Week 4 was another weird week of NFL football, and that's becoming the norm this season. How weird was it? Well, Jared Goff and Geno Smith were your top two quarterbacks for Fantasy, for one. Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, and Rashaad Penny are three of the top four scorers at running back, and while the top of the wide receiver rankings look pretty normal, you've got Jamal Agnew and Josh Reynolds sticking out like sore thumbs at WR6 and WR7; and, of course, there was T.J. Hockenson, outscoring everyone except his own QB this week.

Who saw all that coming? It's a week that leads to a lot of difficult analysis, and a whole bunch of noteworthy injuries on top of that only makes our job more difficult. 

But that's the job! In case you missed it, I went over the injuries you need to know about and the early Week 5 waiver-wire targets Sunday night, and this morning's newsletter is my attempt to make sense of everything else. As always, here are my thoughts on the entire Week 4 schedule, with winners and losers, playing time notes, and more for every game. 

As always, if you've got any questions about what we saw Sunday or what to do for Week 5 and beyond, send them my way with the subject line "#AskFFT" to Chris.Towers@ViacomCBS.com to get included in an upcoming edition of the newsletter.  

Week 4 Recap


Vikings 28-Falcons 23

  • Winner: Justin Jefferson. There wasn't a ton of concern about Jefferson, but it was nice to see him put whatever there might have been to rest after two subpar games. He had 10 catches for 147 yards Sunday, which is impressive enough, but he did it against a defense that had allowed more than 74 yards to just one wide receiver in the first three games. 
  • Loser: Jarvis Landry. You have to wonder whether Landry was fully healthy after being limited this week with an ankle injury, as he played just 21 of 30 pass plays for the Saints. However, he had an opportunity to play a big role with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara out and had just two targets for 7 yards.  He showed some interesting stuff in Week 1 but has been clearly surpassed by Chris Olave by now. Landry is the No. 4 option here when everyone is healthy. 
  • One more thing: Chris Olave just earns targets down the field. Even with Andy Dalton replacing the injured Jameis Winston for the Saints, Olave had a team-high 137 air yards on his seven targets. He caught four of them for 67 yards, his worst game since his NFL debut in Week 1. Olave isn't quite a full-time player yet – his route participation was 80%, below Marquez Callaway's – but he's earning targets at a significant rate and is earning valuable targets, to boot. He's a top-30 WR the rest of the season, and maybe a top-24 one. 

Falcons 23-Browns 20

  • Winner: Tyler Allgeier. There really aren't a lot of good choices here, but it was nice to see Allgeier play a season-high in snaps and look good in doing so, rushing for a team-high 84 yards on 10 carries to lead the three-way attack. He showed nice burst in this one and could be pretty valuable if anything happens to Cordarrelle Patterson
  • Loser: Kyle Pitts. I don't really know what to say at this point. The Falcons threw just 19 times in this one, so he actually had a not-terrible 21% target share, but who cares about that? He ran routes on just 13 of 20 passes plays, only three more than Parker Hesse – a 27-year-old converted linebacker and defensive end. I just don't even know what to do with that. Pitts lined up as a traditional in-line tight end on half his snaps Sunday, a rate that was just 33% last season, and that's probably not the ideal way to use him either. Nothing about his usage this season has been ideal, frankly. The problem is, there's really nothing you can do about Pitts – you're selling him at the nadir of his value and he plays a position where the best waiver-wire option is probably Mo Alie-Cox, who had four catches entering Sunday. You just have to keep rolling him out there, making a weekly bet that an elite talent will win out in the long run. 
  • One more thing: One reason why Allgeier (and Caleb Huntley!) saw more snaps in Week 4 was that the Falcons opted to rest Cordarrelle Patterson a bit. Patterson, who had his two highest-carry totals for a game in his first three weeks of the season and was dealing with a knee injury entering the game, only played six snaps in the second half. Patterson had just 10 carries to follow up his career-high 22 in Week 1, and I think that might just be how it goes for him – he'll be rested following his big weeks to keep him fresh. That makes for frustrating Fantasy usage, especially since he's practically a non-factor in the passing game – he has two targets over the past three games and ran a route on just six of 20 dropbacks Sunday. 

Cowboys 25-Commanders 10

  • Injuries: Jahan Dotson (hamstring) was forced to leave the game. We don't have any sense of how serious this issue might be at this point. 
  • Winner: Ceedee Lamb. Here's a good example of why you shouldn't give up on Pitts. Lamb looked to be in a miserable situation, but his talent is winning out and the Cowboys have wisely made him the focal point of their offense. There isn't much else to say here – Lamb had six catches for 97 yards on eight targets and the Cowboys continue to draw up smart plays to get him open. Dak Prescott will be back soon, and those of you who made the bet on Lamb as your WR1 are looking pretty smart. I was skeptical, admittedly. 
  • Loser: Carson Wentz. The past two weeks might be two of the toughest defensive matchups in football, especially for a quarterback who struggles when you can pressure him. Still, 170 yards and two interceptions on 42 pass plays is awful, no matter the opponent. There will be better days coming for Wentz and the Commanders offense, and his repertoire of dynamic playmakers at every level of the offense will lead to some big games. But Wentz is never going to be someone you can feel confident trusting week in and week out. 
  • One more thing: It was great to see Michael Gallup out there just about nine months removed from his torn ACL. The Cowboys played him on 61% of their offensive snaps Sunday, and he was already running routes on 83% of their dropbacks. It helped that they only passed the ball 29 times, but Gallup's usage was very promising – as was the fact he made it through the game without apparent incident. That he scored a touchdown is almost immaterial, though that was nice, too. He could be a WR3 when he's fully up to speed. 

Seahawks 48-Lions 45

  • Winner: Jared Goff. I'll be honest: I thought the Lions offense was going to be awful Sunday. But they keep putting Goff in good positions and he keeps making the most of them. Putting up 378 yards and four touchdowns without Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark, and D'Andre Swift is incredibly impressive. I don't think Goff is a top-12 QB, or anything – and the schedule is about to get pretty difficult with the Patriots on the way followed by the Cowboys after a Week 6 by – but he's a viable streamer against good matchups, without question. 
  • Loser: Kenneth Walker. Your hopes for Walker to have an early role were two-fold: He'd either need Rashaad Penny to get hurt or struggle. Well, Penny is still healthy, and he looked dominant Sunday, rushing for 151 yards and a couple of scores on 17 carries. Walker got eight of his own for 29 yards but just hasn't given the Seahawks much reason at all to go away from Penny. Walker is an injury stash at this point. 
  • One more thing: I don't think you can take much from T.J. Hockenson's big performance seeing as it came with so many of the Lions key pass catchers sidelined. But it was nice to see him actually making plays both down the field and with the ball in his hands. He's a better player than he showed in the first three games when he had a career-low 6.1 yard average depth of target. Unfortunately, whether the Lions continue to use him like that when everyone is healthy is a question we can't answer right now, though I have my suspicions. Hockenson is probably someone you're just going to keep starting because you don't have any better options, but at least you know he can still reward you for that. 

Titans 24-Colts 17

  • Injuries: Jonathan Taylor left the game with an ankle injury, and he'll undergo further testing Monday. Hopefully, it isn't a high-ankle sprain, which is the kind of injury that has a tendency to wreck players for weeks, if not months, even if they are healthy enough to play. With a game set for Thursday, Taylor should be viewed as a real long shot to play in Week 5. I expect to see Nyheim Hines get around 8-10 carries and his usual passing game workload, with Deon Jackson and Phillip Lindsay in line for a bigger role -- neither would be much more than a desperation flier, though I think I would give Lindsay the edge if he's activated from the practice squad ... Treylon Burks (foot) had to be carted off the field, and it seems like this could be a serious injury. Hopefully not, because Burks was an ascending talent, so we'll keep an eye on reports over the next few days. 
  • Winner: Derrick Henry. This was the first true vintage Henry performance of the season, as he finally started producing big plays in the running game. It was largely just in the first half, as the Titans offense accounted for just 28 yards in the second half, but it was enough. He finished with 114 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown, while adding three catches for 33 yards on five targets, and it could have been an even bigger game – he had a 22-yard touchdown called back due to an offensive holding that I'm not sure really impacted the outcome of the play. This offense still really looks like they're missing a big threat in the passing game, but Henry looks more or less like himself. 
  • Loser: Jonathan Taylor. Even before the injury, Taylor had just 42 yards on 20 carries, as he continues to be weirdly ineffective. He was averaging just 1.4 yards per carry after contact entering the game, half of what it was last season, and it's hard to imagine that went up in this one. This Colts offense just doesn't look very good right now, and Matt Ryan might actually have been a downgrade from Carson Wentz if he keeps playing like this. I think Taylor will be fine if he's healthy, but maybe not No. 1 Overall RB fine. 
  • One more thing: Michael Pittman had a disappointing showing with just three catches for 31 yards, but he was inches away from a bigger game on multiple occasions – in fact, on consecutive plays. Pittman had two plays in a row where he made a catch in the end zone along the sidelines but couldn't get both feet in. The Colts overall offensive malaise is frustrating, but Pittman's role in the offense continues to make him a high-end Fantasy WR with a lot of potential. 

Giants 20-Bears 12

  • Injuries: Daniel Jones (ankle) and Tyrod Taylor (concussion) were both forced from this game. In fact, Jones was forced back into the game when Taylor left, though he was clearly not healthy enough to do anything. 
  • Winner: Saquon Barkley. The only disappointing thing about Barkley's game is that Daniel Jones got the two short-ish rushing touchdowns for the Giants. However, he continues to look as good as he ever has, rushing for 146 yards on 31 carries. The Giants could be down to their third QB in Week 5, but Barkley has the look of a guy who could be an elite RB in just about any context. 
  • Loser: Justin Fields. Say what you want about the lack of weapons or the play calling or anything else, but the fact of the matter is, Fields just isn't getting it down right now. The rushing production – 52 yards this time around – is nice, but not when he's been a near-zero in the passing game. Until Fields shows he can be even mediocre in the passing game, it's hard to use him as even a QB2. It's been tough to watch. 
  • One more thing: Barkley spent part of Sunday's game serving as the team's de facto QB in the WildCat game because they had no healthy QB. Jones' ankle injury forced him out, and he only returned to the game because of Taylor's concussion. Former third-round pick Davis Webb is the team's practice squad QB, and he may be the starter for Week 5 against the Packers in London. Let's hope he has his passport. Webb has never attempted a pass in an NFL regular season game, so we may really test that whole "Barkley has the look of a guy who could be an elite RB in just about any context" thing. 

Eagles 29-Jaguars 21

  • Winner: Miles Sanders. Remember when Sanders couldn't score touchdowns? Well, he had two of them tonight and had three of the team's five carries from inside of the 10-yard line Sunday. For the season, the Eagles have 17 carries from inside the 10-yard line – Jalen Hurts has six of them and so does Sanders, with no other player having more than three. Whatever caused them to lose faith in Sanders last season – he had just 10 of 70 carries in the Green Zone – hasn't affected him so far. Sanders' upside is still limited at times because he doesn't catch many passes, but this offense looks unstoppable right now, and if he's getting consistent goal line and in-close opportunities, it won't matter too much. 
  • Loser: James Robinson. This one looked like it might be another advantageous game script for Robinson, but the Eagles stormed back from their early 14-0 deficit, and it ended up being more of a Travis Etienne game. Etienne played 24 snaps to 21 for Robinson, while running more routes (15 to eight). Robinson isn't game-script independent, is what we learned from this one.  
  • One more thing: The Jaguars just couldn't get Christian Kirk going in this one, as he was well into the second half before he got his first catch and finished with just two on nine targets. He turned those two catches into 60 yards, so I'm not sure you can take much from this one – Kirk was still Trevor Lawrence's favorite target and remains a high-end Fantasy option given his usage (27% target share) through the first four games. The Eagles might just be one of those matchups, and it didn't help that he only ran 48% of his routes from the slot.

Jets 24-Steelers 20

  • Winner: Breece Hall. The hope with Hall was always that he would take over as the lead back sooner rather than later, and sooner may be now. He led the team in carries (17 to nine for Michael Carter) and was more involved in the passing game, too, with six targets to just three for Carter. He ran more routes, too, 26 to 14, so it wasn't just a fluke. As Dwain McFarland pointed out on Twitter, Hall's usage in Week 4 was what you wanted to see from someone with RB1 upside. 
  • Loser: Garrett Wilson. The Jets were nowhere near as pass-heavy in Week 4 as they had been in previous games, which wasn't much of a surprise seeing as it was Zach Wilson's first game back from injury. What was frustrating was that Corey Davis out-targeted Garrett Wilson, seven to six. That doesn't mean Garrett Wilson can't or won't be the Jets No. 1 target moving forward, and if you're looking for a reason to be optimistic, he did run more routes than Davis for the first time this season. But it does make it harder to trust the rookie for Week 5. 
  • One more thing: The most important thing to come from this game might have been the Steelers finally making the decision to bench Mitchell Trubisky. It was a worthwhile gamble to see if he had really taken a step forward after a year of learning behind a good QB and smart coaches, but once he came out looking like himself to open the season, this move was inevitable. Kenny Pickett isn't guaranteed to be a good QB – I'd bet against him being above-average this season – but he's at least an unknown commodity. There's little upside with Trubisky as your QB – there might be some with Pickett. Pickett looked alright, but we'll have to withhold judgment until we see him with a game plan all of his own. Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris are the only Steelers I will start with confidence in Week 5 against the very tough Bills defense, but I'm excited to see what he might be able to inject into this offense. 

Bills 23-Ravens 20

  • Injuries: Rashod Bateman (undisclosed) went to the medical tent shortly after halftime, but I haven't seen much indication of what went wrong. He stayed on the sidelines with his helmet after the injury, so hopefully, there's no real concerns here … Isaiah McKenzie (concussion) and Jamison Crowder (ankle) were both forced from the game. Khalil Shakir replaced them as the primary slot option in three-wide sets ... Justice Hill (hamstring) also left this game after coming up limping following a run. He's looked good as a complementary piece, and I wouldn't trust any other back but J.K. Dobbins here, at least until Gus Edwards is up to full speed. 
  • Winner: Devin Singletary. The Bills tried to go with a three-man RB rotation for the first two weeks, but with the last two being more competitive, it's become clear that Singletary is the back they trust. James Cook and Zack Moss combined to play just eight snaps Sunday, with Singletary following up Week 3's 73% snap share with an 87% share. The Bills offense has never been a good one for running backs in Fantasy, so Singletary has only really ever been worth using with this kind of usage, like in the stretch run last season. If he's going to play 70% or more of the snaps every week, Singletary is a solid RB2. It's a high bar, but it's where he's at right now. 
  • Loser: Gabe Davis. We'll always have that first drive of the first game of the season. I want to give Davis the benefit of the doubt that his limited production in the past two games is the result of lingering issues with the ankle injury that kept him out in Week 2, but it's hard to put too much blame on that when he's basically playing every snap. He was targeted just three times Sunday and now has a decidedly mediocre 11% target share through three games. I'll give him another week as a WR3 before I lose faith. 
  • One more thing: Bateman only played four snaps after halftime Sunday, though I haven't seen much about an injury. Bateman's 44% snap share isn't as alarming as it seems in that context, but we still saw the downside for his usage in the first half. He played 69% of the snaps before halftime and caught just three of six passes thrown his way for 17 yards. He's been very big-play dependent in this one, and while he had a few opportunities to hit on long ones in this one, he couldn't quite find the crease. When that happens, he's going to be pretty frustrating for Fantasy. 

Chargers 34-Texans 24

  • Winner: Austin Ekeler. The Chargers had two plays from inside the 10-yard line this week, and Ekeler got a carry on both, scoring on one. They might have had more opportunities in close, but Ekeler also scored from 20 and 14 yards. We're done being worried about him, right? 
  • Loser: Josh Palmer. We thought Palmer had emerged as a viable, trustworthy option with Keenan Allen out, but he fell flat on his face Sunday, catching one pass for 25 yards on one target. For what it's worth, Palmer did leave the game with an injury at one point, but he returned down the stretch, so while it's a mitigating factor, it doesn't explain it entirely. If Allen is out next week, I'll still view Palmer as a WR3, but with less confidence than I did entering this week. 
  • One more thing: Dameon Pierce was the only Texans running back to get a carry, and he was excellent, rushing for 131 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown. Rex Burkhead was still involved on some passing downs – he scored a receiving touchdown in the second half – but Pierce even ran more routes than Burkhead, 18 to 14, and had more targets, six to five. If Pierce is playing Burkhead to a draw in passing situations and dominating the carries, he's going to be a solid RB2 even in a bad offense. This was an encouraging week even taking out the long touchdown run. 

Cardinals 26-Panthers 16

  • Winner: Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers offense remains a mess, but at least their usage of their best player finally made sense Sunday. Even though he was questionable coming in with a thigh injury, McCaffrey played 44 of 51 snaps Sunday, as they didn't really bother to limit his exposure. That bodes well for those of you – well, us – who were worried the injury might linger. But the best thing was that he ran a route on 87% of the team's pass plays – that was just 69% in the first three weeks. The Panthers still have a lot to figure out, and using McCaffrey the correct way is literally the least we can ask of them. But they at least cleared that low bar. 
  • Loser: James Conner. Conner has been a bit beat up lately, which is a concern given his history. At his best last season, he was routinely playing 75% of the snaps or more every week, but he hasn't reached that mark yet this season. He's still getting valuable short-yardage touches, including three carries from inside the 10-yard line this week, but this offense as a whole just hasn't been totally functional. I have faith they'll figure it out, and I'm viewing Conner as a buy-low candidate, but he's being held back right now. 
  • One more thing: I don't want to give the Panthers too much credit, but they at least seem to have recognized that they were holding themselves back by not using McCaffrey or D.J. Moore enough. Moore saw a season-high 11 targets, and that kind of usage should be the standard most weeks, not something exceptional. He still only had six catches for 50 yards – Baker Mayfield is struggling right now – but the usage was definitely promising. If they can get Mayfield to play even passable football – if he can play like the 23rd-best QB in the league instead of arguably the worst – Moore is going to be just fine. I wish I could tell you I knew just how big an "if" that is. 

Packers 27-Patriots 24

  • Injuries: Brian Hoyer left with a concussion. With Mac Jones already out with an ankle injury, that forced rookie Bailey Zappe into account, and he was okay – 10 for 15 for 99 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots, unsurprisingly, did not ask him to do much, and they probably won't ask him to do much in Week 5 against the Lions if he has to start. 
  • Winner: Allen Lazard. I've been pretty skeptical about Lazard, but he was quite good in this one, going for six catches for 116 yards on eight targets. He was making contest catches and even had 43 yards after the catch, typically not a strength. I'm still viewing him as more like a WR3, but another game like this could change my view.  
  • Loser: AJ Dillon. Dillon is here because he's now had three straight games with fewer than 10 PPR points, but I do want to highlight that I think he's a pretty clear buy-low candidate. Yes, he's in an RB committee, but it's one where the two backs share the field pretty regularly, and Dillon has played more than 50% of the snaps in every game so far. He ran more routes than Aaron Jones Sunday, and remains a focal point in all aspects of the game for the Packers. He's not as good Jones, but he's averaging 14.3 carries and 3.5 targets per game, which is a very healthy role. He's an RB2 who can probably be acquired at a relative discount. 
  • One more thing: Romeo Doubs had another solid game, as he caught five of eight passes thrown his way for 47 yards and a touchdown, but he could have had a truly massive breakout if he had been able to haul in one of those three incomplete passes – a late 40-yard bomb that he brought in but couldn't control through hitting the ground in the end zone. The good news is, Aaron Rodgers went back to him twice in overtime, and Doubs played all but three snaps in this one. He looks like he could be a must-start WR if he can maintain this role. 

Raiders 32-Broncos 23

  • Injuries: Javonte Williams left with what Ian Rapoport reported as a "serious injury," with an MRI set for Monday to figure out the extent of the damage. That's a huge bummer, and with Melvin Gordon's fumble issues, it makes it hard to know how the Broncos are going to approach the RB position in the near future. Mike Boone is going to be worth adding on waivers, but I expect Gordon to be the lead back in Week 5 against the Colts. The fact that the game is Thursday makes it unlikely Williams would be able to play even if the injury isn't as serious as it seems. 
  • Winner: Josh Jacobs. I thought there was some risk of Jacobs losing playing time this season, but that's definitely not going to happen if he keeps playing as he did in Week 4. He's played 86% of the early-down snaps this season, per Pro Football Focus, and with the Raiders actually on top for once, that meant a massive 28 carries for 144 yards. He probably won't touch that workload in Week 5 against the Chiefs, however, with 11 targets over the past two weeks, Jacobs could be pretty good in a negative game script, too. It's hard to see a scenario where I'm sitting Jacobs at this point. 
  • Loser: Darren Waller. I had hoped that the presence of Davante Adams would make Waller more efficient, but outside of a promising Week 1, that just hasn't been the case. He has just 96 yards on 18 targets over the past three games, and it's looking like Waller may be just one of the better touchdown-or-bust tight ends. That's disappointing. 
  • One more thing: Courtland Sutton had another solid Fantasy game, but with Jerry Jeudy playing close to an every-snap role after being a bit limited in Week 3, Sutton didn't quite dominate targets this time around. He had seven and Jeudy had five, and he now has a 14 to 12 advantage in the two games where Jeudy has more or less played every snap. I'm not sitting Sutton in Week 5 against the Colts, and I'm not viewing Jeudy as his equal, but I am worried it's more of a 1a/1b situation, and with this offense still not clicking on all cylinders, that makes Sutton more of a low-end WR2. 

Chiefs 41-Buccaneers 31

  • Winner: Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It's pretty funny that the entire Fantasy industry – myself very much included! – has circled Edwards-Helaire as the most obvious sell-high candidate in the game and he just keeps producing. The case for Edwards-Helaire way back when people were excited about him was that he was the lead back in an elite offense that would give him lots of chances to score, and that's exactly what we're seeing this season, so of course, everyone thinks you should sell him. And you should, because I don't think they're going to keep giving him this many opportunities near the goal line, and I don't think he's going to keep being as successful as he has been with them. His receiving touchdown Sunday was especially flukey – it was Patrick Mahomes turning nothing into something in a way even he can't be counted on to do every week. But maybe he'll keep making us all look bad. It's been fun to watch. 
  • Loser: Leonard Fournette. Fournette still ended up with a pretty decent Fantasy day in this one because he caught seven passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, but he ceded snaps for the first time all season, and that's concerning. Rachaad White was a pretty big factor in this one, and it wasn't like he was just playing in garbage time – he played 11 of 16 snaps in the third quarter and 23 of 59 overall, leaving Fournette with a 59% snap share, his lowest in a game he didn't leave with an injury since Week 11 of last season. It could just be a one-week thing, but White is worth a cheap flier on waivers this week just in case he really is carving out a role. 
  • One more thing: The Buccaneers seemingly have no intention of working Chris Godwin in slowly. Godwin's 48 snaps stood in stark contrast to Julio Jones' 18, a much more managed workload coming off injury. Godwin's usage is even more notable when you know that he left this game briefly after slipping on a block attempt and getting hit – it wasn't clear what he hurt during the play, but he grabbed at his hip while laying on the ground. Still, Godwin was out there until the final snap of the game when the Buccaneers didn't really have any chance to come back in. That says something about the confidence the Buccaneers have in Godwin's health. It makes me a bit nervous about the prospect of re-injury, but it's going to be hard to go away from Godwin after he had 10 targets and seven catches in his first full game back.