The Week 4 QB Rankings are a little different than the past three weeks. The NFL bye weeks are officially here, so lineup management becomes crucial as we work our way through these next 10 weeks.
And now it gets interesting.
Fantasy owners will have to decide for themselves which players to cut every single week in order to make room for a player you have to pick up, to replace the starter who is now sitting on your bench scoring you no points.
Six Teams on Byes Suuuuuuck
The NFL was such a fan of the six-team bye weeks last season (I think they did them twice near Week 9 and 10), that they chose to start the bye-week season off with one. Does that even make sense? Most NFL teams want a bye week later in the season, so they can get rested and healed up for that last push for the NFL Playoffs.
The NFL decided instead to give six teams byes on Week 4 – and Week 10. It totally makes sense. To Roger Goodell, and like six other people, I’m sure.
What does six teams on bye weeks mean for you, your roster and these Week 4 QB Rankings?
With six teams on a bye this week (Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle and St. Louis), the quarterback rankings get cut by about 19 percent. In other words, when you had 32 QBs to choose from before, you now have just 26.
That’s not a huge difference – especially when you realize how big of a difference it’s going to be for running backs and wide receivers.
The problem with bye weeks and quarterbacks is that most people only carry one quarterback on their roster. So to enter Week 4 with a full lineup, they’re either going to have to pick up a quarterback and bench their current one on a bye, or they’ll have to cut their current quarterback and roll the dice on a new guy.
If you have a chance to pick up someone like Kirk Cousins, then you can afford to just outright cut a player like Andy Dalton or Carson Palmer. Cousins will either pay off for you, or you can cut him after next week and pick back up Dalton or Palmer. Since there are only two teams on bye weeks in Week 5 (Chicago and Miami), only Jay Cutler owners will be looking for QB help – and that’s if they don’t already have a backup.
If you own either Peyton Manning or Russell Wilson, and you’re looking for a Week 4 starter while they sit on the bench, then you should consider both Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles. Both rookies will likely be starting for their respective teams from here on out – and Bridgewater gets to play a horrible Falcons pass defense in Minneapolis. Bortles, unfortunately, has to travel across the country to play at San Diego, but remember him in Week 10, when another six teams go on byes, and the Jaguars face the Cowboys in Jacksonville.
These Week 4 QB rankings should also help you in Daily Fantasy play, too. Especially for the Fan vs. Machine instant snake drafts on SKYLLZONE.com. Download the free draft app on iTunes, or just draft off your computer. Everyone gets one free draft per day, and you can win SKYLL Points that you can use for entry into the Cash games – where you can win $15 for first place, and $5 for second place. These rankings will help you do just that!
Week 4 QB Rankings
These rankings are based on standard Fantasy leagues with four points per touchdown and minus-one point for interceptions.
Let us know which sleepers you like in the Week 4 QB Rankings that we might have gotten wrong! Did we rank your starter too low? Your backup too high?
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.