Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 4 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Sunday's games

2RYHYJK Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Arnold Ebiketie (17) during the first quarter of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

• Stefon Diggs bags the hat trick: Plenty of wide receivers put up great performances this week, but none greater than Diggs’ 120 yards and three touchdowns off six receptions, ending the Miami Dolphins perfect season.

• Alvin Kamara was a receptions machine in his return from suspension: No running back had caught more than seven passes in a game this season prior to Sunday. Kamara caught 13 passes in his first game of the season.

• Injuries put a damper on Week 3: Kenny Pickett, Javonte Williams, Tee Higgins Mike Evans, Pat Freiermuth and Juwan Johnson were injured in the early window and ruled out not long after their injuries occurred.

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Christian Kirk shines while other wide receivers are out: Kirk led the team in receiving while over half of the Jaguars' inactive players were wide receivers.

  • Zay Jones missed his second straight game with a knee injury, while Jamal Agnew was ruled inactive after suffering a quad injury late in the week. Elijah Cooks was a healthy scratch.
  • This moved Kirk up to second on the depth chart, allowing him to play in both two- and three-receiver sets.
  • Tim Jones and sixth-round rookie Parker Washington were expected to rotate in and out as the third wide receiver, but Washington suffered a knee injury early in the first quarter and didn’t return. Jacob Harris was called up from the practice squad and became the fourth wide receiver.
  • 2021 First Team PFF All-Pro cornerback A.J. Terrell shadowed Calvin Ridley in this game, allowing Kirk to see favorable coverage and dominate target share for the team.
  • Kirk can still have big games against favorable matchups, even when Zay Jones and other wide receivers are healthy, but now could be a good time to sell high.

Bijan Robinson’s stock continues to grow: Robinson has become an even bigger focal point of the Falcons offense.

  • Robinson has slowly but surely taken more snaps early in the game in neutral situations.
  • He played 72.7% of offensive snaps over the Falcons' first three drives in Week 1. That grew to 76.0% in Week 2, 77.8% in Week 3 and 83.3% in this game.
  • This was the first time Robinson doubled Allgeier’s rushing attempt total.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson was active for the first time, but he was a factor only on special teams rather than impacting Robinson’s playing time.
  • Despite Robinson taking more of the offensive snaps, it could be a good time to buy low on Tyler Allgeier. This was one of the most difficult opponents on the Falcons' schedule, and a lot of Allgeier’s work will come when the Falcons have a lead.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Jaguars running back JaMycal Hasty was active for the first time this season, giving Jacksonville four active running backs. All four received at least some playing time on offense, but Hasty remained fourth on the depth chart.
  • At one point it appeared Evan Engram was injured, but he was only taken off the field for one play and returned for the following play to resume his usual role.
  • Jonnu Smith has 15 receptions for 179 yards over the last three weeks while Kyle Pitts has nine receptions for 77 yards.

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills

  • Stefon Diggs: 6 receptions, 120 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • De’Von Achane: 8 carries, 101 yards, 2 touchdowns; 3 receptions, 19 receiving yards

De’Von Achane starts taking over the Dolphins backfield: The breakout rookie both led the Dolphins backfield in offensive snaps as well as offensive production.

  • Raheem Mostert had a slight lead in snaps played in the first quarter — 8-6. The two broke even in the second quarter at 10-10. Achane took a slight lead in the third quarter at 12-9, and Achane dominated the fourth quarter 11-2.
  • Salvon Ahmed was injured and didn’t play last week. He only played in four snaps in the middle of the fourth quarter on third- or fourth-and-17-plus yards to go.
  • Mostert might remain the technical starter going forward as some teams prefer giving their veteran back the first snap of the game, but Achane is the one who is a must-start going forward while it will be much harder to start Mostert now.
  • Jeff Wilson Jr. is eligible to return from injured reserve this week and could factor into the backfield. Based on how well Achane is playing, it shouldn’t be at his expense. This was also Mostert’s one poor performance this season, so Wilson might be limited to a few snaps per game.

Good and bad news for James Cook: The Bills' breakout running back received all of the goalline work, but none of the third down or two-minute drill snaps.

  • Cook led the team in carries with 12 but only gained 29 yards. He also caught a pass for 48 yards.
  • He scored a touchdown on his second goal-line opportunity to his fantasy managers' delight.
  • The only problem is he’s starting to share more time with the other running backs.
  • Part of this was Damien Harris playing most of the fourth-quarter snaps, but another part was Latavius Murray often taking the passing down work.
  • Murray played every third-and-long snap in the first three quarters. While we sometimes see a change in third-down back when a player is needed for pass protection, Murray either ran a route or ran the ball on each of those plays.
  • Cook should continue to see double-digit carries each game, but his targets have declined in each game, and they might remain low going forward.

Dalton Kincaid plays more snaps than Dawson Knox: Kincaid played one more offensive snap than Knox, marking the first time Kincaid played more snaps in a game.

  • The biggest difference in their playing time came in 12 personnel. Kincaid took every snap in that personnel grouping while Quintin Morris took three snaps from Knox.
  • Kincaid still dominated routes, particularly out of 11 personnel. He ran a route on 10 of his 11 plays from 11 personnel while Knox ran a route on four of 12 plays.
  • He finished the game with the second-most receptions for Buffalo at four. He gained 27 yards.
  • Kincaid still might not be the best person to start in fantasy football, but he's still off to one of the best starts for a rookie tight end in recent memory.
  • His 15 receptions are tied for third-most by a rookie tight end over the first four weeks of the season in the last decade. We would be celebrating his start a lot more if it wasn’t for Sam LaPorta who leads that group with 22.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Khalil Shakir reportedly suffered a head injury around halftime, but he was able to return for the second half and played significantly in the fourth quarter.
  • Dolphins backup wide receivers River Cracraft and Erik Ezukanma both landed on injured lists two days ago, so veterans Cedrick Wilson Jr. and Robbie Chosen will be the Dolphins' backup wide receivers going forward.
  • Julian Hill had taken over as the primary receiving tight end for Miami last week, but Durham Smythe took the tight end job over again for this game. Most of Hill’s receiving work occurred in the fourth quarter.

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers

Cam Akers makes his Vikings debut: The former Los Angeles Rams running back was inactive last week after getting traded to Minnesota in mid-September.

  • There were reports that Minnesota would go with the hot hand, but Alexander Mattison was given the entire first quarter.
  • He ended the game playing 68.8% of Minnesota's offensive snaps, which was a season-low for him, but it's still good enough to be a fantasy starter if he can keep this up over the rest of the season.
  • The biggest concern is Akers mixed in significantly in short yardage and goal-line situations, which could hurt Mattison’s ability to score touchdowns going forward.
  • Akers’ didn’t play at all in passing situations, which is similar to how he was used in Los Angeles.
  • Mattison can still be in fantasy starting lineups unless he starts to miss more time.
  • Akers seems unlikely to have standalone value even if he can play 50% of the early-down snaps. His fantasy value will mostly come as a handcuff.

Chuba Hubbard outplays Miles Sanders: Hubbard received more playing time and gained more yards on equal opportunities.

  • Both players touched the ball 16 times, with Hubbard gaining 54 yards to  Sanders' 32.
  • Sanders didn’t practice much this week with a groin injury and was questionable coming into the game.
  • Sanders seemed to have his usual role in the first half of the game but in the second half, Hubbard took over.
  • Chances are Sanders would have been more efficient without the injury and would have seen more playing time in the second half in that scenario.
  • Hubbard is still a solid waiver wire target in case this injury lingers on, as Hubbard is capable of an every-down role.

The Panthers are looking for help at wide receiver: There were reports before the game that Carolina might be looking to trade for a wide receiver.

  • The article noted Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark as the Panthers' top two targets, which means Jonathan Mingo would likely become a backup if they trade for someone.
  • Mingo missed this game due to a concussion, resulting in Terrace Marshall Jr. taking over as the third wide receiver.
  • Marshall caught nine passes for 56 yards.
  • Given the trade interest and Marshall leading the team in targets, it’s possible we see Marshall continue to see playing time over Mingo even when Mingo is available again.
  • It might be a good time to sell high on someone like Thielen as well, as it’s possible a new wide receiver could take targets away from the veteran.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Jordan Addison continues to play exclusively in 11 personnel, and Minnesota used a lot less 11 personnel in this game than the last two weeks, which is why Addison didn’t play much.
  • Hayden Hurst was held to one reception for the second straight game and continues to be rotated out a lot more often than he was during his time with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears

  • D.J. Moore: 8 receptions, 131 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Cole Kmet: 7 receptions, 85 yards, 2 touchdowns; 1 carry, 1 rushing yard

Khalil Herbert re-takes the Bears backfield: There had been consistent talk of Roschon Johnson potentially taking over the Bears backfield, but Herbert put a major dent in those plans in this game.

  • Herbert ran the ball 18 times for 103 yards and caught four passes for 19 yards and a touchdown.
  • He played every snap on the first two drives while Johnson took the third drive, which is customary for the Bears' running back rotation. From that point, they typically go with the hotter hand, and in this case, it was Herbert.
  • He played in over 75% of Chiago's offensive snaps for just the second time in his career.
  • While Herbert dominated early downs more than he had in past weeks, he also dominated third-down snaps. Roschon Johnson had played in at least 50% of third down snaps in every previous game this season.
  • Herbert will be a safer player to start in the next few weeks while Johnson's fantasy managers will need to be a big more patient. 

Chase Claypool is a healthy inactive: Claypool may have played his last snap in a Chicago Bears uniform.

  • Claypool and the Bears haven’t appeared to be on the same page, and Claypool recently vented his frustrations.
  • This potentially contributed to the Bears' decision to make Claypool inactive and now, the Bears are reportedly looking to trade him.
  • Equanimeous St. Brown took over as the Bears' third receiver behind D.J. Moore and Darnell Mooney.
  • St. Brown spent the majority of last season as a starter until he suffered a concussion late in the season. He spent the first three weeks inactive, as he doesn’t contribute on special teams.
  • He received a low 13.6% target rate last season, so St. Brown is not someone to target off the waiver wire. If anything, this will lead to more touches by the other Bears' skill players.

Monitor Javonte Williams’ health: Williams suffered a hip injury early in the second quarter and was ruled out of the game by early in the third quarter.

  • Williams was playing his usual role as the early down back to start the game with Samaje Perine taking passing situations.
  • Undrafted rookie Jaleel McLaughlin out of Youngstown State took over as the early down back in Williams' absence.
  • He played very well, running seven times for 72 yards and catching three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown.
  • He didn’t fully take over Williams' role, as Samaje Perine was the short-yardage back. McLaughlin is 5-foot-9 and 187 pounds while Perine is 5-foot-11 and 236 pounds, so it’s unsurprising Perine would be used in short-yardage situations.
  • McLaughlin is definitely a waiver wire target if Williams ends up missing playing time, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Perine is the one who ends up as a potential fantasy starter depending on the matchup.

Marvin Mims Jr. sees a slightly increased role: Mims had been playing behind Brandon Johnson as the Broncos' third wide receiver, and in this game, he broke even.

  • Both players played 17 offensive snaps and ran 12 routes, whereas Johnson had been playing twice as many offensive snaps.
  • Mims’ 17 offensive snaps tied a career-high, but it was noteworthy because the Broncos only ran 48 offensive plays.
  • He caught both passes thrown his way for 47 yards.
  • Mims now has five receptions on the season of 30 or more receiving yards.
  • Ideally, next week will be the week when Mims sees more playing time than Johnson.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Cole Kmet caught two touchdowns, but he also played less than 77% of the available offensive snaps for the third-straight game after playing in over 77% in the previous 18.
  • Jerry Jeudy is still getting rotated out more than most fantasy managers would like. He was still showing up limited in practice reports due to his knee injury, which probably contributed to his playing time., The Broncos also used a lot of 13 and 22 personnel where Jeudy wasn’t on the field, which also contributed.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

  • Mark Andrews: 5 receptions, 80 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Zay Flowers: 3 receptions, 56 yards; 1 carry, -6 rushing yards

Justice Hill returns but in a limited role: Hill has been dealing with a foot injury that kept him out of last week's game and most of practice this week.

  • All seven of his offensive snaps occurred in the first half. He gained 33 yards on his three carries, so he was efficient running the ball, but he likely wasn’t healthy enough to play in the second half.
  • There was also a question if Gus Edwards would play this week after entering the concussion protocol, but he was a full participant in practice all week.
  • Edwards dominated offensive snaps for Baltimore. This was unsurprising on early downs or short-yardage situations, but it was surprising to see him play most of the third-down snaps.
  • He caught two passes, which tied his career high. It was his first time with two receptions in a game since 2020.
  • We can expect Hill to take more of those snaps from Edwards once he’s 100%, and undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell could also get involved now that he’s eligible to return from injured reserve.

The Ravens survive without Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman: Two of the Ravens’ top three receivers were inactive due to injury but still pulled out the victory.

  • Nelson Agholor took over as the No. 2 wide receiver as he has plenty of experience being an every-down player in the NFL. 
  • Devin Duvernay played almost exclusively in 11 personnel with a few snaps here and there in either Agholor or Zay Jones‘ place.
  • The Ravens gained a lead in the middle of the first quarter and never let it go, so they didn’t necessarily need to rely on the passing game.
  • Mark Andrews and Zay Flowers stepped up whenever the Ravens needed to pass, leading them to finish first and second in this game in receiving yards.

Some reason for concern for Jerome Ford fantasy managers: Ford received less than 50% of the running back carries for Cleveland.

  • Ford ran the ball nine times but only gained 26 yards. Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong both ran five times each. Strong led the team in rushing yards with 49, most of which came on a 40-yard run.
  • All three running backs received short yardage work last week, which happened again this week, but Hunt led the team in those situations.
  • Luckily, Ford continued to dominate passing down work. This led to five receptions for 19 yards.
  • Ford is a decent buy-low candidate. While this isn’t the ideal situation for a fantasy running back, it’s certainly better than a number of other situations.
  • Cleveland has a bye week next week and a few matchups that aren’t great after the bye week, but their schedule over the second half of the season is much more favorable for running backs than this first half.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Dorian Thompson-Robinson made his NFL debut with Deshaun Watson out. He ran the ball four times for 24 yards so thanks to his rushing, there is a chance he could have fantasy value in the future if he were to start despite his passing performance.
  • Mark Andrews now has eight career games with two touchdowns. Three of those games have come against the Browns.
  • David Njoku was questionable for this game after suffering facial burns this weekend. He’s generally not playing as much this year compared to last year and played a little less this week. He still led the team in receptions (six) and receiving yards (46).

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans

Monitor Pat Freiermuth’s health: The Steelers’ star tight end suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter and was quickly ruled out.

  • Freiermuth played in 25 of a possible 27 snaps in the first half, playing a little more than usual with both Darnell Washington and Connor Heyward showing up on the injury report earlier this week.
  • The Steelers stuck with 11 personnel over the rest of the game rather than putting Washington and Heyward on the field at the same time.
  • The two were used interchangeably, with Washington on the field a little more often while Heyward ran a few more routes.
  • It’s probably best to avoid both tight ends even if Freiermuth misses time.
  • Former Steeler Zach Gentry is currently on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Steelers try to sign Gentry to their active roster if this injury is serious.

Sell high on Dalton Schultz: The Texans' new tight end caught his first touchdown with the team, but his usage is concerning, especially if the Texans keep winning.

  • His touchdown came in the fourth quarter from a pass from Devin Singletary.
  • The problem is Houston has used 11 and 21 personnel as its primary packages, rarely using 12.
  • Schultz has only taken 11 of a possible 78 snaps in 21 personnel this season.
  • The Texans used 21 personnel on roughly half of their offensive snaps in this game, so Schultz was only playing roughly half of their offensive snaps.
  • He’s played in 69.0% of the Texans' offensive snaps when they are playing from behind and 54.4% of snaps when they have a lead.
  • Backup Brevin Jordan has generally graded better as a receiver this season and is slowly but surely playing more, so these trends could get worse instead of better.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Kenny Pickett suffered a knee injury and didn’t return, so Mitchell Trubisky took over at quarterback. The Steelers have a rough matchup against the Baltimore Ravens next week before their bye. Trubisky would definitely be an option in superflex leagues but not in single-quarterback leagues.
  • Jaylen Warren has scored more PPR points than Najee Harris in each of the last four games.
  • Dameon Pierce ran a season-high 24 times but only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. He was still without three starting offensive linemen, all three of whom could potentially be back as soon as next week.

Los Angeles Rams @ Indianapolis Colts

  • Kyren Williams: 25 carries, 103 yards, 2 touchdowns; 3 receptions, 24 receiving yards
  • Puka Nacua: 9 receptions, 163 yards, 1 touchdown

Kyren Williams loses playing time but not fantasy production: Williams played in all but four offensive snaps in the previous two weeks.

  • Earlier in the week, it was acknowledged that Williams’ playing time probably wasn’t going to be sustainable.
  • He still played in over 50 offensive snaps for the fourth straight game.
  • He dominated snaps in the first half, but Ronnie Rivers saw significant work in the third quarter to give Williams a rest. Williams went back to dominating in the fourth quarter and overtime.
  • While it’s fun in the short term to have a fantasy back playing 100% of his team's offensive snaps, this kind of split is probably best for Williams’ long-term fantasy value.
  • Williams will remain a must-start going forward unless the Rams add a new running back to the roster.

Don’t pick up a Colts tight end: Both Andrew Ogletree and Mo Alie-Cox caught touchdown passes, but they are not the primary receiving options on the team.

  • The two combined for 11 routes run while Kylen Granson remained the primary receiving tight end.
  • Granson was tied for the team lead in targets at five, but he only caught two of those passes for 24 yards.
  • Jelani Woods is eligible to return from injured reserve after this week, which will further complicate the Colts' tight end room.
  • The Colts tight ends, in general, will stay heavily involved in this offense, but any one of them could have a good game in any week, and it will be impossible to predict which one it will be.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • There were reports Cooper Kupp would resume practicing this week because he’s eligible to return from injured reserve. Based on Puka Nacua’s and Tutu Atwell’s targets, it would seem Van Jefferson will be the odd man out. It’s possible it will be a rotation of players. It might be best to sit Atwell the week Kupp returns to be safe.
  • Tyler Higbee didn’t practice most of the week due to an Achilles injury and was questionable, but he ultimately played his usual allotment of snaps.
  • Anthony Richardson is up to four rushing touchdowns over his first three NFL games.
  • Jonathan Taylor is eligible to return to the team this week. Zack Moss remains a must-start fantasy player as long as Taylor isn’t playing, but Moss could suddenly become a non-factor for fantasy purposes if Taylor takes his job back.
  • Alec Pierce was evaluated for a concussion late in the game, but he was able to pass the test and quickly returned to the game. Ideally, this means he is just fine, but it’s worth keeping an eye on just in case.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara returns from suspension: Kamara returned to his usual role while fantasy managers in PPR leagues were much happier than those in standard leagues. 

  • He played just as much if not more than what he would typically play. Jamaal Williams was supposed to be their primary backup this season but he’s currently on injured reserve.
  • Kamara was just fine as a runner, gaining 51 yards on 11 carries.
  • His stat line in the passing game was much more confusing. He only gained 33 receiving yards on his 13 receptions. That is nearly double the amount of receptions any other running back has had in a game this season. He was targeted on nearly half of his pass routes.
  • Making matters even odder, Tony Jones Jr. played more third-down snaps than Kamara. If anything, we would expect Kamara to dominate third-down snaps and lose more work on early downs.
  • Kamara should stay in fantasy starting lineups going forward, but his performance each week might vary widely depending on the opponent.

Monitor Juwan Johnson’s health: The Saints starting tight end didn’t play an offensive snap, as he was quickly ruled out for the game due to a calf injury.

  • Johnson wasn’t on the injury report and was on the 46-man active roster rather than being a gameday inactive, so chances are he was injured in pre-game warmups within an hour and a half of the game, giving reason as to why it wasn't reported until the start of the game.
  • He was originally ruled questionable within the first few minutes of the game but was later ruled out.
  • The Saints were also down Foster Moreau, who missed a second game with an ankle injury.
  • This left New Orleans with Jimmy Graham and Taysom Hill at tight end.
  • Graham was the primary tight end, but he never received a target.
  • Hill played a career-high 11 snaps as an outside receiver as New Orleans often put three wide receivers on one side, with Hill or Graham on the other.
  • Hill still played 10 snaps at quarterback and two in the backfield.
  • This is a situation to avoid even if Johnson and Moreau miss time but will be even more of a mess once either one, or both, is back.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn becomes the new backup in Tampa Bay: Vaughn not only played but received double-digit touches as the new primary backup.

  • Chase Edmonds and Sean Tucker started the season as the backups, leaving Vaughn as a healthy inactive in Weeks 1 and 2.
  • Edmonds landed on injured reserve over a week ago with a knee injury, leading Vaughn to be active last week. He only played special teams snaps in that game.
  • Tucker has run the ball 15 times this season but has only gained 23 yards on those carries.
  • Tucker was healthy and active for this game, but he didn’t play an offensive snap in this game.
  • Vaughn wasn’t any more effective of a runner with 16 yards on his nine carries.
  • Rachaad White hasn’t averaged more than 4.3 yards per carry in a game this season. It wouldn’t be surprising for Tampa Bay to add a running back at some point to at least compete with White.

Monitor Mike Evans’ health: A hamstring injury took Evans out of the game late in the first half, and he didn’t return.

  • The game started with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin starting as usual. 
  • Trey Palmer seemed to fully take over the third receiver spot last week, but Deven Thompkins still played double-digit offensive snaps in 11 personnel before the two-minute drill to end the half.
  • Palmer took over as the outside wide receiver in Evans' place in 11 personnel. Thompkins became the primary slot receiver in the second half.
  • Palmer also took over in 12 personnel, which makes it seem like he would be the waiver target if Evans misses significant time.
  • Thompkins kept the playing time close by taking all of the snaps in 13 personnel. He and Rakim Jarrett had split 13 personnel snaps all season.
  • Both players scored a touchdown, but Thompkins ended up with more receiving production with four receptions for 45 yards.
  • The Buccaneers have a bye this upcoming week, so Evans will have at least two weeks to recover without missing any more time.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Chris Olave had caught at least three passes for at least 40 yards in each of his first 18 NFL games. In this game, he was held to one catch for 4 yards.
  • Cade Otton was held under 20 receiving yards for the third time this season, but he caught his first touchdown in 10 months.

Washington Commanders @ Philadelphia Eagles

  • A.J. Brown: 9 receptions, 175 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • D’Andre Swift: 14 carries, 56 yards, 1 touchdown; 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards

The Eagles backfield remains a rotation: The Eagles started their running back rotation similar to last week, but it didn’t end the same way.

  • D’Andre Swift started the game and played all 17 snaps on the Eagles' first two drives.
  • Kenneth Gainwell took over on the first drive that started in the second quarter and played all 10 snaps of the quarter. The Eagles did the same thing last week.
  • Swift took the third quarter and Gainwell played the fourth quarter last week, but Philadelphia didn’t keep that rotation by quarter in the second half of this game.
  • The Eagles continued to let one running back take drives for themselves, but Swift played the first drive of the half, Gainwell played the next two, and then Swift took the final three.
  • This left Swift with more drives and ultimately more playing time.
  • When Swift was on the field, they were more likely to give the ball to him while they spread the ball around more when Gainwell was on the field.
  • This is generally good news for Swift's fantasy managers, as he remains a must-start, while it’s not great news for anyone with other Eagles players.
  • Boston Scott was active for this game but didn’t play an offensive snap while Rashaad Penny was back to being inactive.

Logan Thomas returns after missing last week: He suffered a concussion in Week 2 but was a full participant in practice late in the week.

  • He returned to his usual role of playing the vast majority of the team's.offensive snaps in nearly every personnel grouping.
  • He hasn’t played in 21 personnel yet this season but luckily, the Commanders very rarely use that grouping.
  • Thomas finished second on the team in receiving yards with 41 after catching all three passes thrown his way.
  • He’s gained a minimum of seven PPR points every week, making Thomas one of the top tight end options off the waiver wire.
  • The Commanders don’t have the best schedule for tight ends long-term, but they have three favorable matchups over the next three weeks.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Antonio Gibson was more involved with Washington’s offense than the three previous weeks. His six carries doubled his previous season high for carries. Even with the increase, it’s OK to leave him on the waiver wire in shallower leagues.
  • Jahan Dotson suffered an ankle injury late in the game. He was originally called questionable, but he was able to return.
  • Quez Watkins missed another game at wide receiver for the Eagles, leading Olamide Zaccheaus to again take the third receiver role. He was only targeted twice, allowing the Eagles star players to continue seeing significant touches.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans

  • Derrick Henry: 22 attempts, 122 yards, 1 touchdown; 1 reception, 11 receiving yards; 1 pass attempt, 1 pass completion, 2 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown
  • Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 5 receptions, 51 yards, 1 touchdown

Monitor Tee Higgins’ health: Higgins suffered a rib injury late in the second quarter and was ruled out by the third quarter.

  • The Bengals were already down one of their backup receivers in fourth-round rookie Charlie Jones, who landed on injured reserve due to a thumb injury.
  • A combination of Trenton Irwin and Andrei Iosivas took over as the other outside receiver during the season half.
  • Irwin caught one pass in the game for 17 yards while Iosivas wasn’t targeted.
  • Historically, Tyler Boyd would take over in two wide receiver sets when either Higgins or Ja’Marr Chase was injured.
  • The Bengals only ran one play in 12 personnel, which had Iosivas on the field with Higgins, but there is no guarantee that Iosivas would have that role going forward if Higgins misses time.
  • Boyd would be the waiver wire target here unless we find out Higgins’ injury is a non-issue. He received a 31.3% target rate in the second half.

The Titans are hurting at wide receiver: None of the Titans’ top wide receivers played their usual role in this game.

  • DeAndre Hopkins has appeared on the Titans’ injury report for the last few weeks due to an ankle injury. Similar to the last few weeks, he played significantly in 11 personnel but not much in other personnel groupings.
  • He led the team in receiving yards at 63 after catching four passes.
  • Treylon Burks is dealing with a knee injury that kept him out of practice this week and ultimately caused him him to be inactive in this game.
  • Kyle Philips has spent the last four weeks on injured reserve due to a knee injury, but he’s eligible to return next week, and he’s expected to return to practice.
  • Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Chris Moore led the wide receivers in offensive snaps and Westbrook-Ikhine scored a touchdown, but both players could be as far down as fourth and fifth on the depth chart by next week.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Irv Smith Jr. missed his second straight game due to a hamstring injury. Cincinnati followed the same strategy as last week, using Tanner Hudson, Mitchell Wilcox and Drew Sample all to replace Smith. Hudson caught two passes for 18 yards, but this is a position to ignore until Smith is back.
  • Titans rookie running back Tyjae Spears has averaged over 6.0 yards per carry in three of his four career games.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers

  • Josh Jacobs: 17 carries, 58 yards, 1 touchdown; 8 receptions, 81 receiving yards
  • Davante Adams: 8 receptions, 75 yards

The Chargers' first game without Mike Williams: Williams suffered a season-ending ACL tear last week.

  • Joshua Palmer and Keenan Allen served as the primary wide receivers in two- and three-receiver sets.
  • Both players missed time in this game mainly because of 13 personnel. Los Angeles played 13 snaps out of 13 personnel. Palmer played six of them, Keelan Doss played four and Derius Davis played one. Palmer and Allen were almost always on the field in all other personnel groupings.
  • Palmer led the team in targets and caught three passes for 77 yards, which also led the team. He is one of the top waiver wire options in any league where he is still available.
  • He can likely be in fantasy starting lineups more often than not, and it will depend on the opponent.
  • Rookie Quentin Johnston received a significant increase in snaps in 11 personnel, where he caught a pass for 18 yards. He should remain on fantasy rosters, but it’s still too early to start him.

Monitor the health of Donald Parham: The Chargers' touchdown machine suffered a wrist injury early in the second quarter and didn’t return.

  • Parham led the tight end room in offensive snaps and pass routes in the first quarter, getting a slight lead over Gerald Everett.
  • His injury resulted in more playing time for Everett, Tre’ McKitty and Stone Smartt.
  • Everett played 21 of 25 offensive snaps in 11 personnel over the last three quarters.
  • If this injury is serious, we should see Everett become the main receiving tight end in Los Angeles, which could make him fantasy-relevant.
  • If the injury isn’t serious, we should see Parham continue to lead the Chargers tight end room, making Everett droppable in any league where he’s still on a roster.

Josh Jacobs’ struggles continue: Jacbos was held under 65 rushing yards for the fourth time this season.

  • He was held under 65 rushing yards just four times last season.
  • A big problem over the first three games was that he was getting contacted too early. He was held to 1.0 yards before contact per carry or less in each of the first three games.
  • He gained 36 yards before contact in this game, which is more than the first three put together, but he still wasn’t able to do much after getting contacted.
  • He moved the chains four times, a season-high, but he has struggled to make defenders miss so far, which was a strength for him in past years.
  • Jacobs still needs to be in fantasy starting lineups because he’s run at least 17 times in three of four games, but fantasy managers who drafted him should rightfully be concerned.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Justin Herbert was dealing with a left-hand injury late in the game, but that didn’t cause him to lose any snaps.
  • Davante Adams also suffered a shoulder injury in this game, but he was quickly able to return.
  • Joshua Kelley’s playing time has declined in each game since Austin Ekeler’s first game back. This was his best game as a runner since starting, but he still averaged only 3.8 yards per carry.
  • The Chargers used 02 personnel for five snaps, with fourth-round rookie wide receiver Derius Davis lining up in the backfield. Davis ran three times for 51 yards.

New England Patriots @ Dallas Cowboys

Add Jake Ferguson: The second-year tight end set career highs in both receptions (7) and receiving yards (77).

  • Part of the reason for his success is that Peyton Hendershot was inactive with an ankle injury.
  • Hendershot took significant snaps out of 11 personnel, particularly on third downs.
  • Hendershot’s injury still didn’t make Ferguson an every-down tight end, as Luke Schoonmaker took some snaps from Ferguson in 11 personnel. The rookie also remained the primary tight end in 21 personnel.
  • The bigger reason Ferguson didn’t see a massive increase in snaps is that the Cowboys largely used backups in the fourth quarter, which meant Ferguson didn’t play any snaps late in the game.
  • Ferguson might not see the amount of playing time fantasy managers would hope for, but as long as he keeps seeing a 27% target share like he has this season, he can likely be in fantasy starting lineups.

Drop JuJu Smith-Schuster: The former Kansas City Chief fell under 50% of offensive snaps for the first time with New England.

  • Smith-Schuster caught just one of his targets for 14 yards. It’s his second straight game with just one reception.
  • He typically hasn’t played as much as other wide receivers in 11 personnel this season. His percentage of snaps fell further this week, as he played only five of a possible 20 snaps.
  • He was also rotated out in 12 and 13 personnel, sharing time with DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne in those personnel groupings.
  • The wide receiver rotation could become even more complicated next week, as Tyquan Thornton is eligible to return from injured reserve.
  • Smith-Schuster won’t compete with Thornton for snaps in 11 personnel, but Thornton could take snaps from him in 12 or 13 personnel.

Miscellaneous Notes

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

  • Christian McCaffrey: 20 carries, 106 yards, 3 touchdowns; 7 receptions, 71 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
  • Michael Wilson: 7 receptions, 76 yards, 2 touchdowns

Add Michael Wilson: The Cardinals' third-round rookie put together the best game of his career.

  • Wilson earned a starting job in the preseason. He began losing that role in Week 2 but was able to quickly earn it back during the game.
  • He caught two passes for 86 yards last week, then doubled his career receptions this week while catching his first and second career touchdowns.
  • His 2.30 yards per route run this season ranks second among the 13 rookie wide receivers with at least 50 routes run, behind only Puka Nacua.
  • Part of his success in this game was simply due to the Cardinals running 47 pass plays, so we might not see this kind of performance regularly going forward.
  • Still, he’s a young rookie already making plays early in the season. It’s certainly possible he becomes a bigger part of the offense as the season progresses.

The 49ers are hurting at wide receiver: All three 49ers starting wide receivers were limited at best in practice this week.

  • Jauan Jennings didn’t practice all week with a shin injury and was ultimately inactive.
  • Brandon Aiyuk missed last week with a shoulder injury but returned for this game, while Deebo Samuel didn’t practice all week with a ribs and knee injury.
  • Aiyuk put together a great performance, catching six passes for 148 yards, but Samuel wasn’t very involved in the offense. Samuel could be a buy-low option after not seeing a target.
  • Ray-Ray McCloud III was the primary replacement for Aiyuk last week and was the primary replacement for Jennings this week.
  • Luckily, the 49ers scored touchdowns on their first three drives. This allowed them to use 21 personnel twice as often as 11 personnel, so they didn’t need a third wide receiver that often.
  • Ideally, the wide receivers will be at full strength for next week.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Elijah Mitchell popped up on the injury report with a knee injury on Friday and was inactive for this game. Jordan Mason took his role as Christian McCaffrey’s backup, with half of Mason’s snaps coming in the fourth quarter.
  • The Cardinals were also without their backup running back, with Keaontay Ingram also showing up on the injury report mid-week with a neck injury. Undrafted rookie Emari Demercado took over as the primary backup.
  • Zach Ertz seemed to be declining, as his percentage of offensive snaps and targets declined each week. That all bounced back, as he played 76% of offensive snaps and saw 10 targets. He matched his Week 1 usage but was able to do more after the catch this week, leading to 53 yards.

Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets

  • Isiah Pacheco: 20 carries, 115 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 receptions, 43 receiving yards
  • Allen Lazard: 3 receptions, 61 yards, 1 touchdown

The Chiefs’ wide receiver rotation somehow gets worse: Kansas City used a heavy five-man rotation of wide receivers on passing plays.

  • Skyy Moore, Rashee Rice, Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson all rotated in and out throughout the game, with no one playing a clear majority of snaps or pass routes.
  • The only clear tendency was that Valdes-Scantling always played in 12 personnel.
  • On the season, Moore, Valdes-Scantling and Watson have the clear lead in routes run, but none have a target rate over 17%.
  • Rice and Toney have much higher target rates, which makes them the most intriguing options on the team, but they combined for five receptions for 54 yards tonight.
  • Rice has graded the best of all the Chiefs wide receivers this season, but he’s been held to 32 yards or less in three of four games. Kansas City would need to give up on Moore for Rice to get enough playing time to be fantasy-relevant.
  • Moore was held without a catch for the second time this season and can probably be dropped in some leagues.
  • Forty-six wide receivers have at least 14 receptions this season, and none play for Kansas City.
  • We’ve spent the last two seasons trying to figure out who Mahomes' favorite wide receiver will be. This might be the furthest away we’ve been from figuring it out.

Xavier Gipson carves out a role in the Jets offense: Gipson emerged as the Jets' fourth wide receiver.

  • The undrafted rookie from Stephen F. Austin played just one offensive snap over the first three weeks of the season.
  • His playing time entirely came from 11 personnel, taking snaps away from Randall Cobb.
  • He split his time both in the slot and out wide, allowing Garrett Wilson to play much more in the slot this week compared to the previous three weeks.
  • Wilson has generally played better out wide than in the slot, but his target rate has been much higher in the slot this season. This helped him to season highs in targets (14) and receptions (9).
  • While Gipson might not produce much fantasy value this season, this change might help Wilson keep his fantasy value if Zach Wilson prefers throwing to Garrett Wilson in the slot.
  • This is also noteworthy because former Kansas City Chief Mecole Hardman could have seen more playing time in a revenge game, but instead, he was surpassed on the depth chart. This makes Hardman less likely to work out at any point this season.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Isiah Pacheco set a new career high in both rushing yards (115) and receiving yards (43) in this game, thanks to multiple big plays.
  • Travis Kelce was held under 70 receiving yards for the third straight game. It’s the second time he’s had a streak like that in the last four seasons.
  • The Jets continued to use a similar running back rotation to last week, with Breece Hall playing the majority of early down snaps, Dalvin Cook being his backup, and Michael Carter as the third down back. All three received a snap at the goal line.

Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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