Jarvis Landry should have had a better Week 3, but should bounce back for Week 4
By Week 3, fantasy owners have an idea of how their players are performing. Some players had great matchups and didn't fare well. Others were supposed to do well and... just didn't.
The full disclosure for this column does appear at the end again. For Week 4, fantasy owners have more data to base their start/sit decisions. Please note the 5 Up/5 Down column is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While the New York Giants’ defense has been decent, they still have allowed quarterbacks to throw against them. They've allowed four TD passes in the past three weeks, and they also have allowed each quarterback they've faced to run for at least 20 yards. Winston is mobile, although he hasn't shown it yet this season. He fared well in Minnesota last week, and he should flirt with QB1 numbers, despite his No. 13 ranking.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
In Week 3, after Kelvin Benjamin went down, McCaffrey had 11 targets. He caught nine of them for 101 yards, leading the team in yards, targets and receptions. While it does seem that Benjamin will be back for Week 4, McCaffrey should have a role in the passing game. Cam Newton is struggling, and he still does not have Greg Olsen. He may just look to McCaffrey to lead the passing attack with short passes. McCaffrey is ranked 16th, but in PPR formats, may crack the top 10.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
Fantasy owners thought that Landry was going to have a great Week 3. The odds were in his favor as he had a great matchup. He also was coming off an 11-target game in Week 3, although he only caught six of them for 48 yards. Looking ahead to Week 4, the Dolphins travel to London and face the New Orleans Saints. Again, it should be a great matchup and Landry should have a bounce-back game and exceed his No. 23 ranking.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans
Corey Davis has already been ruled out for Week 4, pushing Matthews into the No. 2 receiver role for the Titans again. Matthews had 10 targets in Week 3, and he caught six of them, one of which was a 55-yard touchdown. Matthews did have a slow Week 2, but seems to have a rapport with Marcus Mariota. Eric Decker hasn't returned to his 2016 form, and until he does, look for Matthews to lead the team. He should exceed his No. 33 ranking against the Texans this week.
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In Week 3, Brate only had four receptions for 33 yards, but those were on four targets. Showing that he can catch all of his targets is helpful for earning the trust of his quarterback. Playing the New York Giants, Brate should easily exceed his No. 18 ranking. The Giants have allowed a tight end to score in each of the three games so far this season. They are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. O.J. Howard hasn't been too much of a threat to Brate, so maybe he’ll even get in the end zone this week.
Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers looked terrible in Week 3, completing half of his passes and throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns. While he should bounce back in Week 4 against the Eagles, he needs to get in sync with his receivers. Based on his Week 3 performance, it's hard to trust Rivers as a top-10 quarterback (he's ranked No. 8 for Week 4). The Eagles did allow three touchdowns to Eli Manning last week, but only two in the two weeks prior.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
Fantasy owners expected a great game from Ajayi in Week 3. The New York Jets came into this game struggling against the run, thus Ajayi was a no-doubt RB1. However, he managed 11 carries for 16 yards. He caught two passes for nine yards, disappointing fantasy owners everywhere. He's missed some practice time with a knee injury, and while he's on track to play, there may be something more to this. His status isn't in question for the Week 4 game against the Saints in London, but to consider him a top-5 running back (he's ranked No. 4) is a little high. He's a low RB1 who may be hampered by an injury.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Following a 25-carry game where he scored two touchdowns and had 84 rushing yards, Hyde is the No. 13-ranked running back for Week 4. He faces the Arizona Cardinals, who give up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs. Hyde is working through a hip injury, which may force him to miss some snaps as well. While he is a low RB1 for fantasy, expecting a performance like last week is not likely going to happen. Ezekiel Elliott only had 80 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals in Week 3.
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
While the Saints should be able to throw all day on the Dolphins, it's hard to say who is going to be the beneficiary. Willie Snead is eligible to return from suspension, but his role is unclear. Thomas had five receptions in the first two weeks and seven in Week 3. He hasn't had more than 90 yards in a game and he only has one touchdown this year. While Thomas is ranked No. 6, if the Saints have a lead and it's not a result of Thomas, he's not going to live up to his lofty billing.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
While Hill has put together two solid games this year, he's been aided by touchdowns. In Week 2, he had four receptions for 43 yards. In Week 3 he had five receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. Without that touchdown, it would be a pedestrian day for Hill. Ranking him No. 13 among wide receivers this week seems a bit high. He has a date with Josh Norman, who shut down Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree in Week 3. Hill is a low WR2.
Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints
Last week Fleener was among the 5 Down mentions because he was ranked in the top 10. This week, he's ranked No. 12, but he still is in the Down list. The reality is Fleener isn't that great of a player. Fantasy owners remember the Drew Brees/Jimmy Graham connection and hope that Fleener will fill that role. He didn't in 2016 and he isn't in ‘17. He's a touchdown-dependent TE2. He found the end zone in the first two weeks, but last week, he had one reception for 21 yards. Expect more of the same in Week 4.
Full Disclosure, Week 3:
Kirk Cousins, QB: Ranked: 8, Actual: 6
Joe Mixon, RB: Ranked: 34, Actual: 21
Devante Adams, WR: Ranked: 14, Actual: not in top 50
Jarvis Landry, WR: Ranked: 27, Actual: not in top 50
Zach Miller, TE: Ranked: 21, Actual: 30
Ben Roethlisberger, QB: Ranked: 9, Actual: 25
Marshawn Lynch, RB: Ranked: 13, Actual: not in top 50
Dez Bryant, WR: Ranked: 11, Actual: 41
DeAndre Hopkins, WR: Ranked: 13, Actual: 38
Coby Fleener, TE: Ranked: 10, Actual: 25
— 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.