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Value Plays: Week 4

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could have unexpected big fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both of these are from the Insider content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's take a look at this week's value players.


Kirk Cousins

  • Top 200 ranking: 19
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +15

Cousins has endured a rollercoaster season with some big outings and a clunker.  The Washington pass offense is high volume due to the lack of a running game.  This should continue as the Cleveland Browns come to town.  Cousins has a solid cache of weapons and should connect on several big plays.  He makes a solid QB1 this week in what could be the best matchup of the season.

Philip Rivers

  • Top 200 ranking: 15
  • Weekly ranking: 2
  • Difference: +13

Rivers has been on fire even after the losses of Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, and Danny Woodhead.  The game against the Saints this week should be another shootout.  After watching Matt Ryan carve up the New Orleans defense on Monday night, we are hopeful for a big passing performance from the veteran passer. 

Running Back

Jordan Howard

  • Top 200 ranking: 65
  • Weekly ranking: 18
  • Difference: +47

Howard has outplayed Jeremy Langford so his rise has been expected.  The high ankle injury will sideline Langford for a few weeks, opening the door for the rookie to play the lead role.  In addition, KaDeem Carey will miss the game with a hamstring injury.  The game against the Detroit Lions is a great matchup for the Chicago running game to take the pressure off quarterback Brian Hoyer

Christine Michael

  • Top 200 ranking: 43
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +36

Michael ran very well last week, running as the lead back with the injury to Thomas Rawls.  Michael anchored the Seattle offense and allowed the gimpy Russell Wilson to not have to throw as often.  The game in New York against the Jets should afford the nomadic Michael a great opportunity to top 100 yards and find the endzone. 

Charles Sims

  • Top 200 ranking: 21
  • Weekly ranking:  6
  • Difference: +15

Sims will start and see the most carries against the Broncos this week as Doug Martin sits out another game with an injury.  Sims’ receiving ability helps him be a safe play in what could be a lop-sided contest versus the league’s top defense.  The passing game targets will be enough to buoy Sims’ fantasy production.

Wide Receiver

T.Y. Hilton

  • Top 200 ranking: 17
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +12

Hilton abused the San Diego secondary a week ago and will now get the lacking Jaguars in London.  Jacksonville has a sieve of a defensive backfield and will allow the Colts to throw and put up big numbers.  This game has the look of a high-scoring affair.  Only the poor field conditions will be able to hold the scoring in check.

Jarvis Landry

  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 2
  • Difference: +7

Landry has continued his great rapport with quarterback Ryan Tannehill.  As with Hilton above, we like the idea of collecting receivers from teams locked up in a high-scoring contest.  This should be the case as Miami faces Cincinnati in a battle of two of the pass-happiest teams in the NFL.

Marvin Jones Jr

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +17

Jones has quickly emerged as the Lions WR1.  He has made this list on consecutive weeks and is climbing the Top 200 list.  In just three games, the ex-Bengal has exactly half of his 2015 receiving yards total (408 of 816).  Three games.  Jones has earned the trust of quarterback Matthew Stafford and gets targets down the field every week.  In the divisional game against the porous Chicago Bears defense this week, Jones could catch 10 passes.  After seeing the Dallas receivers slice through the Bears Sunday, Jones and Stafford could be tops at their respective positions this week.

Tight End

Hunter Henry

  • Top 200 ranking: 29
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +25

Henry steps into the vacancy created by the Antonio Gates injury.  The rookie tight end looks like a future star and will get ample opportunity against New Orleans this weekend.  Henry is a solid blocker and a good receiver. 

Dennis Pitta

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 2
  • Difference: +14

The return of Pitta is our favorite NFL storyline this season.  His recovery from two hip fractures and almost a two-year absence just to make it back on the field.  The tight end is Joe Flacco’s top target this season.  The two veterans were roommates earlier in their respective careers and share a bond.  We like Pitta’s chance of having a big game against the Raiders this weekend.  Pitta could get ten pass targets once again.

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