 Kendall Hunter at STL -
54 Ronnie Hillman vs. PHI -
55 Bryce Brown at DEN -
56 Benny Cunningham vs. SF -
57 Ronnie Brown vs. DAL -
58 Marcel Reece vs. WAS -
59 Knile Davis vs. NYG -
60 Zac Stacy vs. SF -

RB Notes: Looking stronger every week, Jamaal Charles might finally blast back into the fantasy stratosphere against the Giants’ walking-dead defense. Charles’ 18 catches are tied for the league lead amongst running backs. … The NFL hasn’t found an answer for LeSean McCoy through his first three games in Chip Kelly’s offense, but Denver’s top-ranked run defense — 43.3 yards per game, 2.3 yards per carry — will be by far the toughest challenge he’s faced. … The most surprising part of Doug Martin’s so-so (but still solid) start? He’s caught just four passes through three games after snagging 49 as a rookie. That should change in a big way going forward. Although new Bucs QB Mike Glennon is known for his big arm and big frame, he was also known for checking it down at NC State. With the Bucs lacking a capable slot threat or pass-catching tight end, you better believe the Muscle Hamster will be racking up targets, restoring the receiving threat that helped make him third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage last season.    

Matt Forte’s 363 yards from scrimmage are fourth amongst running backs, while his 18 catches are tied with Jamaal Charles for the running-back lead. … Alfred Morris is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. So why does he have just 40 of them? Because the Redskins have spent the entire season playing from behind. Astonishingly, Morris has gotten the ball once while Washington’s had a lead. That should finally change this weekend with the Redskins taking on an opponent more their speed in the Raiders. … DeMarco Murray is a good player. Perhaps a great one. So take this amusing, but mostly pointless, statistic with a grain of salt. For his career, Murray has averaged 4.8 yards on his 383 carries. If you take out his 51 totes against the Rams, however? His YPC plunges from 4.8 to 4.3. Murray gets a run defense almost as soft as the Rams’ in San Diego this weekend.

Squeaky wheel, is thy name Frank Gore? For many reasons, the answer is almost certainly “yes.” Rightfully upset after he received just 11 carries in Sunday’s blowout loss — despite averaging 7.45 yards per tote — Gore reportedly had some “choice words” for coach Jim Harbaugh. Gore has since downplayed the situation, but all signs point to a much bigger workload against the Rams. St. Louis is fresh off getting torched by DeMarco Murray, while the 49ers have proven utterly incapable of moving the ball through the air since Week 1. It all adds up to re-emphasizing the run game against a division rival in a must-win game, and to fantasy owners finally getting a big week out of their pseudo RB1. … Ray Rice (hip) expects to play Sunday, but could end up a game-time decision for the second consecutive week. If the Ravens declare him ready to go on Friday or Saturday, however, he’ll be a must start RB1 against the Bills’ battered run defense. If Rice ends up again sitting out, Bernard Pierce will be a plug-and-play RB2 in a far juicier matchup than the one he ran into last Sunday against the Texans.

Darren McFadden’s first three games by carries/yards/YPC: 17/48/2.8, 19/129/6.8 and 12/9/0.8. The boom-or-bust trend is set to continue for another week against the Redskins’ saloon-door run defense. DMC will be bumped down, though, if Terrelle Pryor (concussion) can’t go. Thus far, the running lanes opened up by Pryor’s scrambling ability appear to be the difference between DMC’s 2012 and 2013. … Fresh off a terrible matchup in his abbreviated first week as a Colt, the opponent for Trent Richardson’s second game in blue-and-white couldn’t be more inviting. To date, the Jaguars’ overmatched front seven is allowing 167.7 yards per game on the ground, and 5.2 yards per carry. The Colts’ coaching staff is intent on making things complicated, however, with head man Chuck Pagano saying Wednesday his running back rotation would remain the same as it did in Week 3’s upset win. Ahmad Bradshaw touched the ball 22 times against the 49ers, with T-Rich taking the rock 13 times. Do we really expect Bradshaw to get the ball nine more times than Richardson for the second consecutive week? No. Is it a fluid enough situation to keep Richardson out of the ranks out of the RB1s for at least one more game? Unfortunately, yes. T-Rich could end the timeshare by doing what he’s expected to do against the league’s worst run defense.

Update: With Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) now declared out for Week 4, Trent Richardson has been bumped into the top 10. 

Bilal Powell is short on talent, but he’s suddenly long on volume in an offense that’s missing Chris Ivory and rediscovered the run in Week 3. With so many question marks across the running-back landscape, Powell is a legit RB2. … Is Bill Belichick the new Mike Shanahan when it comes to seemingly arbitrary use of his backs? Stevan Ridley’s owners seem to think so, but the answer is a flat “no.” Ridley easily led all Patriots backs in snaps and touches last season, and is going to do so again in 2013. His uneven first three weeks — mostly the result of two fumbles and two tough run-game opponents — aren’t going to change that. Start him confidently against Atlanta’s injury-smoked ground unit. … Don’t let Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman’s garbage-time carries fool you: Knowshon Moreno remains the unquestioned leader of Denver’s running-back carousel. … David Wilson was two holding penalties away from a 13/70/1 day in Week 3. He’s getting closer, but is a decidedly boom-or-bust option against Kansas City’s apparently elite defense. … Joique Bell will be bumped down if Reggie Bush (knee) keeps trending in the right direction, moved up if it doesn’t.      

A struggling and gimpy Daryl Richardson (foot) is an uncompelling option against the 49ers’ run defense, even though it’s missing Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis. He’s a desperation FLEX play. … A 50-percent player by snaps for the first time in Week 3, Giovani Bernard continues his effortless kick past BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the depth chart. … Keep your expectations low for Le’Veon Bell’s debut. Perhaps he’ll be immediately thrust into an every-down role, but it seems unlikely after he’s missed so much time. He is a solid FLEX play, however. … Avoid the Browns backfield. … Take a flier on Isaiah Pead.

Week 4 Wide Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Calvin Johnson vs. CHI -
2 Dez Bryant at SD -
3 Demaryius Thomas vs. PHI -
4 Julio Jones vs. NE Questionable (knee)
5 Brandon Marshall at DET Probable (back)
6 A.J. Green at CLE -
7 DeSean Jackson at DEN -
8 Pierre Garcon at OAK -
9 Victor Cruz at KC -
10 Torrey Smith at BUF -
11 Antonio Brown at MIN -
12 Larry Fitzgerald at TB -
13 Wes Welker vs. PHI -
14 Eric Decker vs. PHI -
15 Josh Gordon vs. CIN Probable (-)
16 Andre Johnson vs. SEA -
17 Hakeem Nicks at KC -
18 Anquan Boldin at STL -
19 Marques Colston vs. MIA -
20 Vincent Jackson vs. ARZ Questionable (ribs)
21 Reggie Wayne at JAC Probable (-)
22 Stevie Johnson vs. BAL Probable (hamstring)
23 Cecil Shorts vs. IND -
24 Dwayne Bowe vs. NYG -
25 Mike Wallace at NO -
26 Roddy White vs. NE Questionable (ankle)
27 T.Y. Hilton at JAC Probable (foot)
28 Julian Edelman at ATL -
29 Brian Hartline at NO -
30 DeAndre Hopkins vs. SEA -
31 Tavon Austin vs. SF -
32 Alshon Jeffery at DET -
33 Mike Williams vs. ARZ Questionable (hamstring)
34 Santonio Holmes at TEN Probable (foot)
35 Kenbrell Thompkins at ATL -
36 Emmanuel Sanders at MIN -
37 Golden Tate at HOU -
38 Michael Floyd at TB -
39 Greg Jennings vs. PIT -
40 Chris Givens vs. SF Probable (knee)
41 Andre Roberts at TB -
42 Stephen Hill at TEN Probable (-)
43 Sidney Rice at HOU -
44 Denarius Moore vs. WAS -
45 Rueben Randle at KC -
46 Marlon Brown at BUF Probable (neck)
47 Aaron Dobson at ATL -
48 Eddie Royal vs. DAL Probable (-)
49 Brandon Gibson at NO -
50 Kendall Wright vs. NYJ -
51 Ryan Broyles vs. CHI -
52 Vincent Brown vs. DAL -
53 Rod Streater vs. WAS -
54 Donnie Avery vs. NYG -
55 Robert Woods vs. BAL -
56 Mohamed Sanu at CLE -
57 Santana Moss at OAK -
58 Harry Douglas vs. NE -
59 Nate Washington vs. NYJ -
60 Jason Avant at DEN -
61 Jeremy Kerley at TEN -
62 Davone Bess vs. CIN -
63 Leonard Hankerson at OAK -
64 Austin Pettis vs. SF -
65 Riley Cooper at DEN -
66 Terrance Williams at SD -
67 Kyle Williams at STL -
68 Jerome Simpson vs. PIT -
69 Darrius Heyward-Bey at JAC Probable (shoulder)
70 Justin Hunter vs. NYJ -
71 Keenan Allen vs. DAL -
72 Dwayne Harris at SD Questionable (hip)
73 Robert Meachem vs. MIA -
74 Kenny Stills vs. MIA -

WR Notes: Calvin Johnson scored his third touchdown Sunday. He scored his third touchdown on November 18 last season. … The Eagles’ defense misses tackles for a living. Demaryius Thomas breaks them for a living. You do the math. … Julio Jones leads the NFL in receiving yards, and is third in yards from scrimmage. His 157 yards after the catch lead the league. … DeSean Jackson’s 18.9 yards per catch led all receivers with at least 10 receptions, while his seven grabs of 20-plus yards are tied for first with Antonio Brown. … Pierre Garcon’s 39 targets are third in the league behind Cecil Shorts and Jimmy Graham. He’s caught at least seven passes in all three games.

Worried Torrey Smith doesn’t have a touchdown? You shouldn’t be. Baltimore’s No. 1 receiver has cleared 85 yards in all three games, and has six catches of 20 yards or longer. He’s overdue to get loose for a score, and Buffalo’s forest fire of a secondary provides the best opportunity for pay dirt he’ll see all season. Smith is a WR1 for Week 4. … Antonio Brown was frustrated heading into Week 3, but wasn’t exactly struggling. He’s caught at least five passes in all three games, and is now squaring off with a Vikings secondary that got torn up by Josh Gordon in Week 3, and Brandon Marshall in Week 2. Headed across the pond, the Steelers aren’t going to mess with the formula that brought them their first offensive success of the season. … Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) is as healthy as he’s been since Week 1, but a showdown with shutdown CB Darrelle Revis curbs his WR1 appeal.

A game-time decision headed into a rough matchup, Andre Johnson (shin) has the potential to tumble down the ranks. Johnson’s durability is again an issue. … Josh Gordon’s 19 Week 1 targets were the most for any receiver in a single game this season. It’s a number he’s unlikely to match again in 2013, let alone Sunday. Needless to say, however, he proved his WR2 bonafides against the Vikings. Gordon could be a WR1 in relatively short order. … Hakeem Nicks correctly observed that he “can't throw the ball to (himself)” after his Week 3 doughnut. Expect Eli Manning to overcorrect this week. Not to placate his frustrated wideout, but because he has to if the Giants are going to avoid an 0-4 start. … Coming off three straight underwhelming efforts, Marques Colston isn’t a particularly strong breakout candidate against Brent Grimes and the Dolphins. … By the grace of garbage time, Cecil Shorts is the most targeted player in the league through the first three weeks. With Blaine Gabbert back at the controls for Week 4, not even garbage time may be enough to save Shorts from his hopeless situation.

Dwayne Bowe’s problem? He’s too good for Alex Smith, who doesn’t like looking more than 6-8 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Bowe likes to do his work deep, which might as well be 20,000 leagues under the sea to Smith. The Chiefs are going to have to start manufacturing touches for their $56 million receiver closer to the LOS, but until they do, he’s a middling WR3, and a wasted talent. … Coming off a season-high snap count, Roddy White might finally be ready to erupt, though the Patriots’ secondary is officially legit. Playing through a high-ankle sprain, White has just seven catches on 10 targets. … T.Y. Hilton is shaping up as a boom-or-bust WR3, but the boom potential is high against the Jaguars’ undermanned and overwhelmed secondary. … With Danny Amendola (groin) still out indefinitely, Julian Edelman remains a PPR superstar, but a standard-league “meh.”

Even against the Seahawks’ tough secondary, DeAndre Hopkins will be bumped up the ranks if it becomes clear Andre Johnson (shin) will be on a snap count. … Consider Miles Austin (hamstring) iffy with a touch of doubtful. His injury history makes it hard to believe he’ll play, but for now, Dallas is insisting he will. … Tavon Austin has 18 grabs through his first three games, but is averaging just 6.6 yards per catch, and has a long of only 14. Sam Bradford isn’t getting Austin out into space. He’s a WR4, albeit one with room to grow. … The two touchdowns looked nice last week, but Kenbrell Thompkins still managed to harness just 3-of-7 targets, making him 9-of-28 on the season. Thompkins has made strides, but isn’t yet a legit starter. … Monitor Ryan Broyles this weekend.

Week 4 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Jimmy Graham vs. MIA -
2 Julius Thomas vs. PHI -
3 Jason Witten at SD -
4 Jordan Cameron vs. CIN -
5 Vernon Davis at STL Questionable (hamstring)
6 Antonio Gates vs. DAL -
7 Tony Gonzalez vs. NE -
8 Martellus Bennett at DET Probable (shoulder)
9 Jared Cook vs. SF -
10 Brandon Myers at KC -
11 Heath Miller at MIN Probable (knee)
12 Owen Daniels vs. SEA -
13 Coby Fleener at JAC -
14 Charles Clay at NO -
15 Kyle Rudolph vs. PIT -
16 Jermaine Gresham at CLE -
17 Scott Chandler vs. BAL -
18 Dallas Clark at BUF -
19 Zach Miller at HOU -
20 Brandon Pettigrew vs. CHI -
21 Rob Housler at TB -
22 Tyler Eifert at CLE -
23 Marcedes Lewis vs. IND Probable (calf)
24 Delanie Walker vs. NYJ Questionable (toe)
25 Brent Celek at DEN -
26 Mychal Rivera vs. WAS -
27 Kellen Winslow at TEN Probable (knee)
28 Anthony Fasano vs. NYG Questionable (ankle)
29 Garrett Graham vs. SEA Questionable (groin)
30 Lance Kendricks vs. SF -
31 Joseph Fauria vs. CHI -
32 Zach Sudfeld at ATL Probable (hamstring)
33 Zach Ertz at DEN -
34 Travis Kelce vs. NYG Questionable (knee)
35 Logan Paulsen at OAK -

TE Notes: Julius Thomas seems due for a dud. He especially seems due to get held out of the end zone. But those aren’t compelling enough reasons to bet against him as he takes on a team with two struggling inside linebackers, and an even worse safety duo. … With Miles Austin (hamstring) looking shaky, Jason Witten could be in for his first 10-plus target afternoon of the season. … Rob Gronkowski would already be the No. 2 tight end if we knew for sure he was going to play, but with the Pats, we might not find out until inactives are announced. That’s a problem since New England is playing in the Sunday night game. For now, pencil Gronk in — it’s something you have to do if there’s a chance he’ll play — but have a contingency ready for the fourth consecutive week.

Jordan Cameron’s 31 targets are second amongst all tight ends, while his four touchdowns are tied for first. He’s one or two more big weeks away from cementing himself as the every-week No. 3 overall tight end. … If Vernon Davis (hamstring) is active, you start him and don’t look back. … Tony Gonzalez’s slow start is officially a bit of a concern. He failed to take advantage of a juicy Week 3 matchup in the Dolphins, and will now be squaring off with a Patriots team that routinely eliminates tight ends. Thus far this season, no team is allowing fewer fantasy points to tight ends than New England, though they’ve yet to square off with a talent better than Scott Chandler. It would be an excellent sign for Gonzalez going forward if he could finally have something like a 5/60/1 night.  

Martellus Bennett’s involvement in the game plan appears poised to vary week to week, but he’s still one of the best tight-end bets to find the end zone on a weekly basis. He’s Kyle Rudolph with more volume. … Jared Cook’s talent is keeping him among the TE1s, but the Rams’ unimaginative offense is limiting his upside. Sound familiar? … Low-upside TE1 Brandon Myers has a tough matchup in a Chiefs defense that’s thus far been making the middle of the field a tough place for tight ends to roam. … Expected to have his snap-count restrictions removed in his second week back, Heath Miller has serious upside against a Vikings defense that’s gotten absolutely scorched by enemy tight ends so far in 2013. … You should be able to do better than Owen Daniels against the Seahawks.

Coby Fleener is an upside chase until further notice. He hasn’t had much consistency at the NFL level. … For now, Charles Clay is still only a bench stash, but he’s still one of the more intriguing TE2s. … Per Pro Football Focus, Kyle Rudolph is averaging just 0.97 yards per pass route run, putting him behind the likes of Scott Chandler and Delanie Walker, to name a few. He’s touchdown-or-bust. … Zach Miller is a particularly desperate touchdown chase. … Marcedes Lewis (groin) is finally set to make his 2013 debut. Blaine Gabbert figures to make it forgettable. … With two scores in three weeks, Joseph Fauria remains someone to keep an eye on near the bottom of the ranks.     

Week 4 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Stephen Gostkowski at ATL -
2 Blair Walsh vs. PIT -
3 Dan Bailey at SD -
4 Garrett Hartley vs. MIA -
5 Matt Prater vs. PHI -
6 Sebastian Janikowski vs. WAS Probable (calf)
7 Matt Bryant vs. NE -
8 Justin Tucker at BUF -
9 David Akers vs. CHI -
10 Greg Zuerlein vs. SF -
11 Josh Brown at KC -
12 Phil Dawson at STL -
13 Steven Hauschka at HOU -
14 Alex Henery at DEN -
15 Nick Novak vs. DAL -
16 Jay Feely at TB -
17 Adam Vinatieri at JAC -
18 Rian Lindell vs. ARZ -
19 Kai Forbath at OAK Questionable (groin)
20 Caleb Sturgis at NO -
21 Robbie Gould at DET -
22 Nick Folk at TEN -
23 Ryan Succop vs. NYG -
24 Rob Bironas vs. NYJ -
25 Mike Nugent at CLE -
26 Randy Bullock vs. SEA -
27 Josh Scobee vs. IND -
28 Shaun Suisham at MIN Probable (hamstring)
29 Dan Carpenter vs. BAL -
30 Billy Cundiff vs. CIN Sidelined (quadriceps)
31 Dustin Hopkins vs. BAL Sidelined (groin)
32 John Potter at OAK -

Week 4 Defense/Special Teams

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Chiefs Def/Spec Team vs. NYG -
2 Seahawks Def/Spec Team at HOU -
3 Bengals Def/Spec Team at CLE -
4 Broncos Def/Spec Team vs. PHI -
5 Ravens Def/Spec Team at BUF -
6 Colts Def/Spec Team at JAC -
7 Bears Def/Spec Team at DET -
8 Cardinals Def/Spec Team at TB -
9 Vikings Def/Spec Team vs. PIT -
10 Steelers Def/Spec Team at MIN -
11 Cowboys Def/Spec Team at SD -
12 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team at STL -
13 Titans Def/Spec Team vs. NYJ -
14 Jets Def/Spec Team at TEN -
15 Texans Def/Spec Team vs. SEA -
16 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team vs. ARZ -
17 Saints Def/Spec Team vs. MIA -
18 Browns Def/Spec Team vs. CIN -
19 Patriots Def/Spec Team at ATL -
20 Rams Def/Spec Team vs. SF -
21 Lions Def/Spec Team vs. CHI -
22 Bills Def/Spec Team vs. BAL -
23 Dolphins Def/Spec Team at NO -
24 Redskins Def/Spec Team at OAK -
25 Falcons Def/Spec Team vs. NE -
26 Raiders Def/Spec Team vs. WAS -
27 Eagles Def/Spec Team at DEN -
28 Giants Def/Spec Team at KC -
29 Jaguars Def/Spec Team vs. IND -
30 Chargers Def/Spec Team vs. DAL -