The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:
Fantasy Football Week 4

By James Collier

Just like that four weeks have gone and we are almost a quarter of the way through the fantasy season! Real life NFL teams are starting to take their bye weeks which means the hard work is just getting started as we need to find temporary replacements for several fantasy studs.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 4-0 or 0-4, there is still a lot of action left.  And that means plenty of chances for us to make or break our seasons by keeping on top of fantasy football’s Good, Bad and Ugly.

The Good

AFC South Rookie Quarterbacks

Five rookie quarterbacks made starts over the weekend and while it was a mixed bag, the two from the AFC South stood out. CJ Stroud already looks legit and has been a top 13 fantasy quarterback in each of the last three weeks. Not only that though, he is sustaining two top 24 fantasy wide receivers in Nico Collins and Tank Dell. It might not be easy to predict which receiver will be the target leader on a weekly basis but you’d imagine the Texans will still be losing games regularly and so there should be enough passing volume to go around. 

Anthony Richardson might not be consistent enough as a passer for Michael Pittman to be a top 12 fantasy receiver but he will have his weeks. Pittman caught just one of the 11 passes that the rookie completed this weekend (plus a two point conversion). Despite that Richardson was still able to finish as the QB2 on the week and is the QB4 in points per game so far this season.

The Bad

NFL “Insiders” Reports

Navigating injuries is difficult enough for fantasy managers but last week NFL “Insiders” and beat reporters decided they’d try and make our lives just a bit more difficult. It started Thursday when David Montgomery returned from injury to score 34 fantasy points on 34 touches having earlier in the day been ruled out, albeit only for a few minutes. In the same game Aaron Jones and Christian Watson returned from injury but were clearly on snap counts. 

And it continued over the weekend Derek Carr who was inactive and then active and then Deshaun Watson who was active and then inactive. More on this below…

Quarterback “grit”

Carr was clearly bothered by the AC joint sprain in his shoulder on Sunday but he wasn’t alone in playing through an injury that he probably shouldn’t have. Both he and Joe Burrow showed the “grit” that we ask for from NFL quarterbacks, only this time it almost certainly harmed their teams (and our fantasy teams of course). 

Carr averaged just 3.4 yards per attempt because all he seemed to be able to do was dump the ball off to Alvin Kamara for a record breakingly low number of receiving yards. Kamara had a great fantasy day in PPR leagues but every other Saint struggled, particularly Chris Olave who logged just one reception for 1.4 points.

Meanwhile, Joe Burrow is clearly still not healthy and the whole Bengals offense is struggling as a result. We are used to slow starts from Cincinnati but at 1-3 it might only be a matter of time before he is shut down for an extended period of time. Sitting Burrow would actually make sense for the Bengals but with only Jake Browning behind him, we might have to write off Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins’ seasons if it does happen. 

The Ugly

“Top 12” Tight Ends

Just take a look at the state of the points being scored by the top 12 tight ends taken in fantasy drafts this season. Obviously the big three are all fine but outside of those, just Evan Engram is averaging double figures per game. And Daren Waller is the only other to feature in the top 12 scorers at the position through four weeks of the season. Given the hype around him preseason, scraping into the top 12 and scoring less than eight points per game isn’t gonna cut it. 

  • 1 – Kelce: 14.8 ppg, PPR rank TE7
  • 2 – Andrews: 16, TE5
  • 3 – Hockenson: 13,8, TE1
  • 4 – Kittle: 7.2ppg, TE13
  • 5 – Waller: 7.6, TE12
  • 6 – Pitts: 5.7, TE29
  • 7 – Goedert: 5.5, TE30
  • 8 – Engram: 12.1, TE4
  • 9 – Njoku: 7, TE14
  • 10 – Freiermuth: 6.3, TE21
  • 11 – Schultz: 6.2, TE23
  • 12 – Kincaid: 6.2, TE23


Lead Fantasy Football Analyst

A Washington fan since the early 2010’s, James had no choice but to turn to fantasy football in search of happiness – and it wasn’t long until it became an obsession. You can follow him on Twitter @jamesc294.