Week 4 Rankings

The Browns offense leads the NFL in one category: excuses. Their schedule has inarguably been brutal. Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards missed time together in the preseason because of injuries. The offensive line is banged up, and the reserve receivers caught a bad case of Steptoe with Donte Stallworth out of the lineup. The excuses end this week.

The Bengals offer Anderson a last chance to salvage his career in Cleveland or the Brady Quinn era begins, probably for good. But I'm not confident the Browns offense will take full advantage. The tough schedule isn't causing Braylon Edwards to drop passes and short-arm others in weak displays of effort. It isn't forcing Anderson to overthrow open targets. While the matchups have been difficult, this was supposed to be a high-octane offense that could compete with anyone. Instead, they have dinked and dunked to terrible effect.

The big plays have vanished from Cleveland's offense. The word is out on Anderson, who can wing it deep, but struggles with the underneath stuff. So defenses are selling out to take away the vertical threat; Anderson hasn't completed a single pass this season that traveled more than 20 yards in the air. Risk-taking Anderson owners can use him this week, but he's ranked outside of our top-12 quarterbacks because there is a chance he's replaced at halftime.

Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow should bounce back this season, but changing quarterbacks to a first-time starter is completely save their value. Jamal Lewis, who doesn't catch many passes and relies on the passing game loosening defenses up, is a shaky RB2. If you are looking for buy-low candidates in the battle of Ohio, I'd take the Bengals.

Week 4 Quarterbacks

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Tony Romovs. WAS -
2Donovan McNabbat CHILikely to start
3Jay Cutlerat KC -
4Drew Breesvs. SF -
5Philip Riversat OAK -
6J.T. O'Sullivanat NO -
7Kurt Warnerat NYJ -
8Carson Palmervs. CLE
9Aaron Rodgersat TB -
10Trent Edwardsat STL -
11Brett Favrevs. ARZExpected to start
12David Garrardvs. HOU -
13Jake Delhommevs. ATL -
14Matt Schaubat JAC -
15Derek Andersonat CINGood matchup, but short leash
16Brian Griesevs. GB -
17Ben Roethlisbergervs. BALRavens D is on fire
18Jason Campbellat DAL -
19Kerry Collinsvs. MIN -
20Gus Frerotteat TEN -
21Trent Greenvs. BUFExpect similar results
22Kyle Ortonvs. PHI -
23Matt Ryanat CAR -
24JaMarcus Russellvs. SD -
25Joe Flaccoat PIT -
26Damon Huardvs. DEN -

QB Notes: We experimented last week with a game-by-game breakdowns in lieu of notes under the rankings. The reaction was very positive, although many long-time readers wanted the notes here as well. Because of some scheduling issues, I'm handling the Daily Dose tomorrow and will put game previews there, with my notes from watching games during the week. Some abbreviated rankings notes are below.

J.T. O'Sullivan is a solid QB1 weak New Orleans defense. His 9.4 YPA indicates that his fantasy numbers have room to improve. . Drew Brees may be without his top three receivers if David Patten is out, but Sean Payton always finds a way. Don't bench him. . The Bucs and Bears are usually great against the pass, but that hasn't been the case this season. Don't downgrade McNabb or Aaron Rodgers based on their matchups. I also wouldn't downgrade McNabb based on his injury. . There's no reason to think Trent Green will do any better than Marc Bulger at the helm of the Rams offense. . Trent Edwards' yardage has been consistent. This week, he should get the scores. . Brian Griese's high pass attempts are helping to cover up the fact he's not playing very well. That will eventually catch up to him. . Let's be patient with Matt Schaub and David Garrard for one more week before burying them.

Week 4 Running Backs

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Frank Goreat NO -
2Marion Barbervs. WAS -
3Marshawn Lynchat STL -
4LaDainian Tomlinsonat OAKExpected to start
5Reggie Bushvs. SF -
6Adrian Petersonat TEN
7Clinton Portisat DAL
8Matt Fortevs. PHI -
9Maurice Jones-Drewvs. HOU
10Steven Jacksonvs. BUFKeep eye on practice
11Ryan Grantat TB -
12Michael Turnerat CAR -
13Chris Perryvs. CLE -
14Thomas Jonesvs. ARZ -
15Larry Johnsonvs. DEN -
16Jamal Lewisat CIN -
17Steve Slatonat JACTaken over
18Jonathan Stewartvs. ATL -
19Earnest Grahamvs. GB -
20Selvin Youngat KCThe week to use him
21Chris Johnsonvs. MIN -
22Fred Taylorvs. HOU
23Darren McFaddenvs. SD
24Correll Buckhalterat CHI -
25Edgerrin Jamesat NYJ -
26DeAngelo Williamsvs. ATL -
27Willis McGaheeat PITKeep eye on eye
28Rashard Mendenhallvs. BAL -
29LenDale Whitevs. MIN -
30LeRon McClainat PIT
31Michael Bushvs. SD -
32Felix Jonesvs. WAS
33Fred Jacksonat STL -
34Pierre Thomasvs. SF -
35Andre Hallat KC -
36Darren Sprolesat OAK -
37Warrick Dunnvs. GB -
38Chester Taylorat TEN
39Jerious Norwoodat CAR -
40Tim Hightowerat NYJ -
41Michael Pittmanat KC -
42Chris Taylorat JAC -
43Brandon Jacksonat TB -
44Ray Riceat PITThird on totem poll
45Jamaal Charlesvs. DEN -
46Lorenzo Bookerat CHI -
47Leon Washingtonvs. ARZ -
48Mewelde Moorevs. BAL -
49Ladell Bettsat DAL -
50Kenny Watsonvs. CLE -
51Kevin Jonesvs. PHI -
52Jerome Harrisonat CIN -

RB Notes: LaDainian Tomlinson may be far from 100%, but there's no reason to bench him against Oakland if he's in the starting lineup. Darren Sproles could have a nice clean-up game if the Chargers get off to a fast start. . Expect the Jaguars to run like crazy on Houston after finding great success against Indianapolis. . Season Pass' workload report points out that Steven Jackson is getting the highest percentage of offensive touches of any back in the league. So much for easing into the season after his holdout. That's helping to maintain his value. Matt Forte and Frank Gore are second on that list.

We're not ranking Brian Westbrook, but he'll be added to the list on the Friday evening update if he's listed as questionable. Correll Buckhalter is a competent replacement, but the Bears run defense is one of the very best, so he's not a great RB2 as a starter. . This is the week Chris Perry's high workload translates into big yardage. .The Broncos should run more in this game if they can get ahead of Kansas City early. That makes it a fine week to gamble on Selvin Young. . Steve Slaton is suddenly a rock solid RB2 playing in a runner-friendly scheme. . Expect more of the same out of the Oakland backfield with Darren McFadden still not 100%. Split carries against a tough defense limits his value. . Willis McGahee had the majority of carries for the Ravens last week before hurting his eye. Watch his status for this week.

Week 4 Wide Receivers

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Brandon Marshallat KC -
2Terrell Owensvs. WAS -
3Larry Fitzgeraldat NYJ -
4Andre Johnsonat JAC -
5Steve Smithvs. ATL -
6Anquan Boldinat NYJ -
7Greg Jenningsat TB -
8Jerricho Cotcheryvs. ARZ -
9T.J. Houshmandzadehvs. CLE -
10Lee Evansat STL -
11Santana Mossat DAL -
12Braylon Edwardsat CINIf he doesn't do it now .
13Chad Ocho Cincovs. CLEIf he doesn't do it now .
14Santonio Holmesvs. BAL -
15Dwayne Bowevs. DEN -
16Donald Driverat TB -
17Torry Holtvs. BUF -
18DeSean Jacksonat CHIWeak Chicago pass defense
19Hines Wardvs. BAL
20Chris Chambersat OAK -
21Laveranues Colesvs. ARZ
22Roddy Whiteat CAR -
23Eddie Royalat KC -
24Antonio Bryantvs. GB -
25Bernard Berrianat TENBetter with Gus
26Bryant Johnsonat NOGreat matchup
27Isaac Bruceat NO -
28Patrick Craytonvs. WAS -
29Vincent Jacksonat OAK -
30Matt Jonesvs. HOU -
31Brandon Lloydvs. PHI -
32David Pattenvs. SFKeep eye on groin injury
33Justin Gagevs. MIN -
34Antwaan Randle Elat DAL -
35Hank Baskettat CHI -
36Lance Moorevs. SFRanked as if Patten is out
37Ike Hilliardvs. GB -
38D.J. Hackettvs. ATL -
39Muhsin Muhammadvs. ATL -
40Sidney Riceat TENQuestionable(knee)
41Josh Reedat STL -
42Kevin Walterat JAC
43Robert Meachemvs. SFOnly three targets all season
44James Jonesat TB
45Arnaz Battleat NO -
46Derrick Masonat PIT -
47Justin McCareinsvs. MIN
48Ronald Curryvs. SD -
49Michael Claytonvs. GB -
50Chansi Stuckeyvs. ARZ -
51Mark Claytonat PIT -

WR Notes: Lance Moore is an excellent pickup for WR3-hungry teams during this week with six teams on a bye. If David Patten is out, I'd expect him to lead the Saints in targets. . JaMarcus Russell's has rendered Raiders wideouts unplayable. . Dwayne Bowe leads the NFL in targets. With Damon Huard returning this week, he should parlay that into WR2 stats. The Chiefs are always trailing and Huard has few options to throw to. Tony Gonzalez is fifth on the list. Other surprises include Antonio Bryant and Santana Moss tied for the fifth most targeted wideouts. They are playing at high volume positions in West Coast offenses, which will keep their numbers afloat. Bryant, however, has an ugly 45% catch rate. Roy Williams, D.J. Hackett, Chris Chambers (35%!), and Braylon Edwards (32%) are some of the inefficient wideouts doing even worse than Bryant.

With six teams off, some shaky options get WR3 grades this week. After the top-30, it's guesswork. And it's amazing that Matt Jones and Brandon Lloyd have been among the more consistent targets as WR3 options. Jones finally gets a good matchup this week and Jerry Porter's status is uncertain. . Donte' Stallworth will be added if he makes it through a successful week of practice. . Chris Chambers is a risky play. He has four touchdowns on only six receptions. . If Kevin Curtis returns, downgrade DeSean Jackson and Hank Baskett slightly. . The 49ers should do well against the Saints, but they spread the targets around so well, it's difficult to guess who will step up.

Week 4 Tight Ends

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Jason Wittenvs. WAS
2Kellen Winslowat CIN -
3Antonio Gatesat OAK
4Tony Gonzalezvs. DEN -
5Chris Cooleyat DAL -
6Tony Schefflerat KC -
7Owen Danielsat JAC -
8Vernon Davisat NO -
9Todd Heapat PIT
10Heath Millervs. BAL -
11Randy McMichaelvs. BUF -
12Greg Olsenvs. PHI -
13L.J. Smithat CHIKeep eye on back injury
14Zach Millervs. SD -
15Jerramy Stevensvs. GB -
16Dante Rosariovs. ATL -
17Marcedes Lewisvs. HOU -
18Dustin Kellervs. ARZ -
19Billy Millervs. SF -
20Donald Leeat TB -
21Desmond Clarkvs. PHI -
22Alge Crumplervs. MIN -
23Robert Royalat STL -
24Visanthe Shiancoeat TEN -
25Bo Scaifevs. MIN -

TE Notes: Give Vernon Davis at least another week in your lineup. They are trying to find him down the field a few times a game, but have struggled to connect. . I talked about the depth at tight end this season, but there have been a few disappointments thus far. Only the top-seven ranked players this week are safe to put up stats. . Greg Olsen remains a big part of the Bears offense, so don't bail on him completely. . Jerramy Stevens could be the latest one-game wonder at tight end, but he's worth grabbing if you need TE2 help to see if he sticks. There is talent there, but he's splitting the position with a few other players. . L.J. Smith's status is up in the air. . Billy Miller has averaged 36 yards in the last five games he's played, including 41 last week. You could do worse.

Week 4 Team Defense

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Titans Def/Spec Teamvs. MIN -
2Eagles Def/Spec Teamat CHI -
3Steelers Def/Spec Teamvs. BAL -
4Bills Def/Spec Teamat STL -
5Chargers Def/Spec Teamat OAK -
6Panthers Def/Spec Teamvs. ATL -
7Ravens Def/Spec Teamat PIT -
8Vikings Def/Spec Teamat TEN -
9Buccaneers Def/Spec Teamvs. GB -
10Broncos Def/Spec Teamat KC -
11Cowboys Def/Spec Teamvs. WAS -
12Packers Def/Spec Teamat TB -
13Jaguars Def/Spec Teamvs. HOU -
14Bears Def/Spec Teamvs. PHI -
15Cardinals Def/Spec Teamat NYJ -
16Bengals Def/Spec Teamvs. CLE -
17Jets Def/Spec Teamvs. ARZ -
18Texans Def/Spec Teamat JAC -
19Browns Def/Spec Teamat CIN -
20Fortyniners Def/Spec Teamat NO -
21Raiders Def/Spec Teamvs. SD -
22Redskins Def/Spec Teamat DAL -
23Falcons Def/Spec Teamat CAR -
24Chiefs Def/Spec Teamvs. DEN -
25Saints Def/Spec Teamvs. SF -
26Rams Def/Spec Teamvs. BUF -

Week 4 Kickers

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Nate Kaedingat OAK -
2Nick Folkvs. WAS -
3Josh Scobeevs. HOU -
4Ryan Longwellat TEN -
5Matt Praterat KC -
6Rob Bironasvs. MIN -
7Joe Nedneyat NO -
8Mason Crosbyat TB -
9Shayne Grahamvs. CLE -
10John Kasayvs. ATL -
11Sebastian Janikowskivs. SD -
12David Akersat CHI -
13Robbie Gouldvs. PHI -
14Martin Gramaticavs. SF -
15Josh Brownvs. BUF -
16Phil Dawsonat CIN -
17Shaun Suishamat DAL -
18Matt Bryantvs. GB -
19Jeff Reedvs. BAL -
20Rian Lindellat STL -
21Neil Rackersat NYJ -
22Jay Feelyvs. ARZ -
23Kris Brownat JAC -
24Jason Elamat CAR -
25Nick Novakvs. DEN -
26Matt Stoverat PIT -
Copyright Archive Sources
Contact Us