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Fantasy Football Five Up, Five Down: Joe Flacco, Isaiah Crowell Up; Drew Brees, Devonta Freeman Down for Week 4

Drew Brees

Drew Brees

By Week 4, fantasy owners already have to plan for the bye weeks. With Philadelphia and Green Bay off this week, some owners do need to find some replacements in their starting roster. When looking at the waiver wire or setting a starting lineup, fantasy owners look to the rankings. However, sometimes the rankings don't tell the full story.

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Five Up, Five Down is not a start/sit column. Rather, it's a look at the rankings and taking into account the matchups and the player's history, seeing who will likely finish above their rank and who might finish below.

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

Teams on bye: Green Bay, Philadelphia

Five Up

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders

In Week 3, Oakland made the long trek to Tennessee and eked out a win. In Week 4, the Raiders have to travel even father east to face Flacco and the Raiders. It's tough to be on the road in back-to-back weeks, but it's even tougher to make the west coast to east coast trip in back-to-back weeks. As a result, Flacco should be able to take advantage of a team that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Drew Brees threw for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns against them and Matt Ryan threw for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns. While those numbers are high for Flacco, he should exceed his No. 12 rank in Week 4.

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins

Pop quiz: Who has the most rushing yards in the league so far this season? Answer: LeGarrette Blount with 298, followed by Crowell with 274. The Redskins have allowed two touchdowns to opposing running backs in all three weeks of the season so far. Crowell has two touchdowns on the year, and odds are he gets his third in Week 4. He's a borderline RB1, although with his No. 24 ranking, he is a classic "Five Up" candidate as he should out-perform that ranking.

Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans

Tennessee’s defense has allowed a 100-yard receiver in each of the three weeks of the season so far. The Titans also allowed a non-No. 1 receiver to score a touchdown in each of the past two games. Fuller had two 100-yard games to start his NFL career, but came back down to earth in Week 3. He's struggled with some drops this year, and that's the risk with starting him. He'll be given the opportunities (he has two fewer targets than DeAndre Hopkins this season); fantasy owners just hope he can hang on to the ball. He's the 26th-ranked wide receiver for Week 4 and he has the potential to end the week higher than that.

Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints

Here's hoping the Saints don't shut down Benjamin the way they did Julio Jones. It doesn't seem likely that would be their game plan as Benjamin isn't the same type of receiver that Jones is. Benjamin did see fewer targets than Tyrell Williams in Week 3, but he's becoming a favorite target for Philip Rivers. The Saints have allowed two 100-yard receivers and two touchdowns to WRs this year. While it may not be Benjamin, he still should perform better than his No. 18 ranking against the beatable Saints defense.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants

Rudolph had eight targets in Week 1, eight more (with Sam Bradford) in Week 2 and 10 in Week 3. He has the second-most targets among tight ends (26 is one behind Greg Olsen). He has touchdowns in the two games he's played with Sam Bradford, and he is a focal point of the offense in the red zone. While the Giants have yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end, this may be the week that changes. Rudolph is the 10th-ranked tight end, but he should finish higher than that.

Five Down

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers

It is hard calling Brees a "down," however, that doesn't mean sit. He's ranked as the No. 6 quarterback for Week 4, playing against a Chargers defense that has allowed at least 300 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks in each of the first three games. Brees will put in a solid performance, but he historically plays better at home than on the road. On a short week, traveling to the west coast, Brees will be a top-10 fantasy QB, but not finish in the top six.

Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets vs. Seattle Seahawks

After putting up more than 100 total yards in Weeks 1 and 2, Forte struggled a bit last week. He only had 65 rushing yards, and things won't get any easier against Seattle in Week 4. While the Seahawks did allow Carlos Hyde to run for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns, a lot of that was in garbage time. The Jets should be able to keep it close enough that there won't be a lot of garbage time. However, they may be throwing the ball if they are behind, which doesn't bode well for Forte, who only has two receptions in each of the past two games. He's the No. 19-ranked running back, but he's a RB3 this week.

Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

In the past two weeks, the Panthers have been tough against running backs. Neither Carlos Hyde nor the Minnesota running backs could get anything going on the ground. While Freeman arguably may be more talented than those players, he is also in a timeshare with Tevin Coleman. Both have been splitting carries and even though Freeman had more targets in Week 3, it's still a tough matchup and a tough situation. He's the 14th-ranked running back, but he is a low RB2.

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Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Emmanuel Sanders has seen more targets every week so far this season. Thomas has been dealing with a hip injury since Week 1 and he certainly hasn't looked 100 percent. The matchup is great against Tampa Bay, but Trevor Siemian appears to favor Sanders at this point. Thomas is ranked No. 17 among wide receivers this week, but he may fall out of the top 20. He's still a WR2 because of the matchup, but be wary moving forward that Sanders may have more value than his teammate.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

When Gronkowski is the No. 2-ranked tight end, it should be a given that he'll give fantasy owners the points they've been waiting for all year. However, those who started him last week were treated to a goose egg. He's been limited in practice, which indicates he's not over the hamstring injury that has sidelined him for weeks. The quarterback situation is still muddy in New England. Which injured one will start against the Bills? Gronk shouldn't give fantasy owners a donut in Week 4, but he also won't be the No. 2 tight end.

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Full Disclosure:

For Week 3, here are the Five Up/Five Down and how they fared (6 points per passing TD, non-PPR):

Five Up:

Ryan Tannehill, Ranked: 12, Finished: 8

Frank Gore, Ranked: 24, Finished: 16

Tevin Coleman, Ranked: 17, Finished: 2

Devonta Freeman, Ranked: 19, Finished: 1

Jeremy Maclin, Ranked: 24, Finished: 74

Jason Witten, Ranked: 11, Finished: 26

Five Down:

Ben Roethlisberger, Ranked: 7, Finished: 29

Latavius Murray, Ranked: 11, Finished: 23

A.J. Green, Ranked: 12, Finished: 30

Stefon Diggs, Ranked 21, Finished: 51

Gary Barnidge, Ranked 17, Finished: 7

— 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.