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Did Week 4 of the Fantasy Football season go according to plan? Well, Patrick Mahomes and Jamey Eisenberg's Start of the Week Jalen Hurts finished as top-five quarterbacks; so did Sam Darnold, Matt Ryan, and Taylor Heinicke. At running back, Derrick Henry was No. 3, while highly-ranked players like Saquon Barkley, David Montgomery and Najee Harris; dual-eligible wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was No. 1. He also finished No. 3 at wide receiver, alongside the likes of Tyreek Hill, Deebo Samuel, D.J. Moore, and Terry McLaurin.

Which is all to say, for the most part, the Fantasy community wasn't too far off in Week 3 -- except at tight end, where none of the top five finished were likely even drafted in 90% of leagues. But, hey, that's tight end for you. Of course, weekly results are prone to plenty of fluctuation even if we get a lot right, and figure out what the difference is between those fluctuations and meaningful trends is the most important thing we can do as we look back at the week that was with an eye toward the future.

That's what this column is all about: Finding players whose value may have changed for the better or the worse in Week 4. Here are my biggest winners and losers coming out of Sunday's action:


These 10 players come out of Week 4 looking better than they did coming in.

  1. Cordarrelle Patterson -- Patterson was arguably the start of Week 4, how could he also not be one of the biggest winners? He actually had his lowest carry total of the season with six in this one, but he continued to play a big role in the passing game, hauling in five of six thrown his way for 82 yards and three touchdowns -- including a 42-yard touchdown where he lined up as an outside receiver. Matt Ryan has been hesitant to pull the trigger on deep throws and hasn't been successful at them, but he hit Patterson in stride for that long touchdown. Patterson is a clear and obvious winner, but the way to turn this game into a huge win for your Fantasy team is to start to shop him right now. For as good as Patterson was, he played just 21 of the team's 71 offensive snaps -- including a route run on just 12 of the team's 44 pass plays. Maybe his success begins to convince the team to make Patterson more of a featured part of the offense, but I think the more reasonable takeaway from this is that Patterson is one of the most obvious sell-high candidates in the league. The question is, who is buying at a price that makes it worth moving him? If you could get Robert Woods for him, I would do that, but I might try to make a run at Amari Cooper if someone is worried about him.
  2. Ezekiel Elliott -- Much to Fantasy Twitter's collective dismay, it does not appear as if Elliott is going to give his role up to Tony Pollard anytime soon. Elliott had his best rushing game in a long time Sunday, rushing for 143 and a touchdown on 20 carries and is now averaging 19.3 touches per game over the last three. And even in Week 1, when he had just 13 touches, he played a massive role in a game where the Cowboys abandoned the run early. There may be game scripts where Elliott struggles to make a difference for Fantasy, but it's hard to envision any way the Cowboys use Pollard more unless they are involved in a blowout. Elliott gets elite usage, including the majority of goal-line carries, and he's also running the ball more effectively than he did a year ago. He's one of the 10 or so best running backs in Fantasy again, and he's probably not No. 10. 
  3. Daniel Jones -- It's worth giving Jones some credit because he's playing legitimately well to start the season. He hasn't been incredible, but he is averaging 296 yards per game on 8.2 yards per target in addition to 47 rushing yards. He won't sustain those paces -- yes, I'm taking the under on 5,000 passing yards and 800 rushing yards -- but he just passed for 400 yards against what we think is a pretty good Saints defense without two of his top five targets. Is Jones a must-start Fantasy option? Oh, goodness no -- he just disappointed against the Falcons in Week 3! But he doesn't deserve to be a laughing stock anymore, and he's playing well enough to keep his weapons like Kenny Golladay relevant.
  4. Saquon Barkley -- And Barkley! Barkley still isn't doing a ton in the running game, but he scored another red zone touchdown Sunday and also had his best day as a receiver, hauling in five of six targets for 74 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown. Most of his touches are still leading to short gains, but the explosiveness is still here and his yardage total has increased with each game along with his usage. He's right in that same range of must-start Fantasy RB with Elliott, and I think his best days are still ahead of him. 
  5. Darrell Henderson -- I expected Henderson to play a smaller role in his return from a rib injury, but that's not what we saw Sunday -- he played 57 of 64 offensive snaps, while Sony Michel played just seven. Whether that was the plan or not, it became clear that was the Rams best chance to win, as Henderson averaged 6.4 yards per carry while Michel lost a fumble on one of his three early touches. Henderson ended up with 89 yards on 14 carries and added five receptions for 27 yards on six targets, his second game in a row with at least five targets. When Henderson is healthy, he's playing 90%-plus of the snaps and seeing a similar share of the RB touches, and that remained true even coming back from the injury. Sean McVay talked in the preseason about needing to limit Henderson's workload to avoid injuries, but once the games started, he went away from that plan. I don't know if Henderson will be able to hold up to this kind of usage, but I think at this point we kind of have to expect this kind of usage. 
  6. Deebo Samuel -- I remain unconvinced that Samuel will be the team's No. 1 option in the passing game -- he only had one more target than a pretty clearly hobbled George Kittle Sunday -- but I don't think there's any question he's the top option at wide receiver moving forward. He out-targeted Brandon Aiyuk 12-3, and the gap in their production was a lot greater than that, as Samuel had eight catches for 156 yards and a pair of scores. He had 76 of them and one of those came on a 76-yard catch and run off busted coverage. But he continues to see more than just the short-area work he had last season, and it's hard to view him as anything but a top-16(-ish) WR moving forward. It'll be interesting to see if Trey Lance can keep things rolling if Jimmy Garoppolo's calf injury forces him to miss some time. 
  7. Marquise Brown -- Hollywood heard everyone's jokes about him not being able to catch the ball last week, so he made what might just be the catch of the year through the first quarter or so of the NFL season, a stunning over-the-shoulder, diving grab to secure a 49-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Brown entered the game averaging 15.3 air yards per target, and he and Lamar Jackson have proven adept at connecting on their deep targets since the second half of last season -- Week 3 notwithstanding. Since Week 12 of the 2020 season and including two playoff games, Brown has 56 catches for 860 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games, good for 16.5 PPR points per game. He's a WR2 with huge weekly upside at this point, and I'm not expecting rookie Rashod Bateman's looming return from groin surgery to change that much. 
  8. Diontae Johnson -- If there is one person I don't want to see the Steelers make a quarterback change for, it's Johnson. And he literally is the only person at this point. The Steelers offense is broken, but Johnson's role in it remains incredibly valuable -- after nine catches for 92 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets, in 16 games where he has played at least 50% of the snaps since the start of the 2020 season, he had 117 catches for 1,235 yards and nine touchdowns on 185 targets. That's good for 18.5 PPR points per game, which would have been a top-six mark in 2020. It's not always pretty, but he has failed to reach double digits in targets just twice in that span, and at this point, it's hard to come up with a good reason why he shouldn't be viewed as a top-12 WR or something very close to it in PPR formats. 
  9. Terry McLaurin -- In circumstances that nobody would call anything close to ideal, McLaurin is on pace for a career-high in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, and the pace isn't particularly close at this point. Taylor Heinicke has some things going for him -- he shares Ryan Fitzpatrick's combination of limited physical tools as a passer and absolutely fearless approach to trying to make plays, at the very least -- but he's hardly a good quarterback at this point. But it doesn't seem to matter for McLaurin, who has double digit PPR points in every game so far. It won't always be as easy as it was against the Falcons Sunday, but he's done quite a bit without things being particularly easy in his career. I don't know if McLaurin is a top-12 WR moving forward, but he's a must-start option in my eyes, and that's all you can ask for. 
  10. Michael Carter -- Carter's development is proceeding exactly as we should have hoped for, as he's clearly the top back for the Jets before the quarter-way mark of the season. That hasn't led to much Fantasy production yet -- just 10.4 points in Week 4 despite a touchdown -- but that'll come with time. He played 30 snaps to just 20 for Ty Johnson and 11 for Tevin Coleman, and while you'd prefer to see that on the positive side of 50%, again, we're just three games into the season. His role is only going to grow as the season moves on, and I'd bet on him ending up more heavily involved in the passing game before long -- that was arguably his biggest strength in training camp, per reports. He's in a bad offense, but Carter could still become a must-start Fantasy option, especially if we see more performances like Sunday's from Zach Wilson


It's hard to feel better about these players coming out of Week 4 than you did coming in.

  1. Alvin Kamara -- How can Kamara be a loser when he just rushed for 120 yards? Well, to start with, those 120 yards resulted in just 12 PPR points. Once one of the most efficient Fantasy players in the game, Kamara has kind of been turned into a pricier version of Antonio Gibson or Joe Mixon so far. He was held without a target for the first time in his career Sunday, but even before that, he had just 13 in his first three games. Now, that did come out to a 23% target share, so it's partially a result of the Saints just refusing to throw the ball. However, Sunday saw them throw just 26 passes with none of them going to Kamara, so it was the worst of both worlds. This isn't a good offense right now, and Sean Payton's game plans have been baffling so far. If this is going to remain the lowest volume passing game in the league and Kamara isn't going to be the focal point, his ceiling just isn't as high as it has been in the past. That's bad news for all of my Kamara shares. 
  2. Justin Fields -- Fields and the Chicago offense were, on the whole, a lot more effective in Week 4 than his first start, but it's hard to know exactly how much of that was just because they played a Lions defense that sure looks like the worst in the NFL right now. In that context, the showing  -- that resulted in no passing or rushing touchdowns for Fields -- looks significantly worse. Fields had just one actual run Sunday -- he knelt two times to end the game -- and it wasn't a designed run. Maybe there were a few read-options thrown in where the defense keyed in on Fields and he handed it off, but I think we can remain confident that Matt Nagy just isn't particularly interested in designing an offense around Fields' considerable talents. It's a waste, but at this point, it's hard to get excited about Fields if he's starting here. 
  3. Allen Robinson -- The Bears offense really did play better in Week 4, but that didn't really translate to better production for Robinson. To be fair, he did catch all of the passes thrown his way for 21 yards per target; the problem is, it was just three targets. The Bears only threw the ball 17 times, but watching Darnell Mooney go off for five catches and 125 yards on seven targets while Robinson was almost entirely silent was especially disappointing. The Bears aren't going to have many better matchups than the Lions, and I don't have a lot of faith in Matt Nagy re-working his offense to take advantage of Fields' skills, as said before, which means I'm necessarily pretty pessimistic about Robinson's outlook right now. As much as it pains me to say it, 
  4. Robert Woods -- Woods ended up with a respectable 14.8 PPR points, but this might have actually been his worst game yet -- Woods had just one catch on three targets when the Rams got the ball down 24 with less than four minutes in the game. He had three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown to make his game look a lot better than it actually was. You'll take those points, but they don't bode well for Woods, who now has just 12 targets on 79 pass attempts over the last two games -- a 12.2% share. At least in the first couple of games you could point to a healthy target share for Woods. Now? I don't want to give up on him, but I can't feel comfortable recommending him as a starter in Week 5 against the Seahawks
  5. Baker Mayfield -- Mayfield just wasn't good in this game, there's no way around it. He overthrew multiple potential big plays and ended up completing just 15 of 33 passes for 155 yards. He has no games with multiple passing touchdowns this season and has just two through four games. His 1.8% touchdown rate will improve moving forward, but he's still throwing it just 28.3 times per game, actually the lowest rate of his career, so there isn't much upside here even when that does improve. Really, the main concern at this point is whether Mayfield can avoid sinking Odell Beckham's value like he did Sunday. 
  6. Adam Thielen -- Thielen had four touchdowns in the first three games, which helped cover up for what was otherwise a pretty uninspiring start -- his target share was down to 21.7% and his yards per target was down to a career-low 7.0 despite Kirk Cousins getting off to a solid start. Thielen's 46 yards Sunday weren't even his low for the season, but this time he didn't score a touchdown to make up for it. He's averaging just 56.8 yards per game now, with 50 or fewer in three of four. If you still think he's going to have an outlier touchdown rate -- and considering he's at 13.2% since the start of 2019, that isn't a terrible bet -- he should remain a starting-caliber Fantasy option, but his margin for error looks slimmer than ever right now. If he doesn't catch a touchdown, can Thielen really help you much anymore? It's a fair question. 
  7. Damien Harris -- I know nobody likes it when you say anything positive about Cam Newton, but the impact he had on the Patriots running game in 2020 cannot be overstated. Harris is now averaging 3.5 yards per carry, with just 72 yards on the ground over his last three games. The Patriots abandoned the run early in Week 4, a smart move against the Buccaneers, but that just highlights how game-script dependent he is for Fantasy, because he has 10 carries and four catches total over the last two weeks. The Patriots have faced two touch matchups, and Harris could have a much better time in Week 5 against the Texans, but it'll be tough for him to keep that up in Week 6 against the Cowboys. Harris has seven catches through four games, which means he really needs to have a good game on the ground to be worth using in PPR -- and that'll usually mean he needs to find the end zone. On a mediocre offense, that all adds up to a guy who probably needs to be the third-best running back on your roster at best. 
  8. CeeDee Lamb -- I don't think I'm actually worried about Lamb but I'm certainly not thrilled about the trends I've seen with Dallas over the last three weeks. The Cowboys ditched the run early in Week 1 and ended up 58 times in their loss to the Buccaneers in the opener; they've thrown just 77 passes in three games since. Lamb has a 22.1% target share in that span, which wouldn't be a problem if the Cowboys were throwing it 40 times per game like expected. But, if they're going to keep leaning on the run to the extent they have in the games they have won, then those of us with Lamb and Amari Cooper on our rosters better hope they start winning a lot less often. Even with Michael Gallup injured, the Cowboys under Kellen Moore love to spread the ball around, with five different players seeing at least two targets Sunday even despite their limited volume. Lamb and Cooper are still top-15 WR for me the rest of season, but if these trends continue, it's going to grow harder and harder to justify that. 
  9. T.J. Hockenson -- Relative to the standards of the tight end position, Hockenson was actually fine Sunday. You'll live with 8.8 points as a relative low point from your starter. But the problem is, Hockenson was drafted with the expectation that he would be a difference maker, the kind of guy who didn't just fill a lineup spot but who gave you an edge on your opposition. He was that guy in Week 1 and 2, and it's hard to argue too much with him ranking as TE5 when he was drafted that way. However, after four games, it really doesn't look like he's the leap we were hoping for. He's on pace for career highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns, which is great, but it's mostly just because of an increase in volume -- his yards per target are identical to what they were last season while his touchdown rate is right in line. The added volume, of course, makes Hockenson a better Fantasy option, but his 18.6% target share and pedestrian efficiency have him falling far short of the elite tier. Besides Travis Kelce and Darren Waller, none of the other tight ends drafted early are doing it either, so Hockenson is hardly someone to be too worried about, but I'm just not convinced he's going to make the superstar leap many were hoping for, either.
  10. Myles Gaskin -- I was skeptical of Gaskin coming into the season because he's kind of the perfect example of a "Dead Zone RB" -- the kind of player nobody really thinks is all that good, but who gets drafted relatively high because of his projected role. Last season, Gaskin played at least 65% of the snaps in every game he played and really had very little competition for touches in the Dolphins backfield. Now, he's playing a much smaller role and the Dolphins just aren't giving the ball to their running backs right now anyway. Last season, Gaskin averaged 18.3 touches per game on his own in his 10 games; this season, all three of the team's backs have combined for 20.8 touches. Gaskin is getting a much smaller share of a much smaller pie, and until this offense shows even fleeting signs of life, I can't view him as a starting-caliber player.