Charlotte Observer's Scott Fowler gives Week 4 fantasy football picks

Scott Fowler's NFL fantasy football Week 4 picks: Play New England Patriots Tom Brady, expect Carolina Panthers Cam Newton to play better vs. Pats.
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Scott Fowler's NFL fantasy football Week 4 picks: Play New England Patriots Tom Brady, expect Carolina Panthers Cam Newton to play better vs. Pats.

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Week 4 fantasy football rankings: Tom Brady vs. Panthers? Here’s the expectation

By Alan Satterlee


September 27, 2017 06:24 PM

Fantasy football rankings by position for Week 4:


1. Tom Brady, New England vs. Carolina

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Chicago … Rodgers is the only quarterback to throw for 300 yards in every game this season.

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle vs. Indianapolis … Wilson comes into this one off a career-best 373 yards passing (along with four touchdowns).

4. Dak Prescott, Dallas vs. LA Rams

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans at Miami

6. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay vs. NY Giants

7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta vs. Buffalo … Hard to sit Matt Ryan at home, though Buffalo allows the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per game. The Bills have not allowed a passing touchdown this season.

8. Carson Palmer, Arizona vs. San Francisco … San Francisco has just three sacks in three games, meaning Palmer should have the time he needs this week for an above-average game at home.

9. Philip Rivers, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia … It's a leap of faith on Rivers, but he's had plenty of bad games and bounced back strong – Rivers is due and this is an attractive match-up.

10. Matthew Stafford, Detroit at Minnesota … At Minnesota sounds daunting, though the Vikings have allowed 285 yards passing per game (3rd-worst).

11. Cam Newton, Carolina at New England … Can Cam Newton keep up with Tom Brady? The Patriots do allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per game (and allow 340 passing yards per game).

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton said where America is "going now is not healthy" and pleaded for unity Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.


12. Jay Cutler, Miami vs. New Orleans

13. DeShaun Watson, Houston vs. Tennessee … Watson comes into Week 4 off his first-career 300-yard passing game, while Tennessee allows the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per game.

14. Trevor Siemian, Denver vs. Oakland

15. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee at Houston

16. Eli Manning, NY Giants at Tampa Bay

17. Jared Goff, LA Rams at Dallas … What a turnaround it has been for Goff, averaging 272 passing yards per game with five touchdowns versus just one interception so far this season.

18. Case Keenum, Minnesota vs. Detroit … Sam Bradford (knee) will need to be monitored, but it looks like Keenum will draw the Week 4 start off a big game.

19. DeShone Kizer, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

20. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati at Cleveland … Dalton has thrown multiple touchdowns in four straight games against the Browns.

21. Kirk Cousins, Washington at Kansas City

22. Alex Smith, Kansas City vs. Washington

23. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia at LA Chargers

24. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh at Baltimore … Roethlisberger has struggled away from Heinz Field, and Baltimore allows a league-low 121 yards passing per game.

25. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo at Atlanta

26. Derek Carr, Oakland at Denver … In five career games versus the Broncos, Carr averages just 163.6 passing yards and 1.2 touchdowns per game.

27. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville at NY Jets

28. Joe Flacco, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

29. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis at Seattle

30. Mike Glennon, Chicago at Green Bay

31. Josh McCown, NY Jets vs. Jacksonville

32. Brian Hoyer, San Francisco at Arizona

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton discusses freedom of speech, how protests are not meant to offend the US flag, and the possibility of other team members participating in a future protest.


Running backs

1. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City vs. Washington

2. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas vs. LA Rams

3. Todd Gurley, LA Rams at Dallas … With six touchdowns in three games, Gurley has already matched his full-season touchdown total from last season, and he's the first person with six touchdowns in the first three games of a season since Calvin Johnson accomplished the feat in 2011.

4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota vs. Detroit

5. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo at Atlanta

6. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville at NY Jets … The volume will be there (Jacksonville has 99 rushing attempts on the season, tied for the league lead) and this is a favorable match-up.

7. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta vs. Buffalo … Freeman comes into Week 3 having scored in every game this season.

8. LeVeon Bell, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

9. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay vs. Chicago

10. Jay Ajayi, Miami vs. New Orleans … Ajayi let his fantasy owners down last week but don't bench him against a New Orleans defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing running backs per game.

11. Jordan Howard, Chicago at Green Bay

12. Melvin Gordon, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia … Gordon (knee) will need to be monitored but he is expected to be good to go.

13. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina at New England … McCaffrey is still seeking his first NFL touchdown but he was heavily featured in the passing game last week with nine receptions and 101 receiving yards. New England allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs per game.

14. C.J. Anderson, Denver vs. Oakland

15. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati at Cleveland

16. Tarik Cohen, Chicago at Green Bay … Cohen leads all running backs with 20 receptions this season.

17. Chris Carson, Seattle vs. Indianapolis

18. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco at Arizona

19. Mark Ingram, New Orleans at Miami

20. Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

21. Chris Thompson, Washington at Kansas City … Even at Arrowhead, Thompson is a hard guy to bench as he's on fire having scored in every game this season.

22. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

23. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee at Houston

24. Lamar Miller, Houston vs. Tennessee … Tennessee allows 156 yards rushing per game (second-worst).

25. Tevin Coleman, Atlanta vs. Buffalo

26. James White, New England vs. Carolina

27. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay vs. NY Giants

28. Marshawn Lynch, Oakland at Denver … Lynch may be a bench candidate this week against a Denver defense that has held Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy to a combined 85 rushing yards and zero rushing touchdowns on 41 carries (2.1 yards per carry average).

29. Mike Gillislee, New England vs. Carolina

30. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina at New England

31. Javorius Allen, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

32. Theo Riddick, Detroit at Minnesota

33. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans at Miami

34. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit at Minnesota … Abdullah will likely find tough-sledding again this week, on the road at Minnesota who allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs per game.

35. Bilal Powell, NY Jets vs. Jacksonville … Powell should have a larger role this week with Matt Forte (toe) potentially out this week,

36. Derrick Henry, Tennessee at Houston

37. Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia at LA Chargers … Smallwood should have a larger role after the season-ending injury to Darren Sproles.

38. Chris Johnson, Arizona vs. San Francisco … It's hard to trust Chris Johnson though the 49ers have given up at least 115 rushing yards in each game this season.

39. LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia at LA Chargers

40. Jamaal Charles, Denver vs. Oakland

41. Frank Gore, Indianapolis at Seattle

42. D'onta Foreman, Houston vs. Tennessee

43. Elijah McGuire, NY Jets vs. Jacksonville … McGuire should have a larger role this week with Matt Forte (toe) potentially out,

44. Alex Collins, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh … After averaging 7.8 yards per carry on 16 attempts in two games it's hard to imagine Collins not getting more rushing attempts.

45. C.J. Prosise, Seattle vs. Indianapolis

46. Robert Kelley, Washington at Kansas City … Kelley (ribs) will need to be monitored.

47. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati at Cleveland

48. Shane Vereen, NY Giants at Tampa Bay

49. Chris Ivory, Jacksonville at NY Jets

50. Branden Oliver, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia

Wide receivers

1. Odell Beckham Jr., NY Giants at Tampa Bay … This is quite the match-up for Odell Beckham Jr. (and the Giants’ receivers) as Tampa allows the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers per game.

2. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh at Baltimore … Antonio Brown is match-up proof – in his past six games against Baltimore he averages 7.8 receptions and 86 yards per game (Brown comes into this one having set an NFL record last week as the fastest player to reach 650 receptions, accomplished in 104 games as Brown surpassed the record held by Marvin Harrison).

3. A.J. Green, Cincinnati at Cleveland … Cleveland has allowed big games to top-notch receivers – Antonio Brown had 182 yards against them in Week 1 and T.Y. Hilton went off for 153 yards last week.

4. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay vs. Chicago

5. Michael Thomas, New Orleans at Miami

6. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City vs. Washington

7. Julio Jones, Atlanta vs. Buffalo … Three games in, Julio Jones' owners are still waiting to see his first touchdown of the 2017 season.

8. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay vs. NY Giants

9. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston vs. Tennessee … Hopkins has had a lot of success in his career versus the Titans – Hopkins averages 102 receiving yards per game versus the Titans in eight games.

10. Brandin Cooks, New England vs. Carolina … Keep Cooks dialed in off a big game with chemistry growing between him and Tom Brady – in five career games against the Panthers, Cooks average six receptions and 87.2 yards per game.

11. Keenan Allen, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia

12. Dez Bryant, Dallas vs. LA Rams

13. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota vs. Detroit … Diggs has opened the season on fire with two touchdowns in two of three games.

14. DeVante Parker, Miami vs. New Orleans

15. Jarvis Landry, Miami vs. New Orleans

16. Demaryius Thomas, Denver vs. Oakland

17. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. San Francisco … Fitzgerald comes into this one off a massive 13-catch game and should be heavily-targeted again – in his last game against the 49ers, Fitzgerald had a 12-catch game for 132 yards.

18. Adam Thielen, Minnesota vs. Detroit … Thielen has caught 19 of 24 pass attempts thrown his way (79.2%), the best among all wide receivers with at least 20 targets.

19. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver vs. Oakland

20. Davante Adams, Green Bay vs. Chicago

21. Chris Hogan, New England vs. Carolina

22. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia at LA Chargers

23. Sammy Watkins, LA Rams at Dallas … Watkins (concussion) will need to be monitored.

24. Golden Tate, Detroit at Minnesota

25. Randall Cobb, Green Bay vs. Chicago … Cobb (chest) will need to be monitored.

26. Terrelle Pryor, Washington at Kansas City

27. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee at Houston

28. Sterling Shepard, NY Giants at Tampa Bay

29. Doug Baldwin, Seattle vs. Indianapolis … Baldwin (groin) will need to be monitored.

30. Amari Cooper, Oakland at Denver

31. DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay vs. NY Giants

32. Jamison Crowder, Washington at Kansas City

33. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina at New England … Benjamin (knee) will need to be monitored.

34. Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta vs. Buffalo

35. Brandon Marshall, NY Giants at Tampa Bay

36. Tyrell Williams, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia

37. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville at NY Jets

38. Devin Funchess, Carolina at New England … Funchess would become the Panthers' de facto No. 1 receiver if Kelvin Benjamin (knee) is out this week.

39. Paul Richardson, Seattle vs. Indianapolis … Richardson comes into this game with scores in two consecutive games and could be the team's No. 1 wideout if Doug Baldwin (groin) can't go.

40. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

41. Pierre Garcon, San Francisco at Arizona

42. Danny Amendola, New England vs. Carolina

43. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis at Seattle

44. Michael Crabtree, Oakland at Denver

45. J.J. Nelson, Arizona vs. San Francisco

46. Marvin Jones, Detroit at Minnesota

47. Willie Snead, New Orleans at Miami … Snead is set to make his 2017 debut after a three-game suspension, although his role in his first game back remains TBD.

48. Robert Woods, LA Rams at Dallas

49. Allen Hurns, Jacksonville at NY Jets

50. Travis Benjamin, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia

51. Kenny Stills, Miami vs. New Orleans

52. Eric Decker, Tennessee at Houston

53. Jordan Matthews, Buffalo at Atlanta

54. Ted Ginn Jr., New Orleans at Miami

55. Tyler Lockett, Seattle vs. Indianapolis

56. Cooper Kupp, LA Rams at Dallas

57. Kenny Britt, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

58. Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta vs. Buffalo

59. Rashard Higgins, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

60. Robby Anderson, NY Jets vs. Jacksonville

61. Cole Beasley, Dallas vs. LA Rams

62. Jermaine Kearse, NY Jets vs. Jacksonville

63. Terrance Williams, Dallas vs. LA Rams

64. Kenny Golladay, Detroit at Minnesota

65. Jeremy Maclin, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

66. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

67. Corey Davis, Tennessee at Houston … Davis (hamstring) will need to be monitored.

68. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis at Seattle

69. Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco at Arizona

70. Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia at LA Chargers

71. Brandon Coleman, New Orleans at Miami

72. Jaron Brown, Arizona vs. San Francisco

73. Torrey Smith, Philadelphia at LA Chargers

74. Geronimo Allison, Green Bay vs. Chicago …

75. Mike Wallace, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh … Wallace isn't really starting quality, though he does get added motivation this week facing his former team (last year at home against the Steelers, Wallace had a season-high 124 receiving yards).

Tight ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England vs. Carolina

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City vs. Washington

3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia at LA Chargers

4. Jason Witten, Dallas vs. LA Rams

5. Jimmy Graham, Seattle vs. Indianapolis

6. Charles Clay, Buffalo at Atlanta

7. Delanie Walker, Tennessee at Houston

8. Martellus Bennett, Green Bay vs. Chicago

9. Evan Engram, NY Giants at Tampa Bay

10. Hunter Henry, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia

11. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NY Jets vs. Jacksonville

12. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota vs. Detroit

13. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay vs. NY Giants

14. Coby Fleener, New Orleans at Miami

15. Jared Cook, Oakland at Denver … Cook has found new life in Oakland playing with Derek Carr (Cook is on pace for 69 receptions).

16. Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville at NY Jets … Lewis gets on the radar after a three-TD game last week.

17. Eric Ebron, Detroit at Minnesota

18. Jermaine Gresham, Arizona vs. San Francisco

19. Antonio Gates, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia

20. Ben Watson, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

21. Jordan Reed, Washington at Kansas City … Reed (chest/ribs) will need to be monitored.

22. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis at Seattle

23. David Njoku, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

24. Jesse James, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

25. Austin Hooper, Atlanta vs. Buffalo

26. Vernon Davis, Washington at Kansas City

27. Julius Thomas, Miami vs. New Orleans

28. O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay vs. NY Giants

29. Ryan Griffin, Houston vs. Tennessee

30. Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati at Cleveland … Kroft will slide in as the Bengals' starting tight end for the foreseeable future due to Tyler Eifert's back injury.


1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England vs. Carolina

2. Dan Bailey, Dallas vs. LA Rams

3. Matt Bryant, Atlanta vs. Buffalo

4. Phil Dawson, Arizona vs. San Francisco

5. Matt Prater, Detroit at Minnesota

6. Mason Crosby, Green Bay vs. Chicago

7. Brandon McManus, Denver vs. Oakland

8. Blair Walsh, Seattle vs. Indianapolis

9. Wil Lutz, New Orleans at Miami

10. Nick Folk, Tampa Bay vs. NY Giants

11. Harrison Butker, Kansas City vs. Washington … Note Cairo Santos has been placed on injured reserve; former Panther Harrison Butker will take over as the team's starting kicker.

12. Ryan Succop, Tennessee at Houston

13. Kai Forbath, Minnesota vs. Detroit

14. Greg Zuerlein, LA Rams at Dallas

15. Jake Elliott, Philadelphia at LA Chargers

16. Ka'imi Fairbairn, Houston vs. Tennessee

17. Jason Myers, Jacksonville at NY Jets

18. Justin Tucker, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

19. Stephen Hauschka, Buffalo at Atlanta

20. Cody Parkey, Miami vs. New Orleans

21. Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

22. Dustin Hopkins, Washington at Kansas City

23. Giorgio Tavecchio, Oakland at Denver

24. Randy Bullock, Cincinnati at Cleveland

25. Graham Gano, Carolina at New England

26. Aldrick Rosas, NY Giants at Tampa Bay

27. Zane Gonzalez, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

28. Younghoe Koo, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia

29. Chandler Catanzaro, NY Jets vs. Jacksonville

30. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis at Seattle

31. Robbie Gould, San Francisco at Arizona

32. Connor Barth, Chicago at Green Bay


1. Seattle DT, Seattle vs. Indianapolis

2. Jacksonville DT, Jacksonville at NY Jets

3. Arizona DT, Arizona vs. San Francisco

4. Atlanta DT, Atlanta vs. Buffalo

5. Kansas City DT, Kansas City vs. Washington

6. Green Bay DT, Green Bay vs. Chicago

7. Denver DT, Denver vs. Oakland

8. Minnesota DT, Minnesota vs. Detroit

9. New England DT, New England vs. Carolina

10. LA Chargers DT, LA Chargers vs. Philadelphia

11. Cincinnati DT, Cincinnati at Cleveland

12. Tampa Bay DT, Tampa Bay vs. NY Giants

13. Dallas DT, Dallas vs. LA Rams

14. Detroit DT, Detroit at Minnesota

15. Pittsburgh DT, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

16. LA Rams DT, LA Rams at Dallas

17. Philadelphia DT, Philadelphia at LA Chargers

18. Houston DT, Houston vs. Tennessee

19. Tennessee DT, Tennessee at Houston

20. NY Giants DT, NY Giants at Tampa Bay

21. Cleveland DT, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

22. Baltimore DT, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

23. New Orleans DT, New Orleans at Miami

24. NY Jets DT, NY Jets vs. Jacksonville

25. Buffalo DT, Buffalo at Atlanta

26. Oakland DT, Oakland at Denver

27. Washington DT, Washington at Kansas City

28. San Francisco DT, San Francisco at Arizona

29. Carolina DT, Carolina at New England

30. Indianapolis DT, Indianapolis at Seattle

31. Chicago DT, Chicago at Green Bay

32. Miami DT, Miami vs. New Orleans

Alan Satterlee is in his fourth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.