Underdog Battle Royale Rankings Week 4

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Quarterbacks:

  1. Justin Herbert

  2. Josh Allen

  3. Tua Tagovailoa

  4. Kirk Cousins

  5. Jalen Hurts

  6. Joe Burrow

Sleepers: Brock Purdy, Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Andy Dalton (assuming Bryce Young is out), Matt Stafford

Don’t overthink this Justin Herbert, Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, and Kirk Cousins all stand out. They are the top targets for sure and it really doesn’t matter the order you prioritize them. Herbert is still my favorite option as I don’t see the Chargers running the ball much this week, even if Ekler does come back. I also think the Raiders defense is the worst defense any of the top 4 face, so if Las Vegas can keep it close, Herbert will have to throw for 350+ yards.

Some may wonder why Joe Burrow over Lamar Jackson, and for me it’s an easy call. Burrow is still a bit banged up, but he showed he can still get the ball to his playmaker Ja’Marr Chase on Monday night. Now he faces a Titans defense that is incredible against the run, but awful against the pass. Burrow should once again pepper his top 3 receivers for targets and let those playmakers work against this weak secondary. Jackson on the other hand faces arguably the best defense in the league in the Browns, and the Ravens are dealing with so many injuries on offense it’s tough to even keep track. Maybe Jackson gets there on the ground with multiple TDs again, but it seems unlikely.

 

Running Backs:

  1. Christian McCaffrey

  2. Tony Pollard

  3. Josh Jacobs

  4. D’Andre Swift

  5. Zack Moss

  6. Raheem Mostert

  7. James Cook

  8. Jerome Ford

  9. Derrick Henry

  10. Javonte Williams

  11. Alvin Kamara

  12. Miles Sanders

Sleepers: De’Von Achane, Austin Ekler/Joshua Kelley, Alexander Mattison, Najee Harris, Brian Robinson, Kyren Williams

McCaffrey and Pollard are in a clear cut tier by themselves this week among running backs. Pollard has a tougher match-up against the Patriots, but they are at home and Pollard’s usage is exactly what you are hoping for. The real question is does Dallas get any of their 3 starting offensive linemen back from injury? Hopefully, at least one or two return, if that’s the case Pollard is good option vs a Patriots defense that gave up some yards to Gainwell and Mostert the first two weeks. Nothing really needs to be said about CMC, he’s just playing at an unreal level right now.

Jacobs has gotten off to a slow start, but this is a fantastic match-up against the Chargers, especially with a back-up QB likely at the helm. Jacobs hasn’t been efficient yet, but is usage is there, and this feels like the perfect get right game. Swift has been great the past two weeks, and while the Commanders defensive line is good, the Eagles offensive line is probably better. I think we will continue to see a 60-70% usage with Swift, with the only concern that he will concede goalline work to Hurts, and 3rd down work to Gainwell. Moss has looked great these past two weeks, and even if Richardson returns, hopefully the coaching staff will let Moss continue to be the goalline option, as opposed to having their QB coming off a concussion dive into a pile.

Mostert will share work, but he’s been so explosive and has the goalline work which is key in .5 ppr. Cook has looked good, but is the opposite of Mostert as he hasn’t gotten any real goalline work. I like him in this high total game, as I think Buffalo will need more explosive playmakers on the field. The cut-off this week feels around the Jerome Ford/Derrick Henry line. I like Ford against Baltimore to be solid, but he might not have the big ceiling, but this is a key game for Henry. Henry has struggled through three games, and he needs to get right this week. It’s a risky call, but this is a good match-up for him.

 

Wide Receivers:

  1. Justin Jefferson

  2. Keenan Allen

  3. Tyreek Hill

  4. Stefon Diggs

  5. Ja’Marr Chase

  6. Davante Adams

  7. A.J. Brown

  8. Michael Pittman

  9. Adam Thielen

  10. Deebo Samuel

  11. Ceedee Lamb

  12. Jaylen Waddle

  13. Courtland Sutton

  14. Puka Nacua

  15. De’Vonta Smith

  16. Tee Higgins

  17. Gabe Davis

  18. Jakobi Myers

  19. Jordan Addison

  20. Nico Collins

Sleepers: George Pickens, Tutu Atwell, Tank Dell, Amari Cooper, Chris Olave, Terry McLaurin, Jerry Jeudy

This is an extremely deep WR week, and one where I might favor 3 WR builds vs 2 WR and 2 RB. The top 7 players are all just absolute alpha plays who could break the slate if the TD variance breaks their way. All should easily get double-digit targets, and can just put up monster stat lines. Jefferson, Allen, and Hill are all playing at an extreme level this season, and we’ve seen Diggs, Adams, Chase, and Brown show that ability as well. The match-ups are all pretty great so if you can land two of these 7 guys it would be tough to pass up.

The next tier is filled with some excellent plays, but questions surround just how good they will be. If rookie QBs Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young come back, I do think that is a slight bump down for both Michael Pittman and Adam Theilen. They aren’t totally unplayable, because they should still lead their teams in targets and will have fair match-ups, but it could cost them a target or two, and maybe a redzone look. We also need to worry about the health of some of these receivers, is Deebo playing, what about Waddle, and how healthy is Nacua? That is a wide range of outcomes that makes all of them a bit risky, but we do know the upside in those spots. I do like targeting some of the number 2 options of guys that I didn’t get from the first grouping. So if you are right and Gabe Davis outscores Diggs, or Higgins outscores Chase, you could have a real unique build.

My three favorite sleepers are Pickens, Atwell and Terry McLaurin. Pickens faces a very beat up Texans secondary, and this game could have some sneaky shootout potential. Atwell was really getting schemed up looks from the Rams last week, but penalties and pressure prevented a big fantasy game. Everyone will likely continue to ride the Nacua bandwagon, but Atwell might be the play you want vs a very inexperience secondary. As for McLaurin, the Commanders face a tough Eagles defense, but they are still thin in the secondary. It won’t be easy, but Sam Howell will need to try to get his receivers involved and that starts with McLaurin.

 

Tight Ends:

  1. T.J. Hockenson

  2. George Kittle

  3. Dallas Goedert

  4. Gerald Everett

  5. Jake Ferguson

  6. Mark Andrews

Sleepers: Hunter Henry, Pat Friermuth, Tyler Higbee, Dalton Kincaid, Cole Turner

Hockenson is the clear top TE on this slate with no Kelce and a favorable match-up against the Panthers. The Vikings passing offense is one of the highest volume in the league, and it will continue to be so going forward as their defense struggles to stop people. Hockenson is the clear number 2 target with a good RZ role, making him an option to have a spike game any week. From a talent perspective we know that George Kittle is one of the most talented TEs in the league, but it’s tough to predict when he will go off. This feels like a good week for him, as both the 49ers receivers are a little banged up, and the Cardinals have allowed decent production to TEs so far this season. After not being involved in week one, Dallas Goedert has had a much higher workload the past two weeks. His yards are lower, and he hasn’t found the endzone, but the usage is now where we want it.

As for the rest, I like Gerald Everett getting more work with Mike Williams getting injured and Jake Ferguson remains involved in the Dallas passing attack, as solid TEs who can spike. This is not a great spot for Mark Andrews as the Browns defense has been lights out this season, allowing just a single offensive TD in three games. Some of that is based on who they’ve played, but a lot of that is how incredibly good this defense has been. Cleveland has only allowed 4 offensive snaps in the red zone this season, so the road for Andrews to get there is going to be incredibly tough. As for potential sleepers, Henry and Higbee have the usage we want, but Friermuth and Kincaid could be in better spots.


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