Freedman’s Week 4 fantasy football breakdown


This past weekend, the fantasy community lost one of our stars, Mike Tagliere, who was the lead NFL writer at FantasyPros.

Tags was a good dude. He loved people and loved football. He was far too young to leave this world.

This weekend, please do me a favor. At some point — while you’re watching the games and sweating your lineups and indulging in the absurd and wonderful degeneracy that is fantasy sports — stop what you’re doing and take a moment, even if it’s just a few seconds, to soak it all in and let the experience wash over you.

Think about how fortunate you are to be here, right now, in this moment, enjoying your existence in this particular way.

Think about how blessed you are to be alive.

We are the lucky ones.

Let’s never forget that.



In the main 13-game weekend slate, here are the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends who stand out to me the most based on our expert rankings and fantasy projections as well as the Week 4 betting odds and our wealth of football content across FTN FantasyFTN Daily and FTN Bets.

Note: As NFL news breaks and Week 4 NFL inactives are announced Sunday morning, my perspective on some players in this piece may change. For my most up-to-date thoughts on players, consult our rankings.

To see all my Week 4 bets, check out our FTN Bet Tracker. Use the promo code FREEDMAN to get 20% off your FTN subscription.

Freedman’s favorite quarterbacks for Week 4

Below, I take a look at my favorite quarterbacks for both fantasy football and DFS for Week 4.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (vs. Houston)

Key numbers (at time of writing):

  • FTN Ranking: No. 2
  • Spread: -16.5
  • Total: 47.5

Josh Allen: Ever heard of him?

After a fantastic 2020 season with 4,544-37-10 passing on a 69.2% completion rate and 102-421-8 rushing, Allen in Weeks 1-2 looked like the unpolished big-armed 2018-19 version of himself, completing just 56.0% of his passes for 5.5 adjusted yards per attempt.

In Week 3, though, he bounced back with 358-4-0 passing on a 74.4% completion rate and 4-9-1 rushing.

And now he has a good matchup against the Texans, who are top-10 in most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks with 24.0 DraftKings and 22.0 FanDuel points per game.

As a favorite, Allen is on the positive side of his Vegas splits (per our Splits Tool).

  • As favorite: 24.7 DraftKings points | 23.4 FanDuel points
  • As underdog: 20.0 DraftKings points | 19.3 FanDuel points

Check out all the premium stats and tools we offer in our industry-leading FantasyHQ product.

The Bills have a slate-high implied total of 31.75, and they are now No. 1 in our FTN Power Rankings.

Allen was a tournament-winning quarterback last week, and this week he’s one of our top DraftKings DFS plays

I’m a rather unoriginal chalk donkey, so I expect that Allen will be one of the top quarterbacks in my Week 4 DFS Cheat Sheets.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Kansas City)

Key numbers (at time of writing):

  • FTN Ranking: No. 2
  • Spread: -16.5
  • Total: 47.5

I’m high on Hurts this week … just like I’m high on him every week.

I don’t think it’s hard to justify a bullish position on Jalen Hurts. In his six full NFL starts, he has averaged 27.0 DraftKings and 25.1 FanDuel points per game and either passed for 300 yards or rushed for 60 yards in each game. With his Konami Code rushing ability, Hurts has an extraordinarily high floor, and with his three 300-yard passing performances he has an underappreciated ceiling.

On top of that, he has a glorious matchup: The Chiefs defense is No. 32 with a 43.3% pass DVOA (per Football Outsiders). No team has allowed more yards per play than the Chiefs have with 7.0. With their weak 4.4% adjusted sack rate this season, the Chiefs are unlikely to generate enough pressure on Hurts to disrupt him.

In Week 1, the Chiefs allowed Baker Mayfield to pass for 321 yards with a 75% completion rate. In Week 2, the Chiefs watched Lamar Jackson dominate them with 16-107-2 rushing. In Week 3, the Chiefs admired Justin Herbert as he passed for 281 yards and four touchdowns while taking just one sack.

The Chiefs are vulnerable, and I expect Hurts to exploit them.

Upside quarterbacks for Week 4

Here are some quarterbacks I think will outperform expectations and whom I especially like as upside season-long and DFS tournament plays.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (at Philadelphia): Over the past three-plus years, Mahomes is No. 1 at the position with 26.7 DraftKings and 24.8 FanDuel points on 308.4 yards and 2.6 touchdowns passing per game.

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (at LA Rams): The Rams defense is more vulnerable than commonly thought, ranking No. 27 with 40.1 yards allowed per drive, and the Cardinals are now in the top 10 of our FTN power rankings.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Arizona): Rams-Cardinals has a slate-high over/under of 54.5 points, and Stafford has already passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in two of three games with the Rams.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. Pittsburgh): Rodgers is 63-36-4 against the spread at Lambeau Field for his career, and he has averaged 22.8 DraftKings and 21.7 FanDuel points per game as a home favorite since wide receiver Davante Adams entered the league in 2014.

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (at NY Jets): The over is 23-9-1 in Tannehill’s 33 starts for the Titans, and the Jets entered the season ranked No. 32 in Jeff Ratcliffe’s cornerback unit rankings.

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers (at Dallas): Darnold is one of our top Week 4 quarterback streamers, he has a career-high 8.4 AY/A, and the Panthers could outperform expectations against the Cowboys given that underdogs are 30-18 ATS this year.

Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos (vs. Baltimore): The Broncos are 3-0 ATS, and Bridgewater has career-high marks with a 76.8% completion rate and 9.5 AY/A. The Broncos are an undervalued team in the betting market.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Washington): Since 2018, only Patrick Mahomes has more regular-season 300-yard passing games than Ryan (28 vs. 25), and the Football Team has allowed a league-high 30.0 DraftKings and 27.7 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks. Ryan is one of Javier Prellezo’s “Must Jav” NFL DFS plays for Week 4.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (vs. Detroit): Bears head coach Matt Nagy has no idea what to do with Fields, but he possesses theoretical rushing upside, and the Lions defense is No. 31 with a 41.9% pass DVOA. Despite his horrific Week 3 performance, Fields is a hold in dynasty.

Freedman’s favorite running backs for Week 4

Below, I take a look at my favorite running backs for both fantasy football and DFS for Week 4.

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (at NY Jets) 

Key numbers (at time of writing):

  • FTN Ranking: No. 1
  • Spread: -7
  • Total: 44

The king stands alone. Derrick Henry is now No. 1 in Tyler Loechner’s fantasy trade value chart.


Henry has a number of factors in his favor this weekend.

First, there’s the matchup. The Jets are top four in most fantasy points allowed to running backs with 30.8 DraftKings and 26.8 FanDuel points per game. The Jets aren’t bad against the run: On defense, they’re No. 13 with a -14.0% rush DVOA. But they’re the only team in the league that is 0-3 ATS as underdogs: They’ve afforded such overwhelming positive game script to their opponents that they can’t help but yield production to running backs through sheer volume.

On top of that, Henry is on the positive side of his splits with 21.3 DraftKings and 19.1 FanDuel points per game as a favorite since 2018. And I’m betting on the Titans this weekend.

Finally, the Titans might be without wide receiver A.J. Brown (hamstring), who suffered an in-game injury in Week 3 and missed practice on Wednesday. With Brown sidelined, the Titans could opt to lean on Henry even more than usual.

And the Titans are already using Henry this year more than they have in previous seasons: He has career-high marks with 26.7 carries and 4.3 targets per game. With that kind of workload, it’s no surprise that Henry leads the league with 458 yards from scrimmage. 

The only back in the league with at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing in each of the past three full seasons, Henry is No. 1 in Jeff Ratcliffe’s Week 4 fantasy football flex rankings.

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (at Miami) 

Key numbers (at time of writing):

  • FTN Ranking: No. 9
  • Spread: +2
  • Total: 42.5

Perhaps Jonathan Taylor was not the prince that was promised. 

The Colts entered the year No. 7 in NFL guru Brett Whitefield’s offensive line rankings, but that ranking doesn’t matter now, as the Colts this week might be without All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson and veteran right tackle Braden Smith (foot, thumb).

And quarterback Carson Wentz (ankles) is also injured, which means that the Colts offense is likely to function at far less than full capacity.

With a diminished offensive line and hampered quarterback, Taylor in Week 4 should expect to see worse run blocking, more defenders in the box, and fewer goal-line opportunities than he usually does.

But Taylor ought not to be overlooked. Last year, after missing a game in the league’s COVID-19 protocol, he returned to action and was 118-729-8 rushing and 12-78-1 receiving on 16 targets in his final six games (including playoffs). And this year he is still averaging 57 yards rushing and 23.3 yards receiving on 14 carries and 3.7 targets per game. Extrapolated over a 16-game sample, that comes out to a little less than 1,300 yards.

Taylor is yet to score a touchdown this year — much to the chagrin of his investors — but he has an NFL-high six carries inside the five-yard line (per our Advanced Rushing Stats Tool). Eventually, he will find the end zone.

And that could be this week: He has a great matchup

Last week, the Dolphins allowed injury fill-in Peyton Barber to go off for 23-11-1 rushing and 3-31-0 receiving on five targets, and for the year the Dolphins are No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to running backs with 35.0 DraftKings and 28.7 FanDuel points per game.

Taylor is one of our top Week 4 DFS value plays.

Upside running backs for Week 4

Here are some running backs I think will outperform expectations and whom I especially like as upside season-long and DFS tournament plays.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (vs. NY Giants): Kamara had a career-high 24 carries last week, and for the season he is averaging a robust 17.3 carries and 4.7 targets per game. The Saints lead the league with a 57.0% rush rate.

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (vs. Pittsburgh): After his Week 1 nothingburger, Jones is 36-149-2 rushing and 8-62-3 receiving on eight targets over the past two games, and for the 2019-20 seasons Jones wasone of just three players (along with Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook) to have 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns from scrimmage.

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Green Bay): Harris had an unholy 19 targets in Week 3, and with his elite receiving usage, Harris now leads all running backs with 31 high-value touches. The Packers defense is No. 25 with a -2.4% rush DVOA.

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Cleveland): Starter Dalvin Cook (ankle) missed Week 3 and is uncertain for Week 4, so Mattison could get another game of lead-back usage. Last week, he was 26-112-0 rushing and 6-59-0 receiving on eight targets, and in his three games with 15-plus carries he has averaged 129 yards and 0.67 touchdowns from scrimmage.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Kansas City): Sanders had just two carries in Week 3 against the Cowboys — but he still played 60% of the snaps, and for the season he has a usable 10 carries and 3.7 targets per game. The Chiefs defense is No. 32 rush DVOA.

D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (at Chicago): Swift has 289 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries and 23 targets, and he could see more high-value targets this week with a pass-leaning gamescript as a road underdog. 

Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team (at Atlanta): Gibson has 285 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 18 opportunities per game — and people are acting as if he’s a disappointment. The Falcons defense is No. 24 with a -5.5% rush DVOA.

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (at Dallas): After seeing 11 carries and five targets in Week 3 as a mid-game injury fill-in for Christian McCaffrey, the rookie Hubbard was my No. 1 waiver wire running back for Week 4. As an All-American redshirt sophomore, he had 2,292 yards and 21 touchdowns in 13 games. 

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (vs. Detroit): Over the past two weeks, Montgomery has averaged 15 carries and four targets per game with at least an 80% snap rate in each game, and the Lions are top-10 in most fantasy points allowed to running backs with 27.9 DraftKings and 25.4 FanDuel points per game.

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (at LA Rams): Edmonds is yet to score a touchdown, but with 256 yards on 10.3 carries and 5.7 targets per game he’s bound to find the end zone at some point.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (at Philadelphia): Edwards-Helaire is pacing for over 1,200 yards from scrimmage, and he’s the lead back in one of the league’s top offenses. Eventually he will score more and fumble less. Edwards-Helaire is one of our top Week 4 SuperDraft plays.

Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills (vs. Houston): Moss opened the season as a healthy scratch, but over the past two weeks he is 21-86-2 rushing and 5-36-1 receiving on five targets, and he could see extended clock-killing action in the second half as a double-digit home favorite against a Texans defense that is No. 30 with a 4.7% rush DVOA. Moss was the No. 1 priority in Jeff Ratcliffe’s Week 4 waiver wire rankings

Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Washington): Davis has 16-plus opportunities in every game this year, which is more than I can say for most lead backs in 2021.

Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos (vs. Baltimore): Although he has been outproduced by veteran Melvin Gordon (269 yards vs. 177), Williams still has seen 14-16 opportunities each week, and the Ravens are top-eight in most fantasy points allowed to running backs with 29.2 DraftKings and 25.3 FanDuel points per game. Broncos +1 is one of my best bets for Week 4.

Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Seattle): If starter Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) misses his second straight week, then Sermon will have a great matchup against the Seahawks, who have allowed a league-high 39.0 DraftKings and 32.5 FanDuel points per game. Sermon had just 3.1 yards per carry and one yard per target last week — but at least he got 13 opportunities. 

Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Washington): As the No. 2 back behind Mike Davis and an all-around offensive weapon, C-Patz has 238 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries and 16 targets. Patterson makes stuff happen when he gets double-digit touches. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a screenshot of an 11-word tweet must be worth 11,000 words. I don’t make the rules.

Freedman’s favorite wide receivers for Week 4

Below, I take a look at my favorite wide receivers for both fantasy football and DFS for Week 4.

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Arizona) 

Key numbers (at time of writing):

  • FTN Ranking: No. 3
  • Spread: -4
  • Total: 55

Entering the season, I was worried Cooper Kupp would suffer without longtime BFF quarterback Jared Goff. I was clearly wrong.

Through three weeks, Kupp is the No. 1 fantasy wide receiver with 32.4 DraftKings points and 26.2 FanDuel points per game, and he’s a legit triple-crown receiving candidate given that he leads the league with 25 receptions, 367 yards and 5 touchdowns.

In all three games this season, Kupp has had 10-plus targets and gone over 90 yards receiving with a touchdown. He leads the league with 30 first-read targets (per our Advanced Receiving Stats Tool).

In high-stakes dominator Nelson Sousa’s post-Week 3 fantasy journal, he says that if he had to draft a new fantasy team now Kupp would be his No. 3 receiver, right after Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill. I agree. With his 35% market share of targets, Kupp is No. 3 in the NFL (per our Market Share Tool).

To get all of Sousa’s analysis, check out his high-stakes fantasy package, which comes with coaching sessions and Sousa’s rankings.

For the first four years of his career, Kupp was essentially a 1A option to No. 1 wide receiver Robert Woods.

But this year Kupp has markedly out-targeted Woods (33 to 19).

Eventually, I expect the target split between Kupp and Woods to even out: Woods is too good of a player to be underutilized within the offense, and Kupp’s early-season dominance will eventually force defenses to account more for him, which should create opportunities for Woods.

But that might not happen in Week 4, as Kupp has the best WR/CB matchup for the Rams receivers and Woods has the worst (per our WR/CB Matchups Tool).

Kupp is one of Chris Meaney’s top Week 4 NFL DFS plays.

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Carolina)

Key numbers (at time of writing):

  • FTN Ranking: No. 20
  • Spread: -4.5
  • Total: 52

Amari Cooper has disappointed over the past two weeks with 6-50-0 receiving on nine targets, but I think this is a prime bounceback spot.

First of all, he’s on the positive side of the massive splits he has exhibited since joining the Cowboys via a midseason trade in 2018.

  • At home: 19.1 DraftKings points | 16.3 FanDuel points
  • On road: 12.6 DraftKings points | 9.8 FanDuel points
  • As favorite: 18.1 DraftKings points | 15.5 FanDuel points
  • As underdog: 12.4 DraftKings points | 9.4 FanDuel points

As a home favorite, he has averaged 21.2 DraftKings and 18.7 FanDuel plays per game.

Cooper is in his personal smash spot.

Secondly, even with his recent underperformance, Cooper still has elite usage. In his seven full games with quarterback Dak Prescott since last year, Cooper has amassed 77 targets. He remains an important piece in the Cowboys offense, and with that kind of target volume any receiver can have a big game.

At a glance, Cooper’s matchup doesn’t look good. After all, I’m betting on the Panthers.

On defense, they’re No. 1 with just 3.8 yards per play allowed and a -31.4% pass DVOA.

But the matchup is better than it seems: The Panthers are a disappointing No. 29 with a 35.7% pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers, and they will be without No. 1 cornerback Jaycee Horn (foot, IR), who exited last game early.

Cooper is one of the Tier 1 wide receivers in Alex Blickle’s single-entry DFS preview.

Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.

Upside wide receivers for Week 4

Here are some wide receivers I think will outperform expectations and whom I especially like as upside season-long and DFS tournament plays.

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (at Philadelphia): Hill has disappointed with just 8-70-0 receiving over the past two weeks … and yet he still has 297 scrimmage yards on the season. Hill is one of our top Yahoo DFS plays for Week 4

Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (vs. Pittsburgh): Adams leads the league with 34 targets and 25 receptions. Adams is the No. 1 wide receiver in Kyle Murray’s DFS Model, and he has the highest ceiling projection among all wide receivers in our new state-of-the-art optimizer.

DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (at San Francisco): Metcalf has 20 targets over the past two weeks and is coming off a muscular 6-107-1 receiving performance in Week 3. In his four career games against the 49ers, Metcalf is 27-333-3 receiving on 46 targets, and the 49ers are without No. 1 cornerback Jason Verrett (knee, IR). The Seahawks are the No. 1 team in our NFL DFS Stacking Model.

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (at San Francisco): Since his 2018 breakout season, Lockett has averaged an unholy 10.2 yards per target, and this year he has balled out with 16-309-3 receiving on 20 targets. In Week 17 last year Lockett took it to the 49ers with 12-90-2 receiving on 14 targets — and their secondary isn’t significantly better now.

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Washington): Ridley has 29 targets on the season and an elite 10.8 targets per game in his 11 career games without former teammate Julio Jones. His 2021 mark of 6.0 yards per target should eventually regress positively toward his career mark of 9.1, and the Football Team is No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers with 54.5 DraftKings and 43.2 FanDuel points per game.

Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team (at Atlanta): McLaurin has a high floor/ceiling combination with 60-plus yards in each game this year and a career mark of 9.0 yards per target. The Falcons are No. 31 with a 46.1% pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers. With this matchup, McLaurin gets a significant upgrade (per Jeff Ratcliffe’s WR/CB industry-best matchups breakdown).

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Carolina): Tentatively slated to line up most against the body that used to belong to cornerback A.J. Bouye, Lamb has the highest-rated matchup in our WR/CB Matchups Tool. Even with just three targets last week, Lamb leads the Cowboys with 27 targets on the year.

DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (at Dallas): Moore is the only wide receiver in the league to have more than 1,200 yards from scrimmage in each of the two previous seasons, and he already has 298 yards this year. Moore has a robust 10.3 targets per game, and I believe his impending shadow matchup with cornerback Trevon Diggs is being overhyped, giving that Diggs has allowed 178 yards on 20 targets this season. 

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Seattle): Samuel is No. 2 in the league with 334 yards receiving, and he has 10 targets per game. The Seahawks defense is No. 27 with a 30.8% pass DVOA, and Samuel has gone over 100 yards in both of his career games against the Seahawks. 

Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (at Buffalo): Cooks is dominating this year with 23-322-1 receiving on 32 targets, and since becoming the No. 1 receiver last year in Week 13 Cooks has averaged 10.4 targets per game. He easily leads the league with a 59.3% market share of air yards and 99.5% WOPR (per our Air Yards Tool).

WOPR (Weighted Opportunity Rating) is a stat created by Josh Hermsmeyer of FiveThirtyEight. It combines market shares of targets and air yards.

Odell Beckham, Cleveland Browns (vs. Minnesota): In his 2021 debut last week, Beckham was a respectable 5-77-0 receiving on nine targets (with a 10-yard rush), and now he has a strongly advantageous matchup against the Vikings, who are No. 32 with a 76.6% pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers. 

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (vs. Baltimore): Sutton underwhelmed last week with 5-37-0 receiving, but over the past two weeks he has 196 yards on 17 targets without teammate Jerry Jeudy (ankle, IR). Lining up most at left wide receiver, Sutton will have an advantageous matchup against backup corner Anthony Averett, who is starting in place of injured All-Pro Marcus Peters (knee, IR).

Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (at Denver): This year Brown has dropped more touchdown passes than most receivers have caught, but before his 3-53-0 Week 3 letdown he was 49-716-8 receiving on 73 targets and 3-24-0 rushing over his previous 10 games. The Broncos are No. 1 in the league with just 5.2 yards allowed per pass attempt — but all it takes for Brown to go off is one deep target he manages not to drop.

Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Arizona): Woods has just 142 yards and a touchdown on the year, but in the 2018-20 seasons he and Kupp had nearly identical production (16.3 DraftKings and 13.0 FanDuel points per game vs. 16.5 DraftKings and 12.8 FanDuel). Woods is one of our top FanDuel DFS plays for Week 4.



Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (at Dallas): The Cowboys are No. 10 with just 1.91 points allowed per drive — but they have benefited from an NFL-high eight turnovers. They can be exploited through the air, where they rank No. 24 with 8.0 yards per pass attempt allowed and No. 31 with 995 yards passing allowed, and Anderson is the type of downfield receiver who can turn targets into big plays (9.4 yards per target this year).

Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (vs. Indianapolis): Over the past two weeks, Waddle has 17 receptions on 19 targets from backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett (albeit for just 93 yards, LOL), and the Colts are top-eight in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers with 45.2 DraftKings and 37.4 FanDuel points per game. Waddle is one of David Jones’ “Tenacious Targets” for Week 4 DFS tournaments. 

Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (vs. Baltimore): Patrick is slated for a tough matchup against All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey, but he could see more usage than he usually does with both Jerry Jeudy (ankle, IR) and K.J. Hamler (knee, IR) out. Patrick has been wildly efficient since last season with 10.0 yards per target, and he was one of Joe Metz’s waiver wire targets for Week 4.

Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Kansas City): Reagor and No. 1 receiver DeVonta Smith have similar stat lines (13-107-1, 19 targets vs. 11-115-1, 21 targets), which makes Reagor an intriguing arbitrage play on his more-heralded teammate. The Chiefs defense is No. 32 with a 43.3% pass DVOA.

Terrace Marshall, Carolina Panthers (at Dallas): The Cowboys allowed big-bodied slot receivers Chris Godwin (9-105-1, 14 targets) and Keenan Allen (4-108-0, eight targets) to go off in Weeks 1-2, and they are No. 32 with an 81.0% pass DVOA against supplementary wide receivers.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (vs. Detroit): Mooney has a baller of a matchup against undrafted rookie slot cornerback A.J. Parker, who has allowed 5-70-2 receiving on six targets. It’s now or never.

DeSean Jackson, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Arizona): Jackson is past his prime, but he still was 3-120-1 receiving on five targets with a 32% snap share last week, and in the 9-of-37 games in which he has scored a touchdown since 2017 (his age-31 season) Jackson has averaged 21.1 DraftKings points and 18.6 FanDuel points with 94.2 yards receiving per game.

Chester Rogers, Tennessee Titans (at NY Jets): Teammates A.J. Brown (hamstring) and Julio Jones (hamstring) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday (per our NFL Weekly Practice Report) and both are out for this game. Rogers could be the top pass-catching option against the Jets, who are No. 30 with a 39.2% pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers. 

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Tennessee Titans (at NY Jets): I mean, the Titans can’t give the ball to Derrick Henry 50 times this weekend, right? RIGHT?!

Freedman’s favorite tight ends for Week 4

Below, I take a look at my favorite tight ends for both fantasy football and DFS for Week 4.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (at Philadelphia)

Key numbers (at time of writing):

  • FTN Ranking: No. 1
  • Spread: -7
  • Total: 54

Death, taxes, Travis Kelce No. 1 fantasy tight end.

Kelce’s superiority is almost boring at this point. He has been the No. 1 fantasy tight end in each of the past five years.

For the season, he’s 20-289-3 receiving on 20 targets.

With an average of 1,327 yards and 8.7 touchdowns per year, Kelce essentially provided wide receiver production with tight end eligibility for the 2018-20 seasons.

And that has been the case this year as well. 

With 24.3 DraftKings and 19.0 FanDuel points per game, Kelce is a wide receiver in all but name.

For the Eagles, the main defenders responsible for Kelce will be safety Anthony Harris and linebacker Eric Wilson. Harris has allowed a 77.8% catch rate this year. Wilson, 81.8%.

Good luck with that, Philly fans.

Also, Kelce is on the positive side of his career-long splits as a favorite.

  • Favorite (95 games): 17.4 DraftKings points | 13.7 FanDuel points
  • Underdog (26 games): 14.1 DraftKings points | 10.9 FanDuel points

In the 14 games since Week 8 last year, when the Chiefs made a point of emphasizing Kelce within the offense after his three-target game the week before, Kelce is 116-1,564-12 receiving on 144 targets (including playoffs).

Of all tight ends on the slate, we project Kelce to have the highest exposure in tournaments.

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (vs. Houston)

Key numbers (at time of writing):

  • FTN Ranking: No. 16
  • Spread: -17
  • Total: 47

In my opinion, Derek Brown’s game-by-game DFS breakdown is an industry-best piece. Here’s what he says about Dawson Knox in his Bills-Texans section:

“If you need the saving to make a lineup work, Dawson Knox is also viable in an Allen stack. Knox has only a 10% target share (two red zone targets), but the matchup is fantastic. The Texans are 26th (2021) and 31st in DVOA (per Football Outsiders) against the tight end position over the last two seasons. So far this year they’ve allowed the second-most receptions (21) and sixth-most receiving yards (230) to the position.”

I’ll be honest: The thought of writing actual analysis on Knox is both hilarious and repugnant to me. I mean, the dude has … checking … 107 yards.

So I’m just going to copy-paste a lot of what Matthew Davis says about him in his Week 4 tight end streaming article:

“Over the previous two games, Knox has averaged an 81% snap rate, averaging four targets with a touchdown in each game. Obviously, the touchdown rate isn’t sustainable, but Knox is working as the primary tight end in all parts of the field. 

The opponent this week is the Houston Texans, so I’m not expecting a full four quarters of work from Josh Allen with the college football-like spread of -17. Even if we don’t get four full quarters, the Bills have the highest projected point total (32.50) this week. They likely get to their projected total or surpass it while covering the spread by airing the ball out (per usual). Doing so should bode well for all the Buffalo pass catchers, including Knox.”

I couldn’t have copy-pasted it better myself.

Knox has at least 40 yards or a touchdown in every game this year. That’s manageable — and the Texans are top-five in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends with 18.9 DraftKings and 15.4 FanDuel points per game.

As a DFS punt play or desperation streaming option, Knox is an acceptable option.



Upside tight ends for Week 4

Here are some tight ends I think will outperform expectations and whom I especially like as upside season-long and DFS tournament plays.

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Seattle): Even with his 17-yard nonperformance in Week 2, Kittle is still No. 3 at the position with 62.3 yards per game. In his four full games against the division rival Seahawks without safety Earl Thomas, Kittle has put up 275 yards and never had fewer than seven targets. 

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (at Chicago): Despite his two-target Week 3 fart festival, Hockenson still leads the Lions with 173 yards and two touchdowns. In two games against the Bears last year, Hockenson was 5-56-1 receiving on five targets and 7-84-0 receiving on nine targets. Hockenson is one of Vlad Sedler’s top SuperDraft plays for Week 4.

Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (at Atlanta): Thomas has played every offensive snap this year and had 45 yards or a touchdown in every game. The Falcons defense is No. 27 with a 33.3% pass DVOA against tight ends.

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (vs. Baltimore): Fant is No.2 on the Broncos with 17 targets and 12 receptions, and the Ravens have allowed a league-high 23.3 DraftKings and 17.5 FanDuel points per game.

Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Cleveland): Since Week 14 last year (when then-starter Kyle Rudolph missed the end of the season), Conklin has averaged four receptions, 42 yards, and 0.28 touchdowns on 5.3 targets per game. This week he was Nelson Sousa’s top tight end waiver priority.

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (at LA Chargers): Schultz was 63-615-4 receiving last year as an injury fill-in for teammate Blake Jarwin, and even though Jarwin has returned to action, Schultz has continued to play as the No. 1 tight with a 69.4% snap rate and 14-143-2 receiving on 15 targets. Schultz was Vlad Sedler’s top tight end priority this week.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Green Bay): Even though veteran Eric Ebron has played more snaps over the past two weeks (71 vs. 63), Freiermuth has notably outproduced him (7-58-1, nine targets vs. 0-0-0, five targets). The Packers are No. 3 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends with 19.9 DraftKings and 16.4 FanDuel points per game. Freiermuth is one of Tyler Loechner’s deep sleepers for Week 4

Evan Engram, New York Giants (at New Orleans): In his 2021 debut last week, Engram had six targets, and he could see more usage this week without wide receivers Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (hamstring), both of whom have been ruled out. FTN is high on Engram this week.

Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos (vs. Baltimore): Albert O. has just eight targets on the season, but he’s a freak athlete, he could see more targets without wide receivers Jerry Jeudy (ankle, IR) and K.J. Hamler (knee, IR), and he has a career 82.6% catch rate.  

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