Fantasy football rankings, WR: Week 4 features Josh Gordon, Cecil Shorts moving up

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 was a bit of a disappointment for the top ranked wide receivers, but a few guys stepped up including Josh Gordon, Cecil Shorts and Antonio Brown. Check out where they rank in our Week 4 wide receiver rankings.

We're back with another week of fantasy football rankings. As is often the case, the wide receiver position finds itself in flux. Considering the volume of players at the position, it is one of the most volatile fantasy football positions.

Week 3 Highlights

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon played his first game of the season after serving his two game suspension and looked like he never missed a beat. In a shootout against the Vikings, Gordon was targeted 20 times by new QB Brian Hoyer, catching 10 balls for 146 yards and a touchdown. Gordon is coming off a rookie season which saw him catch 50 balls for 805 yards and five touchdowns. With Trent Richardson now out of the picture in Cleveland, Gordon is on the trade block and could be moved before Week 4 games. Depending on where he is traded will determine his future fantasy value.

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown had his biggest game of the season with 9 receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns in a shootout on Sunday Night Football. He scored on a 33-yard pass in the second quarter and a 21-yard pass in the third quarter. Brown is a good WR2 play vs Minnesota in Week 4.

Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes appears to be Geno Smith's favorite target thus far. He was targeted 10 times by Smith on Sunday, catching five of those targets for 154 yards and a touchdown in the Jets win over the Bills. Smith had a good day passing, so if this is a sign of things to come, Holmes is a solid WR3 in three receiver leagues.

Some of the higher-ranked Week 3 wide receivers did not come through for fantasy owners on Sunday, including Brandon Marshall and Victor Cruz, among others. It was just one of those weeks where some of the lower-tiered wide receivers stepped up to have big games.

Marshall caught five of his eight targets for 52 yards and no touchdowns in the Bears blowout win on Sunday night. If you didn't watch the game and forgot to check the box score, your first thought would have been that Marshall had a big game, but that was not the case. He should be back to normal next week when the Bears travel to Detroit to face the Lions.

Injury Update

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson had to leave Sunday's game in the second quarter due to a bruised shin and will have an MRI on Monday. The results of the MRI will determine his Week 4 ranking. Should he miss Sunday's game vs Seattle, DeAndre Hopkins' value should rise as a result.

Bucs wide receiver Victor Jackson left Sunday's loss to New England with a rib injury. We will learn the extent of the injury soon. Should he miss time, Mike Williams' fantasy value will increase as a result.

You can count on few things once the NFL season begins, but one thing you can count on is Miles Austin suffering a hamstring injury. Austin had to leave Sunday's game due to aggravating the injury.

Target Practice

The Jaguars offense isn't going to scare many teams, but when they are presented with garbage time, as they were on Sunday in Seattle, Cecil Shorts benefits. Shorts caught 8 of his 15 targets for 143 yards and no scores on Sunday, but I bet you didn't know he was the most targeted wide receiver after Week 3. He leads all wide receivers with 39 targets thus far.

Pierre Garcon, when healthy, is one of the more productive wide receivers in the league. He is a breakaway threat every time he touches the ball and is Robert Griffin's favorite target thus far. He was targeted a season-high 14 times on Sunday, and is now the third most targeted receiver in the NFL. He gets to face a Raiders defense that has given up the 22nd most fantasy points to wide receivers.

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones leads all wide receivers in receptions with 27 to go along with his league leading 373 yards receiving. He has the talent to be the top wide receiver in the game.

Rank

Player

Tm

Wk 3

1

Josh Gordon

CLE

20

2

Cecil Shorts

JAC

15

3

Pierre Garcon

WAS

14

4

Antonio Brown

PIT

13

5

Julio Jones

ATL

13

6

Stevie Johnson

BUF

13

7

Calvin Johnson

DET

13

8

Denarius Moore

OAK

11

9

Demaryius Thomas

DEN

11

10

Randall Cobb

GBP

11

11

Santonio Holmes

NYJ

10

12

Robert Woods

BUF

10

13

Davone Bess

CLE

10

14

Aaron Dobson

NEP

10

15

Golden Tate

SEA

10

Week 4 Rankings

Below you see the ten defenses that have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season:

Rank

Team

Points (WRs)

23

Ravens

83.09

24

Cowboys

85.29

25

Rams

87.9

26

Chargers

88.6

27

Bears

88.7

28

Falcons

89.89

29

Bills

93.9

30

Eagles

95

31

Packers

96.69

32

Redskins

109.1

When deciding whether to start one wide receiver over another, one should check out the Fantasy Points Allowed info that Ask the Commish, as well as other sites, provide on a weekly basis. The fantasy points allowed is a nice tie-breaker for me and you should use it as well.

The Redskins are the worst defense in the NFL period, so make sure you start Raiders receiver Denarius Moore this week, maybe in your flex position or your WR3 slot, depending on your league roster structure.

The Packers have a bye this week, but they get Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and the Lions in week 5.

The Eagles are on the road in Denver in Week 4 and have the 30th worst defense against opposing wide receivers. I'd expect a big day from Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker this week. Manning completed 32 of 37 passes for 374 yards and 3 touchdowns on Monday night vs the Raiders.

Now let's take a look at our Week 4 Wide Receiver Rankings:

Standard Leagues

PPR Leagues

Rank

Player

Player

1

Demaryius Thomas, DEN

Demaryius Thomas, DEN

2

Calvin Johnson, DET

Calvin Johnson, DET

3

Julio Jones, ATL

Julio Jones, ATL

4

A.J. Green, CIN

A.J. Green, CIN

5

Dez Bryant, DAL

Brandon Marshall, CHI

6

Brandon Marshall, CHI

Wes Welker, DEN

7

DeSean Jackson, PHI

Anquan Boldin, SF

8

Victor Cruz, NYG

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI

9

Wes Welker, DEN

Julian Edelman, NE

10

Julian Edelman, NE

DeSean Jackson, PHI

11

Pierre Garcon, WAS

Pierre Garcon, WAS

12

Cecil Shorts, JAC

Dez Bryant, DAL

13

Josh Gordon, CLE

Josh Gordon, CLE

14

Eric Decker, DEN

Antonio Brown, PIT

15

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI

Victor Cruz, NYG

16

Antonio Brown, PIT

Eric Decker, DEN

17

Reggie Wayne, IND

Cecil Shorts, JAC

18

Marques Colston, NO

Vincent Jackson, TB

19

Anquan Boldin, SF

Reggie Wayne, IND

20

Vincent Jackson, TB

Marques Colston, NO

21

Dwayne Bowe, KC

Hakeem Nicks, NYG

22

Torrey Smith, BAL

Torrey Smith, BAL

23

Andre Johnson, HOU

Andre Johnson, HOU

24

Eddie Royal, SD

Dwayne Bowe, KC

25

Kenbrell Thompkins, NE

Kenbrell Thompkins, NE

26

Denarius Moore, OAK

Tavon Austin, STL

27

T.Y. Hilton, IND

DeAndre Hopkins, HOU

28

Mike Wallace, MIA

Miles Austin, DAL

29

Hakeem Nicks, NYG

T.Y. Hilton, IND

30

Tavon Austin, STL

Eddie Royal, SD

31

Mike Williams, TB

Mike Williams, TB

32

Aaron Dobson, NE

Denarius Moore, OAK

33

Brian Hartline, MIA

Roddy White, ATL

34

Golden Tate, SEA

Aaron Dobson, NE

35

Roddy White, ATL

Golden Tate, SEA

36

DeAndre Hopkins, HOU

Steve Johnson, BUF

37

Steve Johnson, BUF

Brian Hartline, MIA

38

Nate Burleson, DET

Mike Wallace, MIA

39

Chris Givens, STL

Andre Roberts, ARI

40

Miles Austin, DAL

Lance Moore, NO

41

Lance Moore, NO

Chris Givens, STL

42

Santonio Holmes, NYJ

Brandon LaFell, CAR

43

Michael Floyd, ARI

Emmanuel Sanders, PIT

44

Brandon LaFell, CAR

Michael Floyd, ARI

45

Andre Roberts, ARI

Nate Washington, TEN

46

Davone Bess, CLE

Davone Bess, CLE

47

Sidney Rice, SEA

Rueben Randle, NYG

48

Marlon Brown, BAL

Ryan Broyles, DET

49

Nate Washington, TEN

Sidney Rice, SEA

50

Ryan Broyles, DET

Marlon Brown, BAL

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