Usher-ing In Week 4
As Week 4 of the NFL season unfolds, fantasy football gamers around the world are at a crucial juncture in their pursuit of gridiron glory. Touchdowns and yardage totals undoubtedly influence the outcomes of fantasy matchups. But it’s those under-the-radar statistics – ones that can genuinely propel our teams to stardom – that we seek. In a delightful twist of fate, Usher was unveiled as the Super Bowl LVIII halftime performer. And we also embark on a quest for that fantasy magic that makes us want to exclaim, “Yeah!” Usher’s lyrics constantly remind us that it’s all about “U.” In Week 4, it’s indeed all about discovering those winning statistics that will have us celebrating like we just scored a touchdown. So, let’s delve into the numbers, groove to the rhythm of the game, and uncover statistical gems that will set our fantasy teams ablaze.
#1 – Keenan Allen caught 18 passes in Week 3
In the wide receiver landscape this season, only 13 others have managed to tally more than 18 receptions total. Leading this elite group is Keenan Allen with an impressive 32 receptions, and it’s clear that he’s hungry for more. Unfortunately, the Chargers received a blow when Mike Williams suffered an ACL injury in their Week 3 victory over the Vikings, prematurely ending his season.
Adding to the intrigue, Austin Ekeler‘s availability remains uncertain due to an ankle injury he sustained in Week 1. However, it’s not just Allen’s potential to step into a significant role that makes him a compelling option this week. It’s also the enticing matchup he faces. Nate Hobbs, the slot cornerback for the Las Vegas Raiders, has allowed the second-highest number of receptions from the slot and the most yards after the catch this season. Given the circumstances, it’s hard to deny that Keenan Allen is primed to be a top-five wide receiver in Week 4.
Targets where the player was deemed ‘open’ or ‘wide open’ by the @FantasyPtsData Suite:
22 — Puka Nacua
18 — Keenan Allen
17 — Chris Olave, Zay Flowers
16 — Ja'Marr Chase
15 — Tyreek Hill, CeeDee Lamb, Evan Engram
14 — Sam LaPorta, Deebo Samuel, Elijah Moore
13 — Davante Adams,…
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) September 26, 2023
#2 – Tee Higgins has only caught 38.5-percent of his targets
At the moment, it’s advisable to keep Tee Higgins on your bench. The primary reason for this is the uncertain state of QB Joe Burrow, who is clearly not performing his best. Burrow’s struggles to throw the ball downfield are having the most significant impact on Higgins. To put it in perspective, Burrow ranks as the third-worst quarterback in the NFL when it comes to Passer Rating on attempts of 20-plus yards. Additionally, Higgins’ Yards Per Route Run (YPRR) is at a disappointing low, making it the worst among all receivers with 20-plus targets. He also has the second-highest drop rate among those wide receivers.
Given the combination of a less-than-optimal quarterback and a struggling wide receiver, it’s difficult to have confidence starting Higgins until we see Burrow return to full health. To make matters more challenging, the Week 4 matchup against the Titans doesn’t appear to favor a bounce-back performance. Sean Murphy-Bunting, one of the Titans’ qualified defensive backs, has allowed fewer fantasy points per target than all but six of his peers. He is expected to spend most of his time covering Higgins. Murphy-Bunting has allowed 40 or more receiving yards in only one of his last 12 games.
Looking at the bigger picture, the projected game total for the Cincinnati vs. Tennessee matchup is just 41.5, indicating it will not turn into a high-scoring shootout. While there may not be perfect alternatives available, it’s worth exploring the waiver wire for potential flex options that project more favorably than Higgins for Week 4.
#3 – Rhamondre Stevenson has 1.80 Yards After Contact Per Attempt on the season
Rhamondre Stevenson‘s performance this season has been a mixed bag. In 2022, he consistently achieved impressive Yards After Contact Per Attempt, with only one game falling below 1.80 yards in this metric. However, at the start of this season, he has struggled on the ground. Despite two weekly finishes inside the top-20 among running backs, Stevenson ranks a disappointing RB52 in True Yards Per Carry. What’s particularly puzzling is that he has the No. 32 highest Stacked Front Carry Rate, indicating that opposing defenses haven’t been committing extra personnel to stop him. Yet he’s been unable to capitalize.
It’s crucial to acknowledge Stevenson’s effort, though. He ranks as the RB2 overall in Juke Rate and is No. 7 among running backs in Evaded Tackles. While there’s potential for improvement down the road, it’s worth noting that he hasn’t finished higher than RB13 in any game, even with at least 18 touches in each.Adding to the complexity, Ezekiel Elliott handled 17 touches in Week 3. As we look ahead, it might be prudent to consider Stevenson a low-ceiling RB2 moving forward. In some cases, he can be benched in favor of Devon Achane and James Conner, who offer a higher fantasy ceiling.
Finding the Right Pieces
As we enter Week 4 of the season, we find ourselves at a crossroads, seeking those hidden gems of statistics that can elevate our teams to victory. Keenan Allen has emerged as a beacon of hope, leading the pack with an impressive 32 receptions, while Tee Higgins faces uncertainty amidst Joe Burrow‘s struggles. As we consider our lineup decisions, remember that it’s all about finding the right pieces to the puzzle. In the world of fantasy, sometimes the unexpected leads to triumph. So, keep your eyes on the numbers, make those strategic choices, and may your Week 4 fantasy journey be filled with touchdowns and glory.