Fantasy Football: Week 4 QB rankings
Aaron Rodgers, not Patrick Mahomes, sits atop our Week 4 QB rankings. Preposterous, you say? Perhaps. But Mahomes is at No. 2; it’s not like we’re predicting some big regression. No, we’re simply acknowledging it’s his toughest matchup of a transcendent start to his second season, in the same place where he earned his first NFL start ... and finished as QB20 overall.
Rodgers obviously has earned the benefit of the doubt, even as he currently sits at just QB10 overall while sporting a 6:0 TD-INT ratio and remaining limited with his legs by his knee injury. He gets a Buffalo ‘D’ playing much better all of the sudden but destined for a letdown after the emotionally-taxing upset of the year in Minnesota last week, and we’re hard-pressed to see Rodgers’ teammates letting him down the way they did a week ago.
Speaking of the benefit of the doubt and letdowns, notice our two quarterbacks just off the QB1 periphery this week are Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz. Has Wilson, fantasy’s top overall scorer last season, not earned the benefit of the doubt and automatic weekly QB1 billing? Not with 21 combined rushing yards through three games this season and the absence of Doug Baldwin — though he’ll start Sunday — stunting his fantasy production so far. The Cardinals have allowed just 24 rushing yards to quarterbacks through three games, not to mention a strong 3:2 TD-INT ratio. Wilson will get back in our QB1 graces soon — but not this week.
Wentz looked fine in his 2018 starting debut vs. a surprisingly strong Colts ‘D.’ But he wasn’t protected well at all, absorbing five sacks for only the third time in his career, and now visits Tennessee, a tough pass ‘D’ consistently pressuring QBs, likely with Alshon Jeffery on a pitch count. With the Minnesota Vikings visiting Philly a week from Sunday, it might not be until Week 6, when the Eagles host the New York Giants and Jeffery should be fully back in the fold, when we’re ready to endorse Wentz.
Then there’s Andrew Luck, way down at QB23 this week, barely putting him in the starting range in two-QB leagues. We’re not as concerned by the fact that Frank Reich opted for Luck’s one-play replacement in Jacoby Brissett on that 50-plus yard last-second chuck Sunday against the Eagles as we are just watching Luck on the field. It just doesn’t look right, as evidenced by the meager yards per attempt, and that doesn’t mean it won’t eventually. But he’s clearly not equipped at the moment to take advantage of Houston’s still-vulnerable pass ‘D.’
We’re now reaching the point of the season where there’s enough evidence to back off the brand names if that’s what their production and tape is telling us, and in the case of Wilson, Wentz and Luck, you should have better options this week.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Bills
2. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs at Broncos
3. Drew Brees, Saints at Giants
4. Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. 49ers
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Ravens
6. Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Bengals
7. Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Dolphins
8. Deshaun Watson, Texans at Colts
9. Jared Goff, Rams vs. Vikings
10. Kirk Cousins, Vikings at Rams
11. Matthew Stafford, Lions at Cowboys
12. Andy Dalton, Bengals at Falcons
13. Carson Wentz, Eagles at Titans
14. Russell Wilson, Seahawks at Cardinals
15. Eli Manning, Giants vs. Saints
16. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Steelers
17. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs at Bears
18. Blake Bortles, Jaguars vs. Jets
19. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins at Patriots
20. Baker Mayfield, Browns at Raiders
21. Case Keenum, Broncos vs. Chiefs
22. Josh Allen, Bills at Packers
23. Andrew Luck, Colts vs. Texans
24. Mitch Trubisky, Bears vs. Bucs
25. Marcus Mariota, Titans vs. Eagles