Each week, we post fantasy rankings for each position here at Athlon. And each week, we look at five players that have gone up in the rankings for the week and five players that have dropped. This is the result of their current week matchup and their performance over the past week. Sometimes this is also the result of events out of their control (injury to their quarterback, for example).
This is not a Start/Sit column, rather a look at how the value (or rank) of certain players fluctuates each week. Without further ado, here is Five Up, Five Down for Week 4.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
Many teams are going to be quarterback desperate this week, but for those that already have Carr on their roster, be happy. There is nothing like a matchup against the winless Chicago Bears to boost a quarterback's stats and ego. The Raiders have actually looked decent this season, and Carr, in the past two games, has completed 50 passes for 665 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. The Bears just got rid of arguably their best pass rusher in Jared Allen in an apparent fire sale and are just looking to get through the season while getting the best draft picks for next year. Carr cracks the top 10 in our quarterback ranks for Week 4.
Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers
Fantasy owners of Gordon have been waiting for him to have a breakout game this season. His opportunity should come in Week 4. The Cleveland Browns' run defense is the worst in the league. They've allowed the most rushing yards (475) and the longest run (54) through the first three weeks of the season. Gordon has been consistent, rushing for over 50 yards in each game so far. He's poised to break out, and based on that potential alone, he is a RB2 with high upside for Week 4.
Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
We know. Owning Hill has been rough. He's ranked as a RB2 this week, so it isn't like we're saying he's going to go crazy, but the Bengals are still putting their trust in him. The Bengals face Kansas City in Week 4, and it isn't an easy matchup, but it isn't difficult either. The team has said if they are behind, Giovani Bernard will be the running back, but Hill will start the game. It seems that he needs to get his mental game back, and this should be the week for him to do so.
Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills
Harvin gets a boost this week simply because of the injury to Sammy Watkins. It is highly unlikely that Watkins (calf injury) plays in Week 4, so Harvin will step up to take his place. The Giants' secondary is easily beatable, and this will be Harvin's chance to shine. Harvin has put up WR3 numbers so far this season, and he has the chance to put up WR2 numbers this week. He's likely available in a lot of leagues (owned in less than 60 percent of leagues, per ESPN.com), so drop any dead weight and see what Harvin can do in Week 3.
Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears
This one is pretty straightforward. Start your tight ends against Oakland. The Raiders have given up 297 yards and five touchdowns to tight ends over the past three weeks. While Jimmy Clausen will still likely be making the start, he can find his tight end. Bennett was targeted six times in Week 3 with Clausen, but the matchup against Seattle is significantly worse than the one against Oakland will be. At some point, the Raiders will defend tight ends better, but this isn't going to be that week. Bennett is the No. 3 tight end in our ranks this week.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
Manning faces Buffalo in Week 4. The Bills have a tough defense, as only Tom Brady was really able to pick them apart. And Manning isn't exactly the caliber of Brady. Manning won't have Victor Cruz back, so he has to still work with Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. He certainly has the weapons to succeed, but he hasn't put together an amazing game yet this year (four total touchdowns on the season). This will likely be a 15-point effort from Manning. Not terrible, but not amazing. He's a QB2 this week.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins
Morris had a solid Week 1, and has since dropped down the ranks and is losing work to Matt Jones. As someone fantasy owners likely drafted as a RB1, he has been a huge disappointment. Facing the Eagles this week is going to be tough, and the weather conditions are going to be terrible. (Note: there is a chance this game gets moved to either Monday night in a different city or canceled altogether and played Week 8 with the Eagles and Redskins getting a bye in Week 4). Morris had issues fumbling the ball, and playing in the rain isn't going to help that. Morris is the 27th-ranked running back this week (Matt Jones is 29th).
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
Originally Landry was added to the Five Down section of this list because the thought was that the Jets would use Darrelle Revis to cover him. However, the reports are that Revis will not be on Landry after all. Whether that is true or not, we will see, but Landry is only a WR2 this week. Ryan Tannehill has struggled, and the Jets are a tough opponent. This game is played in London, and both teams are traveling late in the week. This alters fantasy outlooks as many of the London games have been low-scoring and not very fantasy friendly. Landry is the No. 20 WR in our ranks this week.
Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
Cooks' value is dependent on his quarterback. He is usually a solid WR2, but with an ankle injury and questions at quarterback, he drops to a WR3 this week. He did have seven receptions for 71 yards with Luke McCown in Week 3, but if Drew Brees is back in Week 4, this may not benefit Cooks. The issue with Brees is arm strength, due to a shoulder injury. Cooks needs Brees to be able to throw the ball deep. If he plays, Cooks' value actually takes a hit. He does have slightly higher value in PPR leagues with McCown throwing to him.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Hurns found the end zone for the first time all season in Week 3, and suddenly appeared on the fantasy radar. Don't be fooled. He's a low WR3 this week in a tough matchup with Indianapolis. Keep in mind Hurns only had two receptions in Week 3 on four targets. Blake Bortles is going to look for Allen Robinson, not Hurns. While it may be tempting to start him because Vontae Davis will likely be covering Robinson, Hurns isn't a solid enough player to trust in most leagues. If you start three WRs, he's worth considering, but don't run out to grab him off waivers.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.