Week 4 fantasy highs and lows: Justin Jefferson is again, Austin Ekeler hits pay dust

Week 4 of the 2022 fantasy soccer season delivered some gaudy performances, together with a 10-catch day for Justin Jefferson and three whole touchdowns for Austin Ekeler.

So which developments are price studying into? Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft supply their evaluation.


Justin Jefferson rebounds in an enormous method

After back-to-back weeks of subpar fantasy manufacturing, Justin Jefferson was cooking within the Minnesota Vikings‘ Week 4 win over the New Orleans Saints. The extensive receiver completed with 31 PPR factors, grabbing 10 passes for 147 yards whereas including a dashing rating on crimson zone jet sweep. Jefferson gained the isolation matchups on this one, too, beating Saints nook Marshon Lattimore. The setup off the discharge, plus the route traits and the vertical juice — clinic stuff. Jefferson and the Vikings get the Bears at residence subsequent within the Week 5 recreation. Lock him in as a top-three play there. — Bowen

In his first recreation spelling the injured D’Andre Swift, Williams scored 23.9 PPR fantasy factors, and he scored a pair of dashing touchdowns for the third time in his 4 video games up to now. Williams has been excellent in short-yardage conditions, and he was a lot as much as the duty absorbing starter’s duties. And with this Lions offense trying legitimately good, he’ll in all probability preserve a significant position no matter Swift’s weekly availability. As to Swift’s standing, although, the staff’s impending Week 6 bye may imply Williams will get the backfield largely to himself but once more, so maintain him in there as a high-end RB2 but once more. — Cockcroft

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Tristan H. Cockcroft explains why fantasy managers must be optimistic about Chris Olave after a superb recreation vs. the Vikings.

Although the outcome may’ve been heartbreaking for him and his staff, shedding on a pinball machine-like bounce off the publish on a area purpose try, Olave’s efficiency for the Saints was a lot notable — 16.7 PPR fantasy factors and a 25% goal share, that means he has achieved not less than the latter quantity in three straight video games. Most significantly, he confirmed good chemistry with backup Andy Dalton, a testomony to his means to make changes, and had an enormous final-drive catch that gave the Saints mentioned area purpose likelihood within the first place. Olave has rapidly turn into a pressure on this offense and now will get a six-game stretch of principally nice matchups (SEA, CIN, @ARI, LB, BAL, @PIT), that means he must be in your lineups constantly as not less than a WR3. — Cockcroft

Tristan, we all know concerning the vertical factor with Olave, however let’s not neglect concerning the separation he can create on intermediate throws when remoted outdoors the numbers. Pace off the ball — which forces the nook to offer floor and open. There’s your window to take the curl or comeback. And that may create extra goal quantity for the rookie. — Bowen

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Tristan H. Cockcroft explains that CeeDee Lamb will solely enhance as soon as Dak Prescott returns.

Backup QB is not hurting CeeDee Lamb

Lamb posted 21.7 PPR factors within the Week 4 win over Washington and has now scored over 20 PPR factors in two straight video games. These are WR1 numbers, and that is with the backup quarterback throwing the ball. We are able to see the rhythm passes with Cooper Rush, plus the playmaking traits of Lamb. There is a connection right here. And whereas we wait on the return of beginning quarterback Dak Prescott, you possibly can proceed to play Lamb as a high-end WR2. — Bowen

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Matt Bowen discusses how fantasy managers can anticipate one other nice efficiency from Dameon Pierce in Week 5.

We all know Pierce can get downhill within the run recreation. Energy on the level of assault. Pad stage. Mild toes. However what concerning the explosive play juice on the 75-yard landing run versus the Chargers on Sunday? The Texans rookie was rolling. Pierce posted a career-high 25.9 PPR factors on Sunday. He noticed eight targets within the cross recreation, too. And he has now totaled 42 touches in his previous two video games. With a Week 5 matchup versus the Jags up subsequent, you possibly can lock in Pierce as an RB2. — Bowen

Matt, I want I had purchased extra into the late-preseason Pierce hype, however contemplating the general staff, I could not speak myself into it. It is my mistake, as Pierce performed 68% of the offensive snaps, absorbed the entire staff’s carries and had extra targets (6) than Rex Burkhead (5), however far more importantly seemed legitimately nice doing it. I feel he is a locked-in RB2 now, and can rank him as such except he exhibits me in any other case. — Cockcroft

Different observations

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Liz Loza breaks down Austin Ekeler’s large fantasy recreation in Week 4.

Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: In a matchup that offered breakout-game potential for Ekeler, the Chargers operating again dropped a season-high 34.9 PPR factors within the Week 4 win over Houston. Sure, the run recreation effectivity continues to be up and down with this Chargers offense. We’d like extra there. However this was concerning the scoring manufacturing for Ekeler and the receiving totals. Ekeler scored all three of his touchdowns (two dashing, one receiving) on crimson zone touches and has now totaled 23 receptions in his previous three video games. He’ll stay a top-five RB for me in PPR codecs for the Week 5 matchup towards the Cleveland protection. — Bowen

Romeo Doubs, WR, Inexperienced Bay Packers: He delivered a second robust effort of 13.7 PPR fantasy factors, a complete that may’ve seemed even higher had he managed the soccer all the best way to the bottom on a fourth-quarter potential landing cross by Aaron Rodgers. The 2 seem to have rising chemistry, underscored by Doubs’ back-to-back eight-target outings, and he is rapidly rising as a matchup-dependent fantasy WR3. He’ll get back-to-back favorable matchups subsequent towards the Giants and Jets. — Cockcroft

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Tristan H. Cockcroft explains why fantasy mangers ought to belief Josh Jacobs in a RB2 spot.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders: His 34.5 PPR fantasy factors towards the Broncos have been the second most he has scored in a recreation in his four-year NFL profession, however extra importantly, he noticed seven targets, tied for his second most, and caught 5 passes for the second consecutive week. Jacobs’ involvement within the passing recreation is a superb signal and a throwback to his 54-catch 2021. It can elevate him from a ho-hum, low-end RB2 into somebody who can actually pop towards his higher matchups, of which he has a couple of (HOU, Week 7; @SEA, Week 12; @LAC, Week 13). — Cockcroft

Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos: I used to be down on Wilson heading into Week 4 because of a disjointed Broncos cross recreation that lacked rhythm. On Sunday versus the Raiders, nevertheless, Wilson was far more environment friendly as a thrower, working the ball to all three ranges of the sphere. Wilson accomplished 17 of 25 passes on this one for 237 yards and logged two landing passes. And he added one other rating on a crimson zone carry, too. Wilson completed with a season-high 27.48 fantasy factors, enjoying inside the offensive construction and making second-reaction performs when needed. He’ll be a QB1 in Week 5 versus the Colts. — Bowen

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Eric Karabell reacts to J.Ok. Dobbins’ two-touchdown recreation for the Ravens in Week 4.

J.Ok. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens: After a forgettable Week 3 return from his 2021 knee damage, Dobbins had an encouraging but positively baby-steps-forward efficiency towards the Payments on Sunday. He performed 52% of the offensive snaps, had 13 of the Ravens operating backs’ 22 carries, caught all 4 of his targets and totaled a plenty-decent 22.3 PPR fantasy factors. Dobbins’ pace grades weren’t eye-popping — he had a so-so 15.0 mph max pace, per Subsequent Gen Stats — however he discovered the top zone twice and nonetheless seems to be on the entrance of this backfield inside a run-heavy offense. He is likely to be yet one more child step from weekly RB2 standing. — Cockcroft

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants: The 21.64 factors within the win over the Bears have been a season excessive for Jones. However that is extra concerning the poor self-discipline of the Chicago protection, for my part. Jones discovered the top zone as a runner twice on Sunday. Boot schemes. However the place was the bottom fringe of this Bears unit? On any run motion away, it’s a must to account for cutback, boot and reverse — particularly when you’re enjoying a cell quarterback. Jones did endure an ankle damage on this recreation, one thing to watch. He’ll stay a deeper-league streaming possibility this season based mostly on matchup potential. — Bowen

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Tristan H. Cockcroft says that though Hockenson had a profession day, he’s nonetheless seen as unpredictable for fantasy managers.

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions: Pressed into the staff’s de facto “No. 1 receiver” position with Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark and D’Andre Swift all sidelined, Hockenson obliterated his earlier private greatest by scoring 39.9 PPR fantasy factors in a high-scoring slugfest towards the Seahawks. He had a 31% goal share, solely the fifth time in his 44-game NFL profession that he has exceeded 30%, and demonstrated what we have all identified since his arrival at this stage — that he can gobble up passes and grind out the powerful yards, particularly in scoring place, with one of the best of them. I am consistently puzzled by why the Lions do not contain him extra constantly within the offense, and possibly this recreation jump-starts that, however maybe his accidents final season have them a tad hesitant. Hockenson looks as if a top-10 fantasy tight finish you need to be joyful to stay with week over week however whose weekly outputs are anybody’s guess. — Cockcroft

DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Final week it was the crimson zone utilization for Metcalf. Seven routes run contained in the 20. 5 targets. One landing reception. On Sunday versus the Lions, the deep ball was again. Metcalf, who averaged 8.4 yards per catch by means of the primary two weeks of the season, hauled in seven receptions for 149 yards. That is good for 21.3 yards per seize. Win the skin one-on-ones right here. Metcalf has now seen 22 targets over the previous two weeks from quarterback Geno Smith, and he has scored not less than 17 PPR factors in every recreation. Metcalf will get the Saints in Week 5, the place he might be a low-end WR2 in my rankings. — Bowen

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: His 29.6 PPR fantasy factors matched the second-best single-game output in his 44 within the NFL thus far, however his 27 dashing makes an attempt simply have been his most, fueled partly by the staff’s give attention to the run because of the climate. Tuck that away earlier than you think about this Sanders’ profession breakthrough recreation, however the truth that he absorbed a lot of the dashing chores — clearly forward of Kenneth Gainwell and Trey Sermon — was notable. It may sign Sanders’ position barely increasing, and he does have a fantasy-friendly matchup subsequent up towards the Cardinals, for which he is likely to be a borderline RB2. — Cockcroft

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Matt Bowen breaks down how an elevated share of targets has boosted Marquise Brown’s fantasy manufacturing.

Marquise Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Brown noticed 11 targets on Sunday, giving him 28 whole targets over the previous two video games. And for the second straight week, Brown posted over 20 PPR factors (20.8). The Cardinals extensive receiver is enjoying a quantity position proper now for quarterback Kyler Murray, and he nonetheless provides you that vertical stretch factor out of slot alignments. Throw the fade ball right here. With a troublesome Week 5 matchup versus the Eagles’ secondary, I like Brown as a WR2/3. — Bowen

Marcus Mariota, QB, Atlanta Falcons: A stable streaming possibility heading into Week 4, Mariota posted simply 3.86 fantasy factors. The Falcons quarterback tried solely 19 passes (finishing simply seven), and his dashing totals — that are important for his fantasy worth — have been nearly nonexistent. Tough week for a participant I picked up in one in every of my residence leagues. Brutal. — Bowen

Jared Goff, QB, Lions: Goff threw 4 extra touchdowns within the Week 4 recreation versus the Seahawks, posting a season-high 33.22 fantasy factors, and has tried not less than 34 passes in each recreation performed this season. He’ll stay a matchup-based streaming possibility given the passing quantity in Detroit. — Bowen

Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams, RBs, Denver Broncos: Williams’ early departure from Sunday’s recreation, having suffered a knee damage within the second quarter, is a major concern contemplating his upside in addition to the truth that he was rapidly dominated out for the day. He managed 3.7 PPR fantasy factors on 11 touches earlier than exiting, and whereas Gordon wasn’t an enormous issue the remainder of the sport as his Broncos performed principally from behind, the veteran’s minus-1.2 factors on his three carries and one goal left rather a lot to be desired. The Broncos now play on the quick week — they host the Colts on “Thursday Evening Soccer” in Week 6 — which successfully renders each gamers nonfactors for fantasy, barring miraculous therapeutic by Williams within the coming hours. That mentioned, we have to see one thing from Gordon if he is a Thursday pinch-hitter, being that the Broncos have nice matchups towards the Chargers and Jets in Weeks 7 and eight. Fingers crossed that we get some readability on the state of affairs properly earlier than then. — Cockcroft

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