The List: Ranking Each Position for Week 4

Erik Smith releases his PPR fantasy football rankings for Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season.

QB Rankings

 

  • It pains me to bump Russell Wilson out of the top tier, it really does. But we are approaching a rough four-game stretch for the dynamic quarterback where he plays the 49ers this week, followed by the Rams, Steelers, and Saints. Wilson currently sports some of his typically excellent metrics; an 8.1% touchdown rate, good for fourth-best in the league. A 73.3 completion percentage, which ranks seventh overall, coupled with the third most deep ball attempts and the sixth-best deep ball completion percentage, per FantsyData. He’s still an excellent real-life quarterback, and yet he’s just the QB11 on a point-per-game basis through three weeks. One cause for concern is his 27.3% pressured completion percentage,- which ranks behind 26 other qualified quarterbacks this year, and Wilson was shut down in the second half last week as the Vikings dominated this Seattle offensive line. You’re still starting Wilson unless you are loaded at the position, but this could be a good time to float some trade offers with his difficult upcoming schedule.

 

  • Jalen Hurts was approaching the top tier of fantasy quarterbacks prior to last week against the Cowboys, where the Eagles were steam-rolled by a fired-up Dallas defense that was flying to the ball. Hurts pulled out some garbage time magic to salvage his day, and if you zoom out he’s scored 20 or more fantasy points every week. But last week could have been much worse, and his production has dropped since his Week 1 outburst against a Falcons team that looks lost. A matchup against the Chiefs should force the Eagles to put the ball in the air, but I actually like Hurts more in games where Philadelphia can play their style of football and utilize Hurts on designed rushes. As a passer, Hurts still has work to do, and ranks 28th in the league with 2.88 air yards per attempt. With the Eagles’ pass-catchers at times making it harder than necessary on Hurts, he’s just my QB9 in a matchup that some may be targeting in DFS.

 

  • You’d think a matchup against the New York Jets would get Ryan Tannehill higher than QB12, but the Titans’ lack of receiving depth is starting to make me worried. A.J. Brown strained a hamstring last week, and his status is up in the air. Julio Jones only played 50% of the snaps without Brown, raising concerns about whether Jones is over the injury that plagued him this offseason. Even starting tight end Anthony Firsker missed last week with a knee injury, and his status is uncertain as well. That left Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Chester Rogers, and Cameron Batson logging significant snaps against the Colts at wide receiver, with Geoff Swaim, MyCole Pruitt, and Tommy Hudson sharing the snaps at tight end. That’s a lineup you might see in Week 3 of the preseason. This matchup against the Jets pretty clearly points to a massive Derrick Henry game, and while we may get a shot at some touchdowns from Tannehill, expecting much over 250 passing yards feels like wishful thinking.

 

  • Joe Burrow is playing good football outside of a three-pass stretch against the Bears in Week 2, and I’m trying to creep him up my rankings. But with the Bengals at 2-1 and playing an eminently beatable Jaguars team on Thursday Night Football, I would expect Cincinnati to play conservative, ball-control offense for one more week, especially if their defense plays as well as it did last week against the Steelers. Burrow has been extremely efficient completing 70.7% of his passes, and his Air Yards per attempt ranks eight best in the league, a promising development after his deep ball struggles last year. But with passing attempt totals of 27, 30, and 18 through three weeks, Burrow is the QB24 so far on a point-per-game basis, and that’s even with a 9.3% touchdown rate, the third-highest in the NFL. I would expect another conservative approach this week, but it should get better soon — matchups against the Packers, Lions, and Ravens over the next three games may force this passing game to open up a bit.

 

Green=Strong Starter, Yellow=Solid Starter, Red=Look for Better Options

 

Week 4 QB Rankings

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