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Top 10 Fantasy Football Takeaways from Week 4 Usage

By Jared Smola | Updated on Wed, 04 Oct 2023 . 10:05 AM EDT

1. Alvin Kamara Returns as Workhorse

Alvin Kamara
Snap Rate 75.4%
Route Rate 70.2%
Carries 11

Kamara turned in one of the funkiest stat lines of the season in his debut: 13 catches for 33 yards.

That's disgusting efficiency. But the 13 catches and 14 targets bode well for his fantasy value going forward.

It's worth noting that QB Derek Carr didn't look right attempting to play through his shoulder injury vs. the Bucs. His unwillingness and/or inability to push the ball downfield likely played a part in Kamara's absurd target volume.

But the 75% snap rate and 70% route rate are elite marks that'll lead to big volume for as long as they hold up.

We'll see how the backfield evolves when RB Jamaal Williams returns from his hamstring injury (in Week 7 at the earliest).


2. Jake Ferguson is a TE1

Ranks Among tes
Targets 7th
Target Share 8th
Red-Zone Targets 1st
Route Rate27th

Ferguson almost made it into this article last week. And I wish he had – because he’ll be tougher to acquire after his 7-catch, 77-yard outing in the win over the Patriots.

Ferguson has been getting TE1-level target volume all season. He's seen 19+% of Cowboys targets in three of four games (11% in the other). And a lot of that work has been coming in the red zone.

I hesitated to highlight the strong volume, though, because Ferguson has been underwhelming in route rate.

He did set a season-high there last week at 65%. That's still lower than we usual see from top-12 fantasy TEs. But the targets just keep coming. And the fact that Ferguson is doing this on subpar route participation gives him even more room for upside if the route rate grows.


3. De’Von Achane Leads Dolphins Backfield

DE'VON Achaneraheem Mostert
Snap Rate 60.0%43.1%
Route Rate 61.7%40.4%
Carries 87

Achane followed his breakout Week 3 by leading Miami's backfield in snaps, routes, and carries in the Week 4 loss to Buffalo.

He also garnered all four of the RB opportunities inside the Bills' 10-yard line. Achane has now tallied 10 of those over the past two weeks to Mostert's two.

This might still be a backfield that morphs on a week-to-week basis. And there's enough production to go around for both Achane and Mostert to be weekly fantasy starters.

We'll see if RB Jeff Wilson makes it back and turns this into a three-RB committee.


4. Khalil Herbert Awesome In Positive Game Script

khalil herbertroschon johnson
Snap Rate 77.8%22.2%
Route Rate 59.5%21.4%
Carries 185

We saw Chicago in positive game script for the first time this season in Week 4. It was a boon to Herbert's usage and production.

He set season highs in snap rate, route rate, carry share, and target share on his way to 122 total yards and a score.

Unfortunately for Herbert, the Bears probably won't be in positive script much the rest of the season. And they definitely won't get to the play the Broncos again.

That makes Herbert a sell-high candidate this week.

But it was at least nice to see that this big game is in his range of outcomes.


5. First Look at Chargers WR Corps Sans Mike Williams

Joshua PalmerQuentin Johnston
Route Rate 97.0%69.7%
Targets 83

This went about how we expected it to.

Palmer stepped into the every-down role that Williams was playing. Johnston played almost exclusively in three-WR sets.

The rookie caught just one of his three targets, but the two misses were an end-zone target and a deep shot.

He'll have some strong outings in this role because his targets will be of the high-value variety. But Johnston's playing time will need to grow if he's going to be a consistent fantasy producer.

Palmer looks like a useable WR3 as long as he's in an every-down role.


6. D’Andre Swift Grows Backfield Lead

D'andre swiftkenneth gainwell
Snap Rate 63.4%38.0%
Route Rate 48.9%40.0%
Carries 144

Swift just barely edged Gainwell in playing time and opportunities last week -- although we noted in the Week 3 Usage article that a bunch of Gainwell's work came on Philly's final drive.

In the overtime win over the Commanders, Swift controlled backfield work. In fact, his usage wasn't too far off from the Week 2 game that Gainwell missed. Gainwell siphoned work in the two-minute drill vs. Washington, but it was Swift's backfield everywhere else.

He's now turned in RB15 and RB12 PPR finishes the past two weeks (after his RB3 Week 2 finish). Swift looks like at least a high-end RB2 going forward.


7. Dalton Kincaid Sets Season Highs

Route rate target share
Week 1 74.5% 9.8%
Week 2 57.1% 16.2%
Week 3 68.4% 6.3%
Week 476.7%20.0%

The rookie registered season highs in route rate and target share in the win over Miami.

And it wasn't a case of Buffalo running more two-TE sets. TE Dawson Knox ran a route on a season-low 50.0% of pass plays.

We'll see if this is a one-week blip or the start of a trend for Kincaid. If it's the latter, he'll be a good bet for TE1 production the rest of the way.


8. Who’s the No. 1 TE in Atlanta?

last 3 weeks kyle pittsjonnu smith
Route Rate 85.9%67.2%
Targets 17.8%19.8%

I ask that question facetiously. Sort of.

Smith has out-targeted and out-produced Pitts over the past three weeks.

So now Pitts has three problems:

  1. A run-heavy offense
  2. Bad QB play
  3. Competition at his own position

HC Arthur Smith suggested on Tuesday that Pitts still isn't back to 100% after last November's knee injury, which is a reason to still be optimistic about his future fantasy value (if you're looking for a reason).

But, at this point, Pitts simply can't be trusted as a TE1. His 17.6% target share ranks 12th among TEs, which isn't nearly good enough on a Falcons offense that ranks 29th in pass attempts.


9. Rashee Rice Trending Up, Skyy Moore Trending Down

route rates Rashee Rice Skyy Moore
Week 1 25.0% 64.6%
Week 2 14.6% 68.8%
Week 3 51.1% 60.5%
Week 443.6%48.7%

The rookie has seen his role expand over the past two weeks -- while Moore's route rate has steadily headed south.

That's exciting for Rice because he's been targeted heavily when on the field. In fact, his 0.32 targets per route ranks fourth among all WRs. (Moore has seen just 0.13 targets per route.)

Rice is a priority stash if he's available in your fantasy league. He'll be an exciting WR3 if he can get up to a 70+% route rate.


10. Bijan Robinson: Buy Low(ish)?

Ranks Among RBs
Snap Rate 7th
Route Rate 3rd
Carries 22nd

Let's end with a positive note on the much-maligned Arthur Smith: He has Robinson in an awesome role.

Yeah, Tyler Allgeier is still a thing. But his share of rushing attempts has sunk each week, while Robinson's has climbed.

More importantly, the rookie is getting elite usage in the passing game. His 71.7% route rate and 18.5% target share both rank third among all RBs.

Robinson has yet to find the end zone through four games but still ranks sixth at his position in PPR points.

Perhaps there's still a buying opportunity available on a guy with a good chance to finish top-3 in fantasy points.


Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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