Fantasy NFL Week 4: Plenty of excellent WR options, just take your pick
Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending injury is one of the big talking points heading into week four of the fantasy NFL season according to Neil Monnery...
'One other player I enjoyed seeing burst out was Will Fuller V. Back-to-back games with over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. He is the deep threat in Houston and they face a Colts D this week that isn't anywhere near the top-tier.'
What did we learn from Week 3?
Well hello there Calvin Ridley. Three scores and 146 yards receiving is more than enough to get my attention. The first-round pick out of Alabama showed us that he's very much in the mix for a WR1 position on your fantasy roster.
What has to be considered is that the Saints D is pretty shabby but those numbers for one game are pretty staggering. With teams leaning towards defending Julio Jones, it has become apparent that Ridley will get one-on-one opportunities. Matt Ryan clearly trusts the rookie already and that makes him a viable play going forward. If he's on your waiver wire then jump all over it.
Another wide receiver to be eyeing up is Tyler Boyd. The Cincinnati Bengals have started the year nicely on offense with Andy Dalton once more looking for that deep ball and relying on the passing game. John Ross was expected to be the man to step up and become that home run threat but it is the third year player out of Pittsburgh who is doing the damage. 132 years and a touchdown is WR2 worthy to go along with AJ Green who is a week in, week out WR1 guy.
I liked what I saw out of Odell Beckham Jnr. last week. Another game without a TD isn't great but 109 yards receiving on nine reception showed that they are starting to get him back into this offense. Evan Engram is week-to-week so number 13 should get even more targets. The Giants face the porous Saints D this week and OBJ and Saquon Barkley are excellent one-week plays.
It should also be noted that rookie QBs made plenty of headlines. Josh Allen's performance in leading the 16.5pt road underdog to a 21 point win was masterful. It wasn't however great fantasy wise unlike Bayer Mayfield, who came off the bench to lead the Browns to their first victory since Christmas Eve 2016. Neither should be on your radar yet unless you are in a very deep league but both should be watched closely because another good game and they might be genuine QB2 or Flex options.
One other player I enjoyed seeing burst out was Will Fuller V. Back-to-back games with over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. He is the deep threat in Houston and they face a Colts D this week that isn't anywhere near the top-tier. I like the 24 year-old as a very good WR2 this week.
On the negative front the offense in Jacksonville was pitiful. Blake Bortles returned to being the QB everyone knows and a week removed from a 375 yard, four TD day, put up a paltry 155 through the air for no scores. The Titans weren't much better and the game ended without either team reaching the end zone. Leonard Fournette was a surprising scratch in that one but if you have skill players on either on these two teams, beware.
The impact of the Jimmy Garoppolo injury
Every year we get a great QB go down with a season-ending injury and the first to fall foul this year is out in San Francisco. Losing a player of his calibre is a massive blow to the 49ers offense and C.J. Beathard isn't exactly a worthy replacement.
The big question surrounds how this will effect running back Matt Breida. He has become a legitimate low-tier RB1 option in most leagues but without a top class QB to take the heat off, teams will now stack the box to protect against the run. C.J. Beathard though has thrown 33% of his NFL passes to men out of the backfield over the past two years, which is a very high number.
Breida is questionable with a knee injury this week but he may still have some fantasy value going forward. Tight end George Kittle looks set to see his points drop-off but the position is so shallow this year that you'll be hard-pressed to find a replacement on your waiver wire. This is a tough pill for any manager with a 49ers skill position player to swallow.
Week four injury news
Last week I wrote about Joe Mixon, who looked set for 3-4 weeks on the sidelines. Well that recovery period has seen quite the acceleration this week and he could yet play on Sunday. If he does then Giovani Bernard becomes a non-factor. In my league I have picked him up so will be watching the injury report closely come game time.
Rex Burkhead has been sent to the DL, which opens the door to Sony Michel to takeover and get the baulk of carries this week at home to Miami. It is too early to call the first round pick out of Georgia a bust but he hasn't exactly hit the ground running. Tom Brady needs him to deliver more to open up the passing game. Now the full-time job is waiting for him, it is sink or swim time.
Who to avoid this week
Do not get sucked in by Vance McDonald's big game against Tampa Bay. That stiff-arm has got everyone talking but without that, his numbers are four receptions for around 50 yards and no scores. That isn't anything special. Jesse James will continue to be a productive tight end in Pittsburgh meaning that opportunities will be split between the two of them. The position is shallow in fantasy but he still wouldn't be in my top ten plays.
I'm also concerned with Ryan Fitzpatrick and his band of quality wide receivers. I am a big believer in the Chicago defense and I'd avoid this match-up from a fantasy perspective. The Buccaneers could still very well win but it should be a low-scoring encounter.