NFL News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: 10 biggest fantasy reactions to NFL Week 4

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) reacts next to Detroit Lions defensive back Bobby Price (27) after the first down in the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Only Monday Night Football remains on the 2021 NFL Week 4 slate, so most fantasy football managers will now be turning their gaze to Week 5 to try to gain an advantage in their fantasy leagues.

It’s important not to overreact to individual stat lines. For example, some players scored two touchdowns this week yet probably won’t do that again this season, while other players saw the field for most of their team's snaps but couldn't quite make it to the end zone.

Remember: chase the usage, not the box score.

The following are my 10 biggest takeaways from Week 4. For a more detailed 32-team view of the week, including snap counts, check out the Complete Week 3 Fantasy Football Recap.

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1. Sell high on the Falcons running backs

Cordarrelle Patterson was the star of Sunday after catching three touchdown passes, but he continues to see only a fraction of the offensive snaps. He was on the field for only 23 of a possible 76 offensive snaps. He scored on 25% of his pass routes, which is nowhere near sustainable. 

Mike Davis saw the majority of running back carries and the vast majority of pass routes. His fantasy value was saved by a receiving touchdown, but there is plenty of reason to be concerned about his role. Ideally, Patterson would start cutting into those pass routes more. Wayne Gallman saw his first offensive action of the season and cut into Davis’ carries. Gallman played better and could see more touches going forward.

It’s better to trade these players now before it becomes a full three-back committee.

2. Don’t start Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin

The Dolphins running backs have been very inconsistent from one week to another. Gaskin has led the team in carries twice but received 25% of the carries or less in another two games. That includes Sunday where he ran the ball twice while the other two backs combined for 11 carries.

He led the backfield in routes run the first three weeks but only ran a route on nine of 35 pass plays with no targets today. He’s too unpredictable at this point to trust him.

3. Bench RB Miles Sanders whenever the Eagles are underdogs

Sanders carried the ball only twice while recording three receptions on Monday Night Football. He followed that up with 13 yards on seven carries and another three catches on Sunday. The Eagles have kept the ball with Jalen Hurts when they’ve been behind.

More concerning for Sanders is the fact that backup Kenneth Gainwell tallied more rushing yards, the Eagles' only rushing touchdown while putting up better receiving stats across the board. There is a chance Sanders might lose some playing time going forward, making it harder for him to have a high ceiling in more favorable matchups.

PFF's Player Props Tool leverages PFF's Fantasy Football Projections to reveal betting opportunities within player prop markets.

4. Monitor the Kansas City backfield

The good news for Clyde Edwards-Helaire is that his fantasy performances are improving each week. He hit a season-high in rushing yards and scored a receiving touchdown for the second straight week. Unfortunately, his playing time has declined each week of the season, and now he’s barely playing above 50% of the offensive snaps.

The solid play could lead his playing time to ramp back up, but Kansas City might be ready to use a committee going forward.

5. Hold on Seahawks RB Chris Carson

Carson saw a limited number of snaps last week, which seemed to be tied to his hamstring injury. He didn’t appear on the injury report all week but saw an even more limited role this week. He played in 25 of a possible 56 offensive snaps.

Alex Collins notched nearly as many carries, including more rushing yards and a touchdown. It’s generally not a great sign when four backs are active and all see playing time, but that’s what happened on Sunday. Carson is not a buy-low because Seattle might continue to get the younger backs more involved. He also isn’t a sell-high because he didn’t achieve much fantasy success on Sunday.

6. Add Bears WR Darnell Mooney

The Bears' receivers got off to a very slow start to the season, leading some who drafted Mooney to drop him from their roster. He’s now available in nearly 60% of leagues at ESPN, but that will change this week after his five-catch, 125-yard performance. Mooney was a sleeper wide receiver before the season because of his potential with Justin Fields at quarterback. He had an 18.0 aDOT in this game, and finally has a quarterback who can complete deep passes to him. It’s too early to put him in starting lineups, but this connection could continue all season and potentially for the next decade.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders. Click here for access.

7. Monitor the Giants' wide receivers

The Giants didn’t have Sterling Shepard or Darius Slayton for their game on Sunday, which gave Kadarious Toney a chance to play in an every-down role. The first-round rookie recorded more receiving yards than Slayton has ever had in any game this season. Free-agent addition John Ross also saw his first action of the season and notably came away with a 52-yard touchdown catch. Collin Johnson had a big game last week but was fifth on the depth chart today. We might see a lot more rotation at wide receiver once everyone is healthy.

8. Jets WR Jamison Crowder is back and needs to be on rosters

Crowder saw his first action of the season and wasted no time putting up numbers. He maintained a 32.1% threat rate, leading to seven catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. It’s worth noting the Jets didn’t have Elijah Moore in this game, but Moore will likely take snaps away from Keelan Cole when he returns rather than taking snaps from Crowder. If the Jets offense continues to progress, there is a chance Crowder could be an every-week fantasy starter in PPR leagues.

 PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

9. Add and potentially start Bills TE Dawson Knox

Knox was the Bills' starting tight end last season but didn’t have much fantasy success because of the other skill players in Buffalo’s offense. He was a top-10 fantasy tight end after three weeks as one of seven tight ends with multiple receiving touchdowns. He added two more on Sunday. It was his second straight game with five or more targets after only having two games with five or more all of last season.

If he’s getting this involved when the Bills offense has been it’s healthiest, then he should remain involved the rest of the season. He could be this year’s Robert Tonyan but with a higher target share.

10. Don’t add Colts TE Mo Alie-Cox

The Colts tight end led the position group in snaps and caught both of the team’s receiving touchdowns. The reason he saw so much playing time is that starting tight end Jack Doyle missed most of practice this week with a back injury, so they restricted his playing time. There is a chance Alie-Cox sees a little more playing time going forward after the touchdowns, but this will still be a two- or three-player committee.

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