Week 4 Fantasy Football Surprise Sensations

Another week of NFL football is in the books. Plenty of fantasy football owners had to be satisfied with the performance of their respective teams as quite a few usual suspects put up impressive numbers. But as is the case pretty much every week, you have under the radar players who come out of seemingly nowhere and ball out from a fantasy perspective. This weekly column is dedicated to them and takes a look at those who surprised in Week 4 fantasy football.

Note: ownership percentage data is taken from Yahoo Sports fantasy leagues.

Week 4 Fantasy Football Surprise Sensations

Joe Flacco

The Baltimore Ravens essentially put Flacco out to pasture by having him close out his career with the Denver Broncos. And through four weeks, he still has yet to register a win with Denver off to an 0-4 start for the first time in 20 years. He didn’t inspire much confidence from the standpoint of fantasy heading into this Sunday’s clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars as fewer than 10 percent of owners in Yahoo leagues had Flacco on their roster. He had also averaged just 12.5 fantasy points through three games.

Despite another heartbreaking result that saw the Broncos blow a 17-3 lead and lose via a last-second field goal for the second time this season, Flacco played reasonably well. He opened up the scoring by providing rookie tight end Noah Fant with his first career touchdown catch and added two more throws for a score on the game. In the end, his 23.02 fantasy points were eighth-best among quarterbacks in Week 4. But if you’re desperate for better quarterback play, you might want to avoid putting in a waiver claim for him. Next week, the Broncos travel west to face a Los Angeles Chargers squad which hasn’t conceded much to quarterbacks this year.

Trevor Davis

A whopping 11 teams went on the road and registered victories in Week 4, including the Oakland Raiders. They ventured into Indianapolis and knocked off the home-standing Colts by a score of 31-24. A blistering start helped as they jumped out to a 14-0 lead less than halfway through the first quarter. And it was Davis who was the beneficiary on that second score as he went 60 yards to the house via an end-around.

A fifth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2016 NFL Draft, Davis came to the Raiders via trade on September 18. Prior to Sunday’s clash in Indy, he accounted for just one touchdown in his NFL career. And his ownership rate in Yahoo leagues? Zero percent. Yet his 13.40 fantasy points ranked 11th among wideouts this past week. Still, that output came via a single run play and Derek Carr didn’t target him once in the passing game. That makes him a risky waiver wire add at best.

Jaylen Samuels

If what transpired on Monday Night Football in Week 4 is any indication, the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be just fine with Samuels and James Conner as a one-two punch in the backfield. The tandem accounted for a touchdown apiece and finished with a combined 34.04 PPR points in Pittsburgh’s 27-3 demolition of the Cincinnati Bengals. Samuels boasted a 29 percent ownership rate in Yahoo leagues so he certainly benefited some who had the guts to start him. But of the players who accounted for at least 15 PPR points, he was the only one owned by less than 50 percent of players. He’s certainly in a timeshare with Conner which might limit his upside. That said, he might be the safest add amongst those we’re discussing in this article.

Ricky Seals-Jones

When David Njoku broke his wrist against the New York Jets, it certainly provided an opportunity for the other tight ends on the Cleveland Browns roster. But neither Seals-Jones, Demetrius Harris, nor Pharaoh Brown ran with it a week later in Cleveland’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams. That changed this past Sunday in what went down as an impressive 40-25 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Seals-Jones finished with a career-high 82 yards receiving and caught just the fifth touchdown pass of his now three-year career. In the end, his 14.20 PPR points led all tight ends in Week 4. That’s quite the accomplishment for a player who was owned in one percent of Yahoo leagues. Buyer beware, though. Cleveland’s Week 5 opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, concede very few points to tight ends.

Matt Gay

Gay is the first repeat surprise sensation of the year. You’ll recall that in Week 3, he cost the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a win over the New York Giants by missing a 34-yard field goal as time expired. Despite that, he still led all NFL kickers with 16 fantasy points. A week later, he did it again. But this time, there was no shocking miss at the end of the game. Gay kicked seven extra points and was a perfect 2/2 from field goal range. It included a 58-yard bomb late in the third quarter. Ultimately, his 15 points were tied with Josh Lambo and Matt Prater for tops among NFL kickers in Week 4. Yet his ownership rate only ticked up two percentage points from last week. It might be time to begin considering giving him a spot on your roster.

New York Giants Defense

Is there suddenly optimism in Giants land? After a miserable start to the season, they’re currently on a two-game winning streak after benching Eli Manning in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. Their most recent triumph was a 24-3 pasting of NFC East rival Washington Redskins. And the defense deserves a ton of credit for that result. They held the ‘Skins to 176 total yards, prompted the team to bench Case Keenum in favor of their own rookie signal-caller, Dwayne Haskins, while forcing three sacks and four interceptions, one of which Jabrill Peppers returned for a score. Only the New England Patriots (25) finished with more than their 24 fantasy points. But the Pats defense / special teams boasted a 98 percent ownership rate in Yahoo leagues compared to the Giants two percent. Moving forward, this is a unit that’s likely matchup-dependent but should be available if you’re looking to stream.

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