We have a bit of a good news/bad news situation for quarterbacks heading into Week 4. The good: Most of the big-name QBs are staying healthy (and, thus, maintaining their spots in our Week 4 fantasy QB rankings); the bad: A lot of their WRs are getting hurt. Three weeks into the season, we're starting to get a better read on which veterans might be washed up (Drew Brees? Tom Brady?) and which youngsters could be the real deal (Joe Burrow?). Correctly diagnosing these busts and sleepers going forward could make the difference in your fantasy football season.
For the second straight week, Patrick Mahomes gets to face an exciting quarterback counterpart, this time the Patriots and Cam Newton. Just like with the Ravens in Week 3, this matchup poses a much tougher defensive test for Mahomes than it does for his opponent. Hopefully, the strong QB dual leads to a high-scoring shootout, but either way, you're not going to sit Mahomes, regardless of matchup.
One of our biggest risers this week was supposed to be Joe Burrow. The Bengals haven't been shy about letting the rookie sling it, and we saw what the Dolphins did to Jacksonville's defense in Week 3. The only risk with Burrow is an early lead could dampen some of his late-game production, but there should be enough throwing and running room early for Burrow to have a big game regardless. After seeing Burrow come right back in after taking a huge blow to the head in Week 3, we're believing the rookie can do pretty much anything.
Gardner Minshew disappointed us in a big way against the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football last week. He forced a few too many passes after the Jaguars fell behind, and it certainly looked like the absence of DJ Chark (chest) hurt him, too. We still feel good about Minshew in two-QB and superflex leagues, especially against a mediocre Bengals defense this week, but Chark's status certainly impacts Minshew's playability, and it's fair to expect the occasional clunker from the second-year sixth-round pick.
For now, we've left Nick Mullens in as San Francisco's quarterback while Jimmy Garoppolo's return from a high-ankle sprain remains uncertain. The Sunday Night Football nature of the 49ers' Week 4 game against the Eagles makes things even trickier for Garoppolo owners. Philadelphia has been vulnerable enough through the air that Garoppolo probably checks in around QB20 if he plays this week. If you had been playing Jimmy G before his injury, nothing about the Eagles is scary enough to change course if Garoppolo returns this week.
We're also leaving Justin Herbert in the rankings with the latest Adam Schefter report indicating Tyrod Taylor will likely miss Week 4 as he recovers from his punctured lung. Los Angeles takes on a tricky Tampa Bay defense in Week 4 that'll probably cause the rookie Herbert some trouble, relegating him to the bench in single-QB leagues.
Note: Check back throughout the week, as we'll continue to update our QB rankings and provide analysis up until kickoff based on the latest news and injury updates.
Week 4 Fantasy QB Rankings
Analysis by Matt Lutovsky
12Joe Burrow, CIN vs. JAX. Burrow has steadily improved in each of his three games, and the Bengals are certainly letting him chuck it (47 attempts per game). Jacksonville has allowed seven QB touchdowns the past two weeks -- and this game could easily turn into a shootout -- so Burrow is well worth starting.
These rankings are for four-point passing TD leagues.
|1||Lamar Jackson, BAL @ WAS|
|2||Russell Wilson, SEA @ MIA|
|3||Kyler Murray, ARZ @ CAR|
|4||Josh Allen, BUF @ LV|
|5||Dak Prescott, DAL vs. CLE|
|6||Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. ATL|
|7||Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. NE|
|8||Cam Newton, NE @ KC. Newton slowed down last week, failing to rush for a TD and throwing for fewer than 163 yards for the second time this year. Kansas City allowed two QB touchdowns in each of the first two games, including a rushing TD both weeks, before surprisingly shutting down Lamar Jackson, so Newton still has plenty of dual-threat upside, but it would be nice if we saw more consistency in the Patriots passing attack.|
|9||Deshaun Watson, HOU vs. MIN. Watson is yet to have a monster game, but the Vikings are allowing 34 points and just under 293 passing yards per game. This is the matchup Watson owners have been waiting for after three relatively difficult ones to start the season (@ KC, vs. BAL, @ PIT).|
|10||Matt Ryan, ATL @ GB. Ryan could be without Julio Jones (hamstring) and Russell Gage (concussion) this week, and if he is, he might move down in these rankings. He'll still have Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, and several capable backup WRs (Brandon Powell, Olamide Zaccheaus), and given how often the Falcons throw (second most in the league), Ryan can still put up plenty of numbers.|
|11||Jared Goff, LAR vs. NYG. Goff continues to put up numbers, but we all know that as soon as you start trusting Goff, he'll throw up a dud out of nowhere. The only reason he's not higher is because the Rams are throwing just 30 times per game (fourth fewest), and given the Giants' problems against the run, this could be a "game manager" outing for Goff. He has plenty of upside, though, so don't hesitate starting him, but he's not quite back to his top-five status just yet.|
|12||Joe Burrow, CIN vs. JAX. Burrow has steadily improved in each of his three games, and the Bengals are certainly letting him chuck it (47 attempts per game). Jacksonville has allowed seven QB touchdowns the past two weeks -- and this game could easily turn into a shootout -- so Burrow is well worth starting.|
|13||Drew Brees, NO @ DET. Brees has been living off Alvin Kamara's run-after-the-catch ability the past few weeks, but he might get Michael Thomas (ankle) back this week. At the very least, Brees seemed to get on the same page as Emmanuel Sanders last week, and he can still put up decent numbers with Sanders, Tre'Quan Smith and Kamara as his primary receivers. Detroit has allowed multiple QB touchdowns in every game this year, so Brees could easily have a big game, but his floor is lower than usual given how he's looked this year.|
|14||Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @ TEN. The numbers have been mostly solid for Roethlisberger, who's produced multiple TDs in each of his three games, but the Steelers are getting by with mostly short passes against bad defenses (save for a big 84-yard TD reception for Chase Claypool in Week 2). Fortunately, Tennessee looks like another favorable matchup after allowing three TD passes to Gardner Minshew and Kirk Cousins in back-to-back weeks. Diontae Johnson's head injury will be worth watching this week, but even if he's out, Roethlisberger can still pay off as a TD-dependent, low-end QB1.|
|15||Matthew Stafford, DET vs. NO. Stafford has been steady through three weeks, throwing for between 244 and 297 yards each week and producing five total touchdowns. Having Kenny Golladay back in Week 3 paid immediate dividends, and T.J. Hockenson looks like he's made the leap into a reliable tight end. New Orleans has struggled mightily against QBs the past two weeks (283.5 yards, three TDs per game), so Stafford has a lot of upside this week.|
|16||Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA vs. SEA. Seattle is far and away the worst pass defense in the NFL (430.7 yards per game), so Fitzpatrick should be able to fall into some yards even if he's throwing INTs. Given his underrated rushing ability, Fitzpatrick is a legit QB1 possibility this week thanks to the matchup.|
|17||Gardner Minshew, JAX @ CIN. Minshew let down a lot of fantasy owners in Week 3, but he gets a soft Cincinnati defense and hopefully DJ Chark (chest) back in Week 4. It's possible Jacksonville focuses on running the ball, but Minshew has shown he can put up numbers in a moderate-scoring, slow-paced game (195 yards, three TDs in Week 1) and a higher-scoring, faster-paced game (339 yards, three TDs in Week 2). We're expecting a bounce-back performance against the Bengals.|
|18||Baker Mayfield, CLE @ DAL. The Browns seem to have found an identity as a running team, but Mayfield has managed two touchdown passes in each of the past two games. Dallas allows the fifth-most passing yards per game (277) and could turn this game into a shootout, giving Mayfield more upside than in most weeks.|
|19||Tom Brady, TB vs. LAC. Brady had his best game last week, but with Chris Godwin (hamstring) dinged up and Mike Evans posting just two yards in two of three games, it's tough to know what to expect from the Bucs passing game on a weekly basis. The Chargers have done a good job limiting QBs this year (aside from a big fourth quarter by Patrick Mahomes), but with Chris Harris Jr. (foot) out, Brady still has some upside.|
|20||Kirk Cousins, MIN @ HOU. Cousins has been much maligned this year, but he's had decent-enough fantasy days in two of three games. Similarly, Houston has allowed multiple QB touchdowns in two of three games, so this all adds up to another good-but-not-great game from Cousins.|
|21||Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. PIT. Tannehill saw his nine-game streak of throwing for at least two TDs snapped last week, but the mere fact he had such a streak should tell you that he's generally a safe QB play. A tougher matchup and a tough set of circumstances in regards to the Titans potential COVID-19 outbreak has us a bit worried about this contest, but Tannehill still has a decent floor.|
|22||Carson Wentz, PHI @ SF|
|23||Derek Carr, LV vs. BUF|
|24||Nick Foles, CHI vs. IND|
|25||Justin Herbert, LAC @ TB|
|26||Philip Rivers, IND @ CHI|
|27||Daniel Jones, NYG @ LAR|
|28||Teddy Bridgewater, CAR vs. ARZ|
|29||Brett Rypien, DEN @ NYJ. Rypien will replace Jeff Driskel as the starter on Thursday night against the Jets. The matchup is great, but Rypien has all of nine career NFL passes under his belt, so he should only be trusted in DFS Showdown/Single-Game lineups.|
|30||Nick Mullens, SF vs. PHI|
|31||Dwayne Haskins, WAS vs. BAL|
|32||Sam Darnold, NYJ vs. DEN|