Fantasy Football Trends to Watch – Week 4 Edition

by Matthew Gajewski ·

After a slew of important injuries and personnel changes in Week 2, Week 3 presented an information gathering week. Kyle Allen, Mason Rudolph, Teddy Bridgewater and Daniel Jones all took over for their respective teams. This drastically changed the way many of the team’s top offenses played, but created multiple fantasy viable situations. Fortunately, using advanced stats, metrics and analytics to identify trends can lead fantasy grinders toward the next breakout player. With that said, here are a few notable fantasy football trends heading into Week 4.

Arizona Cardinals – High Volume / Low Upside Passing Attack

For the third-straight week, Arizona makes the weekly trends column. Despite running one of the league’s highest paced offenses, Arizona looks like an offense that might limit upside for its fantasy assets. Kyler Murray‘s Average Target Depth has fallen in each week. After throwing it 10.56 yards downfield on average to start the season, Murray averaged 5.86 yards per attempt in Week 3. This occurred while playing from behind against Carolina for most of the game.

Though they ran 73 plays last week, Murray’s inability to attack downfield kept all Arizona receiver below 60 air yards on the day. Throwing another 43 times, Murray’s receivers remain PPR viable, but upside looks limited in this short-attacking pass game. Until Kingsbury takes more shots down field (paging Andy Isabella), this passing attack looks like a potential avoid in the near future.

Cleveland Browns – Nick Chubb Workhorse Role

After frustrating usage to start the season, Nick Chubb finally took over the work-horse role in Cleveland. Through the first two games, Chubb played 70 and 61-percent of Cleveland’s snaps while ceding 14 total touches to Dontrell Hilliard and D’Ernest Johnson. While Chubb still managed 34 carries in that span, Cleveland frustratingly reduced his upside by pulling him on passing downs.

Heading into Week 3, Freddie Kitchens spoke on involving Chubb more in all phases of the game. Living up to that promise, Chubb played on 97-percent of the snaps and handled 100-percent of the running back opportunities against the Rams. His 74.1 (No. 21 among qualified running backs) Run Blocking Efficiency rating often creates problems for him, but an increase in snaps and passing game usage raises his floor. Recent usage points to Chubb as a strong buy low in fantasy football.

Green Bay Packers – Aaron Jones / Jamaal Williams Committee

After handling 23 rushing attempts and seven targets in Week 2, many anointed Aaron Jones the bellcow of the Green Bay backfield. However, speaking throughout the week, Matt LaFleur mentioned getting both Jones and Jamaal Williams increased reps. Playing from ahead in Week 3, LaFleur did just that, utilizing each back in a near-even committee.

Check out Jamaal Williams on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:

From a usage standpoint, Williams out-snapped Jones 61-percent to 39-percent. This led to Williams handling 12 carries and two targets, while Jones managed 10 carries and only one target. While most believe Jones deserves this job, Williams has actually performed slightly better when on the field this year. Williams’ +8.6 (No. 22) Production Premium and 39.4-percent (No. 6) Juke Rate both rank ahead of Jones. Williams warrants rostering across fantasy formats, while Jones remains a flex play for now.