Since we love chalking TFA full of good content for you, I’ve split my article into separate undervalued and overvalued articles! Now you get a little bit more bang for your buck, but also isn’t as dense of a read. Week 4 is here believe it or not, and with it comes the first set of bye weeks. Those that have relied on the likes of Jordy, Rodgers, and Lacy and streamed Wentz (those that are clairvoyant) find themselves in need of lineup advice. Coming off some pretty good overvalued calls except for Fleener (sigh, he still dropped a bunch!), let’s take on week 4.
Derek Carr, QB Raiders
After a strong start, Carr’s momentum stalled in week 3 against Tennessee (nice call in the Studs and Duds article by Anthony Pinzone). Carr finished with 21 out of 35 completions for 249 yards, one TD, and one interception. This week doesn’t get any easier as the Raiders face a Baltimore defense that just held Blake Bortles to 194 yards and snagged three interceptions (had two in week 2 as well).
Yes, the Raiders have a better offensive line than Baltimore’s previous opponents, but FantasyPros consensus rankings currently have Carr at QB 10. This is too high for me. The Ravens held Tyrod Taylor to 111 passing yards and zero touchdowns in their last home game in week 1. Ravens allow the 7th fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs and their opponents averaged just 188 passing yards and 1.3 TDs per game so far this season. Carr is the best QB they have faced yet, but there are better plays this week.
Lamar Miller, RB Texans
Let me first say that I’m the conductor of the Lamar Miller hype train and am still very high on him. He’s been a bright spot in the Texans running game and received monster workloads (at least 20 carries per game). Yet, Miller hasn’t lived up to fantasy elite preseason expectations. He is currently the #20 overall fantasy RB. He warrants an inclusion in my overvalued for week 4 due to consensus rankings consistently listing him in the top 5-10 fantasy RBs, yet he’s never finished higher than #18 fantasy RB.
Texans clash with the Titans this week. The Tennessee defense gives up the 5th fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs. They gave up only one TD so far this season to a running back. No running back scored more than 10 standard fantasy points so far this season against them. The Texans offense struggled mightily on Thursday Night Football against the Patriots. Though Miller fought hard for every yard, he currently has a sub-par 3.6 YPC. I doubt you have someone better, but tempering your expectations and hoping for a TD should be a Miller owner’s mindset this week. Not a top five finish.
Allen Hurns, WR Jags
Despite currently falling as the #57 fantasy WR through three weeks, Hurns’ rank for week 4 (mid to late 30s) is inflated. Hurns received 22 targets in his first 3 games but caught only 13 for 179 yards and zero touchdowns. The Jaguars struggled considerably to protect Blake Bortles last week. Allen Robinson leads the team with 26% of the overall target share, with Hurns at 17%.
The Jags draw Indianapolis this week. Though many have deemed the Colts defense “soft”, they actually give up the 7th fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. In addition, no one scored a passing touchdown against them through three weeks. Allen Robinson represents the only Jags WR that I’m starting until something changes. If you have a better option than Hurns, I would use him.
Gio Bernard, RB Bengals
Gio’s inconsistent performance this season lands him in the overvalued for week 4. We saw signs of life in week 2 versus Pittsburgh when he caught 9 for 100 yards and a touchdown, but Jeremy Hill received more touches 2/3 weeks so far this season. Hill most likely solidified this distribution last week when he ran for 97 yards and 2 TDs and finished as the #8 fantasy RB. According to ProFootballReference.com, Hill receives 100% of the red zone carries within the 10-yard line. Bernard is 4th in targets in the red zone. This translates to significantly reduced opportunities for Bernard to score, which has occurred just once so far this season.
Currently, Bernard is ranked as the #26 fantasy RB for week 4, yet he has finished as the #55 and #47 fantasy RB in weeks 1 and 3, respectively. This week, the Bengals face Miami who gave up just 43 yards and zero touchdowns to RBs through the air in weeks 1-3. As we know, passing down work makes up the majority of Bernard’s touches. You see where I’m going here? He fares better in PPR, but not much without any touchdown upside. I would steer clear this week if you have someone else to plug in for your flex or RB3.
Brandin Cooks, WR Saints
I’m going to be honest with you. I typed this name into my overvalued draft three times and then deleted it. Clearly, it’s back. Since week 1 when he finished as the #1 fantasy WR against the Oakland Raiders, I’ve found myself each week (and I’ve watched all the games since my friend is a Saints fanatic) asking “Where’s Cooks?!”. It isn’t because he isn’t getting targets, as he receives 8-9 targets a game. He and Brees just can’t seem to connect for the big plays we have all been expecting on a week-to-week basis.
Cooks’ upside, talent, and speed are what kept me deleting his name. However, his lack of fantasy production is the issue. Brees often finds himself under duress behind his offensive line. Therefore, he needs to get rid of the ball quickly, taking away most of Cooks’ deep threat ability. Brees connects with a good amount of short passes, screens, and slants. Numerous passes are batted down or tipped at the line. This week, Cooks faces the Chargers and CB Jason Verrett. They gave up the 16th most fantasy points to WRs, but that stat is mostly inflated due to TY Hilton’s monster game last week.
Currently ranked as the #5 fantasy WR for week 4, I just can’t get on board with that given all I’ve said. Does he have #5 fantasy WR upside? Of course. Will he actually be able to capitalize on that upside? I’m skeptical. His healthy amount of targets makes him very difficult to bench, but I just want owners to know the risk involved this week. Though the Chargers seem easy, the Saints have shown they have plenty of fantasy threats and Brees hits who is open quickly. Cooks’ floor is low and we are talking #88 fantasy WR low. So, just beware.
Be sure to check out my undervalued players as well!